With great excitement, we share the natural earthy Citrus Farm Wedding of Monique & AJ with you on Vivacious Wedding Blog. We totally love the simplicity of this wedding. From Monique’s gorgeous wedding gown to the table settings under the open sky! But what amazes us is how beautiful the different elements blend in together.
Imagine getting married in a gorgeous nature surrounded environment under the stars! That’s exactly how AJ and Monique did it. There outdoors reception was at a gorgeous wedding venue in Hoedspruit. Their table decor was kept simplistic and modern. We love their table numbers. A singular line illustration of their faces! Abstract and gorgeous, we love it!
But, that is not all. The Green leaves floral design hanging above the modern table setup is stunning. It immediately grabs your attention to the tables. You are literally surrounded by nature! Dancing the night away under the stars. The talented Kreativ photographed this wedding. Enjoy this couples Citrus Farm Wedding below.
To completely appreciate and comprehend our story you need some background. We met at University through a friend, he taught of himself quite a lot playing professional rugby and all that. I wasn’t really one to be impressed by the statue.
Lost contact and reconnected again:
We lost touch for about 4 years. One warm summers evening at Pirates a cocktail bar in Mosselbay me and my sister and cousin went for a cocktail.
With a crowded bar and no place to sit or stand someone shouts. Monique Louw, come here. With a glance I saw AJ. He sat with a group of friends, so the girls were all eager and we went over.
I remember my resistance going over to this “self-love” table like it was yesterday. When greeting AJ he pulled me closer, put his hand around my neck saying tonight I am taking you for a spin on the dance floor. “You are going to fall in love and then I am going to marry you!” he said.
A surprise photoshoot:
And those words were kind of prophetic. As two years later this boyfriend of mine surprised me with a weekend away at an exclusive game lodge. After a year’s worth’s of begging for a couple shoot one of our photographer friends, Nadine rocked up at breakfast. We did a very well planned couple shoot.
Little did I know that the shoot was planned by her and my sister and soon to be hubby in parts. The first part was “she still doesn’t know”. We had a blast all-natural shoot on the game farm and then she suggested we go to the lake for sunset shots.
I was all in and we drove to another reserve close by. As we drove up to the spot there was a dreamy all-white picnic set up with all my favourite snacks. I am the biggest foodie ever. By this time dying of hunger, I ran out of the car so surprised at the white chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne.
The big question:
As I picked up the strawberries and turn around to offer him some, he stood there in the most surreal sunset asking for my hand in marriage.
I did the ugly cry and the moment was captured with all of its emotions on film. The day was everything I dreamt of and we ended it off with family surprisingly waiting for us back at our game lodge restaurant so celebrate.
Favourite Wedding Memories:
It is impossible for me to only give one so I had to draw it down to my top 10 I’m sorry guys….
My sister worked overseas on a contract, which got extended every month, we had no idea if she would be able to make the wedding, she was my Made of Honour and has been my absolute best friend for 24 years, she made it a 4 weeks before the wedding.
Dad has been an in the South African military service for over 30 years and having him walked me down the aisle with his formal military wear was a profound moment.
My husband and I prayed about the wedding day months before and God just put it on our hearts to celebrate our covenant with communion as newlyweds.
Our wedding day was captured by my very best friend for over a decade and she took so much of our raw love and day and gave it all to us as a wedding gift.
My husbands best friend and Godly mentor was able to marry us as a gift in front of all our family and friends as witness.
I have family all over the world and they came in from Australia and Texas to be our ring bearer, page boys and flower girl.
We ended the night off with no power(load shedding)a live acoustic band, and guest singing till morning hours under starlight.
My husband as you’ve probably noticed by know is always full of surprises, we agreed that we won’t be having a wedding videographer as we wanted to save up for the honeymoon, but on our wedding day, he surprised me with this timeless wedding gift a videographer that I dreamed of getting.
My dads face when we did the father reveal and how he just poured out with tears and asked me to pray for me and our marriage
For our wedding party shoot, we had a picnic in the middle of the citrus farm rows where the venue set up canapes and welcome drinks for us to celebrate as a group of friends before we had to go back to the rush.
So no surprise here. However, it was a surprise till literally, we ran to the last flight. I got to know the location, after keeping it a secret from boarding in South-Africa to an overlay in Dubai. Taking me to a boarding gate to London and literally 30 mins before boarding running to the actual boarding gate BALI.
I had always dreamed of going to Bali. Discovering the country on the back of a scooter (with no helmet, that’s their thing). Lunch spot hopping, tasting all their different type of beers. Also going to their street markets eating their street food.
