Our wedding may have been another person's nightmare, but it was absolutely perfect in every way for us. The day started, sunny blue skies, that crisp midlands air, the excitement removed all nerves, and we could not wait to get to that alter and say our "I do's". Before the wedding, we agreed that come rain or shine, we were not going to let it ruin our special day, and boy did that phrase take us up on our offer... Our ceremony was performed by my father-in-law which was so special to us and in a quaint little chapel on the hill. The moment he said "You may kiss the bride", the heavens opened and it just poured with rain. On our way out of the chapel we were showered in pennygum leaves from our guests and raindrops from the skies. The rain did not stop. We had our family portraits in the rain, and while everyone went to cozy up in the barn with canape's, cocktails and live music, Nico and myself and our incredible photographer/videographer duo - Duane and Cara set out into the rain to carry on with our pictures. And to be honest, I would never wish that moment away. We danced, posed, and kissed in the rain - my wet hair was stuck to my head, Nico's suit became ombre' grey, and by the end of the photos, my beautiful white dress became ombre' brown with mud from the bottom. Nothing stopped us or our photo/videographers from capturing the moments, and everything about it was just perfect. We have incredible pictures in the pouring rain, and ironically our first ever kiss also so happened to be in the rain so we embraced the moment. Sounds like a movie, right?! But it's true and it was our perfect fairytale. Luckily our photographer brought a change of clothes, or 2, one after the pouring rain, and another for after slipping in the mud - what a legend! and i (quite literally) let my hair down to dry. This moment added to our story and we wouldn't change it for the world.
Another highlight of mine was that our wedding was a mostly family-run event. Everyone jumped on board to make it the best ever - My aunt decorated the place, hand-made table runners and a photo backdrop of lyrics, sorted out the confetti, and bar, my father in law married us and made our bouquets, my cousin took it upon himself to play DJ, our friends lit up the dancefloor with their band, sound and lights, our other friend created my husbands beautiful unique sygnet ring with my fingerprint for us, and my ever so incredible mom made my dress. Every element was just an added personal touch from my family and not generic. .
Nico and I had rehearsed a special dance for our first dance, and my dad chose the very jivey mango groove's special star song for the dad-daughter dance. He wanted it to be a fun moment, and it will be a moment i will never forget. Honestly, I had no idea my dad could dance the way he did. He swung me around that dancefloor, suprised everyone, and the moment we were done, the dancefloor filled up with guests and I never saw it empty again once. Nico and I had the best night of our lives, and didn't want our wedding to end. We were the last 2 standing by the end of the night with a few guests - music went off, lights came on and we couldn't believe it was all over. Our very kind guest house arrived to pick us up in a red 4x4 with blankets, and off we drove to our honeymoon suite. We watch our wedding highlights video often, and if i could, i would do it all over again and not change a thing!
Wedding highlights video - https://vimeo.com/286023756
We definitely went on honeymoon and loved planning it together. We wanted somewhere not too far from SA, beachy paradise with fun activities/water sports. We gave ourselves one day to recover from the madness and off we set to Mauritius. We decided to stay at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel near Turtle Bay mostly for the variety of restaurants and water sports offered from their shores. On arrival, we were greeted with cold towels and Elderflower juice to freshen up while they checked us in. We were then shown to our room which was exquisitely rustic sheek. We decided on an all inclusive package and particularly loved the beach bar with swinging stools right on the water. We were spoilt for choice with food, we could decide between indian, chinese, moroccan, beach BBQ, italian, steakhouse or buffet with a little bit of everything. The staff were super friendly and really took time to get to know you and walk the holiday with you. There was live entertainment by the main bar every night, as well as dance performances. We got started with beach sports the day after we arrived, and braved new heights in parasailing. After overcoming that fear, I decided to stay closer to land and we varied between catching a tan with cocktails in hand, and water sports like water-skiing, kayaking, paddle boats or SUP'ing. One of the trips highlights was taking a private speedboat along the coast to swim with dolphins. We found a pod not too far away from our hotel and what a beautiful experience it was being in the water with such gorgeous animals. We snorkelled a little further down the coast before returning to our hotel for a well deserved massage. The weather was just beautiful while we were there, we stayed for 7 nights which was just enough, and really hope to revisit there again soon.
