Oh my word
There is so much - I just remember being happy. Happy to see everyone I love and happy to be marrying the man of my dreams. As it happens at any event, not everything goes according to plan and it did not bother us. We were just over the moon to be promising to love each other forever in front of the best people in our lives and we just couldn't wait to celebrate. People say it is the best day of your life and it really was. We wouldn’t have done it any other way.
Deran surprised me with a honeymoon in Bali. He told me where we were going in his speech on the night of our wedding. It was such a magical place with the most friendly people. We acted like real honeymooners in love, tourists trying to see all the attractions their world had to offer, foodies trying to get a taste of everything, and young party goers looking for a good time in the most random and beautiful places. We did a bit of everything which is exactly us as a couple.
My dream wedding dress was made by Spero Villioti, who I studied fashion design with. I showed him something else I wanted and through picking out fabrics and tweaking things here and there, the dress looked quite different to the original picture and I am so glad it did. The fabric was imported from Spain which we bought a year before the wedding, and the lace flowers were so soft and beautiful with cuffs for my arms so as not to restrict my movements throughout the day. My dress is extremely heavy but fitted so well that it didn't affect my day at all. I tried to make my own veil which was a disaster and Spero did mine for me the week of the wedding, my only cost being the fabric.
I found the wonderful Louise from LDR hair who was so helpful on the day especially with my humongous retinue. She did exactly what we all wanted while also giving her advice when needed.
My make up was done by a school friend, Moniq - Professional Make up Artistry. I have used her for so many events where I normally have quite a natural look. I asked for dramatic and I was so happy with the results.
I found shoes in Cyprus which were meant to be my second, comfortable pair. I couldn't find another pair which would let me walk easily on all the rocks at the venue as well as be comfortable for a whole night so I landed up wearing those and I am so glad I didn't get a more expensive pair. As it was a Greek wedding, we danced the WHOLE night, there were plates being thrown and whiskey burnt so my shoes were shredded underneath.
Hair clip was from Lovisa - it was affordable and elegant.
I had a pin from friends in my dress, a something old, borrowed and new pinned into my dress.
I also had a pin of a Saint from our Priest pinned into my dress.
Earrings were from Swarovski - dainty droplets that will never go out of style.
Bracelet was my something borrowed from my mother from Follie Follie - the pearl flowers on it complemented my dress perfectly.
My beautiful garter had lace and something blue and was given to me by my wonderful friend at Wedding Wonderland.
We wanted a far destination wedding in Cyprus or Cape Town. Due to logistical reasons, we decided to have our wedding closer to home. We wanted a view. Not just 4 walls where the view was outside. We chose the absolutely breathtaking Red Ivory in Hartbeespoort where we had our small weekend away with all our favourite people.
Red Ivory was just amazing to deal with before and during our wedding. No request was too big or small and we were treated like royalty.
On the Friday evening, we had a dinner for guests that stayed over for the weekend at Pecan Manor where the food was divine and the staff were wonderful.The whole family stayed at Pecan Manor for the weekend so they were together.
On the night of the wedding, most of our guests stayed at the venue, Red Ivory, Pecan Manor and Magalies Park.
Health and Fitness:
I have never been one for gym but found the fun Switch Greenstone where I still go today. The high energy and fun workouts are the best way to keep fit and motivated. I also went to a dietition, Lara d'Allesio who kept track of my weightloss and made it easier than normal with my lifestyle.
I do not use any creams besides a bit of Bio Oil on my body and face, I tried to do an oxygenated facial for a friends wedding which made me look quite puffy so I did not do any facials prior to our wedding.
My amazing friend paid for my spray tan at Glow Couture where I was very happy with the results.
She also paid for my nails which were done at Nicole's Nail Studio - also a friend from school whom I have been using for years. We chose a white ombre which is quite different but not over the top.
