Everwood Country Wedding Venue knows that your wedding is a very special event, and should be in the hands of experts. They have designed, refined and perfected the major and minor details to make your big day just perfect. Just like they did for this beautiful couple.
Stacey Arnold and Kyle Kirk
19 August 2017
Venue: Everwood Country Wedding
Decor Style: Rustic elegance , colour scheme: mint green, white and beige/tan
Number of Guests: 90
A love story between Stacey and Kyle, they met 12 years ago as teenagers attending youth at Discovery Methodist Church. They entered into Youth Ministry together and developed a very close friendship over the years. In 2011 they officially started dating. Stacey said that Kyle proposed to her on their 5 year anniversary under the lighthouse in Umhlanga Rocks at sunset.
We asked Stacey about the highlights of their day. “The quality time spent preparing with my mother and bridesmaids, revealing myself to my father for the first time just before walking down the aisle (we both we sobbing) and definitely seeing each other for the first time as I was walking down the isle – I never took my eyes off him.
Our entire ceremony was so special and personal as we were married by Kyle’s cousin who is an ordained Methodist minister and who was our Youth Pastor all those years ago when we first met as teenagers. Kyle’s brother gave the most hilarious and perfect best man’s speech – every single guest was in absolute stitches! And finally, our first dance was so special – we danced to a song that was fairly unfamiliar to our guests but extremely meaningful and personal to us. We sang each and every word to one another as we danced. A moment we had that we will cherish for a very long time.”
Stacey’s something old was simple pearl earrings and necklace from her grandmother who passed away last year, her something new was her shoes and dress and for her something blue, she had delicate flower nail art on her ring finger with a touch of blue.
We asked the couple for advice for future brides and grooms, this is what they said. “Allow yourself to be present in EVERY moment. Take time out to appreciate the little details, the emotions, the smells and the sounds – it all goes by so quickly. There was a moment when we were sitting at the main table when we both just gazed on at every person and appreciated just how blessed we were to have the support we have. It was a special moment, because it was about more than just the décor and the food, it was about appreciating where we have come from and where we are going.
Photographer: Donovan Myburgh
Wedding Co-Ordinator: Everwood Country Wedding
Décor Company: Monique at Splendid Wedding Designs
Wedding Gown: Forever Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaids Dresses: Gelique
Make-up & Hair: Make-up – Nicole Amory
Hair – Elna Hair in Motion
Groom’s Suit: Woolworths
Flowers: Splendid Wedding Designs
Food: Everwood Country Weddings
The free spirited couple Lauren and Shawn chose the beautiful Gourikwa Nature Reserve, in the Garden Route, to have their wedding day. Read more about their incredible day below.
Lauren Ambler & Shawn Mey
25 March 2017
Rustic and vintage wedding decor
Gourikwa Nature Reserve was the perfect back drop for this rustic, fun filled wedding.
Lauren and Shawn both met in school through a mutual friend.
We asked Lauren how Shawn proposed to her, she explains; “Shawn is a fisherman and it was so sweet the amount of effort he put into the proposal. I had been wanting to take the fur babies down to the beach for a while already but we just didn’t have the time. One afternoon he insisted on going and I wasn’t really in the mood. We went anyway and after about a 30min walk we ended up with a spectacular view and sunset. I noticed him scratching around in a bush and lone behold he pulled out a bottle of champagne and plastic cups. He had hidden them there a few hours before. He then pulled out the most beautiful ring and told me that I had to marry him. I didn’t even need to say yes!”
Something old, something borrowed, something blue?
“My something old were my moms pearl earnings. Something new was the silver chain I wore on the back of my dress, the something blue was the wedding band we had made with a blue tourmaline.” Says Lauren.
Regarding their ceremony, they were blessed to have Lauren’s father marry them. A very special gesture that they will cherish forever. Lauren and Shawn described the highlight of the wedding being surrounded by their guests and feeling their love seeing how much fun they where having.
Lauren says they tried to keep everything simple and stress free. They did most of the wedding things themselves and now they have such great memories about doing it together.
Advice from Lauren and Shawn; “Don’t stress, just enjoy the process. Its not about everyone else, its about the two of you.”
Photographer: Sharyn Hodges
Décor Company: Fancy Functions
This is a beautiful rustic beach wedding celebration that touches our hearts as they did so much for the community where they got married and it was a beautiful celebration to top it all off
Shandre Oosthuizen & Lean Badenhorst
19 March 2017
Hole in the Wall, Coffee Bay, Eastern Cape
Rustic Beach wedding
Where did you meet?
