Vintage Farm: Colourful | Real Wedding
Vintage Farm: Colourful | Real Wedding
Today’s real wedding is really, really beautiful! I’m super jealous of you lucky South African brides who have some of the most breathtaking wedding venues from around the world! I think they make the ultimate backdrop for a spectacular wedding. There’s still no reason why us British brides can’t take inspiration from these gorgeous wedding though! William & Gaylen chose the stunning Honeywood Farm in the Cape Winelands for their colourful, natural and vintage farm inspired wedding…
How we met:
We met in highschool in Sd 7! We were best friends for months before we became girlfriend and boyfriend, even though we were secretly in love with each other from the first moment we met. He had braces and I had frizzy hair but we were inseparable until he had to move to a different school. We kept in contact with each other over all the years apart, writing letters, then emails as technology moved on, then phone calls as we got bolder.
We didn’t see each other again at all until one morning in 2009, when I decided that enough was enough! He was working on site in a little town in the Northern Cape called Loeriesfontein (population: about 12) and I was living in downtown Cape Town, we were spending every spare moment on the phone with each other. One night I said ‘That’s it! I am coming through to you tomorrow.’ He nearly had a heart attack but finally we agreed to meet halfway, as he was about 500kms away. So I set out from Cape Town at 8am, and he set out from Loeriesfontein an hour later and we eventually collided at a fuel station in a place called Vanrynsdorp, which is a tiny village in the middle of nowhere. That moment changed both our lives, it was love at first sight all over again. Even though we only had a few hours together that day, we knew this was it, and we haven’t looked back since.
We had decided that we should get married a long time ago, so there wasn’t a traditional proposal as such. A few months before the wedding he took me to Azure at the Twelve Apostles and presented me with the most beautiful midnight blue sapphire engagement ring that he had designed himself. It was the perfect date and the most perfect ring.
After we got back together we decided to go into business. We currently own a drilling company and we are doing quite well at last. It hasn’t been easy, we literally had to start from the bottom of the bottom and claw our way up the food chain. We went some months where we had to get part time jobs as waiters to keep our little company afloat. We have just bought our own machinery and our first (proper) pick up truck, it’s very exciting because we did it all together with no help. We are a very good team, there is no challenge that we don’t back ourselves to overcome.
We currently have a house on a farm out on the West Coast near Cape Town where you can hear fisheagles in the afternoon.
© Christelle Rall Photography
We wanted an authentic wedding, nothing fake or unnecessary. We spent over a year planning every last detail and collecting all the things we liked and thought worked with the overall Vintage Farm theme. I spent hours online looking through wedding websites (like this one!!), I then made a scrap book to keep all the elements clear and so that I could be clear when I briefed my suppliers. I was inspired by nature a lot, how colour occurs in naturally. Mostly I was inspired by the venue itself and how beautiful everything there is. This made my choices easier, because I knew I had a spectacular base to work from.
I did not have a veil, only a custom made tiara by Belle Chiara. It looked like twigs with butterflies and multi coloured Swarovski crystals on it.
We wanted the ceremony to be natural, so the florist laid an aisle of petals and blooms. Along this he set up shepherd hooks with more mixed flowers in jars and that was it, we let the beautiful tree do the rest.
One of my most memorable moments from the day was walking around the overgrown corner of ivy on an aisle of rose petals and seeing William standing there waiting for me under the most beautiful tree.
My wedding dress had the most elegant lines, and the most amazing crystal bead work. It was also subtle in it’s cut, I really didn’t want a ‘poofy’ wedding dress! I had to loose 5kg’s to fit into it though, and I had to wear those Bridgette Jones pants!
I knew I wanted a lot of colour and a lot of handmade detail. I hired a local Swellendam florist/décor specialist who totally got what I wanted to do. We went for a lot of colour and mixed blooms, nothing controlled. I bought lace from a warehouse sale to cover all the benches, and we set mason jars next to each bench full of mixed blooms that we bought by the armful from a downtown Cape Town flower market.
Our wedding favours were small jars of honey for each couple, from the honey farm venue itself. We printed name tags on the same stationary as the invitations and wrapped each one with raw raffia. The honey is amazingly good, its 100% natural organic farm honey.
