Hernani (Groom): We met on online dating app (Tinder) just after my birthday. Yes we both on Tinder! I was just tired of the dating scene. Marlene being a working mother felt it was the only way she could meet new people. I didn’t only “swipe right” I "super liked" her on Tinder. I think she swiped right a few days later.
We spoke for about a week on Whatsapp and we had a great connection on almost every aspect. I finally asked her out on Valentines Day. Our first date was on the 16th of February 2019. At first, I thought it wasn’t going to be anything serious, but then when I met her face to face for the first time, that is when I knew this was something special and I would marry this woman
Marlene (Bride): He asked me to marry him on our 18 month anniversary at the restaurant where we first met i.e. Tashas, Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton. We had talked about getting married but the proposal still came as a surprise
It was a what I thought was just a normal dinner to celebrate our anniversary. I love eating out and took the opportunity to dress up as we didn’t have many of those moments during lockdown. Little did I know he phoned ahead and planned it all with the manager. He had the waitress pretend to be taking photos and then got down on one knee. It was surreal. I think I forgot to even answer his question!
Here is a video of the proposal
The day did start off a bit stressful with last minute things to be done. I am a perfectionist and an event planner as well so lots of things kept playing in my head. However, by the time my Bridal Party and the TV crews arrived, I felt calmer, had a glass of champagne and decided to let go of the finer things and enjoy the day. Walking down the aisle to the very handsome groom, with the Opera Singer singing was a dream. The ceremony was serious but filled with laughter as well. I am glad we chose to have a micro wedding of just 50 guests as it made it intimate and beautiful. I didn't think I would get emotional but exchanging rings made me teary. The food was epic, and the band got all the guests on the dance floor. So many special moments to treasure forever
Yes we were blessed to go on Honeymoon. We have already been living together for a year so we opted to not do a gift registry and instead do a "Honeymoon fund" for those who wished to gift us. We used this to travel to Zanzibar, a few days after the wedding which was a dream! and a much needed break for the two of us.
My wedding look was two-fold
For the Ceremony: Elegant but modern. I wore blush pink moroccan satin dress by IG: Delavidabridal & sewcouturesa with a custom made hand crafted blush pink tulle veil with Swarovski crystals by IG: Allthingsbridalsa. They also did my custom garters. I had two - one with Madeira flag regonosing my husband's heritage and one with Harley Davidson as he rides Harleys.
I did my own makeup and Josh, a friend, did my hair
My 2nd dress, for the reception, was by IG: nikacouture and was white beaded dress which was more a party dress.
I wore Black swan earrings, from Swarovksi, which my husband gifted me when we were dating and shoes
My engagement ring is a 2.5ct black diamond platinum ring is from IG: pneumajewellers and my eternity wedding band is from JennaClifford_SA. His wedding ring features real asteroid and is IG : titaniumstudiodesign
The Venue Green Park, in Morningside Sandton. We got married on the 20th floor with incredible views of the city. We are city people so it was always going to be a city wedding and the venue is only a few kilometres away from home which was convenient. The vibe we went for was modern, clean and elegant, with black and white as colour scheme. All guest wore black.
I had a year long beauty regiment from Skin Renewal, Morningside as well as Lamelle Skin care products. They helped me plan a regiment each month leading up to the big day including peels, treatments, injectables etc. I felt radiant walking down the aisle and didn't even ear makeup on honeymoon as my skin never looked better
Our decor was minimalist as the view from the 20th floor was the feature and our stunning backdrop. Cafe Fleur on IG: cafefleurweddings stepped in last minute to help me with backdrop, entrance and table centrepieces as well as the bouquets. We hired in glass tables and ghost phoenix chairs, which added to the illusion of space and openness
The Groom was sponsored a custom tailored Tux from IG: TailormeSA, who allowed him to choose custom fabrics that were imported. The look was NY style black tux with detailed fabrics. We gifted the groomsman, our son and father custom pocket squares and ties, as well as custom socks
My bridesmaid were a best friend and aunt. I gifted them timeless black velvet strapless gowns which I bought online, in sale, from Sissy boy! Their earrings were gifted from a friend IG: MicheleBjewellery
I was lucky enough to have their hair and makeup also done by IG: Heck_Yes_Makeup_Artistry (Madelaine Snyman) & Hair_By_Josh (Josh Cronwright). Both are close personal friends
The look was classic and timeless and the could opt for their own looks, based on their likes
The dapper Ryan Hogarth
We had two incredible people work on this, and who actually did our wedding portraits two months ahead of time so we could have more time with our guests on the day. Also bearing in mind curfew, every moment counted. They were IG: Amoriearts (Amorie Pearson) and on Facebook: Jireh Digital (Anton de Jager)
I wanted to bring in someone to help me with the last details a few months before as I had major work projects to deliver on, but it didn't work out and so I planned it myself from start to finish
The Venue Green Park catered in house. They prepared a winter inspired three course plated meal. The food received lots of compliments and the waiters were incredible. Our cake was done by IG red.velvetier and had a black marble finish
As our colours were black and white, I designed all the stationery (invite, program, menu, seating chart) myself on CANVA and had our local trusted Jetline Rosebank print it for us. Saved tons of money which went towards the bar TAB!
Our wedding was based on three elements : Food, Entertainment and Fashion. We wanted to created a guest experience! We had a opera singer from Jozi opera sing at the Ceremony and we had a full band for the reception i.e. GCC Wedding Band email@example.com. The Live Band was a hit as we thought it would be as it is so rarely seen these days.
The Venue Green Park did all the sound and lighting as they had in house system and technician provided. We opted to not do dance lessons and just be ourselves in our first dance and when we opened the dance floor.
Our MC was one of my Mrs SA colleagues IG: Nomalanga Speaks, who is incredible MC and I trust as a program director.