Our day is still so present in our minds and our hearts because of the memories we were able to make with all our loved ones. We have been struggling to pinpoint just one moment that stands out as the most favourite, but we can say we have a series of unforgettable moments!
Our first dance to Perfect Symphony by Ed Sheehan & Andrea Bocelli, was absolutely amazing, we had been practicing and learning our dance for about 6 months.
Another of my favourite moments was straight after all the speeches, my husband and I walked out onto the lawn to grab some fresh air, and took 5 minutes to ourselves to look at all the guests that had joined us in celebrating this spectacular step in our lives. Seeing all the smiles and laughing faces, and everyone having such a great time, makes everything so much more magical.
YES! Oh my word, we were so spoiled! My in-laws' engagement gift to us were our honeymoon flights, and this made it possible for us to go all the way to the USA! We got to spend 4 days in New York City, staying in a beautiful hotel overlooking Central Park. It was freezing, (like minus 8 degrees, freezing!) but it was so whimsical seeing the concrete jungle covered in snow... Then, we moved on to our next destination, Orlando, Florida. We stayed here for another two weeks. This was so that we could explore Disney World's four main parks, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and of course, Magic Kingdom. We felt like kids again, going on all the thrilling rides, reliving our Disney childhood memories and seeing such a monumental piece of history. We were also so lucky to have had time to go to Universal Studios, where we explored Hogwarts and Diagon Alley! Felt like we stepped right into Harry Potter's Wizarding World! We had such an incredible time together, eating different foods, walking until we couldn't feel our feet anymore and laughing so much our abs must have over-developed!
All I knew about my look was that I wanted to keep it simple, and as true to me as possible. I still wanted to look like me, without too much frills and fuss.
My hair probably took about 40 minutes to curl and pin (I blow dried it the night before, this was to stop my hair from being too soft to work with on the wedding day) and it was done by my wonderful friend and hair stylist, Sasha Pereira. You can find her on Instagram, @hair.by.sasha1
My makeup was done by another good friend, Bianca Menezes. She was so wonderful in the weeks leading up to the wedding, allowing me to have 2 trials, just to make sure I felt absolutely comfortable with the professional makeup look, she is also on Instagram @makeupby_bianca_
When I had to choose a wedding dress, I had a very different idea in my head initially, until I saw my specific dress on Pinterest. It was by absolute chance that a boutique in Gauteng had it! My wedding dress was handmade to order according to my measurements by a Haute Couturier, Crystal Design Couture (@crystaldesign_official). I bought my dress from Vonvé Bridal Couture, in Rosebank (@vonvebridalcouture). They are the only boutique that is in partnership with Crystal Design in South Africa. They also handled all the storage, alterations and dry cleaning of my dress. Without them, my dress would not have been as exquisitely perfect as it was!
My shoes were from ALDO. They looked like Cinderella's slippers to me (and they had no embellishments that would hook my dress, yay!)
I also had my nails done the Friday before the wedding, along with all my bridesmaids. It's a Kylie Thing (@itsakyliethingnails). She is such an incredible beautician and nail technician. My nails looked absolutely perfect and so did all my girls!
My earrings were a gift from my husband. They were designed by my mom according to the lace design of my dress, and my husband had them made for our wedding day. I also wore my something blue, which was another gift from my husband, his great grandmother's blue topaz engagement ring.
Our wedding was held at Lace on Timber in Rayton (towards Bronkhorstpruit, Gauteng). The venue had an outdoor chapel, an indoor chapel, the reception hall, a rose garden (for the breakfast the next morning), 11 guest rooms, the honeymoon suite and a groom's room for all the guys to get ready in. This venue thinks of absolutely everything! We got married in the indoor chapel, and it was magnificent! It felt so homey and comfortable, but also so elegant and modern at the same time. The staff were incredible and so accommodating with all the requests we had for our special day. They are on top of everything, they make sure the bride and groom eat, and have something to drink at all times. The food was insanely tasty! We had a plated service of either salmon or fillet mignon and both dishes were incredible. The venue even catered for guests with special dietary requirements without hesitation. There was definitely an abundance of good food and delicious desserts! Plus, we even had a vanilla cake with rose buttercream!
