After more than seven years of dating, it was incredible to marry my best friend and to celebrate our relationship with our loved ones.
It is not necessary to have a big wedding - in the end, the day is not about the flowers or the music or the food, but about love.
However, life is short and love is meant to be celebrated! The flowers, music and food enhanced and emphasised the real reason we were there: to celebrate life and our love for each other with the people we love.
We had a magical time in Mauritius. We spent our days in the sun, relaxing, swimming, snorkeling, eating and drinking lots of cocktails.
Alana van Heerden made my wedding dress. She did a fantastic job at tying my ideas together and bringing my dream dress to life. My dress was soft, romantic and a little princes-like. It had a scallop boat neck with pearl and lace detail on the bodice. The skirt was made out of layers of net and was topped off with a big bow at the back. I wore ankle-strap diamante heels from Quiz that I bought on Takealot.
My hair and make-up was done by Adri Hugo. We opted for a romantic, soft and natural look to complement the dress. I wore small hanging pearl earrings and pearl hair pins to emphasise the pearl detail on the bodice of the dress.
We got married at Nooitgedacht Estate, just outside of Stellenbosch. I grew up in Stellenbosch and we both attended school and university there. My matric farewell took place at Nooitgedacht in 2015 and Johan was my date! Johan also asked me to marry him at a picnic at Nooitgedacht. The venue was therefore extra special to us.
Nooitgedacht is situated in the picturesque Winelands and has beautiful lawns, Cape Dutch buildings and a chapel. The venue has a romantic, elegant and timeless feel to it. It was important to me that all of the elements - from my dress to the décor, the food and the music - complemented and enhanced this atmosphere.
The venue has beautiful overnight rooms. We spent the weekend there with our families and got ready there.
I did not follow a strict or planned regime. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, I regularly visited Jeni's Nail, Body & Skincare Studio for tan-canning to ensure that I had a healthy, natural glow and I focused on drinking lots of water and eating healthy.
Two weeks before the wedding, my mom and I spent a day relaxing at Lanzerac Spa. This was a fantastic spoil and great way to calm my mind and body before the wedding. It was also special spending one-on-one time with my mom.
In the week of the wedding, I visited Vivi Salon to wax and did my nails at Gosh Nails. I also touched up my highlights at Anita Pretorius. These service providers are local businesses in Stellenbosch that I have been using and trusting for years.
The décor complemented the romantic, elegant, soft and timeless atmosphere of the venue. We played around with candles, chandeliers, fairy lights and glass. We hung glass bubbles with flowers and crystals from the chandeliers to create some extra sparkle. The glass elements added a modern touch to the general look and feel.
We used a wide variety of flowers, including roses, tulips, dhalias, lisianthus, hydrangeas and sea holly in shades of white, pink, purple and blue. We also added a touch of delft inspired patterns and blues to fit in with the Cape Dutch style of the venue. The flowers and delft patterns brightened up the décor.
All of the décor elements were done by My Pretty Vintage and the lighting was supplied by Authentic Planning.
Johan wore a navy suit, brown leather shoes and a light blue floral tie and pocket square. The groomsmen and ringbearer wore the same navy suit pants with white shirts and matching light blue floral bowties. We hired the suits from Keith's Suit Hire in Somerset-West and bought the ties from My Bro Tie, a local company in Cape Town. The mens' look was completed by matching Versus socks and sea holly boutonnieres.
The bridesmaids wore royal blue long pleated skirts and matching blue satin tops. Each bridesmaid choose her own top design, shoes and accessories.
Three of the flower girls wore silver net skirts and silver tops. The two small flower girls wore white net skirts with delft inspired bows.
All the dresses were made by a local dressmaker, Marijken Franken. She ensured that the bridal party's outfits complemented each other, the atmosphere and my wedding dress.
Ds Johan van der Merwe from Stellenbosch Dutch Reformed Church officiated our marriage.
Coba Uys captured our special day. She is a photographer based in the Winelands. She is passionate, creative, professional and very efficient. She makes you feel comfortable in front of the camera and her photos are natural and beautiful as a result. Coba used Ilse de Klerk as a second shooter.
We also supplied a polaroid camera that guests used to take photos. The guests pasted the photos in a book where they wrote messages for us. The book is a great memento!
I had a great support structure. My mom helped a lot. A family friend, Lourette Erasmus, took charge of the décor and worked closely with the wedding coordinators at Nooitgedacht Estate. It was special to have people who know and love us help coordinate the day.
We conveniently got ready at the venue so no transport was required.
The food was prepared by Nooitgedacht Estate. They have an incredible, interesting and modern menu. We served prawn sushi stacks for starters, lamb for mains and had a waffle bar for dessert.
The wedding cake was made by Marenka Krige, a local baker from Stellenbosch. The cake was decorated by pressed flowers.
All the stationery was designed by hand by a family friend, Marlene Koekemoer. The stationery was delft-inspired and added a unique and personal touch to the wedding.
Music plays a vital role in the atmosphere of the day. We used a string quartet, Alias String, for the ceremony to enhance the romantic and dramatic feel of the chapel. Veronica Bell and Luda Heath from Zamar provided live music during the pre-drinks. Their music is very lively and created a joyful atmosphere. For the reception, we used DJ U-One from Southern Sound.
We opened the dance floor to Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon". This was very special as we opened the dance floor to the same song at Nooitgedacht Estate during my matric ball in 2015.