The dinner service was mix and match china which was my pride piece of the wedding reception, we even had mix and match tea cups for coffee afterwards! I spent a year combing the flea markets and second hand stores of my city, hand picking each plate and bowl to mismatch in just the right way. With these I found antique tins in bright coloured prints to work alongside the china. We used the tins for all sorts of things, such as dried flowers and sweets.
The napinks were embroidered with our names and the wedding date in a font to match the invitations, and each one had a small posy of flowers tied to it with raw rope as a napkin ring. The table was set all in white, to offset all the colour of the flowers.
We had old fashioned galvanized buckets as ice buckets for the bubbly, and a huge galvanized basin for the beers and sodas. We served cocktails in bell shaped jam jars with stripy straws, carried to the guests in old wooden crates.
The wedding cake was a (delicious to die for!) double layer chocolate cake covered in fresh berries and mint from the garden. We made a cake stand out of two pieces of raw, untreated wood that we rescued from the axe. Along with the cake, the amazing caterer made a variety of local South African goodies like mini koeksisters, mini tarts and mini chocolate puddings. We had a whole ‘Sweetie Table’ in the end, which was also decorated with colourful oil lanterns, candles and flowers. My mother in law baked miniature cake pops as the final touch, which we had decorated by the kids in attendance. It was nice to have them get involved too!
If I could impart any words of wisdom to future brides I would say, No matter how well you plan, how well organised you are, something will probably go wrong. But just remember, it’s about being married at the end of the day. Just roll with whatever the day throws at you, try stay relaxed and enjoy it. Remember – you will only be in this moment once in your life, don’t let it slip you by. Take a moment with your nearest and dearest to savour the moment. Also, remember that everyone at your wedding is there because they want to support you, appreciate your guests and the efforts they made to attend.
It made ALL the difference having the right photographer there on the day. Christelle was absolutely amazing, she knew exactly what we wanted to capture and she executed it perfectly. We were so relieved that she was able to put us at ease and gave us advice. The results speak for themselves!
We wanted somewhere off the beaten track, that didn’t do a wedding every day. When we found Honeywood we asked John, the owner if they do weddings often, his reply was ‘Oh yes, we do about two or three a year!’ We chose Honeywood because it is a truly beautiful place, and because the people that own it were amazingly accommodating and patient with us. The fact that it is so remotely situated also helped. We knew from the start that we wanted a weekend getaway wedding, so this was the perfect place for the family to come and get away from it all. The photos do a good job of capturing the essence of the place, but you actually have to go to Honeywood to really understand how amazing it is.
The florist strung rows and rows of fairy lights around the trees and over the dance floor, across the whole area around the reception. From those we hung multi coloured paper lanterns and mix & match bunting. We had 230 glass jars in various sizes and shapes with a candle inside each one scattered all over the area. Some were clustered amongst the flowerbeds, some were set on the table, some were hanging on rope loops from shepherd hooks. In the end it looked like a million stars over and around us. The contrast of the green grass, white dance floor and millions of twinkling lights was breathtaking.
We chose Etta James ‘At Last’ for our first dance. This has always been one of ‘our’ songs because it captures how we feel about our relationship. We first fell in love when we were in highschool, only to be split up by circumstances for years and then reunited again 8 years later. We fell in love at first sight twice! The song really captures that feeling. And neither of us can dance so we just winged it!
Thank you Gaylen for sharing so much detail about your beautiful marriage to William, I love the story as much as the images! A huge thanks too to Christelle for sharing her beautiful, beautiful work!
What are your favourite bits from this vintage farm wedding? I love Gaylen’s tiara, soooo pretty! And the colourful flowers are lovely too, how about you?
WEDDING AWESOMENESS CREDITS >>>>>>>
Photographer: Christelle Rall
Venue: Honeywood Farm, Suurbraak, Swellendam, Cape Winelands, South Africa
Dress: Bride & Co
Shoes: Steve Madden
Accessories: Tiara Belle Chiara
Hair & Make-up: The Excuisite Look (Cecelia)
Florist: La Flor (Christie)
Cake: Hmmm Bakery
Rings: Craig Marks