12 July 2006 will always remain a special date for Menét and Jacques. This newlywed couple met through a mutual friend whilst living in London. Menét’s friend shared a house with Jacques and these two met when Menét came round one Saturday afternoon to visit.
They started chatting and discussed a variety of topics … “to this day we still have a good laugh about everything we discussed as the issues raised were those normally talked about by a couple already in a relationship, such as a modern marriage, politics, aspirations and childhood.”
When leaving, Jacques whispered something in her friend’s ear, Menét later found out it was a cheeky comment made about her “cute butt”!
After some nagging on Menét’s friend’s part, Menét allowed her friend to give her number to Jacques and their first date was hot chocolate at the Starbucks in Wimbledon. This was 21 September 2006, and to this day they always pop in at that same Starbucks and have hot chocolate at the same table!
In December 2006 Cape Town called - Menét had to go home for a friend’s wedding, and the plan was for Jacques to also go to Cape Town in February 2007 to meet the parents. In between Menét being at home for Christmas and Jacques going over in February to meet her family they received her mom’s ‘blessing’ to get married. They decided that they wanted to get engaged back home, in Cape Town, with all their family to share in this special occasion.
Menét then started looking for that special ring and had one made by Charles Creig. “Unbeknown to me, Jacques and my mom had conspired to have the ring ready a week before I was expecting it to be finished. Jacques and I then went to visit his family on their farm in the Kouebokkeveld districts, near Ceres. It is a beautiful farm nestled in the Cederberg called ‘Nuwerus’. On our five month anniversary Jacques asked the big question, ring in hand, which was completely unexpected!”
15 December 2007 started off quite hot and humid, and luckily Menét provided all the lady guests with parasols which came in very handy. Guests started arriving just before 16:00 and enjoyed pre-ceremony drinks on the lush green lawn area in front of the Vrede en Lust’s pool house which was next to the Ceremony area. A classical quartet led the way from the parking area to where the drinks were served butler style
Menét’s arrival was announced by Pachelbell’s Canon in D played by the Classical Quartet. A special touch to the ceremony was Jocelyn Mallon’s reading of “Blessing of the Hands” to the couple.
After the ceremony the couple was whisked off to the Manor House for the signing of the Register followed by having their photographs taken … “The extreme heat subsided and whilst Jacques and I were taking our pictures some thunder clouds came rolling in. The rain stayed away and then we had the most beautiful sunset!”
To keep the guest occupied during this time, they were treated to pre-dinner drinks and canapés on the lawns between the Manor House and pool. Canapés included Floating Champagne Flutes filled with Blush Sparkling Wine and topped with a Namibian Oyster and a Poached Apple Compot, Parmesan and Rosemary Shortbreads topped with Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Olives, Danish Feta and Basil Pesto, Edible Strawberry Daquiries and Bloody Mary’s, Salmon “Roses” – thin strips of Smoked Salmon, wrapped around Sushi Rice, topped with Cupi Mayo and Caviar and Sesame Glazed Chicken Satay served in a Spicy Red Curry and Coconut Milk Shooter.
Soon after, the reception was kicked off with the arrival of Mr and Mrs Toerien, accompanied by the sounds of Natalie Cole’s Everlasting Love. Starters were then served that included: Malaysian Style Laksa Broth served in a shot glass, served warm. Three Peeled Prawns on a skewer, served alongside a small Shredded Chicken Salad served with Baby Salad Leaves and Rice Noodles, Coriander and Sesame Seeds. “Ten minutes after all the speeches were done, it started raining, ever so lightly, and just enough to give you that fresh rain smell, it lasted for only five minutes … like I say, we were blessed!”
After dinner, guests were moved over to the after party area and the newlyweds opened the dance floor to Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars.
The cellar, situated next to the reception area, was transformed into an after party area for all the guests. A checkerboard black and white dance floor was positioned in the center of the room, with modern lounge furniture arranged on either side of the square. Four large circular pink satin, covered in black lace, lamp shades were suspended above the dance floor, while three large black crystal chandeliers hung very low above each daybed. All of this offered a warm, inviting, beautiful, colourful glow to the room.
Menét reminiscence … “I was surprised and very pleased that the day started out so peacefully and relaxed, as time went by and the ceremony came closer I was filled with such excitement. I think back with a great big smile on my face and with such contentment and joy in my heart and Jacques feels the same. When we think back we feel extremely blessed, the day offered us everything we were hoping. I felt so pleased with the way in which the décor, flowers, food and cake turned out and everything was to our liking.”
Menét’s best moment was when she and Jacques had a moment to just take, what seemed like a leisurely stroll, up the path leading to the reception venue. The nearer they came to the venue the more excited she became, hearing the laughter of their friends and family was just so special. Standing next to Jacques and knowing that they were about to take their first steps as husband and wife and ‘presenting’ themselves as a newly married couple to everyone who is so important in their lives was just so memorable. “I was so proud to stand next to Jacques and to be his wife. My second best moment was walking into the venue is just having this overwhelming amazement at how the décor was more than perfect - it was exquisite!”
Jacques’s best moment of the day was at about 16:40 on 15 December 2007 when he saw Menét walking down the aisle. “I realised that – that’s not just any person, it’s my wife to be, my soul mate. It was like seeing her for the first time, so pure and gorgeous.”
The Aleit team made us feel part of a family, they cared not only for our wedding needs but went that extra mile and cared about our wellbeing. They have the ability to recognise what is important to you as a couple and they have an understanding and appreciation for your individual taste and requirements.
“The most extraordinary thing for me about the Aleit team is that never throughout my 10 months of dealing with them did they ever make me feel like just another bride and that they were coordinating just another wedding. At times I would forget that they had other weddings to worry about. The enthusiasm and motivation made the whole experience for us so much more fun, thank you for showing us that.“
For their honeymoon Mr and Mrs Toerien spent a week in Wilderness and stayed at Zanadu Bed & Breakfast, a treasure of a place right on the beach, with their own private balcony, direct access to the beach and swimming pool. The views were spectacular and their most memorable day was swimming in the ocean for hours with no one around … “Being in Cape Town itself was already a holiday for us both, as we got a break from the horrible London winter!”
Advice to future Brides and Grooms:
- Consider having either an event before or after the wedding (or even both as we had done) as this will allow you to spend more time with your family and friends over the course of the weekend so that, on the big day, you don't have the feel guilty for not having been able to get around to all your guests, and not having to worry about them leaves more time to focus on each other. We had a 'spitbraai' the evening before the wedding which was a great opportunity for both our families to meet and on the Sunday afternoon after our wedding day we had planned a picnic and enjoyed some left over wedding cake!
- Brides, learn how to move confidently in your wedding dress by wearing it a couple of times before the wedding day, I would especially recommend rehearsing your first dance with your dress on, it will make such a difference.
- Get a coordinator … it takes all the worries off your shoulders!