We made a little honeymoon highlights video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SA0NQbNOjI&t=165s
My wedding look (specifically my dress) was an extremely sentimental part of my wedding. My hair and make up was done by Mish De Sa who we realised mid-trial is one of my dance buddies girlfriends. My shoes were a very simple matt gold ankle strap from cotton on. Although I did swap them out last minute (and by last minute I mean an hour before walking down the aisle) for a pair of olive green simple ankle straps, purely for fear of sliding down the aisle in the turning weather. They worked out great! Wedding tip: Wear your most comfy heels you have, even if people tell you they aren't wedding shoes. My lingerie was from the bridal section of Cotton On, plain lace white, with a white bridal gown to match. My jewellery was partly from Lovisa, however, I did have a bangle made by one of my close friends at Silvery in rose gold, which I engraved my husbands initials, NJB as well as our wedding date, 14.04. Now let's get to my absolute dream dress. I decided not to go the traditional route and buy a store made dress, but instead I asked my mom, Leanne if she would make it with me. I had an idea in my head and wanted to make it come to life in a special way. Well, she threw out all my expectations and made me a dress far better than I could ever have imagined or wished for. It was perfect in every way possible and just so special to me being made by her. She made it with only the love a mother has for her children. She sacrificed months to do this for me. We spent weekends together cutting up lace and doing fittings over a glass of wine and laughter. Thinking back - we really should not have been drinking red wine during a white dress fitting... Oops! But working together to create my dream dress will be a memory I will cherish forever. A few weeks before the wedding, I decided I didn't want to look at the dress again until it was time to wear it. And the day before my wedding, my mom suprised me with an element of my dress, and a little tag inside as a "something blue" reading "made with love from mom". I still look back in awe of what she created for me to make my day the best it could possibly be.
We got married on a beautiful rustic farm in Dargle near Howick, called Corrie Lynn. We got married in a chapel on the hill with different window shutters and a big wooden door with a view of the hills, and we had our reception in a barn. The barn was red corregated iron sheets, with wooden benches inside and collectors items passed through families over years to decorate. Corrie Lynn used to be a working farm, and still has animals there such as sheep, donkeys, chicken and horses, which brought some great entertainment to guests. On the farm, there are 2 cottages which sleep 23 - which our immediate family occupied. We opted not to stay on the farm, as a wedding night in a house full of family was not quite the idea we had in mind, despite how much we love them. We stayed down the road at a place called Caladdi Inn, where the owners offered to fetch us after the wedding whenever we were ready so that we didn't have to drive. Other guests stayed on surrounding farms, and I don't think there was 1 cottage available a few weeks prior to the wedding. Our guests were committed to a good time.
I really wish I had done more of this. My only regime I had was locking moisture as much as I could to make sure my face would glow. I had been in a dance show previously until February so my health and fitness was where I wanted to be, and I had my hair colour done by Mika'eel at Running with Scissors 1 week prior.
The decor and flowers were also so sentimental to me. My flower bouquets were done by none other than my father in law, and wow did he suprise me with the absolutely beautiful bouquets he created. Did I mention he is also a dominee and he married us too ? The bouquets were gorgeous shades of white, cream and blush, with greenery surrounding. We also had flowers hanging from the chandeliers on the dance floor, as well as a flower overhanging ladder above the main table. Table flowers were simple and elegant to compliment the rustic vibe within the barn. My decor was done by my absolutely incredible aunt and Godmother, Lisa. Another WOW! When Lisa asked me what I wanted, i said i trusted her to do her thing (she has a really beautifully decorated house, and she also just gets me..) So I didn't give Lisa much direction. She kept sending me pinterest boards and I think I said yes to everything. Lisa does not do anything half-heartedly. She took on this decor like a machine, and if we hadn't forced help on her, she probably would have done everything on her own. Lisa had strung fairy lights from every part of the roof that could possible hold them. There were ivory curtains hanging from the beams to lighten the place up, flowers and books all over, candles with rose gold and copper handles, loads of greenery in every corner, an A-frame shelf with more decor and flowers, the word LOVE. Lisa also decided to suprise me with a little personal touch - she bought a roll of paper and HAND-PAINTED the lyrics of the song I walked down the aisle to, to use as runners on every table. Hand painted 13 runners... As well as a backdrop for photographs. There were also quirky signs all over, and at every seat, our gift to guests was a wooden cheese board with "Mr & Mrs B - 14.04" laser engraved in the corner, which was used as place settings.
