Palm trees, pineapples, sunshine, ocean breeze, and laughter are but a few things that come to mind on our wedding day at Salt Rock Hotel. Thinking back I remember the relaxed sound of Jack Johnson, I got you, playing just before we walked in to the violin version of Edd Sheeran Photograph. It feels like my heart bubbles over with joy thinking of that first hug from my soul mate just before the opening prayer. The weather was perfect for an outdoor wedding, sunshine with a slight breeze, but of course nature still played a role, and if you ask anyone that attended our wedding about "the wave" they will probably burst out laughing. This is because while Paul and I were looking at David, our Pastor, we saw a wall of white sea foam, followed by the gasps of our guest, and when we looked over to our right the groomsmen were soaked, not lightly sprayed by the sea but absolutely drenched!! It took a couple of seconds for everyone to stop laughing but that moment will surely be remembered by Paul and myself along with all our guests. One of the best moments was also our speeches. I guess I should have warned my work colleagues how Afrikaans it will be with Paul and myself coming from Afrikaans families, but one thing they all said was how everyone spoke from their hearts. Every speech was special, of course my favorite was Paul, my husband's speech. He absolutely amazing me with his kind and and loving words towards his family, my family, my grandmother and me. Everyone was hanging on every word he said, with the perfect combination of humour and heartfelt words. This truly made me so thankful that we found each other, which is what I mentioned in my speech referring to a song by Joshua Na Die Reen, where he sings "vir altyd is te min tyd om saam met jou te leef" and those words feel like they were written out of my own heart, forever is not enough time to be with and love Paul my soul mate. Lastly our first dance was a highlight, we didn't do a fancy dance but danced to our song Photograph by Edd Sheeran, halfway through our Groomsmen and Bridesmaids joined us, and in that moment Paul and I were laughing, and we had a look around us and every single person around us was also laughing and we just felt so much joy and peace. Thinking about that moment and the entire day brings tears to my eyes, overwhelmed with thankfulness for the love from family and the amazing spirit of joy, peace and love that was present all around.
The great part of getting married is you get to go on Honeymoon with your beloved. The timing was perfect for us, the monday after we got married my sister and her family dropped us of at the Durban harbour ready to climb aboard tbe MSC Sinfonia!!! It was absolutely amazing. Both Paul and I had never been on a cruise ship before so every experience was a completely new adventure. Even finding our room and the emergency drill was fun. :-) Our first stop was Maputu, followed by the Portuguese Islands, and finally Pomene. The Portuguese Islands was so festive with a local market, rum and raspberry in a coconut, great food and music. We even went for snorkeling session excursions where we probably laughed more than we snorkelled but will always be a moment we won't forget. In the evenings we looked forward to a show or some fun activity before we went to dinner. We hsd the best 2 waiters, Deva and Marjuki from Bali. They were an absolute joy to have around. Thinking back Pomene was probably the most memorable location. The clear mint and turquoise water and palm trees stretched out over the beach created the perfect honeymoon location. It felt cereal to be on such a beautiful beach, with my best friend. It was absolutely amazing!! We were however very glad when we got home. My maid of honor took care of our Cockatiel, Litchi :-) Litchi our bird is such a big part of our family so seeing her again made was so amazing to see how excited she was. The second week of our Honeymoon we spent at home in our little flat in Umdloti. Having a cup of coffee and looking over the sea with Paul and Litchi and knowing this is tbe start of many more adventures was exciting and peaceful at the same time.
From the start Paul and I agreed that we will stick to who we are in terms of the venue and the look and feel of the day, and it was no different in terms of my wedding look. As a bride it is very easy to fall in to the trap of expectation, and everyone might have the best intention in the world but in the end you have to be true to who you are. A wedding is such a beautiful celebration and being natural was very important to me. My dress I baught on Ebay, yes you are allowed to laugh, and yes it was made in China :-) This was a very interesting experience. The dress arrived on time and the quality of the dress was amazing, however they used a larger dress to resize to fit me, so it didn't really look the way I imagined. Never the less my maid of honor and I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut the lace of the back and front, thereafter I converted a Vneck, and V - open back dress in to a halterneck open back dress and attached pearls to hang down my back. I did the alterations myself, and to be honest I had moments where I thought "you are completely bonkers" but it turned out beautifully and it had a personal touch to it. My makeup was done by a makeup artist, Bridget. I wish I could explain how amazing she is. With purple hair and cool looking tattoos she is the most chilled person and helped me so much to be comfortable with makeup. Bless my maid of honours heart, having to argue with me to wear lipstick, in the end I did. I will be honest this was probably one of my biggest challenges in the entire process, having to wear makeup. I don't wear tons of makeup daily and therefore wasn't comfortable to go too way out. In terms of shoes I walked through the entire Ballito mall and Gateway and found nothing. In the end I browsed around on pinterest and found inspiration with some brides wearing beaded embellishments around their ankles and toes, so this is then what I made using pearls and crystals and in one day shoes were sorted. My jewelry and accessories was quite easy and simple. My Grandmother had given me a natural pearl bracelet for my birthday a couple of years ago so I wore that, with beautiful pear earrings from Lovisa. While my maid of honour was plaiting my hair my sister snd Melissa, my other bridesmaids went and picked star jasmine flowers which they put in my hair. I received so many gifts from friends in terms of lingerie that I was spoiled for choice in this regard. In summary I would say that my look was natural and easy going. I had beaded bare feet, vanilla and coconut perfume floating around me and flowers in my hair, this was an absolute dream come true for me.
