San Gabriel Historic Guest Cottages – Somerset West
Herman and Leentjie was the first couple to ever get married at San Gabriel. This venue has so much potential and is a true hidden gem – for now, of course! Their ceremony was held outside in the small forest, close to the cottages on the farm. Pre-drinks and speeches took place on the lawn and the food was served in the manor house.
When I first met Leentjie I knew this wedding was going to be special, rooted in deep meaning. Their vision for the wedding ceremony was to symbolise the coming of the Lord. The weather the day before the wedding was perfect and I was convinced that it would be even lovelier on the Sunday. However, when I woke up on the morning of the wedding the rain was pouring from the heavens, but we trusted and prayed that the skies would clear for their ceremony in the forest. In the meantime we had to make other plans so that the guests would have somewhere to linger and wait for the rain to stop. Umbrellas and lounge chairs were brought to the patio area from the lawn to create more seating that’s sheltered from the rain.
By the time the ceremony had to start, it was still raining so we set about making alternative arrangements for the ceremony to be held indoors, in a smaller lounge area. Just as we were basically ready to go, the rain stopped completely. I will never forget that moment when aunt Marianne climbed on a chair and asked if the guests can bear with us as we take the chairs back outside and setup in the forest. I remember her saying that it is Leentjie’s dream to get married in the forest and everyone cheered – the atmosphere was truly amazing. According to the original programme, the pre-drinks should have already started by that time, which meant that we could serve the guests something to eat while we were busy setting up for the ceremony. The ceremony in the forest was breath-taking and everything worked out perfectly. If I look back my heart is truly touched by Herman and Leentjie’s unwavering faith and trust in God’s promise to them.
But before we carry on, I have to share this behind the scenes moment! I was checking that everything was ready at the ceremony and quickly ran up to the manor house to fetch something. When I came back, Leentjie and her bridesmaids were ready to walk down the isle, but the two flower girls were missing. We figured that the two of them started playing in one of the guest cottages and must’ve somehow gotten left behind. Luckily after a few minutes of searching one of their moms found them – what a relief! They were so sweet, and when the music started they skipped with joy.
The weather for the rest of the day was perfect! The wedding was truly one big celebration and gathering of a special community of friends and family. The furniture of the manor house was used to create various lounge pockets for guests to relax in, and there were also fun games to play like table tennis, boules and card games.
The main meal and dessert was served inside the manor house. The food was absolutely outstanding, and Marilou and her team from Avec Mari Catering really did a phenomenal job. The décor was stunning and I can describe it as dense, rich and full of colour. The flowers were a real work of art, done by a close friend, Johanna Viljoen, and the tablecloths and serviettes were a mix of dark blue and mustard yellow. Guests enjoyed the late afternoon sun on the grass with good coffee, delicious wedding cake and other sweet treats from the dessert table.
Photography: Grace Photography
Catering & waiters: Avec Mari Catering
Wedding Cake: Nelita Munnik
Flowers: Johanna Viljoen
Sound: Vanesh (072 441 1994)
Wedding dress: Robyn Roberts
Bridesmaid dresses: Mareth and Colleen
Makeup & Hair: Silke Bosman