Real Wedding at Jakkalsfontein Nature Reserve {Heidi & Donnie}

There’s something about a beach house, isn’t there? For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted one, with shutters and white floorboards and falling asleep to the sound of the surf and salt in my nostrils. For so many of us South Africans, the beach is our happy place. So I honestly can’t think of a more amazing venue than the one Heidi and Donnie chose for their wedding, since it’s Heidi’s parents’ beach house right on the ocean in Jakkalsfontein. Beautiful, coastal rustic and as personal as you can get. Heidi brought her love of hearts into the decor, and after their ceremony, the couple decided to buck convention by having bowl foods and canapes served to their guests, who were able to mingle and dance and relax in break out areas. Doesn’t it sound amazing? (Well, wait until you see how good it looks, courtesy of Hearts in a Shutter‘s Brenda Wardall!) I just love when brides and grooms decide to do things a little differently to suit their venue or guests or just the kind of party they want to have. If you want a dinner party feel, do it. If you want a brunch, do it. If you want a rock concert, do it! Have the ceremony and the meal when and where you want – make the conventions work for you. I guarantee that not only will you have an amazing time and be more relaxed on the day if you feel like you’re in your element, but your guests will remember your wedding more than any other.

Oh, and PS, Heidi is a bonafide Cap Classique bride! She told me that many of her service providers were sourced from the site and Cap Classique was her main source of reference for ideas, encouragement and inspiration! Which as you can imagine, is still making me smile. :) So glad I could help, Heidi!

Some more background info from the lovely bride:
Donnie or I never would have imagined that we would sign up for online dating! But with some peer pressure on my side and perhaps more as a joke on his, we did! And luckily for us… as how else was an English girl from the Southern Suburbs going to meet an Afrikaans surfer boy from the Boland? It was clearly meant to be! From the beginning it felt so right… even though we were from different cultures, grew up in different areas & had totally different friend circles it just felt so easy and comfortable and we knew it was something very special. I had found my soulmate. About 16 months later he proposed whilst on a holiday in Zimbali. He prepared a seafood dinner & afterwards brought out a chocolate. I was devouring the chocolate and I think he began to worry that I would mistakenly swallow the ring so he got on his knee & there it was in the chocolate wrapper …the most beautiful engagement ring!

Donnie & I both love the beach… he has been surfing since the age of five and it is still a huge passion of his. I also grew up with surfers in the family so since a little girl have always spent a lot of time on the beach. In 2008 I moved to Jakkalsfontein Coastal Nature Reserve where my folks had been living for a couple of years. It is located on the West Coast, about 60km out of Cape Town (just before Yzerfontein). It was supposed to be a temporary move for me but then I fell in love with the place. So when deciding on a venue for the wedding it didn’t take long… Jakkalsfontein it had to be! It so well reflected both mine & Donnie’s personalities! We decided my folks’ house in Jakkalsfontein would be perfect as it is on the beach.

I was not one of those girls who had dreamt of their wedding day since they were a little girl and therefore knew exactly what they wanted. But I started off with the bigger picture & from there the finer details developed. I wanted the wedding to be an intimate celebration with our close family and friends and the style to be ‘laid back luxury’. I have always loved hearts, it is a big theme in our home and so it soon became a major theme in our wedding. The colours I chose were white with a hint of green, mostly from the greenery in the flowers.

We decided to go against the convention of a sit down dinner and rather have snacks served throughout the evening. I couldn’t recommend this option more, it was so stress free and allowed us to spend so much more time with all our guests. It created such a relaxed and social vibe and furthermore it allowed me to avoid the dreaded task of doing the table plans. The food was fabulous… we started off with a selection of canapés, then a variety of bowl foods followed by the dessert which was the wedding cake & a selection of dessert shots. For those with late night munchies we also had late night snacks on offer. There was plenty of seating in the form of lounge areas, cocktail & cafe tables. The location and setting was a dream come true…it couldn’t have been more idyllic! Besides the beauty of the natural surroundings and the backdrop of the ocean, the beautiful transformation of my parents’ house, what made it even more special is that we had shared so many special times there.

My mom was very much part of the planning, together we walked the streets & shopped for ideas! We didn’t have a wedding planner as we were keen to take on that role ourselves which was such a special time for both of us. There were many involved in turning our vision into a reality…endless help from close family and friends and our service providers were amazing but it was my mom’s extra touch that made it perfect!

The flowers were all done by a close family friend. She brought in a lot of orchids which is one of my favourite flowers and I explained more or less what I wanted and the flowers I liked but left it all to her and she did the most incredible job!
The days leading up to the wedding when the transformation of the house was taking place I was not allowed to see it or be involved – although I had been involved in the preparations up to this stage and knew what we had envisioned, nothing could have prepared me for how beautiful it looked in reality! I was stunned… there had been many hands involved in the final days…my four parents, sisters and brothers and all the service providers. It far exceeded all my expectations.

The moment I walked down the aisle & saw my gorgeous husband to be for the first time was indescribable and unforgettable! At that moment we were the only two people in the room. I also loved the magical atmosphere created by being surrounded by close friends & family sharing in this special day.

My advice would be don’t stress about the small insignificant things that only you will notice but yet it is also the little extra touches that make your wedding unique and reflect you as a couple. The lead up to & the actual day goes by so quickly so enjoy every moment – it is such a special time and you will relive the memories forever!

Thank you so much, Heidi and Donnie and wishing you calm waters and smooth sailing together! And my grateful thanks as always to the lovely Brenda of Hearts in a Shutter – check out more from this lovely wedding on her blog.

Service providers:

Venue: Private home, Jakkalsfontein Private Nature Reserve
Photographer: Brenda Wardall (Hearts in a Shutter)
Video: Jonty Acton of I Do Digital
Tent & Décor: Touareg Tents & Theme Creations
Cake: Kanya Hunt
Stationery: Elsje Designs
Bride’s dress: The Wedding Box
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Victoria’s Secret
Hair: Tracy Strohfeldt, Hair on West
Makeup: Alicia Buckle
Hiring: Urban Tonic
DJ: Capricorn Music

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