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A Parisian Elopement

2 Jan

APOS Blog Holistically Fabulous

Oh this couple. Spot on my kinda people. They thought they didn’t want to get hitched, until they discovered marriage was not their problem, a big wedding was. To quote Lauren, the bride, “When we met we both said we weren’t very interested in being married we were happy just to be together – what we soon realised was that it wasn’t that – we just didn’t want a big wedding. We wanted the commitment without the fuss.

Check out their full elopement on the Polka Dot Bride

What do you think of elopements?


Simple Wedding Crush – Beth and Brent

8 Jan

APOS Blog Holistically FabulousWhen I started on this journey of sharing and celebrating healthy alternatives, I expected there to be many more people interested in better ways. Better weddings, better habits, better marriages, better births. It has since occurred to me that mostly, people like following a model, no matter how rigid, taxing and uncharacteristic it is for them. That is why when my smart and beautiful friend told me that she and her fiancé had decided that their initial idea of a wedding would bring them more strife to pull off, than a simple celebration, I was pleasantly surprised and shouted for joy.

APOS Blog Holistically Fabulous

They were doing their planning for a wedding that was to take place in Durban, South Africa from Beira, Mozambique, where they work and live. The couple, taking their personal set of circumstances, values, vision, hopes and priorities into consideration, decided that the task of planning a more traditional wedding for their own celebration didn’t suite them and wouldn’t line up with their priorities. So started the journey towards their wedding.

APOS Blog Holistically Fabulous

To say it was a phenomenal wedding would be a gross understatement. It truly rocked my world. Everyone blessed to have attended agreed, one of the best spent days of our lives.

APOS Blog Holistically Fabulous

We were invited to experience who this magical couple were, interacting authentically when their loved ones and celebrating everything they hoped to become.

APOS Blog Holistically Fabulous

It was simply fabulous.

APOS Blog Holistically Fabulous

We haven’t featured a real wedding in a long time, so I will be uploading this inspirational brides commentary and pics as soon as I receive them because we need more examples of the way it can be done.

APOS Blog Holistically Fabulous

Simple Wedding Crush

4 Jul


I am in love with how calm, natural, at ease and in the moment this couple (especially the bride) looks.

All images captured by

All images captured by

Polka dot bride featured a PHE.NOM.ME.NAL wedding the other day. The smart couple had their intimate family witness the promise of their union before they sat down to a sumptuous meal, great drinks and dancing. How amazing?! Mr N and I did half of this. Before our celebration in March, we were married at Home Affairs in January of the same year. After our signing, we were hosted at a celebratory tea and cake by my folks with exceedingly immediate family. Truth be told, if I had it to do over again, apart from straight up eloping, I would organise a better dress and a professional photographer. So very grateful there are others that have priorities in a similar order to mine. It’s reassuring 🙂



12 Sep

When your vision isn’t understood, do not forsake it. Dare to do what you know, you know. The best dream encouragement I’ve read this week. Read it here. Aren’t all dreamers fearful adventurers?

image from

Real Wedding : Tania and Rudolf Oosthuizen

6 Jun

Rudolf and Tania met whilst at University together. They are an incredibly special couple because of the very real tangible love they have for one another. What started as an amazing friendship has developed into a marriage made in Heaven. Their special relationship translated into the wedding they had to celebrate their marriage.

The Love of my existence (life seems too short) and I took our vows before family, friends and God on a Saturday, 23rd of October 2010, at 14:30 in the Dutch Reformed Church in Franschhoek and the reception was held at Alleé Bleue wine farm, just outside of Franschhoek.

Everything about that decision was sentiment-loaded. My grandmother was born on the 23rd of October 1913 and had an immense influence on my life. When I went to varsity, she gave me a heart-shaped stamp-ring with a tiny ruby in it and with 2 A’s engraved on. Her first big love gave it to her when they were 16, but he was murdered next to her a few years later. Her words to me were: “I hope you find your heart in Stellenbosch.” Her wish came true!

My father spent his High School years in Franschhoek and their home was right opposite the Dutch Reformed Church. I remember him telling me that they watched the weddings from their porch. Their house is now a tiny mall, with his room being the travel agents. We spent Christmas holidays there and I always loooved the church.

