Pepler's mother actually introduced the two of us. Our mothers knew one another from Upington, where they both grew up. Tertia's mother was concerned about her daughter's safety while she was studying at the University of Stellenbosch and asked Pepler's mother if she knew anyone in Stellenbosch who could walk Tertia to her residence after evening classes and exams, and could be "on call" should something happen to Tertia. To this end, Pepler's mother's obvious choice was her own son, Pepler, who was then recommended as her "bodyguard" during her studies, as he was coincidentally working in Stellenbosch at the time. Through their regular meetings after evening classes and exams Pepler began to succumb to Tertia's charm (and vice versa, of course). Some months later they went to Grande Provence for their first official date , where they had a coffee and chatted by the fireplace on a rainy winter's evening.
Pepler arranged a weekend away for the two of us in Franschhoek, and after dinner at Grande Provence (to remind them of their first date), Pepler proposed to Tertia on a hilltop overlooking Franschhoek. The engagement took place on 17 January 2015, and Pepler used Tertia's grandmother's engagement ring to propose.
The planning process was very rushed, as the wedding was planned from start to finish in less than 2 months! Fortunately, Marina and Jen from The Little Black Book helped a lot and made the process much less stressful than it probably could have been. They provided great suppliers, who worked efficiently on short notice to make the event as perfect as possible. The couple highly recommends The Little Black Book for wedding planning. Tertia did browse through the SA Weddings website for inspiration, and used many of the practical tips suggested on the website.
Looking back, the couple actually enjoyed the process of planning the wedding in 7 weeks, as they didn't have to wait for months for their big day.
Tertia always wanted a white, classic, elegant and timeless wedding, with no fuss and no frills. We wanted to be able to look back 10 years on from the wedding, and still love every aspect of the wedding, and not be embarrassed because they had used any of the fads of the day. The colour scheme was therefore white and soft grey.
The most special and memorable moment came at the end of the wedding ceremony, when we had officially been married and could finally call each other husband and wife. Another highlight was the fact that we could share this special moment with our closest family and friends, for almost an entire day. The speeches were also very special and memorable. It was a truly joyous wedding day. Ten children attended the wedding, and they amazed everyone with their enthusiasm and unbridled enjoyment of the day. When they got together they almost had their own mini-wedding among each other. The couple expected them to be shy and reserved, but it turned out to be the exact opposite scenario. Their enjoyment of the event was contagious. Children can definitely make a wedding a very special and unique occasion. The wedding started at 12h00 and carried on until 22h00. We therefore had sufficient time to spend with each of the guests. The clouds, mist and rain, which appeared later in the evening, made the wedding very cozy and romantic. The winter season in South Africa, particularly in the Western Cape, is a magical and romantic time for a wedding. The atmosphere on the day further complemented the wedding colour scheme (which was soft grey and white). The fact that the wedding went on for the whole day and that people (including the children) had such a party in the evening was a welcome and special surprise.
The wedding did not really have a specific official theme. One could describe the general theme/style of the wedding as being classic, elegant, white, and timeless.
Elizabeth Stockenström designed and made the wedding dress. Every time I (Tertia) went for a fitting, I became more and more excited about the wedding day. For Tertia, having my dress made was one of the most wonderful parts of the process. The wedding dress was inspired by winter. I wanted it to look 'icy' to reflect the season, but at the same time to be romantic to reflect the warmer aspects of winter (i.e. for example being inside next to a cosy fire, etc.). I also wanted the bridesmaid's dress to be romantic and soft. I also had four flower-girls. The main flower-girl is very dear to our hearts, as she is Pepler's niece. Our grandmother made a special dress for her, especially for the wedding, which made the event all the more special for her personally as well as for our niece.
Since the colour scheme was white and soft grey, Tertia wanted mostly white flowers to be used in the wedding arrangements. Pepler's favourite colour is green, so Tertia asked Alida, from Flowers in the Foyer, to incorporate some green into the flower arrangements. Fairy lights were also an important part of the décor on the day, as they helped to create a magical winter atmosphere.
Tertia made self-styled colouring books for the children's table. Each book had a child's name on it, which helped make the children feel welcome and a part of the day. The rest of the wedding stationary and favours Tertia had specifically made for the wedding. This was important as small details can have a large impact on the overall look and design of the wedding. The fact that these small details tied in with the overall theme of the day made the wedding seem refined and elegant, with no loose-ends. Pepler's sister-in-law, Inke from Inke's Cakes and Bakes, made the wedding cake in line with the bride's vision for the theme. The couple was not allowed to see the cake before the wedding. Inke wanted to surprise the couple. The cake was very special, looked celebratory and added to the spectacle of the day.
"Thinking out Loud" by Ed Sheeran. The lyrics describe our love for each other and are relatively easy to dance to!
Organize all your planning in one place. Tertia only worked from emails and had one notebook in which she took notes, scribbled down ideas and and recorded important information.
Decide what is the most important aspect of your wedding day. For the couple it was to make sure that family and friends had an amazing time and to make sure that it would be an intimate experience for all the guests.
Consult ideas used in other weddings and choose your theme/style accordingly.
Arrange a pre-wedding party/dinner. The couple had a get-to-know each other dinner party two days before the wedding at La Perla in Seapoint. The event was great as most of the guests, both young and old, got to know each other and had fun. This is a useful tool to allow the friends and family of the bride and groom, who may not have the opportunity of seeing each other regularly to get to catch-up and/or get to know each other before the actual wedding. On the day of the wedding everyone felt more comfortable, as they had already been introduced to each other. The atmosphere was cordial and much more intimate for all involved.
We spent four nights at the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, outside Stanford. It was the perfect honeymoon spot for winter. After 7 weeks of intensely planning the wedding, it was wonderful to completely shut down and relax at this secluded spot. A fireplace in the bungalow is a must-have for any winter honeymoon. We were treated like royalty by the staff at Grootbos and came back completely refreshed and relaxed.
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