Under the roof of Leans Lapa, and now we both live here.
How did he propose?
We arranged a trip to the Victoria Falls Carnival in Zimbabwe for December 2015. On arrival we settled in and Lean suggested we go for a walk. We packed our back pack with some drinks and he showed me around and told me a bit of History, as this was my first time in Zimbabwe. We came to the Bridge where you can bungee jump & king swing and this bridge also separated Zimbabwe form Zambia. He then showed me the actual line that means you are now in no man’s land. A few minutes after that we moved to the side of the bridge where he looked at me and asked if I would be his wife….and of course my answer was YES. It was an amazing surprise and couldn’t have asked for a better proposal, it was beautiful, and yes I was the luckiest and happiest girl in the world.
On the morning of our wedding day we were blessed with beautiful rain that brought nature to life.
Our ceremony was situated in front of the Hole in The Wall on the Beach with lush forest surrounding us and the ocean in front of us.
With local drummers playing music and entertaining our guest while they awaited the big moment.
We had a stretch tent set up on the beach, with hay bales for friends and family to be seated on.
The wedding arch was hand built by Lean out of Drift wood, rocks from our surroundings and proteas I had preserved and dried out.
We had a very special friend, Reinhard Botha, play and sing My Guardian Angel by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus on his acoustic guitar while I was making my way down the aisle.
Trevor Meyer, one of Lean’s best friends, did us the honor of being the MC and ceremony master. I had the honor of having my brother, Shaun Oosthuizen, walk me down the aisle and hand me over to Lean. Myself and Lean both had two of our very best friends alongside us before and during the wedding. My little cousin, Declan Fischer, was our ring bearer for the ceremony. We exchanged our vows and our “BIG KISS” was celebrated with hand drums in the back round. All our guest then made their way back to the beach in front of the Hotel where we then continued with cutting the cheese cake and reception.
What was extra special at your wedding?
We had a different approach to planning and making our Wedding day happen, asking permission to use the grounds that belonged to the local community and Chief Lindiwe. We had a meeting with the headsman, from there they sat with the board where they made a decision to whether we can use the beach in front of the HIW and what they would like in return for the community.
We were the 1st ever in history to be granted the opportunity to have our wedding in this special place.
2 Days before the wedding we met with Chief Lindiwe and did the exchange and showed our respect to them and thanked them for granting us the grounds for our big day.
Myself and Lean also decided that we didn’t want our guest to bring us any gifts, but rather bring any clothes or stationery for the community. We arranged a day where we did the charity drive and handed it out to all the kids and parents.
Lean’s mother and grandmother also made red and blue bibs for the local rugby teams for practice.
Our main aim was to give to the less fortunate and support the local community.
What advice would you give other brides and grooms?
Work and plan together, make it a journey and let life take its course. Always stay calm whatever doesn’t work out wasn’t meant to work out and only you will know that it didn’t.
Most important enjoy the journey together and enjoy the moment, take a step back every now and then and take it all in!
Photographer: Susan Smit Photography
Assistant Photographer: Belinda Louie Photography
Wedding Coordinator and Decor: Urban Group
Wedding Gown: Bride & Co
Bridesmaid Dresses: Handmade by Alta Oosthuizen
Make-Up: Belinda Louie Make-Up Artistry
Hair: Susan Smit
Flower Crowns: Ouma Hettie
Wedding Cake: Sweet Bake shop – Caron Fischer
Flowers: Japie Proteas, Cullinan
Food: Hole in the Wall Hotel
Bride’s Jewelry: Moonlight Jewelers – Karin Verwey
Wedding Rings: Groom -Wooden Rings
Bride – Moonlight Jewelers
DJ and/or Band: Kilowatt Sounds
Tents : Outside Adventures
Event Affairs planned this beautiful wedding for Charly and Wesley at Zorgvliet Wine Estate. The décor was romantic, classic and elegant. Soft hues of pinks and white and lush roses were complemented by teal and gold vases in a variety of shapes and sizes. We hope you feel inspired for your wedding day.
Charly Spurrell & Wesley Kopke
6th February 2016
For their ceremony Charly and Wesley were surrounded by an abundance of greenery and floral hanging from the ceiling that worked beautifully with the traditional style chapel. Soft florals hung from wooden pews and rested gently above the cream carpet that paved the way for the bride’s last walk before she became a Mrs.