Christine Coetzee was our wedding coordinator and such a blessing through the whole experience. (We’re still in touch). My husband, Rudolf, and I both have a variation of allergies and intolerances which were incorporated into our menu with extremely little fuss and no compromise on quality and uniqueness. We had our couple and wedding-party photos before the ceremony, so we were able to enjoy canapé melon balls and Parma ham, with cocktails before the reception with our guests. The rest was buffet style:


Cold Meat Platter with Gherkins and Pickled Onions

Smoked Chicken Salad with Pineapple and Sweet Chilli Sauce

Smoked Fish Platter with a Caper Dressing and Parmesan Shavings

Spinach and Feta Salad with Crispy Bacon Chips

Traditional Greek Salad

Potato and Leek Salad served with Vegetable Achar

Butternut soup served with fresh bread



Wagon Wheel Salad

Coleslaw and Sultanas


Rosemary Roast Potatoes with Crushed Peppercorns and Maldon Sea Salt

Steamed Basmati Rice

Lyonnaise Potatoes


Oven Roasted Vegetables

Asian Vegetable Stir Fry

Cauliflower and Broccoli Bake


Tagliatelle with a Basil Pesto

Macaroni Bake with Tomato and Parmesan

Riggatoni with Gorgonzola Sauce and Herbs


Fried Line Fish served with a Saffron Cream

Thai Green Curry with Chicken

Chicken Ballotine with an Apricot and Herb Stuffing


Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic

Roast Pork Shoulder

Roast Beef with a Béarnaise Sauce


A trio of chocolate mousse

Mini pavlovas

Fruit skewers

Tiramisu Gâteau


At about 23:00 we had more cheese boards come out with pickles, preserves and port.

Drinks were comprised of Alleé Bleue’s own white and red wine, with champagne we brought in ourselves as the farm does not produce MCC or champagne. Exquisite wine! The white wine was Starlette Blanc and the red wine was Starlette Pinotage.


During deciding on whether to have a small, intimate wedding (albeit by the coast) or what was later to be referred to as a white circus, I dreamt one night that as I was walking down the aisle, I “see” everyone that is not there (i.e., everyone that would not have been at a small, intimate wedding) and when I finally reached Rudolf, I turned to him and said “We can’t do this.” God knows his children! It’s old, it’s borderline unoriginal and it’s as cliché as can be, but I will always remember everyone we love and cherish and have influence in our life in one room, laughing and sharing and just relaxing with the sun setting over the vineyards outside. Also, the fact that my body was extremely sore from laughing the next day, was a big bonus.

Sharing getting ready with my best friends was also great. Everyone played to their absolute strength: Angé doing her best to keep me calm and everything organised, Lauren getting the party started, Coleen with her infectious laugh and calmness and Taryn seeing that things are perfect and organising food!

There were some tourists walking by when we arrived to rendezvous with our wedding-party for photos that took pictures of me in my white dress wearing Wellies! They were my something borrowed. As Angé and I arrived at the church, with Manny, our driver of our classic Bently, Dutch tourists also gathered to look on and congratulate.

Manny prayed for Rudolf and myself as we were driving back to the venue (eyes open!). So special!

“CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!” (with apologies to How I Met Your Mother)

It was said to me somewhere down the way that weddings highlight every single issue and little political playing card that exist between people. True. My father said to me early on: “Kies waaraan jy jou steur en ignoreer die res.” (In essence, if it’s worth fighting about, make the fight worthwhile, otherwise, let it go.) THAT made all the difference to the planning process for me! Being in Johannesburg and organising things down in the Cape was challenging, you need to trust the people you work with! You get to a point where you ask yourself: “Does this reaaaaally matter to me? Will I remember it 5 years down the line?” Perspective is key. It’s about the marriage, not the wedding.


I would have liked to realise earlier that the last few weeks eat away at your waistline and had my dress made smaller in advance rather that spending the day making a grab to pull it up every now and again.

“NICE TO MEET ME, I AM DELIGHTFUL” (With apologies to Happy Feet 2)

The confetti we used were little Petria flowers. We still have the tree growing outside our family home in Kirkwood. As a child, I would play “trou-trou” and toss hands full of this flower into the air and run through it. It spins as it falls down, so adds extra oomph. Also, it’s purple, my favourite colour. My mother organised it for me as it was barely in season when we got married – quite symbolic. I also had a group of singers (Madrigaal sangers) for music as I walked down the aisle to Bach’s Air on a G-string.


The day goes by soooo fast. We had to be at the venue at 8am to get ready for photo’s, and when I wiped my eyes, we were back at the cottage and it was 00:00am. The ceremony went by within seconds, everyone else swore it was 45minutes, I am not so sure. The walk down the aisle felt like 2 steps, cocktails were gulped in a single swallow, dancing is a vague blurrish memory of laughing and hopping around. We barely finished saying hello to everyone and the first people started saying goodbye.
We were advised by our pastor that we should stop and take it all in every now and again. We did. Rudolf turned to me a few times during our couple photoshoot and dinner, to remind me that this is it, this is our wedding. Months of planning and a little stress and menu tastings and flower trials gets squashed into 16 hours or less…so unfair.


