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Karen & Herman

How did your love story begin?

This is my favorite question to answer and the story never gets old. Around December 2015 my sister and I just finished gym in Aurora and went down to the Spar and as we walked in I saw this unbelievably handsome, perfect looking human. I paused and asked my sister “What is this!” I have been living in the same suburb for 25 years and never saw such a beautiful person here. I did not get a chance to introduce myself, but as luck would have it, on 14 April 2016, my sister and I were in the gym again and through one of the big windows, I saw the same unbelievably beautiful man walking past and going into an “office”. I told my sister that we have to follow him; every nerve in my body felt like I need to get to know him. As we followed him, we walked into a CrossFit box where it looked like heaven. The music was pumping, people working out everywhere and in the corner of my eye, I saw this angel doing handstand pushups without a T-Shirt. I nearly fainted. The coach came up to us and explained how CrossFit works, but for 25 minutes, I did not listen to a word that he was saying. The next thing I knew, this crazy beautiful person came up to us and said we have to join the gym. Eventually we left and the only thing I could think of was this guy so I jumped on social media and went to the gym’s page “Norsub CrossFit” and started going through all the people that liked the page and there he was “Herman Boontjie Boonzaier”. He calls me a stalker; I say I just knew what I wanted when I saw it. On the other side of the story, Herman was helping his coach to set up the Crossfit Box and told him one night: “In this Box I will meet my wife”. And so it was, as they say the rest is history. Two years later on the same day that we first met (14 April 2018) we got married. We did not plan it that way and we only realised it two weeks before the wedding, but it made the day even more special.

Tell us about the proposal

How did you find the planning process? Did you make use of SAWeddings.co.za?

One of my favourite parts of getting married was the planning. Especially if you have family like mine. Of course there were some ups and downs, but as I wanted to become an event planner I loved the organising part of it all. I am lucky to work for myself, so flexible hours made it a little easier and I absolutely LOVED all of it. I started my wedding planning journey with SA Weddings. I have a friend who lives in Australia and I really wanted her to attend the wedding, so we had one date to work with and we needed a venue that could accommodate 150 people with a dance floor. I came across SA Weddings and it listed so many wedding venues! Eventually I emailed 290 venues to know whether they had availability for that one date. After successfully finding a venue, I continued to use the SA Weddings’ website to assist with the rest of the wedding arrangements. Thank you SA Weddings for making the brides job so much easier. If you look at the home page menu there is not a single thing that is missing.

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Where did you draw your planning inspiration from?

SA Weddings and Pinterest.

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

My husband’s biggest fear from a young age has been to give a speech because he stutters. I knew it was a stressful part of the wedding for him, but when he got on the stage that evening, he looked me in the eyes and started talking. The world stopped for a second. He absolutely nailed it and did not stutter once. His words touched my soul and I was so proud of him.

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

A rose gold, elegant, fairytale feel and it is exactly how it turned out. I love the combination and it turned out perfect with the venue we chose.

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

I love blush pink and it goes very well with rose gold, so I searched for blush pink dresses with a bit of flowers and it is exactly what I found. My wedding dress was a little bit more complicated. I went to fit on numerous dresses and I tried to explain to the designers what I was looking for but no one could really understand what I was looking for. Everyone just said that it was not possible to make. I decided to put together a document outlining each part of the dress, the material and some pictures of what I wanted. The designer I ended up using, Lena Lisa, fell in love with my ideas and said that she will be able to make the pictures and ideas into a reality.

At the start of the planning stages, I really wanted a forest wedding but none of the venues with that theme could accommodate our date. I decided to try to create a forest effect by using green table runners and white flowers. I had this picture in my head from day one and never changed my mind. Flowers by B definitely did a great job by giving me exactly what I wanted.

We made all the serviettes ourselves, after driving to 20 different material shops to get the right colour, and my Aunt assisted with embroiding our wedding logo onto it. We also did all the stationary and printing (popcorn bags, canvases etc) ourselves. My father-in-law made the signage boards. I think that this made our wedding even more special as it was so personal.

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

“Everything” from Michael Buble. Neither me nor my husband can really dance. We took a few dance classes and decided that we will just go out there and “wing it”. We needed a “love song”, with a bit of a beat and the words fitted our relationship perfectly.

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

There were so many special parts, but one that really stands out is that my wedding dress designer drove all the way from Hermanus to Simondium to come and help me get dressed. She knew that I was worried at my last fitting that I will not be able to get the dress on by myself. We all know how hard everyone in the wedding industry works and that her work starts when everyone else stops working. She had one weekend off to go and relax but she still drove 123km to help me get dressed and drove back. Thank you Lena-Lisa, you are one amazing women and it was such a pleasure working with you.

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

Looking back now, the best part of it all is to realise how much help and support we had. Everything was exactly how we wanted it. Walking into your venue the day before, early morning on your wedding day or even when you enter the reception on the day of the wedding and seeing everything that came together, is the most special part of it all. Be involved in your day, be involved with the process and the planning every step of the way because in the end it is YOUR DAY and it needs to be YOU.

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

We were privileged enough to go to Bali for 2 weeks and it was super romantic and an unforgettable honeymoon.

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