We got Married at the Salt Rock Hotel in the Dolphin coast. We had family travel from all over the country, from Jeffreys bay, Bloemfontein, Richards Bay to JHB. The staff, Mandy and Debbie were so nice to work with. The palm trees and sub tropical vegetation contributed to a beautiful location and mini holiday for our guests.
Being healthy is important regardless if you are getting married or not. Naturally I wanted Paul to think I look amazing, but in the end its about what your spirit is on the inside that wil radiate out. First of all I realized I am 29 , now 30, and these lines around my eyes they are not going to dissappear magically because I am a bride :-) I knew in my life I have laughed and spent hours out on the water on my board and therefore I have wrinkles. They are flaws but they are part of me, and Paul and I love each other including our flaws. We are both very active athletic people so I would say we did exercise a bit more before the wedding, running on the promenade in Umdloti or going for a swim. Thinking back now most of what I remember leading up to the wedding was fishing on the beach with Paul and being in the water and snorkeling. Nature was our spa and definitely helped with the nerves before the big day.
My goodness, how does one decide with so many beautiful things around. I probably changed my mind 100 times but in the end went with what I initially liked the most. Banana leaves and pineapples, fairy lights and shells. We set up the decor ourselves. Paul and I attached the fairy lights the Thursday before the wedding and finished up on the Friday morning, after which we spent time with family and friends. The name tags were shells and the centerpieces vases with Palm and banana leaves, with candles and pineapples. The female guests received heart shaped crochet coasters made by Pauls mom, and the men received shark key chain bottles openers, which went well with the beach look and feel. We has some extra detail here and there, my surfboards retro image cards hanging on string around it that the guests wrote messages on for us. We also had s fisherman word search on the back of our programmes, perfect for all the fisherman in Pauls family.
I am smiling to answer the bridesmaid question, it was initially a disaster tjen turned out great. The initial dresses were beautiful but some how just didn't work well for the girls. They are all such nice girls that they would have worne a potato bag and be happy, but I knew the dresses they had were not ideal. Danielle, my maid of honor and I then hit every China mall shop and she tried on so many dresses and eventually we found the perfect light pink summer dress for them. I then courierd the dresses to them and happy days bridesmaid dresses were sorted. They picked their own shoes to go with the dress and I gave them a mini hamper gift including earrings for them to wear on the day.
David was our marriage officer and Photographer and all I can say is wow!! It was so special to have a family member be our marriage officer and photographer. He lives in Jeffrey's Bay and although he is the pastor in the local church his talents can definitely be seen in his photography as well. He is such an amazing person and everyone should have a David to help them through the marriage process and photography sessions. You can feel the love of God shine through him as he smiles and laughs through every experience. He was truly a blessing and we are eternally grateful for his support and beautiful pictures.
David was our marriage officer and Photographer and all I can say is wow!! It was so special to have a family member be our marriage officer and photographer. He lives in Jeffrey's Bay and although he is the Pastor in the local church his talents can definitely be seen in his photography as well. I was amazed by the pictures he took of surfers as well as the beautiful landscape images on his website so when we found out they could come to the wedding we were so happy. He is such an amazing person and everyone should have a David to help them through the marriage process and photography sessions. You can feel the love of God shine through him as he smiles and laughs through every experience. He was truly a blessing and we are eternally grateful for his support and beautiful pictures.
We did not have a planner, although my excel spreadsheet was pretty useful, it even gave me percentages on how far we are in terms of completing all the wedding prep activities. I also had a wonderful maid of honor that helped in so many ways. I also like to plan and organize so it was fun in a way. So in summary a good excel sheet, supportive fiance and a superstar maid of honor was more than enough to arrange a successful wedding.