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Celebrating Linél and JP: A Love-Filled Wedding Journey at African Leaves, Dullstroom

Dive into the enchanting tale of Linél and JP, two souls whose love story reached a crescendo amidst the captivating beauty of African Leaves in Dullstroom, South Africa. A celebration that seamlessly blended their love for the outdoors, great music, and exceptional food.

Guided by Linél’s creative touch, African Leaves transformed into the embodiment of their unique love story. While both Linél and JP have an appreciation for exceptional food, their wedding was a testimony that love was at the forefront. The venue radiated an atmosphere of warmth and joy, enveloping guests in an intimate embrace that echoed the couple’s deep bond.

Italian garden vibes set the stage, where every corner seemed to whisper tales of romance. The tables, adorned with meticulous care of Broghan from Skat, hosted a feast of Italian flavours. Yet, beyond the sumptuous dishes and curated wines, what truly stood out was the genuine connection between Linél, JP, and their cherished guests.

Beside the tranquil lake, as the sun painted the sky with hues of gold, Linél and JP’s wedding unfolded like a dream. The serene waters mirrored their journey – calm, profound, and truly beautiful. Flames flickered, casting a gentle glow on the gathering as speeches intertwined with laughter and stories, weaving a tapestry of love and shared memories.

The dancefloor beckoned, and the couple’s choice of a live band set the perfect tone. Dancing under the stars, surrounded by the people who cherished them, they embraced a moment that marked the beginning of a new chapter.

For couples who cherish authenticity, appreciate nature’s allure, and believe in the magic of melodies and togetherness, Linél and JP’s wedding is an inspiration. It’s a reminder that weddings are a blend of moments, carefully woven together to tell a unique story.

I asked the couple a few questions:

1. I know African Leaves has a very special place in your heart, can you tell us why?

African Leaves is our family farm so it has been a very special place for us for quite a long time. We are from Gauteng and working in the corporate space, thus we also have a high appreciation for the nature and tranquillity it holds when we do get a chance to go there. The area under the oak tree where we got married is also a very special place for our family for specific reasons.

2. What was challenging about hosting your wedding here and what was the biggest thing you had to compromise on?

To be honest we did not compromise on anything, as our vision was clear from the start – to have a small, intimate wedding, with only the closest friends.. I have been involved in many weddings before, and just wanted a stress-free day, with all our guests being relaxed and enjoying the day with us.

Initially I did not wanted to appoint a wedding planner, as our appointed caterers are great with managing functions and I had all the contacts for décor, but then my work-life just got extremely busy. Luckily I was planning on working with Broghan from Skat for rentals, and then she mentioned that she could take full control of the florals and décor setup. They were just amazing and really went the extra mile, even during the course of the evening, looking out for me.

Thus I would always recommend appointing a wedding planner or at least someone to take full control of setup. It was a life-saver.

3. Tell us more about the decor and menu why did you want these specific people involved in your day?

Italy is a very special place for me, and I just love everything about it – the food, the wine, the landscape, the traditions, everything.

We started our wedding day at 1pm already, and started serving canapés and bubbly upon guests’ arrival, followed by a 3-course hearty menu.

The idea was to have a long Italian family dinner, ‘with a wedding somewhere in between’. Needless to say, all went to plan and it was a wedding to remember.

Décor: Skat was a no-brainer. I met Broghan at one of the weddings hosted at African Leaves and I saw her attention to detail. Her décor items are very ‘natural’ items – whites, browns, glass, terracotta and marble, which I love. The florals were very ‘classic romantic Italian’ and exceeded my expectations in all aspects. The addition of fruit added an extra level of depth and the candles were hand-made – candles are always very important in creating a romantic atmosphere.

Food: Onside is one of our preferred caterers at African Leaves. They are just super organized and nothing is impossible with them. The food service needed to be moved from the venue to the house which was no problem for them. I have them my ‘dream Italian menu’, which is usually a few courses, and when we went to the tasting, we were literally blown away, it was so difficult to choose our favourite items.

Our menu consisted of floating canapés, family-style entrees, the most amazing granadilla sorbet as a pallet cleanser, plated, slow-cooked short-rib on a bed of polenta, and for dessert a selection of cheeses and small Italian desserts. The menu was both hearty and healthy, and we received a lot of compliments from our guests.

4. What was bestest LOL moment for you?

Uhmmm, when we couldn’t do our ‘big move’ during our first dance! I wanted a dancefloor with an ‘infinity effect’ over the dam – no-one realised it will dew and become wet. We went for dancing lessons and everything, and then we could not do ‘the move’, haha. Needless to say, the dance floor provided a lot of laughter and excitement throughout the evening and no-one complained!

5. What memory do you have from your wedding day that you will never forget? What part of the day had effected you and your relationship the most?

The pastor’s sermon and wedding ceremony was really special to us. Couldn’t wait to say ‘I do’, and it really felt like it was just the two of us and the pastor. Also to have been able to have all of our most dearest family and friends there to celebrate with us.  Our friends are like family, and they made so much effort to come from all over the country and the world, including Amsterdam and Hong Kong. This was so special to us.

6. Any advice or words of wisdom you would give to future couples who are planning their big day?

Sjo, forget about all the trends, do’s and don’ts. Just do what is special to you and don’t compromise. Don’t put unwanted pressure on friends and family to help you, it means so much more when they offer to help you because they really want to.

A shout-out to all those that had a hand in their wedding day:

Venue: African Leaves + Hot House Venue | Catering: Onside Events | Wines: Babylonstoren | Linél Dress: Vesselina | Hair & Make-Up: Mooiste Make-Up & Hair | Florals: Skat Studio | Photographer: Kim Tracey | DJ: Johan van Lingen |Band: Titus Music | Stationery: Khyla McCord | Rings: Kolmio | Officiant: Ds Fredrick Wilson – NG Kerk Lydenburg | Hair Colourist:  Ashley Daveton Salute Salon

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