Wedding Service

A wedding in a greenhouse in the middle of the Stellenbosch mountains

“We always wanted our wedding to be centered around our friends and family,” says Michael. “The past two years have been difficult for so many, and this was the first trip many of our guests have taken since Covid began. For this reason, we wanted everyone to be included in everything, so we decided not to have a wedding party because everyone who attended was just as near and dear to our hearts as each other.

The couple also opted out of hosting a rehearsal dinner on the Friday before the wedding for the same reason. Instead, they greeted guests with a braai – an informal but traditional South African barbecue. The evening was spent outdoors and the group dined as a family at a long picnic table, where they ate local dishes including lamb, chicken and beef straight from the grill, as well only farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. The evening ended with nightcaps and lots of laughs in the pool.

The next day, the ceremony took place in the Maison des Ombres, an airy greenhouse that overlooks the property’s vineyards and offers views of the mountains. The space is used to grow flowers, cacti, and other native plants, which gave the ceremony a natural, green aesthetic. “We actually didn’t bring any additional decor aside from a handmade wreath that hung above where we were standing for the ceremony,” Matthew explains.

The bride and groom wore custom tuxedos by Suit Supply. “We obviously wanted a bit of individuality, so Matthew wore a black slim fit with a shawl lapel over the jacket, while I opted for a navy slim fit with a peak lapel over the jacket,” says Michael. “Our wedding was black tie, so to stand out to our guests, we chose matching white bow ties and finished the look with classic patent leather oxfords.”

Both Matthew and Michael wanted to forgo a religious ceremony, and instead focused the service on their love and community. Their officiant, Jana Van Den Munckhof, also managed to deliver moments of levity. The family was incorporated throughout and Michael’s sister, Christine Joubert, gave a speech. “During our vows, Michael – no surprise! – I stayed the course, while I – not surprisingly either – let the tears flow,” says Matthew. “Soon after, there was not a single dry eye left in the greenhouse.”