Real Wedding at Kleinevalleij {Madri & Charles}

So let’s talk awesome ideas. Penicillin, the printing press, electricity. Wine. We like that one. The White Company. Yep. I’m not sure if my readers in the US or South Africa even know what I’m talking about, but the White Company is GENIUS. Everything they sell… is white. White linens. Thick white Egyptian cotton towels. Bathrobes. Candles that smell so good I want to eat them. Lots of lovely white goodies that I want to put in my big, luxurious white fantasy house. Which looks a lot like Diane Keaton’s in As Good as it Gets, and overlooks Camps Bay (hey, it’s a fantasy). There’s something about white on white that makes me feel happy and free. It’s so… clean. Which is why I pore over every White Company catalogue and pretend I live inside it. Which is also why I love the white-tastic Kleinevalleij wedding venue near Wellington. I have been dying to feature an all-white wedding from there ever since I saw it and today, my friends, the day has arrived. And what a wedding it is! Captured in stunning colour by the wonderful Adene of Adene Photography, it’s full of clean lines and clever details dreamt up by the super stylish bride, Madri, and her team of talented suppliers. From the soft white blooms to the glow from the white paper lanterns, it is perfection. And my favourite touch? Madri’s personalised quote napkins. Seriously gorgeous. So sit back. Enjoy. Pretend you live inside this wedding. I know I am.

Charles and I met through mutual friends at the Gimnasium and Paarl Boys High inter-schools (a huge event every year in Paarl). He was 24 and I was 21, both very young with the same zest for life. We love the outdoors and try to spend as much time outside as possible. He is a winemaker by profession and I am a liquidator. Charles and I liked each other from the word go, we had the same interests and I knew immediately that he would be my husband one day. In the first two years we didn’t see each other often as he was doing harvests overseas and I was completing my legal studies, but as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder! Every time we saw one another was magical and we grew closer and closer wanting more and more time with one another… With his last harvest in Mexico he bought me a ticket to New York where he went down on one knee on top of the Empire State Building and asked me to marry him. I said yes ;-) And the planning started…

I always knew I wanted to get married in spring. It’s the most beautiful time of year for me in South Africa – everything is green and the weather is perfect. Charles moved to his family farm in 2007 and now farms with pears, peaches, nectarines, pomegranates and figs near Tulbagh, with a small wine cellar (boutique wines). I decided on my colour scheme years before the wedding when he took me to see the farm for the first time in spring 2006 – I fell in love with the white blossoms of the pear trees and decided then and there that my wedding colour (one day) would be white. A fairytale white wedding, with lots of blossoms. We used the blossoms effect in our wedding invitation as well, with a poem written by Charles.

We got married at Kleinevalleij in Wellington. The venue is situated at the foot of Bainskloofpass with the most amazing view of the mountains. I drove past it on my way to the farm one evening and decided to go have a look. I walked in and phoned my husband five minutes later to tell him I had found our venue! It was only the third venue I viewed and I did not need to see any others – it’s a stunning venue with amazing staff (Anelma, Maudre and Hannes). Everything right up to the leather couches outside on the patio is white, so I was one step closer to my all-white fairytale wedding.

I found two wedding blogs called It’s a Jaime Thing and Style me Pretty from which I got most of my ideas and pictures for the wedding. I wanted different flowers in various holders on each table, and everything and anything white from blossoms to veldlillies and Nico Loubscer of Paarl who did my flowers and décor, a true genius with magic fingers, had the best ideas and knew immediately what I was looking for. I gave him a couple of pictures and said surprise me, and I had enough faith in him to let go and give him the freedom to do whatever he wanted with the décor and flowers… I loved every little detail of every table! As I said, the man is amazing! I love quotes and words of wisdom and decided to print one for each guest and fold it around their napkin. We chose each quote carefully for every guest – I think this took longer than anything else!

The highlight of my day was of course getting married to my best friend, my lover, my partner in crime, the man of my dreams, the ONE I want to grow old with! The only time I cried the whole day was when we walked into the venue together to Queen’s Born to Love You and everyone we love so dearly was there to share this magical day with us (out of 130 invitations, only ten people couldn’t make it!). During the evening I took a couple of seconds every now and then to stand still and take it all in – to see our friends and family laughing, dancing and enjoying themselves. We had so much fun with all our guests! Before the main course we made sure we went round to say hello to every single guest, and then after dinner it was party time!

Our whole mission was not to have the perfect wedding, but to throw the perfect party! For our canapé/starter we had a spread of breads and biscuits, preserves, cheeses and patés, as well as butternut and apple soup served with bread sticks. I ordered wooden cutlery from Green Home and used rub-on letters to write the different cheese and paté names on each spoon. I have lots of baskets, boxes, and other containers on the farm, which I gave to our caterers to use for this bread table to create a farm vibe. For our dessert, we went high tea style with all our favourites: cheesecakes, pecan pies, brandy snaps with fresh berries and cream, crème brulee, dark chocolate mousse cakes and small sugar cones with vanilla ice cream (a fave of mine). We had disposable cameras with props (tiaras, moustaches, etc.) and we have the coolest photos and memories from that and from our DJ who also started taking photos later in the evening.

I decided from the word go that I was going to enjoy planning my wedding. It only happens once! I chose my service providers very carefully, mostly working from references or taking notes from weddings we attended. I can recommend every single one of them! I met with them, explained to them what I wanted on our day and gave them a lot of pictures to work from, and on the day, I was most probably one of the most relaxed brides ever!

Congratulations to you, Madri and Charles! Wishing you every happiness. And a big thank you to Adene for sharing her gorgeous photos – great to have you on the blog again! You can see more of this wedding on her blog here.

Service providers:

Ceremony venue: St George’s Presbyterian
Reception venue: Kleinevalleij
Photography: Adene Photography
Flowers and décor: Nico Loubscer, Paarl
Catering: Kings Catering
Dress: Elizabeth Stockenstrom
Makeup: Iza Cloete
Hair: Riana, Paarl
DJ: Johann Mouton

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