After the ceremony guests were treated to the views of the gorgeous grounds and even the horses and Shetland ponies came to say hello. They were transported via tractor to the pre-dinner drinks area which was located on the patio. A lavish harvest table was set out for the guests, where they could take pictures with a polaroid camera to capture all the special moments. The pictures were hung on a personalised frame that was placed in the reception venue where the fun continued.
The reception venue at Zorgvliet Wine Estate is designed in an H shape, with dark wooden flooring and large windows to allow for gorgeous views of the vineyards. The sun shone through the venue, lighting it up in a magical way. Lanterns and greenery were hung from the celling as well as fairy lights down the walls to create an enchanting ambiance. The wedding cake was a tiered naked carrot cake that reflected the couple’s simplicity.
INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT THE WEDDING
There was a large tree just outside the reception venue, that was decorated in hanging fairy lights and transformed the area into a fairy tale setting. It created a magical space where guests could enjoy their drinks and take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the wedding.
ADVICE FOR ANY FUTURE BRIDE AND GROOM
Find the perfect planner that suits you and your fiancé, to capture your vision and bring it to life.
Photographer– Nicky Stowe
Wedding Co-ordinator– Event Affairs
Décor Company– Urban Tonic
Décor Company– Fleur le Cordeur
Make-up & Hair– Marne Make Up
Wedding Cake– Kanya Hunt
Flowers– Fleur le Cordeur
Wedding Stationery– Lara Designs
DJ and/or Band– Music to the Max
An incredibly fun wedding that makes you feel like you where there just looking at their photographs.
Jadee Fernandes & Gary McGowan
16 December 2016
The Roundhouse Restaurant, Camps Bay, Cape Town
HOW DID HE PROPOSE?
Jadee’s dream was to get engaged in Greece, they were on a Mediterranean cruise and Gary planned everything on on the picturesque island of Santorini. As life goes, plans changed a little. Due to the thousands of tourists and intense heat, Gary decided to head back to the calmness and coolness of the cruise ship.
“Barefoot and content in the vastness of the Santorini crater, overlooking the majestic Oia, he got down on one knee and asked that very important question. It was a magical moment that dreams could not even conceive. The rest of the holiday was eternal bliss.”
A SURPRISE WEDDING DAY:
“Engaged on a cruise ship on the shores of Santorini, our initial plan was to elope in Greece, but considering our family and friends wouldn’t be able to travel there, we decided instead to bring Greece to them.
Guests were invited to our engagement party and requested to dress in white, symbolising a new chapter for my husband and I.
“White is the colour of new beginnings, symbolising a clean slate. It is the blank canvas waiting to be written upon, allowing us to put the past behind us and preparing us to move on. The meaning of white is purity and innocence, wholeness and completion. It protects and encourages. It offers a sense of peace and tranquility, calm and comfort. The colour white is the beginning and the end.”
On arrival we were there to greet and welcome guests, pre-drinks of Pims and canapes were setup on the lawn accompanied by the accoustic sounds of Stone Jets.
Once all guests had arrived, we decided to make the announcement that in actual fact this was to be our wedding day, waiters filtered out into the crowd with sachets of confetti and almonds from Italy, so guests would know we really were getting married. From here on out the day was a blur as with any wedding day it can be very overwhelming.
Guests were directed to our secret ceremony area which was hidden from view under the ancient Olive Tree, while we had fifteen minutes to do hair, makeup and of course an outfit change for all of us including our two dogs who formed part of the retinue.
While getting ready we watched guests filter into the ceremony area, I could hear the sounds of our bouzouki band all the way from Greece, the nerves and excitement was immense. Guests were screaming and crying as the realization sunk in they were about to witness our special union.
By the time I made my way down the aisle the guests were cheering, I was so immensely happy I was smiling from the heart.” Jadee describes.
MORE ABOUT THE CEREMONY:
“I once read a bit of advise that said during your ceremony, take a look around and absorb every emotion and every person present, it made me even happier to know that we had everyone important with us.
However, its not often you get to experience such extreme emotions all in one hour, so it was rather hard to to focus as we were so overjoyed. Lucky for us the venue was all inclusive and so that night under the guidance of the moon we went back under the altar to go say our vows again, it was so special in every way and one of the highlights of my day.”
MORE ABOUT THE RECEPTION:
After their ceremony, they went straight into the reception under a beautiful custom built draped structure with never ending views of the Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay.
Guests were served with Mediterranean styled food that kept on coming, pizzas, baby chickens and salads were served casually to guests as they moved where they please. Dessert was a sweet lovers delight with a custom evil eye cake from Charly’s Bakery and Greek delicacies from Mykonos Taverna.
HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR DAY:
“Dancing as the light started softening and the sunset over the sea was my dream. From Greek plate breaking to Israeli dancing to Afrikaans and Portuguese music, we had it all. Guests danced the night away under a fiery red sky, while we snuck away to do our couples shoot on the beach, where our love affair first began. “
WHAT WAS YOUR SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW AND SOMETHING BLUE:
“My something Blue was my evil eye sewn into my dress by my dress designer.
My something old was a little charm that we got from the House of Mary in Ephesus, we washed it in the holy water and I attached it to my bouquet.
My something new, I decided to buy something special, finding a matching pair of earrings to my ring was hard work but the South African store sourced them in Europe and it took a few weeks but they arrived just in time.”
ANYTHING INTERESTING YOU WOULD LIKE US TO KNOW:
“As mentioned, we got engaged in Santorini and the next day we docked in Athens, where I was fortunate enough to meet with one of the worlds top dress designers who has a showroom in New York and Athens. While there she explained that every garment has a evil eye charm sewn in. The detail was so small but meant so much that we decided this would be our monogram and symbol for our wedding day.
We worked with Gera De Wet who beautifully hand painted what I envisioned and it was perfect, it resembled everything we could have dreamt of.
The Evil Eye or Mati is a lucky charm, it helps to keep your life in balance, protects you from bad karma and shields you against misfortune that is willed onto you or an object by others.
This also set the tone and inspiration for our day, every element had an important story and reason for why we incorporated it such as the Plate Smashing, we are not Greek but it symbolises new beginnings, throwing away your old life and embarking on a new one. The ritual also symbolises abundance, proving that friendship is everything and keeping the evil spirits at bay.”
ANY ADVICE YOU WOULD LIKE TO GIVE A FUTURE BRIDE AND GROOM:
“Love is not just looking at each other, it’s looking in the same direction.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“Our best piece of advice would be to seek relationship guidance or coaching, whether from your pastor, celebrant or therapist. As your life begins to change you need to address the old and accept the new. Invaluable moments were shared and new insights into our lives were established, even after seven years being together. We met an incredible women called Wendy Lawson who facilitates in Imago Therapy, its not your day to day therapy and we fell in love with the concept.” Says Jadee.
If your budget doesn’t allow for a facilitator, reading material is readily available and I personally love the following:
Emotionally Engaged by Allison Moir-Smith – This should be the first piece of reading material for any bride. I reread it three times during the different stages of our wedding planning. Once when we got engaged then the week of the wedding and then the weeks after the wedding, it totally explains the bridezilla moments!
“The 5 love languages” is available in paperback and they also have a weekly tips and videos. http://www.5lovelanguages.com/
“The most beautiful things in the world, can not be seen or touched. They are felt with the heart.“ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“Wake up on your wedding day with an accepting and happy heart. Take time out every hour as husband and wife to step back and embrace your feelings and look at the magical day you have worked so hard to achieve.” Says Jadee.
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Jadee says, “As a bride and groom try not to have any expectations, I was lucky enough that my planning only lasted a few short weeks and only two weeks before did we finally start making decisions and commitments. But once my heart was in the right place everything fell into place perfectly.
Although as a planner, I am governed by perfection in life but I had to let go and trust that everything on the day happens for a reason. It’s a path that every bride must walk and if you are lucky enough to have amazing service providers by your side, trust them and know that they will do everything in their power to make it perfect.
The downside to weddings is unfortunately that your guests views / opinions might differ from your own and some of them might have expectations that weren’t fulfilled, so believe in your choices and know in your heart that as a couple it was your perfect day.”
Photographer: Gavin Casey
Videographer: White Lines
Wedding Co-ordinator: Watermelon
Décor Company Furniture: Okasie
Décor Company Structure: Something Different
Wedding Gown: Victoria Kyriakides
Bridesmaids Dresses / Mother of the Bride: Hip Hop
Make-up & Hair: Langaro
Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss
Wedding Cake: Charly’s Bakery
Dessert: Mykonos Taverna
Flowers: M Floral
Venue and Food: The Roundhouse Restaurant
Bride’s Jewelry: Chopard
Wedding Rings – Bride: Chopard
Wedding Rings – Groom: Olga Jewellers
Wedding Stationary Design: Gera de Wet
Wedding Stationers (invites, menus, etc): City Print
DJ and Technical: Event Music Solutions
Band: Stone Jets
Minister: Des Krull Esteemed Weddings
They themed their wedding, RnA, which stands for Rudolf & Anri. Their décor was rustic chic with a contemporary flair. Loads of DIY projects and lawn games.
