Mediterranean Inspired Feast: Francois & Corné’s Wedding

We first met lovely Corné a while back when she gave us free reign to shoot our Natural Neutrals styled shoot at the beautiful Dairy Shed wedding venue. She was in the final stretch of planning her own wedding and we have been looking forward to a glimpse of them ever since then. Well here they are – a perfect combination of laid-back and sophisticated celebration … beautiful!

Corné shares their day, their backstory and great advice for brides-to-be.

The Story

Francois and I met at Stellenbosch University. He and my sister were classmates and coincidentally we also lived in the same building at the time.

Last year, we decided to visit Greece with some of our best friends. As we’ve been together for a long time, everyone hinted that something might happen, but a lot of things were happening in our lives at the time that an engagement was the furthest thing from my mind, and I thought his as well. I’m quite inquisitive and not easily deceived, but somehow Francois surprised me and decided to propose on this holiday trip. As if Greece wasn’t amazing enough!

We spent all of our days exploring the Greek islands, visiting all the beaches, partying and just relaxing with our friends. On each of the islands we had visit, Francois and myself decided to take turns to arrange something special for the other one. Santorini was our last stop and it was Francois’s turn. As the days past, I just couldn’t understand why we were passing the most amazing places, and he didn’t want to stop or plan something.

Our friends all knew what he was planning and thought I was agitated because he just didn’t get to it. On the second last day, he got our friends all involved to help him set up. We got on our scooter, and he drove us to the top of the caldera on the opposite side of the island, where it’s not so commercial and touristy. I didn’t think anything at the time, as I thought he was trying to make up for the fact that he was being slow on the romantic side.

When we finally arrived, I was so fixated on how beautiful the area was that I just wanted to take some photos and explore, not knowing that Francois was desperately trying to get me to certain spot. He eventually managed to lead me to a natural heart carved into the side of the caldera showing the view of the volcano, sea and sunset. It was breath taking! Nearly unknown to even the locals in town.

We just sat there chatting away and stared at the sunset. It wasn’t long, till Francois dropped on one knee and asked me to be his wife! Magically a bottle of champagne also appeared near by – this was the handy work of our friends placing it there earlier in the day. I had a million questions of course, and wanted to know everything! This made us late for our dinner at a cute little boutique hotel next door, where Francois had arranged a table that overlooked the same area. After our dinner, we returned back to the hotel, where our friends excitedly waited for us, and we celebrated the evening away.

The Dress

From the beginning I knew that I wanted Janita Toerien to make my wedding dress. She has a unique design style, amazing eye and loves stepping away from the traditional. I had a clear idea of what I wanted, and Janita was very keen on every detail. I have always had a love for beaded fabric, and chose to have a mix of existing and hand beading to embellish my entire nude toned dress. To compliment the look, I chose to wear an Italian tulle veil, to have one little bit of tradition incorporated.

The Most Memorable Moment

Bride

Seeing a very emotional Francois waiting for me at the end of the isle, and then finally meeting him in front. (I am a hopeless romantic, and always love looking at the groom at weddings – it is so special!)

My dad surprising me with a special father-daughter song right before the end of our ceremony and his emotion right throughout the day. Seeing all our friends and family letting their hair down and having fun was also a great feeling!

Groom

When Corne’s walk-in song started playing and I saw a glimpse of her at the back getting ready to walk down the isle. Words cannot describe the emotion that I felt.

The Style

Every single detail was uniquely us. Francois is a very easygoing, calm, fun but sensible guy. He has an amazing sense of style and encourages my crazy ideas most of the time! I am a dreamy romantic and a busy perfectionist with a love for all the small details!

Our Greek holiday inspired the look and feel for the day. We’re both quite unconventional, so we didn’t want a traditional wedding, but rather a relaxed and fun celebration with our friends and family. We opted for an outdoor wedding with a mediterranean feast inspired atmosphere – dining and dancing, under the stars. Everything was designed around this style and we chose a classic natural palette with a hint of dark, stale grey and of course my favourite – gold, to compliment it all. We played around with different textures, from the crockery and glassware, to the tasseled, velvet cushions – something right up my alley.

The Budget

Decide what part of the wedding is the most important for you as a couple, and allocate the most of your energy toward it. It can also help you decide how much money to allocate to each section. There are some things you can splurge on, and some that you can get away with for much less. Also, when discussing the budget, it is imperative to always have a glass of wine ready for your husband to be! 

The Weather

Summer in April. The best April day you will ever find! It was almost the only day in the month that had this type of weather. We felt really blessed, and still spoke about it days afterwards.

The Unexpected

When we drove through the farm entrance, all you could smell was a fire burning somewhere in the distance. I thought this is now exactly just our luck on our wedding day. I don’t know exactly what I thought, but I was slightly worried for a second. It actually turned out being a blessing, as the colour of the light was stunning for our photos. 

The Planning

Luckily, I’m quite into all the planning and organisation so I loved every part leading up to our wedding. Francois and I stayed organised by having a shared wedding folder on Dropbox. I love collecting inspiration and images of things I like, so it was a delight for me to do this. We kept all our suppliers updated by sharing these files, as we were going along.

We were also fortunate enough to have Hannes of Kraak be our co–ordinator. I love his work, and I told Francois, if we were going to have someone to help, it needs to be him. A lot of couples underestimate the value of a good co-coordinator and think it’s an unnecessary cost, which couldn’t be further from the truth. They really make your day so much calmer.

We had amazing help and couldn’t have done it without each of our suppliers. Our photographer, florist and caterer were out of this world! I also have a crazy talented friend that works in the industry. She helped us with all the design and stationery and was my go to person when I wanted to talk anything wedding!

Another thing that worked well, was working with a single bank account where all our deposits and final payments were made from. This made it so much easier to keep track of it all.

Advice

Enjoy being engaged! It goes by so quickly. In all of the planning, rush and madness, make time to spend together, without talking about the wedding.