When God put something together, it can't be anything but spectacular.
Herman and I are so blessed by having each other. We are best friends, each others diaries, consciences and soul mates. I did not know what love meant until this man walked into my life. It is an honour to be his wife. We might have taken a while to find each other, and if we had to go through it all again just so that we will be in each others lives....we will do it in a heartbeat.
Our wedding day was beyond perfect. I would not change a single thing - it was more than I could ever have asked for. I know our lives together is going to be exactly the same as that perfect day - beautiful and full of excitement.
Even in nature, God gives us examples of how a marriage should be. Certain species of penguins stay with one partner throughout their lives. Even if one dies, the other one remains alone for the rest of its lifetime.
What stands out about Penguins for Zané, is that male "proposes" to the female. Yes, you read right! When the male decides he has met his partner, he looks for the most beautiful and perfect stone he can find. He then rolls it to the female, and when she sits on top of the stone (like she would sit on an egg) she accepts his proposal, and they are then partners for life.
The story stuck with Zané after she saw it on a documentary. She told her friends about it at a get together (where Herman was also present). Zané told everyone how special it was for her and that we as human beings should be like Penguins, who stay together forever.
With the engagement (5 years after Zané told the story), Herman remembered it and went to great lengths to make it part of the proposal for special to Zané
A day that was supposed to be just another Sunday, turned out to be a critical day in our lives. Without us realizing it, it would turn out to be the day we meet the person that God has put aside for both of us, for the first time.
That Sunday morning, I saw a very handsome, tall man walk into our church. I bumped my mom and started talking about him. I immediately started making plans on how I can get him involved in some of our groups or something - because I simply had to get to know this man.
I'm not one of those people who believed in "love at first sight" ... but I soon realized that it just happened to me. I have never thought that was the beginning of an exceptional plan for our lives.
To my disappointment, I noticed that he was forbidden fruit because there was already another lady in his life. We had the opportunity to get to know each other for the next three years, through mutual friends in the church. When I left Joburg for a job in Cape Town, our paths separated. Ironically, I thought the God took me to Cape Town to meet my husband ... surprise!
Eight months later my friend had a birthday celebration, so I came back to Joburg for the weekend. The plan was to go for an hour or two because we were leaving for Sodwana Bay during the early hours of the morning. Little did I know that the evening will be better than I could ever imagine because that night - I would see Herman again.
As I walked in, I immediately saw Herman, and I stood still in my tracks. I realized very quickly that I was in trouble - this man was stealing my heart.
The two of us talked until the early hours of the morning. It felt like it was just him and me there. We realized later that we were probably very rude because we were completely lost in each other and did not give attention to anyone else.
As I drove away, I was in the seventh heaven, until I realized he didn't even ask my number. I was very disappointed and thought all hope was lost. As I got home, I told my mother about the fantastic night I had and that I have "re-met " my husband. My words were not even cold yet when I received a message him to hear whether I got home safe...and like the saying goes: The rest is history.
Of course, I flew to Johannesburg a lot more from that day, and my parents knew it was not just because I wanted to visit THEM anymore.
Today, I am here because of the grace of God, an "ordinary" Sunday morning, a birthday party and a once-unknown, handsome, tall man - and I will not exchange it for anything in the world.
Zané and I met at Church.
At that stage, I was in a different relationship, but we became friends through mutual friends we had. Our paths separated when the relationship I was in at that stage ended.
Riaan and I (one of our mutual friends), still had contact and went to another church together. He invited me to his birthday party. I had absolutely no idea that Zané would be there too.
Things were rough at work the week before the party. I did not get a lot of sleep in, and I thought of canceling on Riaan. I did not want to drop him and figured it might be good to get out a bit. I decided that I would go for a little while, and then it is my bed and I. Physically, I have been in a better place in my life. With one week with only four hours of sleep and a whole month of no shaving, I still can't really understand how I (like Zané describes it) made her stop in her tracks.
On the day of the birthday party, I arrived a bit earlier than the rest of the people. I ended up taking a walk around the property's garden with one of my other friends. When we returned, Í immediately caught sight of Zané - and I knew instantly that my plan of going to bed early was out of the window.