Anri van der Merwe & Rudolf van Rooyen
16 December 2016
Casa-Lee Country Lodge
How they met
They met through a mutual friend 10 years (2007) despite being in the same school for 5 years. They met when Anri was in matric and Rudolf was in first year at TUKS. Obviously, it wasn’t meant to be before that.
Rudolf organised with Anri’s friends to take her for a spa day the morning/afternoon “I thought it was for my birthday the next weekend” says Anri. After massages and bubbly Rudolf & Anri went for cake and coffee. After a long day, he suggested they go for dinner, but first he wanted to show her where he worked. He then drove past his offices and stopped at hill overlooking Pretoria. They then walked a while and when they stopped, Rudolf went down on one knee. Rudolf then said the following: ‘We are RNA, RNA is the beginning of DNA and DNA is the beginning of everything. I truly hope this is the beginning of our life together.’
“He organised with photographers to be present, then he also had fireworks afterwards. It was totally mind-blowing. After that, he organised a surprise party (all my family and friends thought it was for my birthday), where everyone was also surprised that we were engaged.” Says Anri.
More about the special day
“For our special item after we were married, we decided to have a Time Capsule that we will open on our 1-year and 10-year anniversary. The Time Capsule wooden box was made by my uncle (he also married us) and he gave it to me 10 years ago (the year Rudolf and I started dating). This made it very special. All our friends and family wrote letters for us, that we will open in 1 and 10 years. We cannot wait!” says Anri.
Something old, something new and something blue
Anri’s something old was her late grandmother’s handbag. Her something new was also blue which was her garter and wedding shoes.
Extra special notes about the day
“We decided to make RNA our wedding theme, after the amazing proposal. We did a lot of DIY for our wedding to save money: free online website, save-the-dates and invites, pallet boxes for our tables, candle holders, decor, table seating pallet, games, we even made a table. Yes, we went all out. This was great for us as a couple – it showed us again how well we work as a team. The day was spectacular and what made it even better is seeing all our hard work looking stunning.” Says Anri.
Advice from the bride and groom
“Enjoy every moment of planning, make it fun! It is a great team effort and shows if you can work together – a very important trait for any couple. A lot of people hate the planning part, but it only happens once in a life time, for most, so make the best out of it.
On your wedding day, just relax! It is way too late to stress about the small stuff. Nobody knows what you were planning, so if something goes wrong, don’t sweat it. Your wedding day goes by so quickly, so make a point of it to take it all in (you don’t want to miss your own wedding).” Says Anri and Rudolf.
Photographer: Kaimara Studios
Videographer: Kaimara Studios
Wedding Co-ordinator: Casa-Lee Country Lodge
Wedding Gown: The Boys Couture
Bridesmaids Dresses: Truworths
Make-up: Missy Make-up Artist
Groom’s Suit: Your Pal (Brooklyn Mall)
Bride’s Jewellery: Lovisa
Bride’s Shoes: Woolworths
Wedding Rings: Bride: Poggenpoel diamante; Groom: Roma Jewelers (Woodlands)
Photo-booth: Fabulous Photobooths
Musicians: Gobabis Cover Band
ON TRACK FOR LOVE
PRESHNIE GOVENDER & KREASEN NAIDOO
VENUE: African Skies, Coastlands Umhlanga Hotel and Convention Centre, Durban
DÉCOR STYLE: Traditional Hindu, yet modern and trendy
NUMBER OF GUESTS: 200
HOME TOWN: Sandton, Johannesburg
This couple first met in Durban in March 2010 at a family event. “He is a close friend to my extended family. He then asked my auntie for my number, and things just evolved from there. When we talk about it now, we realise that we both ended up going to this function at the very last minute. But he’s so cute, he always says he feels that we would have still met at some other time!”
Preshnie says Kreasen’s proposal was definitely a bit far from the norm. “There wasn’t really a surprise factor to it, as getting married was something he always spoke about. We had also spoken about moving up to Johannesburg after I was done studying, which at the time was just a few months away. He then got a new job that same year and ended up moving before me. Then about two months after the move he came down one weekend, proposed, and told me that I could choose whichever engagement ring that I wanted!
“I was definitely excited to get to choose my own ring, and once I did he came back down to Durban and picked it up. We then did our traditional part of the proposal with our families, and a few weeks later I moved up as well. We were engaged for a pretty long time, since 2012, as we had decided to get our life on track before finding a wedding date.”
