Real Wedding: Elaine &Theuns

Elaine & Theuns

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Elaine and Theuns met at university and, young and in love, embarked on a four year relationship before he popped the question of all questions. She shares their enchanting, faith-filled love story.


Theuns and I met through our best friends, who were dating at the time. They believed we would be a match made in heaven. I was very cautious at first, thinking this guy – playing in an Afrikaans rock band (Foto na Dans) – is probably bad news. Theuns turned out to be the most versatile, talented and caring man I had ever met. He had such a calm presence and adored my extroverted madness. Needless to say, when we eventually had our first date in June 2009 I fell head over heels. I was only 21 and he was 23; we were young, in love and didn’t have a care in the world.

Near the end of 2010 I got diagnosed with a brain tumor. I remember telling him, ‘This is not what you signed up for when you started dating me’. He looked at me, confused, and said that we are going to get through it together.

And we did, I grew to realise that when things get tough, you turn to God and to the few people you can’t imagine living without. And Theuns was without a doubt one of them.


After a little more than four years of dating he proposed (knowing that I’d say yes). He joined forces with my best friend to make sure it was everything I imagined and more.

The day started with breakfast with my university friends and a letter to explain that this day would be special, what I meant to him and that from the day he met me everything changed. Thereafter he had me dropped off at a beauty salon to get my nails done and meet up with my two best friends, drink Champagne and reflect on my previous relationships, which eventually lead me to the only relationship I would ever need.

My friends took me to meet up with my sister where we embarked on a shopping spree, looking for the perfect outfit for that evening when I would see Theuns. I bought a little black lace dress and heels.

My sister then took me to my parents’ home where my she handed me the third and final letter. Theuns wrote about my grandmother, we shared the same name and she was my role model and soul mate. Unfortunately she passed away just after my surgery, but not before she called Theuns and had ‘the talk’ because she was sure we would eventually get married.

After taking a relaxing bath I got all dressed up and my parents drove me to Hermanus, where we stopped at Grotto Beach and I was escorted by Theuns’ sister to the cliff path leading down to a tiny beach where he waited between so many arum lilies and candles I couldn’t even count them. He proposed at sunset. And I said yes. Of course.

We then drove to his family beach house in Voëlklip where there was a surprise party with our close family and friends.

In the beginning of December, three months after our engagement, I found out the brain tumor, removed in 2010, had grown back. I had to go for surgery again. It hit a little harder the second time, knowing what lay ahead and having so much more to lose. But courage is simply fear that has said it’s prayers, so that is what I did. I prayed and confided in my Theuns. All went well once again and we started planning our dream wedding.


When the planning started I immediately knew I wanted Elizabeth Stockenstrom to design my dress. We planned a soft, romantic and slightly vintage long-sleeve gown that could transform into a fun strapless dress for the reception. Looking for the perfect winter/spring venue wasn’t easy, but then we stumbled onto Ashanti. It had everything: gorgeous surrounds, beautiful spaces, the staff were very accommodating and we could make use of their decor company (La Maison) which provided the perfect French boutique inspired decor to match the whimsical, glamorous theme.

I didn’t use a wedding planner, however my family of amazing creative and talented women fulfilled my every need. My cousin (Karlien Wiehahn) helped me choose the golden theme and created the most beautiful stationery. My mom (who can do anything) assisted with the decor, bouquets and everything else.

The morning of the wedding I got dressed at Heritage Square Apartments‘ Penthouse in Durbanville. The decor was amazing and made for beautiful photographs. I was surrounded by Lindy Truter (a friend from university) taking pictures and Clarita Smit, who made me look as beautiful and happy as I felt inside. Theuns got dressed at Palmiet Valley Estate near the wedding venue in Paarl.

We had the ceremony at the venue and had the words of Song of Songs 3:4 on banners as a backdrop to the ceremony: ‘I have found the one whom my soul loves’. I walked in on the instrumental version of Hillsong’s ‘Oceans’. Theuns stood strong waiting for me, just like the rock he has always been. Only when I walked right up to him did I see the emotion in his teared up, smiling eyes.

The reception was held at Le Chambre, with golden candelabras and hanging white and gold lights. The flowers and table settings were gorgeous and the food even better. The speeches were touching and simultaneously hilarious. We opened the dance floor to a medley that Theuns’ brother (Hamman Schoonwinkel) composed of about five Muse songs that we love. DJ Chopper got the party started and we danced into the early hours of the morning, while guests took turns leaving messages for us at the video booth set up by Tanjerine Films.

All in all the best day and party of our lives thus far.


This is your day, deciding on flowers, decor, the dress and everything else should be the easiest thing, because its your party (and you can cry tears of joy if you want to). Have a blast and celebrate your union, but also remember that it is simply a starting line for a race you will run for the rest of your life with the one whom your soul loves.

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Ashanti Estate

Lindy Truter

Elizabeth Stockenstrom

Clarita Smit


Tanjerine Films

DJ Chopper