About the Bride
I am 29 years old, live in the UK working as a veterinary nurse. We were together for 3.5 years before we got married – it felt like the right time! Erm and maybe my parents got a little worried. 🙂
About the Groom
Braam is a mere year older than me, 30! He’s in the forces here in the UK, under the Scots Guards Regiment…and he wanted to get married because I said so 😉 No apparently he wanted to ask me to marry him 2 months after our 1st date, but I was the one putting up the breaks!
How did you meet?
Oh the short version? Never….Braam and I apparently met through my bridesmaid, Tanya, in 2006 at The Mexican Kitchen in Cape Town – however I had a few margaritas, and we apparently met in passing – as I was leaving the restaurant, he came in (needless to say, I don’t remember the incident), but Braam has a memory of an elephant, and I made an impression it seems. 2 whole years later, I commented on a photo of Tanya and her hubby on Facebook, Braam saw my comment and it sparked a memory of a little lady he once met. So he messaged me on Facebook out of the blue – I was like “who the hell is this??”….I just broke up with a boyfriend….so I was like, erm ok…you are quite cute, so the 3 month internet messaging started!! He was living in Germany at the time, and I was in the UK. He had a transfer to the UK coming up, so the day he landed in England, he threw down his bags, hired a car, and drove 8 hours to me – without me knowing of course! So this huge chunk of a man shows up at my door….this truly was love at first sight….
How long were you together before the wedding proposal?
About 3.5 years
About the Proposal
Oh this is probably the most unromantic story of all…..but in true Braam style!! So we went home in April – knowing we were going to get engaged….but I didn’t know when or where….thinking to myself this is Cape Town….there are so many possibilities! Go hiking, and do it up on Table Mountain, go to the beach or by the West Coast – you get the picture – the possibilities were endless! So, Braam came to our house the eve he got into RSA., I knew he was coming to ask the parents….I was in my pajamas on the living room couch…so we were all in the TV room, and Braam started his speech of “you know I love your daughter” etc….he asked permission, my dad smiled and shakes Braam’s hand saying “it’s a deal!”….honestly!? any way Mommy was happy….we had a glass of nice port, and my mom says….”so Braam how are you going to propose? Helicopter ride….hot air balloon??” (all in good spirit), Braam got a panic looked on his face …
Braam: ”erm, well I can’t see point in waiting any longer, and this seems like the right time…”
I got a panicked look on my face!!
Braam takes out the substitute ring (cause mine wasn’t ready when he left the UK)….
Mom: “Sak op jou knee boetie!”
Braam crouches to his knees….
Braam: “Sal jy met my trou?”
Mom: “kyk hoe bloos sy!”
Me: giggle, grab the ring first and say “Jaaaaa”…..hahaha.
How far in advance did you choose to have your wedding after the proposal? And, why?
We knew that we were going to get married the following January, because that’s when we were going to be home again.
How did you go about the wedding planning process? Did you do it yourself? How long was the planning process? How did you find it?
I knew where I wanted to get married, because it has such a special place in my heart – the West Coast has been a part of me since I could remember. Initially I wanted to have a uber small wedding at our house…but my parents convinced me to just go down the road, to the Sea Trader, and let them do it all! Luckily, Braam was more than happy to get married at the West Coast. The people that own Sea Trader didn’t want to do the wedding in January because that’s when they are closed, but there was begging and all sorts involved and luckily they agreed (we couldn’t do it any other time of the year).
So when the venue was booked, I didn’t care for much else – obviously the dress and the photographer were my biggest worry. It took me months to go through photographer portfolios, and the wedding dress I purchased online….which to most people was another shock. The 1st one I ordered was a flop, so I ordered another one! I put in all my measurements online and 1.5 month later I got my dress – but another funny story emerges! I didn’t plan much of my wedding because I live the UK, and I went travelling though Africa from October to December – got to SA a month before the wedding and that’s when the real planning started.
