SA Weddings

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Leigh-Anne Dwyer

Married on Sep 19, 2020 in Kwa-Zulu Natal


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Magical Moments


As our initial wedding date was in July 2020, during the peak of Covid-19, we had to postpone our wedding indefinitely. As soon as regulations changed and our venue was allowed to open, we phoned and asked when the next available date was, and we were advised that it was the 19th September (3 weeks away!). After 7 years of dating, our hearts were SO ready to get married, even if this meant we had only 3 weeks to plan.

When our wedding day finally arrived, I found myself appreciating and trying to soak in every moment! The only thing that mattered was that I was getting to marry my best friend! Everything fell into place and the day was absolute bliss.

We had 37 guests at our very intimate wedding, and were fortunate enough to have our other loved ones join us via live stream.

During the ceremony, my husband and I cried so much as we read out our vows to one another. It was the best, and most emotional day of my life.

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions and curfew imposed, we ended our reception at 21h00 to allow guests that were not staying over at the venue, as well as our service providers, to get home. Thereafter, our guests enjoyed the rest of the night around a big bonfire in good company.

Another aspect of the day that I will never forget is the immense peace that I felt throughout. I think the difficulties and losses that people have suffered just this year alone, really put things into perspective for me. I was able to plan our magical day with so much gratitude, there was no space left in my heart for fussing or sweating the small stuff!

The Honeymoon


Yes, we were fortunate enough to celebrate our marriage with a week of honeymoon! My husband did all the planning and surprised me with a few nights at Bushman’s Nek followed by a few nights at Fordoun Hotel and Spa.

Wedding Gallery


My Special Day

Juliette Meintjes did my beautiful hair and make-up.

She did a french plait to the side, and curled the rest of my hair.

My make-up was quite a natural look - She did soft gold and nude on my eyes and matched it with a nude lip.

My dress was made by an incredibly talented lady, Elaine Snyman. It was a mermaid style dress with lace long sleeves and a low V cut back. The 'fish-tail' at the bottom of my dress was attached in such a way that I could take it off if I wanted to. Elaine also made my veil, which was made from bridal tulle and was about a meter in length.

A very special element that my wedding dress had was that my 'something old' was lace and bead work from my mother's wedding dress, sewn onto mine. My 'something blue' was a piece of my father's silky blue pocket square that he wore at their wedding (30 years ago!), which Elaine used as lining on the inside of my dress. This is incredibly special and invaluable to me.

I wore pearl earrings as my 'something borrowed' and my in-laws gave me a pearl bracelet, which I wore on the day as my 'something new'.

My shoes were simple and elegant nude heels from Truworths, and my lingerie was from Bras N Things.

The Venue

We got married at Shalwyn Farm, in Tala Valley, Eston. The venue has beautiful accommodation within walking distance of both the church and reception venue, where our guests stayed.

My Bridal Beauty Regime

When I was planning for our first wedding date, I stopped drinking red wine (and I am an avid lover of wine!) to try and lose some extra weight. I also did home face masks and nose strips.

The second time around, I didn’t have time for a very intense beauty regime as we booked our date 3 weeks before the wedding. I did, however, have a hair cut, colour and treatment a few weeks before the wedding, and then again the week before the wedding. Warren from Tanya and Warren Hairstylists did an amazing job with that.

I also used a home teeth-whitening kit the week before the wedding and had my eye brows waxed.

As a final treat, my mom and I had a pamper session the week of the wedding where I had my nails and toe nails gelled at Blush Nail Bar.

Wedding Elements

As the venue is naturally beautiful, we didn't have to do too much in terms of décor. We also did the décor ourselves.

Patti Hein did our exquisite flowers! She prepared all the bouquets and buttonholes using a combination of flowers including proteas, penny gum, roses and baby's-breath.

In the church we had a wooden cross decorated with flowers, as well as glass jars wrapped in lace and hessian and filled with penny gum and roses down the aisle.

In the reception area we had whitewashed tables and tiffany chairs, and lots of fairy lights! We used half cut glass jars, placed a candle inside and placed it on a wooden block alongside a protea, as each table's center piece. We then used penny gum as a table-runner on either side of the wooden block, and added colour to the tables by placing burgundy roses, baby's-breath and fine fairly lights in between that penny gum.

We used glass bottles which I had been collecting, filled them with gum balls and hung them on the shoulder of each person's chair with some rope. This did not only serve as our wedding favours but also some entertainment for the guests, as they had to guess how many gum balls each bottle contained (and I counted and ensured that every single bottle had the same number of gum balls!). The winner received a bag of treats and champagne.

As our wedding took place during Covid-19, we provided each guest with a face shield, disposable face mask and 70% alcohol hand sanitizer at the entrance of the venue.

The last really awesome thing I'd like to mention is our Mr. & Mrs. cake topper - this was handmade for us by a gentleman that does wire- and bead work outside Avondale Spar.

My Groom And His Groomsmen

The gorgeous groom wore a navy suit, burgundy tie and grey waistcoat - all from Woolworths. He also wore a pair funky socks from Woolworths, and brown leather shoes from Truworths.

The groomsmen wore black suits, black ties and burgundy pocket squares which they hired from The Tailor Shop. They also wore funky socks and grey waistcoats from Woolworths, matching the groom.

Beautiful Bridesmaids

My bridesmaids wore burgundy long-sleeve dresses (as our initial wedding date was in the winter!). It was lacey on the arms and bust area, with a low V neckline, and soft flowing tulle from the waist down to the floor. They wore vintage style silver earrings, a dainty silver necklace and nude heels to finish off their look.

Their dresses were also made by Elaine Snyman.

Marriage Officer

Pastor Gary Blair (from Olive Tree Church, Florida Road) officiated our wedding.

My Captured Moments

Adam Hilton was our photographer.
Heath Thistle was our videographer.

Due to the restrictions imposed as a result of Covid-19, and a number of our guests therefore being unable to physically attend our wedding, we also used the services of Stage Group Productions (Llewelyn Faber) to live stream our wedding to those loved ones who couldn’t be there with us.

The Wedding Planner

A representative from the catering company, Hamblin’s Catering, assisted in the co-ordination of the day, along with the venue hostess.

Wedding Transport

We did not have extravagant transport as we stayed over at the venue the night before, and the church was within walking distance from the rooms.

Food & Cake

Hamblin’s Catering Services not only prepared our divine 3 course meal, but also turned our harvest table idea into individual Covid-friendly snack boxes which were enjoyed by every guest!

Rayning Cakes (Rayne Holing) made our wedding cake. It was an incredible 2-tier chocolate Guinness cake with cream cheese frosting.

Wedding Stationery

We did all the table names and programs, etc. ourselves.

The Reception and Entertainment

Our reception was held at our beautiful wedding venue, where Dj Extreme (Riaan Brits) kept us all dancing for hours! He did the sound and lighting for both our ceremony and our reception.

We were going to attend dance lessons but decided against it, in light of Covid-19 (we were just super cautious leading up to the wedding as we didn’t want either of us to have any unnecessary exposure).