SA Weddings

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Tshepi and Chuma

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

We met during the euphoria of the 2010 soccer world cup that we hosted. Chuma had gone to his usual spot with some mates to watch the soccer and have a few drinks. Chuma bumped into his friends ex, whom he had naturally become friendly with, and she had a long table of friends. One of them was Tshepi and they worked together at Eskom. Chuma conspired with this friend to “get him in” and she duly obliged. I chewed Tshepi’s ear off the whole night with not much success until I decided to “go for broke.” I maneuvered myself into a position to steal a kiss and just “dived in.” I had expected a slap, but due to it being a very public place I thought she would not want to make a seen. Although, the kiss was very, very brief and a little frosty I think my point was made. We exchanged numbers and the rest, as they say, is history.


How did he propose?

I had bought the engagement ring a few weeks before and had hidden it while trying to prepare the best proposal ever. We had been fighting over something for a few days and it had gotten to a point where it was a stalemate and we were not moving on. She was preparing herself to go out and meet her friends and in the heat of the argument before she left I went and found the ring from my hiding place and promptly said, “I might as well return this then as you clearly don’t want it anymore.” Initially, she was taken a back and shocked and there was a moment of silence that seemed like eternity. I then got down on one knee and proposed the official way. She said “Yes” and we hugged and embraced – that fight was definitely over.

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

It was the most stressful period of our 5 year relationship. Planning a wedding is not child’s play and takes up so much of one’s time. We were lucky to have my wife’s twin sister,Tebogo, as our official wedding planner and she was outstanding. Her background in communications and PR helped immensely as she had experience in organising corporate gigs and had a database of preferred suppliers. Our job as the wedding couple involved attending the meetings that Tebogo setup, agreeing on the designs and approving quotes. Tshepi and Tebogo attended most of the meetings and Chuma would come in to review the quotes and ensure we were within budget – alas majority of the time we weren’t in budget but I could not deny Tshepi the opportunity of her dream wedding.

Where did you draw your planning inspiration from?

All girls have their dream wedding in mind and Tshepi was no different. In conjunction with her twin, Tebogo, they collaborated and inspired each other during the planning process. Most of their thoughts and ideas were similar so it made this process very easy.

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

There were many, but the most special has to be seeing Tshepi walk down the aisle with her father. It’s a huge cliché but that was the moment when it really hit me. This is my beautiful bride. In addition, she had kept the design of her dress a huge secret and I was in awe of it and how beautiful it made her look.

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

We didn’t really have a wedding theme, all we knew is that we wanted a classic and stylish wedding. We choice soft coral colours to add some elegance and sophistication

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

I wanted a wedding gown that was different from the ordinary boob tube dress and something that would highlight my figure. I went for an off the shoulder look, mermaid dress and since I’m still young I wanted a flattering dress for my age and style. Therefore, I designed my own dress and Belle Helene Couture created a stunning wedding gown fit for only me. The Bridesmaid dresses were inspired by our theme of elegance and style, I wanted them to be comfortable but also looking exquisite and fabulous.

Do you have a specific reason why you chose the décor and flowers?

Tshepi and I wanted soft wedding colours that will create a romantic ambience and had natural tones that complement the wedding venue. Something elegant, classy but simplistic.

Did you incorporate any DIY items?

There were no DIY items per se although our gifting did involve a little manual labour. We decided to provide a gift that people could take home and remember our day. We bought picture frames and obtained the services of a second photographer for a brief period that took photos of people, printed them immediately with the phrase “Tshepi & Chuma Wedding 19th March 2016” engraved on each picture. We then requested some family members to place the pictures in the frames and place in a separate room in order of the table seating so that people could collect on their way home.

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

“At Last”, by Etta James. This is a golden classis love song.

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

There were many from Tshepi walking down the aisle to the funny anecdotes from the MC. But, the standout moment came quite unexpectedly. During the reception, one of the guests who was in a jovial mood stood up and proceeded to belt out a traditional song that basically introduces Tshepi, to those who don’t know her, and praise her as a beautiful bride. This was completely random, but the response from all the guests was what made the moment unforgettable. All the guests proceeded to stand and sing along in unison and it left is feeling humbled.

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

The groom needs to stay very close to the action with regards to the planning as if he outsources to the wife, he may be in for a nasty shock with the quotes and invoices start coming through. Furthermore, at the six week mark the groom should cease disagreeing and arguing with the bride to be as invariably she normally gets her way.

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

No, we did not. We had two weddings on consecutive weekends – white wedding and traditional ceremony to welcome Tshepi into the Mbambisa family. We will go on honeymoon at a later date.


Jessica Notelo Photography

Jessica Notelo Photography

Jessica Notelo is an award-winning photographer who focuses on capturing the raw moments between two people.

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