Once upon a time... a young girl found herself in DXB. She was fascinated with the glitz and glamour of the big city lights of the land of the sand (or rather gold). Not as much as how she felt when she laid her eyes upon a stud called Ett at her new job as a waitress at a Luxury Japanese Restaurant.
Both being the life of the party, romance bloomed and a year later they found themselves back in SA. Ett in Witbank and Anri back in P.E... Separated, they could not bear to be without. So he packed his bags and bought a one-way to the friendly city.
They learnt from each other and grew together until they were settled in a little home, with a little car and lots of love. Soon they decided it was time for a change...Risks to be taken, five years later they were back in the sand pit with the high fountains and sparkly lights and they still feel exactly the same if not more...
He put a gorgeous ring on her finger on a very special Snoopy Island. They looked at each other, gave a nod and knew, this is their happily ever after...
"The best kind of people are the ones that come into your life & make you see the sun where you once saw clouds. The people that believe in you so much, you start to believe in you too. The people that love you, simply for being you. The once in a lifetime kind of people" - Anonymous
What we appreciated the most was that we had loved ones coming in from all over the world! People travelling from far and wide to share our amazing day with us and realising how much love there is in our lives. We feel truly blessed to have so many close friends and family.
Our vows were definitely one of our soul-shaking moments as shivers coursed through our bodies as we said and meant each word. At that moment there was so much energy around us that we could feel that there was a strong unity between us and also that everyone there could feel it too.
My husband is usually such a quiet guy and when he made his speech, everyone was in absolute awe... I knew I was a really lucky lady to him in my life... The way he spoke about his parents, thanked my parents, friends and family and the beautiful way he spoke about us, gave us all goosebumps...
Needless to say, we could not leave early as our friends came from far, so when the parents left, we ended up extending the bar opening with another hour and left at 3:30 am in the morning - I had to drive hubby home in my wedding dress - well deserved haha.
Those were some of the highlights, but overall it was an amazing day that passed way too quickly!
After the wedding, we went for a little getaway along the Garden Route from Cape Town back to P.E (where we are originally from). We did not have much time as we only flew back from Dubai for two weeks for the wedding. It was bittersweet because as much as we wanted to spend every second with friends and family, we needed a little quiet after the chaos! We stopped off at Knysna and stayed in a little cabin in the forest, after that we needed a little beach n our lives and we made a stopover at St. Francis bay where we stayed in the harbour for a night. There we met an awesome couple, owning a little local pub and we partied with them until morning hours.
Back to P.E the next day to spend our last night in beautiful South Africa and home before turning back to the land of the sand. We have decided that every little trip we do will be a series of little honeymoons as we are super blessed to be living in Dubai - easy to travel and go for short breaks all around...
My wedding look was a totally classic look from the dress to the hair as I wanted a contrast between the 'airy fairy' forest look and my look.
Hair and Makeup were phenomenal and was done by Adri Hugo from Stellenbosch. My makeup was airbrush and is my favourite of all as it lasted the entire night without doing touch ups. My hair was not as classic for that sneaky contrast I wanted to add and was a bit messier and loose with a diamante hairpiece on the side.
I didn't want to be your stereotypical bride, it was a champagne colour covered in an off-white lace with some sparkle with sequence here and there, which made the dress come alive. I fell in love with it, the moment I tried it on at Loca Wedding Boutique in Port Elizabeth. They were amazing as I was all the way in Dubai and literally had to do alterations a week before the wedding as the dress was specially made for me.
Shoes was a plain and simple comfortable nude rounded pump with a thick heel and were very comfortable although I did end up taking it off later - it's my wedding I can walk barefoot if I want to ;)
With the dress there was a built-in bra so there was no need for that although I had enough lingerie to last me decades because of overcompensating - you can never be too prepared right? So I just wore a pair of nude bottoms.
Now I know what they say about wearing pearls at your wedding... Wel this old-wives tale has never been more untrue haha. I wore classic freshwater pearls with diamante, a golden bracelet which goes back generations (as something old) and the diamante and silver leaves hairpiece.
That's my look in a nutshell... No vale of course (sometimes I regret that though)
Die Woud is a magical mirage 2km outside of Caledon, Cape Town. It is in perfect harmony with nature nestled between established oak trees and majestically tall wattle forests, with water streams and birds chirping all around.
In the ‘open-air-church’ guests are seated in between the towering wattle trees and a wooden altar-where we had our "first kiss". After parking, our guests made their way through a tranquil nature walk cobbled with white stones, towards the epitome of a fairytale set-up. The grandeur of oak trees sets the scene where our wooden and white furniture was set outside with street lights hanging from the trees and fire pits ready to be lit up when darkness falls.
Then the clear PVC marquee tent, where everyone was seated, allowing the outside elements to be apart of the setting either way. As the sun dips behind the horizon and the stars begin to shine the dance floor and atmosphere comes to life like an enchanted affaire.
It was a perfect intimate setting even with 75 guests! We had a carvery on our long tables with perfectly cooked and tender steak, beetroot and feta salad, potato bake - all the South African favourites. Our guests were raving about the food. I could not resist either and dug into that meal like there is no tomorrow!