We sat and spoke until way after midnight. It was indescribable - we forgot about the time completely. She was in fact, almost late for their departure to Sodwana Bay. Zané and I were the last two people to leave the birthday party. I decided to send her a message to make sure she got home safe - from that message; we have not had one day go by where we have not spoken.
It has always been one of my dreams to go to Europe and the fact that I could do it with the love of my life, made it so special.
Every moment was an experience, but NOTHING could prepare me for the moment when Herman asked me to marry him. Euro Disney was so fantastic and I really felt like a little girl again. I just could not get enough and I did not want the day to stop. By the evening, it was incredibly cold and we really tried everything to heat up a bit, but there were approximately two hours left for us to enjoy the park - so we decided to make the best of it.
Herman asked me on 21 December at Euro Disney in Paris, at 21h00. He asked me in front of Cinderella's Castle, just like a real princess - any girls dream proposal.
When Herman took me aside to the bench, I NEVER thought he planned to ask me the most important question of my life. The more I think about it now, the more I realize how blind I actually was. Herman held on to our backpack like it was a Bacon sandwich. I was not allowed to carry it, take anything out of it when we needed something, even if it was only to try and help him. He is an absolute gentleman, so I thought it was sort of normal. He was definitely on his nerves though, because I started asking questions about whether he was ok etc. about 3 days earlier already.
He sat me down on the bench and started talking to me about the day at the park etc. My answer to his question, "Is there something that could make the day even better?", was very ironic: "No, it's the best day ever and it is better than I ever could have asked for...NOTHING can make this day more perfect..."
When he asked me if I would be his Penguin (not the normal Will you marry me - read about the penguin part in the "Why all the Penguins?" in Our Story.) I do not think my brain registered what he was asking. I was in shock. I could not believe that the day came. I was somewhere between giggling and crying. I did not know whether I wanted to jump up and down or grab him and kiss him?? It was only on the train ride back to Paris I found out that my first words after the question were a "No" and that he had to ask me again until I gave the big YES. Eish!
When I opened the ring box, I saw the most beautiful ring and next to it the most beautiful, flawless Turqoois pebble. Then he said to me, "You are my Penguin". It was then when I could not keep back my tears anymore. He remembered - with all the time that passed HE REMEMBERED. He is my once in a life time partner - he is MY penguin.
Zané and I went on a Europe tour in December 2016 with two of our best friends. I asked her parents permission before we left, got the ring, while Zané did not expect a thing.
I was so relieved when the morning for our Euro Disney day finally arrived - this meant I could very soon relax a bit, and not have to worry about Zané finding the ring in my backpack.
After walking between the different rides all day, we were quite tired by the end of the day. I originally planned to ask her when the popular Fireworks show behind Cinderella's Castle started. On the program, I saw that the "Light Show" takes place at 20h00, but it was only a ceremony where Mickey and Minnie lit up a big Christmas Tree in the main street. I was considering asking her then, but I decided to wait.
After asking around for a while, I found out the fireworks are only at 22h00. It started to get extremely cold at approximately 20h30, and I convinced her that we would do two rides more before we headed back to the hotel. I soon realized that it is time to ask, because it looked like it was going to rain any second, and I could see she was actually getting very cold. I made sure that the ride I chose, was situated where we needed to walk past the Castle. I pretended to be lost, and sat down on a bench to "get out the park map." She could not understand why I wanted to get the map out, as we walked past the chosen ride multiple times during the day.
As soon as I got the ring, I hid it under the map. I then proceeded to ask her what she thought of the day and whether there would be anything else that could make it even more special or even better. She didn't realize immediately what was going on or why I asked her about her day so much. When I finally asked her "Would you be my Penguin?" and gave her the ring box, it hit her. The first words from her mouth were: "No, Babe, are you serious?". She asked me that about eight times, and then finally realized exactly what was happening - she said YES.
Zané was still in shock (and certainly cold too), and I decided that we must start to head back to the hotel and rather skip the fireworks. Nothing that could happen after I put that ring on her finger could make the evening or day more perfect for her. It was ultimately the best decision we could make because it started to rain and the fireworks were canceled.
Although it did not go exactly as I planned, I could see that she was ecstatic and nothing could have been a more perfect proposal for her.
This is probably a cliché answer, but the entire day was a highlight for me. I loved everything and every second. Even my husband said that everything was perfect.