An hour before I had to board my flight to Kenya in October, Braam received my dress the day before (it was sent to his address). There was a chance that Braam wouldn’t be able to come say goodbye to me at the airport – but as luck would have it, Braam arrived at the airport in the nick of time – and he brought my wedding dress along (which I haven’t seen yet!) – me and Sonike (bridesmaid) – quickly ran into the bathrooms to look at the dress. Thank heavens the dress looked amazing and not a flop like the previous one! This could’ve been a disaster. But I was content with the fact if the dress looked bad, I’ll just walk into a shop in South Africa and buy a white-ish dress. Luckily I’m not the conventional bride, so I didn’t worry about decor and what my dress looks like – well not too much!
When I got to South Africa, after 2 months of camping in Africa, the planning started. My Mom obviously did a lot while I was away – I wanted a traditional West Coast feel – so hessian table cloths, the lamps on the tables we bought at checkers. The one thing that I really wanted were white enamel plates – I grew up eating out of enamel plates in the West Coast, and we didn’t have electricity for years, so those lamps were also symbolic. And those white enamel plates were near impossible to find! Eventually we got them from the Free State of all places. So when we move back to South Africa, we have more than enough plates! The rest just came together, by things we had at home and obviously the shells on the tables were given to us by nature. I wont lie – 2 weeks before the wedding I was uber stressed – because we did everything ourselves. But without my Mommy….couldn’t have done it without here, and the rest of my team!
Did you have a hen party / kitchen tea / stag night / bachelor / bachelorette party? If so, what did you do and what did you enjoy most about it?
The hen party do was a week before the wedding – it was a combined bachelor/bachelorette. I knew when it was going to be, but I had no idea what to expect. Because most people only came the day of the wedding, it wasn’t a big thing – which I preferred! As life would have it – another one of my dear friends got married the same day, so the friends that couldn’t come to my wedding, were at the bachelors, which was very nice. It was held at Tanya’s (bridesmaid) house. They had a table of sweets – all my favourites, photos of me and Braam everywhere! They had army gear and props for funny photos. They put in soooo much detail! It was incredible! Such a nice memory! They even dressed me up….I didn’t look too ridiculous!
The wedding was held at the West Coast, and seeing as a lot of the people arrived the Friday evening, we as a family decided to start the festivities by having a lamb spit the Friday night to welcome everybody and let the mingling begin. Myself and my bride’s team only arrived when the spit was done, after 12 hours of decorating the hall. It turned out exactly as I wanted it – West Coast. Heshian table cloths, enamel plates, blue glasses, and “lamp olie” lamps. Bales on the grass outside, and minimal decor otherwise….few old suitcases, books etc. The wedding cake was also a story in its own, but that is for another day – eventually I was happy not to have one, but as usual my bridesmaid Sonike came to the rescue and orginised a beautiful cake in the end!
We started getting ready the 11am – the room wasn’t ready at the Oystercatcher Lodge, so had to wait for a while. I was treated like a queen – had my bridesmaids and Mm come to the honeymoon suite where the transformations began! Our hair and make-up was done, and by 3pm the photos began…..somehow I remained cool as a cucumber all the way through….no nerves what so ever….although I heard Braam was in quite a state!
The whole wedding had a time schedule that was kept to a “T”. The ceremony started at 4pm, photos started at 5pm – where we were absolutely windblown to pieces! We went to the lighthouse and took some pics at our house and on the rocks – gosh it was insane!
The speeches were made, luckily very quickly and the party started. The food was absolutely amazing too! All in all – it was an amazing day!
Tips and / or advice for future bridal couples?
What was the most memorable part of your wedding day?
The actual ceremony and seeing my best friends! But something that’ll stick with me until the day I die….is that WIND!
Did you go on honeymoon? If so, where? And, why there?
We felt being on holiday in South Africa is a honeymoon in itself, so we just went on a mini-moon to the spectacular cabins of Outeniqua Treetops in Sedgefield, then drove inland past Outzhoorn and slept the night on a ostrich farm outside Calitzdorp. The next day we made our way to Montague where Braam went to school and decided to go down south where I worked and lived in L’Agulhas, where we stayed the night. We’ll probably go somewhere nice later on in the year.
Date: 14 Jan 2012, 4pm
Bridesmaids: Tanya & Sonike
Photographer and Videographer: DreamPix Weddings
Wedding Venue: Sea Trader