I met James on 29 Oct 2015 at a dance. We both needed a bit of a push to get to know each other. If it wasn't for Corine; who knows how long it would have taken us to get to know each other. Really appreciate it, Corine.
We went for our first coffee date and we just connected. 4 cups of coffee and dinner later, I knew it was the start of something great. James made me wait 3 weeks before he asked me out on 17 November 2015.
We started dating and it became very clear that we were intentional in our relationship. One day we were together in our Pastor's home and while we were praying, God showed me that James and I were surrounded by a cord. For me that was the sign that God has ordained our relationship.
We dated for 11 months before James pop the question on 20 October 2016. The proposal was everything I ever dreamed it would be and so much more.
We made wedding prep fun in every way. We knew God's hand was over us as all planning, organising and tasks just fell into place. The day I saw the draft version of our invite, I cried like a baby. My sister designed our invites and without knowing the picture I had, the same cord was on the design.
Everything fell into place and I married the man God made for me. It was evident that God wrote our love story.
The highlight was the moments we had with family and friends. We had a wedding weekend and started the Friday evening with a braai. All my sisters and bridemaids stayed in the Manor house at Bona Tea Private Estate. Waking up with my sisters and friends jumping on the bed was just priceless. Having one of my bridesmaids, Nadia, praying for me while getting ready was special to me. My dad seeing me as a bride for the first time. The moment where the girls rang the tower bells to announce the start of our ceremony. The quick prayer that I share with my mom, dad, sisters and bridesmaids before we walked down the aisle. As my dad walked me down the aisle the staff at Bona Dea stood on the sides of the aisle and made a bow. Seeing James for the first time waiting for me at the end of the aisle. My dad marrying us. The moment we worshiped with all the people at the wedding. I even forgot that I was at the wedding. We had an intimate moment with God in the service. Knowing that God is blessing our marriage.
We spent our first night as a married couple at the Bona Dea Private Estate where the wedding took place. The next morning we had breakfast with all the guests. It was lovely to interact one more time before everyone would leave. That evening we went to a cottage on a hill at Bushmanpad near Ashton. It was great to just unwind and talk about all the memories of the wedding. Two days later we drove to Cape Town. It was time to say good bye to South Africa. We flew from Cape Town to Johannesburg, Johannesburg to Abu Dhabi, changed suitcases ( we live in Abu Dhabi) and went back to the airport. We flew Abu Dhabi to Bangkok and then Bangkok to Koh Samui. We stayed in Koh Samui for 8 days. Because we live overseas, we asked guests at our wedding to contribute to a honeymoon fund. We gave the guests options of 8 activities, thinking if we get to do 3, it would be great. We ended up doing an action pack honeymoon covering all 8 activities. It included paragliding, snorkeling, island hopping via boat and taxi, cooking classes,kayaking, spa day, 4 x 4 jungle adventure and dinner on the beach. We stayed at a beautiful hotel. The villa had a private swimming pool. The best way to travel on the island is by scooter. We loved every minute of our time on honeymoon.
I wanted to stay true to myself, but still look and feel beautiful.
I had a spesific dress in mind. I tried on a few dressed in Abu Dhabi but it was not what I had in mind. So I decided to order a dress online. It only took two weeks but all I can say is that I should have known better than to order a dress online. The dress was a complete disaster. It looked nothing like the picture and it looked like a doll dress from a scary movie. Epic fail. So plan B was to fly to Cape Town for a week and try on as many dresses as I could until I get a dress that looked like the picture in my head. I took my sisters with me but no luck. I had to fly back with no dress. In March of this year, we flew back to Cape Town. There were three shops we didn't visit the first round. The last shop was Bridal Allure in Table View. I walked in and a dress caugh my eye. It was completely different from the picture in my head, but I knew it was my dress. My sisters could not believe that I loved the dress. The dress was a perfect fit. It was part of the St Patrick Bridal by Pronovias. I said yes to the dress. My eldest sister bought the wedding dress as a wedding present. I felt like a princess.
My hair and make up was classical and elegant. I had a upstyle for the ceremony and my hair was down for the reception. My make up artist was Leoume Vos from Leoume Vos Hair and Make-up. She understood my vision and we had so much fun together. Thank you Leoume for making me feel like a princess ready to marry her prince.
I had a pair of blue shoes for the ceremony and James gave me a pair of Ted Baker shoes for the reception. A girls got to be comfortable when she is dancing.
