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Diamant Estate Wedding – Sara & Morgan

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Diamant Estate Wedding.

~The Manor House Chapter

The Meeting.

Morgan:
Sara and I met on flight BD772 on Saturday the 17th October 2009. We were each returning to London from Cairo after separately travelling to Egypt with different friends.
My trip had been slightly traumatic and included being scammed into buying fake perfume in Cairo, unnecessarily riding camels (instead of taking a bus!) to the pyramids, being detained by the Egyptian army for several hours at a military base in Suez, getting lost and arriving at the Israeli border during the night and bursting an ear drum whilst diving in Dahab. Sara has been far wiser (as usual) and booked a guided holiday that went fantastically.
Sara found me speaking to a friend in the aisle and the three of us sparked up a conversation. She had only recently arrived in Europe and was eager to share her contiki adventures whilst we tried to impress her with our own recent  stories from Egypt. We chatted for the entire flight before sharing contact details when it was time to return to our seats for landing.
I was initially drawn to Sara since she was always up for an adventure. Over time I realised that she was an extremely kind and compassionate person which makes her a wonderful companion. It also doesn’t hurt that we have many similar tastes in terms of food, travel, music etc.
Sara:
Morgan’s story about how we met is 100% true! It was one of the most interesting flights ever. I remember thinking these guys were really funny, and their misadventures in Egypt sounded like something out of fiction, so very impressive! Morgan did well despite being barely able to hear me with his burst ear drum. When it was time to leave them, I remember watching them walk through the border together, and hoping that I would get the chance to see him again. He has said he was doing the same thing, and hearing him say that on our wedding night made me realise how lucky we are.
Over our years together I have been constantly drawn to Morgan, and as our time grew, he has pulled me closer. He is kind, loving, and respects me for who I am. He says I’m up for adventure and that’s true, but he has always been the one searching for our next little trip, and sometimes I can take some convincing to go along for the ride. It is because of him that have I learnt to ski, scuba dive, drive a car, climb a mountain, ride around Asia on a scooter, and perhaps most exotic of all, go to Cuba on whim without really knowing what to expect. I have him to thank for bringing out the best in me, and I love that we are going to have a whole lifetime together to keep adventuring. He is my best friend.

 

The Proposal.

Morgan:
The proposal went down terribly! I had known for several years that I wanted to propose to Sara and despite usually being impatient I planned it thoroughly. On a holiday home over Christmas I discussed my plans with my parents and my father very kindly gave me the stone from his mother’s engagement ring. I returned to London and found a jeweler to commission a bespoke ring in time for our summer holiday to Corfu. Unfortunately the ring wasn’t quite ready on time but it was our final trip for the summer and after consulting a few of my female friends I decided to proceed without the ring! After arriving in Corfu I planned to pop the question at a romantic little restaurant on a jetty over the ocean. On the afternoon that we were due to have dinner there we found ourselves sitting alone at a restaurant overlooking a beautiful beach called Agios Gordios. Sara commented on how perfect the setting was and I spontaneously decided to do it then and there! Unfortunately I didn’t drop a knee and had no ring so she initially thought that I was joking! It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing but she said yes and shortly after we had a celebratory drink with my brother and his fiance.

 

Sara:
The proposal was not a fairy tale! I had no idea Morgan was planning to propose. I had for years (despite not thinking it would happen) prepared what I would say if he ever proposed to me and I can say that I said none of that!

The beach was beautiful. Turquoise water, steep cliffs and it was virtually empty apart from us, perched on a sand dune watching the sun set. I can see why he threw caution to the wind! After I said yes and apologised for not taking him seriously, I thought about everything I wished I said, and later, I said it all. I think we both felt better after that. The next few days were surreal, and spending those times with Damian and Thomas made it even more special. When we got back to London, many of our friends also shared their own proposal stories… as it turns out, it NEVER goes to plan!

The Rings.

Morgan:
Sara’s engagement ring is a bespoke design that uses my grandmother’s diamond as it’s main feature. We decided to get matching wedding bands that were made from the same material as the engagement ring. We found a local jeweler in London to provide these but when we went to visit Sara thought that I looked stressed out about the process. When we left I admitted that I had had a terrible headache in the shop explained my facial expressions. Nevertheless the rings turned out perfectly!

