Sarah and Adam – Bona Dea
This celebration is one for the memory books for The Rose Cafe but also for us as a family. Partly because all the elements came together so perfectly – the dress, the venue, the flowers, the decor – but the most important reason for this…because Sarah is my sister-in-law. Seeing her marrying the man of her dreams in the most wonderful, fairytale celebration surrounded by family and friends from near and (very) far was one of the most love-tank filling experiences I have ever had.
How did you meet? Tell us your story.
“Adam and I became acquaintances through the UCT rugby club in 2012, however at the end of 2013 we were both at a restaurant with friends and Adam came to talk to me. I was about the embark on a nine-month internship in the USA but, upon my return and much to my surprise, Adam made contact with me and pursued me so selflessly and with such grace, that after a few weeks I realised that he wasn’t the rugby jock that I thought he was;). In fact after just three months I knew he would be the man I would marry!
Adam proposed a year from our first date, and it was everything I could have imagined. He surprised me by taking me to Tintswalo Atlantic, and with the most beautiful setting he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.”
It is not often that a bride gives you a budget and a loose concept and says ‘I trust you, just do your thing.’ But on this occasion this is exactly what happened and it is the most wonderfully freeing thing as a creative to be allowed to flex your creative muscle in a way that you know will be perfect for THAT couple. Sarah, while not being fussy about her preferences, also had a clear idea in mind of what she wanted and didn’t want. So with her input we set about putting together a whimsical, romantic experience, fit for a princess and her prince.
The venue, the dream, the big picture for your day – what was important to you and what did you want your experience to be?
“Adam and I dreamed of a summer wedding in Hermanus, and a post-wedding week for us to spend time with both of our families and friends – all in one place. Bona Dea Private Estate in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley was the first and only venue that we went to see, as we both fell in love with the idyllic setting and knew it was the perfect place to celebrate our marriage. We wanted our wedding, above everything, to be a joyous time of having our families and friends all together in one place. We also wanted it to be a stress free organisational experience for everyone and so we kept things relatively simple and did the majority of the planning and organising ourselves. All that being said, a wedding can never go ahead without the support and input from family and friends, and for their involvement we are so grateful.”
Now, I have to share that as a supplier, and having worked at various different venues across Cape Town, Bona Dea was by far the most accommodating venue we have had the privilege of working at. Diddi and her team were incredible, giving us free reign of their beautiful kitchen to begin working two days before the nuptials. There were a few elements of the day that Diddi from Bona Dea was very specific about, such as the bride and groom doing a viewing of the complete setup the day before so that they could see it in all it’s glory, before being ‘undone’ by the plentiful guests. This was such a lovely prelude to their wedding day – and emotions were running high – because so often the bride and groom only enter the venue once it is full of all the happy revelers and they don’t see the beauty of the final touches. It was also so special for me to watch them walk through the untouched venue and to see the details before anything was disturbed. Diddi also insisted that the doors to the venue remain closed with beautiful silver tassels sealing the entrance so that no guests were able to enter prior to the start of the reception. The mums had the honour of opening the doors together and revealing the room.
Sarah, tell me about the planning process…
“I have always loved watching wedding programs and even before I had a boyfriend was pinning ideas to my wedding board. However what I came to realise is that the dreaming was much more fun! This is because you can only have one wedding and the executing of ideas is far less exciting! Your dream though is only as good as those that can execute it for you, and I am beyond thankful for the incredible Fairy Godmothers that made my vision come true.
My dress was made by my talented neighbour and friend LinekeVermaak and my bridesmaid’s dresses were made by Shuhra, a wonderful dressmaker in the Southern Suburbs. Our hair and make-up was done by the lovely Tremayne West. Our stationery was all done by our wonderful friend and graphic designer, Hannah Solomon. Our rings and my ear-rings were designed and made by our gifted family friend and jeweler Mark Whitehorn.
Adam’s suit and the groomsmen’s ties were from his favourite store – Country Road. The groomsmen’s attire was their own.
Our photographer was the relaxed and talented Ryan Parker and Mustard Seed Films captured our wonderful day.
Finally, my dearest and most inspiringly creative and capable sister in-law and owner of The Rose Cafe – Angie Wilmans. I have no idea what we could have done without you. You effortlessly co-ordinated the set up of our venue, and together with Thandi created breathtakingly beautiful flower arrangements and table settings. I will never forget walking into the reception and just being awestruck by your creation. You executed my vision beyond what I could have imagined, and then to top everything off your angelic voice resounded through the valley as you sang during our ceremony. Your first note brought Adam to tears and made our day that much more significant.”
This was a different experience for me personally as usually, once the setup is complete, suppliers high-tail it out of a venue after stealing a few pics of the finished setup as guests arrive to enjoy what we have laboured over for days. But in this instance, being family and a guest at the wedding, I was able to enjoy both. With my gelish mani doing just enough to hide my green, floristy fingers and whilst trying to keep my flower girl and ring bearer’s outfits clean and prevent any pre-ceremony meltdowns, I had the privilege of watching Sarah, resplendent in her sweetheart gown, being captured prior to the ceremony by local photographer Ryan Parker. She was truly breathtaking and he can’t be blamed for taking so many photographs of her and her beautiful bridesmaids in that soft, afternoon light.
What went through your head when you saw Sarah/Adam for the first time?
Sarah – “As I walked towards Adam I was filled with such confidence and peace, as I knew with every part of me that this was the man chosen for me by my heavenly Father. It was a moment I have no words to describe.”
Adam – “As Sarah walked up the stairs and towards me, I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. But despite my emotions, I felt totally assured and excited to be marrying the love of my life. With my parents and Sarah’s mother standing on either side of me, I could feel a tangible space of love and support around me. As Sarah and her father came closer, with everyone we loved there to witness our covenant, I could feel God’s presence there with us.”
There were so many special moments throughout the day that stand out for me. From Sarah handing over the embroidered handkerchief she’d had made for her Dad, to singing her down the aisle preceded by my two favourite little people, and then witnessing as my handsome husband in the role of the officiant, married them in the most tender and heartfelt ceremony. It was an all-round family affair.
Rain chased us inside for the petal toss and canapes, and finally to the big reveal of the crystal-adorned, candle-lit ballroom. The evening began with a choreographed dance by the new Mr and Mrs Adam Rundle, much to the amazement and surprise of us all. The captivating speeches were punctuated by delicious food, care of Zest, washed down with fabulous Flagstone wine and followed by hours of dancing, DJ’d by Chris Gore, who was “organised, confident, dependable and made for such a lovely party,” in the words of the bride. The cake, which nearly stole the show, was made and decorated by the incredibly talented Tanya Heathcote.
The Reception – key details that stood out for you and advice to other engaged couples re wedding planning, tips, do’s and don’ts etc.
“Our day was perfect in every way and there is nothing that I would change or have done differently. I think what made the day so faultless was that Adam and I were both so relaxed. What we both realised in the planning of our wedding was that what was important was the essence of the day. One of my bridesmaids said to me on the morning of the wedding, when we woke up to the rain, that I had to receive the wedding God had planned for us. I can see how easy it can be to get caught up in the finer details, and I’m not saying they aren’t important, as you do only get one chance at this. However, it really is important for the process to be joyful and to keep perspective on what the day represents – unity, unconditional love, commitment and celebration.”