Real Wedding at De Hollandsche Molen {Michelle & Frans}

Ok, confession. I’ve always kinda had this thing where I wished I was born Southern. As in, Southern American, not from the south of, like, the earth (in which case I did pretty well). For one thing, it’s a beautiful place, and for another I would make a great steel magnolia. Plus, growing up I would have got to kiss boys who sounded like Harry Connick Jnr and called their mothers ma’am. But most of all, I would have got to use expressions like “that dog don’t hunt” and “finer than a frog’s hair split four ways” in my lilting Southern drawl. I’ve tried them in my Saaf Effrikan accent and… well, that dog don’t hunt. But let’s just pretend for today that I AM Southern and that I could say things like that, because y’all, today’s wedding really is finer than a frog’s hair split four ways. Take a beautiful Cape day, add proteas and laughter and pretty vintage details, and you have the epitomy of wedding gorgeousness. Every little part of Frans and Michelle’s day at De Hollandsche Molen seems effortless and graceful and bathed in golden light, and their joy is so beautifully captured by Rebecca Meissner of Love Made Visible, it’s infectious. So grab an ice tea and sit a spell, and enjoy this nugget of Southern (African) goodness.

From the lovely bride, Michelle:
Frans and I met through my previous boss at a whisky tasting. But it was only months later that we bumped into each other at the start of the Peninsular half marathon. This also happened to be in the middle of my harvest, so if he could survive that and still think I was pretty (even with my blue stained hands) then it had to be “meant to be”!

Our overall concept for the wedding was just to have fun celebrating with our friends and family, and to create and environment where everyone felt comfortable just relaxing and being themselves. We tried to encourage our guests to stay over and not drive home after the reception – we wanted them to come for the weekend and really enjoy every moment of it. That’s why we chose De Hollandsche Molen, which has a number of chalets sleeping six guests each within walking distance of the hall. Their hall is great and Rina de Ploy (who runs their functions) is an absolute star! We started our weekend with a potjiekos braai in the lapa on the Friday night, then the boys played golf on the Saturday morning and we ended up with a breakfast on a neighbouring farm on the Sunday.

{How much do we LOVE this picture! Frans was so excited to see Michelle!}

As for themes, we kept changing our minds but the whole vintage theme was always going to play a major role in the wedding. I love the textures and muted colours of anything vintage, and so we basically spent many evenings surfing the web for all things vintage wedding related and just started collecting pics. Websites and blogs were such a help for ideas. We also wanted to make sure the decor said something about us. We both love reading, so we headed down to Bikini Books in Gordon’s Bay and bought all these lovely old books for R1 each. We also spend a lot of time in the mountains and fynbos and proteas have got to be some of my favourite flowers in the world. So I chose proteas (a combination of King and other pretty pink ones) with lovely silver green foliage like slagbos and brunia for our florals – they were so beautiful! I contrasted the pink of the proteas with teal and a touch of silver. We had three different table decorations that we repeated, just to add to the chaos…um I mean the eclectic feel of the wedding. My mom made our table cloths, and I made little wreaths from the vineyard prunings. We also made little antique-looking lampshades to use as table numbers. We both love cooking and so our gifts to our guests were little herb plants (even though our success rate with keeping green herbs alive hasn’t been that great!) Frans is also a huge music lover, so we gave our DJ quite strict instructions when it came to the music. And she did such an amazing job! Everyone kept asking us for her playlist and Rebecca said she hadn’t taken so many dancing photos before.

We had soooo much fun! Both Frans and I have quirky personalities, so our guests came to the wedding expecting something different and they weren’t disappointed! We set the scene from the very beginning – I chose not to have the traditional wedding march and walked (danced!) down the aisle with my dad to the Soweto Gospel Choir’s version of ‘I’m Walking on Sunshine’. Our opening dance was also unusual: a punk/pop song by a band called Relient K (‘Must Have Done Something Right’). For our cake, we had a Marcel’s ice cream wedding cake which we decorated ourselves and served with chocolate brownies. We set up a photo booth (with a remote shutter) with props for our friends to take photos of themselves (reflecting the fact that my birthday parties are always dress-up). Finally, we didn’t throw a bouquet, but rather honoured the longest married couple by giving it to them.

My advice is to make sure you meet up with your photographer before the big day, and not to stress about the little things. They disappear in the bigger picture!

Frans & Michelle – thank you so much for sharing your day with us and best wishes for an amazing life of love together. And another big thank you to Rebecca, who is just the sweetest – you can see even more from this lovely wedding on her blog.

Ceremony: Simondium NG Kerk | Reception venue: De Hollandsche Molen – contact Elmarie Potgieter | Catering & co-ordination: Tulip Functions | Photography: Rebecca Meissner of Love Made Visible | Flowers: Proteas from a small farm in Helshoogte and fynbos from Veld Flora | Decor & hiring: Bunches for Africa, Ten of Cups | Cake: Marcels | DJ: Mitzi | Dress: Wedding Box

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