We got married at Bona Dea Private Estate, Hermanus. The plan was to get married outside on the lawn, but we would make the call a week before the time. The inside hall at Bona Dea was the back up plan. We saw Lelani for our last meeting on the Tuesday before the wedding and we made the call. It would be outside, no matter what. We had a winter wedding and the possiblily was there that it would rain. We took a chance and it paid off. It was cold during the morning and overcast, but when the time came for the wedding, it was the perfect day. The sun was even out when we exchanged our rings. The rest of the day was cold with no rain.
The bridal party stayed at the Manor House on Bona Dea Private Estate. The Groom and groomsmen stayed in a cottage on the hill. Our families stayed at High season guest farm, 9 kms away. The rest of the guests stayed at B & B's around Hermanus. We had the Friday evening braai and Sunday morning breakfast at High Season farm. It was so lovely to mingle with all guest before and after the wedding.
The only beauty regime that I had was a hair and facial mask on a Sunday evening for about four months. I had a facial a week before the wedding.
We used Flamboijant Decor Wedding and Events. Lizl was amazing. She went the extra mile and beyond.
I always knew that it would be blue/navy, because both of us loves blue. I wanted it to be navy and silver, but God had other plans.
While I was worshipping in church, I was talking to God about the wedding and just asking Him about the colours. God showed me a picture. He wrote on a wall our names and said we are sons and daughters of the Holy King. He showed me the colours, navy and gold with a hint of purple. All royalty colours that is in the Bible. He also said, commit to gold fully. In my wildest dreams would I have never chosen gold.
Somehow Lizl took my ideas and turned it into something spectacular. The Gold was just enough to look stunning and the purple was brought in with elegance.
Bona Dea Private Estate provided decor as well. The roof was done by Bona Dea Private Estate.
My family assisted with the DIY projects.
The Groom wore a Blue Pierre Cardin suit and the Groomsmen wore grey Pierre Gardin suits. They all had matching brown belts and shoes. Getthing the guys to try on the suits where nearly impossible. Jared lives in America, Jan in South Africa, Ashley in Qatar and James (Groom) in Abu Dhabi. Somehow it all worked out and the guys looke stunning.
The girls wore a dress from YDI. I had to send my sisters on mission impossible. Find a navy dress without me seeing it in real life. They did, and it happen to be the same designer my sister used for her wedding four year ago. She contacted the designer. The designer made the dresses on measurements only. My maid of Honor and one bridesmaid was in Abu Dhabi and there was no way they could fit on the dress before the time. The designer did a great job. It was a close call. The one bridesmaid got the dress the night before the wedding and luckily it fitted like a glove...
My dad married was the marriage officer. I was the last one of his four daughters that got married. It was so special. My dad walked me down the aisle and then he walked around the podium to marry us.
Nelis Engelbrecht was our photographer. My husband teases me about the photographer. I booked Nelis as photographer even before we decided on the venue. I know Nelis from school and I saw the growth in his journey as a photographer.
I loved the way he captured the moment on every single photo. He captured the small details in our wedding. I am glad that we used him, because the memories will stay with us forever. Our photos displays the love we have for each other. Thank you Nelis for using the talent God gave you to make weddings so special.
We used Light Lounge Wedding Cinematography as our videographer.
We had Lelani Botha as our planner. She works for Bona Dea Private Estate. I can really recommend her for your wedding. She helped with everything. I was so relaxed on the day, because I knew Lelani had everything under control. It was difficult living overseas and trying to arrange a wedding in South Africa. Lelani was our rock during this time. I probably sent millions of emails and everytime she replied in such a manner that I felt at ease. I am one of only a few brides that can say that nothing went wrong on our wedding time. But I know it is because of this amazing woman who worked so hard to give us the perfect day.
My dad was in the progress of restoring his 1935 Chevrolet when we got engaged. We asked him to finish the beautiful old car in time for the wedding and he did. The car was restored to the orginal colour, which happened to fit into my colour scheme of the wedding. This car is unique. There were only 217 made in the USA during 1935. It was so special. My dad drove the car, walked me down the aisle and married us.
Two of my sisters have their own business. The one sister designed all the stationary and the other designed our website. The company is called Penny Gum Designed Printables. My sisiter understood that living oversea can be challenging when dealing with printing. They designed a pdf that you can edit by just changing your details. It made it hassle free and fun to do stationary.
Our open dance was sang by James' best man, Ashley. It was Good, Good Father by Chris Tomlin. We created our own steps and enjoyed the dance. We even had a lift and swirl in the dance. We didn't practice it with Ashley before the time. He lives in Qatar and it was impossible to get to him. We practice it on the Friday with him and luckily the song worked with the steps.
Our DJ was Chis from Events Music Solutions. Our dance floor was never empty. As they say, we dance the night away. The flow of the music was great. The lighting was amazing.