Rebecca: We knew each other many years ago but always just as friends. After years of sailing overseas I came home to find that Barbs was single. I stalked her at a few of her hockey matches, eventually plucking up the courage to kiss her and simply see what happened. It was as if I knew then that she was the only person I was ever supposed to kiss again and at the same time as if I had known all along that she was the one. And I was ready for the adventure of my life with her.
How Barbs describes Becs:
Becs spent a number of years wondering the globe and brings with her a fabulous wealth of sarcasm, cheek and a wonderfully unique outlook on life. She has the unique ability to always see the glass as half-full, she views the world through rose-tinted lenses and somehow, often to my amazement, sees the best in people, no matter how rotten they may at first appear. All in all, Becs is pretty rad. She has never met an ocean she didn't love or a yacht she wouldn't attempt to sail. Becs ascribes to the philosophy that no matter how badly the day may be going, one can always right the course by simply stopping to have a little breathe. Everyone, try it with me now, on three, inhale… 1, 2, 3 *inhale*. Wonderful isn't it.
How Becs describes Barbs:
Barbs is a dream. She is madly passionate about her family and friends and is so loved by everyone. She is wise beyond her years and carries with her an otherworldly wealth of knowledge. She has the ability to make me laugh like no one else. She has an amazing sense of humour and is always up for anything. Life with her is an adventure, and although we are newlyweds it feels like we have been doing this together for centuries. She is the tonic to my gin. She is my Joy.
Rebecca: Barbs proposed on my birthday in 2014, in our happy place – our very own home. Her mom helped to set up the champagne and tie the ring onto the most beautiful bunch of flowers while we were out at dinner. When we came home, she went down on one knee and everything! She also apparently had a whole speech prepared but was so emotional that she basically got nothing out except for "will you marry me?", which is really all that matters.
Rebecca & Barbara: We bought a few wedding magazines and searched SAWeddings.co.za to get ideas. We also attended a few wedding expo's but it seemed that the expo's only gave us ideas of things we knew we didn't want – there's too much glitz and glam in the traditional wedding industry for our liking. It was pretty stress-free from the beginning as we are both laid back people and we don't tend to make a huge fuss over anything.
Rebecca: The most memorable part of our day was probably the reveal we did before the ceremony. We wanted to see each other before we got to the ceremony venue, as we both knew it was going to be an emotional setting. Having two brides walking with their dads down the aisle at the same time (from opposite ends of the garden) was emotional enough, so we wanted to see each other first, so we could minimize the waterworks. I walked to Barbs, who was standing in the garden of the BNB where we had stayed the night before and where we got ready with our bridal party that morning. Our photographer and videographer were hidden in the trees as I walked towards her. She was so beautiful. She turned around and we saw each other in our wedding dresses for the first time. It was so special. Unfortunately I had just ten minutes to enjoy her alone before I had to share her with 106 guests.
Rebecca & Barbara: We had a rustic, laid-back wedding, mostly inspired by our amazing venue. We chose the amazing gardens of the Rust In White junk yard for our ceremony, just two doors down from Jan Harmsgat ( which was our reception venue). Both the ceremony venue and reception venue are both very unique and were decorated in bunting, colourful cushions, tin cup art, multi-coloured fabric ceilings and just the general awesomeness that became the theme of our wedding. Everything was fun, unique, inspiring and made with love.
Rebecca: Barbs' long time school friend Claudia and her mom, Zita, have a dress-making business. I had always known that I wanted some lace and a fullish skirt. I had never seen Barbs in a dress until our wedding day, as she is definitely not a dress kind of girl. She had no idea what she wanted, but knew that she wanted to wear a dress. Some gay girl couples get married with one in a dress and one in a tux, but we knew that wasn't for us.
Claudia came up with beautiful drawings of our dresses. They were so different but yet so complimentary. With every dress fitting we added our opinions, and we took our bridesmaids and Moms, but we never saw each other's dresses until the big day. Our bridal party consisted of two girls and a boy each. Our bridesmaids and bridesmen had their dresses and bowties made by Fascinating Julia, who provide an amazing all-in-one dress with a million ways to tie the straps. We chose this route as everyone's body type is different and we wanted them all to feel comfortable.
Rebecca & Barbara: Our décor was mostly done by the venue. Such an amazing venue didn't need much help from us - all we added were the flowers. We went with succulents and neutral colours and instead of rose petal confetti we had eucalyptus leaves, which matched the colour of the succulents. Our bouquets matched the table flowers too, and our two bouquets were also slightly different. The succulents from our bouquets and table are now growing happily in our garden.
Rebecca: Yes we did. Instead of having place names, everyone had a badge with their name and a personalized symbol on it, which Barbs designed for each individual guest. We made the frame that held the badges from wood and ribbon too. Our wedding invites were printed on very thin wood paper that we ordered online and printed ourselves. We also roped our bridesmaids in to come and help us tie the labels onto the invites one evening over a glass (or two) of wine.
We each said our own vows, sent some personalized details for the wedding ceremony to our official and each said a speech. We also made sure there was gin and tonic, our signature drink – what is one without the other? And our wedding bands are engraved one with "gin" and one with "tonic". Our wedding hashtag and now general hashtag on social media is #WeAreTheJoys, which was all over Facebook and Instagram too. This is because Barbara's second name is Joy, after her late Grandmother, and our friends decided that Joy was a great second name for me too. So whenever we arrived somewhere we would hear "Oh Hey, The Joys!" And it stuck. There was plenty love and joy evident on our wedding day.
We chose All You Need Is Love by The Beatles. Because really, what else do you need? Love comes first. Everything else is just background noise.
Don't be afraid to do it. People don't care anymore whether you're straight or gay or not sure yet. Go for it. Plan a big wedding. Wear a big dress. Have an awesome party. Celebrate who you are, and celebrate the person who loves you! It really is that simple.
We did indeed. We started out in Knysna, moving on to Tsitikamma and Wilderness. We them rambled along the coast to Stilbaai, Cape Agulhas and, finally, Cape Town. We ended with a "buddymoon" with two of our mates. We then all ran the Two Oceans Marathon and came home. What a beautiful country we have!
Jan Harmsgat Country House is one of the top Swellendam wedding venues and has seen a renaissance that captures its rich past
We offer several types of ceremonies, such as: Spiritual, Religious, Non-Religious, Non Denominational as well as Unity Ceremonies. Your choice is your own decision and we will...