The Groom and Groomsmen wanted to be in grey suits with a pop of colour. Nico flew up to Pretoria to go shopping with his father and groomsman for suits. They bought their grey suits from H&M, button up shirts from Edgars, and their ties were floral from His Apparrel. (Groom wore a full tie, and groomsmen and father of bride & groom wore bowties which matched). The Groomsmen were gifted with a cigar, bowtie and Leather belt from Spree on the morning of the wedding.
My bridesmaids looked absolutely gorgeous. We found a look on Pinterest of a colour skirt with a plain white strap top which we though would be perfect for a rustic wedding as well as quite practical for the 2 mommies in the group. Our skirts were made by my dear friend Genna Wae of Wae West Designs, and the tops were bought from London. The girls were all gifted with floral gowns to wear while getting ready, as well as a rose gold bracelet from Lovisa.
Our marriage officer was my new father in Law, and Nico's dad, Pieter Badenhorst, He is a dominee at the NG Kerk Moreletta Park in Pretoria. It was very special to us having him marry us.
Our photographer.. what an absolute champ. Duane Smith is from Cape Town and flew to Durban for our wedding day. He handled the craziness of my huge brady bunch family and the weather pouring down buckets of rain like an absolute pro. He may have also had to change twice due to being soaked from taking pictures of us in the pouring rain, and sliding down the muddy hill. And he never complained once. We have stayed friends with Duane and he often visits us if he is in Durbs for work. His photos are immaculate, he captured such incredible moments, and really made an effort to go out of his way to make sure we were comfortable and happy.
Ou Videographer, Cara Michelle Stirton was also such a trooper. Recommended to us by Duane, Cara also just braved the crazy weather and made sure she didn't miss a moment of our wedding. When we received the wedding highlights video, I realised just how many moments I had missed throughout the day. Cara's work is just beautiful, and I cannot imagine a team more suited to us and our wedding day than this fun duo.
Our wedding food, we decided to stick to the rustic farm vibe, and we had canape's and created a Build-a-Burger station. Our guests could help themselves to Burgers with various toppings and a metal cup of french fries. It was an easy meal and worked out really well. This was done by Copperfields Country Cafe and Catering in Howick, who even packed us a picnic basket of canape's for our photos so that we didn't miss out. This was a very sweet touch. She also catered for the kids at the wedding, and gave them dessert free of charge.
For our wedding cake, we decided to go the non-traditional route. Neither of us are big cake fans - however, we have a weakness for Krispy Kreme Donuts. So our wedding Cake was a Krispy Kreme Glazed Donut Tower, held up with wire fairy lights and decorated with baby's breath.
We did our own stationery. Nico and I designed our name cards as well as the seating arrangements, we printed them at a printing shop in Gateway Mall, and had them cut there. We stuck to simplicity with a beautiful black font and a fern leaf to finish it off.
Ou wedding reception was held in the Barn at Corrie Lynn. The bottom floor as the dance floor and the top floor was the seating area. The dancefloor had the flower draped chandeliers hanging over it with a beautiful pattern on the floor which looked like a rug. I am a dancer, so we worked together on a little number for our first dance, and my husband really suprised me and i think our guests as well by his moves. We had a band and very good friends of our, The Black Lapels getting the vibe going throughout the Canape's. Our guests raved about the band and the atmosphere was lifted and fun from the moment they started. Our photos didn't take too long becuase of the weather, so we got to enjoy the band as well which was great. They set up a stage and lighting for the full night. We then used an iPad with a playlist which my husband and I had spent months putting together of all our favourite fun songs for the dancefloor. We took a chance without a DJ, but it worked out perfectly !!