Dom&Marie-Claire – 8 April 2012, Constantia Glen

 The morning of 8 April 2012 dawned cold, completely overcast and rainy. I was sick with     flu, my hubby had to be rushed to hospital in the wee hours and Margaux was 7.5 months pregnant, but there was a wedding to be put together and co-ordinated and nothing was going to stop us! So, armed with gumboots, medicine and loads of determination, we made our way to Constantia where this Irish/Catholic wedding was going to be celebrated.

Dominic and Marie-Claire met on Valentine’s Day in 2009 when they both visited friends (she, her ‘maid-of-honour-to-be’ and he, his ‘best-man-to-be’) in Edinburgh. Their eyes met as Marie-Claire descended the stairs of the pub they both ended up watching a rugby match in and the rest…

The ceremony was to be held at the St John’s chapel in Kommetjie, with its amazing views of the bay and the mountains. It was led by a Catholic Priest and upheld all the Catholic traditions. Various friends took turns to speak out parts of the ceremony and two girls sang traditional Irish wedding songs.

The receptions was held at Constantia Glen wine farm and, despite the rain (or perhaps even because of it), it was a beautiful setting, cradled among the tall trees and the mountains. The wedding had a vintage theme and the colours were soft creams, ivories and the most velvety peaches. With the addition of tons of candles and fairy lights, the entire venue resembled a night-time fairytale.

The party was soon well under way and I quickly understood the Irish saying: “I’ll have what the man on the floor was having”. It was a great night and a beautiful wedding and we wish the happy couple all the luck of the Irish and years and years of wedded bliss!

Author: Sunelle van den Berg

Photography: Francois Pistorious Photography



Brigid&Ken: 24 March 2012 (Tokara)

This wedding is just too gorgeous not to share.

I am still waiting for the story from the couple and some of the pics from the photographer, but I just can’t keep it to myself any longer. I will fill in all the fantastic details as soon as I get them, but for now, indulge in a few of these amazing pics from photographer Shanna Jones.

Happy Friday everyone!

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Our spin on the 2012 Wedding Trends

Since the weather is not really ‘movement-inspiring’ and I am (almost literally) frozen to my keyboard, hunched over like the Grinch, I thought I would take my mind off how depressed I get every time I look outside by blogging about all the gorgeous and trendy wedding must-haves for 2012.

1. Glorious chandeliers and sophisticated tapered candles

We’ve gone full circle in terms of lighting accessories in the wedding industry, from lamp-shades to naked bulbs and everything in between, but the Chandelier still dazzles and takes first prize in the elegance fair, plus, let’s face it, they are simply just gorgeous. In 2012, you want to use chandeliers not only inside, but on top (of tables) as well. Even outside, they bring a romantic and very magical ambience. Just look at them – a very definite ‘yes please’ in my book.

The Royal Wedding has made quite an impact on the wedding industry, slowly taking things back to sophistication and formal elegance. Enter the tapered candle. Ordinary, straight dinner candles are SO last season…

2. Peonies

Soft, luscious and friendly, these flowers are must-haves in any 2012 wedding bouquet. Oppulence and abundance are the buzz-words in the floral centre piece category and peonies make them easy to achieve. Multiple pots of varying sizes and heights, with soft and singular colour palettes or colour blocking trumps the trends of last season, so bring on tables heavy laden with all sorts of floral delights.

Photo courtesy of

 3. Herbs and succulents

‘Going green’ by using fresh herbs and succulents will earn you a star in my book as well. We tend to overlook these when thinking of flower choices for weddings, but they are actually very soft and pretty. Herbs come in many shapes and sizes and sometimes have the most delicate leaves and flowers. They also have the added benefit of their aromas and, in desperate times, could double-up as a snack to peckish guests…

Photo courtesy of stylishweddingtrends

Photo courtesy of

4. Moss

Moss brings to mind forests and fairytales, lesser trodden paths and streams or waterfalls. A big trend in the 2012 Wedding catalogue.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