I read a lot of articles about what to change and what to keep the same to achieve the best version of my skin for my wedding day. I am very lucky, I have always been blessed with lovely skin, but I have also been using products appropriate for my skin since I was about 13. My mom always believed that your skin should be your first priority, because that's the organ that has the most wear and tear with all the makeup we wear and the sun exposure we put it through. So, I just stuck to what I knew. I didn't go for any facials, or skin treatments leading up to the big day, I was scared to have a reaction to new products that I couldn't recover from in time.
I just stuck to my usual routine of washing my face in the morning, followed by a daily toner and my day-moisturiser. At night I would remove my makeup with Johnson's face wipes, wash my face with a gel face soap (no scrubs at night), followed by a richer night-version of the day cream. it's important to know that if you want to try new products, try as far ahead as possible, give your skin time to adjust to different ingredients. You don't want to try a new regime a month before the wedding and end up with breakout, or imperfections...
I also stuck to my usual routine of fitness, no diets, just stick to my healthy lifestyle of eating. All I wanted to do is make sure that I was my healthiest self, not only for my wedding day, but for every day of my life. I have always made sure that I do not over-indulge in sugary foods and I enjoy eating good food, just keep it in moderation according to your own lifestyle!
The groom had a gorgeous suit tailor-made especially for this occasion. We wanted him to wear something that no-one else would have, but it is still something he could wear again when he has the opportunity. His three-piece suit and Egyptian cotton shirt was made by the talented tailors at Tailor Me, in Parkhurst (@tailorme).
The groomsmen suits were so much fun to look for! We got all the guys together and we went to Woolworths. The guys must have tried on about 2 suits each (total of 12 suits in the group) and that's how we found the blue plaid suits. They were different, modern and young. And we didn't want everything to be matchy-matchy, just complementary of the colours we wanted to accentuate throughout our wedding.
Our bridesmaids dresses were actually organised last year in July already (as in, 2018). Yes, this was risky, given that things can change so quickly! I ordered the dresses from Chi Chi London, had them delivered to the AirBNB my dad and his golfing buddies were staying at in Scotland, and they brought them back over to SA for me! One of my bridesmaids was from Australia, and they were here for another wedding in November so I could give her her dress to take home. All the girls had the dresses altered with their own trusted seamstresses so that they would fit perfectly on the day!
All the girls got to choose their own shoes in silver (I wanted them to choose a style of heel they were comfortable in) and they had free reign to wear any silver jewellery they felt like. I also had their hair styled into curls, and they were allowed to ask our stylist to pin it half way or to the side if they wanted. I really love it when a girl's hair is loose and free to be wild, because we are all unique, young and free, so why not let your hair down a little? ;)
The colour of the dresses was also part of my decision because I didn't want to choose something that was in season in South Africa that would risk some of the guests wearing the same colour as the girls. The lilac also went so well with everyone's skin tones and the style suited everyone so well. The girls commented on how comfortable they were all night and not having to worry about the dress pulling in funny directions. It worked out perfectly, and this team of girls looked like a group of models that showed up to our wedding!
We had the privilege to be photographed by an award-winning photographer, who may not be new to the scene, but he has such a unique eye to capture moments that you would not even think are possible to capture! Michael Tree Photography (@michaeltreeweddings on Instagram) was the team tasked with capturing all those special moments, and my goodness, the photos have taken our breath away! He is such a pleasure to work with, he knows what he wants to do and he's well prepared for every shoot. We communicated a few times beforehand to exchange some Pinterest shots I had seen that I wanted to try and he was so open to trying anything! We had so much fun in the process. Michael also uses the light to his advantage and he judges his photos according to the light and the textures that are available to work with. He likes to be different, but he's a professional, and he knows exactly what he's doing, he really didn't need any guidance from us.
We also had the privilege of having a team of videographers to capture our day and all the life in it as well. Motion Craft Films (see their Facebook profile for a gallery of their work and contact info) is a Pretoria-based videographer that had filmed a close friend's wedding about 3 years back, and I have been obsessed with the natural, rawness of their work. They strive to capture moments as they happen, instead of posing each scene, their footage is so real, but it also feels like a movie in the same moment. Our videographers surprised us with a honeymoon gift: when we landed in New York and I had a glimpse of WiFi at the airport, I received a message from Andre saying that there was a little something for us on his Facebook page as a gift. They had worked for 2 days straight to give us a mini flashback of our wedding day, almost like a trailer for the big picture! It had us in tears! I think Josh and I watched it every single day of our honeymoon, just reliving those moments over and over again. Absolutely incredible!