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March 2012 R24.95 (incl. VAT)

The

BIG

gift Question

How to plan Advice from REAL brides

Fantastic ideas for your BIG day

The Way To Your Man’s Heart

9 772 225 71 900 5

Photo: Kevin Bender

Real Weddings

South Africa’s Exciting New Monthly Wedding Magazine


6.

SCOTT & CANDICE GILBERT

8.

Pretty From the Feet Up

10. KYLE & BERNADINE SWAFFIELD 12. The Big Gift Question

8

14. CRAIG & KATE MAINSTONE 16. RYAN & CARA WOOLLEY 20. ADRIAN & TANJA SCHNEIDER 22. The Way to Your Man’s Heart 24. ROBIN & TARYN SMITH 28. DEAN & CHANTEL SEARLE 32. OLIVER & NATALIE ELKINGTON

40

34. Big Day Tomorrow Sleep Tight 36. DUNCAN & CASEY PRATT 38. SHANE & TAMMY PERCIVAL 40. Honeymoon in Paradise 42. SENZO & OLIVIA MYEZA 44. GARETH & CHRISTINE MORGAN 46. Shake Off That Cold 48. WESLEY & JEMAINE NAIDOO

46 On the cover: Candice Gilbert Photographer: Kevin Bender

50. ALLAN & KALINKA WANTENAAR 52. How to Write Thank You Notes 54. ALEX & TAMLYN NICOLL 56. GARY & ABIGAIL SCOTT

WELCOME TO REAL BRIDES Seen one bridal mag, seen them all? Wrong. REAL BRIDES is a bridal magazine with a difference ... a BIG difference ... because every month we will feature at least 12 “real” brides. Our “Real Brides” will share their big day with you and ultimately help you, the bride-to-be, to make educated decisions based on their real-life experiences.

REAL BRIDES is published independently by RamCom Publishing (Pty) Limited. To advertise call: (031) 765 7314 Website: www.ramcom.co.za

1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 5


SCOTT & CANDICE GILBERT “Make sure you have great suppliers.” Scott and Candice first met as teenagers and then a chance meeting whilst on holiday in Plettenberg Bay years later led to a relationship and then to marriage. Theme/colour scheme? Black and cerise pink with an oriental theme/flair. Highlight of the day? Getting married under the trees (our original plan) even though it had rained all morning. The rain stopped for our ceremony albeit with a little mud on our shoes! Most stressful part of planning a wedding? Dealing with family dynamics and the making sure everyone is happy! Any amusing moments? On the morning of the wedding the bridegroom party had to rush off to a mill to get sawdust to spread to soak up the mud and wet grass. My bridal car got stuck in mud and my Dad and Godfather had to navigate it out. I had visions of walking down the aisle with mud all down my beautiful dress! Any surprises? One of my best friends did reading involving the releasing of butterflies. Unfortunately because of the wet weather the butterflies did not fly! Most useful wedding gift? A flat screen TV and a champagne cooler. What worked and what didn’t? We chose a song to fit the person who was delivering each speech and when they walked up to the podium the DJ played that song. It created a great atmosphere. The butterflies sadly didn’t work. Something old, something new, something borrowed & something blue? All in one item – my garter. It has been in our family for close to 40 years. My Mom wore it and so did my sister. Everyone who has worn the garter has their name embroidered on it - a very special tradition in our family.

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Venue: Lastingham, KZN Midlands Photos: Kevin Bender

“Everyone who has worn the garter has their name embroidered on it - a very special tradition in our family.” 1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 7


Pretty From The Feet Up

making sure you’re pampered

MANY Spring and Summer brides might opt for wearing cool open-toe shoes or sandals on their big day. This means that feet and toenails will need extra attention in order to do justice to that carefully chosen, pretty bridal footwear. If a professional pedicure in a salon or spa is not on your prewedding budget you can treat your feet in the comfort of your very own home. First you have to prepare your feet. Remove all nail polish and then fill your bathtub or a basin with warm water and your favourite foam bath and soak your feet for at least 15-20 minutes. You can also add bath salts or foot soak to the water. Ordinary kitchen salt also works wonders. After taking each foot out of the water, towel dry them well and then move on to cleaning and trimming your nails. Remember to always cut nails in a square shape to prevent ingrown nails. Using an orange stick or a cuticle stick gently push back the cuticles. Do not attempt to cut your cuticles or

