Made-to-match venue for a winelands wedding at Vondeling in the Voor-Paardeberg…
Words: Nancy Richards
Pictures: John Clive
Vondeling means ‘foundling’ – the name given to each of the young girls brought in from the Netherlands as brides for Dutch East India Company settlers. So marriage is in the soil at Vondeling, where back in 1704 the original owner brought just such a bride – and was so fond of her he named the farm in her honour.
Even better is that they have their own barn-converted church, just perfect for the ceremony. St Clements, named after an adjoining farm, is a dear little structure complete with steeple and church bells, surrounded by lavender and consecrated in 2014 by the Bishop of Saldanha Bay. And an ideal stay-over for the wedding party is the old Farm House built in 1750.
Beautifully restored, it has seven luxury en-suite bedrooms with a fully equipped kitchen, a sitting room with fireplace, and superb artworks. Vondeling is less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town.
The beauty of the wee church is that it was entirely put together with the skills of local craftsmen. Architect Rik Stander and builder André van Helsdingen from Stellenbosch, a team of local thatchers who made the roof, the farm’s carpenter Denzil Brand created the pews and the lights came from Candelabra in Parow.
There’s even a beautiful organ on which to play the wedding march.
The leafy windows were made by Francois van der Merwe, stained glass specialist from Live Light in nearby Agter-Paarl who has worked on churches and castles all over Ireland.
After the ceremony, the elegant, Cape country style function venue is just a confetti –throw away. There’s a fireplace to warm up winter weddings and a leafy veranda for summer ones with a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains.