There's nothing like seeing your groom arrive at the venue. It was a moment that made me feel like time stood still, when I took in my first breath for the day. I was upstairs in the dressing room, he got out of the car and time stopped. No butterflies, just calm, just silence, just "we did it", just "it's finally happening". From that moment, everything else rushed by too fast to think about what was happening, until we got to the hotel room, opened the door, peeked in and saw the room done up just for us. Breathe. He carries me into the room. We're married!
Nope. Not yet. We're still umming and aaring about where and when. He has his own business and I'm in finance, timing is an issue.
I've always dreamt of an elegant yet simple affair. And that's exactly what we achieved. I went for 2 make up trials to make sure my make up artist knew exactly what look I was going for. Natural, no contouring, subtle highlights and colour to match my outfit. Our wedding attire was different to the norm but still traditional. I'd never wanted to marry in traditional red, and life brought me the perfect outfit, talk about putting out positive energy into the universe. This was by far the easiest part about planning our wedding. We went in-store, the outfit, inspired by my favourite Indian designer Anushree Reddy, was brought out and I was inlove. Done. I did change into reception attire more comfortable to dance in. I changed my skirt for a custom made aladdin type pants which matched Renay's reception kurta top.
Sheetal from Enens has to be complimented here. We visited their store quite a few times during our wedding planning, for my mum's saree as well as my pre-wedding saree and accessories.
She's intuitive, she can read her customers brilliantly, and boy is she patient. She knew exactly what we wanted each time we visited and it's because of her, and her mum, that my husband and I ended up with outfits we simply loved!
The hardest part for both of us was finding the right shoes, but here again, it kind of just happened.
Hair too, just fell into place. I saw a style online and my hairdresser pulled it off.
My accessories were literally a last minute effort and was a combination of a gift from my maternal uncle who travelled to India weeks before my wedding, and my own purchases.
Nails, I found a pic online and called around until I could find a bridal nail lady who could fit me in.
My mendhi was the one thing booked well in advance and was a combination of different styles I had seen online.
Make up - Facetime by Salrina Reddy
Hair - Hair Co. Ballito
Clothing and Accessories - Enens Umhlanga
Custom made clothing - Lalchand Durban
Nails - Secret Spa, Liesel
Shoes - Steve Madden
Mendhi - RNS Mendhi Stanger
We were married at The Boathouse in Ballito.
It was the best choice, especially given that's where Renay chose to pop the question.
The accommodation was booked out over that weekend so my guests booked accommodation else where in ballito and Umhlanga.
I had it all figured out, i was going to have facials and massages and tons of treatments to look simply stunning.....Time and life had other plans for me. Thankfully I've always been physically active so I merely continued with my exercise routine, 3 days a week at the least. Drank lots of water every day. Kept a record of what I ate, in the 2-3 weeks leading up to the wedding, I cut out sweet things completely, I had already reduced my sugar intake years ago, so it wasn't terribly difficult. Took my usual multi vitamins and continued with my normal Dermalogica skin care regime. My make up artist warned me not to have any facials in the month of my wedding as my skin may react with the added complexity of stress and we wouldn't have enough time to correct. I did manage to squeeze in my express Mani and full on spa pedi a day before all my festivities were set to begin.
I didn't do too much for my Hair. I went for a hair trim with treatment 2 and a half weeks before my wedding and coloured my Hair the weekend before the big day.
Personally, the best way for me to deal with the unnecessary stress which escalated to ridiculous heights 2 weeks before my big day, was to meditate and go for 2 lengthy sessions of healing in those 2 weeks. It's amazing what time with a positive, beautiful soul can do for your spirit.
Mani & Pedi : Leisel from Secrets Spa, Ballito
Hair, Trim & Treatment: Charlton Hair, Ballito
Healing Sessions: Janet of Magical Moments, Umdloti
We chose a venue with a beautiful view so decor could be minimal.
Our ceremony was out in the garden with the deck being used as our stage. Our background was the ocean. We had simple, minimal but elegant flowers, together with draping to act as a frame to the ceremony.
The aisle had lanterns on either side and we used gold tiffany chairs.
Rose petals for the ceremony were in little paper cones sealed with a mini peg and pamphlets spoke to the significance of the ceremony as well as the ceremony agenda.
We had fruit and sweetmeats on the entrance table with welcome drinks available for guests.
As it was a garden wedding in summer, we had white Chinese umbrellas and wooden fans for guests.
