SA Weddings

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Carina Leao

Married on Sep 29, 2018 in Gauteng


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How did your love story begin?


It goes back to 2015 when i went through a Divorce after 10 years of being with my ex husband from the age of 20 Years old, I had never failed at anything, received my masters in Chiropractic, my Teachers in Dancing - and so this felt like my Biggest failure in life!!! My world Fell apart, i got the divorce and definitely was not interested in the male species at that stage of my life

I had known my husband now,Paulo, through cousins since the age of 6 years old, never really grew up together besides playing in the pool at the age of 6, went to different schools had different friends EXCEPT for 1 friend that had danced with me at the age of 4 years old and coincidentally this same friend went to high school with Paulo.
This mutual friend and i reconnected through Facebook and she came to be treated for back pain at my practice, obviously conversation started and i told her i was going through a divorce blah blah blah and this was the start...

A few days later she so happened to go to a braai with her hubby and Paulo , bragging about her new chiropractor and that "shame" shes going through a Divorce - Paulo pipes up and asked for her Chiro's name - Low and behold as she says Carina ,he says Fernandes and BOOOMMM he knew exactly who she was talking about - to the point where he explained EXACTLY how to get to my parents house in Winchester Hills ! Not to mention he had also been divorced nearly 2 years ...

He begged her for my number which i asked her not to give him as i wasn't up to meeting anyone at that stage... Little did i remember that if you google my name my details are all over the net due to my Chiropractic Practice... and so Paulo eventually got my number all on his own and responded to one of my Instagram Posts before sending me a message

He at this stage was working in Bethlehem on a project but made a point of phoning me every night to see how my day went, asked me out a few times which i rejected saying i was too busy at work ... but instead too busy drowning in my depression of being a divorced woman now

It was my mom who encouraged me to just go for dinner, no harm in a dinner right?
So i agreed... i asked what would suit him a Friday or Saturday night - he responded BOTH PLEASE
I agreed to the Friday - and told him "for all i know your a serial killer" and we can then see about the Saturday date

He fetched me at my mom's place, got out the car like a gentleman, greeted my mother as if he had known her for years and so we were off on our date
I sat down with this man, chatted a little and it was GAME OVER!
He reminded me of my Grandfather whom i was very close with - Gentle eyes and nature
I messaged my mom and told her "This is a man i could marry" ...

i left for overseas 2 weeks later to judge in the dancing world champs in the UK and when i got back we literally were joint at the hip, he just understood what i was going through with the divorce and i believe this was what made us work
6 months later bought our first place together
and accomplished SO much in a matter of 3 years together

Tell us all about the proposal.


When i met Paulo he straight away realised my Passion for dancing, I had danced from the age of 3 years old, competed until i was 25 years old, Gauteng and SA champ 3 years in a row - i then turned professional and took my teachers and carried on teaching at the Studio i grew up in.

When i met him he encouraged me to open up my own studio which he was such a huge help with, and when i got back from overseas he had found me the perfect place for my studio to be set up in and that started my Journey as a Studio owner... 2 years in i decided to have my very first End Year Production - full on with lighting, props, dancing you name it...

It was such a huge success, as i was finishing with all the Exam Awards, my mic went dead, the lights went off and all i thought to myself was "Thank goodness these malfunctions happened now at the end of the Production" ... No NO NO
This was not the end ... All of a sudden UB40 "Cant help falling in love with you" starts playing (this is our song) and he walks out in a formal suit, with a balloon in his hand that i didn't even read at that stage, written on it was WILL YOU MARRY ME?

Due to the stressful build up to the show and sleepless nights i was so exhausted it took me a while to understand what was happening, In front of nearly 400 people that attended the show, he proposed and asked me to marry him.
I didn't expect it, best surprise EVER - and so clever on his part to combine something so special with an event that i worked so hard on and coupled with a huge passion of mine!!!!

A year later in the Sep 2018 we got married

Magical Moments


We were blessed with a Beautiful wedding Day!!!
Beautiful Weather!
Amazing Vibe with all our guests

Despite the stress of only receiving my Dress on the day, We had the most amazing time with our family and friends

The Honeymoon


We were very blessed to be able to go to the Seychelles on Honeymoon and had an absolutely amazing time!!!
Paradise at its best at the Kempinski Hotel on the main island of Mahe!!!!!

Wedding Gallery


My Wedding Inspiration


My Special Day

The look and feel was definitely a little to the vintage side
Blush pink with Rose gold and black were our colours

Hair done by my very Good Friend Daniella Baptista - from Chic Hair and Nails Boutique

Make up done by the very Talented Dylan Marais - aka. LEGEND!!!!


The Venue

We got married at a venue in Pretoria called L'Aquilla - Owned and managed By the very talented and accommodating Sunette and her Family!

They had 13 rooms on the premises of L'Aquilla - Our Immediate family were booked into the accommodation overnight
The other Guests had a wide variety of choice with regards to accommodation in and around the area

My Captured Moments

We used the very Talented Adam Hilton - we had used him for a photo shoot prior to the wedding and it was a non negotiable to use his expertise again for our special day

He then Recommended Nick Smith from Smith Films as the videographer - and what a wonderful choice this was

They made an amazing team together
and we have been so spoilt with the amazing photos and Video we have received

The Wedding Planner

I worked with Sunette from L'aquilla
From flowers to decor to FOOD and helping me plan the day
She helped me with EVERYTHING!!!

Wedding Transport

My husband stayed the night prior to the wedding at the venue so he didn't need transport

I got ready at L'aquilla on the Day so no need for transport

Food & Cake

Food was done by the venue at L'Aquilla
Cake was done by the AMAZING ELLI!!!! from turquoise Squirrel Patisserie - This woman is a LEGEND!!!!

The Turquoise Squirrel Patisserie

The Turquoise Squirrel Patisserie

The Turquoise Squirrel Patisserie creates bespoke, exquisite and extraordinary cakes and confections for any occasion.

The Reception and Entertainment

Im a Dance teacher, but my very good collegue Shakes from Shakes Dance Studio in the south of JHB put our routine together for us

We had a DJ - Dj Joel Fernandes
Absolutley phenomenal, the guests just didn't want to go home, they couldn't get enough of him

Wedding Services Used

The Turquoise Squirrel Patisserie

The Turquoise Squirrel Patisserie

The Turquoise Squirrel Patisserie creates bespoke, exquisite and extraordinary cakes and confections for any occasion.