We planned our wedding from Dubai and the staff Die Woud was both accommodating, friendly and efficient! Worth the money you spend for that magical day. They are there every step of the way.
Die Woud has an amazing two-story house in town (Caledon) with numerous rooms, a bridal suite upstairs upstairs, proper grooms changing room/ bridal changing room downstairs, big garden with a granny flat in the massive garden, fire pit, a huge kitchen with a jet master for braais in there, even cleaning service you can pay extra for (besides who wants to clean on a family wedding). It's an amazing modern and vintage mixed decorated house with nooks and crannies everywhere to make it even more playful and fun. We did not want to leave. The children were laughing and playing and the adults had a great time too.
The people in Caledon are so friendly and accommodating, even the lady that did our nails the previous day of the wedding, stopped by the house on the day to send her blessings and bring us biltong! A typical small town where everyone knows everyone. There are loads of accommodation and growing as Die Woud is becoming more and more popular and the kindest people! The amazing thing was that the town is so small that it felt like our friends and family were taking over - running into each other at the Spar; driving past each other etc. So everyone is close to each other for that meet and greet braai! Great to make a weekend out of it - or longer!
In Dubai I did do the occasional facial, nails, threading etc. I did workout and followed a healthy diet as that improves the glow in your skin and attitude - the bridal glow. I also had a sun-kissed glow as I did some tanning sessions before coming to SA for the wedding. No teeth whitening and no waxing haha.
Sylvia from Special Events really went above and beyond with our flowers and decor! As we were sharing 1000's of emails back and forth from Dubai to SA, she took those emails and really captured the setting we wanted. We went dark and dramatic with burgundies, dark greens with lighter notes in between like soft pinks and lighter greens with dried berries and tree bark etc. The focus point of the flowers was the Protea of course as our best man said in his speech: "The protea can withstand the harshest of earth elements such as wildfires and storms..." That is much like our love story.
Lighting is everything as we added streetlights, candles and chandeliers for that soft romantic lighting. Especially with the PVC marquees tent, you can see straight through and from the darkness outside the lighting just sets that mood.
We had our own beer & cigar labels designed and printed. The beers were placed in a wheel-barrow at the entrance of the reception area. Cigars were at the bar area where the men enjoyed them later and were also given as gifts.
Showing the way from the parking area, down the trail, to and at reception, we had signs made with quirky and romantic quotes.
We really did not have to do much as the venue is absolutely breathtaking the way it is already -we just added colour, love and laughter.
My groom looked so handsome in his light chinos, white shirt and dark purple wait coat with his navy blue blazer. He had custom-made wooden cuff-links (as a gift from me) with the words: "Caveman...See you at the alter..." engraved on them. His tie was dark and light green and was hanging loosely around his neck. We wanted to play around with textures and patterns - even his pocket square was polka-dots. We wanted to go rustic and not matchy-matchy at all. The groomsmen had their waistcoats with chinos in colours of green, burgundies and black. It was hard to get everyone to dress the same as we could not be all together when it was purchased, but we gave strict instructions from abroad. They all looked so good together in the end.
I simply bought the typical wrap dresses at YDE which they could style anyway they wanted to in burgundy and they looked fantastic in it! My sister was my maid of honour and was in her last month of pregnancy so I wanted her to stand out in her maternal glory and had a lovely emerald green dress made by Silver Swallows. I gifter different colour pearl earrings to them which they wore as accessories with any type of sandals as the dresses were really long and covered their feet.
I will never forget Marriage Officier/ Photographer Marius Greeff from Greyton. He gave us an option of how we wanted to get married - which was so cool and also gave us an option on vows because we were not a fan of the "until death do us part" bit. It was gorgeous! He is also great at taking pics too, which was welcomed but not ideal for everyone.
Kaitlyn De Villiers and her assistant Natanya at Kaitlyn De Villiers photography were absolutely amazing! We had so much fun with them and Kaitlyn is a hopeless romantic and lived through our photos haha! We will be in contact forever. The photos came out amazing and she captured every special moment.
I am sad to say, however, that we did not have a videographer and I will regret that until the day I die - or just have another wedding for our ten-year anniversary. We do have a short video clip of our vows which a good friend took of us.
We had no planner, but with Die Woud's team and Sylvia at Special Events (flowers and Decor), they went above and beyond. We had loads of help and my husband is super organised,
Die Woud and most accommodations in Caledon has a shuttle service that can be arranged and paid for prior to the big day. We had a wedding website for our invitation and informed all guests of these details on there. We also had a FaceBook event page on which we sent our reminders, the countdown etc.
Die Woud caters too and their food is to die for! All our guests raved about it. Our caveman and cavewoman cake along with the cupcakes were done by Charlotte from Krummels in Cape Town - she delivered and even supplied a knife to cut as requested by Die Woud. Very creative and delicious.
Sylvia at Special Events had all our signs and stationery designed by her contacts and am not sure who they were but they did a great job!
One of our good friends, DJ Keith, who is well-known in Port Elizabeth for doing events and functions especially weddings at the Radisson Blu. He kept us on our feet all night long and every song was a great hit! His timing is impeccable. The lighting was done by Die Woud.
Vows® is a bridal & bridesmaid accessory line for the feminine and the unique.