SA Weddings

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Jade & Alan

How did your love story begin?

We both grew up in Hillcrest KZN and attended the same primary school and high school. We knew of each other but we weren’t friends as we never shared any of the same classes - until Grade 9 where we were seated next to each other in Afrikaans class. After chatting for a few months on BBM (throwback!) Alan told me that his birthday was coming up and cheekily asked what I was getting him as a gift. I hadn’t thought of it so I asked what he would like and he said he wanted me to be his girlfriend. Twelve years later and here we are!


Tell us about the proposal.

We were on a trip to Japan in 2019 and a last-minute change of plans meant that we were now staying near Mount Fuji instead of going straight to Tokyo. Alan wanted to go fishing so we went to Lake Ashi at the Base of Mount Fuji and rented a little row boat and it was a bit of a disaster to be honest… We couldn’t find the anchor so our boat kept getting pulled by the current into some bushes, the hook kept getting caught on a rope inside the boat (turns out it was the anchor we were looking for) and we had been out for almost 2 hours with nothing happening. Eventually Alan asked me if I was having fun and I straight up told him NO. He said he was happy to leave and asked if that was our dock behind me so I turned to look where he was pointing and when I turned back, he was on his knee with the ring in hand and asked me to marry him. We celebrated our engagement at an Alice in Wonderland themed restaurant and went to Disneyland the next day.

How did you find the planning process? Did you make use of

I honestly really struggled with the planning process but not for the reasons one might think. Alan is
a professional cyclist and his job required him to relocate to Europe for 6 months of racing and I had a surgery scheduled for mid-August which meant that I had to plan most of our wedding without him by my side. It was a very emotional time for us doing long distance and me having to go through and recover from surgery without him. I am so grateful to have had the help and guidance from my incredible wedding planner Elizma Freeman from Infinite Concepts. She really put my mind at ease with the abundant decisions to make and she went above and beyond for us. Apart from that, I found the process quite straight forward working with Elizma. We created a main vision board, floral vision board and a décor vision board and from there it was just a matter of getting quotes, comparing, and then making decisions all while trying to stay within our budget.

Where did you draw your planning inspiration from?

We knew we wanted to keep our guest count on the smaller side whilst still being able to enjoy all aspects that having a wedding has to offer. We also knew we wanted an outdoor wedding and Alan knows the Muratie Wine Farm well from his cycling. We viewed the venue together and did a mini – wine tasting and we were sold! Any images we found of weddings or aspects of weddings that we liked, we shared with each other and Elizma. All together we created the perfect image of what we wanted our day to look like. I followed Elizma’s lead when it came to ticking the planning boxes as I had no idea where to even start. The timeline that Elizma created for us made it easy to stay on track and on top of securing vendors in time so by the end of it all there were no feelings of uncertainty or panic because she was so on top of everything.

What was the most memorable and special part of your wedding day?

ALL OF IT! But seriously from the moment I woke up on the day I felt so at peace. If I really had to choose one aspect of the day to be my favourite (besides marrying the love of my life of course) it would have to be our reception. The scenery was picture perfect and it was so intimate but light hearted and fun, and when the rain started not one person batted an eye! The way our guests embraced the rain really solidified that we had surrounded ourselves with the best crowd. Once our reception came to an end a small group of us ended up at a club in Stellenbosch which was ridiculously fun, all of us dressed in formal wear and my husband and I in our wedding attire having the absolute best time dancing the night away! I can proudly say that every single guest has since come back to me and said that it is one of if not the best wedding that they have been to.

What was your wedding theme (if you had one) and why did you choose it?

I don’t think we had a ‘theme’ necessarily but the key words we used to describe the overall feel we wanted when we initially started planning with Elizma were; elegant, timeless and romantic. We wanted to be sure that in the coming years we could look back at our photos and say that we would still do it all the same way. We embraced the natural elements of our wedding venue such as draping fabric over the tree branches where we had our ceremony and using the surrounding mountains and the vineyards as a backdrop for our reception.

What was the inspiration behind your wedding dress as well as the bridesmaids dresses?

I knew I wanted something timeless and simple for my wedding dress as I had the idea of having a short, fun, sparkly and feathery reception dress as well. Again, I wanted something that I could look back on in 10, 30 or 50 years time and still say I’d choose that dress again. I chose to rent a wedding gown and then have my reception dress custom made. For my bridesmaids, I knew I wanted them to wear black dresses as I think it just looks so elegant and I left the rest up to them.

Your décor and flowers: Do you have a specific reason why you chose what you did?

No specific reason. Alan and I found images of other weddings that we liked, sent them to each other and then decided from there. We were quite fortunate that our photographer had previously shot weddings at Muratie so we could see what other couples did with the same space and exactly how the images turned out. We knew we wanted an outdoor wedding and we wanted it to be classy and elegant whilst still having little touches of our personalities like the G&T and Aperol bar.

What song did you choose for your opening dance and why?

Our opening song was Lover – First Dance Remix by Taylor Swift. I love Taylor Swift so I wanted a song that I will still listen to in my everyday life, and Alan is not a dancer so we needed something that we could move easily to. Not too slow but also not too much of a beat to keep up with. When I heard the first dance remix of Lover, I cried imagining our first dance and I knew it was the one.

What is your favourite, will-never-forget memory of your big day?

Personally, I will never forget walking down the aisle arm in arm with my dad and seeing our most loved family and friends on either side and finally locking eyes on Alan and seeing the tears in his eyes and smile on his face.

Any advice for other brides-to-be who are busy planning their big day?

Take your time and enjoy every moment. As cliché as it sounds, it truly all goes by in a flash. Look for your getting ready PJ’s, slippers etc. long in advance!!! I completely forgot about this and when I tried to find white PJs and slippers a couple weeks out from the wedding, I could not find anything that fit my vision and ended up feeling a bit uncomfortable with what I had to wear whilst getting ready. There will be things that don’t go to plan. Take a deep breath and trust that everything will fall into place on the day. It is YOUR and your husband’s day. Do what makes YOU happy.

Did you go on honeymoon and if so, where did you go?

Yes, we went to the Hurawhalhi island resort in the Maldives. What an incredible place! The island is adults only and you are appointed your own guide for your stay who sorts out everything from your itinerary planning to transport arrangements on the island to arranging a bottle of aftersun lotion! Big tip – we emailed Thompsons travel agency and asked them to put a package together for us and they figured out everything and gave us a couple of options to choose from.


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