5. Found Objects

This is one of my favourite trends at the moment. I love seeing couples bringing their own style into their wedding by using ‘found objects’ that relate to their story or the theme of their wedding on their tables.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

6. The ‘Ombre’ trend

I love this! Doesn’t it just make you feel as if a master musician has run his fingers over the colour palette and created the sweetest of melodies? Major wedding trend in 2012 in florals, cakes and even dresses.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

7. Tasting stations (drinks)

Why only give your guests one or two options during ‘pre-drinks’? Why not give them the pleasure of choice and give them a chance to expand their horizons as well? Tasting stations are becoming very popular at weddings during the time when the couple goes away to take their couple photographs and the guests have to hang around and wait for them. Set up a few tasting stations with drinks (and the experts serving them) like signature exotic cocktails, tequila, whiskey or wines. Guests will not even notice that they have been left to their own devices.

Photo courtesy of

8. Food stations

Think of this as a ‘dispersed buffet’, where guests can move from station to station and make up their own menus as they go along. You can either decide on a central them and have a couple of stations that revolve around various aspects of this theme , or have multiple choices of varying food types spread over the amount of stations you choose to have. Eg. a simple menu comprising of lamb with sauces, potatoes, breads and vegetables could have the following stations: A lamb station (where different cuts of meat have been prepared in different ways – roast, lamb shank, kebabs etc.), a sauce station (different sauces, jus, spreads etc.), a veggie station (where there are various options to choose from), a bread station (pitas, rolls, ciabattas etc.). Guests get filled in on the options and they move from station to station to create their own plates. It’s interactive and gives a new spin to the candy buffet, which has proven to be very popular.

Photo courtesy of

9. Market-driven dining

All eyes on fresh produce. Think of plates filled with greens, cheeses, nuts, fruits and veg and fresh meats, plated in such a way to mirror the oppulent, home-grown feel of market-day.

10. Pairing

Food and wine pairing is a booming trend, but let’s not stop the success there. Think about all the lovely pairings you can do at a wedding, from arrival drinks and snacks, right through to dessert…

Photo’s courtesy of Karl Dreier Food Photography

**Are you inspired? 

Author: Sunelle van den Berg


Susan&Anton: 4 February 2012 – Their Love Story (as told by the Groom)

Before I jump into their amazing story, let me just give you a bit of a background on Anton, the Groom.

I met Anton at church in 2007 – a tall man of German heritage with a giant smile and an even bigger heart. He was known for his love of people, the outdoors, swimming and birds (the latter was, in fact, so high on his list, that it almost cost him his mobility in a biking accident. But that’s another story all-together… amusing as it may very well appear to be in retrospect.)

The one thing that stood out about Anton, above his overwhelming generosity towards his friends and family, was his yearning to meet his other half. And then in 2010, it finally happened in the most magical way…

Being a GP at the time, Anton decided in 2009 to start specializing in Dermatology and at the beginning of 2010, he had to move to Kimberly in order to do so. Being over the age of 30 and having been single for a long time, Anton was used to people wanting to ‘set him up’ with friends, so when a new friend in Kimberly said that she ‘had to introduce him to her friend, Susan’, he thought, ‘Sure…whatever’, knowing how these things usually tend to pan out. So when Susan (based in PE at the time) came to visit ‘said’ friend in Kimberly at the end of June, Anton didn’t have very high hopes – until he laid eyes on her. (In his own words, it was ‘love at first sight… and second sight… and third sight… and fourth…’) On her last night in Kimberly, Anton took Susan out to dinner at a restaurant and they spent hours enjoying a 7-course meal and each other’s company. The next day, Anton flew to America to visit family for two weeks, all the time thinking of the blonde beauty back in South Africa he had lost his heart to.

The minute he landed, he phoned her and when she picked up the phone, he was surprised to hear loud shouts and whoops in the background. (Only later did he learn that she thought he had been back for days and was wondering why he hadn’t phoned her. At the time of his call, she had a few friends over to comfort her and pray with her and when one friend said, “Lord, let him phone NOW”, the phone rang and the rejoicing ensued!)

