A while back I remember coming across a wedding online where, during the reception, one of the groomsmen proposed to one of the bridesmaids. Cute, right? But I remember thinking how if you were going to do that, you would have to be part of a group of friends who would be so excited for you that they wouldn’t feel you were upstaging the bride and groom, simply making the whole night even more special for everyone. It wasn’t until I was putting this post together that I realised Liana and Toy were that couple! And now I can see exactly why the proposal was perfect for them – they are clearly warm and down to earth folks, and like nothing better than chilling out with the people they love. And the great thing is, that’s EXACTLY what their wedding was all about. Forget trends and trappings, this is one wedding that was totally original, because it was designed completely around who the bride and groom really are. From their outfits to the ultimate rustic venue (Schaftplaas), to the proudly South African touches like tin cups and malva pudding for dessert. From the horse cart and hay ride arrivals, to the barbed wire table decorations, to the barn dance festivities and the dogs hanging out like they were just another guest. It all looks like so much FUN! And if you weren’t already convinced that personalised weddings are the Way To Go, then welcome to your conversion. Liana and Toy – you guys rock. Thank you so much for sharing your day with us! And another great big thank you to photographer Annemari Ruthven, who is as talented as she is lovely and took these gorgeous pictures. I’m so excited to have her on the blog again!
Morne (we call him Toy) and I met in 2001 when he tried to impress me with his uncle’s motorbike! Each time we bumped into each other we were hoping for a next time, and in 2007 we started dating. We got engaged in 2009 at one of my best friends’ wedding as this was the only place that I wouldn’t have suspected! It was a huge surprise.
Toy is an entertainer – he takes up every opportunity in life, and surprises me often with his adventurous personality. He is MAD about boys’ toys, cooking and music. I am more of a dreamer. I like new challenges and friendship is important to me. I like to do art and crafty things. Together, we are very spontaneous and down to earth, and treasure the smaller things in life. We are into biking, and we like outdoor activities like fishing and 4×4.
We wanted a very relaxed wedding – we love nature and the outdoors, and we wanted something we would never forget, something different. Every year we attend a horse trip to Schaftplaas, and it is just a place where you feel at home. As we were looking for venues my Dad informed me that the owners (friends of theirs) had just started hosting weddings. We didn’t even think twice about it and we even knew exactly where we wanted the ceremony to be – in the field by the trees where we had been once before, as the scenery and the atmosphere are indescribable! We also wanted a venue with no cut-off time – our guests sat around a nice fire after all the formalities and we had the barn as our dancefloor. Some of our guests camped overnight on the farm in tents with beds supplied by the venue, while others stayed nearby and joined us for breakfast on the Sunday morning.
I absolutely love green as it always gives me that feeling of NEW LIFE and it suited the venue perfectly. We decided to have our main colour be olive green and rounded it off with orange and deep reds as this colour combination creates a warm and cozy feeling. We carried this through in the bouquets and the table decorations. I wore boots with my dress – I was so thankful for how comfortable they were. One of my best decisions!
I got my wedding invitations made myself as I am in the promotional trade. We had a magnetic photo frame – the inside was the invitation and the outside can be used as a photo frame, so after the wedding the guests could throw away the inside magnet but still use the frame. Our idea was to have a wedding invitation that would not end up in the dustbin afterwards – we wanted to spend our invitation budget wisely. I wrapped each frame in brown kraft paper bags with raffia and green pheasant feathers.
We used traditional tin cups as thank you gifts. I had a thank you message printed on the side and we used them as confetti holders with one cup placed at each seat for the ceremony. We used dried leaves as confetti so that it was environmentally friendly.
Our menu was plain, but that way we were sure that everyone would have something to eat as it is difficult to take everyone into consideration when planning a menu. We had a seafood buffet for starters, and three different kinds of meat for the main course with salads, fresh farm breads, vegetables in big black cast iron pots on the fire, and malva pudding with custard for dessert.
Instead of wedding cake, we had small traditional iced biscuits with a small chocolate mousse cake at the top. I thought that if there were any leftovers that I would be able to use them afterwards and they wouldn’t go to waste like a normal traditional cake after it has been cut.
I planned my wedding in detail, and that’s why I was so relaxed. I think if I had done it differently I would have been more stressed. I’d also advise brides to communicate with your service providers often. Most importantly, personalise your wedding as much as you can!
Venue & catering: Schaftplaas (Alet Kruger +2783 275 0275)
Photography: Annemari Ruthven
Pastor: David Smit (+2782 465 0699)
Cake & bouquets: Kiddush (Ruchelle +2782 619 3888)
Wedding dress: Designer Resale (Joletta +2782 579 0044)
Hair & makeup: Hairmosphere (Liezel Mostert +2721 911 3545)
DJ: Extreme Sound