One of my favorite aspects of blogging for SMP (besides, well, everything) is the opportunity to pour over gorgeous weddings from all across the world. I like to think of it as virtual vacations to the most incredible places imaginable. And today’s destination adventure takes us to an ever-so-serene apple farm in South Africa. It’s every bit as sweet as it sounds, and with just one look at the gallery of images from Tasha Seccombe, this stunning locale will definitely take place on your must-visit list.
From the Bride…When Douglas and I got engaged, we both new that finding a venue for our wedding would be a challenge. We wanted a memorable wedding that would suit the people we are, what we enjoy, and include the things we both love. Our first choice was a beautiful farm. We believed that a serene, natural venue, would lend itself to a beautiful and relaxed wedding. We eventually decided on a family friends’ apple farm – Windermere – from which I have some great childhood memories. This was the start of a wonderful year of fun wedding planning (we would need to bring in everything from cutlery and tables to gas ovens and chopping boards) and interacting with some of the loveliest people in the Elgin valley.
We met Nadia Strauss from 4 Every Event, who is calm, level-headed and down to earth, and whose strong presence meant we always felt everything was under control – it really was. She did not at any point push her ideas onto us, and allowed us to express our wishes and showed us how they could evolve. We put together a mood board to capture the day. This was going to be the inspiration for every detail of the wedding. It took a long while to get these images together, to find the right pictures and make sure we were both happy with the final result. We wanted a country wedding, and we are both lovers of good food, good wine and fine dining. The marriage of fine dining and a country wedding had to be perfect. It was not to be shabby-chick or rustic, but rather an elegant, natural country affair, with a bit of the old world. Nothing was to be contrived or plastic, but real and wholesome. Quality was very important to us. There were a few key elements that would make this wedding special – flowers, trees, wood, bees and honey. We wanted lots and lots of flowers, lots of nature – an indoor-outdoor dining experience in the garden. The honeybee became our symbol of Mother Nature and everything would pivot around this idea.
We found a wonderful stationer – Lara Friday. We sent her our mood board and she was brilliant in interpreting what it was that we wanted. An elegant apple tree and a honeybee would bring together our simple, natural country theme. The colours were easy to decide on – creams, whites, sage greens, light browns and a hint of lavender blue – all found in a meadow. Our wedding day was a hot, still, sunny day. When I arrived at the church I thought I was stepping through the entrance of a magical, sunlit, wooded garden. A stream of rose petals led the way to the altar and a sea of smiling faces greeted me with warmth along the way. After the ceremony, Douglas and I drove off in a styling vintage car, which added to the old world flavour. The farm was breathtaking. The pre-drinks area was perfect for people to mill around under the trees and relax with some fresh homemade lemonade. The marquee was situated under big trees and we were lucky that it was warm enough to keep all the sides open, allowing us all to wine and dine in the outdoors while the stars came to life above us.
Nadia had interpreted the décor and flowers perfectly. The flowers were to look as though they had been freshly picked from a meadow that day. The tables were to look soft, elegant and natural which was achieved using a rectangular wooden basket brimming with flowers for the centerpiece and wood stumps to complement the theme. Each table had a different configuration, adding to the simplicity and natural feel. Jars of orange blossom honey were given to each guest.
My favourite touch was the cream lanterns hanging above each table. These were a special request I had made, and in them sat white candles of all different sizes, bringing a warm glow to the dining area, along with the wooden oak flooring below. Lanterns were to be used anywhere and everywhere in favour of normal lights to enhance the warmth and magical feel of the night. The food, provided by chef Gordon Manuel from South Hill, was outstanding and served very professionally. The wine, from the local boutique Highland Rd and Belfield wine estates, complemented the poached fillet risotto perfectly, and we finished off the meal with a slice of orange and almond wedding cake and berries drizzled with honey. The eating did not stop there, however, as we served cheese boards and much later on, gammon rolls for those who were still hungry. We partied late into the night and into the early hours of the morning, until the sun rose.
I will never forget my wedding day – the décor, the suppliers, the guests, they all added to what was the most memorable day of my life. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I can thank Tasha Seccombe, our photographer, for capturing some of the most natural photographs from the day, and whose eye managed to capture the mood perfectly, so that all I need to do is browse through and remember each and every happy moment.
Wedding Photography: Tasha Seccombe | Cinematography: Vicky Goslin | Floral + Event Design + Planning: 4 Every Event | Ceremony Location: Paul Cluver Chapel | Reception Location: Windermere Farm | Catering: Gordon Manuel | Stationery: Lara Designs | Cake: High Tea | Hair + Make-up: Lianne Kakebeeke | Wedding Dress: Robyn Roberts