Back in 2011, I was a research intern at Stellenbosch University and Vernon started with his doctoral studies at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Through a mutual friend, who also worked with me in the same research group, Vernon invited me on Facebook. I then looked at his profile and pictures, and thought he was very attractive... and looked like a fun guy and clearly has a love for science, so I accepted! We only met in-person for the first time four months later, and over time became close friends. I started to develop feelings for him, but didn't want to admit it and even tried setting him up with a close friend of mine to try and avoid the feelings - they still remind me about it TO THIS DAY!
We share a deep love for nature and hiking. So, on Sunday 24 December 2018, he picked me up early in the morning to do the Kromriver Hiking Trail in Du Toitskloof. We started the 10 km hike and the views were breathtaking! We walked towards the waterfall, and he led me to a spot with a blanket, roses and champagne. With the waterfall behind me, he went down on his knee, and asked me to marry him. Of course, I accepted! Two of our closest friends jumped out of the bushes and surprised me... They were in it all this time and hiked very early to set up the picnic for the proposal! Definitely a memorable day doing something that we love!
I was very emotional walking towards the lawn where the ceremony was taking place. Then I saw my Dad coming towards me, and I saw all my family members and friends waiting for me, and then Vernon standing at the front. My heart just melted. Another highlight was when we recited our vows - it felt like we were the only people there. Our reception was really intimate, special and beautiful! The decor, atmosphere and vibe between everyone was electric! We had so many family and friends who took part in our wedding, whether it was helping with the decor, making the wedding dress and wedding cake, sponsoring the bubbly, the sound and lighting etc. and that was really special for me knowing that so much love has gone into putting our wedding together.
We decided to put the honeymoon on hold until we have put away enough money. Our ideal destination would either be on a multiple hiking trail in the Drakensberg, if in South Africa, or Mauritius.
Our Spring Day wedding was reflected in the wedding look - flowers, flowers and more flowers! We brought in our favourite Fynbos flowers into our decor, as well as our favourite herbs like Rosemary and Lavender. Jasmine, another favourite flower of ours, was particularly special since Spring marks the Jasmine flowering season. My stunning dress was made by my Aunt, I loved every detail of it with my lace shoes! Tasneem Daniels made the flower crowns, both mine and my bridesmaids, and my bouquet. I loved it! My flower crown and bouquet complimented the look so beautifully!
We got married on Haskell Vineyards and the reception was held at Longtable Restaurant. We also stayed over for the weekend at their amazing accommodation along with the wedding party (groomsmen and bridesmaids).
We just bought a lot of Fynbos flowers that we liked and arranged it the day before and on the day of the wedding. The flowers and table decor were bought at Bunches for Africa. We rented candle holders from Blooming Wonderful, and bought a lot of candles and fairy lights to set the mood.
Vernon bought his suit a few months earlier and refurbished his old leather shoes. The groomsmen hired their own suits at Stellenbosch Suit Hire and bought their own shoes. Vernon's Mom made the the beautiful corsages worn by the groom and the groomsmen.
The bridal party wore the same floral dresses and put their own style into it - I loved it! They also wore their own shoes. A family friend, Zelda Cedras, did our make-up. With their flower crowns and beautiful posies, it was definitely fit for the first day of Spring!
Our marriage officer was Michelle Walker from Marriage Matters. She did a wonderful job in guiding us throughout the ceremony.
We had the most wonderful photographers! I had the utmost trust in Lizel Coetsee from Me&May Photography since we met the first time. Her talent in recognising the most beautiful shots is amazing and she is the coolest person to get to know!
We coordinated everything ourselves, with a lot of help from Barbara MacKenzie, the operational manager at Longtable Restaurant. My Dad and Uncle helped with some of the other decor elements as well.
The wedding menu was very special. Chef Charles at Longtable Restaurant created the most amazing and flavourful dishes that were specifically chosen to mirror our favourite dishes we loved on memorable dates that we had. The wedding cake was also very special since my Aunt made her special carrot cake, which is really a favourite of ours.
We designed our own invites and sent them via Whatsapp to save costs!
The reception was very intimate with our close family and friends surrounding us. Our good friend Gideon Gordon did the sound and lighting for us and Vernon created the music playlist.