We got engaged on the beach, at the old bridge in Swakopmund. We were strolling the beach to look for a geocatcher, then suddenly there was a big bouquet of red roses at one of the pillars, as I walked round the next pillar, there hung a huge banner, Meisie ek het jou baie lief’ that’s when he got down on his knees and asked me to be his wife. My first reaction was whether he asked my father, but straight after that was ticked off, my answer was a definite YES. One more surprise hidden behind the third pillar rounded of the day as we sat a picnic table and enjoyed delicious croissants and sipped Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel.
For the ceremony we got married in the Christus Kirche, Jan Louis’ parents got married there as well, and coincidently this was the church we both always dreamed of getting married in.
For the reception, we both wanted a venue outdoors but we also didn’t want to drive a long distance to get into the outdoors. So we found the Vintage Coffee Shop to be the perfect spot it combined the outdoors with its unique garden festive feel. When we saw it we knew this is our little Hobbit Shire to create a festive relaxed atmosphere with fairy lights in the trees and ”vlaggies” around the tent.
As the wedding date neared, the questions everyone asked was what is your wedding colours and theme? Well to be honest I had a few answers, each and every time, different of course. I just later realised, when probably changing everything for the 4 th time that I don’t really have any colours and that for us it was important that it was a relaxed, festive and fun-filled day to enjoy with friends and family.
Most of our wedding was DIY. My mother made my dress. We folded all the birds and place cards, my mother and mother in law made the serviette holders, my father made the wooden boxes for the flowers, it was a family effort to make the paper flower backdrop. My sisters baked the rusks for thank you gifts and made the mustard on the tables.
Jan Louis’ cousins baked our delicious wedding cake, and decorated it with the sugar flowers made by my oldest sister and myself. Right down to the fans that’s guests used to cool themselves down in the church and the program was all a team effort and all DIY.
As a little girl I grew up in the aisles of material shops since there was always some dress or outfit that had to be made by my mother, thus it was only expected from the loyal and well known staff from Chelsea and Misha’s that when my wedding day would approach it will be my mother designing and making my dress.
It was a very special experience to have my mother make my dress as she knew what would suit me perfectly. We opted for the traditional lace, but instead of fine sewn lace, a more heavy ivory lace that would make you feel like you are wearing a dress from the 1800s. And of course as my days as a ballet dancer lie close to my heart my dress had to have some frills and net. It was the most amazing dress and comfortable dress you could imagine, as it was designed and crafted by the best, my mother!
Even though we are scattered throughout Namibia and South Africa, we are best friends and can pick up every conversation as if we never had any time apart.However looking for the bridesmaids dressed that would be perfect and comfortable was a challenge made even worse by the distances between us.
Thankfully technology saved the day, dress shopping by WhatsApp ended with dresses being purchased from YDE in South Africa. A long dove grey dress, with a white lace finishing’s at the top. As a gift each of my bridesmaids wore a light grey pair of pearl earrings bought at Namcrafts.
This was a bit of a struggle, my initial flower choice was purple Lilies, however the flower markets simply never had any in stock, and when they did it was not the right colour. A week before our wedding I was visiting Monika from Piccollo Mondo, after sharing my flower hunt with her she producedthe most beautiful purple and blue orchids, they were so perfect that one had to look twice to make sure they weren’t fake! I was sold at that moment.
The orchids were used not only on the reception tables, but were combined with white orchids to make up my bouquets, this special bouquet was given to my mother and as a surprise I opted to throw three small bouquets for all the single ladies. For my bridesmaids we had simple bundles of gyps.
It was such a special day, my mother and her friends who saw me grow up being able to dress me, and while on our way to church to be accompanied by both my father and father-in-law, and I think very few brides can say they arrived before the pastor!!!
To simply be ourselves, enjoy every moment, getting married and making a vow to each other and not to stress about any little detail.
Advice for Future brides and grooms
Enjoy every moment, from the planning, all the stress and most of all the day itself! It’s a cliché, but it is the most fun-filled day which makes it all so special to be around all your family, friends and loved ones. Just be yourself, and do what makes you feel happy and organise the wedding as you both would like it so it reflects your personality, not just to impress someone else.
DIY is cheaper and more fun but make sure that you make enough time to ensure that everything gets done.
Make-Up: Ansa Hamman
DJ: Rudi Koen
Photographer: Stefan Oosthuizen Photography
Ceremony Venue: Christus Kirche (German Church)
Reception Venue: Vintage Coffee Shop
Prep & Honeymoon Suite: Olive Grove Guest House
Photos: Olive Grove Guest House & Olive Grove Exclusive Boutique
Flowers & Décor: Picollo Mondo – Monika
Stationary (Stickers): Get Graphics
Wedding Invitations: Sign Shop
Groomsparty Lazer Cut Name Badges: Donnie Smit
Catering & Décor: Vintage Coffee Shop
Preacher: Ds. Fourie Van Den Berg
Orrellist: Rina Opperman