Durban City, good food and having everyone we loved in one spot- what more could we have asked for?
Everything about our honeymoon was a surprise! We had decided together to keep things local but I had no idea what Maritz had up his sleeve for us! Our first two nights we stayed in Durban at the breathtaking Zimbali Lodge where we spent most of our time lounging by the pool, adventuring to the beach and having a sneaky massage which Maritz planned beforehand. On the Monday we then flew to Cape Town where we spent our first week at Club Mykonos in Langebaan and our second week in Sea Point, Cape Town. In Langebaan, we decided to use the time to rest as much as possible so many naps, pool days and beach walks were on the agenda. Once in Sea Point however, we decided to be full tourists for that week and adventured to wine farms, the V&A, took camel rides in Kommetjie and view the city on the famous City Sightseeing bus. It was a magical two weeks that we wish didn't have to end, but we came home with incredible memories and one or two delicious Cape Town wines :)
I knew the moment we got engaged exactly what I wanted my dress, hair and overall look to be- simple. I have never been into anything flashy or over-the-top so I knew keeping things simple would be the best way to stay true to myself on the day. After searching for my dress at many different bridal shops, I just couldn't find what I was looking for, so I decided to enlist the help of my very talented friend Kendall Cocking to help take the idea of what I wanted from my dress to the rail. She did the most amazing job of making sure I felt completely comfortable, yet beautiful in my dress and I can honestly say my dress was better than I could ever have imagined. Thank you Kenny :)
A few months prior to the wedding, I entered a bridal competition in Durban at La Lucia Mall where I amazingly won my hair and make-up for myself and one bridesmaid from Kiss and Makeup in Durban North. However, I just simply couldn't decide who to share my prize with so I gave it to my mum- after all the mother of the bride deserves to look and feel like a million bucks too! The team at Kiss and Makeup did an incredible job at listening to what my mom and I wanted and I got the elegant, yet simple look I wanted. They are an amazing group of girls and I would recommend Alana and her team to anyone!
On the jewelry side, as I mentioned earlier I am really not one to where anything sparkly, so I chose to where my great aunt's gold locket which was passed down to my mother when she was younger. It has so much sentimental value and the gold worked perfectly with our color scheme.
On the shoe front, if it wasn't for the brown leather heels I found at a friend's fundraiser just 3 weeks before the wedding, I probably would've opted for my white converse, but needless to say, they worked perfectly, were comfy plus I got to support a friend (and they have since been borrowed numerous times!)
I think staying true to oneself on your wedding day is a great way of ensuring you are comfortable while not looking and feeling like a totally different person.
Maritz and I both wanted to get married in a very different space and not have a typical midlands wedding (no offence to anyone who gets married in the midlands), but we had a specific idea of what we wanted and we wanted to find it! We also wanted to keep things local so our guests wouldn't have to spend extra on accommodation and could enjoy the party a little longer without having to drive home for hours in the dark. After searching for a few months, we remembered a very cool, industrial space in the heart of Durban called The Plant and after visiting the venue one Sunday, we knew it was for us! Having a huge blank canvas meant we could chose exactly how we wanted it to look and it meant we could have both the ceremony and reception all in one space (again no more extra travelling between venues). It was the perfect space for us- industrial which suited both M and I to a tee and big enough to host all our friends and family comfortably. Anna and her team were amazing at letting us have free reign of the place and we can both honestly say we could not have chosen a more unique and perfect venue for us. Being a Durban girl, I love this city and Durban is home to some amazing gems- with a little searching and creativity, you can really find something no one has done before.
Because our venue was so unique and different being an industrial warehouse, we really wanted to keep that look and feel in tact, so our decor was very minimalist and simple. Gold hoops covered in Penny Gum hung from the ceilings and tons of candles, hidden among greenery were lit up on the tables- and that was that decor wise! Maritz was amazing and made us our wedding arch which we covered in greenery and my cousin manged to make a fairy light wall next to the dance floor which added an amazing effect to the space.
