Sean, my husband, and I had the most beautiful wedding day - filled with family and wonderful memories. We believe it is and always be the best wedding we have ever been to! Everything that was done/ built we did together with our family. One of the biggest highlights of the day was that it rained non-stop the entire week of our wedding! On the morning of, I woke up with sun streaming onto my face and I knew our day was a blessing from God. From then all nerves were calmed and I had a memorable day with my friends and mom and aunt. The memory that has stuck with me so clearly since our wedding though was Sean's expression on his face when I saw him for the first time while walking down the aisle. It was The Perfect Day.
After our wedding our family put us up for the night in a beautiful lodge, called Lastingham, a short distance from the wedding. As we were married on my husbands family farm, it was the perfect first night for us to spend together. The next morning Sean drove us out of the Midlands and onto the open road - to Clarens. The most unexpected, yet beautiful setting to relax after the big day. We stayed in a log cabin at Omega Luxury Mountain Resort. Utterly secluded and with breathtaking views of the Lesotho mountains.
Our wedding was a very casual affair. With the backdrop of the KZN Midlands, we didn't need to add very much in detail for it to be so beautiful. It was a homey, farm-inspired afternoon, with the children running in the field where we exchanged our vows. I am blessed to have a mother who loves and is very good at sewing. She made me my dream dress, exactly how I'd pictured it. I picked a stone, off-white coloured fabric for the under dress and then a beautiful, simply beaded lace for the outer dress layer. It was form fitting with a low back and slightly flared skirt bottom - for all the dancing that happened later! My hair was styled by Keith from Scissor-hands in Hilton, who has been cutting and styling mine and my moms hair for years. I had loose curls with an intricate plait with baby's breath flowers. I am lucky enough to have a very talented step sister who owns the Redlands Beauty Clinic in Pietermaritzburg. I loved my classic, understated look, with muted red lips and slightly smokey eyes. The shoes I wore were flat sandals, beaded with off white and stone coloured beads (which I still wear today!). A very special piece of jewelry given to me by my aunt and godmother hung around my neck. She had had a stunning brilliant cut diamond of my late gran set in white gold necklace, as a wedding gift.
As I mentioned previously we were married on the family farm. My husband grew up from infancy on this particular farm. Its an incredible little gem of a small holding in Balgowan/ Lidgetton in the KZN Midlands. Many memories were made there over the last 9 years for Sean and I - he even proposed at a nearby waterfall which we frequently visited with the Labradors! As you can imagine a very special place, dear to our hearts. A lot of the family stayed at the farm or at nearby guest houses but a lot of our friends and family are from the area so finding accommodation wasn't too much of a stress. Some family stayed at Lastingham as well, which is beautifully quiet and has a serene view of the valley where the farm is situated.
I am not a fitness fanatic however I dance every week and fit in the occasional gym session! In the months and weeks leading up to the wedding Sean and I often ran together after work for a few kilometers. It wasn't much but an awesome activity to do with your partner. We have always been a healthy couple though, so eating right was easy for us. The most important thing you can do is drink loads of water! I believe beauty regimes (unless you require otherwise) need to be kept as natural and minimal as possible. The less you put onto your skin the better - and always moisturize. I don't generally wear foundation in my day-to-day, but my step sister applied a lovely natural looking one when doing my make-up for the wedding, so I was very happy with that. Lastly, I was blessed with amazing bridesmaids and friends who sent me to Sorbet the week leading up to the wedding for a full mani and pedi with Gelish (my favourite!).
Our decor for the reception consisted of a lot of artifacts from the farm itself. We had lovely old brass milk jugs for example and other old items which added to the overall relaxed feel of the day. For the ceremony, my husband cut a pathway and wide opening into the field in front of the farmhouse. with the bright green grass at knee height, the area had a beautiful edging. Hay bales were used for the seating with eucalyptus leaves from a farm close by, around the edges. Our arch we were married under was constructed by Sean's best man and was a stunning addition to the decor. It was wrapped in eucalyptus as well - it smelled absolutely amazing and was a little extra detail we didn't think of which was surprisingly nice. The bridal party flowers were done by my maid of honour and her mom, who'd sourced them from a nearly florist. The bouquets were white baby's breath, with daisies and lavender. The decor flower arrangements were done by my mom out of white roses and remaining eucalyptus. All chairs, tables and tableware was rented from a local company in Pietermaritzburg and we had an amazing stretch tent from Midlands Stretch Tents. Our lighting was many strings of fairy lights that'd I'd collected and our tables had white sprayed bottles with sprigs of the flowers we'd used else ware. We kept everything simple and white with muted greens of the eucalyptus and it suited the day so perfectly.
Sean and I went shopping for their clothing which we kept simple to keep to the casual feel of the day. Sean and his groomsmen wore navy chinos and the groomsmen wore white open-collar shirts. All accessories and shoes were brown leather. Sean's shirt was also white with strands of blue and he finished it off with a navy tie and brown leather boots - and sunglasses! We simplified everything for the groomsmen by sourcing their clothing ourselves at our local stores.
The bridesmaids wore the same patterned dresses, in plain fabric in different shades of pastel. Lavender, yellow and mint. My maid of honour's dress was slightly different with a fuller skirt and laced detail top. They looked so beautiful and cool. We decided on the look because I didn't want them in anything to stiff or uncomfortable when it came to the dancing and socializing after. We all ended up shoe-less and had an amazing time. Their hair was similar to mine and make up also done by RBH.
Our pastor who married us was a long time friend of my fathers at church, whom I'd met many times. Hi name is Brian Jardine and is a wonderful choice if you are wanting to be married in the Midlands area.
Our choice of photographer was the best possible choice for our day! Her name is Kristi Smith and based in Hilton so meeting up for coffees at her and her husbands incredible coffee shop, Ground, prior to the day was so easy. She is a friend of a friend and I found her style and minimal editing was so beautiful - exactly what we wanted. I would highly recommend Kristi for any type of wedding though as she is super adaptable, creative and really helpful when it comes to organizing family members into place! You can find her work at www.kristismithphotography.com.
Not at all unless you count in my incredible maid of honour, Carmen. She helped us with so much and me in particular. We could never have pulled it off quite like we did without her. As Sean and I live in Jhb, having her close by to where everything happened in the months beforehand, was invaluable.
As we had our ceremony and reception on the farm, everybody made their own way there. Our bridal party drove together and my dad collected me in his own car. Having those moments alone before the ceremony with my dad was so special.
The food was organised by all our parents in fact. The lamb was done by Sean's dad and uncle and all starter snacks, vegetables and side dishes chosen and organised by my mom and aunt, from a catering lady in Howick. A lot of them were cold dishes which was really great in the February heat. It was all very delicious. Our cake was made by my step mother, who has made many wedding cakes in the past for family and friends. We had a small honeymoon cake for just us two and then delicious home baked chocolate cup cakes for the guests - with small bags of chocolates in our wedding colours on the tables as gifts.
We were so blessed with all of our music for our wedding. One of my bridesmaids' partners played a saxophone while my dad and I walked down the aisle and Sean and the whole procession before us ladies was piped in by a good friend of his, dressed in full Scottish kilt. Sean is Irish/ Scottish and this little added extra was very special for him. We had a live band playing while we went of and did our photos, called Pan Latino. They are wonderful, they play wooden pan flutes and it is a lovely relaxing addition to a warm afternoon while sipping on champagne! A little later on, our saxophonist even joined them in an improv. session which was such a wonderful surprise. Later on we all danced to a playlist compiled by my brother. It was a perfect mix of old and new, Elvis and even a bit of old rock.