real wedding: farm style wedding with old world charm {vanessa & grant}

Good morning beautiful ones! I hope you’re all having a lovely week and your wedding plans are all coming together?  Today I’m rather excited, as this evening I get to put into action some of the changes I’ve been planning for b.loved in the last few weeks!  There are some new and exciting things planned for this little blog for the second half of 2012, and the first of these announcements is tomorrow, so make sure you stay tuned :)

I’m always telling you about the amazing community in the wedding industry.  When the people I meet through running b.loved turn into friends, they are the ones I know I want to shout about to you.  They are the ones who care about your day as much as you do, and see you as an excited bride and friend not just another bride.  One of those people is Cape Town photographer Monica Dart, who emailed me a few weeks ago with a hilarious anecdote about today’s real wedding and an encounter with a rather dangerous snake during the couple shoot! What an intro (luckily they all ran to safety and it didn’t make another appearance during their day!) She then elaborated about Vanessa & Grant’s beautiful day, a rustic farm wedding with old school charm, and I was sold!  I love their laid back sense of style, Vanessa’s relaxed hair style and the bridesmaids soft blush dresses teamed with rather wonderful and voluminous bouquets of baby’s breath.  The outdoor ceremony, with guests seated on hay bales as they exchanged vows under the African sun and the shade of an old tree hung with ribbons.

Vanessa tells their story ~

Grant and I met through a mutual friend in 2009. From the very first day, I think I knew that this man had a heart of gold and was a keeper.  One day, we had decided to go for a drive and a late lunch to Franschoek. (Little did I know that Grant had been planning this for a few weeks and had already scouted out L’Ermitage with its beautiful stone chapel.) He suddenly pulled over to the side over the road, got out a blind fold from the back and used it to cover my eyes. So as he guided me along a cobblestone path, with the sound of rushing water, I had absolutely no clue as to where I was. Next thing I knew, music was playing and he told me I could take off my blindfold. There he was on his knee with tears streaming down his face and the most beautiful ring I had ever seen.

We had been searching for a venue for a while, and after quite a few weekend drives we came across Cabrieres in Montagu which was everything we wanted. It was elegant in its simplicity and had the down to earth feel that we wanted for our special day. We loved the idea, that it was off the beaten track and that not many people had heard about it before.

We wanted to keep our day simple, but tasteful. So no particular theme, we just knew there had to be lots of candles, glassware and little touches of old world charm. The colours we wanted were greens, shades of white and a slight touch of colour. We spent many, many hours folding the 300 origami birds that hung from the ceiling and were placed on the table. I did try to include the bridesmaid in this, but we just landed up drinking bubbly and chatting and after having only completed one bird each, we gave up and Grant and I did the rest.

There were so many special moments, but two that really stood out for me was when my father and brothers came to fetch my bridesmaids and I in the cars to take us to the ceremony. And the other one was, was the kiss. It was at that moment that I really felt our lives had changed and we would grow old together. 

What was your first dance, and how did you choose the song?

It was ‘At Last by’ Etta James. We loved the song and it was slow enough to enjoy the moment.

Do you have any advice for couples currently planning their wedding?

My advice would be take your time and not to rush the planning, enjoy every minute of it.  Also, to stop and remember the reasons for this big day. 



Photography: Monica Dart Photography // Dress: Cindy Bam // Shoes: Ted Baker // Veil: Cindy Bam // Jewellery: Swarovski // Bridesmaids dresses: Forever New // Hair: Carma // Makeup: Belinda Ryke // Stationery: Elsje Designs // Venue: Cabrieres //  Coordinator, catering & cake: Flamboijant // Flowers: Cabrieres


After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

I'm also a co-founder at The Brand Studio, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive where I support and nurture wedding pros building industry leading businesses. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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