I am lucky to live not too far away from one of the most inspiring places in South Africa, a beautiful Cape Dutch farm called Babylonstoren, with breathtaking gardens and two restaurants where guests can enjoy glorious food made from the farm produce. So you can imagine my delight when we discovered this rustically romantic wedding held at Babylonstoren. Léan and his beautiful bride Janina tied the knot early December last year. They wanted to keep everything very authentic in order to tie in with the pure surroundings of the farm.
“We wanted it to be very natural as if it were one big dinner party with good food and great wine shared with the best company”. The couple likes to boogie, and their dream was to dance the night away under the stars. Janina looked so effortlessly beautiful in her flowy Abigail Betz dress. We love everything about Janina’s look, from her “spontaneous curls”, 1920s inspired dress to her nude heels. The team fromwelovepictures captured this unforgettable affair.
Tell us your love story
Although Léan and I went to schools right across the street from each other, he went to the boys’ school and I went to the girls’ school. We never met during our school years even though we shared the same friends. We only met a few years later at a communal friend’s braai and ended up talking till the sun came up! After a year of long-distance while I was studying in Stellenbosch and he was finishing his undergrad in Pretoria, he moved down to the Cape. We had an awesome almost five years living in Cape Town and Léan asked me to marry him in the December of 2011 while on holiday in Stilbaai!
We took the boat out on the river to celebrate our five year anniversary and after a bottle of our favourite lovely rosé (to calm the nerves, I would realise later) and an adventurous trip down the river banks, he parked the boat and totally unexpectedly went on his knees and asked me to marry him! I did not think I could get more lucky than that! I felt like a princess and the most lucky girl in the world!
What were the highlights of your wedding day?
Oh my goodness, it was a day woven together with highlights! Every single part was a highlight on its own! The amazing thing was that our close family and some good friends were all staying at the venue the whole weekend, so it was more like a weekend celebration than just a one-day affair! Whether it was lunch, spa, golf, wine tasting, pizza evening or breakfast together, we all shared the same memories all weekend long! It was so special!
Where did you get most of your ideas and inspiration from?
Pinterest was probably my main source of inspiration, however we wanted to keep it very natural and in-sync with the surroundings of the venue so we kept away from too many “thingies” and decor. The amazing farm with its heavenly gardens and fruit and vegetable plants formed a beautiful backdrop for what we wanted for our celebration. A lot of ideas also came from what was in season at the farm.
Be relaxed and soak in every moment and appreciate every little hand that helps to make your day a celebration!
Remember that you have awesome bridesmaids and best men that are there to help you with all your tasks, especially on the day! They are there for support and help and lovingly offer their assistance.
How does your wedding reflect your personalities?
It was a real celebration that we wanted to keep to only inviting the closest people in our lives. Family is a very important part of our lives and we involved our family as far as we could – Léan’s three brothers were his best men, and my sister and two brothers blessed us with the most beautiful music during our ceremony!
I know most brides struggle with this, but our biggest obstacle while organising our wedding, was definitely our guest list!
Any hints for other brides on how to keep your wedding budget friendly?
We were blessed to have a few friends that are creative and wanted to make things for our wedding – our wedding stationery; Léan, his best men’s and my two brothers’ bow ties; the gifts for the ladies! It was original and personal and something very special!