Real Wedding at South Hill {Ciska & Warren}

I don’t know if all of you know this about me, but I’m half Italian. And although my dad mostly grew up in SA, my grandparents were full blood, full throttle Italian. My Nonna was also the most incredible cook, so early on I learnt to appreciate the beauty of  Mediterranean cooking – not just the taste, or the amazing ingredients, but the way Italians cook and eat. Everything is generous: the quantities, the portions (the calories!), the time spent eating (never ever rushed), the sense of sharing and abundance celebrated at every meal. It’s the best. So when I see that in a wedding, I am hooked. Then add that to sunny rustic florals and details (especially in love with the wooden block place settings), a glowing bride and groom who are clearly having the best time, a sunny day and a gorgeous setting and it’s an official swoonfest. So in love with Ciska and Warren’s South Hill luncheon wedding was I, that I shot off an email to photographer Catherine Mac begging her to let me feature it. And because she’s lovely, she said yes! What really struck me about this one was how Ciska wanted the food itself to be the key part of the decor and mood – just like a kitchen is the heart of the home, the meal really was the heart of this incredible wedding. (Oh, and this is also the first wedding I’ve featured that has a ‘first look’ – something I think I like more every time I see it. What do you think?)

Ciska, who describes herself as “not your typical bride”, sent me the following background on the big day:
Warren and I met in high school, dated in Varsity and took a good break afterwards to see if the grass wasn’t greener on the other side.  After a couple of years, our paths crossed and we never looked back.

He proposed last year at a place called Mardouw Guest Farm (outside Swellendam).  We went on a sundowner trip into the mountains and he proposed while we were drinking champers in nature.  Very exclusive and great!

I wanted to have a boozy Mediterranean lunch (French/Italian style) where the food and wine were the most important part of the décor.  I wanted the lunch to have a rustic feel to it (almost picnic style). We didn’t want anything traditional and wanted a good time with our friends, who we wanted to give the chance to break away for the weekend. We originally wanted to get married in Hermanus, but couldn’t find a venue. Our second option was Grabouw (Elgin Valley).  We love the area as we spend a lot of time there on our mountain bikes. 

South Hill was great – they offer a fantastic deal for weddings and Gordon (chef) + Emma (wedding planner) run a fabulous show.  The venue is very French in style, Gordon is a great chef (good food was important) and the farm had a wonderful guest house that we occupied for the weekend. We decoded to outsource everything to trusted service providers – I did the concept and planning with Nadia from 4 Every Event and then she was in charge of all the décor (flowers, tables, tent etc.). The rustic tables came out perfectly! (The wooden plates especially were great!) 

Our wedding wasn’t traditional (for example, I didn’t even have a bridesmaid!) but we had the perfect mix of people in our guests, everything was very much our personalities and we had the best party ever!

My advice for brides is: chill out – it’s really not that higher grade! If you have the right service providers to assist you with the day, you are well away. Just focus on the basics – having the right people at your big day, good food, wine and music! 

THANK YOU to Ciska and Warren for sharing such a warm and wonderful day and thank you Catherine Mac for allowing me to feature your gorgeous pics! You can see more on Catherine’s blog right here and here.

Service providers:

Venue & catering: South Hill Farm
Photographer: Catherine Mac
Florist & decor: 4 Every Event
Stationery: Email invites designed by Anine Kruger ([email protected])
Bride’s dress: Didi Couture
Hair & makeup: Gordon Byrne ([email protected]) & Make Up (Jacomien De Wet – a friend)
Music: Ricky Vass ([email protected])

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