SA Weddings

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Charmaine Chadinha (Smit)

Charmaine Chadinha

Married on Oct 11, 2019 in Gauteng


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Magical Moments


After 5 months of 'hanging out and getting to know one another', 5 years of dating and a 15-month engagement the first day of the rest of our lives started.

I remembered being freaked out the last couple of months before the wedding. There was so much to do, so much to prepare for & so many things unknown. Except the day of the wedding. I was up before the sun. Excited, weirdly calm, stepping into a fairy tale.

I took a walk through the garden of our venue, thinking back about these little letters in blue envelopes he left somewhere on me, in my house, or in my school locker every time we were together. I thought about the day he fulfilled his promise to take me to Cape Town for my birthday, and on a yacht we exchanged promise rings. I thought about his brilliantly planned surprise engagement in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the back and a photographer to capture every second. And by the time my thoughts have come to this, I was standing in the middle of the chapel. I saw what was a misty morning turning into a beautiful day in Muldersdrift. It was a beautiful day to get married.

I could hear the first guests arriving and checking into their rooms. We had guests taking 5am flights from Durban, Cape Town, Zimbabwe and Kenya, traveling to share in our celebration.
The day ended up being everything we hoped for and more. We saw families come together, our guests becoming social media friends, ugly cries, the weirdest dance moves you can imagine and absolute pure love.

The most special moment personally was waking up next to my best friend making me coffee (my husband does that now), hearing the excitement of our arriving guests, seeing my dad tear up when he saw me, and having my mom walk my halfway down the aisle, with my dad escorting me to the altar. And as I'm walking down the aisle to the beat of our favorite song, and seeing my husband-to-be with tears in his eyes, I know this will be a moment that will last forever.

The Honeymoon


Agreeing on the place we'll go on honeymoon was probably the first thing we ever had in common. It was a lifelong dream, a prayer, and a picture on our dreamboard & screensavers of our laptops for years - The MALDIVES.
After months of searching for the perfect resort, we came in contact with the team from Premier Maldives who hooked us up with an all-inclusive stay at the new & luxury resort Oblu Select at Sangeli. The Honeymoon suite included a massage for 2, unlimited meals at the resort's 2 restaurants, an outdoor shower, massive swimming pool and a private butler.

Unfortunately the service we used the most from the resort, was that of the on-call doctor.
What initially started of to be a 6 night honeymoon in Paradise, turned out to be an out of control fever, an infection, and being bed-ridden for my husband.

Our initial plan to jet-ski with the dolphins at sunset, snorkeling with Manta rays and lounging poolside turned into making sure the cloth on my husband's face is cold, and going to marine biology presentations by myself (which was amazing btw, save our planet, sharks are our friends)

Aside from this experience, we saw amazing sunsets, we saw the most beautiful reef you could ever imagine and went snorkeling with sea turtles. The resort is absolutely amazing, their food & service was out of this world. We'd give anything to go back there.

Wedding Gallery


My Special Day

I would describe my wedding look as a combo of Modern Age and classy. But upon looking back on our wedding photos, I think the better description is, happy. I always had this picture in my head of how my wedding dress was supposed to be. It was somewhere close to how Hillary Duff looked when she went to the ball in A Cinderella Story.
I went on the hunt to recreate this look, starting with the dress, of course. upon looking in the mirror fitting my first A-line wedding dress, I took a hard look at myself and just knew this was not the style for me. With no clue on what to fall back on I fit every possible dress in every possible style that I could think of or that the bridal shop would throw on me.

28 dresses later.... I still haven't found the dress. There were about 4 dresses that each had a part which I really liked. So when we were celebrating my fiance's birthday in Cape Town, we met with the amazing designer, Stephen van Eeden & we decided to build THE DRESS. A few short trips to Cape Town for fittings, the last one being 5 days before our wedding, & Stephen became more than just my designer, he became someone who picks you up to drink bubbly with before he shows you your dress.
My dress turned out to be a classic combo of embroidery and crepe, with a soft off-shoulder design and the fact that I can't decide which was my favorite - the front or the back?!
I didn't wear a mask like Sam when she went to the school dance, but I opted for an extra length veil for dramatic effect.

Since we were 14 and it was the first day of high school I met this beautiful, kind girl who fixed my hair for every school-photo, and later on did my make-up for every night we went out. That girl turned out to become my best friend, maid of honor, and hair and makeup artist for our wedding. Who better than to use someone who knows what my hair can do, knows the shape of my face and what would work best, and of course wouldn't mind doing about 7 trials to have it all look perfect for the big day.

I wanted shoes that I could walk comfortably in, and which also wasn't going to make me taller than my husband. The perfect pair crawled into my basket one afternoon when I was shopping for summer in Legit. They were very affordable, incredibly comfortable & they've become a staple in my wardrobe ever since.

I came across the perfect pair of earrings at Forever New and a matching bracelet to go with it at Lovisa. We found a beautiful, classy, rose gold and pearls hair accessory at Lovisa.

The Venue

During September 2018 on a Sunday afternoon we arrived on the grounds of Inimitable. John, the owner, started taking us through our viewing. We walked around to look at the beautiful... Nothing. It was just an idea, a vision that the owners had. The only thing standing was the chapel, light suite & dark suite. Which already was enough. When we drove off we knew that this would be the place to exchange our vows. 13 months later it was the most beautiful venue we've ever seen. They thought everything through; the height of the steps leading to the aisle, the secret garden for the bride to relax in, air-conditioning & espresso machines in every room, beautiful marble floors in the reception hall, and an Insta-perfect canapes area.

