Gerdus and I met at the University of Pretoria whilst busy with our first degrees. There was never a dull moment and he always had me laughing at the core. It didn’t take long for us both to realise we had met that infamous ‘ONE’.
I like to say that Gerdus took 7 years to ask me to marry him because he was planning THE perfect engagement, but in actual fact, he worked himself to the bone in order to afford, design and custom make my beautiful diamond engagement ring and orchestrate the best engagement ever! He asked me, on one knee, in the middle of the Karoo bushveld at Kagga Kamma Lodge, one of my dream bucket list destinations where after we spent the night in an open outcrop bed on a wooden deck under the stars. I could not have asked for a more magical start to our marriage journey!
We both love the outdoors and immediately knew we wanted to get married outside in the bush. I had some experience in event and wedding management, but we both decided in order to accommodate all the family and friends travelling from far to rather marry closer to the city. We found a lodge that was a good compromise for all that we were planning on the Magaliesberg mountains overlooking Hartebeespoort Dam and the surrounding bushveld. I designed a monogram which we used as our theme throughout the wedding, a baobab with our initials. Our colour scheme was made up of neutral colours but specifically champagne, stone and white as well as silver. As per the current trend, we were a DIY wedding. The invitations were self-designed and made, the menus, table settings and Gerdus even custom built a beer bar for the pre-reception drinks, the families built the décor and branches and even did the flowers and table arrangements. We opted for long banquet tables and simple décor so that guests were able to socialise and focus on the beautiful surroundings, and leave lots of room for dancing! Both our families helped from day one whether we were designing and making invitations to picking up sticks for our hanging branches over the tables and trees for the dance floor. Besides my stunning ring which he designed himself, we also had his ring custom designed with Damascus steel to look like the grain of wood.
I did not want a traditional poofy white busty dress that was difficult to move in. My mother and I went dress shopping and found the perfect dress. Champagne in colour, the top layer with sequence, pearls and Swarovski crystals. Open back and fitted but could easily tuck away for the dancing part of the evening. What made the day even more special is that I was able to wear my mother’s cathedral length Spanish lace veil which she wore on her wedding day, and the laces matched perfectly!
After a week of rain, guests were welcomed to a very hot spring National Heritage day. Gerdus and some of the family members and bridal party worked themselves to the bone almost up until the ceremony in order to make our special day a reality. Our wedding ceremony took place on an open air wooden deck chapel overlooking a striking vista of mountains and bushveld. The ceremony was performed by my childhood pastor from NG Universiteitsoord Church who has been a core part of our family. Our parents walked in on Hallelujah by Susan Boyle and already had everyone in tears. My bridesmaids and I walked in on Engel by Karen Ferreira. I was fighting back the tears but when I entered the chapel and saw my husband to be with tears streaming down his face, my heart absolutely skipped a beat! He looked so smart in his fitted black suit.Gerdus’s brother was our ring bearer. We chose to do our own vows as well, and although I had said that Gerdus was ’my liefde, my lewe, my alles’, he absolutely couldn’t have stated it better when he started his vows with Steve Hofmeyers, Die is my Droom, and right there as we were announced husband and wife, Mr & Mrs Potgieter, our dream came true.
Guests were escorted up to the pre-reception area where an array of satays and hors de’ oeuvres were waiting and they were served with sparkling wine and champagne whilst a jazz ensemble played in the background. Guests were able to help themselves to the drinks station with flavoured waters and iced tea as well as the custom beer bar that Gerdus had built. It was quite the hit! The happily married newlyweds and our bridal party went on our photograph safari into the bushveld where we had numerous antelope waiting for us at the watering hole.
The reception was filled with lots of wine from our favourite wine farms. After my brother, who was the Mc, said his opening speech for the evening and my mother had done the prayer, dinner was served. The open air thatch veranda was decorated with trees and fairy lights everyone and we we made branches with lights to 'invisibly' hang above the tables.We wanted our guests to be spoiled and opted that they were served their starter, a phyllo parcel filled with brie and wild mushrooms on a bed of micro greens and balsamic glaze. The speeches commenced on our parents who had done and given so much to make our day so special, and yours truly, the newly wed Mr & Mrs Potgieter. The ‘heildronk’, or toast, was given with Nuy sparkling wine, a special place for us as this was the first place we visited as an engaged couple and decided to buy their sparkling wine for the wedding. Our main was beef fillet on a bed of duchess potatoes and vegetables served with a gorgonzola and bacon sauce.
Gerdus and I love dancing, and were not too shabby either if we do say so ourselves. We did our opening dance to Michael Buble, Feeling Good and put on quite a show for our guests-lifts, spins, drops and jumps included! We still till today are complimented on our first dance. I was very fortunate to be able to do a father daughter dance with my dad, as just over 10 years ago he had fallen from a roof and should have been paralysed, but the good Lord had other plans for him which we are so grateful for! Dessert was served, a vanilla coconut amarula sponge cake that was especially made by my mom’s friend who is a chef. Absolutely divine! Cheese platters were then available for guests to help themselves to along with filter coffee, tea and biscotti.
The bar and dance floor were buzzing till the end, we danced the night away and before we knew it, it was morning! My husband and I toasted a glass of champagne whilst overlooking the beautiful scenery from our jacuzzi, on the night before and the fact that we were now married, but the excitement was only building, as were almost on our way to our honeymoon, which was kept a surprise to me!
I am truly blessed with my husband and family and thankful for our magical evening we had!
#GeloofHoopLiefde #AliciaenGerdus #LiefdeInDieBos