Carlie Valerio

Married on Dec 12, 2015

Our wedding day was all we could have hoped for and more.

Paoli and I met four years ago whilst both teaching English in South Korea. A year and a half later we visited Hong Kong for a few days. We headed up to the highest peak on the island early on the Saturday morning. Paoli surprised me by getting on one knee after asking a stranger to take a picture of us with the view. It was absolutely perfect.

Two and a half years on, back in South Africa, we got married on a hot summer's day at Gelukkie, in Paternoster on the West Coast. We celebrated our love and commitment to each other with 52 of our closest friends and family. From day one we decided we wanted our wedding day to be more like an intimate, relaxed party rather than a big, stuffy affair. It was very important to us that we spend as much time as possible with our guests.

Our guests stayed over in Paternoster the Friday and Saturday evening, which was lovely as we got to start the celebrating on the Friday already. We were also fortunate to have some of Paoli's friends from the US fly all the way to SA to celebrate with us.

The wedding was just about all DIY. We bought a plain white lace dress in Cavendish Square in Cape Town, after we found that a lot of the dresses in the boutiques were very heavy and felt quite restrictive. My mom then embroidered the bodice and Ronelle Visser added the chiffon layer - it was a team effort. My mom and I also folded 500 origami cranes, and I hand painted origami cranes onto the linen napkins which the guests could take home as a gift. I loved being so involved in the decor as it just added to the excitement and made it all the more special to see it all come together. My mom did an amazing job and we grateful to also have my sister and aunts help with the setup of it all on the weekend.

Paoli and I had amazing day, one that we will never forget. We still talk about just how great it was often and joke that we should do it every year.

We are so happy and thankful to have somehow been lucky enough to have found each other so far from our homes, halfway across the world, when we least expected it. To have been able to celebrate that joy with our loved ones was the greatest gift.


Voting has closed for the 2015 competition!

Click here to view the current competition

Wedding Gallery


Wedding Services Used

Gelukkie Wedding Venue

Gelukkie Wedding Venue

Gelukkie offers a beautiful venue and set of wedding package options to make your day everything you could possibly dream of…and then some!