We had a few guests staying the night on the venue, and the staff were so friendly. Some of our guests who had early flights, checked in earlier than their normal allocated time, and at one point one of the staff members took them to a nearby restaurant for brunch.

My Bridal Beauty Regime

I did EMS training at Body20 Montana about 2-3 times per week.
I had regular facial treatments at Hollywood Carbon Laser Clinics.
I had an acne chemical peel 3 months before our wedding at Dr Riekie Smit.

Wedding Elements

Our theme of our wedding was a Glamorous, Elegant wedding and the Zavion Kotze Events Company made sure every flower and detail contributed to the modern and luxurious feel of our special day.

In the chapel we had a beautiful Round Floral Arch filled with greenery and white flowers, since October is my favorite time of the year with beautiful Jacarandas lined up in the streets, our confetti consisted of white rose petals mixed with Jacaranda flowers.

In the reception hall marble, rose gold and navy complimented the glass and crystal element in our decor, accompanied by geometric shapes. Marvelous greenery met with beautiful white Hydreangeas, Lizianthus, Avalanche roses, Tulips and Orhids. We had 10 gloss white round tables with 2 different themes. One had Crystal Candelabra's with navy candles in the centre, with flowers and geometric shapes. The other had hanging flower arrangements with candles and geometric shapes on the table.

Fairy lights & hanging lights created a beautiful atmosphere for a beautiful night, with a round hanging arrangement over the dance floor.

My Groom And His Groomsmen

The groom, my gorgeous husband, wore a navy suit & his groomsmen a dark grey. They had them personally tailored at Tailor Me in Johannesburg. They accessorized it perfectly with a pair of happy socks.

Beautiful Bridesmaids

The search for bridesmaid dresses were quite daunting. One of my bridesmaids, my sister, was pregnant so finding something that either stretches or could be bought a few weeks before the wedding proved to be difficult to find. So I contacted the team at On-Yah to help us create something beautiful (and last minute, of course). I wanted something that each of my girls can look beautiful in independently and as a bridal party. We created a navy and pink floral skirt complimented by a pink top in the shape of their choice.

Marriage Officer

My husband's sister, Amanda Bekker, and her husband, Jean-Pierre Bekker, are the pastors at RCC Montana. We've been attending their church for years and couldn't think of something more memorable than having them officiate our marriage. We also went through pre-marriage counselling with them before the big day.

My Captured Moments

This was the first wedding-related decision that we made. Contacting our dear friend Kyle from Bravo Photography to capture our special day. Before we set a date or booked the venue we already met up with him. During our search for a videographer he suggested we use someone that he worked with before and put us in contact with Andre from Motioncraft Films. They did an excellent job in capturing this day. They are both incredible people, as individuals and a team.

We booked the latest and hottest twist on the traditional photobooth concept, a trendy digital photobooth that uploads directly on Instagram. It's called a selfie mirror. Guests stand before the mirror and take a selfie, they can approve if they're happy or delete the photo. The photo automatically uploads on social media where guests can access it and share it. It truly kept our guests entertained. The supplier is That Selfie Mirror.

The Wedding Planner

I would've been lost without the team from Zavion Kotze Events Company. I always wanted a stress-free wedding day, for me & everyone involved. And that's exactly what they've given me.

So many months of emails, calls, and meetups. No matter how fully booked their venue was, they never made us feel like they didn't have time for us. Every query was sorted and every wish was their command. We actually miss talking to them daily. They are an incredible team.

Kata has been my personal planner and coordinator, she did all the nagging to my suppliers, she remembered to put on my veil before I stepped down the aisle. She made sure we were fed during the course of the day & she shook a Jacaranda tree at 7am on the day of our wedding. She's a Rockstar.

Food & Cake

A five course plated meal was created by Andrew Draper. We met up with Andrew a month before our wedding to create our menu. He asked us what our favorite meals was and took our responses to the next and highest level of excellence. Our wedding night was filled with some of the best things I've ever tasted.

Our beautiful marble and rose gold wedding cake was made by Eat Cake Love. 3 tiers of chocolate, vanilla and red velvet with the most delicious fillings. This cake was so good we order a fun-sized versions of it for Christmas.

Wedding Stationery

Nova Bespoke Studios created a beautiful fine art feel to our wedding day. Our menus were printed on a navy marble design with rose gold foil lettering.
They also printed pocket-sized marble envelopes with marble paper inside, with rose gold lettering covering a personal letter to each of our guests. This took us hours to write but were the biggest hit of the entire day.

Our Welcome sign, table chart and table numbers were create by Geite & Goeters. Instead of devising our table seating in numbers, we decided to do it on names of places we have been to. You could find names like Mauritius, New York, Los Angeles and Mexico between them.

The Reception and Entertainment

Warren Garvie entertained our guests after the ceremony while we were taking our photos. They could enjoy cheeses and biltong while listening to a live singer.

Our sound and lighting was done by the incredible Francois from Events Engine. He really knows how to connect with the crowd, he played music from every era, genre and language. He was fantastic.

Service providers:
Inimitable Wedding Venue
Zavion Kotze Events Company
Nova Bespoke Studios
Geite & Goeters
Eat Cake Love
That Selfie Mirror
Bravo Photography
Motioncraft Films
Stephen van Eeden
Tailor Me