A truly amazing Karoo Chic Wedding Weekend Festival
Photography: Grace Charlotte
Gown: Orijinel by Elmerane
Watch their stunning video here https://vimeo.com/243014873
Having the same likes and dislikes, ambitions and dreams, both loving adventure, nature and to travel the world, it was inevitable that Estee and Bert would eventually tie the knot, but not in the usual way, they ensured they included a whole lot of what they loved into their most unusual and special day.
In a nutshell this gorgeous couple met at a mutual friends place in Cape Town during the Two Oceans marathon in 2013. Four years, five countries and many memories later, Bert was finally sure, and popped the question.
Bert is a born and raised sheep farmer from the Karoo, and Estee a humble city girl from Pretoria. Fortunately she has an immense love of nature and the outdoors and they both love to travel and explore other countries and cultures. Not superficially, but really a truly passionate love for travel. Bert lived in Australia for a year and she studied in Prague. Together they travelled to Bali, Vietnam, Mauritius, Namibia and Mozambique, which is a mere scratch on the surface of their travel bucket list.
Affectionately referred to by Estee as Bers, Estee confesses that his planned proposal was, in her own words “friggin special”. She woke him early one Saturday morning to take a run in the mountains on their friend’s farm in Barkley East, whom they were visiting, to watch the sun rise and enjoy in the breath-taking views. Enjoying their run, Bert suggest taking a “kiss at sunrise photo”, and positioned his phone on a rock a few metres away and ran back to her for the kiss, only he did not go in for the kiss, but dropped to his knee to pop the question, He intentionally had his phone on video recording, We think that he must have known Estee very well, as he had a whole picnic set up underneath the cliff next to a natural fountain to celebrate their engagement out in nature.
We love what Estee had to say and we quote: “Although he is my partner in life now, first and foremost he is my closest, most genuine friend and waking up next to him feels like the day before Christmas everyday – such an incredibly overjoyed indescribable feeling”.
They had their hearts set on a weekend wedding celebration, having the quality time to spend with their loved ones in the country, and of course, it was the beautiful South African Karoo they chose, Estee says “We spent an incredible week at the venue in the Karoo, , and for us it was the perfect setting for our wedding. It brought so much to our intimate wedding day in terms of the architecture, design and relaxed atmosphere. The décor look and feel worked hand-in-hand with the natural materials at the venue. The sentiment of the venue is one element contributing to the atmosphere and emotion on the wedding day for me. We didn’t choose a specific theme but wanted décor to be as close to the surroundings and use what nature provides. The natural gold of the Karoo fields, white and touches of green & rose gold, it was exactly how we envisioned: simple, clean and modern!´
When discussing the space at the venue, the couple say they had a few ideas of their own. They had different ideas for the chapel and reception areas, and the owners were intrigued enough by their ideas to make a few unconventional changes which included converting the river bed into a lounge style reception and dance area. A fabulous field nestled deep in the mountains, with sheep grazing in the fields was converted into a kitchen, and a vineyard converted into a glamping site. The winery was converted into the groomsmen dressing area and the gorge dam area was converted into a ceremony area, just to mention a few of the changes they made to suit their unique wedding. The result was a contemporary outdoor festival vibe where the guests camped overnight, partied without curfew and cozied up around the braai whilst everyone pitched in to build the venue from the ground up.
To complement the serenity of the Karoo, their simplistic décor palette consisted of rose gold, white and greenery. Monsetera leaves (also known as the delicious monster), were displayed in glass vases, which were inspired by the colourful surrounding mountains. A few beautiful and comfortable lounges were placed for comfort by their décor company.
Estee always knew that she wanted more than one look for her wedding gown look, so, she opted for two easy to change, bodices with the same skirt. For the first look, the neckline of the top, and what she describes as her brainchild, which she wore to the ceremony, was a beaded in pearl, flowy fabric which her mom found and perfected by her gown designer. The second was a bohemian style top to which she added pull on sleeves, a huge surprise to all the guests and her husband, which she changed into just before the “first dance”!!
Keeping in line with things most unusual, this couples wedding cake, donated by a lifelong family friend, That was 1m long handing from the air, suspended by copper pipes and thick ropes, which was decorated in cream cheese and silver dollar eucalyptus leaves. Estee says “it really looked amazing and tasted even better”.
Their fun wedding weekend celebration included each guests being provided with a “Wedding Starter Kit”. This included Belgium koekies, handmade rusts, M&M’s (which was really milk thistle and myprodol tables to take for the morning after) and a wedding programme of events for the weekend’s activities, which Estee refers to as “Funtivities”.
As gifts for their guest, this couple, and using a clever set of words for their gifts, served their guests food on an unforgettable, “table d ’hote style wooden serving plates”, which they sourced from roadside traders.
“What went wrong?” Estee laughed at this question and answered, “Isn’t there always something´? In explaining, she says that because they had to basically build the entire reception area from the ground up in the field, they needed generators for the music as well as the naked bulbs, for lighting. Needless to say, something did go wrong, and as the bulbs starting popping one by one, she was sure her weekend celebration would be over, in total darkness by 10pm, however, when the popping stopped, the remaining ambient lighting was perfect to carry on partying until 4 am!!
The highlights of their wedding included that they had opted for a weekend celebration which made the celebrations linger and that they had enough time to spend time with everyone dear to their hearts and that there was time to relax and reminisce about the wedding day festivities, itself. For Estee, on the top of her list of highlights, was the fact that it was everything she could ever have dreamed of and more, marrying her best friend in the presence of all the people they both love and cherish. As well as being able to have her dad present and able to walk her down the aisle (despite a debilitating disease) was an amazing blessing.
Estee’s advice is to not be overwhelmed. “Try to stay in the moment throughout the whole process, and remember what it is all about, – a celebration of your love for each other!”