I can’t think of a better way to start the week than with this fabulous wedding! I simply adore every single element of this wonderful affair, from the cake to the chairs. And let’s not forget the stunning bouquet and the flowy dress. I had such a hard time selecting the images for this wedding because every single one is filled with the most beautiful details.Philip and Franci took the plunge on a cloudy day, right here in Stellenbosch. For their big day they beautifully combined both rustic and modern elements.
We’re loving the different shades of creams and whites they chose for the wedding. It has such a romantic, dreamy feel. Cari Eksteen from Cari Photography was behind the lens and she took some amazing shots on a building site.
So how did you two meet and fall in love?
Philip tells this one better than I do …“I saw Franci for the first time in the winter season of 2004, while playing a hockey match while we were studying at Stellenbosch. In the middle of the action my eyes met with this tiny blonde girl sitting cross-legged next to the field. She was busy watching her then boyfriend playing for the opposition! Half time arrived and I immediately looked around for her.
She was getting into her car and I noticed that her name was on the car’s number plate – something I truly despise!At Stellenbosch there are various different groups of students taking Financial Accounting, each with their own time table, so the next day when I overslept my Financial Accounting class I decided to sit in on another group’s lecture. Lo and behold, the same beautiful blonde girl sits right in front of me in the class! This was too good to be true so I immediately introduced myself when I saw that she recognised me too. After saying who I was, I interrupted her introduction by saying that I already know her name: “I know it is Franci and by the way I think it is very porno when people put their names on their car’s number plates!”.
Just like that. Obviously this took her aback and needless to say she thought I was a real chop! I, on the other hand, thought she was really nice and thought that we could be friends. Only friends because she made me well aware that she was watching her boyfriend the previous day and let’s face it, it is instant trouble if you go messing around with a koshuis guy’s girlfriend! For the next couple of weeks we chatted when I occasionally went to the other group’s lecture or when I saw her on campus.
Many years later she confessed that she thought I was a real douche and that she literally avoided me with all sorts of sly tactics either in the class or on campus! With time, however, she started to change her mind and we became good friends. During this period her relationship with her boyfriend also ended and we remained friends. The last thing I wanted was to become the rebound guy! We saw a lot of each other in the study centre during the ensuing June exams of 2005.
The reason being that I obviously quickly realised it was very beneficial for me to study in close proximity of the girl who had been coming first in some of our classes. We got to know each other really well during this time with regular breaks to buy Wilson toffees and nougat at the Neelsie as well as late-night coffee breaks. It was indeed the most enjoyable exams I had written up to then.The first kiss came when I dropped her off after our lunch celebrating the end of the exams. We went our separate ways on holiday thereafter and we met up once while my family was on holiday in Wilderness.
I always had the philosophy that one should never meet the parents too soon so I had to sneak her through our hotel down to the beach while my parents were having an afternoon nap to avoid them! Much to their disgust as they had been hearing about her for the entire holidays up to then. We spent a lovely afternoon on the beach watching the waves and the odd person walking their dog on the deserted Wilderness beach. The next time we’d be there would be five and a half years later and I’d be getting my one knee dirty …”
I saw Franci for the first time in the winter season of 2004, while playing a hockey match. In the middle of the action my eyes met with this tiny blonde girl sitting cross-legged next to the field
So how did he pop the question?
I never suspected a thing and was totally blown away! Philip asked me to marry him on 31 December 2010. Our plan was to spend New Year’s Eve with my dad and his family, so Philip proposed we drive out to Wilderness for lunch with my mom and her fiancé at one of our favourite little restaurants in the area, Pomodoro’s. We drove in separate cars so after our lovely lunch, Philip insisted we go for a walk on the beach.
I was very reluctant as I was keen for an afternoon nap to recuperate before the New Year’s party. I did not seem to have a choice though, so I tagged along.We had a long stroll down the beach until we almost came to the hotel where Philip and his family stayed at in the June holidays of 2005. The day before these holidays started we shared our first kiss and afterwards we went on separate holidays. We only met up once during the holiday period where we spent a wonderful afternoon on this deserted beach sitting on a washed out log. This was our first visit back since then, over five years ago.
We walked until we got to a similar washed out logged on a very deserted part of the beach. Philip is still adamant today that he organised for that log to be there again! This time though I was reluctant to sit down as I was desperate to get back for the nap plus I had my favourite WHITE shorts on! Again, I did not have much of a choice so we sat down.
