True Love Story: Sim-Ray’s Engagement at Spier

Most romantic engagement EVER! Two of my close friends from church, Simoné and Jean-Ray, got engaged on Friday 18 January at Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch. After dating for a year and a half or so, Jean-Ray decided it was time to pop the question. 

Photos by Wian van Zyl.

The Love Story

Let’s go back a step: Jean-Ray and Simoné met at Catwalk, a nightclub in Stellenbosch. Simoné was having a girls night; JR was hanging out with a buddy.

After JR danced with Simoné, he asked for her number. Simoné isn’t the kind of girl who would just give her number to a stranger, but that night she did.

He asked her on a date a few days later, he invited her along to church, they fell in love… And the rest is history, as they say. 😉

Towards the end of 2018, JR decided it was time to ask Simoné’s hand in marriage. 💍

So, while Simoné thought JR was helping out his father at work on Saturdays, he was actually busy scouting around for the perfect engagement venue and asking Simoné’s parents for permission to propose to their daughter…

The Venue

Finally, he found it. 💡

With the help of his friend Wian, JR decided on Spier, a well-known wine estate just outside Stellenbosch.

In preparation of the big moment, JR put together a super romantic picnic at a secluded spot looking out on Spier’s dam, surrounded by big trees.

A spread of Simoné’s favourite treats 🍬, an ice-cold bottle of sparkling wine, red roses 🌹, cushions, and even a box of tissues.

Everything was ready.

The Engagement

Late afternoon on the 18th of January, JR picked Simoné up under the pretence that they were simply going out for a double date with their friends Wian and Micayla, without specifying the location. On the way to their secret location, Simoné kept asking where they were going, but her soon-to-be fiancé just kept telling her to wait and see. Wait and see. 😉

At Spier, the two of them walked around the estate, Simoné pointing out all her favourite features on the farm (because as far as she knew, JR had never been to Spier before).

He pretended to walk past the romantic picnic setup – Simoné’s heart dropping, I’m sure – and then he turned back and led her to the spot where her life was to be changed forever. 👰🤵

He read her a love poem he had written especially for her. Towards the end, he had worked it in:

“Will you marry me?”

Of course she said yes.

Soon after, Wian, Micayla, Petrie and I emerged.

The very first thing I noticed was the incredible joy radiating from Simoné’s face. I had never seen her so happy before; she looked beautiful.

I gave her a huge hug and congratulated the two of them. 💕

After taking a few photos with the happy couple, Wian, Micayla, Petrie and I left them in peace, slowly making our way to Eight Restaurant.

The Celebration

The six of us celebrated with a dinner at Spier’s Eight Restaurant. We started off with some wine: Spier Signature Chardonnay 2018. The Chardonnay has a fine balance between light wood, grapefruit, apple and acidity.

As I wasn’t feeling particularly hungry, I had dessert for dinner. I opted for the roasted pumpkin crème brûlée, which was delicious!

Petrie and Wian both had a Farmer Angus pasture reared beef burger – a great choice for two hungry men. Sim-Ray shared a serving of yellowtail fish, perfectly cooked.

After throwing a few hints at our waitress, I managed to organise a free bottle of Spier Surprise Sparkling for our table. Because what is an engagement celebration without a bottle of bubbly? 💁‍♀️ It was honestly the best sparkling wine I’ve had in a while. It was perfectly crisp, with hints of decadent pear and spice flavours.

Let’s raise a glass to Sim-Ray’s happily ever after! 🥂


Do you know of an engagement story that’ll beat this one? Please share it with me in the comment section below.

If you’d like to see more of Wian’s photos, visit his travel website SafariWian:

1 thought on “True Love Story: Sim-Ray’s Engagement at Spier

  1. Oh this is just so beautiful it gave me goose bumps!🤗😊

    I loved every second of prepping and celebrating with everyone, and it’s true what you say… I have NEVER seem Simi that happy before. It was just such an incredible experience!

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