We were both quite calm on the day, and didn't really stress or panic. I was however so excited to just walk down the aisle and lay eyes upon my handsome, very-soon-to-be-husband, that I was getting antsy trying to listen when Ed Sheeran & Beyoncé's Perfect Duet would start playing. When the ceremony finally commenced and we said our "I do's", we just couldn't stop smiling. After already having had to postpone our wedding once, I was finally married to my best friend and I just couldn't be happier. We also had a small 'sand ceremony' after that, where each of us had a jar full of sand, and at the same time, poured our sand into a bigger jar. Thereafter, we rang a bell as confirmation of our union and the pastor showered us with some bubbles he was blowing. One of the best parts, were after the ceremony when we smashed the alpaca piñata with the children and all of a sudden, a double rainbow appeared behind us over the Knysna lagoon. It was quite cold and windy that day, and rain was predicted, but out of it all, we managed to get a rainbow. Not just one, but two! It was a sight to behold with the already stunning view from Villa Castollini. A definite sign that our marriage has been blessed.
We didn't have a honeymoon since it was a destination wedding and we were in Knysna for a week. We did however have a lovely honeymoon evening the night of the wedding, where Villa Castollini surprised us with lighted candles, fresh rose petals in the shape of a heart on the bed, red champagne and some snacks, when we retreated back to our room after the reception. We used those same rose petals the following morning, when we took a leisurely bath in their amazing bathtub, adding some bath salts that they had available and lighting the candles in the spacious bathroom.
Most of my ideas came from hours spent on Pinterest. I already had an idea of what I wanted, but Pinterest helped me fine-tune my ideas and find some new ones as well. Makeup-wise, I was going for a natural look as I'm usually not one for wearing much makeup and I wanted a pretty updo for my hair, that would accommodate the succulent flower crown I wanted to wear. My hair and makeup was done by Belinda Jane in Knysna and she did an outstanding job! My dress was custom-made through Ella-Sophia Bridal Wear in Roodepoort. I was looking for a stunning and unique dress with an intricate lace bodice and soft flowy tulle skirt for the bottom. Anél most definitely delivered! I had a lace gown, pj set and lingerie ordered through Silver Sparkle on Facebook, but they never delivered and I'm still to be refunded, even though I sent them my banking details the week before the wedding. I ended up going to Truworths to buy some underwear for my wedding. As for the shoes, I never wear heels, so I was looking for something striking, yet still comfortable to wear with my dress, so I ended up buying myself a pair of Blu Betty leather shoes called Noko Baobab. They were perfect for the rocky and sandy terrain we went to take photos on. I wore custom-made lace socks with them that I had made by Marissa from Marissa's Creations. For my succulent flower crown and bouquet, I relied on the talented florist, DP from EcoZest to work his magic. My macrame feather earrings and macrame bouquet wrap, were made for me by my sister and Bekker (my then fiancé), gave me a rosegold necklace with a pear-shaped moonstone setting as a gift, in order to match my wedding ring set. My wedding ring set consists of two thin rosegold bands, the bottom one set with 7 small cubic ziconias in tiny clasps and a pear-shaped moonstone setting for the main ring above it. Both my and Bekker's wedding rings were custom-made by Manser Jewellery Design (also t/a Titanium Studio). My nails were then done by Nails by Charlene, with chrome tips to match the shiny effect of the moonstone, and the two ring-finger nails were 'tattooed' with an image of a cactus, to fit in with my overall cactus/succulents theme.
We got married at the beautiful Villa Castollini Chapel in Knysna. It had the most exquisite view with the ocean flanking us on the left, even though we had to put the sails up on that side for the wind that was blowing. Later, after some family photos, as well as our couple photo session at Villa Castollini's little 'Forest' area and the rocky landscape on Brenton Beach close by, we also went through their reception area to their small banqueting hall, for our intimate wedding reception. Our whole wedding only consisted of 14 guests that included both the bride and groom. Me, Bekker, my son and Bekker's parents and brother all stayed over at Villa Castollini in their beautiful luxuriously decorated rooms with their amazing views of the lagoon, enjoying a superb breakfast the following morning. My family found alternative accommodation at private homes in Knysna.
For the decor, I had something clean, green and earthy in mind. Since we were such a small group, we all ended up sitting around one beautiful, long wooden table. My sister made macrame chair covers for the bride and groom, as well as macrame table runners for the table, which EcoZest then decorated for us with clear glass vases containing sea sand, plain white candles and cacti/succulents. They also added some succulents planted in shells, as well as dried sea grass. For the cake table, I had a three-level cake stand made by Dream Organizer, on which the wedding cake and succulent cupcakes were placed. This was also decorated by EcoZest, with succulents and dried flowers. All furniture was the venue's, except for the stunning peacock chair that was hired through Events & Tents in Plettenberg Bay. This was to be used as part of the photobooth area in the Chapel, but we never really got round to using it for that, since the wind was bad outside. We did however use it indoors after the reception, for me an Bekker to take photos on, as well as later that evening when my little sister got engaged and we took some photos of them on it.
