We absolutely loved this outdoor romance celebration – elegant, stylish and utterly dreamy! Without a backup plan, Mia and Levi really did have the happy ending they were hoping for, despite the weather channel’s predictions!
We met in 2012 at a mutual friend’s birthday party at a well-known restaurant in Stellenbosch. A few months later, we started chatting and it turned out that we were both studying at UCT. After our first date on the infamous Jammie stairs, there were numerous campus meet ups and fell for each other. The proposal came as a surprise because he timed it perfectly as a belated birthday dinner, which had been two days before. After a beautiful dinner, he pretended to look for the keys in my clutch bag and suddenly got down on his knee and made the sweetest speech – absolutely perfect!
We love the outdoors and being in nature, as we were both born and bred in the platteland (countryside). We knew from the start that we wanted to get married in the countryside and our venue had to reflect that. We are down to earth and we wanted a classic, stylish and informal wedding. Walking into the forest at the venue for the first time felt magical and we both knew it was where we want to get married. Our decor was rustic and earthy, with lots of wood, leaves, large golden candles, dark reds and greens. Because the venue was so beautiful, it saved us from having to focus on lots of décor elements. Jo-lize, from Floral Affairs, did an amazing job with our flowers and table decorations – we were absolutely stunned when we first walked into the reception hall. My extravagant, organic bouquet was also something out of this world!
It was only after we set the date for our wedding that we realised (by finding old text messages on our phones) that our wedding day was exactly four years to the day after we’d met for our first date on UCT’s infamous steps! But, the biggest surprise on our special day was the beautiful weather we experienced! It was storming for two weeks prior to our wedding and, after asking my mom for advice, we opted not to hire a tent for our “plan B”. The night before, trees were still being blown over and I was completely stressed out but when I woke up the next day it was the most amazing, autumn weather we could only have hoped for!
Nothing could have prepared me for the emotions I felt when Mia walked down the forest pathway to the song, Till Kingdom Come, a cover by The Autumn Film. I was completely overcome and it was just the most beautiful moment: the silence of nature, the excitement that was building up inside of me, the people we love most in front of us. Add my beautiful bride walking to me, it was just too much for me to handle!
My husband had secretly arranged a surprise for me – when we walked out of the forest towards the reception I heard music I didn’t quite recognize. The next moment, there was an entire Kaapse Klopse band, with trumpets and tambourines, welcoming us! My brother’s speech was also incredibly special. Usually an introvert, it was the most beautiful speech that spoke about our parents in a way I could never even dream of doing. It was perfect!
Initially I had thought about buying a dress, because I didn’t want to go through the time-consuming process of getting a custom dress made. After a lot of dress hunting, nothing felt right. I knew Charlotte from our university days and after meeting up with her once, I knew that I was at the right place! She completely understood what I had in mind and had the same vision as I did – I wanted something timeless and classic, with a hint of sultry. In the end, we went for a fully-beaded, elegant lace that covered the bodice, back and capped sleeves. The dress was like a masterpiece painting – I saw it change and develop in front of my eyes. I loved the whole process!
Tips for planning
- Start early: make sure you have enough time because this makes the whole process so much less stressful.
- Decide what you want and stick to it. Wedding magazines and online wedding sites make you want to change or add to your chosen look every time you look at them so make sure you have a clear picture in your mind as you do your research.
- Good relationships with your suppliers, venue managers and staff etc is critical! We had wonderful relationships with everyone, which turned into friendships, making the planning and preparations so much more fun.
- Don’t spend all your time on the details! Focus on the things that will make the day more memorable for you and your guests.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help or assistance. If you are doing the process without a wedding planner, you might need some insights from people who have done it before and they’ll be able to pick up the small things you might be missing.
- The bridal party – make sure the people that are by your side on your big day know you inside and out. I was blessed with the best bridesmaids in the world and this made the journey extra special and memorable.
- We really tried our very best to save on all the elements in our wedding, starting with our suppliers. You don’t need the biggest and best names in the industry to have a spectacular and stunning wedding.
- Friends and family: we really had a lot of people helping us out in different ways, from the wine on the tables all the way to the wedding car and this helped keep our budget in check!
Only the beginning
For some more romance, have a look at their engagement shoot at Babylonstoren we featured last year!