They say that their wedding day was everything they could have wished for and more. “There was such positive energy around and we enjoyed every second of it. Even though it was practically a morning wedding (11 a.m.), everything went pretty smoothly. I started off the day getting my hair, make-up and dressing done at the make-up artist’s studio, along with my mother and sister. My father then picked me up and we went to Coastlands Hotel. Kreasen and I then did our couple’s photoshoot at the Hotel, and then proceeded to the 11th floor where the wedding was being held.
“We entered together at the cue of the MC. The music was very traditional and really incredible during the entire ceremony, which is typically 1-2 hours. Our priest explained the proceedings and significance of the traditional aspects to the guests during the ceremony. Once the ceremony ended, we then signed the marriage register, which was followed by the meal.
“Thereafter we proceeded into the reception with some entertainment by my two small girl cousins doing a traditional Hindu dance. We then had two speeches from family members, along with a toast from a mutual friend. The cutting of the cake took place next, and the reception ended with lots of family photos.
“In the Hindu culture we then have two welcoming ceremonies after the actual wedding at both family’s houses. There is usually a marquee set up with décor at both houses, and this where the family ‘welcomes’ the newly married couple and their families into their homes. This occurs by first going to the bride’s parents’ house, where the bride changes into another traditional outfit which is a bit lighter. The guests then have tea, cake and some snacks before proceeding to the groom’s parents’ house for their welcoming ceremony and supper.
“After all the festivities from the wedding and both welcoming ceremonies, the day eventually ended with us leaving to our honeymoon at Zimabli Resort in Ballito. It was definitely a long day, but we couldn’t have been happier. All the endless months of planning and effort really paid off in the end.”
Their advice to those of you planning your own wedding? “Leave sufficient time to plan and do extensive research on exactly what you want, and what your suppliers can offer you, and try to be involved as much as possible.”
Photographer: Eileen Laubscher, Brightgirl Photography,
Wedding coordinator: Shantal (Coastlands Hotel banqueting coordinator) and Sam from Pink Goose Events
Décor company: Xclusive Décor, Anesh Sewdass
Dress: New Savera, and Memsaab
Make-up & hair: Majestic Makeup (Vanity Box), Shiloh King
Groom’s suit: Memsaab
Cake: Sugar Coated Cakes
Food: Coastlands Hotel, Umhlanga
Bride’s jewellery: Memsaab
Bride’s shoes: New Savera
Wedding rings: Brown’s Jewellers
Music: Vishal, Acoustic Vibes
MC: Jared Dukkhi from Lotus FM
An elegant rustic forest wedding in Stellenbosch. We asked this lovely couple to share their special day with us and with you. Enjoy.
Toni-Lee Arendse & Michael Crowster
04 February 2017
Winery Road Forest, Stellenbosch
Natural/Rustic. We used the forest as our guide and inspiration so we kept it as natural as possible whilst ensuring it was elegant all the way.
How They Met
Toni-Lee and Michael met via his cousin, their family has known each other for years and their fathers went to primary school together. Michael’s aunt and Toni-Lee’s grandmother are best friends.
Toni-Lee describes, “He never enters competitions and he had told me he won a competition for a picnic at Spier We went off to Spier on the 6th of February 2016 where we were welcomed and given an amazing picnic basket and they lead us to a secret set up with blankets, hay stacks and the most amazing lake view.”
While they were enjoying the romantic picnic, Michael got on to his knee and asked Toni-Lee that one special question.
“We cried, we laughed. It was perfect. I couldn’t wait to get home to share the news with my family not knowing that he had planned a surprise engagement party at my house – the family had kept me in the dark for a few weeks – best kept secret ever! But that wasn’t all, the next day he planned a surprise engagement party with our friends, it was PERFECT! A weekend full of surprises.” Toni-Lee described.
About the special day
Toni-Lee tells us a little more, “I would say our music honestly was a highlight of our ceremony from the bride’s song right down to the band. It really created a magical atmosphere and being in a forest was just perfect. We wrote our own vows and those were so personal, special and a little bit funny. From start to finish everything was perfect.”
Their ceremony took place in the forest, followed by pre-drinks by a magical lake where they had a harvest table laid out, all guests then headed through the forest into a courtyard and barn for their reception.
“Our wedding was the culmination of years of friendship. I look at our time line and I see us – our friendship and how that led to a romance. For that I am grateful, because friendship led us here. We chose not to do a traditional wedding and decided on having the day reflect who we were. It’s easy to put together an event but when it becomes your personal story take time to tell the story.
