A majestic union in the forest, and Yoko, their dog, part of the celebrations!

A majestic union in the forest, and Yoko, their dog, part of the celebrations!

Photography: Stephanie de Jager

Minette and Adriaan met via her brother, they were busy washing the mud from their motorbikes on the lawn at his home after her brother and Adriaan had been off road biking. She was summoned to drop something off, and from the moment they laid eyes on each other there was an instant attraction; however neither of them knew how the other person felt.  Three years later, whilst visiting her brother again and Adriaan also being there, he bravely stole a kiss as ‘someone’ had told him that she though he was ‘very hot’!

This all happened at the end of 2016, but, alas they had to keep their relationship a secret, as her brother did not want any of his friends dating his sister! Whilst visiting their parents in Yzerfontein, they met on the beach and after that Adriaan started visiting her in Cape Town and eventually they decided to make it official that they were a couple in 2017.

We got engaged on 27 January 2018 in Yzerfontein, the place where both their parents live. Their usual pastime was to play with Yoko, Adriaan’s dog, on the beach, and as he was collecting her to go to the beach as usual, she had no idea what was about to happen. When he pulled up in his bakkie, she immediately knew something was up as he smelled so good and he was dressed like they were going out to dinner. Then he drove in a different direction, so she really wondered what was going on.  He parked near a hidden cave, between the rocks, and as they walked into the cave there were white and red rose petals in a heart shape on the ground and there were candles and champagne! Minette says she then knew he was about to propose, and up until her wedding day, this was the best day of her life.

These best friends, and nature lovers describe their relationship as an amazing team and they love to chat for days, especially around a fire.  It seemed fitting that they would choose a venue in nature to say their vows. Minette says “Even the wind that blew on the day enhanced the experience of the forest – the sound of the wind through the tree tops was like a special effect, but fortunately the guests were sheltered from the wind by the trees. During the ceremony, somehow, the wind became still, with almost no wind during the pre-drinks hour.” In keeping with their nature theme, they fittingly served a harvest table with foods from nature, and to get the party started they had live music, a beer keg and a gin bar. This was perfect for them, and set the mood.

To announce their wedding they opted for an online invitation and used their engagement photoshoot, also in a forest, images as the background for the invitation. The kitchen tea and bachelorette invitations had the forest theme too, which included trendy leaves.

“We wanted our wedding to have a chic rustic feel, with the main elements of nature. We also wanted the atmosphere to be natural. We made this reality by having the perfect team members – everything just fell into place” smiles Minette.

They brought nature into their décor by using a lot of greenery and white flowers. To achieve their rustic, chic look they had naked wooden tables, elegant glass candle holders and ghost chairs. They also brought in individual trees which were 3.5m in height in wooden pots against the walls of the venue, draped in fairy lights which emphasized the romantic forest theme, indoors. The three chandeliers hanging from the ceiling were draped with greenery to add to the theme. The bride and groom table had a wall of branches and leaves with fairy lights in between as a back drop and the ceiling of the venue was covered with white drapes and fairy lights, which they really loved.

Minette says she was never one of the girls that dreamed about her wedding day and dress, and therefore had no idea what she wanted. She tried on a lot of different designs and silhouettes until she found Cindy Bam’s gowns and knew she had met her match. Her gown was designed and made from scratch and Minette says it resulted in her ideal wedding dress. Cindy suggested lots of beading and leaf lace, to feature the symbol of nature in her gown. After she was completely happy with the gown she started looking for ideas for hair and make-up online. “Everything just came together like a puzzle,” Cindy squealed.

What was unique about their wedding day was that Yoko, their dog, carried their rings in during the forest ceremony. They handed out free drink tokens, printed with their leaf to each guest, so that they could then choose any drink of their choice from the bars available, which they thought was different to the normal wedding favours.

Adriaan surprised Minette with a gift, which was a beautiful handmade wooden box.  In the lid, he engraved her name and their wedding date, with a photo of the two of them. Inside the lid he engraved beautiful words that only the two of them would understand, and inside the box, there were a few of her favorite things like some red roses, a bottle of Moët Champagne, her favorite perfume, house keys to his house, white lingerie and a heartfelt love letter! She says “This made my heart sing with tears of joy rolling down my face as I opened the box and read and experienced everything,” smiles Minette.

For them their highlights was not even really realizing everything that was happening around them, “we were really in the clouds and our main highlight was the fact that we can now be together forever,” they say.

“Our advice is to not stress about anything, just enjoy the moment, as it goes by so quickly! If something might upset you on the day, leave it till after the honeymoon. First and foremost, just focus on the time that you have with your brand new husband and wife,” smiles this couple.