We are both South African’s living in the Netherlands so we went venue hunting almost immediately when getting back to SA after a holiday in Mauritius where we got engaged. Lace on Timber was on the top of my venue list and we fell even more in love with it when we first visited.
Damien proposed to me while on holiday in Mauritius with my family. As we are living abroad, family time is extra special to us, so to have my family there for the big moment made it even more amazing. He had planned to do it on the beach at sunset just before a dinner, which I thought was to celebrate my sister’s graduation from Medical school. We walked down the beach where a setup with lights and champagne was waiting for us. I thought that this scene was set for someone else so kept saying we should stay away from it. It was only when I turned around to see him on one knee asking me to marry him with the most beautiful ring did I realise it was for us! My sister was also hidden away to take some photos of us and capture the moment.
As for choosing my wedding dress, I thought I was looking for a A-line dress to hide my hips but ended up with something completely different. I am so glad that I was open to trying on different styles and asking the experts at the store what they thought would look best.
I tried on around 10 different dresses at one store. As we had a short timeline of around 6 months I didn’t have time to fly back to SA to go wedding dress shopping with my mom and sister but I was lucky that I had a group of amazing friends in the Netherlands who came with me and were able to video call my mom and sister to make sure they were included in the moment.
I decided on the Jamie dress (style 18057) from the Victoria Jane Wedding Gowns collection by Ronald Joyce. I loved the illusion neckline, sheer back and the soft fall of the crepe material. The applique lace on the bodice and train were embellished with translucent sequins which added some sparkle without too much distraction. I loved how the gown fit my shape and was so comfortable to wear while still giving the elegant and formal look I wanted. I just felt myself in the dress.
I bought the dress from D'Amore Bridal Salon. As it was a winter wedding, myself and the bridesmaids wore faux fur wraps for the afternoon and leather jackets as it got colder in the evening. I had diamond earrings and a bracelet which was a wedding gift from my husband.
As for the planning we were engaged in December and married the following July so we didn’t have long to plan. I think this made it easier to make quick decisions as we didn’t have time to look for alternatives. We just asked ourselves, does it go with the look we want, does it fit our budget, can we get it for our timeline? Any “no” answers meant that it was automatically excluded. As we were planning from the Netherlands for a wedding in South Africa, we really had to trust those who were helping us. My mom and sister were amazing! They did so much for us and it all turned out perfectly. I think with DIY projects where family members are helping, the best advice is to just be very honest about what you want and to be grateful for the effort people are willing to put in. We were also very grateful to the expertise and guidance which came from all our vendors, we were able to fully trust that they will bring their best for our day.
I thought the wedding would be all about the love Damien and I share and cherish, but on top of that, we floated on love the entire week leading up to the wedding. We were so grateful to be surrounded by those who sent so much love and best wishes, those who love us so deeply that they travelled all the way to celebrate with us and those who spent weeks preparing every little detail for us. We were thankful for those who pour their love and passion into their work which made our day absolutely incredible. It was such an amazing way to start our married life together enveloped in all that love.
My husband is a big golf fanatic and one of his favourite parts (apart from gaining a wife) was the custom printed golf balls and putting green which was available as a lawn game. He also enjoyed having his favourite South African beer on tap to enjoy with his friends.
I loved that we asked our photographers to focus on family moments instead of formal portraits. We kept the bridal photography session short to get the shots we wanted, so that we could rather spend our day with those we love instead of away from the party taking pictures.
Photography by One Fine Day