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rub them away, as they are necessary for keeping bacteria at bay. Doing this step right, will allow you to paint the entire nail by guiding the supple cuticle out of the way. Upon completing the nail cleaning process, soak your feet again in the warm water and begin removing the dead skin cells by gently scrubbing callouses and heels with a pumice stone. This is a very important step of the process. Exfoliating your feet, results in soft feet. When the softening step is over, remove your feet from the water and dry them with a clean, dry towel. Massage each foot with a foot lotion to sooth and smooth your feet. Apply the lotion to the whole foot, from top to bottom, toes to ankle. Pick an appropriate shade of nail polish and apply the first coat slowly. The last coat should be applied once the previous coat is completely dry. Voila! Pretty feet and toenails to compliment the pretty bride to be.


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KYLE & BERNADINE SWAFFIELD “We honeymooned inCyprus.”

This lovely young couple first met at Kyle’s 18th birthday party and it took him months to track Bernadine down! What was your theme/colour scheme? White silver and turquoise with peacock feathers we’re not superstitious! Highlight of the day? Having everyone that we love sharing the day with us. Most stressful part? Drawing up the guest list – I have a very, very big family! Any glitches? We hired everything in Pretoria and drove it down to KZN and some stuff got broken en route. Funny moments? When I saw my cake – clearly the cake maker didn’t get the picture – it was gold and brown! But, we laughed it off – it tasted good. Any useful tips? Start your planning early – explore every avenue and be open minded. Things can change when you start shopping around. Have fun and enjoy yourself. The best advice? From my Mom. I’m a control freak and she made me share the tasks. She was right to do so. Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue? A ring from my Gran; earrings from my Mom; perfume and my undies. Guest gifts? Chocolate brownies in gift boxes with a thank-you card. Best wedding gift? A beautiful dining room suite.

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Venue: The Boathouse. Photos: Kevin Bender Decor: Myself

“If I could change anything, I would make the time go slower!”

1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 11


BigGift Question

The

ONE of the most frequently asked questions of the families of a bride and groom to be is “What gift can we give them?” Gifts are obviously meant to be a surprise but, let’s get real, these days newly-weds need practical gifts and they can have a big say in what they would really like.

ONE of the most frequently asked questions of the families of a bride and groom to be is “What gift can we give them?” Gifts are obviously meant to be a surprise but, let’s get real, these days newly-weds need practical gifts and they can have a big say in what they would really like. Gone are the days of receiving a host of unwanted or useless wedding gifts. Speak up and get what you would really like. The gift of money may seem impersonal or uncreative, but it is the number one recommended wedding gift. Most young couples are saving for something big – a house, a car, a piece of furniture, or are still paying back their student loans. Money may also help them have an extra-special honeymoon. Whilst it might be considered rude by some for a bridal couple to ask for money, don’t be shy to communicate your wishes to special guests and family members. Setting up home for the first time is expensive so drawing up a gift registry is obviously a practical idea and it prevents bridal couples from receiving duplicates. Bear in mind however that many guests might be uncomfortable with you actually knowing

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what their gift cost! Many couples list expensive dream wedding gifts at the registry – things that they don’t actually think they’re going to get! Don’t be foolish, try to be practical when drawing up your list and you will get most of what you asked for. Another ideas is to choose or request gifts that will stand the test of time like a piece of art or a homemade quilt. Don’t be shy to ask your talented friends and family to create something special for you to cherish in the years to come. If you covet a lovely piece of old furniture that belongs to your grandmother, tell her that you covet it and she might even give it to you as a wedding gift! Honeymoons are expensive. Don’t keep it a secret as to where you are going – that’s very old fashioned! Your honeymoon destination could very well give your guests ideas for a gift such as vouchers for a special spa treatment, a special activity or a special meal at a popular nearby restaurant. They could even arrange for a hamper of special goodies or a bouquet of your favourite flowers to be delivered to your room. Ask nicely and you will probably get what you ask for!


