A perfect premonition ended in a perfect forest wedding day

Photographer: Duane Smith Photography

Venue Floreal Brasserie at Marianne www.floreal.co.za

When Chanel was younger she had a dream that she was walking down the aisle to get married! She saw the back of her groom’s head which happened to be a blonde man and she noticed he had a sleeve of tattoos down his arm and as he was about to turn around, she woke up! Her dream always stuck with her, and she knew in her heart that this dream would one day become a reality.

Chanel had planned to leave the country, and was basically packed and ready to go; however, fate had something else in store for her. She remember that it was the 11th August 2016 and having arrived home from work, exhausted and not feeling well, her best friend and house mate at the time, wanted to go out for a drink with a whole lot of friends, to their local hangout. Chanel really did not want to go, but they had had a break in at their home a week prior and she was quite nervous about being home alone and decided to go for a short while.

Jaco, on the other hand, had just been to gym after a tough day, and also just wanting to go home to get some rest, but his gym friends urged him to go have a beer with them, and he, (fortunately) succumbed. They had planned to meet at another pub around the corner, but Jaco could not find a parking spot there, so he decided to go to the pub where Chanel and her friends had gathered.  As he walked in he saw three open seats at the bar, so he called his friends to meet him there.

In Chanel’s own words, “I looked across the pub and saw him taking his jacket off. All I saw was the back of his blonde head and a sleeve of tattoos. I got the chills. Everything went quiet and for that moment all I could think of was my dream. I tapped my best frind on the arm and said…it’s him.”

Her friend, knowing everything about her, instantly responded and she got Jaco and his friends to come and join them.  She says that when he came over, she tried to play it as cool as she could even though her heart was racing a million miles a minute. Clearly Jaco had noticed Chanel too, and he later asked her to have a shot at the bar with him. When he ordered Jägermeister’s, Chanel burst into tears. The last time she had touched Jägermeister was at her dad, Harry’s funeral, just a few months prior, as it was her dad’s favourite drink. She felt it was uncanny that Jaco would order the same drink. Chanel explained the tears, and what happened next impressed Chanel hugely, Jaco ordered another round and proposed a toast and said “this one is for you Harry.” Chanel says she instantly fell in love with this blond considerate man. They had an awesome evening and as it was coming to an end, he asked for her number only to realise that his phone had been stolen, so he was reluctant for her to leave and she ended up leaving with him.

Jaco took Chanel to meet his parents the very next day, as he needed to sort out the issue with the stolen phone. Chanel remembers thinking that it was a bit crazy to meet his parents so soon, and when she met Jaco’s mom, she started crying, and Chanel had no idea why. They ended up spending the whole weekend together and when she went home on the Sunday she was suddenly indecisive about whether to leave the country or stay.  She had such intense feelings for Jaco, albeit in such a short period of time. Her best friend said that she had never seen her glowing the way she was and the advice she gave her was to stay. Whilst pondering what to do, she got a message from Jaco saying that he wishes she had never left him that day, so she decided there and then to go back to him, and they have never left each other’s side from that day.

Needless to say, Chanel’s mom did not agree with her decision, and she even booked a flight from Joburg to convince her daughter that she had made some bad choices to stay because of a “guy” she had just met and hardly knew. However, when she arrived and saw the two of them together and how in love they were, she had no choice but to change her mind. In fact she actually said that she believed that Harry had had something to do with how the two of them met.

Chanel’s decision to not leave the country came with some challenges as she would soon be jobless as well as homeless. When she discussed this with Jaco, he told her that he had already had cut keys for her that morning to his home. With some doubts on moving in together so soon after meeting, Chanel had some soul searching choices to make. Jaco wanted to take her out to dinner that evening and stopped off at the beach for a talk first. Chanel was nervous and thought that he had had a change of mind and that he was actually going to end the relationship, however, when they arrived at the beach he hugged her for a very very long time and then went down on bended knee. Completely in shock, Chanel at first walked away and then realised that her dream was becoming a reality so she ran back immediately and said yes. When they called Jaco’s mom to break the news she admitted that she cried when she met Chanel as she knew that she was the girl that her son was going to marry.

These two describe their wedding day as a real fairy-tale. On choosing their venue, the two of them were on route to view another venue when they say saw a sign to Marianne Wine Estate and decided to drive in.  Their vision was a forest setting and they had not seen anything online or in real life that appealed to them, however, when they drove up the dirt road on this wine estate, to the left was a small wooden building, tucked behind huge beautiful old trees, they found the gem they had been looking for. Right there was the perfect setting, a forest entrance to the altar and for the reception a quaint, rustic restaurant, exactly what they were looking for. For these two, the search was over, and they booked and paid right away, knowing they had found the place where they wanted to exchange their vows.

Jaco was very involved in the planning of the day, as they both posted ideas to a shared Pinterest board.  This worked well to merge all their ideas into a beautiful rustic autumn themed day.  They shared these ideas with their décor company who made their vision a reality.

We asked Chanel how she achieved her wedding look and she simply said that she wanted to look beautiful for her groom.  He loved her hair in curls, so she had curls.  He loved her with red lipstick, so she wore red lipstick.  He loved her to look natural, so that’s the look she went for and she says she felt beautiful. To finish off her look she wore a pair of her grans pearl earrings and for comfort she wore her own ballet pumps.

As a surprise, Jaco hired a vintage car for Chanel to arrive at the ceremony. The dancefloor was outside under the stars, with raging fires in the fire pits, and the guests danced the night away to old school rock and roll music.

Chanel says, “The best part of our day, for both Jaco and I was when we saw each other for the first time. When walking down the aisle time stood still. I saw no one but him, he saw no one but me. It was just us and all through the ceremony and our own written vows, it was just us. Only when we turned around to walk out did I realize there were so many people seated to see us get married. It was perfect.”

Chanel’s words of wisdom include shutting everyone out! She says, talk to your person and share your ideas. She believes that it is important that the planning is done by both partners, and that it is about joining two souls together, two visions together, two people and two ideas – to ultimately become one. “If you work together you will find that what you achieve together is far more beautiful than what you ever dreamed of alone. Don’t listen to what other people would like or what your head is saying other people would like, don’t try and beat someone elses day or think about everyones reactions. Make it what the two of you love, so its special for you because the memories are far greater when they are real and when they are your own dreams. You only get one day and its about you two. The rest are just invited,” says Chanel.