I met the man of my dreams (Russel Baker) about 2 and a half years ago. I knew what we had was special, and look where we are now. We dated long distance for over a year, and eventually Russel made an incredible sacrifice. He left the marines in Cape Town, to start a new life with me in Johannesburg - talk about love!
We quickly realised that we were perfect for one another. So it didn't take Russ all that long before he proposed (8 July 2016). Being one of the most organised and perhaps pedantic couple ever, we enthusiastically started our wedding prep.
I found our dream venue online after Googeling "outside wedding under a tree in the forest"! So what did we find? Mina's Art Cafe and Farm venue in Magoebaskloof, Limpopo. So we visited the venue and fell in love - we discussed the perfect date and it fell on the 1st of April (April Fools folks). The next few months was a blur, we sent out our save the dates, quickly followed by the invites. We knew it would be tough to organise a wedding in another province, but it was very exciting!
Russ and I love design and getting creative, so most of our wedding stationery was DIY, take a look at the pics! We had so much fun preparing and making the menus, seating chart, welcome board, photo mural and favours - just to name a few! That's what made it all so special, it was personal, it was us. We really wanted our guests to feel comfortable, eat amazing food and have a jol - and I think we achieved that!
After all the prep, including my exquisite handmade dress by Zita Contente Couture, there were a few days before the big day - Russ and I were incredibly excited and nervous. Finally the day came.....minutes before I walked down the aisle, marimba band filling the warm early autumn air, the butterflies fluttering in my stomach, hands shaking, heart pounding, mouth dry......it was time.
As I took my parents hands, my mom on one side, my dad on the other, the doors opened and so started 'Ink' by Coldplay, an acoustic version played by my now father in law. My sisters were at the end of the aisle, the groomsman (all marines) waiting patiently. As I stepped out, all I saw was Russ, all the love in the world. As we got closer, I was battling to keep my emotions in tact, I saw his tear-filled eyes, absolute adoration.
The next half an hour was once again a blur, but special nonetheless. Once we kissed, we were met with shouts of joy, an applause just for us. We walked back up the aisle with dried leaves flying through the air, as I reached the end, to my surprise I was saluted by the groomsman - one of the best moments of the day!
Next we went to take photos of us, our family and friends, then off to the woods where we stood in front of the most gorgeous sunset in and amongst pine trees - absolute perfection.
Now it was time for the reception, we walked in to our other favourite Coldplay song "Something just like this", and then starters were served. The amazing, heartfelt speeches followed - my husband's bringing EVERYONE to tears. We ate some more delicious food, the bouquet was thrown, my garter carefully taken off and thrown into a sea of single guys, our first dance to Hozier's "Like real people do", and our father daughter dance - all so magical.
We ended the meal with the amazing cake my mom baked and an ice cream bar accompanied by a variety of yummy toppings - a real hit! And then it was party time! No DJ, but a few different playlists created by yours truly, and it was go time. Everyone danced the night away. Russ and I made a pact - that we would be the last two to leave - and that's what we did