There comes a point where you have to accept that it’s not going to be 100% perfect and you can either let it go and enjoy the surprise or realise that having absolutely everything 100% your way, will come at a cost. Include both the mother’s – regardless of styles, emotions or attitudes; you are going to be in each other’s lives forever. Your husband’s mother raised him to be the man you are marrying and for that she is owed respect! Do not neglect the fathers; that hard shell is hiding a lot. Choose your bridal party carefully. You don’t want to look at your photos in 30 years and refer to a bridesmaid as “some girl.” Be grateful and graceful to everyone involved, once the wedding is over, your world will expand again and you shall want them there!

Practically speaking, splurge on your photographers before all else! Regardless that you will have those pictures forever, you need to trust them to bring out your best, be compatible with their style of photography as well as them as people! Memories fade, speeches get lost, video recordings get damaged -that picture in the hallway, will tell a large part of your story and you need to trust the person painting it!

Take the people’s actions around you as coming from a good place first, ask questions about motives later.

Pray for your wedding. God loves you and wants the best for you, even if it’s not exactly what you want.


Rudolf to the husbands: “Live through the emotion, not in it. Accept that mood swings are part and parcel of your wife and that you have to stay the constant support that she will turn to.”

Tania to the wives: “Don’t expect the movies. They roll credits at the end. Life brings dirty socks and snoring. It’s all normal.”

Wedding remorse will hit even the most apathetic bride when she realises she is now “wife.” ( Like Monica said in Friends: “I’ll never be a bride again, now I’m just someone’s wife”). Deal with it. Let go all the issues that were part of planning. No one knows that you wanted light medium pink roses and got medium pink, or that you wanted Star Gazers and got St Josephs. Take the compliments as genuine and say thank you. Stick all your cards in a book and read them sometimes, your guests weren’t just the people who finished the wine, came late, wore the inappropriate dress bla bla… they shared their wisdom, experiences and love.

After the honeymoon and -phase, reconnect with your friends!

Bottomline: It just keeps getting better!! God brought you together:

Jer 29:11 and John 10:10!


This would now be the part where it says: “The producers would like to thank…”

Bride: Me
Groom: Mine

Wedding-party: Awesome

Dress and veil: De La Vida Bridal Couture

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Big Blue, Rosebank Mall

Groomsmen’s suits: Own

Cravats and waistcoats: Material bought by bride and mom-in-law, tailor made by Burger Broers
Venue, catering and wine: Alleé Bleue (Christine Coetzee)
Flowers: Leipzig (Izette)
Photographers: Jorina Botha & Werner Jobse from Artistic Photography

DJ : Johann Wiid

Officiator: Pastor Mark Griffiths of Every Nation Stellenbosch

Make-up: Ansie Tracey

Hair: Kymric Hall Franschhoek (Lizette)

Somtehing old: Franschhoek memories

Something new: Dress

Something borrowed: Wellington boots from Lianél Ackerman (Angé’s sister)

Something blue: Tanzanite earings

Music for church: Madrigaal sangers (Celia Vos)


The DJ and I met through mutual friends in our fourth year at a 20-20 cricket match.

The photographer (Jorina) was the photographer at a friend’s wedding about 2 years before ours. I took a picture with the bride and my dress shifted to be precariously short. When my friend showed me her photos, Jorina edited the picture to make my dress longer. That was it. I wanted her and no one else. She is also highly recommended.

The make-up artist and I met when friends and I spent too much time at the Franschhoek uncorked festival one year. We didn’t want to drive home to Stellenbosch and ended in Ansie’s house as she is one of the girl’s that was with us, cousin. I remember her telling me what she does and when I finally contacted her again, she remembered me! “Jy het darem al op my bank geslaap…”

Real Wedding : Kirsten and Wiley Thornhill

30 May

Kirsten is a talented designer and seamstress that is based in Winterton, Drakensberg. She planned a big celebration on the South Coast and was smart about her choice of venue for a huge party. Her smarts are the reason she is featured on the blog today. Her advise to newly weds is spot on. Enjoy.

