Marielienne and Willie van der Vyver were married on 27 October 2012. The late spring morning dawned bright and clear as the soft early light danced across the waves of the Indian Ocean. The quaint hillside village of Simonstown was still fast asleep but, for some, this day was twelve years coming and they weren’t going to miss a second of it.
The little cottage with its sweeping back stoep view of the harbour and further out to sea was wide awake and inside Marielienne and her maid of honour, Beatrix de Bruin and bridesmaid, Nadia Turton, were getting their hair and make up done, glass of bubbly in hand. Nervous laughter and excited chatter with regular interjections of “Aw jy is so mooi Marielienne” intermingled with the muted tones of Jack Johnson. Marielienne’s beautiful, custom designed dress (thanks to Sue Turton!) hung in her bedroom waiting patiently to be filled and for the fairytale to truly begin.
Marielienne had spent weeks single-handedly creating decorations for the venue and putting into place her dream wedding day. Blue Horizon made a breathtaking choice with its rolling green lawn leading down to a panoramic view of Simonstown and its stunning surrounds. The white awnings of the alter floated softly in the breeze as guests begun seating themselves on the rows of wooden benches. Petals lay in the aisle and hand made wooden hearts adorned the trees, completing the whimsical feel of the romantic setting. As picturesque as the venue was, however, it was no match for the bride’s radiating beauty as she descended the aisle into Willie’s arms. It was a short and joyous ceremony and in a flurry of bubbles the newly weds disappeared for their adventurous couple shoot.
With Simonstown’s characterful corners and the natural serenity of the hilltop fynbos reserve as their canvas, the happy couple were spoilt for choice when painting their picture of love and joy. Having been together for twelve years already, Willie and Marielienne were as natural as can be and Willie didn’t even have to be told to hold his bride and kiss her, he could not take his eyes or arm off her the whole shoot through and the devotion and adoration shone bright in his eyes every time he looked at her.
A late lunch was served and speeches were made once everyone had rejoined at the venue. Having prepared his for weeks before hand (or at least this was his excuse for getting out of a little bit of the wedding planning) the groom’s speech went well and as he says, “it wasn’t a work of art but Marielienne liked it and that’s all that really matters”. His was followed by a few words by Marielienne’s brother and MC, Pierre. Despite the couple’s misgivings when seeing the projector as flashbacks to embarrassingly revealing 21st birthday speeches sprung to mind, his speech was really entertaining, accentuating how well suited the happy couple is for each other.
After lunch it was time to mingle as the champagne flowed and music set the mood. The newly weds flitted effortlessly through the crowd making sure they spoke to each guest individually and sharing a special part of their wedding day with them. For Marielienne, “the day went by so quickly. It was as if you were in a surreal bubble the whole time, you were there but you didn’t really feel there. There was so much emotion and so much to take in but it was the best day and everything went so smoothly”. For Willie, the weeks of nerves and preparation had paid off and he wouldn’t have changed a single thing about the day.
As the early evening breeze blew the last lingering petals across the aisle and the sun begun its slow decent toward the horizon, Willie placed his bride’s hand into his and whisked her to their honeymoon cottage. After twelve years together he could now truly call her his own and look forward to the fairytale of the next twelve years and more of their lives together.