After wining a few competitions for the wedding that benefited me the most, I really wanted Maritz to have something he would always remember the day by, so I found a competition to win a custom made suit for the groom from Frank Bespoke in Johannesburg. Maritz got to choose everything from the style of suit he wanted, to the color and lining and I must say he look absolutely incredible! We hired the groomsman suits from Eurosuit in Umghlanga who did an amazing job at making sure we got the colors we wanted as well as tailor fit the suits to each groomsman so they all felt comfortable and dapper too!
While scrolling through Instagram one day, I came across an image of a styled shoot done by a local Durban girl Chanelle Wright- and when I saw the dresses in the photo I knew instantly those were the dresses my bridesmaids would wear. A cute little lace top with a soft mesh skirt made my girls look breathtakingly beautiful and I got to choose the colors and styles I wanted of both the tops and skirts. She was amazing at making sure each bridesmaid was happy with how they looked which was always very important to me. I wanted my bridesmaids to feel completely comfortable and happy on the day and not just put them in what I wanted (luckily they all loved the top and skirt option). Your bridesmaids put in so much effort leading up the day, I think it's only fair they get to decide how they'd like to look as well.
Our Pastor at the Olive Tree Church did the "legal" side of things a few days before the wedding where we had both sets of parents as witnesses and our friend and pastor Gary conducted the ceremony on the day of the wedding. We wanted to someone who has made an impact on both our lives and as Maritz and Gary were good friends and myself growing up with him, we thought it was only fitting a friend married us.
Another incredible prize I won was our photographer Maresha from MLK photography. She was absolutely amazing, completely unobtrusive and captured the essence and heart of our day. She is based in PMB and traveled down to Durban a few days before the wedding to scout possible locations for our creative shoot as well as make sure we had time to chat and understand what we wanted for the day. We shot our wedding party photos on a rooftop next to Glenridge church, but after getting caught in mini hurricane out there, we decided to flee the scene in search for a dryer location! Luckily, the amazing team at Distillery 031 let us use their restaurant and distillery to take our pics, and they came out incredibly- super different and unique. (P.S the mini hurricane , although hectic, did result in some pretty cool action shots!)
Nope- everything was planned ourselves! Having a 10 month engagement really helped make sure we didn't make rushed and impulsive decisions, but really well-thought and carefully planned ones. Our amazing friend Mia did help us on the day by making sure everything ran smoothly and everyone that needed to do something knew what to do. But we gathered teams of friends and family and everyone really came together and helped make our day perfect.
My one brother drove my parents and I to the wedding and Maritz and his groomsman all traveled in his car- nothing fancy, just us.
We knew we wanted something super different than the usual wedding food buffet and our original idea was to get in a few food trucks, but logistically it would've proven to difficult. I then found an amazing lady called Lucy who runs Renegade Kitchen who just so happened to run her kitchen inside our wedding venue which was a huge bonus! I gave her our budget per head and told her our crazy ideas for the food and she came up with the most perfect menu! Our starter was a delectable harvest table lavished with various breads, dips, and extras which kept people coming back for more, and more and more. Our main was also a help-yourself-situation where we had one "build your own burger" station and one "build your own tacos" station. This was definitely one of the highlights of the evening as everyone from young to old got stuck in and could chose exactly what they wanted on their plate. The food was more than delicious and ensured everyone left with a full and satisfied tummy.
Our talented friend Sherrie made our cakes for us and made a selection of vanilla and chocolate cakes with naked icing and caramel drizzle- they were out of this world! (we are still eating our 7 weeks later!)
Since we stuck to a strict budget through the wedding planning, I decided to design all our stationery myself using a program called Canva and made our wedding website on The Knot. It was super easy and by designing it myself I knew we were getting exactly what we wanted. I had the programs printed at a local print shop and my talented husband designed and made our welcome and seating chart signs himself (we spent many a weekend putting our DIY skills to use)
Our DJ was our friend and talented DJ Sean Ross (also a local Durbanite) who was great at making sure everyone stayed on the dance floor until the end of the party and our sound was done by 031 Entertainment. We decided not to take dance lessons as we both didn't want the pressure of remembering a million steps but rather just enjoyed the moment of our first dance as we swayed to our favorite song Something Just Like This by Coldplay. (hint: you can never go wrong with a Coldplay song!)