Helen & Barend, welcome to the Midlands Bridal Fair 2017 in KZN. We are so excited to introduce you and your business to our Brides- and Grooms-to-be!
Tell us about your business and what you offer
Crab Apple, owned by Barend and Helen Booysen, has three products to offer: our horse and carriage, Robin Hood adds such style and elegance to a wedding; our country chapel deep in the Dargle Valley seating up to 138 people and our three AA Superior self-catering cottages set on the edge of the pristine Kilgobbin Forest.
Crab Apple Carriage
Invite Bridesdale Robin Hood to your wedding. Finely dressed in his best, he will elegantly escort you to your ceremony. Breathe in the fresh air and pause to savour the moment as you roll gently in the beautiful French Victoria Carriage. Celebrate being Mr & Mrs for a while, just the two of you, as Robin leads you to your wedding venue and into your new life together. Share a rose with him and give him a cuddle as you pose for your photos, he does love the camera. Start your journey together differently with Robin and the Crab Apple Carriage.
Crab Apple Chapel
Up a country road, deep in the Dargle Valley in the Midlands of KZN, is the Crab Apple Chapel. The chapel seats up to 138 people on church pews. Your own pastor will be welcomed as Crab Apple Chapel is multi-denominational. There are fully stocked ablution facilities and onsite parking with attendants. It is well signposted and electricity is supplied. It is 20 kms from Howick. The Chapel Gardens are available for your guests to socialise in.
Crab Apple Cottages
Architecturally designed and delightfully comfortable, our three AA Superior Crab Apple Cottages are set on the edge of Kilgobbin Forest and the Dargle Valley Conservancy. Each thatched, self-catering cottage has an unique character whilst being furnished with every comfort including underfloor heating to keep you cozy. You are welcome to explore the forest and guided forest walks are available by arrangement. The heated pool, braai and entertainment area are available for you to use. Fur-children are permitted by arrangement.
How did you get into the wedding industry?
An icon in the area, it has now grown into a popular wedding chapel. In 1992, the Crab Apple Chapel was designed and built by Barend for the community. Sunday after Sunday, come rain, wind or shine, he would witness the community worshipping under the Crab Apple trees on the corner of his property. He then decided to build them their own chapel, Crab Apple Chapel. Barend sourced the windows and doors from a demolished Dutch Reformed Church in Pietermaritzburg. At a later stage he decided to expand the chapel and added the apse with its large feature windows allowing in the warm glowing sun and letting the natural surrounds of forests and farmlands form a glorious backdrop.
Helen is often spotted exploring the Dargle Valley on her carriage and enquiries began to roll in to join in celebrations so Crab Apple Carriage came to life.
The cottages were designed originally for each of the Booysens’ daughters to holiday in on the farm, they have since decided to open them up for everyone to enjoy this special space.
How long have you been doing this for?
More than 10 years.
What do you love most about your job?
Interacting with each person’s walk in life and making their special day the best it possible can be.
What differentiates your business and makes you stand out? What are you known for?
We enjoy allowing you to breathe, pause and enjoy: whether it be in the carriage as you embrace your new life as Mr & Mrs, in celebration as you come out into the country air from the chapel or as you relax taking in the forest views. We love helping your day run as smoothly as possible so you can take time to absorb all the memorable moments.
What can visitors to the Midlands Bridal Fair expect to see from you at the fair?
Meet with Helen and Barend to discuss your big day and understand a little more about what Crab Apple can add to it!
Any client testimonial/s you’d like to share?
“We thank you kindly for your professional and timeous service on Nicole’s Wedding day. You, and all the parties involved, have made her dream wedding come true. All the guests says it was a fairytale wedding. I will forward you a few pictures as soon as we have it. Thank you once again.” – Randy Walters
“My sincere appreciation to you, Robin Hood and your husband for the truly memorable occasion on Saturday. Toni was truly delighted at her lovely experience.” – Robyn White
“You have a little bit of heaven here. It is most precious and tranquil. Thank you. We will be back for a longer stay xx God Bless.” – Natalie and Dot
“Thanks for a wonderful stay, your cottage and nature walks are really rejuvenating and really enjoyed every minute!” – Fred Carby-Bird
“Thank you so much for your warm personal welcome. We are so blessed to have shared your wonderland for such a short time and looking forward to returning in the winter months.” –André & Lynette Grobler
Tell us what inspires you. Any websites, people or companies that you follow?
Crab Apple’s philosophy is to stay close to nature and be of service to the community – an extension of Christ’s work. Determined to preserve the natural beauty of the area, Barend and Helen are active members of the Dargle Conservancy. The property is a Nature Reserve under the Biodiversity Stewardship Programme.