It was my friend Melissa Dreyer's birthday party, held during the school holidays. I pitched up at the party with a boy who was really interested in me at the time, and Stanton pitched up with his girlfriend. We were sitting at opposite sides of the entertainment room, and the moment I saw him I could not stop looking at him. It was not long after that when I suggested to the guy I was with to rather go home (as he was no longer enjoying the party), while I stayed and got a lift home with my girlfriends. Obviously I had an alternate plan - I wanted to get more information about this mysterious and attractive guy standing across the room. My friends could unfortunately not tell me much other than his name, that he lived in Cape Town and that he played soccer.
We did not get a chance to talk or even exchange numbers that night and my heart was so sore. The following day, I left with my parents and my brother on our annual vacation to the South Coast in Kwa Zulu Natal. I was moping in the car for the entire trip, and not very excited that I would most probably never get to see this guy again. We reached our destination and I threw myself on the top bunk, where I stayed for most of the afternoon. Out of the blue, my Nokia 3310 buzzed and I opened up the message. A cute teddy bear message appeared on my screen, and the message went something like this:
"It was great seeing you last night, and I am sorry that I did not approach you and have a chat. I hope you don't mind that I got your number from a friend of yours. I really hope we can chat and get to know each other better. From Stanton"
I was so excited, jumping and screaming with joy that he was attracted to me as well. We became friends and managed to grow closer and closer despite the distance between us. Two years later, he asked me to be his girlfriend - and the rest is history. We have been through so many ups and downs, and have also had to travel a lot due to his career. But we never stopped loving each other, and now we are even more attracted to each other than that first day.
I received a voucher for a Resort and Spa in Magalies Burg, and we went together. After our full-body massages, we went to have lunch in the restaurant in our white gowns. While we were waiting for the food to come, he dropped down on one knee and took out a stunning ring in front of the entire restaurant. Naturally, I was blushing and shy, but very happy, as I knew in my heart that this was my forever after.
The planning process was very daunting, as we live on our own in Durban and the rest of our family is in Johannesburg. Doing our own research and comparing prices was a bit of a nightmare for both of us. We searched for a venue first, and this was a pretty big deal to us. We wanted a certain look and feel to the wedding, but we were not quite sure what. The date of the wedding was in the heart of winter, as this was the only time we knew for sure that Stanton would be off from soccer. We both agreed that we wanted the wedding in Durban, as we knew it would be much warmer during winter.
A friend of Stanton referred him to a hotel and we went to have a look at what they could offer. The breath-taking views and the modern, sleek decor blew us away and we booked our reception on the 11th Floor of Coastlands Umhlanga Hotel, a section which is called the Sky Room. Once that was booked, the next step was to find a decor company. The hotel referred us to Event Styling, and I gave Marge B a call to set up a meeting. This meeting changed our lives. Marge discussed in length what our expectations were and what her company could do to make that come to life.
We attended a couple of bridal fairs in and around the Durban area and I read a lot of articles and blogs online. But once we decided to use Event Styling, we worked together by sharing ideas and using Pinterest and other media options to envision the decor for the day.
For both of us it was definitely the moment where I walked down the aisle and we were just looking at each other. I will remember that moment forever. Saying our vows was very emotional for both of us, and we were each very overwhelmed with love and devotion to each other.
The wedding was held during the winter season, and we both loved the crisp, clean and soft feel of snow. So we decided on the magical winter wonderland theme. We wanted the decor and the atmosphere to be stylish, elegant and classy. The whimsical winter feeling filled all the guests with our love of each other and our families.
I wanted a classic, elegant dress but also to show the shape of my body. I am only 1.55m tall and felt that a ball gown would swallow me up, so I went for the mermaid style, fitted dress. I knew I wanted it to be in ivory, with some lace and beadwork on the dress. I knew I found the one the moment I put it on. It was so classy and so sexy at the same time, and I fell in love with it. It had a beautiful long train, and I chose a long detailed veil to go with it. I felt like a sexy princess, and I hope that feeling comes out in the photos. For the bridesmaids, I wanted long and flowing dresses in a champagne colour. But after doing some window shopping the colour looked too bland and washed out. Then my maid of honour found a place called Icandee Infinity Dresses, based in Johannesburg. So I flew to Joburg and met with them and loved the dresses they offered. The colour I went for was a dusty pink colour, as both my maid of honour and bridesmaid looked stunning in that colour.
Our decor was to be crystal and silver with white elements throughout the venue, as we wanted the winter theme to come across quite strongly. For our flowers, we did not have a particular flower in mind - just that the colours had to be white with touches of pink and green. We were very pleasantly surprised by Event Styling when we walked into the venue on the day of the wedding.
No, we did not incorporate any DIY items in the wedding. Event Styling handled all of the decor elements, and it was done amazingly.
We chose Cheerleader by OMI to enter the reception hall as we love the beat and rhythm of the song and both enjoy dancing. Also, the words are relatable, as I have also for many years been his number one cheerleader when he is on the soccer field. For our first dance, we chose Thinking out loud by Ed Sheeran. A singing group called FOUR, who also won X-Factor South Africa 2014, sang this song in acoustic style with a live guitar for us and all the guests. It was amazing and so unique and special to us.
We spent two days after the wedding in the hotel, as most of our guests travelled from Johannesburg. Also, our son is in Grade 1 and had to return to school for his formal assessments, so we decided we will rather go to Mauritius over the Christmas break as our honeymoon.
Enjoy the planning process, and always, always make decisions together. Go for appointments together and truly support each other throughout this process. That way you know for sure, that on the day, both of you can just enjoy being with each other and trust that the planning and decision-making you did together will work out. Soak up every moment, including the tough ones.