Then walking through the rice fields and having their very own Betutu (spice stuffed duck). Dreaming up over all their Balinese furniture, visiting their temples and having sunset dinners on the beach of Seminyak, and bar hopping along the coast of Kuta, what an experience it was.
Advice to couples planning their wedding:
Please try and remember that this is one day. You will have a lifetime of memories to fill up. Don’t spend all your savings on one day to satisfy guest and stress over all the nitty-gritty stuff.
My mom gave me some amazing advice she told me there is a reason there is a variety in life if you think of KFC, McDonald’s and Steers. People have different tastes. You will never be able to satisfy all your guest their taste buds are different, leave it be.
Another thing, relax on the day don’t do anything no finish touches are needed you need to leave the control freak in yourself at home Prozen helps with that.
Enjoy the day make sure to take 5 min to take a LITERAL step back and look at your husband’s face. Capture that moment in that setting with those emotions and save it. You are going to want to relive it for the next few decades.
Remember what the day is intended for it’s a unity and a covenant, wedding planning will test your relationship like you never taught possible don’t give that devil any power girl.
The story behind the Wedding Dress:
So you know the whole don’t decide on a dress too early you might change your mind later on. That was not the case with me. I decided on the exact dress 2 days after we got engaged. Based on a Pinterest picture and not once doubted my decision.
If you know me and you saw my dress it wouldn’t really make sense. As I am a very big extrovert and bubbly. I am all over the place. And I think that is what people expected of the dress to be very big dramatic. But, I wanted the complete opposite.
I chose a simplistic modern satin dress with a thin strap high v-neck. No lace, no frills, no low back finished off with material buttons below and a long round slayer and a dobby veil that added detail to the simplicity of the dress it was, personally made by a friend and designer Marlise Meeding.
The Wedding Venue:
Ideally, I wanted to elope to a small picturesque Italy town and celebrate with closest family and friends. My husband wanted all big South African wedding, so we compromised.
I found a 5 x 5cm image in the 60th-century stone wine cellar cover. It had ivy leaves in the middle of the breath-taking citrus farm in a wedding magazine that was a gift from my best friend.
Natural outdoor setting:
By only that I knew, almost like buying your first house when you know you know. We wanted a very natural setting that is outdoors under starlight.
Under Edison bulbs having an intimate dinner and a ceremony filled with Grace in a raw setting with a Wineland’s type of background. This venue had it all, and so much more.
It offered a South African farmhouse to get ready in. A ceremony area under a 100-year-old tree. A tree called the Oom Paul tree as they named him with a picturesque background of the very renowned Blyde River Canyon mountains.
We had a live band serenading us under a starlight dinner reception in the most amazing warm summer evening.
The inspiration began two years before the trend took flame. We were engaged for about that long, I wanted all the naturalistic elements to be exemplified with no overpowering. I took timeless white colours with tan leather and dried leaves and a touch of marble to give it some elegance. We wanted a very relaxed and natural simplistic wedding. All of this came together beautifully with the setting and all the guest wearing natural pallets of beige and white.
My poor mom. This was her task and what a task it was. She had to find a cake maker in Hoedspruit surrounding. One that was able to pull off a minimalistic all-white cake with paint droplets and an wire abstract form mended to it.
Sounds complicated I know but that’s what moms do they make the impossible possible. Our cake was amazing!. We didn’t have time to go for tasters as we were 4 and a half hours away.
So we couldn’t let the cake be made in Pretoria and transported, because if something went wrong in the heat in Hoedspruit we needed back up. The cake came out exactly like I pictured it. It tasted amazing and yay we had no cake melting in 40’ degrees Celsius problem like everyone warned us about.
Decor at the wedding:
I wanted the venue and the entire wedding to be as natural and casual and lovely as possible, with no fancy touches that take away from the picturesque setting.
I decided to have no flowers only 1 white orchid in my bouquet to represent a brides graceful purity and all décor would be glass and dried leaves hanging from trestle arches above every table, we also had Nguni skins cover the aisle and later thrown on the walls around the reception.
Gorgeous handmade wedding arch:
The ceremony had a triangle wooden wedding arch. Hand made specially by my dad. It was cover by dried leaves, symbolic to the unity that is formed between covenant and God.
The entire reception was covered in candles and Edison bulbs hanging over the dance floor under starlight with white raw edge cotton runners and one-line drawings inspired table runners that were personally drawn by my best friend and photographer.
So we both love music and we life for all time classic alternative rock, so we had my husbads friend Kearney a musician learn the acoustic version and under starlight to a live serenade we took the dance floor as newly weds.