I was staying in a security complex and he moved in next to me while I was away on holiday. Unaware of my new neighbour, I returned from holiday. This was round about the time that Eskom did load shedding. One such a night I was sitting outside, in front of my house, when his car pulled in the driveway next to mine. He climbed out of his car and was really annoyed with Eskom again, I greeted him, but he didn’t greed back, just went into his house. I thought he was very rude. The following couple of days the only communication between us was a quick wave when we see each other passing by. But then one night I was reading by candlelight and there was a knock on the door. There he and a friend were; asking me if I could lend them some fire starters for their barbeque. I looked over their shoulders and asked them to get another pickup line, because I can see their fire is already burning, because I saw smoke coming out of the chimney. I also mentioned I was on my way out. They look at each other and walked away. Short afterwards I heard a car in my driveway, his car! I was forced to walk over to his house and asked him to move his car. They invited me for a glass of sparkling wine (which became our favourite and was used on our wedding as for sentimental value) and so our story began. They made us some steak, cut in strips, presented on a wooden board and burned the garlic bread! Their comment was that they put too much Marmite on the bread, so black was it! I later used this incident on our wedding day as inspiration for their gifts. One day he messaged me and said he is in Arniston (by the sea) for work. I thought I am going to get him back for being so rude the first time we met. I asked him to bring me a shell, knowing so well that shells are really limited there. But that night, when I arrived at home, there it was, a shell and a Lindt chocolate ball at my doorstep. I later used this incident again in the ‘gifts’ I gave him before I walked down the aisle. I had to go over and thank him. I realized he was not the rude person I initially thought he was. Both of us was not looking for love or a relationship, but we started to grow on each other. But I still thought he was someone who do not take life seriously and will not be there when you really need him, but boy was I proofed wrong! A few weeks later I was driving back to town from another town and was in a huge car accident which, according to medical knowledge, should have taken my life. When I opened my eye in critical ICU, the only thing I recognized was the man sitting at my bedside, him. There he was the whole time I was in ICU, sleeping in the chair. When I was moved to a ward, he slept on the floor beside me. He visited me continuously when I was moved to a rehab centre due to a stroke caused by the accident and I had to learn to use my left side again. Today I still can’t use my left hand properly, but still he stands by me. Everything Just felt right, as it was meant to be. A few months later he popped the question.
A few months after the accident, we went to Struisbaai, by the sea with friends. We drove up the mountain to get a better look at the most Southern point of Africa. The sun was setting and while sipping on some sparkling wine (our favourite which we had when we met), he went down on one knee and popped the question. The shock was so big, that I initially said no, because I thought it was a joke due to the engagement ring being the sparkling wine’s wire folded into a ring! But when I saw his face and realize that he was serious, I rectified my answer with a definite YES! His friend asked as several times if we were serious, so that he can take a picture and let all our friends know. And he said firmly, yes, we are engaged!
This sparkling wine engagement ring was replaced later with a real engagement ring. The sparkling wine engagement ring, I again used in the church as part as my ‘gifts’ to him before I walked down the aisle.
Walking down the aisle
Each of the three flower girls gave him a present as they walked down the aisle. The first gave him the first thing he gave me, a shell. The second the first chocolate he gave me, a Lindt chocolate ball. The third gave him the initial engagement ring, the sparkling wine’s wire. He found this very special and will remember it for ever.
One of the most special moments for me, was when I walked down the aisle and I saw the tears in his eyes. This time tears of joy and not tears of sadness like the ones I saw in his eyes when I opened my eyes in ICU after the accident. That made me feel like we were brought together for a reason. I was spared for him. And it calmed be after the morning’s race in preparation. Then he took my hand and I could feel the love and see it in his eyes, filled with warmth.
Putting on his ring
To make his ring extra special, I had my fingerprint engraved on his ring, very subtle. And I also engraved our wedding date inside his ring so that he never will forget it. When I put on his ring and he saw my fingerprint, he just glanced at me with a big smile.
It is not custom for the bride to speech, but what we went through with the accident, I thought I would like to make a speech. I thanked his parents for only meeting me once before the accident, but they were there for both of us, carrying us through that difficult time. I thanked him for staying by my side through the whole incident and still asked me to marry him and promising to stand by me for ever. I truly know he will be there in the most difficult times after seeing how he treated me after the accident.
