Marilyn and Mike have a very special love story which all started whilst Mike was scrolling through his Facebook feed! Mike noticed Marilyn’s sparkling eyes and enormous smile staring at him from his screen and knew that he had to get to know the lady. Despite his efforts Marilyn took a long time to warm to the very persistent but patient gent! Slowly but surely they got to know each other in cyber space and then one day Marilyn finally agreed to meet for coffee! They have been together ever since!
I have photographed ALOT of weddings and I watch love for a living so I feel I can safely say that these two are the real deal! They absolutely adore each other and are so incredibly supportive and respectful of one another. Mike is one of those men who still opens doors for ladies and writes love letters, Marilyn is one of those ladies who loves to look after people and make sure that everyone is OK. They compliment each other in all the right kind of ways and both have very strong family values which has allowed them to merge two families into one!
There were so many things about this wedding that will stay with me! It was my first time shooting at the absolutely incredible Bohemian Crystal Barn Wedding Venue in the Natal Midlands, it was 9 degrees and absolutely bloody freezing so we drank sherry during the creative shoot but mainly I will remember how touched I was to witness the way these two watch each other!
Marilyn and Mike thanks so very much for picking me and for looking after us so well. Your love and your wedding was really one of a kind. Sending you both so much love and luck for this new journey together as husband and wife!
Drinking OBS in 9 degrees weather with our wonderful photographer @jackibruniquel doing our creative shoot was something I will never forget.
Seeing my youngest son waiting to receive me at the ceremony.
Walking down the aisle with my mom.
A surprise song from our second oldest son Matthew, where he sang for us and all our guests (who all landed up in tears of absolute joy).
As I own my own Travel Company, its rather embarrassing to say NO! Firstly, timing, we have 3 boys and did not rush it just because you have to go.
I also get great deals and we want to do Nepal, Himalayas and journey a bit of India and stay in remote areas, which takes a bit of planning. So now that we have tied the knot and the rush is over the Honeymoon planning starts.
We did a little mini-moon and stayed in Cape Town for 4 nights to 'regroup' as we call it, and we did exactly that.
My Wedding was colorful, Boho and Vintage. We made all the decor ourselves.
We designed our own website for invitations and the wedding itinerary, and steered away from printing as much as possible, compliments of my developer husband (ha-ha) : http://www.mikeandmarilyn.co.za
I felt we needed to keep it simple and I made a wedding booklet for each guest on arrival.
Mike designed all arrival boards and LivePrint in Ballito did a sterling job to execute it.
I did my own flowers with the help of my close friend Wilna Cremer. We went to 'Vegmo Flora' and chose it all ourselves.
I took 3 friends and we set up the venue 3 days prior ... having so much fun as we went.
My wedding theme was 'timeless vintage elegance'.
My makeup was done by the beautiful Brittany Jane Smith with soft colours that complimented me in every way.
My hair was done by my best friend and also hairdresser Michelle Strachan, to whom I gave so many grey hairs... changing my color and cut so many times.!
My dress was exactly what I wanted and envisioned, as I designed it, and the phenomenal dress-maker Madelain Clark executed it in her unique exquisite and flawless talent. A really unique feature of my dress was the veil, as it was part of my train, and I could just pull it over and drop it again as I did not want anything in my hair.
My headpiece jewellery and earrings were from Kathleen Barry, and from my husbands clearly besotted reaction, easily stole the show!
We got married at the beautiful vintage, bohemian estate - Crystal Barn in the Midlands. (@CRYSTALBARNCOUNTRYESTATE) who offers two options to tie the knot - forest and barn chapel.
We opted for the forest (as it will win any brides heart over), but a few days before we had to change to the chapel due to a cold front that swiftly moved in, dropping the thermometer to a mere 9 degrees!!!
The chapel proved to be just amazing as the forest, and that was one of the reasons we chose Crystal Barn: so as to not stress about weather.
The pictures turned out dramatic and beautiful as we still did our pictures in the forest.
