The weather was not Jurie’s friend whilst planning his complete surprise proposal to Ninette.
Two years prior, this couple ironically met on Valentine’s Day and Jurie didn’t wait too long to plan his proposal to Ninette, later that same year he whisked her away to the unique Mpande Beach, situated next to the Transkei coast. His splendid idea (in theory) would be to get her to go snorkelling and he would “find” something he just HAD to show her in the shallow water on the rocks. Unfortunately the day Jurie had chosen, the 21st December 2015, the weather was miserable and Ninette was not keen to go snorkelling in the cold and windy weather. Ninette eventually agreed to go down to the beach with him and spend time exploring the nearby rocks. Jurie beckoned Ninette to come and have a look at something unusual he had found, however, she was not convinced. Jurie was insistent and after handing her his snorkelling goggles he pointed to a specific rock. Kneeling, face down in the water Ninette saw something sparkle, at first she thought it was a lost diamond earring, and when she looked up at him totally confused, he told her to take another look. She then realised it was an engagement ring, and that he was actually busy proposing to her!! It was a total surprise as she never suspected a thing. They then celebrated with champagne and a picnic on the beach as the sun was setting.
This couple chose their venue based on its simplicity and unspoilt beauty. After viewing a few venues they concluded that Red Barn in Dullstroom is completely unique and they loved the fact that they could host a whole weekend wedding with their loved ones!! It would fit in completely with their vision which was simplicity.
It was a priority for this unusual couple to ensure that their celebration was laid back and that the guests would feel comfortable. As it was a weekend celebration, everyone got to meet each other at a braai on the Friday evening, to break the ice before the formalities the following day. This proved to be a great success as it turned out to be a huge party.
Ninette’s simplistic vision did not exclude classy elements, but without the bling of crystals and candelabras. She loved navy, white and grey colour combinations for her wedding and also included lots of wooden elements and some hessian, which complemented the venue’s rustic barn feel. Fortunately for Ninette, Isabel of ICT Flower Designs completely understood her vision and beautifully brought it to life. To Ninette, trusting her florist was of utmost importance, and as Ninette had seen Isabel’s work first-hand at her sister’s wedding a couple of years before, she felt rest assured that everything would be done as planned. Using only green and white flowers, she kept the décor and flowers very simple but classy and very beautiful. The handmade bunting, a labour of love made by the whole family, hung from naked bulbs in the roof in the reception hall. Ninette was very pleased to have the two families work together and get to know each other during this process and the guests noted the personal touch that went into all the details.
When asked about how Ninette achieved her wedding day look, she says “I had a basic idea of what kind of wedding gown I wanted but struggled to find a dress that I really loved. Eventually we found a strapless dress that fitted perfectly and had it adjusted to fulfil my vision. My dress had beautiful lace detail over my shoulders and back so to show this off we opted for an up hairstyle. I used a Hairdresser and Make-up artist whom I know very well and trust as they are both colleagues of my sister. Shoes were quite a mission as I couldn’t find what I was looking for anywhere. I wanted a wedge as we were getting married in the bush but also not a shoe that would damage too much if there was mud. I eventually found a beautiful flat sandal. I am not a big fan of jewellery so that was kept to a minimum”
Ninette is a vet by profession and Jurie an accountant, which keeps things interesting. Ninette’s love of animals was not Jurie’s sentiment at first and it is quite ironic that he was teased as a youngster that someday he would marry a vet. Making sure their animals were part of the celebrations, they had “mini me” cake toppers made which was four little painted wooden dolls representing the couple as well as their two dogs Beatrix and Aiya. They loved how strikingly the dolls looked like them. All their guests were wowed by the cute toppers and the couple intend having them framed.
The gifts or favours they chose for their guests was delicious tomato jam made by Juries’ mom. They felt their choice in gift fitted in perfectly with the natural feel of their wedding theme. Personalized round wooden name tags were also made for their guests indicating the seating plan. These tags could later be modified after into a magnet, key ring or even a Christmas ornament and something cute to remember their special day.
When enquiring about the highlights or problems of their day, Ninette reminisces how, on the Friday evening a few hours before the braai the lightning struck a pole and they had no power which made them stress about having power on their wedding day. Fortunately the venue bought in a generator; however it was not necessary as the power was restored. On a lighter note, the DJ provided some interesting moves behind his PC late at night. This was a great source of entertainment as the guests found his moves hilarious.
Ninette says that a very special part of her day was seeing Jurie waiting for her at the altar and the father/daughter dance. Another funny moment was whilst the guests were waiting for her to arrive, a “Piet my vrou” bird was singing in the trees and one of the groomsmen translated his singing to “Waars my vrou?” which was very funny at the time.
Ninette’s advice for brides to be is to enlist the services of a planner/coordinator as she realises that in hindsight, working full time and organizing a wedding can be very stressful and a daunting task. She also said “keep it simple and also do as much as you can yourselves; it creates a nice touch to the look and feel of the wedding. And of course enjoy every moment!”