This couple says they had the most amazing, special, romantic, gorgeous and unforgettable day. Their wedding day was planned together and they made every decision on every aspect of their wedding together so both of their personalities could be seen on their special day.
Kelly and Sebastien met at Wits University during their studies; however, they were both dating other people at the time. As fate would have it, they both happened to be in Thailand at a New Year’s Eve celebration and amongst the crowd of people who flocked to Koh Phangan beach for the infamous full moon party, they somehow found each other and spent the night partying into the New Year.
It was here that Seb (as Kelly fondly calls him), got down on bended knee and impromptu asked Kelly to be his girlfriend. Little did he know, or maybe he did, that four years later he would get down on his knee again, this time asking her to be his wife!! Only this time, he deliberately planned his surprise proposal at an awesome evening out at a fine dining restaurant at a hotel offering a 6 course meal. Kelly loves the game Boggle, and when Seb had the dice altered to read, Kelly Joy Ansley, will you marry me, she was left in tears!!
Both of them are from Johannesburg, the “big city”, so they wanted their wedding to be out of town and have a country feel. After spending some time looking at venues in the Midlands area, they fell in love with the idea of a forest ceremony. They found their venue in Chrissiesmeer in the country, and it was perfect. The chapel is in the heart of a forest (or so it feels), even the benches are made from logs. The old stone barn was just what they were looking for to host their ceremony; it has a country yet homely atmosphere where they could have a banquet style wedding. The venue offers accommodation, so many of the guests could party the night away. In fact, they wanted a weekend wedding celebration, where the festivities could be extended over more than just one day.
Their vision was to keep every aspect of their day around the forest and wooden theme so they set the tone by sending out invitations in neutral colours. Wooden ladders were used to hang guests seating placements and printed menus were stuck on wooden planks. The name cards were stuck into slits on little logs . For the décor and flowers, wood slices were used as the centre pieces and Kelly’s mom hand decorated glass jars with hessian and lace which were used as the vases for her flowers.
Their country style, with a touch of chic, vision for their wedding day was achieved by loads of creative ideas from family members and all of them helping to do the décor or whatever needed to be done. Kelly says she loved the quality time it created with family too!!
For the décor they stuck to the natural theme and had a lot of greenery which complemented the stone hall. Branches were hung from the ceiling down the centre of the hall to which the greenery and tiny gyps flowers (baby’s breath) were tied which created a magical feel as you walked into the hall. Keeping it as natural as possible, the other choices of flowers were roses and carnations in peach, white and cream.
Kelly wanted a low, open back, lace wedding dress and found her dream gown at Crystal Brides. She chose A Mori Lee Bridal gown which is described as romantic lace and tulle, trumpet style gown with beaded straps, sweetheart bodice, with a dramatic low back and beautiful lace edged hem. Her hair was swept to one side to expose the low open back of her stunning gown and she opted for a very natural make-up look for her afternoon ceremony.
The wedding cake was made to look like bark with touches of peach and navy colours to tie in with their colour scheme. Event at age 31, Seb still loves lego, so they had bride and groom lego toppers on the cake which added a touch of fun. They wanted their celebration to be lots of fun, so instead of handing our wedding favours, they opted to hand each guest a “2 drinks on us” as their favour.
Kelly reminisces about how their day ran perfectly smoothly with no problems at all, which she puts down to Seb being so organised. With his engineering background and organised personality nothing less could be expected. The weather turned slightly cold at the time of the ceremony, however the venue produced heaters for the guests and they decided that the weather would not ruin their day, besides slightly overcast weather creates better pictures!!
Kelly says that the highlights of her day were that they could host their ceremony in an open, outdoor forest. Seeing her husband-to-be, waiting at the end of the aisle and having her dad walk her to him is something she will never forget. The entire wedding weekend spending time with family and friends was very special and they are very happy they made the decisions they did, to host a weekend celebration rather than just one day.
Her advice to brides and grooms: have lots of spreadsheets with timelines for payments etc. Also try and do some of the wedding touches yourself. And lastly make sure you capture fun, spontaneous moments, not only the official photographs.
Little black book:
Venue – Florence Guest Farm, Chrissiesmeer
Décor and Flowers: Décor- Self made
Cake: Kelly Jayne’s Cake Boutique- 2 Tier cake and cake pops
Photographer: Howling Moon Photography