Anmarli was one of our first brides when we opened our boutique doors in 2016, and little did we know what an amazing and ground-breaking bride she would make. She chose the most gorgeous black and nude wedding dress by Janita Toerien which set the tone for her dramatic winter wedding. She shared her wedding planning journey with us:


  • How did you meet your husband and how did you get engaged? 

We were high school sweethearts. We both went to Affies in Pretoria. I had a valentine’s dance and had no one to ask. One of our mutual friends suggested that I ask Ruan to the dance. I got Ruan’s number from this friend of ours, and I asked him to the dance. This was the beginning of the best time in our lives.


We love Knysna! Knysna is the most beautiful place on the garden route, and is very close to our hearts. Ruan’s family has a house right on the Knysna lagoon. Ruan hired a small boat, and packed a picnic basket. We went on the lagoon at sunset, and had the most wonderful time. Ruan arranged with our 2 families to wait at a specific spot on the lagoon, where he asked me in front of both our families. It was great to have them there, and at the same time, all that really mattered on that moment was my new fiancee. Definitely one of the most memorable moments of my entire life.


  • Where did you get married and why did you choose that venue and time of year for your wedding?


We got married in the Kalahari on our family farm.

The farm is very close to our hearts. We didn’t want any limitation on the number of people at the wedding, so this was the only way we could accommodate 220 people in a way that didn’t leave us completely bankrupt.



  • What was the vibe of your wedding?


We got married during winter (To be specific, on the night of our wedding it was -8 degrees).

I think the most important element was the black color of all main parts on the day. The black bridesmaid dresses, and black suits. I think this really gave life to a dramatic feeling on the day. Together with more than 300 candles, the DIY fireplaces, the deep red velvet touches and the Persian carpets, it made the setting homey and gave a little warmth in the very cold setting.



  • How did you hear about The Wedding Collective? 


I heard about it through Zanne Couture (Zanne Marie) my cousin. She recommended that I go to the Wedding Collective!


  • What made you choose your wedding dress? 


Despite the fact that I was (and still is) absolutely in love with the dress, the fact that the dress was black was a very practical decision, seeing that we got married on the farm and further to contribute to the dramatic atmosphere we wanted to create.

If there is one thing about the wedding that I absolutely loved, besides my husband, it was my wedding dress. This was exactly what I wanted, and exactly what I pictured myself to look like. This is one of Janita Toerien’s masterpieces. I had it custom made by her. I loved the fact that there was nothing ordinary to the dress. I loved all the detail and most of all, I loved, and still love the fact that it is mostly black. I think this is a dress I will always remember, and I will remember the feeling I had while wearing it.


  • How was your wedding dress experience from fittings to the final product? 

It was great. It was exactly how I imagined it to be. I loved every step of the way. Working with Janita and Marie made the whole experience so memorable.



  • Do you have any advice or tips for new brides-to-be looking for their perfect wedding dress? 

My only advice will be, don’t be afraid to choose a dress that is not traditional. Don’t be afraid to do something completely different. If I had to choose again, I would’ve made the dress completely black.



  • Who was your wedding photographer? 

The wonderful Heleen from Splendid Productions.


  • Any other vendors you would like to recommend to new brides-to-be?

Zanne Couture, Mini me and you (cake toppers), Goeters (décor)


  • What was your most memorable part of your wedding day? 

For me, as the bride, the night before the wedding was a very special part of the whole journey. I had a table set up on the farm, with a bottle of wine and 2 chairs. So we went to this beautiful setting, just to stand back, and take everything in. This was very special. It gave us time to really comprehend what was going on around us and think about everything. It was the most beautiful night, with the stars all around us. We talked about everything and relaxed for this 30 minutes, before going to bed, excited and relaxed, before our bid day. I would really recommend this for every bride and groom. It gives you time to take everything in, as the day goes really quick.


  • Do you have any advice regarding the overall planning of a wedding? 

I really mean this from my heart. Take the help of family and friends. They really love helping you, and it gives you time to focus on the detail that you would love to be part of your wedding. In my opinion, I would have never been able to do this DIY wedding, without my family and friends. This was part of the whole journey and everyone absolutely loved it.

Photos by Splendid Productions

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