Sara:
My engagement ring is important to me. Morgan’s family gave him the diamond from his grandmother’s ring, which is very sentimental. From that moment, I felt like I had been trusted with an important responsibility. On top of that, Morgan had designed the ring in secret, and I admire him for his resolve to do that. It ring is beautiful, I love it, and it’s an honour to wear a family heirloom. Our wedding bands are very simple, owing to Morgan having a very bad headache while we were in the shop, so designs were decided swiftly. Ultimately, the simplicity is exactly what we both wanted

Diamant Estate Wedding.

We fell in love with Diamant Estate on our first visit. The whole venue is fantastic but we were drawn to the Manor House and the lovely lawn overlooking Paarl. We couldn’t have been happier with our choice and it would seem that our guests agreed since many commented on the venue during the wedding day.

Peter Smallbones, a priest from the Claremont Baptist Church, officiated. Peter’s wife works with my mother who suggested that we consider him. We chose him because he was known to the family and also because of his very relaxed and friendly demeanor.

Mon Amour Events – Jessica Thiart.

Morgan:
We found Jessica Thiart of Mon Amour Events through our friends Mike and Antonia. They had a lovely wedding in Stellenbosch and couldn’t stop raving about Jessica so we asked for her details and met to discuss our plans a few days later. We really couldn’t rate this service highly enough! Jessica was instrumental in every aspect of the event and we never could have done it without her. It was especially useful since we are based overseas. We especially liked her consistently  calm demeanor which allowed us to enjoy the day to the fullest!

Sara:
We approached Jessica from Mon Amour Events for her business card at our friends, Mike and Antonia’s wedding. We loved the wedding in Stellenbosch, and after months of indecision on where we would be married, we finally knew it be possible in South Africa. From the very beginning Jessica was perfect for us. Extremely organised, and patient with us being far away, she did an amazing job of organising our wedding. People always say things go wrong on your wedding day…that is not an option if Jessica is on your team!

Cape  Town Wedding Photographer.

Morgan:
We found Landi and Organictales through a recommendation from my dad after he had seen some of her work online. We really liked her style and thought that it might be a small way that we could include my dad in our planning. We met Landi for a coffee and her service ever since has been absolutely phenomenal. She is incredibly professional, responsive, organised, relaxed and passionate. We knew that the photos would form an import part of our memories of the day and are so pleased with the beautiful pictures from Organictales!

Sara:
Morgan’s dad suggested Organictales after his love of horses led him to gorgeous shot of girl and horse which was taken by Landi. We had already been offered a list of photographers from our wedding planner, but we both liked the creativity of Landi’s photographs and also thought we could include Morgan’s dad in the planning by choosing his suggestion. It was the right decision. Landi is a professional. I loved her commitment to getting a shot right, and importantly as someone who is by default uncomfortable in front of a camera, she did her best to make me feel comfortable and beautiful. I’m sure our wedding photos will capture the happiness of the day

 

Service Providers:
(Please do not copy, lift or download images from this site. A Downloadable Link will be made available to service providers to download images soon)

Venue:  Diamant Estate

Photography: Organictales
Assistants:  Anje van Dalen  &  Graham Richardson

Coordination and Planning: Mon Amour Events

Catering: Red Pepper Catering

Lighting: Authentic Planning

Flowers: Bouwer Flowers

Live Entertainment: Angelo and Jane

DJ and Sound: Music 2 the Max

Diemersfontein Wedding – Quinton & Nicole

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Diemersfontein Wedding.

 

How did this story begin?

We met by a lagoon by the light of a bonfire. Quinton first heard my voice and I first saw him him dancing.
When Quinton decided to propose, he took me to the beach front where we had our first date. The first time we went out, Quinton didn’t realize it was a date. This time, it was me who was surprised!

 

Tell us about the style of your wedding, your dress and the story behind the rings.

