Natural Nuptials: A Celebration of Light & Love

A day filled with light and love, Louise & Jonas’s wedding celebrated all the special people in their lives. The beauty of the trees on the Lourensford Estate was breathtaking. The changing leaves created rich autumnal warmth that was beautifully captured by Jenni Elizabeth. The perfect backdrop for their minimalistic and clean celebration, with simple decor elements and a white palette that carried the theme of ‘light’ throughout the day. 

Their Story

I always thought I wouldn’t marry a fellow doctor – it would make life all about medicine and too boring. I could not have been more wrong. Jonas and I met as medical students during a rural rotation in Worcestor. Despite my prejudice against dating a fellow medicine student and a younger guy, I was absolutely charmed off my feet. We discovered that we were both very open minded about most things, had the same core values and enjoyed each other’s humour tremendously. Our relationship thrived throughout two years of long distance during my internship years.

The Style

We chose the theme of “light”, with reference to how our Creator put a little fire in all of us, to be a light for one another when times are dark. We wanted to acknowledge all the people who made us who we are and guided us to where we are today. It was important for us that the focus would rather be on our guests sharing in our joy than just making the day perfect for two people. Family and true friends are the context for our existence. We kept this in mind throughout the planning. We both value purity and honesty. This was reflected in our decor which was minimalistic and centred around glass, wood and candle light. The light theme was carried through the sermon and in the song my two sisters also sang. Our florist, Marida of Paradiso Flowers, managed to add a ‘medical’ touch by using some laboratory flasks as table decor.

Most Memorable Moments

The wonderful thing is that when we think about our wedding day, we cannot help but to reflect on all the people who selflessly helped plan it. That makes every moment special. If you realise that every guest is there to share in your joy and is grateful and happy for you, every little detail becomes memorable and just adds to the abundance of joy.

The Unexpected 

Jonas’s parents wanted to surprise us on the day. They arranged for us to set free two white doves at the end of the ceremony outside the church. This caught me a bit by surprise and it was so fast, we ended up not letting the doves go at the same time, but one after the other. Nonetheless, it marked a beautiful moment – the start of a life together – that Jenni  managed to capture perfectly on film. My uncle who supplied and drove the wedding car also had a wonderful surprise box with a variety of necessary elements in it. The biggest surprise of all was a sneaky video of our drive taken with his go-pro!

The Dress

Being without a wedding dress a month before the wedding is probably a bride’s worst fear, 10 times worse if you are a control freak like me. I started more than a year in advance with the dressmaking process but unfortunately all did not go according to plan. To be honest, I am so glad it didn’t, otherwise I would have never had my beautiful dress. In the two weeks that followed, my amazingly dedicated sisters and mother dragged me to every possible bridal shop in the Western Cape. It was at a fashion show that I first saw Jacques la Grange’s dresses – and every single one of them was breathtakingly beautiful. Jacques is not only a talented artist, but also a kind and affectionate person to work with. He was extremely understanding and accommodating and made the dress-fitting sessions memorable and fun with big glasses of wine and jokes. In the end my dress was just as I wanted it to be – soft, sheer, flowy and natural.

The Planning Process

Start early. If you have time, the journey is a joy. You can source and process, with no hurry to make rash decisions. And trust your mother. My mother was amazing – she has phenomenal taste and is super resourceful. I would just mention an idea to her and then she would go with it and find a whole bunch of wonderful, out-of-the-box options. She made the whole wedding planning-process a great joy. On the day, our wedding co-ordinator Bernice was awe-inspiring. If I could change something, I would probably have involved her a month or two earlier or just right from the start, even though we wanted to do the planning ourselves. I think a loving, precise wedding co-ordinator like Bernice, who truly has your best interest at heart, would make any couple’s day even better.

The Budget

Again I would say timing is the key. If you give yourself ample time, you can come up with cheaper options. It really helps to have a supportive family. Both our mothers, sisters, brother –in-law were constantly looking for ways to help us cut costs. You really can go a long way with loved ones looking out for you. My two loyal friends and bridesmaids also unselfishly walked many extra miles. Get every one involved! Happiness when shared is doubled.

The DIY

Our parents and siblings were amazing. My mom made some of the confetti. This takes months of planning to get all the right plants with wonderful aromas. My dad made little lanterns out of glass coffee jars to use at the ceremony. Some of the greenery used by the florist was picked in our parents’ gardens. Jonas and I had a lot of fun writing a personal ‘letter’, that Seven Swans so deftly designed for us, to each guest. It was a lovely way to remind ourselves of how special each guest is to our journey. 

Advice

Choose your service providers carefully. Find fair and kind-hearted people, who are professional and dedicated to making your dreams come true – then you can’t go wrong. The journey towards the alter should be just as fun as the actual day. We saw the event not as an isolated moment in time, but as a part of our lives, our past and our future. Every engagement we had with family, friends, suppliers and service providers turned out to be another knot in a tapestry of goodwill – one which we want to take with us into the future.

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