Throwing of the bouquet
I decided not to through the bouquet. A very close friend of mine got engage round about the same time as I did, but they got married exactly one year before us. So, when they received our wedding date, they postponed their boat trip for their one-year anniversary with a week to be able to attend our wedding. So, to say thank them and whishing them a happy one-year anniversary, I decided to give my bouquet to her. Our master of ceremony called them to the front and we thanked them for attending our wedding and for their friendship. They were both shocked and thought it was very special gesture.
Throwing of the garter
This was memorable due to our humour showed clearly with this event. And our friends being tricked into catching a garter which was not a garter! When I put on my garter, I also attached a XXXL beautiful brand new white lace and cotton bloomer which we bought for the occasion. When he went in to take off the garter, he firstly took out the bloomer, but as soon as his head came out underneath my dress, he quickly grabbed the bloomer and through it into the crowd of men before they could see what it was. One of our friends is always in front at all of our friends’ weddings and always tries to catch the garter. We hoped he will be in front at our wedding as well and kind of wanted to trick him. And as we hoped, he was in front. He jumped and grabbed the bloomer, but it took a split second for him to realize it was not the garter and he threw it into the crowed of men. They all depart like it was something toxic. The guest burst into laughter when one of them picked it up and showed the guests what it was. His friend was blushing, he grabbed the bloomer and pull it over the groom’s head and tied it and his eyes so that he has trouble searching for the garter. He made the groom stand on his knees, clearly displaying the stickers on his shoes saying: She’s mine! And let him go for the garter. This whole moment was priceless and definitely memorable!
Our first dance was magical. We opened the dance on Ellie Goldings’s song “How long will I love you”. It was dark. The guest surrounded us on the dance floor with 70cm Sparkles lighting the moment and together with fairy lights against the walls, it created the perfect magical, mystical and most wonderful, loving atmosphere for our first dance. It was so special in each other’s arms, listening to the words with all our special people lighting our way.
Night of the wedding
We felt so extremely special when we arrived at our room, to find our room filled with roses. Rose petals on the floor and bed and bath. Sparkling wine (our first drink together) waiting on ice. Lindt ball chocolates in a bowl and candles creating the atmosphere (all things which formed part of our history). It made us feel loved and special.
We took a 5 day break and went to Knysna in the Garden Route (Western Cape). From there we explored the tourist attractions in Knysna and surrounding areas like Wilderness and Plettenberg Bay.
I went for something simple and natural looking, yet elegant and stylish, but still comfortable.
My hair was styled with romantic curls pulled back within soft twists and secured in a half up, half down style with pearl and diamond pins.
My makeup was soft and natural with a peach blush and a combination of purple hues and neutrals on the eyes.
I wore a pearl and diamond bracelet
My wedding dress was an A Line dress in off-white chiffon over off-white satin with a ruching and lace top. With crystals and pearls on the right places for extra detail.
My shoes were the same colour satin as on my dress, open toes with a bow with crystals on and medium high heels.
The ceremony was held at the church in Buffeljagsrivier, near Swellendam, Western Cape.
The reception was held at the wedding venue, Chris Elle, also in Buffeljagsrivier.
Most of the guest were from out of town and therefore stayed at the wedding venue or at guest houses and self catering chalets in surrounding areas.
There was no extra ordinary regime. I did everything the same. No extra gym sessions and spa treatments. I just went for the usual hair and make-up tests. And I usually wear my nails naturally long, so I only went for a coat of paint on them, a natural bridal look.
That was it!
I went for a soft, romantic, modern feel.
The guests were greeted by message on a board welcoming them to our beginning. The groom’s father is an apple and pear farmer, so I wanted to bring this into the décor. At the door the quest founded a mirror cake stand with lilac and mint candy apples and on each mint leave there was a couple’s name and their table number. An engraved laser cut tree told them that the apple does not fall far from the tree and that each couple may take their apple and go and find their tree. On each table was a laser cut engraved smaller tree with the table number.