Family was the most important element of our wedding at Diemersfontein Wedding Venue. The most important thing was that all our guests had fun – and the smiles all round by the end of the night were the best thing we could have hoped for!!
My mom made my dress with the most amount of love. She bought the lace for the bodice in Amsterdam! In regards to the rings, Quinton consulted with my best friend on the design of my engagement ring! It’s one of a kind!
Our wedding rings reflect our individual personalities – Quinton’s being charcoal Tungsten and mine matching my rose gold engagement ring.
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What was the most memorable moment of the day?

Giggling at the pulpit. We couldn’t help ourselves – it was the craziest, most unbelievable moment sitting there with each other.
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How did you experience your Photographer’s services?

When we finished our couple’s portraits with some time to spare,  Landi from Organictales said “Wait, before we go… Do you see that light there? You up for a last few extra photos on that hill?
Quinton said to me: “I absolutely love that she’s making so much effort!
We were in such good hands for the whole entire experience.
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Any advice to other couples still in the planning process? What was the most difficult and what really helped?

Make sure that you both have the most fun!
What really helped was our parents, specifically Nicole‘s mom, who made so much effort over the course of the year to make sure everything was perfect. We couldn’t have done any of this without them.
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Tell us about the Honeymoon!!

We opted for a mini-moon in Simonstown, as we both needed to be back at work the week after the wedding. It was spectacular – we saw some penguins, ate some amazing seafood and really just enjoyed each other’s company.

 

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Service Providers:

Please do not copy, download or screenshot images from this page.  A Downloadable link with the full album will be made available soon.

Venue:  Diemersfontein Wedding Venue

Photographer: Organictales

Dress: Bride’s Mother

Allesverloren – Sián & Michiel

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Allesverloren

~A Countryside Chapter.

When I first met Sian and Michiel, I instantly felt like we connected.  We started talking and laughing like old friends.  Over the months leading up to the wedding, we exchanged endless voice notes and messages, so by the time of the wedding day, it felt like capturing a good friend’s memories.  Sian and Michiel’s families were so welcoming and open to receiving me as part of the day, which made this one extra special to photograph.

The Riverside Proposal:

I planned to ask Sian to marry me on the way to her graduation at the University of the Free State. We were staying over on the Orange River on the way and I thought it would be the perfect location to pop the question. Things didn’t work out quite as planned. I had hidden the ring in the boot of the car under the felt lining so Sian wouldn’t accidentally find it. I suggested we walk from our chalet down to the river bank to enjoy a drink and had planned to grab the ring on the way but Sian (being averse to any form of cold, and this was Colesburg in June) refused to walk and demanded to drive instead. I scrambled to get the ring without her seeing anything when we parked at the river (approximately 400m from the chalet) but by the time I opened the boot Sian was already standing next to me. Sian still asked what I was looking for and I said “nothing” and walked down to the river with no ring, just bubbly and two glasses. We then proceeded to finish a bottle of bubbly on the banks of the majestic Orange River, with a beautiful sunset perfecting the scene. All I could think was “might as well drink”. Eventually we went back to the chalet and I was like, well, I’ve done all the planning already, my nerves were shot, and I wasn’t going to do this to myself again, so it was pretty much now or never. Sian was in the kitchen of the chalet and I went down on one knee in front of the oldest microwave we’ve ever seen and asked her to marry me. Fortunately, she said yes, or she wouldn’t have had a lift home (or, to graduation).

Maggie Sottero Wedding Dress.

I initially found an amazing mermaid style white lace dress but was dissuaded from wearing it by people who thought I could find something better or didn’t consider it to suit my personal style. I then had a dress made which didn’t work for me or do my figure any justice at all. Two weeks before the wedding I saw the 2019 Maggie Sottero range and fell in love with one of the styles which I then sourced at a boutique in Cape Town. It was pure luck that they had my size in stock and ready to go. It was something so different from anything I had seen or tried and I knew I had to wear it. No one would ever have expected that dress, including me.

Down to earth wedding.

We initially planned to have a small gathering of people. Absolutely just our nearest and dearest. Both coming from Afrikaans families, we realised that having a small wedding was a very remote hope. I guess we were inspired by the “boere troues” we have been used to all our lives; where there is an emphasis on family, good music and great food. Everything else was ancillary. We never decided on a particular style and instead went to a number of bridal expos and décor places and by a process of elimination decided on what we liked and didn’t like. To be honest, we loved the venue and worked around what the venue had to offer, rather than imposing our style on the surroundings. We kept everything quite rustic to fit the forest vibe at Allesverloren and kept the wedding to just the right level of informality for it to be gracious but not pretentious.

