SA Weddings

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Elrika Viljoen

Married on Aug 12, 2017 in Garden Route


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How did your love story begin?


Michael and I were introduced by mutual friends of ours. We didn't hit it off immediately but after a unique walk on the beach (most people don't get hit in the face by a dead jellyfish on the average beach walk) with some friends of ours, we started chatting every night. From there things moved quite quickly. We started dating a month after we met and the rest is, as they say, is history.

Tell us all about the proposal.


Michael is a helicopter instructor so in the past 2 years I have flown with him quite a bit. On this particular day, however, it was quite a different situation. I was leading worship for the first time at our church, so I was pre-occupied from my usual nagging about when he's going to propose. He was sitting by me, in between services when he got a "call" (he used an app that simulates fake calls), that he has to fly to Port Elizabeth to collect a parcel for the owner of one of the helicopters he flies. There was enough time before the evening service for me to fly with him. He suggested we invite my sister so before long we were at the airport ready to take off. As he was taking off, I remembered that he had been complaining for a while about the chopper having problems and that during one charter he had to make an emergency landing! But, I had peace of mind in his flying skills so I forgot about it quickly. As we were passing Wilderness, an alarm went off in the aircraft and he said that this is what the helicopter keeps doing, but if it goes off within 15 seconds it's not serious. So after 8 seconds it went off. 2 more times it happened but only for a few seconds until it went off again. We continued the flight and as we passed Knoetzie, the alarm went off again. But this time it stayed on. Michael said that he would have to perform an emergency landing. Where?! To my right miles and miles of ocean. To the left, high cliffs and sharp rocks. Michael pointed out a small beach with a patch of grass where he would be able to land. I was sure we were going to either die on impact or from hunger in case of a safe landing! But as I said, Michael is an expert flyer and he managed to get us on the ground safely. As soon as I calmed down (my sister was strangely relaxed), I noticed how beautiful the scenery was. We were in between two high cliffs and all around us were lush patches of grass and shells as big as my face! I asked Michael if we could walk around and take photos and he said it's fine because the ''engine had to cool down'' (so many lies). My sister and I were taking pictures and I called Michael over to come pose for a few with me. As I was about to walk away he told my sister "no, we need a picture of this". And there he was on his knee with tears in his eyes, asking me to be his wife. Of course I said yes! After that he pulled out a picnic basket with all my favourites and we were soon on our way back home to celebrate with our loved ones.

Magical Moments


I think the most memorable moment was walking down the aisle. It was the moment that everyone told me to make sure I take in and focus on being present. And I think that's why it still stands out to me.

The Honeymoon


Michael took me to 2 locations. The first was The Lavender Farm in Franschhoek and the second was Banhoek Lodge in Stellenbosch. Both places were so amazing and luxurious. I was very spoilt indeed!

Wedding Gallery


My Special Day

I originally wanted a dress with sleeves and a flowy skirt but in the end I fell in love with the first dress I tried on. The experience of dress shopping was one I dreaded but it ended up being my favorite part of the planning process. I found my dress at Lealia Bridal Studio in George. Sonja and Tannie Toy were just amazing and summed me up as soon as I walked through the door. They both picked the dress that I eventually bought which was an Enzoani dress from their Beautiful Collection.

I was struggling to decide what I would have to keep me warm as it was going to be a cold and rainy day. I went against everyone's wishes and wore a black leather jacket in between the photos and at the end of the evening. I loved how edgy it looked and it's a special.

I wanted the burgundy theme to be a part of my look so I wore burgundy suede Dune high heels and I had my nails done at Sorbet Eden Meander with my mom and bridesmaids in the same burgundy colour.

For my hair I wanted lots of braids and texture and I wanted my makeup to be subtle yet special. Michelle Theron from Beaula Beauty Salon made me feel like an absolute princess. I also ordered rose gold hairpieces from Bella Chiara to complete my look. My father made me a rose gold bangle in the shape of an arrow to match the rose gold tie pin in the shape of an arrow, he made Michael.

The Venue

We got married at Trinity Gate Farm Venue in Sinksabrug, just outside George. It was the first and only venue we viewed and we loved the blank canvas you're given to create whatever theme you want. Ben and David were always lovely and willing to go the extra mile to ensure our day was exactly the way we wanted it to be.

My Bridal Beauty Regime

Michael and I used Herbalife up until a week before the wedding because let's face it, at that point, all you want to do is eat your feelings! We lost so many centimeters and it's the best way to manage your weight if you don't have time to exercise.

We both did teeth whitening for 2 weeks before the wedding and we got great results.

Wedding Elements

We wanted a moody and romantic feel to the wedding and it went so well with the features of the venue. We bought our own fairy lights as it worked out cheaper than renting. We used SND Productions for our sound and stage needs for the live band we had.

My Groom And His Groomsmen

Michael wore a burgundy suit which we purchased from Markhams and the guys were asked to wear black pants and white shirts with brown shoes, which they already owned. They looked so nice together and it made the process very easy.

Beautiful Bridesmaids

We initially wanted to get the girls dresses in a duck egg shade but as the wedding's theme evolved, I decided I wanted them to wear black dresses. I gave them each a budget and asked them to go buy a dress that they would want to wear again. They looked so gorgeous and they coordinated so well that it looked like their dresses were made by die same designer! Anneri and Charné got their dresses from Spree and my other bridesmaid Melissa got her dress from The Space.

Marriage Officer

It was important to us that our wedding be bilingual as I am Afrikaans and Michael is English. For that reason we had a bilingual ceremony performed by 2 close friends. Morné led the message of the ceremony and Melissa (my bridesmaid) did all the formalities.

My Captured Moments

The amazing Herman Pieters from Herman Pieters Photography took the most beautiful photos and managed to capture all the details and moments that were most important to me.

We asked Kondensmelk Productions to capture our big day on video. Bastiaan and Pierre exceeded all expectations and are both so talented and good at what they do.

Both parties were so incredibly professional and managed to capture the essence of the day so well! I'll recommend both to anyone!

The Wedding Planner

My friend, Brianne and my sister's friend, Layla, were attending the wedding and were gracious enough to help out with on -the-day logistics. It was such a great help to have someone to liase with the suppliers and vendors in my place.

Wedding Transport

Michael's colleague owns a bunch of old vintage cars and she offered to drive me to the ceremony on the wedding day in a beautiful black 1953 Mercedes Benz 180.

Food & Cake

Our food was made by the venue's in house caterer and our absolutely delicious coffee flavored naked wedding cake was baked by Carol-Ann from Cay-C's Cakes in George.

Wedding Stationery

I designed the stationery myself as I am a graphic designer by trade. Blitsdruk printers in George are the leading printers in the Garden Route and they printed all our stationery.

The Reception and Entertainment

Michael's amazing cousin Mandy and her husband Piet, paid for us to start taking dancing lessons 12 weeks prior to the wedding at Absolute Dance Studio in George. It made a big difference to what would otherwise have been awkward shuffling in a circle!

Close friends of ours have a band called Children of the Day. They performed at the wedding and were fantastic! They helped me surprise Michael with a song I sang for him at the reception, Lovesong by Adele.

The sound company we used, SND Productions, are the best in the Garden Route in my opinion and they were cool enough to DJ for us on the night!

Wedding Services Used



In 2005, a new bridal collection emerged and quickly rose to compete with top brands by merging traditional and modern European styles into exquisitely hand crafted gowns.