Our guest stayed in a few of the surrounding estates, as well as Crystal Barn. We had guests arrive on the Friday, with an itinerary for the entire long weekend, seeing most leaving on Monday.
Well, this was another journey on its own!! hahaha.
With the absolute fear of not rolling down the aisle I started on a very personal journey I wanted to do for years.
I lost 35 Kg for my wedding, and it started off with wanting to lose weight for my dress. (Like any bride wants to do)
While on this journey, all aspects of my life changed. I started developing more self love, finding my self worth and started loving myself in the mirror again. I had so much positivism boosted into me (by my husband, all the time!!) that I got to believe in myself, and with that, anything is achievable. (Ive added a picture of myself when I got engaged to my wedding day in the album)
I am still on this journey, and have 17kg to go, as I want to stand up paddle boarding in a stunning costume!
I use a personal trainer Gary Seymour - Strong by Design, and if you live on the North Coast in Ballito, its worth popping in. Be warned though ... your life will change!
I did do teeth whitening with Dr Kadar on the North Coast, and it's worth the money spent (I did LED whitening). Do not waste your money on other products.
I did a few spa treatments and soft chemical peels with Laser Sure in Ballito - why we do not do this all the time I am not sure. It's a facial on steroids and its stunning!
Mike and I did a lovely Marriage course with Linc church on the north coast and its well worth it.
It gives you personal time out of your busy day, even to get to know each other a bit better.
Mark Slevin married us, and his lovely wife Cath did a prayer and spoke some calmness into us before I walked down the aisle with my mom.
Decor was all planned and executed by myself.
Leather was a big part of the wedding and I used off-cut leather strips with vinyl printed guests names for their place settings ( which can be used for a bookmark later on).
I did a weekend program booklet for each guest.
I rented/bought decor from:
- Exclusive hire - knives, forks, spoons, glasses,under plates.
- Crystal and Vine - gold hurricane lamps, gold candle holders and beautiful small vases for tee lights.
- Love and Laugh (Ballito) now in the Lifestyle center - vintage vases and small gold hurricane lamps that went on the table.
- Vegmo Flora- I booked all my flowers prior to the wedding and collected it a few days prior.
- Clover Candles - I bought all my candles including black candles directly from them. It's not cheap, but they are the best value.
- Vintage chair set - Weddings SA - Kate will rent it to you if you have your wedding there (red couch) or she can do it for outside her venue. She has many other rental options and can plan your wedding for you. She has many years of experience and will have a valuable input into your day.
Plan your decor and flowers carefully, you can save a lot of money on this if you can execute this properly.
We made our own decor by using a lot of cloth, torn into strips.
We made our own dream catchers for the ceremony/venue and was placed everywhere.
I borrowed a lot of Persian carpets - haha cheat I know, but so warming.
The Wedding DJ - Kevin Mckune - you cannot get a better DJ that gets your brief and keeps your guests on the dance floor all night.
Do as much as you can yourself if you can manage it, it's well worth it.
I did not have Bridesmades.
We kept it personal and small with just our 3 sons ( groomsmen)
We got married legally on our anniversary (18 Sept) by Fiona Briggs, a marriage officer on the North Coast, a few days before the wedding and our Mark Slevin from Linc church was our pastor of our ceremony at Crystal Barn on the 23 Sep
Jacki Bruniquel is a top SA wedding photographer and she has a distinctive and very creative flair of photography and that is what we were looking for.
We wanted a story teller photographer that can catch the moments and the emotions of our whole wedding.
Do not spare money on this service you will regret it.
Her photojournalism is tops!
Scott the owner of Crystal Barn prepared the food and I cannot fault him, he was just amazing.
Sandra Taylor did a naked cake and I cannot praise her enough, she drove to the venue and set it all up as we cut our cake only the Sunday before guests left to bring them all together ... tea and cake.
The cake was the hero on the Sunday.
My husband and myself !
We did our own wedding website http://www.mikeandmarilyn.co.za
We designed every single detail and made our own books and spent many late nights having fun doing this.
One-of-a-kind, bridal accessories from conception to creation