CRAIG & KATE MAINSTONE

“Pause at the bridal table and take everything in.” THIS couple were neighbours. They started talking, became friends and the rest as they say, is history. What was your theme? I wanted something timeless yet striking. I chose the colours plum, magenta and greys with silver touches. The wedding venue? I searched online and we narrowed it down to about five. We chose Braeside in Ballito as we could have a garden wedding ceremony and the feel of the hall was as if we were sitting outside. Elegant and classy at the same time. The highlight of your day? The moment I got to turn the corner and walk down the aisle and see my future husband waiting for me. Most stressful part of planning a wedding? Being a wedding planner myself I loved the process. My most stressful moment came when I realised that wanting to do everything myself was not practical and that I had to delegate. Any surprises? Our cake stand broke but the venue coordinator had hired in a divine new one. Another was my dress and our first dance. I am a dancer so had a rumba going into a tango prepared. When we practiced outside before the first dance, my dress kept getting stood on! Obviously practising beforehand in a wedding gown can’t be done so, we sadly had to sway! The best advice? To pause at the bridal table and take everything in. I remember everything from that moment. We were also advised to take two minutes together to process what we had just committed to and to refocus on ourselves. Things to avoid? Make sure you choose reputable suppliers. You don’t want a no show, problems and unnecessary stress just because you tried to save a buck.

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Venue: Breaside, Ballito Photos: Kevin Bender Decor: Main Stone events and décor cc

“Have a wedding that represents you. Listen to yourselves and no one else when you decide on what you would like for your special day.” 1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 15


RYAN & CARA WOOLLEY

“We looked at about 16 venues in and around the Natal Midlands.” THIS energetic couple met in Cape Town through playing in a mixed touch rugby team and then again on a party bus in 2004 and they haven’t looked back since! What was your theme/colour scheme? Country vintage / Dove grey with white and baby yellow accents. What made you choose your venue? We have a very large family and a big group of friends and wanted to be able to invite everyone (our final number was 210 people). Unfortunately most of the venues in the Midlands had number restrictions to about 120 people and those that could cater for more were out of our price range (Ryan and I saved for a few years to pay for our wedding with some help from both of our parents). One of my bridesmaids then suggested her mother-in-law’s farm which is right on Midmar dam and they had been thinking of using it as a wedding / party venue for years. We went to see the farm and, as we drove over a small hill with fields, old farm buildings and Midmar Dam spread out in front of us, we both knew that we had found our venue. Relaxed, unique and unassumingly beautiful. Your dress – did you know what you wanted? I was actually going to use my mom’s wedding dress and just update it. My mom can sew (she made the bridesmaid’s dresses) so we decided to still go wedding dress shopping so that I could find the style I liked which would help my mom work out how to alter her dress (it had long sleeves and was made of a beautiful thick satin). While at the third shop, the consultant got me to try on one of their ‘once off’ designer dresses and it fitted like a glove – it was on a half price sale and looked fabulous so we decided that it was a sign and bought it which ended up saving my mom a lot of work! I fell in love with it and loved wearing it! Things to avoid? Try not to take on everything yourself – delegate and then don’t obsess or worry!

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Venue: Brookdale Farm Photos: Kevin Bender

“Try not to take on everything yourself – delegate and then don’t obsess or worry!” 1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 17


Highlights of the day? Walking down the aisle and seeing Ryan at the end, saying our vows, listening to my cousin sing in the church, our first kiss as a married couple, hearing my husband’s speech and seeing the gorgeous end result of all my family and friend’s hard work when we walked into the marquee! The most stressful part? When our marquee started blowing away a few days before the wedding in a freak wind storm – it was Boxing Day and the company had put the tent up early because of all the public holidays over Christmas – luckily we got hold of them and they managed to keep it from blowing into the dam! Any surprises? My Dad paid a wonderful tribute in his speech to my cousin & best friend, who died when we were 20, and would have been one of my bridesmaids. It was wonderful as I wouldn’t have been able to hold it together enough to speak about her in my speech. Interesting guests? A few of the best men come out from Australia and America and some of my bridesmaids were living in Dubai, London and Egypt at the time so it was wonderful to have them all there! No crazy stories about any mad relatives though! Any useful tips? Try and have a good cry the day before so that you have released all your emotional tension – I was getting my nails done and having a glass of champagne with all my bridesmaids the day before and they started asking me deep questions about how it felt to be getting married and I was so overwhelmed that I had a bit of an emotional drizz, but it meant that I was bright eyed and only excited on the big day! Something old? I wore our family veil which was first worn by my great great great grandmother. It was brought out from England in 1873 by her daughter and she said it was to be handed down through the generations in the family. The veil dates back to 1848, making it 161 years old when I wore it. It has been worn by many aunts and cousins over the years as well as my Mom and my sister. I felt really privileged when it was my turn to honour our family tradition! Something new? My dress. Something borrowed? My shoes (I wore one of my bridesmaid’s, wedding shoes) and the family signet ring that belonged to my cousin and best friend, Peta. Something blue? A blue bow on my garter