We wanted fun and vibrant and that’s exactly what we got. Ivan from Zavion Kotze Events Company did our beautiful flowers and table settings. Colour was important - lots of it- and a Mexican feel with romance coming through with the gold candles and lighting. The decor was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. It really felt like a fairytale.
We wanted a neon light saying, The Holdens, which took us forever to find from Angry monkey. This was our wedding gift to each other to put in our new home after the wedding.
The fairy lights, Astro turf and outside decor was done by a friend, Rajesh. We wanted ample seating during canapés so all our guests were comfortable all day.
Deran is quite traditional and wore a suit from P.K Outfitters at the Plaza. I like traditional with a difference. So the pleats on his lapel gave the little difference that I was looking for while the cut and style was the traditional Deran likes. Deran also allowed us to add lace pieces from the bridesmaids dresses onto his shirt sleeves for a little bit of unusual style. He surprised me with his cuff links - our staffie, Tilt was engraved on them from Wedding Wonderland.
The groomsmen found tuxes at the Plaza as well.
My aunt’s CMT made their shirts in a beautiful poplin fabric.
A part of their gifts were socks from Sole Heritage and personalized cuff links also from Wedding Wonderland.
I wanted the bridesmaids to be as colourful as the decor without being over the top. I tried to dye a beautiful lace we found but that didn’t work. We eventually found an amazing floral print and a lace that would match all the flowers in the decor. My mom made the dresses while I pinned where I wanted the lace pieces. We chose a nude tulle to pull the look together.
My friend from Monbon made the gorgeous flower girl dresses.
Our priest Pater Gerassimo from St John’s Greek Orthodox Church in Primrose did our wonderful, traditional and fun service. He christened Deran into the Orthodox Church and counselled us leading up to the wedding.
Heleen from Splendid Productions took our amazing pictures. We did our practice engagement shoot with her at Staffie Rescue and we just knew we chose the right photographer to capture our special day. She knew how to deal with my big family while also being fun and capturing special moments throughout the day.
Christoff from Verve films did the videography. I’ve been obsessed with his work for so long and didn’t think twice when choosing him to document the best day ever.
Both Christoff and Heleen’s fun and light energy made everything seamless.
My uncle made a swing and wrapped it in fairy lights for our photo booth. We got a frame made by Kikki & Franki for our guests to use when taking pictures on our swing.
My sister planned everything from the timeline to the to do lists to dealing with all the vendors leading up to our wedding. Where I am creative, she is organized and assertive so we made a great team while driving each other mad at the same time.
Red ivory gave us a choice to do half canapés and half a harvest table. This was new to their venue and we were so excited to see what they had planned. Only yummy noises were made at these stations.
We wanted something different - we went for an ice cream cake from Paul’s homemade ice cream. We got to choose 2 cakes with 3 flavours on each. Our laser cut wooden cake topper said The Holdens and the other one had an outline of our staffie, Tilt.
Dinner and midnight snacks:
Also catered for by a Red Ivory. Everything was absolutely delicious. We even had the floor manager following us around with our food not wanting us to miss out on their culinary expertise.
I designed the programmes and menus which had fun touches.
Stacey from Kikki & Franki designer our seating board, photo booth frame, table names (which were wooden plaques with Beatles songs on them) as well as our cake toppers.
For gifts we wanted something people would use and remember us by. Nicci from a Wedding Wonderland made our amazing thank you gifts (bonbonieres) - the ladies received ice cream scoops and the men received cigars with The Holdens on them. Our guests names were laser cut onto their gifts doubling as place cards.
Deran and I love a good party and that was what we had! Tequila and whiskey flowed all night.
Our first dance:
We practiced our first dance by ourselves as Deran is very shy and was nervous to do something elaborate. We kept it simple and romantic.
Opening dance with retinue:
We also practised our retinues first dance to open up the dance floor with lessons every week. This was a traditional Greek dance which we had so much fun with.
For canapés we had a live band, playing an unusual mix of salsa tunes.