We chatted for a while and before long he started talking about how the past year has been a good year for our relationship en before I knew it he was on his knee in front of me with that little box! He said a couple of special things and then asked me to be his wife! As I said yes and kissed him, a huge cheer broke out behind us – we thought we were by ourselves but meanwhile the house on the beach behind us with the one-way windows had an entire crowd of strangers in it who saw the whole scene play out! They opened the windows and cheered like we had won the World Cup. It was such a special moment. They continued to respectfully close the windows again and give us our moment. Only then did I realise why my mom was so giggly at lunch!
What were the highlights of your wedding day?
Franci: “I enjoyed everything about my wedding so much, it’s difficult to choose highlights! Hearing Philip say “I do” was probably my best moment. The build-up to the big day and the “getting ready” part on the day was also great – I felt like a princess!”Phillip: “Besides the obvious moment where I saw Franci in her wedding dress for the first time coming down the aisle, which was spectacular, there was also a very special moment during the sermon in which it really hit me how blessed I am. It was such a special moment with my beautiful wife by my side and all my friends and family there to witness it.”The two short speeches by the dads about the respective new member to their family was also very heart-warming.
Any advice for brides-to-be?
Hire Just Jack! It’s unbelievable how easy they made our lives. We hardly had any stress about the wedding and were able to relax and just enjoy ourselves, each other and our friends and family. Jaco gave us our “dream wedding” and made sure that everything was perfect. The feedback that we have received from guests is phenomenal – a true testament to the tremendous work of Just Jack and its team of excellent suppliers.
Did anything unexpected happen?
Not on the wedding day, but about ten days before the wedding when Philip broke his right upper-arm playing action cricket (for the second time that year)! As you can image I was not very excited about the prospect of having my groom in an arm sling on all of the wedding photos! But Philip was really great – despite the pain he didn’t wear a sling for most of the wedding; he only put it on when the after party started … when things started to “heat up” on the dance floor … hence the sling doesn’t feature on a lot of the photos.
What song did you choose for your opening dance and why?
I’ll Be There from The Parlotones. We chose this song because of two reasons: Firstly the Parlotones is one of our favourite bands and secondly this specific song has a beautiful message of commitment to be there for each other through the good times and the not so good times.
What are you looking forward to now that you are married?
Although we absolutely adore kids, we are planning to still focus a bit on our careers before they arrive. Both our occupations are not really family friendly at this stage so we are keen to put in some more hard yards for now. Most of all though we really look forward to enjoying each other, seeing some more beautiful places around the world as well as creating our home together.
Were any of your family members or friends involved in the wedding and what were their contributions?
Seeing as Jaco and his team took care of almost everything for us, there really wasn’t a lot to do for family and friends, but yes, Maret (Philip’s sister and my maid of honour) and her fiancé, Juan, are both chefs and they made our wedding cake and our guest favours (giant homemade oreo-type biscuits – yum!), and my mom made the vintage keys for our seating plan.For a number of reasons we didn’t plan to have a wedding cake. However, Maret and Juan surprised us the day before the wedding with the most beautiful and delicious wedding cake that they had made for us – a layered chiffon cake with white Lindt chocolate cream icing and topped with fresh cherries and white Lindt chocolate squares. (The white Lindt chocolate was especially for the bride – I’m addicted to that stuff!) It was to die for! This was truly a very special gift and we were extremely happy that we had a wedding cake in the end. The giant biscuits were also a massive hit!
I owe my mom a BIG thank you for the keys. We had the idea of incorporating vintage keys in your seating plan, but it was impossible to find vintage keys in South Africa! (In the US you can just buy them on e-bay, easy as that.) In the end my mom made our vintage keys by taking ordinary keys and applying various paints and agents and acids and activators and who knows what else to them – a long and messy process but we think the keys came out great!Most of all, we feel that the venue at 401 Rozendal itself sums up the wedding and who we are and it was precisely why we were so attracted to it. The one piece to the venue is a rustic, farm shed with loads of character, which reflects where we are from as Philip grew up on a dairy farm while I grew up in theplatteland town of George. The other theme to the venue is an ultra modern structure with lots of glass and metallics, which is similar to our current lifestyle as we stay in Sandton and work as a banker and lawyer respectively. This venue is definitely not traditional and it was because of its very unique style that we liked it so much.
Your dress is gorgeous! What made you “fall in love” with the dress?
Oh, there were so many things I loved about the dress! I loved its softness, dreaminess, delicateness and femininity, and the fact that it was a timeless piece, but not conventional.
The fabric of the dress was silk chiffon (dyed with tea, to create a vintage effect), which made the dress as light as a feather and very comfortable. The dress was from the 2011 fall/winter collection of Abigail Betz who has the reputation of being South Africa’s Vera Wang.