We broke the day into segments, which allowed our guests to enjoy each moment without the usual wedding expectations. We chose a natural forest setting in beautiful Stellenbosch. This venue allowed us to create something spectacular.
I decided to change my entrance song two days before and Michael had no idea. I found the most perfect song, which said everything I wanted to say so he only heard it for the first time, as I was walking through the forest toward him. He never turned to see me walking so he had time to take in the moment, which was very emotional it was just magical, and we were both so overwhelmed by the moment. I think the guests were too!”
The weather on the day was perfect, however the fact that they were able to share all the beautiful sites at the venue like a story in time was amazing. They insisted on no tablecloths, it brought the barn to life. They danced under fairy lights and stars in the courtyard after dinner and had the best send off with their guests lining the courtyard with sparklers.
“We do need to mention our best man was the star of the evening – he was meant to do a toast however we had to wait for the champagne to be served so he took it in his stride and ended up delivering the most heartwarming yet funniest speech ever. We intentionally chose a small guest list as we wanted to be able to live in the moment with each and every one present and not get caught up in the number game. It had to be intimate like having good friends and family over to dinner party at home.”
Something old, something new and something blue
“Something blue was my garter, my grandmother made my garter for me, something old was a vintage handkerchief from my grandmother and something new was my jewellery that my mother gave me as a gift.”
Extra special notes about the day
“We planned basically everything ourselves along with my amazing mother who was the best wedding planner! A lot of DIY’s was done which is fun and creative. We paid special attention to each and every element of the wedding. It had to be personal and reflect who we were. It had to tell our story, reflect who we are as a couple, from venue choice, flowers, décor, music and food and wine.
Mike surprised me with a beautiful letter which he asked my mom to hand to me when I was just about ready to leave, I took in every word and at the end he had left a box with my own set of keys to our apartment. He was telling me he couldn’t wait to see me at the altar and that we are ready for our new chapter together.”
Advice from the bride and groom
Toni-Lee: “Always take time to just sit back and take everything in with your husband/wife the day goes by so quickly. Don’t worry about the small things at the end of it you still get to marry your best friend! It can get so hectic in the last week leading up to your wedding, take some time out and plan a cute, romantic date for your partner.”
Michael: “Keep things simple, especially when planning your wedding day. Don’t forget what the day really means to you two. Planning your wedding is such an important part of the process leading up to your vows it is not just about choosing a date and making an announcement.”
Photographer: In Lite Studio
Videographer: Glimmer Online
Wedding Coordinator: FFH
Décor Company: My Pretty Vintage
Wedding Gown: The Wedding Boutique
Bridesmaids Dresses: Forever New
Make-up: Inga – Brazenly Bonafide
Hair: Star Style
Groom’s Suit: Woolworths
Wedding Cake: The Velvet Cake Co
Flowers: My Pretty Vintage
Food: Mari Lou Wine and Dine
Bride’s Jewellery: Lovisa
SET UP FOR LIFE
JESSICA BOULT & DAMIAN DRESCHER
VENUE: Red Ivory Lodge, Hartbeespoort
DÉCOR STYLE: Pure class & elegance
NUMBER OF GUESTS: 85
HOME TOWN: Johannesburg
Jessica’s mother and Damian’s father had met previously – and decided to set this couple up on a blind date. Their instincts were clearly right!
Damian’s proposal was anything but straightforward. Jessica explains: “We were leaving for Cape Town on holiday and early that morning at 4 a.m. he woke me up, drove to me to a mysterious place, and we went up in a private hot air balloon in the Magaliesburg mountains. Damian got the pilot to take a photo of us – and while she was doing that, he got down on one knee and proposed! We then got back to the venue 30 minutes later, and all our family and friends were waiting there to congratulate us and enjoy a yummy breakfast together.”
She says of their wedding day that you realise the small things that sometimes go wrong on the day are the things you remember and laugh about the most afterwards. “I become a slight bridezilla 10 minutes before the ceremony, which myself and bridesmaids laugh about today. My dad forgot to lift my veil because of nerves, which no one even noticed – but was quite funny.
“Most of all, the day goes so quickly that we really tried to stay present in every moment and make each moment special. I also chose to let go of all worries and control and allow what would be to be, and this allowed the day to be relaxed and so much fun for myself, Damian and all our guests.
