"We wanted something different, that would showcase our personalities..."
Christoff Basson and Chantel Nel tied the knot at The Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Photographer: We Love Pictures
We wanted to have a formal but minimalist wedding - sleek and chic but without all the frills. Words like 'industrial' and 'modern' were often thrown around and we knew we wanted something a little different, that would showcase our personalities.
The venue was so beautiful! It was on a wine estate with gorgeous big trees and greenery all around. The venue was also perfect in the sense that we could have the ceremony and the reception just a few meters apart and that the guests had the option of booking accommodation at the venue. Spier is one of South Africa’s oldest wine farms, adding to our story of 'forever after'. We felt that the venue and décor should give our friends and family a feel for what we love and be an extension of who we are.
We were inspired by the greenery of our beautiful setting as well as what was fashionable at the time. Flowers in the Foyer were excellent at meeting our needs in terms of the flowers and our wedding planner, Hannes Loubser, has a great eye for putting pieces together to create the most beautiful day.
My mother designed and made both my dresses. She is not a seamstress by trade but is endlessly talented and was able to hand-stitch every inch of the dresses for the big day. I love both the dresses and they reflect my mother and my relationship and friendship.
She has always dreamt of seeing her daughter walk down the aisle in a dress similar to the one for the ceremony, 'looking like a princess' - and so that was the inspiration for the first dress.
The outfit for the reception was a bit truer to my nature, flowing and comfortable. The inspiration for this outfit was being able to dance with ease and have a relaxed evening with our friends and family without having to worry about an uncomfortable dress.
I had a single orchid branch as simplicity was the main theme and orchids are my mother’s favourite flower. As you would have guessed by now, our wedding was very much focused on family and guests as this is what we wanted. The ceremony in Spier’s Old Wine Cellar was adorned with white hydrangeas, tulips and calla lilies.
The bridesmaids were given a colour palette and the opportunity to choose their own dresses provided they were full-length and formal. They did a great job at picking the perfect dresses and looked stunning. Accessories were kept to a minimum; only earings that were bought for the day were worn.
The reception was held in a beautiful clear span marquee. White plinth tables were decorated to a contemporary, minimalistic botanical theme in three different designs to convey the idea of us growing together.
Flowers in the Foyer and Hannes Loubser did a great job with the flowers! We decided not to opt for overtly intricate flowers and instead used a variety of natural, organic grasses, 'slangbos', black bamboo shoots, bark, and unusual plants with exposed roots, and large leaves. Raw concrete introduced a sense of industrialism.
The tables were left bare to add a sense of drama, and there were many light boxes and candles which created a soft glow inside the tent.
The cake was also the dessert so we wanted something that was both beautiful and tasty. We went with three tiers: two red velvet tiers and one Belgian chocolate tier. The cake was iced with Italian meringue, as I simply love the inside of a Sweetie Pie and Chocolate Log and knew the guests would too.
Our table names were printed and hung around a tree just outside the marquee. We wanted to make use of nature where possible without taking away from the formal feel of the wedding. Guests were invited to sit where they wanted, rather than having a pre-allocated seat.
One of my favourite moments of the day was when my husband and his acapella group, Adamsappel, sang during the ceremony. It was a complete surprise and something neither the guests nor I will ever forget!
The fact that my mother made my dresses as well as the flower girl dresses and their cute headbands was very special! She also cut up her old wedding dress which was made of lace and strew cutout lace flowers at the alter.
The youngest flower girl walked in with her teddy and dummy, which was adorable, and I also had a best man! My husband was outgoing enough to do a choreographed dance with me even though he doesn’t really dance and we surprised everyone at the wedding with the dance.
Steal their style!