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THE Oyster Box in Umhlanga Rocks provides the perfect venue for weddings and honeymoons. Personal and meticulous attention to detail is given to each aspect of the wedding event. With an extensive track record and a highly experienced Team, the success of weddings of all sizes, traditional requirements and cultural considerations is ensured. The journey to the wedding begins long before the big day itself. The Oyster Box’s dedicated Wedding Consultant, together with the hotel’s internationally experienced and dedicated Banqueting Team, will assist with each detail of your special day - from the planning stage right up to the ‘Big Day’ - from menu choice and table design, to referrals for flowers, photography and music.

VENUES – ‘Spoilt For Choice’ •

The elegant, sophisticated PEARL ROOM, with stunning views overlooking the iconic lighthouse, the Indian Ocean and Venetian glass chandeliers, is the perfect reception venue for larger celebrations. The room can also be used for the wedding ceremony if required Capacity: Maximum seating for 120 guests including the top table.

Pre-reception drinks can be taken in the stylish OYSTER BAR on a non-exclusive basis.

The Victorian GAZEBO, situated in the lush, tropical gardens, can be hired at an additional cost for the wedding ceremony and can be dressed to suit each particular occasion, colour scheme and style. Capacity: 100 seated and 20 standing

Throughout the hotel picture-perfect settings create idyllic backdrops for capturing each and every moment of your special day.

The Pearl Room Venue Hire Package Includes: • • • • • •

Cream table linen and white napkins Silver base-plates Shell on side-plate Superior quality cutlery, crockery and glassware 5-star waitron service Honeymoon Suite for the night of the wedding - a host of special extras is offered to the wedding couple - a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine on arrival; monogrammed gowns; rose petal turn-down and breakfast in bed.

To top it all off, the antique Oyster Box Rolls Royce, is available for photographs or transport in and around Umhlanga Rocks at an additional cost.

For Wedding enquiries contact: Ginny Eslick on 082 414 0265 or by email ci@dbn.lia.net Photo: Chilli Pix Bride: Jermaine Naidoo


ADRIAN & TANJA SCHNEIDER “Adrian’s speech addressed to me, had every girl in tears”

THIS delightful couple fell in love somewhere in between being best friends on the volleyball court and sharing lunches under oak trees. What was your theme/colour scheme? As the wedding was held on the KZN North Coast, we decided on a tropical colour pallet with focus on fuchsia, bougainvillea, coral, chartreuse and turquoise which were brought alive with lots of tropical flowers as well as just the general beauty of the surroundings. Highlight of the day? Walking down the white carpet surrounded by tropical palms and flowers with the ocean in the background and the sound of the steel band was just magical – everything I ever wished for! Funny moments? The speeches – the best men were all amateur comedians! Hearing that the groomsmen had to ‘blowdry’ the Bougainvillea blooms used as “confetti” as it had rained the day before! Any surprises? It started raining two minutes before I was due to walk down the aisle but luckily my Mom and the wedding planner had done extensive scenario planning and we were able to quickly move under cover. Any useful tips? Set a timetable and stick to it – including the length of speeches! Finish the formalities early to let everyone enjoy themselves, hit the dance floor and have a good time. Keep the number of guests to a bare minimum. Only invite people you are close to and mean something to you. Things don’t always run perfectly so don’t sweat the small stuff. Meet with all suppliers before the wedding to ensure they meet your expectations. Organise a tasting session with your caterer. Look at your venue and surroundings when you decide on your colour pallet. Organise late night snacks to be eaten after dessert - people get hungry after dancing! Enjoy the weeks of planning as the wedding day itself passes by so quickly. The memories should consist of not only the wedding day but also all the emotions, ideas, brainstorming, organising that goes into making it an unforgettable day.