Bekker wore a chocolate brown suit with a white shirt, rusty brown leather tie, brown leather shoes and a succulents boutonniere. I also got him an engraved gift box, which I made up myself. Inside the box, I gifted him a black walnut wooden Bewell watch with a wooden cactus tag that read: "Be on time", a pair of socks with a sleeve that said: "In case you get cold feet" and briefs that on the backside, read: "Property of Mrs Fourie". Bekker did not have any groomsmen, since our wedding party only consisted of 14 people. We did however use my son, Enzo, as the ring bearer/Ring Security. Enzo wore a black suit, white shirt, black leather bowtie, black leather shoes and a succulents boutonniere. I also gave him a gift box with 'Ring Security' engraved on top. Inside the box, I placed a self-made 'security tag', his black leather bowtie, black sunglasses with "Ring Security" printed on the side, as well as socks and briefs that read: "Ring Security" . Both boxes also contained a 100g packet of biltong that was made by a 10-year-old boy, named Keegan, from Benoni. The engraved boxes itself, were bought from Wedding-Perfect in Ballito, the sunglasses and Bekker's socks done by Hennak, both printed briefs and my son's socks were done by Let's Say I Do and Bekker's wooden watch were bought from TouchWood. Both their suits were bought at stores in malls around Gauteng and their shoes were bought from Shoe City. The leather ties were bought from Kakfancy in Pretoria and the boutonnieres made by EcoZest.
I only had two pretty flower girls instead of bridesmaids, both of them my middle sister's children. The younger one is almost 5 and the older one is 10. I bought the younger one's dress on Wish as I couldn't find any suppliers that could make the flower girl dresses I wanted. I was looking for intricate, soft lace bodices in white, with salmon pink layered tulle skirts. Since Wish didn't have any of the same dresses in bigger sizes for the older sister, I had a similar dress made for her through Let's Say I Do. They looked so cute in their pretty dresses and the heart wands my mother had made for them.
We made use of private marriage officer, Pastor Gielie Joubert from Mosselbay.
Our photographer was the amazing Marlize, from Burnt Haus Media. She is exceptionally good at her job and took stunning photos for us. She even sent us a sneak peek so long of photos that she's been working on. Even though she was invited to join us for dinner, she was unable to stay due to already having prior plans and could therefore not assist in taking photos of the food and reception as well. I did however have both my sisters there with their own cameras, to help me cature moments I would like to treasure.
Carin from Villa Castollini helped me coordinate most of my day. She was so helpful and kind all the way. She helped to arrange to get the peacock chair and Giant Jenga from Plettenberg Bay to the venue and she oversaw everything, from the setting up to the catering and making sure that our day would run smoothly and work out perfectly. She was an absolute angel!
It was a destination wedding, so we flew from OR Tambo to George airport, via FlySafair, and back again. We also made use of a rental car from one of the agencies by George airport, for the week we were in Knysna. Since the Chapel and Reception venue were on the same premises, we had no need for a wedding car. At first I just wanted a horse that would've served as my 'transport' at the wedding, until I came across a photo on Instagram, containing a bride and groom, each leading an alpaca by its reins. That then became my new obsession and I managed to arrange two alpacas from Karatara for my wedding. About two weeks before the wedding, the lady advised that her alpacas are still shy and afraid, so they would no longer be able to assist. I then managed to find someone else in Plettenberg Bay that could help me with tame alpacas, but the week before we were to get married, on our way to the airport, he phoned to let me know that they were in contact with someone that had COVID-19, and thus they could no longer assist me as they were in isolation for the next 14 days. I tried my third and last contact, but he let me know that his alpacas were also still a bit wild and stopped responding to my messages afterwards. This was actually one of the very sore spots for me, that didn't work out like I really wanted it to. The alpacas would've made my wedding so much more special and unique. I even had them incorporated in my theme, like with the alpaca cookies, piñata, seating bord pegs and 'doggy-bag' boxes.
Villa Castollini did the catering at our reception. We had a three-course meal consisting of tomato soup served with three cheese grilled ciabatta for starters, pepper crusted beef fillet, herbed rice, oven baked potatoes, green beans, fried mushrooms and creamy spinach for the main course, with caprese stuffed avocado salad as well as rocket & baby spinach salad served with berries, nuts & feta. For dessert we had chocolate mousse in a chocolate glaze, decorated with a glazed cherry; lemon meringue, decorated with a slice of glazed lemon; and mini cheesecake, decorated with berries, fig and chocolate sticks. Apart from that, we also had a Coffee Bar (catered for by Villa Castollini) and Desserts table, containing an assortment of clam shell cookies and decorated cactus macaroons with a peach filling, on wooden underplates, a donut board with decorated cactus, salmon pink and gold donuts on, as well as beautiful alpaca & cacti icing cookies. The cake table had a 2-tier vanilla cake on with lemon frosting and a real cactus on top for decoration, as well as small hessian bunding with the words "Just Married". Next to the cake, there were a dozen succulent decorated chocolate cupcakes. The pretty donuts were done by Mila Cakes in George, the delicious cake, beauiful succulent cupcakes, clam shell cookies and mouth-watering cacti macaroons were done by The Vintage Teacup and the exquisite alpaca & cacti icing cookies were done by That Girl Who Bakes Cookies (the last two providers, both being from Sedgefield).
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