Former Miss World, Rolene Strauss, has tied the knot with fiancé D’Niel Strauss, at a lavish ceremony at the picturesque Laurent wedding venue in the winelands town of Somerset West on Saturday, 6 February.
Being a busy Miss World in 2015, it was imperative that the couple appointed a professional team to ensure Rolene’s dream day would become a reality. They commenced wedding preparations immediately. South African wedding master, Aleit Swanepoel, Founder and Chairman of the Aleit Group, was appointed as the celebrity couple’s wedding planner.
The couple were familiar with Aleit and his reputation for being a visionary and responsible for some of South Africa’s most notable events and weddings. The decision was easy after meeting with the renowned wedding planner as the chemistry was palpable since the very first consultation.
It was a dream come true for Aleit who has followed the beauty pageant for many years and Rolene, in particular, since becoming Miss South Africa. Aleit recalls, “I will never forget that moment when Julia Morley announced second and first princess. We were all holding our breath before she uttered (which felt like a great drum roll), SOUTH AFRICA!”
Style, grace and sophistication were prominent elements at this timeless and elegant affair.
As with all aspects of her life, Rolene is very organised and had a clear vision for her special day. Having extensive knowledge and experience of the wedding industry, the team from Aleit Wedding Coordination made her fairy tale day come true. Only the best service professionals were approached to form a part of the greater wedding planning team, consisting of industry leaders.
In between the couples’ busy Miss World schedules, they had the opportunity to visit the venue on a few occasions to meet with the respective teams. There was a full menu tasting and an extravagant flower and table mock-up where Rolene could choose her glassware, cutlery, crockery and luxurious linen for her special day.
OKASIE was inspired by the timeless beauty of the bride and transformed the venue into a sensational, opulent scene with cascading florals in crisp white, combined with curated elements of romance and luxury. The bridal bouquet and retinue for the family were flawless accessories.
From her dramatic entrance on a horse and carriage, there was a tangible sensation of ethereal beauty as the bride walked down the sleek aisle created by Something Different, leading to a tall gazebo cladded with soft draping and a glamorous crystal chandelier.
After the ceremony, the guests moved to the pre-dinner phase of the evening, hosted in the very special oak tree lane on Lourensford Estate. A|CREATE furnished the beautiful manicured lane with a combination of high cocktail seating, comfortable café style wooden tables and trendy white chairs, creating lounge pockets for guests to recline, while the newlyweds were busy with their shoot with celebrated local photographers from Vivid Blue and Joe Photography.
This informal gathering was contrasted by the formal reception venue where OKASIE opted for dripping wisteria-like blooms, floral waterfalls, floating and drifting installations and fine, repetitive elements which drew the guest’s eyes to every detail in all corners.
Elegant clusters of crystal chandeliers hung throughout the reception area giving a premium and opulent feel - enhanced by the glossy dance floor and additional feature lighting touches around the venue.
The menu was created by none other than Executive Chef Gustaaf Boshoff from STIR Food and consisted of a four-course menu and canapes. Chef Gustaaf described it as a well-balanced mix of both traditional South African fare and a fusion of Asian and Mediterranean flavours. Rolene’s love of Asian food was brought to life in the DIY Peking duck pancake starter, a great way to create a relaxed atmosphere between guests.
For the pre-dinner phase of the magical day, a ‘street market’ theme included interactive food stations; a braai station, an Asian dim sum and sushi bar, a Mediterranean inspired charcuterie stand and an elegant martini salad bar. The main course was a true celebration of traditional ‘boerekos’. STIR reinvented samp, turning it into a luxurious starch component, reminiscent of a creamy risotto. Green beans and ‘pampoenkoekies’ added a burst of colour and flavour. There’s nothing quite like a peppermint crisp tart for a sweet ending, and after guests danced the night away they were treated to truffle cheese toasties. Desert was the spectacular 5-tier wedding cake created by pastry specialist, Wade van der Merwe, with feminine finishes and delectable fillings.
Aleit and his team believes that the most important element of a wedding day is how the guests are made to feel ‘shivers down their spine’ or ‘gooseflesh’. They say that if there is at least one such moment for every guest, then they know they have achieved their goal.