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Venue: Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and Fairmont Zimbali Resort Photos: Kevin Bender

“We honeymooned in Thailand. Bliss.” 1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 21


Heart

The Way To Your Man’s Here are s o

me ideas

for smo

othies: ½ cup of st ra w b e rr ies, ½ ban 175m ana, ½ cu l low-fat o p of orang r fat-free y • 1 pea e juice, oghurt an ch, 2 tsp. le d ic e. m o fat-fr n juice, 2 ts ee yoghurt p. Honey, 175ml low and ice. • ½ cu -fat or p of cranb erry juice, low-f ½ cu p of straw at or fat-fr berries, 17 ee yoghurt • ½ cu 5ml , four alm p of pawp onds and aw juice, ½ low-f ic e . cu p at or fat-fr of pineap ple pieces, ee yoghurt 175ml , walnuts and ice. •

WE all know that eating lots of fruit is extremely beneficial to our health and keeping you and your new husband fit and healthy is a daily challenge that need not be a chore. Fruit is essential in a balanced healthy diet. However, finding the time to eat enough fruit in a day is sometimes difficult. Smoothies can be a quick and easy solution. The benefit of making your own smoothies is that you know exactly what has gone into them, and you can save yourself a small fortune too. Smoothies are delicious and nutritious as they are basically made up of fruit blended with fruit juice, milk or yoghurt. They are packed with all the vitamins and nutrients you’d get from fresh fruit. The good news is that smoothies make the perfect drink - day or night. The best thing about them is that all you need is some basic kitchen equipment and just a little creativity. Get out your blender, liquidiser, food processor or hand blender and start smoothing. Fresh fruit is good, but tinned fruit will work just as well. When the weather is hot you can even try whipping up frozen smoothies. There is no right or wrong way to make one because you make it to suit your tastes using all your favourite seasonal fruits. Smoothies are great for after exercise replenishment, as they will rehydrate you and also give you the carbohydrates and other essential nutrients and water lost during exercise.

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It is important to start replacing carbohydrates shortly after exercise as glycogen production takes many hours to replenish and it will take quite a while before glycogen stores are back on par with pre-exercise levels. The ingredients for a smoothie are unlimited, just use your imagination. Smoothies are basically a combination of ice, frozen or fresh fruit, fruit juice, yoghurt and nuts. If you want to add more calories to your smoothie you could be a devil and even add a scoop of ice cream! The ingredients can simply be thrown into a blender, blitzed and voilà an instant, healthy treat for you and your man.


ROBIN & TARYN SMITH

“Best of all, my Mom made my dress” THE Splashy Fen Music Festival back in 2006 was the place that this down to earth, funloving couple first met. Tell us a bit about your venue and why you chose it? We were married at my Mom’s smallholding in Assagay. We had the ceremony under a big tree in the paddock and the reception in the garden. We wanted it to feel like a family gathering and to have our dogs a part of our big day as well, and having it at home made that possible. It also gave us more freedom to take our time setting up too. How long did it take to plan your wedding? Not too long, we had a few ideas of what we liked. After we got engaged in August 2010, I just hoarded bridal mags and collected as many ideas as I could. Then at the start of the new year we started contacting vendors and booking everything – we did however book the photographer as soon as we had set a date. How much of it did you do yourself? Quite a bit, we wanted it to feel very personal and get all our friends and family involved. I had my friends around to make favours, we made origami hearts filled with sweet pea seeds. We also had little blankets for everyone to snuggle up with in the evening and to take home - Robin sewed them! My Aunt designed the invitations and with the help of Robin’s Mom, the flower arrangements. Family brought finger foods for everyone to snack on whilst we went for photos. I made the cupcakes (facebook.com/cupcakesbytaryn) and we made Yakka and Pimm’s as our signature drinks. (We should have made more as we underestimated how much our friends drink!) We also did an ice cream parlour for dessert at the end of the evening and a s’mores kit by the fire pit. Everyone pitched in and helped us set up the décor and tables and chairs. A lot of heavy lifting was done by the groomsmen. And best of all, my Mom made my dress, although I think she was cursing me for choosing such a complicated style! Most emotional moment? I get very emotional so there were quite a few tears! Saying our vows that Robin chose, was probably it and my Dad’s speech and him getting all tearful, got me going as well.

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Venue: My Mom’s smallholding Dress: My Mom – was based on an Elie Saab dress Photos: Tink Photography www.tink.co.za DJ: iPod - we just made playlists and played them throughout the day/evening Make up artist: My Bridesmaid, Julie. My friends are so talented!

