We all need a getaway to the farm or bushveld now and again. One thing that I believe makes such a break even more worthwhile, is having your wedding on a farm! Katrien and Arnold stepped into their love for nature and even brought in an old school 1972 Valiant to give the day a unique vintage touch. The farm-forest styled wedding day at Beloftebos, Stanford was filled with special moments for the couple and guests alike. Love Made Visible was there to photograph those moments and helps us share in their story.
The love story
Arnold and I met during a Church Outreach Programme back in 2010. For the first ten days of the outreach, we avoided each other! He thought I was very strange because of my graduate studies in Drama and I thought he was just another young farm boy from the countryside. As such things go, we ended up sitting next to each other in the bus and simply had to talk and engage with one another or risk immense awkwardness. I would never have guessed that to be the first step of my love story, but shortly after that I was invited to their farm. It was there that we really fell in love. One evening on the farm during a wonderful clear night under the stars, he romantically asked me to be his girlfriend. In September 2013, Arnold asked me to become his princess for the rest of our lives, on exactly the same spot on the farm where our relationship first started.
The wedding day
Our wedding was relaxed with vintage styling and we put great emphasis on all our guests. It was important to us that they felt welcome in a venue that represented our personalities and our love for nature. The tables were specifically made from rough edged wood, without tablecloths and the flowers were decorated informally in different size small bottles. My husband has an absolute love for plants and trees, so he grew small bonsai trees as a gift to all the men at the wedding. I cooked a special apricot jam and each lady at the wedding received a small bottle of jam specially decorated for them. The guests loved the idea of their own bonsai trees and decorated jars with apricot jam. One other thing which really made such an impact on the guests was when each one received a special bookmark with his/her name and the meaning of their name on it. Although during the preparation phase I sometimes wondered about the value of this, as it was extremely hard work, people felt cherished to see the value that their name has. I love tea, so we prepared a special tea table decorated with antique cups. My husband on the other side loves coffee, so we organised a barista to make special coffee and cappuccinos during the course of the evening. All of this made the wedding a reflection of who we are; intimate, vintage-loving and authentic.
The bridesmaids went to church in a 1972 Valiant and the petrol tank was hit by a loose stone from the gravel road. Needless to say, the petrol tank was punctured and there were petrol fumes lying around in front of the church. Luckily, some experienced men had an old wives recipe to repair a petrol tank. Within minutes the leaking petrol tank was repaired with a bar of Sunlight Soap.Another unexpected highlight was due to all the rain in the season. There weren’t any small roses available for my flower wreath. It almost got me emotional, but Marinda from Saffron Functions stepped in as my saviour. She suggested a flower wreath made from a bunch of flowers that would’ve been given to my grandmother from my mom. It was uniquely special and beautiful!
Planning & DIY
The part I enjoyed most about my wedding planning was all the DIY projects which we undertook. My husband, mother and some of my friends jumped in to help craft some creative ideas. We made 500 meters of bunting which we used to decorate the venue tent with, as well as the big oak trees in the garden surrounding it. We also made our own serviettes from the same material which we used for the bunting.For months before the wedding we visited countless antique shops to buy old bottles and doilies. The bottles were used for the flowers on the tables and in the church. We used the doilies as bunting in the little old cottage church – it looked wonderful in the 150 year old building. My husband and a friend also made signs that led to the venue. To top off the creativity, my mother-in-law specially baked the wedding cake so that each layer represented a different type of lace on my wedding dress.
Tips and Advice
Start early with all the DIY projects as the manual labor takes a lot of time. Please don’t try and do everything yourself – there are so many people that really want to help and support you. And I don’t think this gets said enough, but never compare your wedding with the weddings of other people. It is your day of celebration and you should do what you feel most comfortable with – let the day reflect your personalities. Although the wedding is the start of a wonderful journey with your husband, celebrate it with all your special friends and family. Make your guests feel welcome and loved, they all made specific arrangements to be with you for the big day.