Our reception saw the same minimal, elegant style. Circle centre pieces were made by hubby with the flower arrangements done by our amazing decor company. We opted for 2 types of centre pieces. The circles and different shaped geometric with flowers and leaves flowing out of them and onto the tables. Both centre piece styles had bronze-gold votives to add to the ambience.
Table cloths were blush pink with neatly folded napkins.
Gold tiffany chairs with no tiebacks.
Lighting supplied by our dj pulled the entire venue together beautifully.
We opted for a simple 2 seated set up for the 2 of us to enjoy dinner, but witnessed our reception formalities on the same chair used for our ceremony, it was a beautiful blush velvet stool which our decor company provided.
We had a standard dance floor set up, a photo booth available for guests to take pics and write a message in a guestbook alongside a copy of their pic.
Our starters were served on the table in platters, mains served buffet style and a cake-dessert-biscuit table was set up with tea or coffee as beverages.
Wedding favours were lavender seeds which were stuck onto the program with a note about the significance of lavender seeds. A ferrero chocolate alongside and a 500ml still water with our wedding logo printed thereon.
Decor: Events by Jackie
Sound & Lighting: Vishaal of Acoustic Vibes
Photobooth: Pixel Photobooth
Food: Thava Restaurant, Ballito
Wedding Cake: Tatjana Bipp
Renay wore a traditional sherwani for his ceremony. He opted to change the pants to a copper raw silk, as it gave the entire outfit a bit more of a regal look. Added to the change in pants colour and material, Renay bought a beautiful scarf from Junaid Jamshed in Gateway to finish the look.
His reception attire saw him change into a mint green tailor-made kurta top which matched my pants.
The men who walked me down the aisle bought blush sports jackets, matched with navy pants and navy shirts with brown shoes. My brother wore a floral navy shirt to give his look a more modern beach wedding feel, whilst my dad and brother in law opted for the more traditional formal navy shirts with ties. My elder brother/cousin opted for a more traditional look.
Renay's Sherwani: Enen's, Umhlanga
Renay's Scarf: Junaid Jamshed, Gateway
Renay's Tailor: Lalchand, Durban
Bridesmen Sports Jackets: Markhams
Bridesmen Shirts/Pants/Ties: Truworths & Edgars
We don't really have bridesmaids at our weddings, but I did have a female entourage who walked ahead of me as bridesmaids and flowergirls would.
All my ladies wore shades of pink and green to match my outfit.
Special mention must be made of my mum's choice. She wore a custom made, Sabyasachi inspired Saree. Her Saree was plain but exquisite. A beautiful green blouse with detailed working and a soft peach Saree with a border to match perfectly.
Clothing & Accessories Ladies: Memsaab, Durban
Clothing & Accessories Mother of Bride: Enen's, Umhlanga
Make up: Facetime Salrina Reddy
Hair: Hair Co., Ballito.
We actually signed our registration documents a few months before our ceremony.
We chose to celebrate our 7 year dating anniversary by signing on the dotted line.
Quite an interesting turn of events, as we did not properly investigate the process of going to the Home Affairs Department and had to at the last minute, try to source a marriage officer.
Thankfully a temple in Durban recommended a marriage officer who was available to assist. A lovely man who made us feel very much at home in his home.
Our ceremony itself was a Hindu Vedic ceremony officiated by Pundit Yuvesh. We met 3 times before the actual ceremony. First to meet him, the 2nd meeting was a familiarisation of the ceremony and for him to answer any questions we may have and the 3rd meeting was a mock wedding so we could fully understand the flow and significance of our ceremony.
Pundit Yuvesh is a humble, soft spoken man who has patience beyond belief. He played the part not only of a priest and educator, but also as a counsellor.
I've always believed it's important to select someone who represents and embodies all that which I would ideally like to represent at an auspicious occasion, such as a wedding. Pundit Yuvesh surpassed all expectation.
Lawyer for Pre-nuptial agreement: Burne & Burne
Marriage Officer: Rishi Sewsunker
Priest: Pundit Yuvesh
Helen was recommended to us by a work colleague.
We went online and had a look at her work and loved her video trailers, so we went ahead and made arrangements to meet.
Her personality sealed the deal for us.
A fun, happy, excited person who made us feel so very comfortable in her presence. And this translated fully on our day.
There was no requests to stop and pose during the ceremony, she allowed the ceremony to flow and still managed to capture some amazing pics. She accommodated everything on the day with a smile on her face. I'll recommend her any day.
