"Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure."
- Paulo Coehlo
How do you begin to describe a day surrounded by all of those you hold so dear?! I remember waking up at 2 am and looking over at my sleeping groom and thinking "today I marry this guy :-)" I thought of the past 11 years we've been together and how inseparable we have become. I lay there listening to the rain praying that it would stop. It did!
We had the most amazing start to the day with breakfast with our friends and soon after the girls and boys split up. In other words, we kicked the groom out :-)
While the girls and I were getting ready, having champagne, listening to our favourite jams, we had a surprise guest appearance from the ring-bearer aka the beast, Dino. He changed into his tux and off he went to welcome the guests all smiles and wagging tail.
The ceremony was held in the forest under the trees. The guests were entertained by the incredible group The Muses who played the electric violin. I remember that just before the ceremony started the DJ played the sound of a heart beating.. I guess this was what both mine and Stuart's hearts sounded like at the time! The Muses then started to perform our song Canon in D. There was something so extraordinary walking down the isle under the oldest most beautiful trees, passing all our friends while walking in step to the sound of live music, being on my dads arm and looking straight into the eyes of the man I came for. The man I waited for what felt like a lifetime for. It is a moment I will treasure forever.
After the ceremony the guests were ushered to High Tea where they were treated to the smooth sound of singer, songwriter and guitarist Jason Gladwin while enjoying the various gin and craft beer bars.
For weeks I feared the reception for two reasons! Firstly, Stuart is a born public speaker, debater and master roaster! Whatever speech he planned (or didn't plan) I knew would be good (maybe not for me though lol) .. but thankfully he went easy on me. It started as a light roast (nothing I couldn't handle lol) and moved into something unforgettable.
Secondly, I also feared the reception because we decided to do something a little less traditional and unheard of. For our seating arrangements we had "boy" "girl" tables. So, we carefully planned and split couples up and allocated them to tables where we knew they would enjoy mingling and meeting new people. This way singles wouldn't feel awkward. It was a hit!
The band Blu Bamboo kicked started the first dance with a live performance and rocked the house until the early hours of the morning. This band is absolutely phenomenal! I did not leave the dance floor once (maybe just for 5 min when the lasagne arrived at midnight).
Thank you for taking the time to read about this memorable day.
Every woman wants to feel like a goddess not only on her wedding day, but everyday! :-) I searched all over for the perfect dress, something unique that would compliment my kind of figure. I did not know what I wanted... I just knew that when I saw it... I'd know.
When I came across this show-stopper dress with beautifully embroidered beaded lace at Vonve Bridal Couture, I instantly fell in love. It took my breath away! It had a cathedral length train and a cape instead of the traditional veil. I found the perfect rose gold Jimmy Choo shoes to compliment the dress.
I decided to have my hair loose with big flowing curls which softened my features. My hairdresser, Allan Bridger of Headways Hair Salon finished this look off with a handmade silver turquoise starfish detailing headpiece, carefully chosen together from Kathleen Barry Bespoke Occasion Accessories.
The incredible Ruth of Rosy Glow Makeup chose colours that would not only compliment my features, but also the dress while taking into account the forest setting.
I truly felt like a forest goddess.
There is no place on earth we would have rather gotten hitched than the beautiful Prana Lodge in Chintsa. This is where magic happens! It is a unique small luxury beach lodge and wellness spa situated in a pristine forest alongside the spectacular Chintsa Bay, within minutes of rolling savannah. Prana Lodge is a must see! On the property they have three options where a ceremony can be held: at the beach, in the forest or in the tea garden. There is just something magical about a forest ceremony.
As any bride, two months before the wedding and mid-bite into a slab of chocolate you realise hang on lady! A little panic sets in because you're not 24 anymore. Lol. I needed something that would tone me in the shortest possible time. I started doing Cross Fit twice per week with Shelly Bennie of East London. I know.. I know.. usually when you think Cross Fit you think muscles! Shelly put together a training regime specifically designed for me to achieve my goals of just firming up a bit. I immediately saw results and felt a lot healthier.
Stuart surprised me with a few facial sessions at Prana Lodge and The Beauty Clinic about a month before the wedding. I did not try anything new or use any products I was not used to just in case. My skin had never felt better!
Stuart wore a light grey Hugo Boss suit, white shirt and black tie. He obviously left this until the last minute, as men do :-) A week before the wedding we chose a darker grey suit at Woolworths for the groomsmen. They wore a rose gold tie made by Claire Scott Originals which matched the bridesmaids bodices.
Thankfully the suits were purchased at Woolworths because an hour before the ceremony was supposed to start I was informed that one of our groomsmen just realised that he forgot his trousers in Durban #facepalm. These are things one never really foresees but luckily easily solved and hard to forget. Lol
Claire Scott Originals designed and made the bridesmaids dresses according to the rose gold and grey colour theme. The girls wore a dress with an empire line with a dropped waist. They were finished off with a silver/grey embroidered lace over a blush bodice and cascading georgette skirt. As the girls varied in figures I wanted something that all of them would feel comfortable rocking.
We wanted someone funky who was hip and happening. I wont lie.. I turned to good old Facebook recommendations for this one! Boy, The East London Girls group did not disappoint (as usual)! Matt Francis from I Take You came highly recommended. The first thing Matt told us when we first met was that by the time the wedding came we would feel like a friend was marrying us.. and that is exactly how it was. He ensured that the entire ceremony ran smoothly and ushered people to where they needed to be, when they needed to be there. He really went above and beyond. He registered our marriage at Home Affairs and we had our papers within 2 days. His service took huge pressure off us and ensured everything was going according to plan.
I am usually the one who leaves my cellphone/camera in my handbag and just lives in the moment with whoever is around me, but often I think.. darn I should have captured those moments to cherish them one day. This is why I think who you choose as a photographer and/or videographer is the most important decision. If you're favourite isn't available.. choose another wedding date!
Choosing Estefania Romero as our wedding photographer was a no-brainer. Not only is she an award winning international photographer from Mexico, who lives in East London, she is also one of the nicest people with the kindest heart. Her photos are so unique and she captures the beauty in every moment.
Our videographer Karina and her husband from Salt Video Productions, Cape Town was recommended to us by a friend. After some Facebook stalking I immediately secured them :-) Their videos are world class and they have absolutely awesome packages to document your day. Besides the drone filming, there was a booth set up for our guests to leave us messages which we thought was quite cool.
I truly believe every love story is unique and it's my job to make sure my clients feel comfortable in front of the camera so that I am able to capture the very best of them.
Prana's very talented Chef Jaycee Ferreira and his team prepared High Tea for our 85 guest which they enjoyed while we were taking photographs after the ceremony.
At the reception they served a 5 course meal. We trusted him so much that we asked him to surprise us and only found out what we were eating when it was put in front of us :-) As anticipated, they did not disappoint! Lasagne was later served as a midnight snack to all those movers and shakers.
Our cake was made by Carol of All Things Cake in East London. She managed to make a mini replica of our yorkie Dino who means so much to us and added him on the cake along with some paw prints leading to the top :-)
At the reception we had a DJ from Dynamic Sounds play music while the food was being served. They supplied all the sound and lighting equipment and juggled the needs of all three of our bands. They also assisted in creating a mix of two songs (Portuguese and Spanish) for the dance with my dad. A band from Johannesburg called Blu Bamboo kick started the party by performing our first dance live. There is just something special about a live band. The place was buzzing and everyone incredibly happy!