 

Allesverloren Wedding Venue.

We literally got out of the car at the venue and felt right at home. It was actually only the second venue we had gone to view. Allesverloren itself is so well equipped we really didn’t need to hire a lot of things in and we knew this would simplify our lives quite a lot. Allesverloren also speaks for itself – it is surrounded with beauty, it is a three minute drive from the heart of Riebeek-West, and the catering was done on site. It was a sensible and beautiful choice and it worked for us.

Organictales Photography.

Landi is great in every way. She is talented and her personality is as beautiful as her work. It was a pleasure working with her and having a photographer who would and could work around what we wanted. Something couples will always tell you after their wedding, and us included, is how quickly the day goes. Hours feel like minutes and the time is swept away so quickly. It is impossible to take note of every moment and every guest. The photos are all you have left of the day when it’s over, so it’s important to have them done right

Planning your own wedding.

We did not have a wedding planner. I wanted to be in control of every aspect and manage the budget myself. Michiel laughed when he read this because the budget fell by the wayside quickly. In retrospect I wish I had appointed someone to manage the event on the day but I feel that allowing someone professional to arrange your whole wedding, who can bring options to you as opposed to you seeking them out yourself, constrains your planning and your personal style. I say this because a lot of the things Michiel and I ended up using (and not using) at our wedding was found through our own research. I feel a planner would have pushed their ideas onto us and made the event less “ours”. But I would advise brides to be to seek help, for at least on the wedding day, as the process is extremely time consuming and exhausting.

Allesverloren Wedding Catering.

Bertus Bester at Allesverloren was at the helm of the delicious food served on the night. For starters, we served our wedding cheese cake (literally wheels of cheese stacked on top of one another) together with the famous Allesverloren rustic harvest table while we disappeared to take our photographs. For mains, we had deboned, chargrilled lamb shoulder with a mint Greek yoghurt; chicken phyllo parcels with mozzarella and sundried tomato; potato bake with parmesan, cream and onions, Mediterranean oven roasted vegetables, Greek salad, and Spanish potato salad. At our menu tasting we couldn’t decide between the Spanish potato salad and potato bake so we opted for both. For dessert we served lavender infused crème brulee and the wedding cake which was a chocolate and Swiss buttercream sponge cake. We opted for a Mediterranean influenced menu as we married in December and knew that it would be quite hot and didn’t want to serve food that was too heavy in the heat

 

Service Providers:

Photography: ORGANICTALES
Venue:  Allesverloren
Dress:  Maggie Sottero 
Make-up and Hair: ElpArtistry

Other Service Providers:

Bridesmaid dresses:
Hoiden – www.hoiden.co.za
Suits: House of Monatic – https://monatic.co.za/
Pocket squares: WEEF – https://za.weefwear.com
Groom and groomsmen shoes: Instep at the Bay Harbour Market – https://www.bayharbour.co.za/traders/fashion-jewellery/
Accomodation: Riebeek Valley Hotel and de Langenhof Guesthouse – http://www.riebeekvalleyhotel.co.za/ / http://www.delangenhof.co.za/
Personalised water: Just Water WC – https://www.justwaterwc.co.za/
Bottled beverages: Chill Direct – https://chilldirect.co.za/
Flowers and décor hire at reception: To-Nette’s – http://to-netts.co.za/
Cheese cake: Fairview – https://www.fairview.co.za/
Cake: Velvet Cake Co – https://www.thevelvetcakeco.com/
Sound: Dirkie G Productions – https://www.facebook.com/DJDirkie/
Officiant: Ds Jan van Heerden – NG Kerk Vishoek – http://www.ngvishoek.co.za/
Rings: Cape Diamonds – https://www.capediamonds.co.za/
Videography: Grootdors Produksies – http://grootdorsproduksies.com/
Stationery: Tara Megan Goodwin Art – https://mobile.facebook.com/Tara-Megan-Goodwin-2088241787871836/