SA Weddings

{{currentUser.first_name+' '+currentUser.last_name}}


Arlene West

Married on Jul 20, 2017 in Western Cape

Francois & Arlene West - 20th of July 2017

We got married on the 20th of July on a cold, cloudy, rainy day. As we entered the chapel on this beautiful estate, everything felt so warm and perfect. After the ceremony, the clouds disappeared and the sun came out to greet us, as man & wife.

Everything was perfect, the weather, the ceremony and most of all, our guests had a wonderful day.


Voting has closed for Bride of the Year 2017

Click here to open the 2017 competition page

How did your love story begin?


We met 12 years ago in a club. We had a short romance, and after 3 months we went our separate ways. 7 Years later while on my way to the gym, we bumped into each other, and after 2 months of playing cat and mouse, I decided to give him another chance. It was the best decision I made. Since that day we've only been apart twice. He is my best friend.

Tell us all about the proposal.


He has asked me on numerous occasions and every time I declined his proposal. Shame, he was very patient, and then last year on my birthday, we went to Zorgvliet with our best friends for a family picnic day. I was sitting on the grass chatting away when this warm feeling came over me, and I looked at him and my best friend, and said, we are getting married here. They were laughing because the idea of marriage scared me. I asked one of the waiters their telephone number and booked the venue the next day.

Magical Moments


Highlights :
Driving myself to the venue.
My godfather serenading us
My husband singing our favourite song while we did our first dance and at the end of the song going down on his knees.
My son's speech. He has everybody in tears
The food, the venue, the guests, there is to much the list will go on and on

The Honeymoon


Our wedding was planned for December, but due to my mother's illness we had to move the wedding. We stayed in the family cottage on the wine Estate, together with my mother, father, sister, brother in law and my husband. It's not your ideal fairy tale honeymoon evening, but it was for me, because I spend it with the people that matter the most in my life.

Wedding Gallery


My Special Day

My dress I designed myself and was made by my aunt. I loved the colour blue all my life, so to have blue in my hair and my dress was no brainer. My hair was done by Anchin Afrika, she worked miracles with my short hair. Make was done by my husband's cousin Gabriella Whatney, my shoes, jewellery, accessories I bought at Edgars

The Venue

We got married on Zorgvliet Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. None of the guest stayed over exept my family and us

My Bridal Beauty Regime

I am your normal plain Jane, don't do the teeth whitening, spa treatments. My husband always says he loves me for me, so why change. I think the only thing we did together, was a facial, and pedicures. One of our guests and a friend of ours is a beautician, and she came to our house and did the treatments in the comfort of our home

Wedding Elements

Our decor was very rustic, simple. Sometimes less is more and in this case it worked perfectly.
The decor we rented was from Happy Tree designs in Brackenfell.
Our flowers was done by Esme Florist in Paarl.

My Groom And His Groomsmen

The clothing for the groom & groomsmen were bought at Woolworths, The groom had a waistcoast on, and the groomsmen had suspenders. Their wooden boutonnieres was bought at PNA

Beautiful Bridesmaids

We felt that we did not want our bridesmaids to spend money on a dress which they will only wear on that day. So they bought a tunic dress at Woolworths, wore cowboy boots, and jewellery which I had made for them.

Marriage Officer

Our Marriage officer was my boss and our church parish priest, The Rev Canon Denver Heugh.
Our ceremony took place in the most beautiful little chapel on the estate.
My godfather, Rev Piet Minaar is also a priest, and he serenaded us with a beautiful song, Love changes everything.
Rev Piet, & Rev Denver did the ceremony together.

My Captured Moments

Our photographer was Anke Bester. She is a magician behind the camera. My husband hates taking photos and if she could get him to smile, she can perform miracles. Today thinking back I wished I had a videographer to capture the moments, but then would the guests have enjoyed themselves or be themselves, if they knew their actions where being recorded.
We had a photo-booth, that we did ourselves. We had a Polaroid camera, props, and a scrap book, where the guests took photos and had to stick their photos in the scrapbook and write messages to the bridal couple.
We also had a cartoonist/illustrator Martinus van Tee doing humorous but perfect illustrations of our guests. This set the vibe for the rest of the evening

The Wedding Planner

Our planner was Christine Smith from Zorgvliet Wine estate. She took all my stress on herself. Our wedding day ran like clock work. Nothing was out of place. She is a one in a million, when it comes to organizing your event.

The Wedding Planner

Our planner was Christine Smith from Zorgvliet Wine estate. She took all my stress on herself. Our wedding day ran like clock work. Nothing was out of place. She is a one in a million, when it comes to organizing your event.

Wedding Transport

We travelled from Paarl to Zorgvliet Wine Estate, outside Stellenbosch in our own cars. I think this is one of those memories I will never forget. As we were leaving the house to get into the cars, my sister's little one was crying and would not let go of her.( My sister was suppose to drive the car). I asked my maid of honour to drive the car, but her drivers license was in her bag in her car, which was already at the venue. I took the car keys, rolled my dress up, got behind the wheel and drove myself to the venue (lol).
At the venue, all the guests had to park in a designated area, where they got on a tractor and was driven to the chapel, and back to the reception area

Food & Cake

Our food was prepared by the venue's own chefs. the quality and the presentation of the food was out of this world. The steaks melt in your mouth, the veggies and salads was so fresh, looked like it was freshly picked on our wedding day.

We did not have a wedding cake. Instead we did a dessert table with a twist. Our wedding cake was a 5 tier stand filled with donuts, cupcakes and our favourite cookies.

The donuts was from Donut Hive in Grandwest, Epping, and our cupcakes & cookies was made by Obe Sauls, a long family friend and the best baker I know.

Wedding Stationery

All my stationary was designed and printed by myself. I love diy projects.

The Reception and Entertainment

The party started as soon as the guests arrived at the reception area, where they we greeted by a marimba band from St Mary Magdalene's Anglican Church in Belhar. I saw them play once at a youth conference and had to have them play at our wedding. They created this wonderful relaxed vibe.

Our DJ was Gaiwin Fourie, he is a regular DJ at one of the clubs in Paarl. He did the sound, lighing and music for the ceremony and reception. Our guests just could not stop dancing.

Wedding Services Used



Share our haven and you will never be the same again as you will become a beholder of the spirit of the Banghoek Valley.

Happy Tree Designs

Happy Tree Designs

The beauty of the fundamental nature of a rustic wedding is that simple touches with a lot of personality can speak volumes.

Caricatures by Martinus

Caricatures by Martinus

Martinus van Tee is a Cape Town based entertainer who specialises in classy, super fast caricatures at weddings.