Real Wedding at Grootvlei Guest Farm {Ingrid & Denzil}

You know, sometimes when you travel, it makes you appreciate all the wonders and beauties of the world, and how luck you are that you can plane, train or automobile your way around them. And sometimes, travel makes you appreciate what you have at home. It’s like that for me with the South African coast. Sure, I’ll never say no to a tropical island, and there’s something very appealing about bobbing around in the smooth Mediterranean. But you only have to sit on a pebbly beach in Brighton for five minutes to miss our soft, pale sand, and there’s nothing quite like the roar of our not just one, but two oceans. I think that’s one of the reasons why beach weddings are always highlights for me, especially when they manage to recreate some of that wild, natural beauty. That’s what today’s stunning wedding at Grootvlei does – the palette is like a stormy day at sea with light breaking through the clouds (which is appropriate, considering the proposal). Soft greys and whites, with flashes of natural green. Orchids and succulents (which I never would have expected to work together, but are so elegant). A driftwood altar. The pictures by Stephan Marais are so gorgeous, I just knew I had to share them with you! {Oh, and PS, I love Grootvlei’s mussel motif – such a cool texture for a beach venue.}

From the bride, Ingrid:
Denzil and I both studied at Stellenbosch University (I studied medicine and Denzil, engineering). He accompanied an old school friend to one of the medical student’s 21st birthday bashes and that is where we met… a fun evening of dancing and laughing followed.
Denzil proposed early one beautiful April morning on Glen Beach at Clifton. It was chilly, but the sun just started peering through these heavy clouds with a ship being close to the shore. He went down on his knee and changed my life forever. He arranged for his and my family (to my great surprise) to meet us at the Blue Peter Hotel for breakfast where we enjoyed champagne and a full breakfast to round off the special occasion. Both families were due to fly back in the afternoon which made the family celebration short lived.

I wanted the wedding to be a celebration and Grootvlei was the perfect setting. There were two venues with one on the beach and a larger one inland for the reception. It was cosy and warm (like the West Coast hospitality) with enough space to create the uncluttered feel I desired. The idea was to have a whole weekend of celebration with family and friends, staring with a West Coast snoek braai with fresh breads and salads on the Friday evening at the beach venue. This really kickstarted the whole weekend, and there was a major buzz as all our guests got to know one another, really meet our respective families, and eat and drink together.

The theme for the reception was a clean cut yet elegant event with great food and music. Things were kept simple and stylish yet warm and classic. The colour scheme was white and charcoal grey. The monotony had to be broken, which is why the succulents and crystal were added. The subtle green of the desert roses on the tables provided just enough colour to lift the tables.

Some of my favourite moments were walking down the beach seeing my husband-to-be waiting with all our friends and family, watching our sky lanterns being lit and rising to the sky, and the moment we stepped on the dance floor as a married couple to Dave Matthews’ ‘You & Me’ (a song we both love immensely). It was just a big celebration with family and friends – we are a tight group and they definitely decided to come with their party hats on!

We are both relaxed people with a love of the small things and we believe this definitely came out on the wedding details. From the small gifts for the guests staying on the venue, to the lanterns, the music, the fireplace in the corner, the Friday evening and Sunday morning breakfast with family. We got our dream wedding…

We had a wonderful events organizer who helped a lot. The venue was the big key and no task was too big for the staff. Planning a wedding is so easy when you have so much support from a lot of people. I would definitely advise future brides to keep it simple. Find a few things you really need and drive them home; the smaller details jump up as you go along.

Congratulations Denzil and Ingrid! Thank you for sharing your day with us! And thank you to the awesome Stephan Marais – check out his Facebook page for more.

Venue: Grootvlei Guest House | Catering: Enbur Events | Photography: Stephan Marais | Succulents: Kokerboom Nursery | Cheeses for cheese cake: Fairview | Bride’s dress: Elizabeth Stokenström | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Danielle Margaux | Hair & makeup: Cindy Horton | DJ: Hein von Solms


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