SA Weddings

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Marlene and Jaco

Tell us your love story, how did it all begin?

After noticing me at her high school (where my younger brother also attended), Marlene did the 'natural' thing in the 21st century - which was to 'poke' me on Facebook!). After engaging in a discussion with Marlene on how it might be a bit 'stalkish' to 'poke' people whom you don't really know on Facebook, I soon realized that this young lady was either going to be the worst thing or the best thing that would ever happen to me. I'm happy to say that after 7 years that it was the latter.


How did he propose?

After more than 6 years of dating, Jaco obviously had a lot of time to think of the perfect proposal. We both love travelling and scuba diving so he decided to ask me to marry him under the water while we were doing a scuba dive in Thailand. During our last dive for the day, I discovered a little treasure box between the coral on the ocean floor containing my engagement ring which Jaco had somehow managed to hide during our dive. I struggled to catch my breath when I surfaced, as I could barely contain my excitement. The moment was magical and overwhelming at the same time, luckily it was all caught on video.

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

I had so much fun planning our wedding from beginning to end. I did, however, have difficulty organizing my thoughts and ideas – I had so many! I enjoyed browsing the Inspiration boards on SA Weddings, and the entire website is filled to the brim with wedding inspiration.

Where did you draw your planning inspiration from?

I had been planning my perfect wedding on Pinterest for the past few years of course.

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

Dancing our first dance to 'Something I Need', which one of our closest friends (who is a professional singer) performed along with my brother's live band, who featured as our music entertainment for the evening.

What was your wedding theme and why did you choose it?

Jaco and I decided to have our wedding celebration in the beautiful Natal Midlands where the natural landscape is so abundant. I therefore wanted to incorporate tons of natural earthy elements and add some whimsical touches and detail to our wedding day.

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

My groom. I wanted the dress to render him speechless, but still maintain just the right amount of tradition. So when I fitted the Enzoani full lace, sheer back and sweetheart neckline, I knew it was 'the One'.

Your decor and flowers: Do you have a specific reason why you chosen what you did?

I envisioned a very whimsical look. I used lush eucalyptus and shimmer tulle to create the runners and accessorized it with moss and little porcelain bunnies to create woodland-esque tabletops.

Did you incorporate any DIY items?

Yes, we wanted to include personalized touches, so we did almost everything ourselves, from the Online Invitations to the boutonnieres for the groom and groomsmen to the flowers and décor to doing our own vows.

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

'Something I need' (Ben Heanow version, originally performed by One Republic). As we've said previously, we asked a very close friend (who is a professional singer) to perform the song live along with my brothers band. It was something quite special having my brother and close friend perform the song for our fist dance.

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

Taking a 'selfie' with my Go-Pro camera in the chapel right after the ceremony with all our favourite people in the background

Anything you would like to tell other brides-to-be/grooms-to-be who are busy planning their big day?

There are some details that will not go according to plan. The key is to let them happen and enjoy the day.

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

We went to Bali for our honeymoon. Marlene always wanted to visit the 'magical' rice fields of Bali which so often promote themselves on her computer background. I am happiest while in the water and seeing as there was the opportunity to do some scuba diving too, this was a perfect option for us.

What did you expect / want from your wedding day, and did you get it?

It was important to us that our friends and family have fun on our wedding day (seeing as life happens to all of us, most people are in desperate need of a break from life's daily stresses and challenges to let their hair down, put on their party shoes, leave the kids at grandma's and have some fun).

We heard endless statements from friends and family that our wedding day would 'fly by' so quickly and we will most probably not remember much of the day, so we constantly and deliberately reminded ourselves throughout the whole day to 'be there' and soak up as much of the experience as we could. We had the perfect wedding day celebrated with perfect friends and perfect family.


Riaan West Photography

Riaan West Photography

Riaan West is a Cape Town based international fine art wedding photographer who travels for local and International weddings.

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