They spent lots of time visiting each other back and forth and talking (for up to six hours!) on the phone.

On the 9th of September 2011, during one of his visits to PE, Anton asked her to go out with him by ‘planting’ a ‘message in a bottle’ in the waves when they went for a walk on the beach. The friend that introduced him then showed him a picture of a ring that Susan had given her a couple of years back and Anton immediately made work of it.

On the 4th of October 2011, on a beach in Madagascar, he asked her to marry him and she said ‘YES!’

They tied the knot on the 4th of February 2012 at the beautiful Surval Boutique Olive Estate and it was one of the most tender, romantic and beautiful weddings I have ever attended. The decor spoke loudly of their love for nature and the outdoors with butterflies here and there, succulents and bright yellow accents. The tables were all named after animals or plants and the fairylights etched against the night-sky looked like thousands of little fireflies blinking their congratulations in time with the stars.

I felt very honoured, as a friend, that they chose Blank Canvas to help them plan this, their most special day.

Author: Sunelle van den Berg


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Kuba & Hildegardt: 4 February 2012

Hildegardt and Kuba celebrated their gorgeous wedding at the Shelly Point Hotel in St. Helena bay on the West Coast where she grew up.

They wanted a festive, family affair with traditional West Coast cuisine and a live band. The theme was ‘Antique Chic’ and it was reflected in her stunning dress and in the details on the tables. Strings of pearls peeped out from the floral arrangements and antique broaches sat daintily on every napkin.

The tables radiated with crystal candelabra, warm creams and golds and soft pinks. It was decadent and oppulent and chic.

Being artists, both Kuba and Hildegardt have very relaxed and laid-back temperaments and Hildegardt was worried about Kuba being late for his own wedding. But nothing could make him late on the day that he would wed his True Love and the ‘I do’s’ happened right on schedule!

At the reception, Kuba made his speech and then serenaded his Bride with a song that he composed especially for her, called ‘Love You Extravagantly’.

After the dancefloor was opened, Hildegardt surprised him by singing the song ‘At Last’ for her new husband.

Romance and love filled the air, while guests indulged in real West Coast delicasies like ‘Snoek en Patats’ and later enjoyed the delicious wedding cake with coffee.

The dancing continued well into the night and Bride and Groom and guests alike had a great time at the chick, West Coast wedding!

Author: Sunelle van den Berg

List of Sponsors:

– Blank Canvas – wedding co-ordination

1. Vesselina Pentchova (wedding dress)

2. Hireco (chairs)

3. Be-dazzled (Decor and flowers)

4. or if you cannot use a website then use Safari Destinations

5. Turbine Hotel in Knysna

6. Tranquility Lodge in Natures Valley

7. Face Adrenalin Bungy Jump


9. PERDEBERG (wine and champagne)

10. FJS PRODUCTIONS (videography and assistant)

11. WESKUS TENTE (Marquee Tent)


13. JOLETA KEANE (Hair and make up

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Hennie Bosch: a MET-inspired 40th birthday

When your birthday coincides with the weekend of the J&B Met, what better way to celebrate it than with a MET-inspired party!

On 28 January 2012, Cassia restaurant at Nitida Wine Farm was decked in brightly coloured feathers, fairylights and fluffy tissue paper poms, a real Metropolitan extravaganza- the only thing missing was the horses. To make up for this, each of the guests were given a Rozette with their names on.

Guests dressed up according to the theme of ‘day at the races’ and soon, it looked and felt just like a VIP spot at the Met.

The tables were simple and colourful, with vinyl runners printed with Hennie’s favourite quotes in the J&B colours of yellow and red filling the gaps between the silver vases filled with feathers and tongue-in-cheeck props for the photo booth.

With live music from the husky voice of Ricky Nass behind his guitar, Rozette’s pinned on, wine and conversation flowing in between the courses of delicious food, I think that guests soon imagined themselves to be at the Met itself. The ambience was one of realxation and enjoyment and feet were soon shuffling on the dance floor.

