A Fantastically Flamboyant Forest Feast

This wedding was over the top, fantastic, wonderful and a feast for all senses. I arrived at Jabus and Carissa’s wedding and my jaw dropped.  I was welcomed by the most magical feast of modern and vintage, opulent and organic, contemporary and rustic – I’ve never seen anything like it. Grand Room Design Winelands deserves a standing ovation for this wedding. The venue, Die Woud is spectacular and I now understand why people can’t stop talking about it. Carissa looked like a Greek goddess in her flowing Casper Bosman gown. 

 ~ Jenni Elizabeth, Photographer 

Their Story 

We met sometime during 2008 as first year students studying at the University of Stellenbosch. I was in Sonop and he lived in Eendrag, which meant we were neighbours. After declining numerous invites to join him for a drink at their res pub I thought he’d give up pursuing me soon. He didn’t, and needless to say I went for that drink and we’ve been inseparable ever since. We were together for 6 years when Jabus proposed on Peter Falke Wine Estate. He was so nervous that he put the ring on the wrong finger. After the engagement we were in no rush to set a wedding date but our best friends and family insisted that we hurry up and tie the knot because everyone was eager to attend our “big fat Greek wedding!”

The Style 

Our wedding was all about contrasts because our personalities and style are very diverse. Jabus is an Afrikaans boy, I am a Greek girl so our worlds were very different. When I met Jabus he didn’t know how to fry an egg (red alert as food is the pivotal point of any Greek home!) –  nowadays he’s a better cook than me. I on the other hand learned a lot about rugby and I can also successfully build a fire for a lekker braai.

Jabus insisted on having a spitbraai. I was horrified at first because I had always imagined my big day consisting of fine dining, plated food and silver service. However,we met each other half way- the lamb spit was done in abundant Greek style and he allowed me to serve oysters, lobster tails and MCC for pre-drinks.

The setting of our venue was in a forest but this did not stop me from dressing the bridal party in couture attire fit for a runway.

The decor was a tribute to my mom Sophia who was an interior designer. I was inspired by a concept I had seen while travelling to Greece in 2008 called Balux- The House Project. We wanted our guests to feel as though we were hosting them at our house. The venue was set up to create separate rooms as in a house. We had lounge pockets set out on the beautiful green grass at Die Woud, several tables and chairs to create the atmosphere of sitting around a dining room table and beds for those who would feel so relaxed that they needed to take a nap!

There were no formalities or seating arrangements. We immediately cut the cake and mingled with our family and friends. While we dashed away for our couple photo shoot, we wanted the party to get started. Our bridal party opened the dance floor and Sophia’s feast table, laden with an abundance of gourmet cheese and artisan breads plus beer on tap did the trick.

The highlight of the evening was when my cousin Michael introduced the breaking of plates by performing the Zebekiko – also known as drunken dance, which is always danced with an audience knelt down in a circle clapping you on and appreciating your deep felt expressive emotions while breaking plates at your feet. Everyone had the chance to participate and even Ouma broke a few plates!

The Memorable Moments 


When Carissa walked down the aisle and I vowed to love and take care of her always.


Walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Jabus waiting for me at the altar. There was also a moment when we escaped the celebrations and sat at one of the beautifully created lounges and watched as all our guests learned to dance ‘Zobra the Greek’ under the stars.

The Unexpected 

My dress creased on the way to the venue. So before I could walk down the aisle I had to get undressed in the bathroom whilst Tanja from Grand Room Design ironed my dress inside their delivery vehicle – it was hilarious!

The Dress 

The dress was custom made by Casper Bosman. I impulsively bought the fabric before I had any design in mind. It was 100% silk satin and I could not resist. The material had a golden hue and felt like liquid in my hands – it looked like something Grecian, so I bought it.

Tips for Planning

Do not try this at home! Make sure you appoint a coordinator and make use of experienced service providers. 

The Budget

I am lucky/unlucky enough that the groom is a financial guy. He made sure that we stuck to a strict budget. He also repeatedly chanted that the budget is not a target. Whatever money we managed to save we could invest elsewhere.

The DIY 

We made our own Bomboniere – also known as favours ,which are gifts given by hosts to their guests on special occasions consisting of five white sugared almonds symbolising health, wealth, happiness, fertility and long life. 

Love This Wedding?

Have a look at Toni and Mark’s celebration of organic opulence.