I’m a relatively easy woman to please. At the end of the day, just give me a prawn Caesar salad and a glass of good chenin and I’m happy. On my birthday, I like anything at all that comes in a little blue box ;). And when it comes to weddings, a little bit of French country style and I’m in heaven. Today’s wedding has just the right amount of pink, pastelly goodness, but what I love most is that it shows you don’t need a crazy budget and tons of décor to pull this off, just a soft colour scheme, unifying elements like wire, ribbon and hanging bottles (oh, the hanging bottles! – be still my weddin’ lovin’ heart), great flowers and of course a DIY-tastic bride and groom with friends and family to help them. Sally and Neels were married at Oewerzicht near Greyton, and Judy Stofberg of Just Judy Photography was there to capture it all. Sit back and enjoy the pretty!
Sally (whose first language is Afrikaans) was such a sweetheart about writing her story in English for us!:
After finishing high school, Neels lived overseas for two years and then came to Wellington to study agriculture. At the time, I was in my third year studying teaching. It’s a very small campus and so the chances of seeing someone more than once are very high. After seeing Neels for the first time I developed a secret crush on him for a while. I was like a little girl – every time he walked past I would stop to look and get butterflies! Then, on a night out with friends, he came to talk to me. I was on Cloud Nine! We started dating a week later. Both of us finished our studies and were looking for work at the same time, and we knew if we were thinking of getting engaged it had to be in the same area. As we all know, finding a job is hard – even more so finding jobs for two. But our prayers were answered and we both started working only 17km from one another. It was just another sign that we were meant to be. I am now a Grade 2 teacher and Neels a farmer, and we couldn’t be happier.
At my teaching job, I grew very fond of my learners – because they were my first class they were in my heart very quickly. Without me saying anything, Neels just knew the perfect way to propose. One day I spotted him through my class window, but everything happened so quickly and before I could ask why he was there, he was on his knees in front of the class. With the children shouting and clapping hands I said yes!
My concept for the day was French romantic. Soft colours like dusty pink, green, beige, light lavender and lots of rusty wire hearts. A very formal venue indoor venue wouldn’t suit us, but Oewerzicht, with the lapa, freeform tent and grass under our feet, overlooking the Riviersonderend river and surrounded by citrus orchids, was perfect! We also wanted our family and friends to stay close to us, and Oewerzicht near Greyton offers room to sleep 42 people on the farm where the venue is located.
I love detail – I can’t say it enough! I wanted detail on everything our guests touched and as far as possible we wanted to make it ourselves. My mother was part of the wedding from the word go, and helped a lot! She made white drapery for the lapa, bought material for a friend to make 50 cushion covers for the benches in the lapa and outside under the umbrellas, and also planted all the desert roses that we used on the tables. Neels and some of the children on his farm picked up old wire and made the hearts that we hung in the tent. His best friend, Pierre, made the birdcages used on the tables. My bridesmaids – both teachers – spent part of the June holidays and the week before the wedding with me and we made all the invites ourselves as well as the cones for confetti, table numbers and the church programmes. Jana found cheap small wire hearts in Ceres that we tied to the wineglasses with pretty ribbon. I love ribbons and gave Sunelle from Amulet (who did the decor and flowers) a whole box of ribbons that she used all over our venue. I especially liked what she did with ribbons and framed for our table list.
Neels’ mother made a hundred stuffed hearts that hung on the back of each chairs for the ladies to take home as a thank you gift. That was very hard work, and I got a few calls saying there were feathers all over the room! As favours for the men, we had biltong from Neels’ parents’ farm in Sutherland, which my bridesmaids and I put in packets with ribbons. As you can see, a lot of people were involved in making things for the wedding – it just made it that much more personal. Seeing all our hard work come together and everything we made ourselves made it very special. On the day there was a great atmosphere with lots and lots of laughter being shared with everyone we love. We also loved knowing that after our wedding day we would have our best friend with us every day, and we could share everything for the rest of our lives!
My advice to future brides:
- Try to make things yourself as far as possible – it makes it more personal and saves lots of money.
- Enjoy every moment! Time flies on your wedding day.
- Don’t stress if something goes wrong – most of the time the guests won’t even know if something hasn’t gone as planned. Just enjoy every second with your husband.
Sally en Neels – baie, baie geluk en dankie dat jy jou troudag storie met ons kom deel het! And a huge thank you to the wonderful Judy – you can see more of her lovely pictures on her blog.
Venue: Oewerzicht | Catering & cake: Herman de Kock | Photographer: Just Judy Photography | Florist & decor: Sunelle from Amulet ([email protected]) | Hiring: Antoinette Events | Bride & bridesmaids’ dresses: Bride & Co. | Hair: JJanene Groenewald of Ja’Laur | Makeup: Rachel Van Wyk | DJ: Jean Damant