It all started with a friend request.. Yep Facebook really does work!
Shaun had invited me on Facebook and I was immediately drawn to him and curious to know more.
I accepted him and then decided to pursue my curiosity and messaged who he is and whether I have ever met him. For all I knew, he could have been catfishing me ;)
I received a reply a few hours later and we chatted for hours, which turned into every day. He finally asked for my number and we carried on talking and getting to know one another on Whatsapp.
One night, when I was out with a friend, I plucked up the courage to message him and ask him if he would be keen to meet and to my surprise he said sure.
We went on a few more dates, movies and dinner's and he asked me very sweetly to be his girlfriend.
A year into dating and nearing Christmas..
It all started with Shaun trying to book me a nail appointment, at the time I had no idea what he had up his sleeve so I stubbornly refused the appointment.
Eventually (because it was Christmas month), my sister said she had a surprise Christmas gift for me on the weekend and so I was taken to get my nails done. Soon after the appointment, I was handed a card with step instructions to follow.
It had ten steps on it and it was named the "selfie challenge". Shaun and I followed the steps together to take photos at various meaningful places like the place where we had our first date, enjoy going for coffee etc.
The last stop was at The Helderberg Nature Reserve. Also a sentimental place for us both.We were led by balloons to a spot among the trees where there was a beautiful picnic all set up for us. I sat down and started looking through all the delicious goodies,in the basket and Shaun handed me a box and asked what was inside.
As I opened it, I saw my beautiful ring and he asked me to marry him.
I think the best moment for me, besides marrying my partner in crime, was our first dance.
In that few minutes of Ellie Goulding How Long Will I Love You song, we managed to dance (without any practice) and looked at each other and all of our guests, our loved ones, holding sparklers and all beaming with happiness, underneath the most beautiful setting. It was definitely a highlight for us both.
The dance I had with my dad, even though he had just been through a hip surgery, he pushed through it for me. Overall, there are so many special moments that happen on your day, the secret is to take the time to let them sink in and to enjoy them.
We travelled to Europe. Our main destination was Barcelona. During the trip, we took a bus to a fairytale village called Vielha, that borders France. It was the first time I had been in a Village with snow all around and the highlight was spending Christmas day in the snow! Seeing all the major sights and exploring the Rambla's of Barcelona was a really amazing experience for us both.
Because we were getting married in a forest, I wanted everything to be comfortable but to also look like its meant to be there.. My dress was a dream! The minute I tried it on at Tying the Knot Bridal Boutique, I just knew it was the one. The dress was so light and comfortable and fairy like.
My hair and make up was done by the very talented Peach Cronje. I had also asked her to keep things relatively simple for me so we had a slightly smokey eye and she added individual lashes for me and a light lip color. She curled my hair and braided the one side and added flowers in the back. It all worked so well together.
I wore handmade ballet pumps that I had been eyeing out in a store, they had soft pastel like colours and each shoe was different, which I loved! They were unique and so comfy too!
I wore a pair of Moon earring studs which my husband had bought for me a few months before the wedding.
Other than that, I only had a garter and a plain simple silver bracelet that is a piece I never take off.
We were married underneath the shady tree's at the foot of the Helderberg at The Klein Helderberg Farm in Somerset West. A hidden gem (in my opinion) as it is such a beautiful setting and is a blank canvas to use and make your own.
Planning your own wedding and working didn't give me much time for much else so the best I could do was drink as much water as possible ;)
Boho, natural theme
We had naked trestle tables with Louise Ghost Chairs.
Our tables had Pennygum and Ruscus down the centre, with colorful glass vases in blues, greens and turquoise) here and there to add some white flowers.
Also, between the greenery were glass jars that we had collected over the year of all different shapes and sizes, we used these as candle holders and it worked very well and added ambience.
We had honey jars as favors with a sticker on the lid with our date and a Bee. The honey added a lovely gold color to the tables.
We had blue wine glasses to add some extra color and they gave a lovely bohemian effect. The table wine had custom labels on them.
We had also spent time sanding down wooden placemats and painting each guests name on it as name holders so each guest could find their seat.
We had hired two door frames as entrances and had also created a TP for photos which was surrounded by lanterns.
We provided a pallet bar and had hired two pallet Ottomans and a coffee table from Makiti as a chill lounge area for the guests.
The entire venue was kitted out with festoon lights, fairly light curtains and fairy lights that hung over the tables.We also had letter lights for BAR on the ground next to the bar. We had Lekker Troue in Cape Town set everything up for us and made our venue look spectacular.
Shaun wore an off blue/almost grey colored suit jacket and pants, plain white shirt with a brown belt and brown shoes as well as colorful socks. The groomsmen matched him with the same pants and white shirts but kept it casual by not wearing a jacket. We wanted the look to be more informal and relaxed to match the outdoor venue.
They found their suit apparel at H&M and supplied their own socks and white shirts and shoes.
I wanted my bridesmaids to dress according to what they felt most comfortable in.
We all agree'd on a color (blush pink) and they each chose a design for their dresses. We had the dresses made by Gayle Wilkie from Pure Bridal Studio.
Morne Bester, a very fun, easy going guy who also made us feel relaxed and gave a lovely ceremony. We kept the ceremony short and sweet and not too serious and he did really well at breaking the ice.
This was one of the most important elements for me and I was fortunate enough to have the very talented Cheryl McEwan Photography capture our day as well as the awesome Jacques from 25 Weddings film it.
They are both such amazing artists and were both incredible to work with, they know how to make you feel so comfortable in front of the camera and are so professional and pay attention to detail. I would highly recommend both companies to any bride and am already so in love with the sneak peek I have received. Can't wait to see our final photographs and video.
Some days I wish I did but now that I look back at what my husband, our families and I achieved, it was all worth it!
Being hands on and involved in your day may be stressful but is so rewarding and is a real accomplishment.
Mon Ami Food Truck was our caterer and they gave our wedding day the wow factor. We were all about doing something that was fun and suited both our personalities so combining the food truck in the forest worked so well. Firstly, it eliminated the need to hire all the cutlery and crockery, secondly the food was absolutely delicious and our guests are still raving about it and thirdly it added to the overall experience and made it fun for our guests. We had 3 canapé's and our mains were gourmet burgers and chips, Yum!
We had Karen from The Mixing Bowl in Somerset West make our cake and she delivered exactly what we had in mind. A simple, elegant naked cake dressed with flowers and cupcakes of different flavors for the guests to enjoy easily. Her cakes are divine!
We also had the guys from Solid Ground Coffee bring their coffee truck to sell their delicious cappuccinos and Americano's. They were a real hit and also added to the atmosphere of the evening.
A good friend of mine, Tara, from Print Corp Somerset West help me with printing some stationary. We had custom stickers for our favours and wine labels, a gift card label made, which fit in an antique suitcase and reserve seat signs made for family that were placed on the benches in the ceremony area. They all fit in so well with the theme of the wedding and added that extra special touch.
We had Gideon from PG Sounds DJ for us and he did an excellent job keeping the crowd on the dance floor and helping us pick the right songs for the main events like the bouquet toss/garter toss, cake cutting etc. We had Pierre from Pear Group set up all the sound as our venue had sound level restrictions.
We had Chris Rain sing while our guests were having pre-drinks and we were taking photos and he was excellent!
Shaun and I wanted the dance to look as natural as possible so we winged it and it worked out perfectly and best of all looked natural and not rehearsed.
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