I planned a lot of surprises during the day for my husband, so one of my favorite moments was definitely when the DJ played the final song of the evening and it was just my husband and me on the dance floor. A few seconds in, we realized that it was me singing and that the DJ actually recorded me earlier the evening when I was singing a song to my new husband during the reception. I will cherish that forever.
Another favorite moment is when I saw my husbands face, full of tears, as I was walking down the aisle. I did not expect a reaction like that from him AT ALL.
We went to the Cocoon Beach Resort in the Maldives. We were there for 10 days and did a lot of snorkeling and scuba diving. It is an amazing place
I wanted princess. Afterall, we got engaged in front of the Cinderella Castle in Disneyland Paris.
I have always dreamed about myself getting married in a big ballgown. Lizette from Bridal Alchemy made my dream into a reality with the most beautiful dress. I did not want to take it off at all and beyond contrary belief, it was the most comfortable dress ever. I decided to wear flat shoes, I wanted to be comfortable and wanted to enjoy my day without sore feet.
My jewelry was simple - just a hair piece, crystal earrings, and a crystal bracelet. I did not want to take the attention away from my dress.
My bouquet was a broach bouquet that I made myself.
My makeup and hair were absolutely gorgeous. It was done by Antoinette for EA Academy MUD in the Westrand. We kept my makeup simple and elegant and my hair was curled, taken back softly with lots and lots of volume. I LOVED IT
We got married ad L'Aquila Country Estate in Pretoria. It was amazing. There were 12 rooms available on the premises for family and the bridal party, and other guests could sleep at numerous lodges close by. Most of them went home though because the venue is very central.
Honestly, there were no changes in my routine or any extra treatments. The only thing we did was a Spa-day for my Mom, my Sister and I the day before the wedding so that we can relax and spend some time together. I obviously had my nails done, but that is it. Herman knew me for me, and I did not want to change who I was especially for the wedding.
Our venue was so amazing and they could supply us with everything I wanted.
The theme was Black, Crystal and a splash of Mint. The main color was black, and I added mint here and there on the tables (with the serviettes, chair sashes and Menus etc) to break the black. There were mirrors, candles, lights and crystal candelabras on the tables to add some elegance and shimmer. The flowers were huge white bouquets. It was better than I pictured it in the planning phases.
My Groom wore a Navy Vaella suit, with a gray Vaella waistcoat, white double cuffed shirt, and tan Pringle shoes and belt. The groomsmen wore black pants and black cuffed shirts. All of the men's clothing was bought at Cedar Square.
I also got all of them Superhero Cufflinks from Unbreakable Man.
My Bridesmaids wore elegant, short black dresses. It had a satin bottom and a high-rise lace top. It was rounded off with a beautiful black satin belt and bow. The lace opened with a circle at the back. I got the idea from two images on the internet that I wanted to combine. My Designer and dressmaker, Lizette from Bridal Alchemy made it for me.
My Dad, Marius van Jaarsveld, was our marriage officer. He has been a pastor my whole life, and it was truly such an privilege for him to be able to do the ceremony for us
Our photographer was Deon Coetzee from Deon Coetzee Photography. I could honestly not have asked for a better photographer to catch all the emotion and beauty of the day for us.
Our videographer was Luhan Barnard from Studio 59. He was amazing and really went the extra mile to make our day unforgettable
No. I have project management experience, and what better day is there to plan than your own wedding?? I planned the whole thing in only 19 days. I had 3 months to spare. I loved every single second of it, I think I might have missed my true calling.
The venue assisted to make sure the guys stick to my timeline on the day though hehe
There was none needed, we got ready at the venue itself
The food was prepared by our amazing venue, L'Aquila Country Estate. It was the best food I have ever had. People are to this day still talking about the amazing food at our wedding.
The cake was made by my Aunt, Denise Diedericks, who previously owned a Cake Boutique. It was absolutely beautiful
I designed and printed it all by myself. I am a designer and marketer, so I was lucky to be able to make every detail exactly what I wanted.
We took dance lessons at Lifestyle Dancing in Wilrogate. They really made our first dance unforgettable. Our DJ was Luis Almeda - the best DJ you can possibly have. He kept the party going until we had to leave the reception hall at 00h30 the next morning. He also went to a lot of trouble to make it extra special for us. He also did the lighting and sound.