Our wedding day was on the 10th April 2010. It was a Saturday, with the service at 3pm. We had the service and reception at the Bethany Lutheran Church, in Izotsha on the Lower South Coast, KZN.  I had chosen this venue, as it is the church that our family attends, and have many fond childhood memories there. The reception was held in the church hall. It is a large venue, and does hire out a large variety of catering goods (and in large numbers!) this made our lives easier, and we hired a local lady Jenny Bunge to do our catering. I can’t remember what we ate, but it was a 3 course meal. It was based around a roast meal…











The whole wedding day is rather stressful and tiring, but the church service, and saying I Do! Was the best part. Everything else came second…the photography was drawn out (we got so cold!), and all the little things that people wanted to know, like when they should eat pudding become tedious and frustrating! I suppose the challenge was the decorating and theme building part. I wasn’t able to quite clarify what I wanted, and so it become a variety of everyone’s idea of what I wanted. Everyone knows I love colour, and so they all went with that, I would’ve preferred a more subtle colour scheme!





We basically had a church hall wedding, which isn’t very popular these days. It’s not a very beautiful place (more functional and cost-effective). Most weddings are now held at picturesque  wedding venues. I would still recommend the church hall, as it is still a good venue, especially if you’d like to organize a large wedding. Other than that most people commented what a happy wedding we had…it certainly was. Everyone had a good time, and we were just thrilled to have gotten married.






The wedding day went so well, and there were no hiccups. I would advise brides to confirm the photographer that you want, and book in advance. The photographer I had chosen, said he’d be able to do it, and then snaked his way out, and replaced himself (he worked another wedding) with a stand in. This also happened with the DJ, (organized by the photographer) and so essentially I got the B-team. I would also encourage brides to choose the things that you would like to have on your day.  It’s the one opportunity to spoil yourself, and you get to invite other people to enjoy it with you. Brides should also remember the cost and stress of the whole affair.

If I were to have the day again, I would do a picnic based affair, with close friends and family…something more fun and casual. I wish I had been better prepared for the stress of it all. I wish it could’ve been a more relaxed affair.






Get married for love, compatibility, and friendship. The wedding is the day, marriage is every day after that! As newly weds, learn to work together as a team, so that the house you share becomes a place of rest and fun. The world is a stressful place, and to create a home which you can share and enjoy is a really great thing.


Kirstens Little White Book :

As a fashion designer and exceptional pattern maker and seamstress, Kirsten made both hers and her bridesmaid dresses. She is based in Central Drakensberg. Contact her on 0741230749

 South Coast providers: Jenny Bunge – Caterer, Bethany Lutheran church, and hall

Real Wedding : Domonique and Richard Freemantle

23 May

Domonique and Richard hit it off as friends as soon as they met. After seven years of  love  and adventure, Domonique married her best friend. Their wedding was authentically theirs and the beauty of it is that their guests recognised it too. In her own words, Dom describes her journey into marriage.

Our wedding was held on Saturday 16th October 2011. The ceremony was held at Linden Methodist Church (I think it started at 15h00) and the Reception was held at Heia Safari Ranch in Muldersdrift. We served tea and cakes at the church after the ceremony as not everyone would be attending the reception. At the reception venue we served non-alcoholic welcome drinks and had a cash bar available. We had a braai menu of Steak, boerewors, pap en sous and an assortment of salads.

It’s hard to choose a favourite moment but if I had to, it would be the moment we took our vows. We looked into each others’ eyes and held hands tightly. I remember trying to block out everyone around me and focus on the promise I was giving and the words I was hearing. It was quite something. I didn’t anticipate how fast the whole day would go.  

What made our wedding uniquely ours was the venue we chose; it was a little more unusual than most. It suited our style and represented who we are and what we like (we are very outdoorsy and relaxed). Our wedding vehicle was our Land Rover Defender. We are very attached to this vehicle as it has taken us to some of the most beautiful places in our country. We even had one on our cake!

Our greatest challenge was trying to include all the important family members with the planning. We scheduled a list of tasks and delegated. Try not to stress about every little thing. Let other people do that. You need to make sure you enjoy your special day without any worries. Take in every moment because it goes really fast.

Being married is wonderful, but not without it’s ups and downs. Remember to be patient, kind, treat each other with respect and don’t sweat the small stuff! COMMUNICATE! It is very important to communicate.

Domoniques Little White Book :

Wedding Planner: Me and hubby

Cake maker: Hubby’s aunt

Florists: Hubby’s cousins and aunts

Caterer: Heia Safari Ranch

Dress Maker: Bridal Dreams

Videographer: A good family friend

Photographer: HenryB Photography

Make-up: My sister in-law

Hair: My sister in-laws hairdresser

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