Barry & Kari’s Country Festival

People ask me all the time if I don’t tire of looking at weddings. And I can honestly say I don’t. Because every wedding is unique. The pictures are images filled with expectations, love, joy and hope. How can I tire of looking at that? I get a sneak peek into such a special moment in someone’s life. And today is no exception. Barry and Kari is such a beautiful couple, and I can see that what they have is true love even though I have never met them. They simply radiate happiness.
The two combined their love for nature, music and fun and settled on a country festival theme, complete with live music, bunting and street food. To go with the relaxed atmosphere, Kari opted for a bohemian look that we totally love! Her fresh flower wreath is simply beautiful, and complements her golden locks perfectly.Happy Monday and enjoy!

Tell us your love story. How did you meet and fall in love.

Barry: This a story about December holidays and crayfish … Kari and I both grew up in the heart of the Kalahari but we never really met as I am five years older than her. December 2009 Kari and her family walked into a coffee shop where my family and I were having brunch. She was beautiful and my heart stopped when I saw her. A few days before Kari randomly commented on one of my Facebook photos where I was standing with a crayfish that I just caught on the West Coast (my heart almost stopped when I saw the comment). She said it was something she would love to experience someday – catching her own crayfish.It was her birthday and I built up enough courage and walked over to wish her happy birthday. We talked and everything was somewhat awkward, we talked about the crayfish etc. Back at home I could not stop thinking about her and finally figured out what my next move would be. At that stage I was helping my father who is a veterinarian to dart game that needs to be either moved or that needed medical attention. I then asked Kari if she would like to join me and see cheetahs and sable antelope from close up (as that was the closest one could get to crayfish in the Kalahari). Luckily she said yes and we talked a lot on the one-hour drive to the farm … something just clicked. After that I asked her to join me for brunch the next day. Kari asked me to join her and her family for water-ski at sunset … love was in the air. After a week of dating every day we declared our love one summer’s evening under a tree of hearts right there in our home town and a few days after that I asked Kari to be my girlfriend at a specially set table at a “padstal” outside town – and she said yes! The next December we got engaged and the following December we got married!

So how did he  pop the question?

Kari: I had a sneaky suspicion that Barry was going to propose, he is not very good at surprises :) He asked my parents six months after we started dating to marry me and already got my ring . December 2010 after we both finished our studies, we decided to take a road trip away from the Kalahari heat to the West Coast and Crayfish Festival at Tietiesbaai in Barry’s Land Rover. Barry was very anxious along the way about the weather and timing as he wanted to have a sundowners/late lunch stop at Strandfontein. The weather changed from a sunny 40 degrees to an overcast cold day as we neared Strandfontein. I had to change from my pretty dress to jeans and a hoodie. Barry took me to an opening in a cliff just outside Strandfontein where he prepared a braai while the sun was setting in front of us and the massive waves broke right underneath us – magical. After a lovely late lunch Barry came and sat on the rock lower than mine. He read a part out of Song of Solomon to me and then took the ring from his pocket – he had a speech that I can’t really remember because I started crying and was overjoyed. From there we celebrated the rest of the weekend at the West Coast. I even attempted to catch a crayfish but with no prevail.

Did anything unexpected happen?

Barry: I lost my wedding tie on the day of the wedding – my mom had to rush to Eikestad Mall and luckily found the last “James Bond thin black” tie there.Kari: My mom and friends arranged a pamper party for me the day before the wedding, which was a complete surprise and so special – but during the excitement I ran and banged my head on an open window and ended up with a huge scar on the side of my forehead.

Did your wedding preparations include any DIY projects?

I learned how to sew for the first time! Barry’s mom lent me her old sewing machine and I made all the bunting flags (85 metres). I also designed the men’s bouttonières – little trees. Friends of ours made the gift goodie bags.

What was the “theme” of your wedding, and why?

French country festival – I love the ambience of a food market (e.g. the Old Biscuit Mill market) and wanted to create that feeling during our wedding. And what better way to do that than combining it with a beautiful French country theme? We also tried to keep the wedding less traditional. The first half of the evening was spent under the stars, flags and fairy lights where the guests could choose and munch on a variety of food – from paella to braaibroodjies to snoek to biltong etc. from different stalls. There was also a tea and coffee stand and a soft serve van where the guests could choose their preference.