I am a wedding planner based in the South of Johannesburg and own Memories 4u Event Management & Décor Hire company with a partner who happens to be my mom. We have been in operation for 6 years now and have to date, planned and designed numerous weddings for many happy brides & grooms all over JHB & Pretoria. Our Motto is to create “Memories for you” and it is certainly what we have done and always do for each and every event we take on, be it Weddings or Corporate events. I am personally on site for each and every wedding, paying special and personal attention to every element (be it big or small) to ensure the perfection of my client’s special day.
Finally, my chance to plan my own wedding had arrived. I got married to my Fiancé Clinton Vieira on Saturday, the 14th of November 2015 at the 5 star Isiphiwo Boutique Hotel in Pretoria. All eyes were on me for this day and the statements I kept hearing from everyone during the planning process was “The wedding planner is getting married, we can’t wait to see what she does for her own wedding” or “WOW, you’re a wedding planner, your wedding is going to be amazing!”
As you can imagine, the pressure put on me was massive. I know the industry was waiting to see what i came up with, my past brides and my future potential brides were watching my every move to see how I was going to stand out and the people that know me were waiting in anticipation. I guess you can say that, whatever a wedding planner does for her wedding either becomes a trend or a point of discussion.
The dynamics of wedding planning changed for me the moment my fiancé proposed on the 14th of November 2013 and I knew that I would have to showcase my talent and my passion through my own wedding day. However, i didn't want it to be about how many tricks i could pull out of my hat, (which i knew i could do easily). I wanted people to also remember that this was a real love story, with real people and a real dream come true for me. This wedding was going to be a huge celebration of our love and unity.
Planning was ongoing and strenuous for over a year and a half. I needed to make sure i gave my guests an experience from start for finish, i needed to make sure i lived up to the "Wedding Planners Wedding Day" but i also wanted everyone to remember this wasn't a show and people had seats to see what i created. This was my special day, my dream come true, my happily ever after. And that is how i came to find my theme, A Fairy Tale Story about us with a touch of Diamonds (which girl doesn't love a bit of bling)
When my special day arrived, my immediate family and I had been at Isiphiwo Boutique Hotel from the day before being pampered with massages at their spa and then had a delicious family dinner at their restaurant. It had been extremely hot the two weeks prior to my wedding day, but that morning it was overcast and it rained lightly while the whole retinue was having their hair and makeup done, perfect cooling weather for such activities.
At 11h00 the videographers and photographers arrived to start documenting the chapel, venue, groom’s room with his entourage and me and my retinue.
I had personalised bottled water for my guests as they arrived at the chapel as well as a program with a twist (newspaper format with snippets of all the retinue, brief stories on both sets of parents, summary of our life story as well as some interesting facts about customs and traditions on weddings. It kept my guest occupied & laughing while waiting for me to walk down the aisle.
It was time for me to get dressed. OH and my dress. It was stunning, beautiful and so ME , I truly felt like a princess that day. It was still overcast and threatening to storm but as i slipped on my garter as the last thing to do, the sun came out and the sunlight sparkled over us. I made my way to the grand and rather beautiful chapel to say I DO to my best friend and my soul mate.
When I walked down the aisle, 3 singers from Elegant Entertainment sang “Bridge over troubled waters” as a surprise and a special song dedicated to my then fiancé Clinton. They also sang during the reception for my father and I as we had our special dance.
I cant really explain how magical that experience was. As the doors opened and all our loved ones looked at me smiling, i could hardly breath as i walked down the aisle to my future. i could see no one else except my Clinton, but i could feel the love of everyone. It was so overwhelming that i didnt cry, i just smiled and the tears only came when it was time to say the vows. The ceremony was perfect, not too short and not too long. It was funny, emotional, serious, uplifting and engaging. Exactly what i wanted.
After the ceremony, we had a live walking table with welcome drinks to welcome our guests and while they enjoyed their cocktails and canapes, I had organised a magician masked as a guest to go around doing some up close magic in a very subtle manner. Guests also had a personalised guest book which we compiled of photos from our pre-wedding shoots to leave messages in. They had shade under a bedioun tent, seats, background latino jazz music to relax to and enough food and drink to keep them happy while we took photos. (The most important part of a wedding in my eyes, its the only thing you have left once your day is over- and every bride will agree with me when i say the day goes by in a blink of an eye- OH HOW I WISH I COULD RELIVE THE ENTIRE DAY AGAIN).
Just as the sun was setting guests were ushered into the reception venue which looked like something out of a movie. I LOVED my reception room. I loved my decor & flowers. It was exactly what i envisioned. I chose all white as my colour scheme and of course the bling. I had large white roses and Hydrangeas as my centrepieces and a everything else sparkled. I had a LED dance floor, which only lit up as a surprise during our first dance and i had mood lighting all over the venue so we could change the colour for each part of the reception to suit the formality that was happening.
Deon from the Cake Genie, who has been one of my preferred suppliers since I started the business and now is a very good personal friend obviously designed and created my one of a kind wedding cake. He created a master piece which I believe to be a first in South Africa. The hanging Chandelier Cake. i must say the cake took centre stage for a while and people did not believe it was the cake until they saw us cut it and eat it. Im still in awe about what Deon did for us. I could never thank him enough or repay him for it.
The reception went off without a problem, we had the perfect MC's (our groomsmen), the speeches were just out of this world-they ranged from emotional, funny, serious, really educational and just so heartfelt and loving. My Husband's speech blew me away and he had people glued to him. i have never actually heard a groom do a speech like his. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was happy and loving. The music was perfect.
As i sat at the main table (which was just as breath taking) - i looked around and i could not believe that i was sitting at my own wedding, already a wife and already a MRS VIEIRA- everything i planned right down to the last detail was done perfectly and exactly how i wanted it to be. I couldn't have been happier in that moment, i pulled off what i thought was the impossible. I made my own dreams come true and i had the perfect day. I really wish i could do it all again. Thank Heavens we have a video to relive the day when we feel the need to.
I created a magical day and i got to marry my best friend and we got to have all our friends and family their to celebrate it with us.
The party ended at 2am and i didn't want it to. In fact i didn't want to take off my dress either, i just wanted a few more hours to feel like a princess, party some more and have my new husband smile the way he had the whole day. I never felt so alive, so in love and so happy.
The next day we had a huge family breakfast which was set in a smaller venue. I loved that breakfast, because everyone was on a "high" from the night before and all we did was speak about each detail that they all appreciated and noticed.
This very special and magical day was created and designed by me but it wouldn't have been possible or even attainable without the love and support from my suppliers who i work with so closely and then of course my parents and my amazing husband.
I had a fairy tale day that sparkled from beginning to end and now i set off in my life with my new husband for my happily ever after...
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