It all started as a true love-hate friendship back in high school. We continued as friends thereafter, sometimes friends and sometimes not. He like most of those close to us, believed we were meant for something more. It just took me longer to realise it. Once I did, I sent him a casual message, which he responded to in his usual sparky way. For the first time we were happily friends and without any labels, in a short time, we knew we had become more.
In true style, he managed to give me the proposal of my dreams, something I only shared with one other person and he had no idea of it. He had draped his entire garden in fairy lights and assembled a gazebo for an outdoor movie theater, showing my favourite movie My Fair Lady. He placed candles throughout the garden with a post-it on each with a note about why he loves me. As I lit the final candle, there he was on one knee, ring box in hand and the final post-it ‘Marry Me?’ I of course said yes. My favourite scene playing in the background, the exact garden lit proposal I had imagined, and the man I love, how could I say no? Sheer magic!
Planning was quite fun for the two of us, while he worked in Richards Bay and only came down on weekends, I worked on things with the family and my partner in planning, my sister, Novisha Patel. We took our weekends for ourselves, eating and planning together. Our family gave us our space and respect as a couple. My parents also took me to India for a lot of our shopping and as a final family holiday, before I became a married woman. That made planning this wedding a truly memorable experience for me. Funny enough one of the first things I received before any planning began was an SA Weddings catalogue from a friend. My sister and I poured over it and found many of our contacts through it.
I always loved the outdoor setting of weddings in India but, while I enjoy all the colour, the simplicity and elegance of an all-white wedding with black detailing was always going to be on the cards for me. So we combined the two, the colour and natural atmosphere of the Indian wedding against a clean white background. To show off the vibrancy of a true Hindu wedding in a traditionally regal yet modern style.
For me, that was the moment when my mother and father gave me away during the wedding ceremony. This is called the Kanyadan in the Hindu wedding ceremony and was very significant for me as the true moment of realization, ‘I was getting married!’. My husband recalls that moment with special fondness, where he felt the responsibility of the promise he was making to my parents and me, as my husband. A truly poignant moment for both of us.
We went for a clean classic and vintage look for the décor, with flowers as accents. For our dress, both my husband and I wanted an old world Indian look for the day but modernized for our comfort. We really wanted the colour and beauty to be showcased by a classic and elegant backdrop.
I have always found the attire of the Mughal era to be truly romantic and royal despite being slightly ornate. Luckily, I managed to find a bridal outfit that could encompass that feeling of royalty while offering me immense comfort for the day.
To coordinate our all-white vintage look we chose lightly oxidized metal vases with just enough tea light votives to reflect off the vases creating our ambience of romance. In and amongst the white backdrop and the colourful atmosphere were little black details, as highlights in ribbon detail, table cards, our cake and our flowers. Our wonderful coordinator at the Boma venue of Collisheen Estate ensured we got our Gerbera daisies with a black floral disk, to match our theme.
Yes we did. I made a guestbook tree on canvas for our guests to mark with their thumbprint as a fun activity for our guests and a wonderful keepsake for us. We also made our own table cards to distinguish each table as well as outline the menu for the day. My family made sweetmeats (Indian sweets) for each guest. Lastly my husband and I made a CD with a collection of some of our favourite songs for each family invited as a thank you gift.
The way I am, by Ingrid Michaelson. This is a song my husband introduced me to when we first started dating and it just truly reflects the depths of our love in the most simple and honest way.
For both of us, it was the moment I walked down the aisle with my father to the mandap (prayer area) and we saw each other for the first time that day.
Take time for yourselves. Make sure you know what you want as a couple before you talk to anyone else. Weddings are a tricky time where you learn how to navigate differences and difficulties together, so that in the end all you can remember are happy moments.
Yes, my husband Avish surprised me with a trip to Mauritius.
Set amongst magnificent old trees the estate offers a private function facility that is exclusively yours for your special day. Panoramic views of undulating sugar fields are c...
With more than five years experience in wedding photography and a Fine Art degree from Michaelis School of Art, I am very confident in my technical skills, high level of creativity