African Wedding at Val de Vie


Zimbini & Alfred’s African Wedding at Val de Vie is the story of a couple that came from humble beginnings to rise to the top tier of society. It is also a very romantic tale of a boy and girl that grew up together in a small town called Mbekweni (just outside Paarl), only to lose contact for a long time.  But when they eventually saw each other again after 10 years, it was pure chemistry… Love at first sight!  It is the perfect inspirational story for the youngsters of today.  A story of true love, hope and perseverance.

For Zimbini, a charted accountant, now living in Johannesburg, it was very important to get ready in the house she grew up in, in Mbekweni.  What a bold move!  For us photographers and videographers, this was a very refreshing experience that meant we had to push our creativity to the limit in covering this part of the day.  Normally, we work in pristine guest houses with spacious rooms and perfectly manicured gardens… “How boring…”  At Zimbini’s mother’s house, we had to work in a room of 3m x 3m – And of course, all the bridesmaids and hair and makeup stylists shared it with us.  “Compact” is the apt word here.  Looking back, we would not have had it any other way!  The energy, the authenticity and the vibrancy of the people in their small neighbourhood were contagious.  One can see that these people are a tight-knit group that has been there for each other through the years – a beautiful example of what community is!  As Zimbini did her preparations, a crowd started gathering in front of her house and… then as she was ready, she made an appearance on the balcony in her elegant Gert Johan Coetzee gown, admired by the cheers and traditional chants of the 100 strong crowd that had gathered in the street below.  Awesome!!!!

Zimbini’s next stop was Val de Vie Polo Estate.  The move from humble birth house to the luxury and grandeur of Val de Vie was very symbolic of her own growth and rise in society – what a great message of hope!

Alfred’s story is equally inspiring.  Zimbini recalls the story about this confident, self-made man that now owns a respected civil engineering firm (Alfred), that sent his uncles to ask for her hand in marriage, even before he had proposed in person himself.  Now that is what I call delegation and confidence! Alfred and the boys got ready in one of the newly built luxury villas at Val de Vie.  Class, style and sheer luxury are the words that come to mind when I think back to their setting and preparations.  Alfred wore a custom-made Osmans suit – black pants and gold embroidered beige jacket.

Our couple opted for an indoor ceremony.  The restaurant at Val de Vie was transformed into a cosy chapel.  After the ceremony, guests were entertained to bubbly and canapés while we took the couple away for photos on the grounds.  It was quite windy out there, but despite the difficult conditions and the short time we had for photos I feel we still got some awesome shots.  Kudos to a very fun and energetic bridal party that kept me laughing throughout!.

The reception was beautifully made up in a beige and gold theme.  The flowers and decor were done by Grand Room Design and it turned out to be a splendid display of elegance and opulence.  We should not forget to mention Soritha and the planning team from Val de Vie for their huge contribution and coordination efforts in making this day run smooth. After dinner and speeches, everyone moved to the restaurant that had by now been transformed into an after-party area where the magnificent multi-tiered cake made by Cakes by Wade was cut and guest partied away into the early hours.

Most of all, I need to thank my awesome team at ZaraZoo for covering this stunning event so well!  Photos by Jo-Lizna Botha & Stefan Steenkamp.  Video by Jaun Buys and Ernest Birkenstock, assisted by Charlie Pitout.

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Val de Vie is one of the top Wedding Venues in the Cape.  If you are venue hunting and want to see more venues like these in the Cape Winelands, follow this link to the Paarl Venues listed in the Pink Book Wedding Directory.


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