Hi! I am Samantha, a city born and bred girl, was brought up in a moderate but very “city” family. For a very long time I was the only child until, by a divine miracle, I was given an adopted brother. He must have been (well the second, besides my husband) the best thing that ever happened. As a family we never went camping, caravanning or outdoor exploring, as my mother suffered a brain aneurysm, before even having me, and is paralyses on her right side. Therefore these kinds of outdoor adventures and camping she finds tough with only having use of one hand. I however, always longed for the farm life. The life of mud, adventure and free-will was where I wanted to be one day. Growing up in a very English home, Afrikaans was almost foreign to me. Alas, after school I landed up studying teaching at Stellenbosch. This is where I knew…I want to marry a camper boy who farms! The years went on, and finally I graduated, not having met my ‘camper boy farmer’ soul mate yet. Where was I too meet him if I couldn’t find him at stellies? Anyways, I started my second job and one Saturday night a group of us teachers decided that we were going to party down Clairemont Main Road. This was going to be a big girls night out. We all met for pre-drinks and got ready (where we spent the night) at my brothers flat, whilst he worked a night shift - bless him…all the glitter make-up spilt on his flats carpets! However my one girlfriend was meeting us out as it was her boyfriend ( now husbands ) birthday.
Richard, my husband, has a totally different personality to me and that is why we fit like a puzzle piece. After school he started studying marketing and half way through a lecture one day, he walked out and decided that was not for him! A few weekend later he enrolled to study Game Ranging and lodge management. His career as a game ranger started in the Eastern Cape, followed by the Kruger National Park, Tanzania and then onto the Kalahari. On a leave cycle he had decided to come home and visit his family instead of trekking on a 4x4 mission in Africa (to my relief). ON his first weekend home it happened to be a friend of his birthday and they were going out on the town that evening. I wonder who this friend could have been? Could it have been the same friend who was dating (and is now married) too my friend? BINGO! You have guessed right! That night out, in the shaming club of Tiger Tiger, our paths crossed.
After meeting that night he had to leave back to a friends wedding and was then heading back to continue working in Tanzania. I knew in my mind that was not the ideal situation and that I was fooling myself thinking that it was ever going to work. I just could NOT get him out of my head. The following week at school I was on tour with some school children in Knysna. The Thursday afternoon before we were returning I got a phone call: “When are you going to be home from tour?” Richard asked. “ Tomorrow round 6pm, I Guess,” was my reply, not thinking too much of it. “I’ll see you then at 7pm for dinner? I have packed up my things and quit my job in Tanzania, I am coming home!” I went totally ballistic in the middle of the main road! I was beside myself! I couldn’t believe what was happening.
Then I knew I had found my ‘camper boy farmer’, well not quite farmer but game ranger was a good substitute! We started going out and when things got serious he said to me, “if we ever got engaged, we would have to have dated for at least 5 years.” He thought this was going to scare me off, but when you know you have found your one true love, there is no time on love. “Sure,” I said, “That doesn’t bother me.”
Two months later he received a Job at Tswalu Game Reserve in the Kalahari and for two years we did long distance. We camped and explored every school holiday, it was my dream come true! I then decided to have a career change and move to the Game Reserve and worked in the lodge. We were there together for just short of a year, where we met the most amazing family, the James’s, with whom we extensively travel with through Africa every December.
Last year April, as the holidays are short, we decided to explore the Richtersveld with another very good camping, couple. May 2015 was the mark of 5 years and I knew the ring had been made because I had to go and give in the design as well as the family diamonds. I had a sneaky suspicion that it was going to happen on this holiday, but one is just never too sure! After a few days of camping and swimming along the Orange River, which had the most beautiful sunsets and scenery, it was time for us to move inland. This is where I lay my thoughts to rest. “If he wanted to do it, he would have done it by now because inland is going to be dry and barren, not as green and lush and beautiful as this'" That is what I was telling myself! The very next day after leaving the Orange River banks we went inland, and WOW was it just as beautiful. We arrived at a Canyon about 4km from our campsite that evening at, Kookaboomskloof, called Echo Canon. It was so so hot we decided to retire to our campsite and return for sundowners later. At about 5pm that evening we drove down to the canyon, packed our cooler boxes, camera equipment and headed on a very rocky hike up to a point where we could see into the canyon and the sunset at the same time. It was mind blowing, but it wasn’t any different to any other evening sundowners. We set up the camera, used self timer and took a few shots. Our friends came up, carrying the rear and we sat enjoying the sunset. It got dark very quickly after sunset, so us two girls decided we wanted to start heading back over the boulders and down the mountain. And that is, little to my attentiveness, was when panic had stuck in Richards head! Very quickly we were suddenly taking group self-timer pictures, to keep us girls from leaving. A few minutes later our friends decided they wanted to start heading back. (oblivious to myself or Ann that Richard had a plan) At then point Richard mentions that he just wanted to wait 5 more minutes to see if the sky colour would change, because if it did he wanted a picture of it! (photographers minds!) Annoyed, I knew I couldn’t leave him there alone so I stayed with him. He asked me to please sit on the edge of the rock again so that he could get his focal point right as I sat down and looked into the distance he called , “Sam look here quick!” And as I turned around, there he was on one knee with the most gorgeous ring I Could ever have dreamed of, and he asked me to marry him! It was the BEST day of my life!
Our wedding day:
Easy going and loving life to the full is our motto! We love to be outdoors, enjoy good homemade food and great wine with fantastic company – and that was exactly how our wedding day was! Our entire wedding was DIY’ed by US!
The flowers – My dad and I did ALL the flowers. My dad found suppliers from all over cape Town. We went for the rustic, soft and mixed flower look. We also had hanging wreaths from the ceiling which my father made using the metal rims of old win barrels.
Cakes: We had a cake and ice cream table instead of dessert, with some homemade fudge from my mother in-law. Our wedding cake, because we are gluten free, was a DEATHLY chocolate nemesis cheese cake. All the cakes were made by a Durbanville Supplier, Simply the Best Cakes – she is phenomenal and very very very reasonable!
Décor: The décor we mainly DIY. Our little farm church was decorated with gold and white dollies, that we folded and tied ourselves. I made a “BEST DAY EVER” sign that hung in the front of the church. We decide to do starters in the form of a picnic, outside under some trees whilst Pappa Joe (one man band from Standford – he was a hot!) played some old time classics. This took place during our photographs. One of the biggest hits that day was our cocktail slush machine – it is a definite winner among guests! I painted all the signs myself, we stitched each bunting flag onto its string, by hand, and the lighting and main hall bunting was hired. We had a lovely lounge area where guests could write a message in a book (they had to find their photo and leave a message), an ipad to leavea video message, a free standing self timer camera for pictures and a finger print tree.
Styling: We wanted a rustic, bush feel wedding with a touch a classic. We had no specific colour scheme.
Creative concept – My fantastic friend, who own The Confetti Lab, helped me design all our wedding stationary. Our church service booklets were filled with fun games to keep guests busy during the waiting period. We made scratch cards for people to find their picnic basket starters (scratch paper bought from take-a-lot) and our main area seating was wild animal themed, so no numbers themselves
Music: Overberg Sound and Lighting – fantastic service and willing to help with anything!