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Gráinne and Etienne: A Pastel-Infused Destination Wedding in South Africa’s Cape Winelands
Photos By Tasha Seccombe
By L. K. on Mar 19, 2015 at 5:00 am in Pastel
Gráinne Mac Glinchey, an international aide worker, and Etienne du Plessis, an oil and gas man, met in Kampala, Uganda’s lively capital city. Gráinne had just arrived, but Etienne, whose roots are in South Africa, had been settled there for nearly a decade. The two foreign transplants became fast friends, and a romantic relationship soon blossomed during a camping trip along the banks of the Nile. A year later, Etienne proposed in Gráinne’s homeland of Ireland on the stately grounds of Castle Leslie. Bucking tradition, he presented his future bride not with a ring, but with a necklace of entwined diamond hearts.
Following their engagement, the pair dove headfirst into planning a destination wedding. “Living in Uganda and hailing from different corners of the world, we knew we wanted a wedding locale that would enable us to enjoy at least a few days with faraway family members and friends,” Gráinne says. “We found everything we were looking for at the Palmiet Valley Estate, a 300-year-old working wine farm in the Cape Winelands of South Africa. It allowed our guests, who had traveled from 12 different countries, to spend the entire weekend with us without having to get into a car even once.”
Marked by an opalescent pastel palette and lush cascades of indigenous blooms arranged by master floral artist Heike le Cordeur, the duo’s November nuptials were captured by photographer Tasha Seccombe and coordinated and styled by Wedding Concepts, South Africa’s premier wedding and event design management company, known for its seamless orchestration and creatively lavish spectacles.
The most meaningful details came from afar, as the couple looked to socially conscious Ugandan suppliers for their tabletop décor. “Good Glass, an eco-friendly social enterprise that partners with a local children’s charity, Uganda Hands for Hope, made the lavender-scented candles; a local woman-owned paper recycling business provided the table numbers; and a Ugandan fashion designer helped out with the napkins,” Gráinne says. “Sharing these little touches of our adopted home with our guests was really special.”
Guests of the Palmiet Valley Estate stay at this beautifully restored country homestead, whose suites boast Victorian-sized beds, original artwork, and a potpourri of antique treasures.
Fleur le Cordeur used white orchids, king proteas, peonies, and wispy greenery to create this softly striking cascading bouquet.
“The ceremony was the most important part of the day for both of us, and unsurprisingly it ended up being our favorite part,” Gráinne says. “Our good friend Sean, who has known us both since before we started dating, came all the way from Zimbabwe to marry us, making our vow exchange so special.”
Wedding Concepts left no detail overlooked. “They made it the most magical day of our lives,” Gráinne says.
“My parents were incredibly helpful with some of the DIY details,” Gráinne says. Her father fashioned ring holders out of seashells he found while combing a local beach and also cut the wine corks that propped up the couple’s travel-themed place cards, which were calligraphed by the bride’s mother.
Gráinne’s advice to other couples? “Don’t feel the need to conform to conventions, and just follow your hearts. It’s your day, after all!”
Sharing is Happiness
Photography > tasha seccombe
Videography > goosebump productions
Ceremony Venue > palmiet valley estate
Reception Venue > palmiet valley estate
Event Design and Planning > wedding concepts
Flowers > fleur le cordeur
Catering > palmiet valley estate
Cake > cakes by wade
Desserts > cakes by wade
DJ > capricorn music
Bride’s Dress > maggie sottero
Hair > yolande du toit
Makeup > yoland du toit
Lighting and effects > something different
Stationery > lara’s designs
Invitations > as you wish
Photo Booth > photobooth inc.
Dance Floor and Furniture Styling > Something Different
Bar and Hiring > Urban Tonic
Lavender Candles > Good Glass
Napkins > Brenda Maraka
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What's Being Said
Andreína - Fly Away Bride, Mar 19, 2015 at 11:52 am
All the décor is gorgeous but the bouquet is just amazing!!
Angelica, Mar 19, 2015 at 10:48 am
The travel theme is amazing, the pastel colors and all the details are perfect!
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