It all really began one sunny Sunday afternoon in Franschhoek, doing what we enjoy most – discovering a beautiful new place with great food! We met a few weeks earlier through a colleague, but this was the first real date. It was a gastronomic affair, and even now we keep to it - always in beautiful settings close to or in nature.
Very unexpectedly and untraditionally! Three months after we met, just after dinner, while having coffee at the Cape Grace Hotel, he went down on bended knee and asked if he could have the honour of having me as his wife! "Traditionally" would be asking my parents first, to say the least.
The planning process was frantic, as my studies had to be accommodated, so we only had six months to prepare for the wedding. A colleague of mine suggested I look at SA Weddings. I found the site very useful for searching for wedding venues and ideas for the big day and that's also how we found our photographer.
It was a number of things. The non-negotiable factor was that it would be a very simple affair. Most Muslim weddings are usually not simple – not by any standard! And we wanted a reception close to or surrounded by nature. Being the heart of winter, that was a challenge.
I think walking down the aisle towards Sedick, while our family and friends looked on
There was no particular theme, all we wanted was sunshine, happiness, elegance and simplicity. Sunshine welcomed us on the day, thankfully, for the previous few days were cold and grey. As we walked into the wedding venue, the aisle was strewn with the most beautiful bright rose petals, the sun was streaming in and the tables were graced with beautiful bright happy flowers!
Most brides I chatted to said they had simply binned their wedding dresses in the end. I wasn't prepared to spend a fortune to just bin it or hang it at the back of the closet. What made it easier was that I didn't like the big traditional white dress, and knew that I would want to wear it again for another occasion. I love lace and pearls, and the ivory colour of the dress I chose also turned it into a slightly vintage dress, so I know I can wear it a second time.
I did not have bridesmaids. Another tradition broken! My nephews walked me down the aisle, and my mom and siblings were the entourage. Sedick's niece was our flower girl and ring bearer. Her dress was something simple that she too could wear again.
Yes, for the sake of simple elegance and sunshine! My wedding bouquet was a small posy of red roses - elegant and romantic - and the flowers on the table were bright and happy. The overall décor was also very simple and chic.
We made our own wedding invitations using shells purchased in China Town. My cousins and sister-in-law also made the ring boxes
As Muslims we don't have opening dances. However, Tasneem walked down the aisle to the words of John Legend's "All of Me" – this was an apt description of how we felt about each other. We exchanged rings to the sounds of Shania Twain's "From this Moment".
It's a very emotional time, so do have someone who can be your voice of reason. As best as possible, do what is within your means, rather than going overboard with the whole day. This made our day easier.
Our honeymoon was in true keeping of our brief courtship, as we spent much time at many fantastic restaurants. We started off at the Table Bay hotel, then went to the 12 Apostles, flew to Mauritius and rounded it off in Franschhoek - where it all really began!