Nicolette Hartley (Gekis)

Married on Jun 14, 2014

Wayne and I grew up in KZN so we knew it was the place where we wanted to get married. The first time I drove down the tree lined drive of Cranford Country Lodge in the Midlands, I knew it was a special place and what sealed the deal was their beautiful chapel that overlooks a peaceful dam and the rolling hills of the midlands. This was the place where I would marry the love of my life, it was such an awesome feeling. Wayne and I had imagined a wedding weekend where all our friends and family could come and spend a weekend with us in the Midlands and Cranford provided just the place where we could do that. The rooms were all stunning and everything has a relaxed country feeling.

A huge amount of preparation and planning had gone into our wedding, I spent hours on Pinterest gathering ideas and deciding on themes and I loved every minute of it. I had to do all of the planning outside of South Africa as my job requires me to travel and be away for home for long periods of time. This wasn't really a problem as all my suppliers were excellent and we communicated everything over email, many emails! The day before our wedding my mom, maid of honour and I worked tirelessly setting up the chapel, reception area and lapa. They were true stars and I couldn't have done it without them. I chose a pink and grey colour scheme and after everything had been put together I could see my dream had been brought to life, everything looked beautiful. Our florist had also done an amazing job and really brought to life what I had pictured, flowing bouquet of orchids and roses, brides maids bouquets of roses and baby’s breath, chapel aisle lined with country jars of flowers, reception table centre pieces were jars filled with pearls and roses. Our favours were really something that the guests could use, we gave everyone a mug that was filled with hot chocolate powder and baby marshmallows. The idea was that everyone could go back to their rooms after the reception and have a cup of hot chocolate to end off the evening.

We were married on 14th June in the beautiful chapel at Cranford Country Lodge surrounded by our closest friends and family. It was the happiest day of our lives and we loved and enjoyed every minute of it. The team at Cranford really made every effort to make our day a success and it really was, we didn’t have one glitch, even the weather went according to plan!

I wore a ball gown by Mori Lee which was exquisite and really felt like a princess. Initially I was torn between a slim fitting dress and a ball gown, but after an overwhelming response from my mom and brides maids at the dress fitting I chose the ball gown and I don’t regret it at all and honestly it’s the only day of your life when you will get to wear a ball gown, so why not ;-) My rings were made by a dear friend of Wayne’s, the talented ladies from Nixon Make up did our hair and makeup and our amazing photographer Laura Jansen captured all our special moments.

The reception was a cosy country room that was filled with log fires and red wine, it created the perfect romantic atmosphere on a winter’s evening. We danced the night away to the music from our fantastic DJ who never let us down and kept the party going the entire night.

I look back on my wedding day with a heart that is filled with so many good memories, and can really see we were blessed in every way. It was truly one of the best days of our lives that I wish we could relive over and over.


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Cranford Country Lodge

Cranford Country Lodge

Cranford Country Lodge and Wedding Venue is the perfect setting for country-chic weddings. Nestled in a picturesque valley near Curry's Post, in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands, we ...