You probably won’t even be aware of this, but there’s been a lot of debate recently in the wedding blogging community. We are, according to some commentators, way too obsessed with details, only blogging about weddings that cost thousands of dollars and are overrun with mason jars, and forgetting what weddings are really about. I’m not even engaging with that here, but if ever there were an example of a wedding that holds love at its very core, where the details and décor are crafted with care, where the day is full of happiness and laughter and the simple things in life, then this is it. Lizeth and Danie went back to basics, and planned a day full of the people and things that made them happy. A tent on a Hermanus beach. A beautiful handmade wedding dress. Bunting. Picnic baskets full of homemade food. And you know what? It’s still ridiculously pretty. So kick off your shoes, and enjoy the gorgeous pictures from Annemari Ruthven that so brilliantly capture the light and joy of this special day.
From the lovely Lizeth:
Danie and I met through a mutual friend at work. We had actually both been working for the same clinical research company for three years, but didn’t know the other one existed!
Danie proposed while we were on holiday with my family at Stilbaai. He woke me up with an SMS (text) eeeearly one morning, sending me on a treasure hunt down to the beach. When I got there, I could see no sign of him. The tide was coming in, and since he had sent me a photo of a ring box between some rocks, I panicked and started searching frantically! When I found the box, he had put a rock in it, and not my ring. Only then did he appear with the ring in his hand, and proposed to me right there on the beach. It was so special that we could immediately share the good news with our family back at the beach house.
The one thing that we decided right from the start, was that we wanted to go back to basics. We asked ourselves: what is a wedding? What is the purpose of the guests, etc.? We felt that the wedding is just the start of our journey together as husband and wife, and that the guests are there as witnesses, and by attending our wedding they are saying: “We’ll support you and guide you and pray for you while on this journey of marriage, and we will hold you accountable for the promises you’ve made to one another”.
We wanted a very simple ceremony and reception, without any of the “traditional” wedding stuff; the whole aim was to bring family and friends together for a great “kuier”. We both absolutely love the sea and wanted a beach wedding, but didn’t quite know where (and also, this is a very challenging dream if you live in the Free State!). We stumbled upon Grotto Beach and Piet se Bos in Hermanus and I told Danie “This is where we’re going to get married!” I think the theme of our wedding was ‘kick off your shoes, be happy, this is holy’.
I made my own wedding dress, which was just so special. I remember while I was sewing it, it just suddenly struck me: I am making my wedding dress… I am making my WEDDING DRESS! I also made the bunting and table cloths myself.
The weather on the day was absolutely perfect! It would have been quite different if it had rained… We loved the simplicity and sincerity of it all – during the ceremony it felt like it was just the two of us standing there on the beach, watching the waves roll on to the sand. We are both quite laid back ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of people, and I think the whole day reflected that.
We loved the quality time we had with our family and friends, who also helped in preparing the food and packing the picnic baskets, as well as decorating the tent and setting up the beach. Everyone contributed something to the catering.
My advice to future brides…
- Don’t do anything that you don’t absolutely feel is true to you, if you’re having doubts about whether or not to include something, then rather leave it! Otherwise it will only clutter your planning and the big day with unnecessary worries. It’s great to get ideas from other people’s weddings – what works, what doesn’t – but remember that this is YOUR wedding, so do it like you’ve dreamt it – that way you’ll put your fingerprint on it.
- When you’re not based close to your venue, the internet is your friend. I found all my service providers on the net, and every one of them was amazing!
- Don’t exclude the groom from the planning. For example, Danie is much better at sorting logistics than I am, and he helped so much with the organisation, hiring, getting quotes, etc.
- If it’s possible, take a few days off before the wedding and spend some time with your family or close friends, especially if they’ve come from far away to share in your day.
As always, I owe a big thank you to Lizeth and Danie for sharing – wishing you both a lifetime of love! And lovely Annemari – thanks for the pictures! You can see more from this wedding on her fabulous blog here.
Venue: Grotto Beach and Piet se Bos in Hermanus (you need to get permission from the municipality)
Photographer: Annemari Ruthven
Stationery: The Invitation Gallery
Hair: Janeke from Hair.com
Makeup: Odette van Niekerk
Tent: Vermeulens Tente
Hiring: Prolific Hiring and Decor supplies
DJ: Jaco Sadie from Duke’s Mobile Disco