Anja and Josua’s Heart-Warming Autumn Celebration

Our last feature for the month certainly ends on a high note. Anja and Josua were surrounded by the sweet scent of a sunny autumn afternoon as they welcomed 80 of their nearest and dearest to witness their love and commitment at the beautiful Roodezand in Tulbagh. Captured by DNA Photography, we share a few gorgeous golden moments that left us in awe and inspired.

THE DRESS


The most important pre-requisite for the dress was that I wanted to feel like me, and all the dresses I tried on, although being lovely, did not feel right. I knew that such a dress did not yet exist, so it was a question of finding the right person to make it. Alana was the perfect choice.

The LOVE STORY


Josua and his house-mate Adriaan were sitting on their patio one day, having a few beers and contemplating where they were going to meet interesting girls when Josua had the brainwave of organizing a get-together with an university acquaintance also now living in the suburbs. Lucky for them, this acquaintance had a housemate and what followed was the start of a firm friendship and not one, but 2 weddings. Adriaan and Lisa started dating with Josua and I following pursuit a month later. 6 Years, a house-mate swap and a lot of good times down the line, things started getting serious. During a holiday in New York City, rowing on the lake in Central Park, we were taking advantage of the balmy weather. Not suspecting a thing, I was giving him a hard time about his rowing skills when our row boat veered towards the bank and we ended up under the branches of a beautiful old Willow tree where he dropped onto both knees, as space was limited, and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. Talk about rocking the boat, which in actual fact nearly tipped over in his attempt to get down on one knee. It was the most beautiful surprise and a proposal I will never forget.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS


Waking up on the morning with Josua handing me the most beautiful letter about why he wanted to marry me, was the perfect start to a perfect day. Everyone told me the day just flies by and to enjoy every second. I may have succeeded in doing just that because the day actually felt quite long and I have so many happy memories, I don’t even know where to start. My bridesmaid’s reaction to seeing me for the first time was classic, the drive to the venue with my father, walking down the aisle to the wedding march played on the violin, by my very talented cousins, seeing Josua waiting for me in what I can only describe as the most beautiful setting ever. His face, the sun shining down and warming me as I stood listening to his vows and read my own, the amazing song my brother wrote and performed for us, all of the speeches, Josua and his brother’s performance of the Zombies’ song ‘You make me feel good’, the laughing, singing, dancing and celebrating with good friends and family.
I’ll always remember my aching feet as I walked barefoot down Tulbagh’s main Road after the best day ever, hand in hand with my husband, towards our future…

PLANNING ADVICE


We both wanted a small intimate celebration, and this really made a difference to the feel of the day, leaving us with a lot more time to spend with our closest friends, family and each other. It also saved us some money, which meant we could splurge on the things that are important to us, like good quality wine and bubbly, awesome photographers and live entertainment. The fact that most of our guests joined us for the whole weekend also ensured that everyone got to meet and greet and spend some time together before the actual wedding, something I feel made a big difference to the vibe on the day. Also, pick your bridal party with care because they can be the best support you could ask for. Try not to let the planning overwhelm you, or cause unnecessary stress and conflict between you and your fiancée. Remember what the whole thing is about, you are getting married to the man you love and want to spend the rest of your life with, and that is most important. Also, it’s supposed to be fun, so remember to enjoy it.

D.I.Y. IDEAS


Our wedding included a manageable amount of D.I.Y. detail. Enough to have everyone feel part of things, but I didn’t want anyone having to work too hard in the days leading up to the wedding, preferring to relax and spend quality time together eating, laughing and enjoying the lovely wines from the Tulbagh valley. We made the feather place settings the Thursday night in front of a roaring fire at the Tulbagh Hotel, and spent the Friday morning hanging bells, writing chalkboard menus en arranging decor. My mother and sister-in-law made the beautiful flower wreaths and I designed all of the stationery and invites. The rest was left in the capable hands of Karen, from Roodezand and Anli Wahl, who did the flowers.