Our photobooth was selected by chance actually. We went for a bridal fair, trialed a photobooth with a vintage looking backdrop and loved the personality directing us through it. This definitely flowed through into our wedding day. A suggestion, to begin with place limitations on pics, we found some guests hogged the photobooth and many others did not get a chance to take a pic. Not cool when you're the one paying for all your guests to have fun, especially when you hear those guests were rude to your other guests. You can't control people, but you can try to give everyone a fair chance. Our photobooth vendors handled themselves professionally and didn't lose the fun in it all.
Photographer & Videographer: Helen of Motionpix
Nope. Renay & I wanted it as personal as possible and managed everything ourselves. I don't regret our decision 1 bit.
We didn't opt for anything fancy.
I arrived in my little Yaris and got dressed at the venue.
Renay arrived in his brother's car, which was the only car decorated as a wedding car.
We're not about the car, we're about our love and our family, so we spent money on the smaller things instead.
Food is by far the most important thing at an Indian wedding.
It is the one thing everyone talks about. So it was a Non-Negotiable that our supplier be the restaurant at the Boathouse, even though they have their own supplier. The owner of the Boathouse was very accommodating, Mr Jay Haripersad, and allowed us to use them.
The importance of pulling off an a wedding cake that looked and tasted good could only be given to 1 person. She made my mum's birthday cake a few months earlier, so I knew without a doubt she could pull off the design without compromising the taste. She accommodated my request for an eggless cake and trialed out a few options in terms of flavour before finalising with me. I loved her professionalism and her kind personality through everything.
Food: Thava Restaurant, Ballito
Wedding Cake: Tatjana Bipp, Ballito
Everything was personally designed.
I had the concept of a comic book depicting our love story. My friend Dane Frank was approached to draw the images, which Renay edited using Coral. I pulled together the wording which included quotes from none other than the great Sufi Poet, Rumi. And so our wedding invite was born.
Wedding Comic Booklets were printed and presented to guests either in brown envelopes with wooden hearts and ribbon or in boxes with larger wooden hearts and ribbon. Both with our initials on it.
I converted the invite to a video with music I felt was apt and edited to fit the different slides of the invite.
Pamphlets at the ceremony, as well as the agenda/thank you note for the reception, were designed by myself using the logo which came from Pixel Photobooth. The same logo was used for our 500ml Water Favours.
The lavender seeds were placed in tissue paper to match the reception stationery and stuck onto the pages by myself.
Printing: LivePrint, Ballito
Wooden items, including glitter, ribbon, etc.: PNA, Ballito & Umhlanga
Our reception...it did come with some disappointment but was overall simply beautiful and enjoyed by all our guests.
We entered our reception once all guests were seated. We had seated tables arranged around the room providing guests with as much of a view of the centre area as possible.
Formalities were kicked off by our friend who was an amazing MC, Radintshi Monyobo.
Renay chose his eldest sister to speak on his behalf.
I chose my Uncle to speak on my behalf, my aunt who has been a 2nd mum to me, was meant to provide a few lines to my uncle but opted to say those few lines herself.
I wrote out a message which I asked our MC to read out on my behalf. The message was predominately to Renay.
My brother & sister gave the vote of thanks.
My brother in law did the toast.
Renay & cut the cake.
And we ended formalities by calling out table numbers for guests to come up and take pics with us before heading over to the buffet section where mains were served and the photobooth was set up.
Once we had eaten, we rushed off to do a quick night shoot before changing into our reception outfits and proceeded to open the dancefloor with a kizomba dance. Renay and i joined Sabrosa Salsa a year or so before the wedding and realised we simply love dance.
Special mention must be made to Gill, who took time out to talk us through a few options for the dance, and of course, being Miss Sabrosa herself, is our dance teacher.
As soon as the opening of the dance-floor was completed we rushed off to Renay's family home to complete post marriage traditions and returned to our reception later than expected. This sadly gave Renay and I only a few minutes with the handful of guests who were able to wait for us to return before we were required to end the evening. This for us was the only heart-sore moment of our day. We can't have expected our guests with kids, and our elders to wait for us to return and had sincerely hoped to be completed with all traditions at least 30 min earlier than we did.
Our greatest advice to anyone planning, it is your day, you only get this 1 shot, do what you know will make you happy. Don't sweat the small stuff, but if spending time with guests who travelled a distance to share these moments with you is important to you, do it. You will never get that time back, never.
I must thank Soju from Thava Restaurant who took care of many of the smaller things on the day, without complaint.
We were very lucky to have worked with such amazing suppliers and will honestly recommend any of them any day.