'To celebrate your presence, to mourn your absence, to appreciate your words, praise your actions, and aspire to your compassion. You are with me, in me, and part of me. We are inextricably linked: forever edged on each others' fabric and connected in ways no one can break.' Nick Bizos
My husband and I met in 2007 when he attended school with my brothers. We first met when e was introduced as someone who could help me some extra maths and science tutorials. After one tutorial, I realised that was quite the way to ease his way into my life, and we started dating very soon after that.
I was finishing medical school at the end of 2015, and Nick had promised to take me away to celebrate once my exams were finished. All he told me was to pack for cold weather. Little did I know that he had planned an entire trip for the two of us to New York City. Halfway through the trip, he said we needed to go to the American Natural History Museum, as he had made a booking for us to go to the butterfly room (where they bring in thousands of butterflies from around the world each year). We had been there years before, and he remembered that I loved being in a tropical wonderland in the middle of wintery Manhattan.
Once we were in there for a few minutes, he dropped his knee, asked the question, to which I tearily responded with a "yes", while the professional photographer he had booked snapped away. She then led us to a private photo session in Central Park for us to save the memories forever.
Our highlights were definitely the way that the reception evolved so organically, from the most sincere speeches shared by our closest family and friends to the gorgeous dinner created vey Vicky Crease and her team, and then to dancing the night away with the coolest cats - a South African band called Swing City, which kept everyones hips swinging until close to dawn.
The speeches that were given had everyone in the crowd in tears, of both laughter and happiness, and really reflected the emotion of the day, and our lives together so far. We were so incredibly blessed that all our friends and family from around the country and the world were able to enjoy the night with us.
Given that so many people came from overseas, including a number of friends of my husband, we decided to do a buddymoon with 10 friends who had never been to South Africa before. We took them to Phinda - a game reserve in northern KZN, where we enjoyed G&T-fuelled gamedrives and leopard sightings, and then moved on to the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga for a few more days at the beach.
We were fortunate to enough to get married close to our home in Johannesburg. The ceremony took place at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Braamfontein. After that, the reception was in a vast marquee on the lawn of the iconic Villa Arcadia, housed within the Hollard Campus in Parktown.
The groomsmen all wore black tuxedos with white shirts and black silk bowties. They were all tailor made by Frank Bespoke, and added an element of classic design to our wedding.
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We were blessed to have Nick Nicolau assist us with the wedding. He has years of experience, and was able to connect with us and our vision from day 1. He dealt with a lot of our stresses, and ensured that the day came out as magnificently as we had both hoped and imagined.
We were fortunate enough to have Swing City perform at our wedding. The band gave the most amazing swing twists on classic songs that had the crowd dancing from the minute the first dance ended.
The DJ was DJ Joe Ebersy, and he took care of the sound and lighting together with Smak Entertainment.
Paradiso Dance Academy in Cape Town and Marcelles Bolus in Joburg saved us by helping us with a simple but powerful dance routine in the few weeks leading up to the wedding.
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