The stars over the dam and rolling landscapes of the wine farm twinkled in time with the fairylights on the patio, cigars were lit, ‘Happy Birthdays’ said and laughter and music filled the night.


Author: Sunelle van den Berg

Stationery: Nancy Flint from Creatus Design


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Zetske & Altus: 6 January 2012

Zetske van Pletzen married the man of her dreams, Altus Theart, on 6 January 2012 at the beautiful Oxbow Country Estate in Bronkhorstspruit. The day dawned sweltering hot and sunny, but there were a few plump clouds frolicking on the horizon, wanting to be a part of the magical day.

Set-up started the day before and between us, the staff at Oxbow and the stylists from Cafe Fleur/ Cor de Rosa the venue was being transformed into a sophisticated fairytale with a fun, tongue-in-cheek undertone and also more than just a thought towards Recycling and the environment. The stationery was printed on ‘green paper’, glass Purity bottles was recycled before the wedding to serve as the ‘lanterns’ along the walkway, left-over popcorn was collected from cinemas to serve as the ‘Cornfetti’ and even some of the flowers on the tables were used again after the wedding. Not only were they given their dream wedding, but by thinking ahead, they were also able to give back.

A willow arch was especially made by one of the Bride’s friends and it marked the beginning of the aisle, framing Zetske’s last few steps to where she would commit to the man she loves.

When all the guests were gathered and ready to take their place as witnesses, the clouds decided to pour out their blessings on the day in a light, sun-lit drizzle. Heavy enough to cause panicked thoughts of moving the ceremony indoors, but too light to cause thoughts to turn into actions and it was decided to keep the ceremony on the lawn overlooking the dam and the rolling grass hills. They were, thankfully, considerate in their outpouring and stopped when it was time for the Bride to make her way towards the white carpet and, ultimately, her Groom. Joseph Clarke, the Bride’s step-father, took the mic and the first few sultry notes of ‘I’m feeling good’ filled the air to reveal the gorgeous bridesmaids with their black parasols. As soon as they arrived next to the groom, a friend took up his guitar and Damien Rice’s ‘Cannonball’ beckoned the beautiful Bride to make her way over the lawn towards the arch. She was a picture of composure and grace, but tears of joy escaped her eyes as she met her father underneath the willow arch.

After a wonderful ceremony, guests blessed the new couple with ‘Cornfetti’ and made their way to the pre-drinks. Here, Brutal Fruit slushies and a candy table groaning under the weight of all the sweet delights awaited them while Zetske and Altus were whisked off for their couple’s shoot.

When it was time for the reception, guests were ushered into the hall to be entertained by the Groomsmen and the Bridesmaids who each had a little dance prepared for the occasion. Mr and Mrs Theart was announced and a split-second after they entered the safety of the hall the clouds burst into thunderous applause. Lightning streaked the sky and raindrops pelted the roof and windows, nature’s fireworks in congratulations to the newlyweds. It was a delightful symphony.

The cake was cut, the starters were served, the speeches were made and the evening was in full swing. Altus and his new step-father in law serenaded the Bride and the dancefloor was opened with guests waving sparklers to the beat.

Laughter and music was heard far into the night and the dancefloor swayed to the rhythm of many happy feet. The clouds opened up to reveal a starry sky and the moon looked down on the last throes of a completely blessed and beautiful wedding.

Author: Sunelle van den Berg

Thank you:

Blank Canvas – wedding co-ordination

Oxbow Country Estate – venue

Dreambird – stationery

Cafe Fleur/ Cor de Rosa – decor and flowers

Bon Courage – Champagne

Place in the Sun – Wine

Prestige hire – Tiffany chairs

Four Seasons – sound and DJ

Rudolph D couture – Wedding Dress

Designer Guys – Suit

Picture me and u – Photography

Plus3 Films – videography

Miz Gooze Berry – Cake and cake table

Photobooth SA – photobooth

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