The tables were kept natural with white feet and Oregon stained tops. Covered with a white runner and complimented with chairs in white covers and lilac satin & crystal pins. On top of beautiful long glass Vida vases were flowers in soft colours of white and lilac. Antique lilac roses, white Lisianthus, white Lysimachias, white Millionstars/gyp and misty blue (lilac) Limoniums soften the arrangement. Floating candles in glass holders gave a soft and romantic atmosphere. “De Liefde” wines with their own unique label at the front and each with their own unique romantic phrase at the back waited on each table for the quests to enjoy. On each white serviette was a lilac and mint cootie cutter printed with a love slogan and our engagement pictures. It also contained the menu. Inside was a desert rose for each guest as a gift. Each guest also received a lilac and mint heart puzzle shaped cookie in a white and silver organza back with a card thanking them for attending our wedding. White agave trees were hanging against the walls and from the ceilings at the entrances, filled with fairy lights. A curtain fairy light at the wedding table made it the center piece of the décor.
The four layer white and lilac cake stood on a white table beside the wedding table. Each layer was different, but as we used the puzzle theme at our wedding, one of the layers had a heart on it and a puzzle piece was cut out of it. This puzzle piece was in the hands of the bride and groom on top of the cake. They presented us and was made off a picture of us, so they really resembled us!! Just in front of the bathroom there is a wall on which we put a board with grade one pictures of us. The board stated: Left is for the men (with a picture of the groom in grade one) and right is for the girls (wit a picture of the bride in grade 1), because woman are always right! There were white vintage and pallet furniture for the guests to sit on and a coffee station for them to use throughout the evening.
The groom and his groomsman wore cream trousers, white shirts, brown belts, brown shoes, mint ties and a desert rose shoulder bouquet and the groom wore a cream jacket as well. He also wore brown socks which was a present delivered to him that morning from his bride. On the one sock was printed the words “just in case you get cold feet” and on the other sock was printed a clock with the words “don’t be late”. The groomsman wore brown socks which was delivered to him as a present from the bride. On the one sock was printed the words “Groomsman” and on the other “make sure he is on time”!
All of the clothes were bought at a retail store except for the ties which were rented from Eurosuit. The only reason being we wanted a specific mint colour which Eurosuit had. The desert rose bouquet was made for them by Sandra Taljaard at Sandra Taljaard events. And the socks were made by “Kaalvoetkindontwerp”.
The bridesmaid wore a lilac one shoulder chiffon dress which was bought at Bridal Allure. It had ruching at the top and a lilac chiffon flower on the one shoulder strap. We finished it off with silver sandals, a white flower bouquet and lilac pins in her hair.
Reverent Gustav Thomlinson was our marriage officer and brought a beautiful short, but memorable message for us.
Our photographer was a very good friend of the bride, Elana van Zyl, from “Elana van Zyl photographing”.
The videographer was Chris Mostert from “Beautiful Noise Productions”.
We made use of “Happy Snap Photobooth” which the guests really enjoyed. The guests took as many pictures as they like, but each couple was requested to place one picture in the guestbook and write something for the bride and groom.
Sandra Taljaard from “Sandra Taljaard Events” assisted the bride with turning her ideas into reality. She did the planning of the day and together with the groom’s mother, Nita Spilhaus, did the flower arrangements, the décor and everything at the church and venue.
It was a beautiful 1946 cream Ford Prefect. A vintage beauty!
It could only drive 30km an hour and we had to drive 10km on the N2 to church at this rate! It made the bride a bit late for church and the groom worried, because she is always on time!!
The catering for the day was done by Monica Cloete from “Manna Cordini”.
And the wedding cake was done by ‘n close friend of the bride and groom, Laurika Rossouw
The design of the stationery was a combined effort by the bride and several businesses.
Save the dates - “Laserlink”.
Invitations - “JC Media”.
Signs at the church and venue - “Sandra Taljaard Events”
Cootie cutters on the tables - “Joli Creations”
The cards attach to the wedding favours & table settings - “Toasts & Tassles”
The party was like a “get together” for friends and family with dance, laughter and love to go around.
We both do not like dance very much, especially close dance. And due to my accident, my balance is not what it should be. So, we did not go for any dance lessons, we just taught ourselves in the comfort of our own home, just two days before the wedding!
The lighting was done by “Sandra Taljaard Events” and “Just for You”
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