“Our ceremony was fun, light-hearted and short, filled with many special moments like my husband’s gran doing the final prayer and our mothers lighting the candles for our candle ceremony. During the reception we had numerous glasses breaking, an amazing performance by Ashley from the Muses, a fun episode of musical chairs instead of the garter toss, red umbrella dances from my bridesmaids, a guest dancing on the table taking off his top and making us all laugh, another guest thinking he was the wedding karaoke singer, and many people shouting ‘We want more!’ when the DJ was finished. All and all, the best day of my life!”
Jessica’s advice for those of you planning your weddings: “Be grateful and thankful every day for all the good qualities in your partner and all the good he/she brings into your life. It is so easy to get caught up in the negatives and what is missing, but when you are grateful more positivity and joy come your way!”
Photographer: Tavati Photography
Videographer: Firewagon Media
Wedding coordinator: Red Ivory Lodge
Décor company: Caari Flora
Wedding gown: De La Vida
Bridesmaid dresses: YDE
Make-up: Chantel Nel
Hair: Vanessa Boult
Groom’s suit: Bride&Co
Cake: Red Ivory Lodge
Flowers: Caari Flora
Food: Red Ivory Lodge
Bride’s jewellery: Aldo/ Lovisa/ Collette
Bride’s shoes: EuroSuit
Wedding rings: Rob Jewellers
Stationery: Amy Nel
Music: John, Soundworx
Entertainment: Ashley from the Muses; Ricci Martin, Enso Empire
VENUE: Monte de Dios, Zwavelpoort, Pretoria
DÉCOR STYLE: Elegant and romantic
NUMBER OF GUESTS: 100
HOME TOWN: Pretoria
Jaco and Lunette went to high school together, and Jaco once asked her to be his date for a Valentines ball – to which she arrived very late due to a hair and make-up disaster. After leaving school Lunette went off to Potchefstroom to fulfill her dream of being a skincare therapist and Jaco relocated to Nelspruit.
“We met up again and started to speak over Facebook. After a few months we met up again for a friendship coffee date at Mugg & Bean – and from there, it was no turning back!”
Lunette describes how Jaco proposed. “Jaco is a hopeless romantic but what a surprise he had in mind for out special engagement. We had a weekend planned in the lovely Herolds Bay to attend a friend’s wedding. On the Friday night we had a ‘meet and greet’ dinner for all the friends and family attending the wedding – well that is what I thought. After getting ready a golf cart from the Hyatt Hotel in Oubaai came to fetch us from the hotel room. Suddenly we arrived at the whale-watching deck where a table was sent up with flowers and a picnic for two.
“I still had no clue what was about to happen, as our 7-year anniversary was also around the corner. We were admiring the view over the ocean and enjoying the snacks. Eventually the other guests left the deck – at this stage the sun was setting and the wind was freezing. Jaco then went down on one knee, took out the small box and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes – and immediately asked whether he had asked my dad’s permission!”
They celebrated their wedding day at Monte de Dios just outside Pretoria. “It immediately calms you down. The day went by so fast, sometimes we still cannot believe it is over.
“A very special moment was just before I walked down the aisle, when I read a little poem to Jaco: ‘I didn’t marry you because you were perfect, I didn’t even marry you because I loved you. I married you because you gave me a promise, that promise made up for your faults and the promise I gave you made up for mine. Two imperfect people got married and it was the promise that made the marriage’, by Thornton Wilder.
“I remember walking down the aisle only looking at Jaco. Of course another special moment was sharing our first kiss as husband and wife. We opened our wedding dance with a rehearsed routine to Riana Nel’s song ‘Jy was daar’, and we ended it with a funny dance to Eden’s song ‘Twee’.
Lunette is not the traditional bride type. She bought a pre-owned wedding dress second hand and had it altered and beaded to become her perfect dress.
Their advice to you future brides and grooms is “Don’t fight over simple things, you should always remember this time building up to the big day. And having an elegant and classy wedding doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Decide on a budget before the time and stick to it right to the end. Spend some money on a good photographer, as your photos will be the only evidence to bring back memories. Enjoy the day, and always remember the promise you’ve made.”
Photographer: D’Amor Photography
Wedding coordinator: Lynette Steyn (Monte de Dios) and Jeanel from Pebble and Lace
Décor company: Pebble and Lace
Dress: Enzoani, alteration by Preez design
Bridesmaid dresses: Preez design
Make-up & hair: Alecia Joubert, Ubella
Groom’s suit: Black Tie
Cake: Bernhadette van Wyk
Flowers: Pebble and Lace
Food: Monte de Dios
Bride’s jewellery: Lovisa
Wedding rings: Bride – West Rand Jewellers; groom – Louie Danielle
DJ: AJR Audio