Sean and I met in primary school where we became 'boyfriend and girlfriend'. After a short while Sean and his family moved from Gauteng to Cape Town - he vividly remembers coming to our house to say goodbye and we heart broken (or as much as a young boy could be at that age). We kept in touch as pen pals but slowly over the years lost touch. I moved to the Middle East and stayed there for several years. On my return to South Africa we went to one of the local bars on Long Street for my sister's hen night party. As I got to the bar we instantly recognized each other....there was Sean standing across from me 13 years later. We chatted a bit and caught up and kept in touch via Facebook. A few weeks later he asked me to be his date to his sister's wedding and the rest, as they say, is history.
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Sean's sister and I were best friends growing up in primary school in Norkem Park. At one of the very cool school discos back in those days (Grade 2 or so) Sean asked me to dance and Sean and I then became 'boyfriend and girlfriend'. That was 20 odd years ago...
Sean and I both have a deep seated love for the bushveld. We had organised a trip to the Kruger Park, where I had secretly booked us into Imbali Safari lodge as a surprise. Little did I know that he knew about my plans and had already arranged the big day with them. Once at Imbali, we were invited to do a morning walk after our breakfast. Excited and ready to go we set off on our walk. Our ranger was wonderful and played it cool the whole time, occasionally stopping and pretending to be slightly lost. Sean was walking behind me, in single file as you do on these walks, sweating up a storm with his impending task. As we rounded a corner, there stood the most magnificent Baobab tree with a table and champagne. Sean was trying so hard to open the champagne for us but was shaking too much, he then got down onto one knee and handed me a letter I had written him when we first started dating (his intention was to read it but was too emotional). Overcome with emotion and happiness i said to him 'you cant do this' (people say funny things when their heads are spinning and adrenaline rushing. He then said 'if you still feel the way you did in the letter, will you be my wife? I immediately said YES!
Our highlights would defiantly be having the South African singer/song writer Josie Field perform 'Shape of my Heart' as our wedding march, with giraffes walking in the distance behind the 300 year old fig tree. Spending and sharing such an amazing experience with our family (who we seldom see as they are scattered all over South Africa and the world) was most special to us. After so many years, on such a long journey we were finally joined together.
We did go away after the wedding (to the Kruger Park and so on) but we are calling it our 'mini honeymoon'. 6 months before the wedding we had a fire in the place we were staying which destroyed and burnt down our downstairs of our duplex we were renting and had to move, place most of our possessions in storage and deal with several other mishaps, all while trying to plan a wedding. Therefore we were not in the right financial situation to do what we wanted to do.
It was a very simplistic but also 'glamorous' look. I had the most beautiful wedding gown by Maggie Sottero - it really was one of the talking points of the wedding with a sweetheart neckline, soft chiffon skirt and swarovski bodice. My jewellery (necklace, bracelet, earrings and hair piece) was custom made by the very talented Hayley Goodrich with elements of swarovski crystals and pearls.
With the stunning back of the dress I had to go for a completely strapless bra by La Senza with matching bottoms. My shoes by Anella added that little bit more glitz. I truely felt like a radiant bride!
We got married at Kuthaba Bush Lodge in Modimolle. No words can describe this venue. The ceremony took place under a huge wild fig tree in the middle of the bushveld. The reception venue was in the 'boma' with beautiful draping roof for the rain. All the guests stayed at Kuthaba Bush lodge - they have such an amazing variety of accommodation options available to suit every guests needs. Many of the guests arrived on the Friday night and spent the whole weekend with us, ending of with a scrumptious breakfast on the Sunday morning.
Having a very busy work schedule I did not have much of a beauty regime. I stuck to my Clarins skin care regime and continued as normally as I could - i felt putting more stress on my body with a change in schedule would not work best for me. I did have a spray tan and hair highlights at the Thyme Spa in Cape Town as well as acrylic nails by Dream Nails (in my profession we need to have short nails so this was defiantly a necessity to add the final touches). Sean and I did have dance lessons and I think that helped a lot with a bit of exercise but also as a stress reliever - some time to have fun!
Most of the decor was home made. I sewed and hand beaded all my table runners, sewed and made my table favors and aisle decor ties. The center pieces were made by my now mother in law as well as all the wedding sign boards - she did an AMAZING job. The tables had a center piece of a bonsai Crassula with mini led light draped in the top of the plant (mini led lights purchased from The In Thing). A lot of glass bottles with candles (wrapped in hand beaded crystals) lent to the relaxed and rustic feel we wanted. Our flowers were done by my mother in law - a mix of babies breath, greenery, a few orchids and so on.
The table favours as mentioned were hessian bags filled with a bag of potting soil and some indigenous tree seeds. they all had a lazer cut baobab attached to the bag with crystals on a string with the words 'All Things Grow With Love' engraved on the lazer cuts.
The main table had the hessian overlapping hte table with mini led lights hanging behind and many many beautiful candles all over the table. our centre piece was a mixture of the flowers used in my bouquet.
The groomsmen suits were rented from Mr Suit hire in Table view - their ties were made to match the color of the bridesmaids dresses. The grooms suit was from Carducci - a black slim fit that made him even more handsome on the day, a shirt from TM Lewis and the grooms tie was a black satin jacquard ties in an Eldredge knot
My bridesmaids all wore cocktail infinity dresses and were free to wear them in any style they wanted. The material had a touch of glitter and sparkle to it which added a nice glitzy touch. They each wore a pair of nude pumps and were given a pair of swarovski and pearl earrings as thank you gifts.
Rev Craig Morrison - Modimolle
Having never physically met him and only ever conversed via email we were really and truly very happy with the wonderful service of the ceremony.
We had a videographer and photographer from Pink Flower Productions. All we can say is WOW WOW WOW. They are a husband and wife team and were so fantastic from asking for quotes to the end when receiving our photos and videos. They made us feel so completely relaxed and comfortable, there was never a stiff posed moment. They took every opportunity to capture every special moment and we had so so much fun on the day, we could not have asked for anyone better. We also did a night shoot which was really fun
I myself and I :)
The bridal party was transported in an open air game viewer from the chalet to the ceremony site and then to the reception site - what a load of fun we had at the back of the vehicle!
Kuthaba Bush lodge did all the catering for the wedding. We had the most delectable buffet (they really outdid themselves!)
The wedding cake was made by my sisters mother in law as a gift to us
Growing paper did all of our stationary on the table - we used herb seed embedded paper for the menus and an indigenous seed embedded paper for the name place cards and so on. The seating chart was made of plain colour coded paper backed onto hessian, hanging off crystal strings from a giant wire baobab tree that was made by a local cape town gentleman.
For the ceremony and pre reception drinks we had Josie field (an outstanding South African singer/song writer) perform 'Shape of my Heart' for the ceremony and various other songs for the guests - they were all truly moved and amazed by her beautiful amazing talent.
The Dj was a family friend and the kept the dance floor full and dancing all night long.
We did have dance lessons as we both have two left feet when it comes to things like that. Our First Dance Song was a cover of Ill Stand by You by local singer songwriter Ard Matthews (Just Jinger) - when we first heard the song we both fell in love all over again and felt it truly described our journey together,