Although the lead up to the Big Day was filled with stress and a million tiny things just not going right, everything just seemed to fall into place, and I could just relax and enjoy the day. I fondly remember giggling with my now-husband during quirky portions of the ceremony, turning back to pull faces at our guests and the overall feeling of lightness.
My husband and I always said we weren’t worried about the Getting-Married part, we just wanted everyone to have fun and celebrate our joy with us. And that’s exactly what happened! It was a big party with smiles wherever we turned.
The absolute highlight had to be when most of the guests had left and it was just our small nuclear group of our closest friends, coming up with whacky synchronised dance moves towards the end of the evening. Just pure, clean fun. That memory will stay with us forever.
My husband planned a surprise mini-moon for us for the couple of days following the wedding and he whisked me off to a delightful log cabin in Sabie for a few days of relaxation and sight-seeing.
The big holiday came only a few months later however, once the wedding fever had had a chance to die down. A dear friend living in Belguim helped us plan a whirl-wind trip around Europe for our Honeymoon. We hopped on and off trains, stayed in hostels and AirBnbs, as well as being hosted by said friend. It was hubby’s first time in Europe and I wanted to show him all the wonders I love about the continent. It wasn’t the typical romantic honeymoon – we visited World War II sites, slept in a train station, and visited a town that inspired one of my favourite Disney movies, finishing up with a day in Disneyland Paris. I always say he incites my sense of adventure, and our honeymoon was definitely an adventure!
Simply put, I wanted to look like a Disney Princess; a fairy out of my favourite fantasy movies. My dress was soft flowing layers of tulle with beautiful floral details, made by Immagika. I had blue and pink flowers added to the dress to give it my own touch. My hair and make-up was by Elrike from Canvas Make-up Artistry. She was an expert at capturing the Rapunzel-like braid I had dreamed of. My necklace and earrings were from Lovisa, my exquisite engagement ring from Altin Jewellers and my delicate wedding band was made by Mignon Daubermann. My uncle gifted me a delicate gold bracelet that complimented the one from my mother. My favourite accessory by far was the custom hooded cape made by Mimie which set the theme for my forest fairytale.
We said the “I do”s at Lavandou in Tierpoort. The second we saw the breath-taking forest chapel, we knew nowhere else would do. The French inspired décor of the reception hall also spoke to my love of France and Beauty and the Beast – which was the main inspiration for the day. We stayed the night at the venue, with guests staying in several guesthouses down the road.
The groomsmen got ready at the Laughing Chefs at the Golden Mole down the road.
I had my hair highlighted at Skin DNA, and my stunning nails were done by Jolene at Touch of Lavender Nails. As for health and fitness, my husband and I tried to cut back on carbs and even gave jogging a bash, but in the end, we accepted ourselves as we are!
One of the great attractions of the venue was the availability to use any in-house décor for our wedding – and there was certainly enough to choose from! Décor and flowers were provided by Sanja of Freshlook Natural Creations (the in-house florist), with a few personal touches made by myself. The theme was a whimsical forest fairytale and my breath was taken away when I walked into the reception hall and saw what Sanja had put together. There were masses of greenery spilling over the ends of long tables, with burgundy, pink and white blooms tucked into the garlands, and soft burgundy tulle table runners poured onto the floor. Small arrangements sat beneath iconic bell jars, surrounded by fairylights and romantic candle light. Candelabras and other details were rose gold. There were touches of moss and wooden lanterns scattered around the room. Our main table sign was tongue-in-cheek and read “Mnr & Mrs” to celebrate the joining of our Afrikaans and English backgrounds. The favours were little chocolates from Geldof which I made to look like Golden Snitches (from Harry Potter). The fairytale feel was enhanced by hand-made oversized paper flowers, crafted by one of my bridesmaids, scattered around the cocktail area.
The groomsmen wore their own white shirts and black pants, with burgundy suspenders and bow-tie shaped boutonnieres sourced from The Oriental Plaza, along with grey-checked newspaper-boy hats from a little shop in Clarens. The groom wore a fantastic grey trenchcoat from The Oriental Plaza which made him look unique yet stylish. All the boys wore mismatched pairs of socks for some fun photos. The groom’s wedding band was designed and created by Mignon Daubermann.
The bridesmaids wore floor length burgundy mesh infinity dresses, which I made myself (Fabric purchased at Chamdor). Instead of bouquets, they carried rose gold lanterns with small leaves, berries and moss tucked in. We had a great time getting ready together and one bridesmaid did everyone’s hair, whilst another did everyone’s make up. What a blessing to have friends you can rely on.
We had the unique feature of two marriage officers! One was Milford Thansha – my husband’s previous boss, which made for a very special and personal touch, rather than having a stranger oversee our Big Day. The other was a friend of his from Home Affairs.
Photography by Cezanne was the photographer for the day. I loved the soft romantic style of her photography and she was so excited by my fairytale theme.
Possibly the best use of our money was spent on the photobooth by Moosebooths which printed out magnetic photostrips for guests to take home – I only wished I had booked them for longer, the guests loved it!
I did all the planning myself – I wanted everything to have my personal touch on it. Antoinette at Lavandou was an excellent day-of coordinator and made sure everything went smoothly.
The yummy snacks for the bridal party while getting ready was provided by the Laughing Chefs at the Golden Mole. The delicious meal was provided by the venue and the jaw dropping cake was lovingly made by my dear friend Lenné of Bunny Blossom Creatives. It was a true masterpiece with quirky personalisations and exquisite detail. I will remember it always.
My sister and Maid of Honour, Abigail Holden, designed my digital invitations and the menus, and hand wrote each and every place name as well as the beautiful welcome sign which now hangs in my home.
The in-house DJ provided the music for the event. They were more than accommodating to play the memorable movie theme tunes throughout the ceremony and dinner. They also supplied the lawn games for the guests to enjoy during cocktail hour.
The other thing that was worth every penny was the dry ice machine provided by the venue’s in-house DJ. There was an audible gasp from guests as the smoke billowed out during our First Dance – my Father still talks about the way we danced on clouds!
We went for dance lessons at Ceroc and not only did it prepare us to dance for the first time as a married couple in front of our friends and family, but it also provided a fun and regular date night for us which helped to get us excited in the build up to the Big Day. One of my fondest memories is practising and perfecting our dance every night on the living room carpet with our dog Pixel insisting on sitting in the way.