The Intimate Winter Forest Wedding of Steyn & Ju-Mari

The Intimate Winter Forest Wedding of Steyn & Ju-Mari in the Cape Winelands area in South-Africa.  Winter weddings are super special to us.  They have so much warmth and mood to them.  It makes you feel so cozy and ready to celebrate the couple’s wedding day next to a large fireplace.  Steyn & Ju-Mari’s wedding has a bit of a bohemium feel with modern touches to it.  We absolutely love their black wedding cake with touches of edible gold foiling.  It fits in so well with their darker wedding decor and the winter setting.

Oh, and do we love Ju-Mari’s wedding dress!  Gorgeous!  Those long sleeves and detail on her back are just breathtaking.  Every little detail of this wedding fits together and works so well.  The use of different colours and textures together just fits perfectly.  Talented South-African wedding photographer, Jo-Ann Stokes captured their weddings perfectly.  Enjoy today’s wedding feature and remember to share it with your friends. Browse through more amazing weddings we featured on Vivacious Weddings for even more inspiration.


The Proposal:

My husband took me on a surprise pre-birthday date. I had no idea where we were going or doing. It was so exciting! We drove towards the Stellenbosch area (where we met as students) and finally stopped at one of my favourite wine estates- Boschendal. He had arranged an entire picnic and “something else at 2pm” I thought it was some performance, didn’t expect a thing!

As we walked around to the beautiful gazebo chapel in the middle of the lawn overlooking the pond, he suggested a selfie. Weird. He doesn’t like selfies. And he had knocked some wine back before the walk. I turned around and he was shaking whilst he took my hands and went down on one knee. After telling me to stop talking, we got engaged! A crowd dressed in all white seemed like a flash mob cheering for us with my husband fist-bumping the air. It wasn’t. It was a year-end function for some companies. A crowd nevertheless.

My husband hired a photographer who captured it all. And we continued to a photo shoot immediately. We were filled with so much raw emotion. It was magical.

Intimate Winter Forest Wedding

Favourite Wedding Memory:

There are so many. I mean it. Every little detail was perfection. My favourite would be the moment we stood before the altar with our loved ones tearfully watching on. It was like a movie. It was surreal and we couldn’t keep our eyes off each other or a smile off our faces. Also my favourite memory of our incredible wedding? It was such a happy celebration. We partied into the night with our closest friends and everyone had such a good “jol”.

Intimate Winter Forest Wedding

The story behind the wedding dress:

I always knew I wanted a beautiful sleeved dress with an A-line style. Being the tiny human that I am, I thought it would be very difficult to find the perfect dress. On a whim, I decided to visit a bridal boutique store in our town. The only person available to join on such short notice was my mother in law. We tried on a few and came back with my sister in law… and I compromised. A lot.

After a break down or two, I decided to go back. The lady at the counter said she was waiting for me to come back. I showed her a picture of a dress I loved – I mentioned the wrong style of dress at the first consultation. And then out of nowhere, they brought the dress of my dreams. They even broke the rules and had my mom on a video call to see. It was so special.

Tips from the Bride & Groom to couples planning their wedding:

Make it your own. Enjoy every little step. It’s such a precious phase of your lives and you will be on a permanent high if you enjoy your wedding day the way YOU wanted it.

Venue Choice:

We love the rawness of nature. There is something so lovely and sacred about forest weddings. The smell of pine trees and different textures are simply heavenly. Our venue was also just outside of our beloved Stellenbosch and very central to our guests coming from all areas. The management at Winery Road Forest is absolutely fantastic. Lize is definitely a superwoman.

Wedding Color scheme:

Our wedding was inspired by moody boho winter tones, wanting to create a sense of ‘warmth’ we brought in burgundy and marsala, black, dusty rose and pops of gold to compliment the raw nature scene of the forest. We are lovers of the coldest winters. But we strived to create a warm and intimate gathering for our loved ones on that crisp winters day.

Wedding Cake:

Honestly we never really wanted a wedding cake to serve as dessert. It was too traditional for us. It was supposed to only be for cake cutting purposes. We arranged for Dairy Den doughnuts as dessert for our guests on a ‘donut wall’.  We opted for a small cake. Black. With gold glitter and fresh flowers to decorate. Dark chocolate with raspberry filling. Heaven. So much so that our guests stormed our cake with their bare hands. I guess they wanted all the dessert!

Decor Inspiration:

Our decor team brought in Persian carpets to mirror the textural floral cloud installations bringing the ‘roof’ down, to create a more warm and intimate space for closest family & friends.

From dried fern, pampas grass, dried Italian Ruscus, dried hydrangea, and other earthy foraged tones it helped to create more tangible texture, heightening your senses, darker candles for moody lighting, and naked bulbs for a more modern industrial boho feel.

Mixed with the fiery personality of the bride that lit up the room and literally made everyone/thing sparkle, everywhere she went! From champagne photos, glitter bombs, her laughter, and happiness was infectious and lit up everyone/everywhere she went on her wedding day.

Musical choices:

We had the best time choosing our playlist! We decided upon every single song played throughout the day and reception. And the sequence thereof! It took us a few days. Ultimately we wanted it to represent us. We are a classic rock loving couple. It then goes without saying that our first dance song was a piano version of Guns n Roses’ Sweet Child ‘o Mine. I walked down the aisle to an instrumental Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman. Goosebumps.


We took what we call a minimoon to Wilderness in South-Africa. It was beautiful at that time of year and we could be cozy in our room with the best sea view. We were very spoiled. We are planning our bigger honeymoon to Greece soon.

Intimate Winter Forest Wedding

Wedding Service Providers:

Photography: Jo-Ann Stokes Photography
Decor and Floral Design: Creative Nook
Venue: Winery Road Forest
Caterer: Avec Mari
Cake: Candy and Lace Cakes
Hair & Make-up: Marnel Toerien
Bridesmaid dresses: Infinity dress SA
Wedding dress: Justin Alexander at Tying the Knot
Outside Photobooth: Booth Central