“We went to Pumba private game reserve & The Sands beach house in Cape St Francis.” 1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 25


Most stressful part of planning a wedding? Probably just organising everything on the day and the day before the wedding. I didn’t factor in dealing with all the vendors arriving to set up, on top of having to finish off all the last minute things. Thankfully we had so many people around who were happy to help out and put up with all my crazy ideas! Theme/colour scheme? Fresh greens and lots of white with natural tones for the decor. I just asked my bridesmaids to pick dresses that suited them the best in nudes and blush tones. Any surprises or funny moments? There were quite a few. In the morning It was raining so hard that it flooded the dance floor and didn’t look like it was going to let up, when our domestic worker, Sarah, came in and told us not to worry saying she had prayed to Jesus and it was going to stop raining at lunch time. It stopped at 11 and held out till just after midnight when the party started to wind down! Things that could have been avoided? We could have time managed better, there were so many things that we wanted to do but just ran out of time. My Mom finished my dress and I was icing cupcakes at 3am on the day of the wedding! More sleep would have been nice! Having a coordinator on the day, mainly to deal with all the vendors, would have been a huge help. Any useful tips for brides-to-be? I just think if you going to be a DIY bride, like me, definitely enlist all your friends and family to help (specially the creative ones) and give yourself enough time to do everything. It was chaotic but at the end of the day was worth it knowing how personal it was. Something old? My sister’s stick on bra! Something new? Shoes and underwear. Something borrowed? I forgot about this and my bridesmaid lent me the earrings she was going to wear. We then couldn’t get my old earrings off so my Dad had to take them off with pliers! Something blue? My Mom sewed blue ribbons into my garter.

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DEAN & CHANTEL SEARLE “If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing”

CHANTEL and her husband Dean have been an item since they were teenagers at school. He used to ride past her house on a dirt bike trying to catch her eye, and it clearly worked! Wedding theme/colour scheme? Yellow silver and white but no real theme – we wanted our wedding to be casual but classy. We got engaged in Australia so we named each table after an Aussie town we had visited. Highlight of your day? Walking down the aisle and seeing Dean’s smiling face. Most stressful part of your wedding? A thunderstorm on the morning of our wedding! Any disasters? We had a bit of a hiccup with our bridesmaid’s dresses. They were ordered from China – the samples were great – but when they arrived they looked like sacks! They were taken to a dressmaker and resewn. Funny incidents? I suffer from hayfever and the night before our wedding I used an antihistamine that I had never used before. I woke up in the morning with big puffy eyes! My bridesmaids were running around putting teaspoons in the freezer to help get the swelling down. It was funny but also scary! Any surprises? Our groomsmen came to where we were getting ready bearing champagne and a message for me from Dean. I was so touched. Things to avoid? Don’t use any new medication before your big day! Any useful tips: Buy food for the whole wedding entourage, boys especially get hungry and don’t think about things like food. Even if you are not arty get help from friends and family and do as much as you can yourself – it makes the whole wedding experience more fun and more personal.

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Venue: Shalwyn Photographer: Kevin Bender DJ: Mega Music

“In my bouquet I carried an engraved silver locket with a picture of my late brother in it.” 1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 29


OLIVER AND NATALIE ELKINGTON “Start looking at wedding dresses early.” THE Elkingtons met online through 5FM dating. They chatted for about two weeks, decided to meet up and that was that. When did you start planning? We chose to have our wedding two years after getting engaged as Oliver was finishing his degree. How did you go about the planning process? We decided to have our wedding in the KZN Midlands as most of our friends and family are in Durban. We looked at lots of venues and finally found our perfect setting. I visited decor companies and tied down what I wanted decor wise. I did everything myself and the majority of the planning took about six months. I was doing it all from Cape Town but it wasn’t an issue, just a lot of emails and calls back and forth. Did you have a hen party/kitchen tea? My best friend and my sister arranged high tea at the Beverley Hills Hotel, followed by sunset cocktails at The Oyster Box Hotel. It was a gorgeous surprise a really special afternoon. Any tips and advice? Book your venue, photographer and videographer at least a year in advance. Depending on your province check when the most popular wedding times as you can get good discounts out of season. With flowers check which season they are in bloom. Look for things you can do yourself to make it more personal. Plan ahead so you pay for things as you go along instead of shelling out large sums of money all in one go. Most memorable moment? If I had to pick it would be the actual ceremony standing there looking at Oliver and saying our vows. Our ceremony was so relaxed. A close second would be the last few hours of the night spent dancing with all my friends. Would you change anything? Because I was running around putting little touches on things I didn’t get to spend too much time with my Mom and my sister on the morning of the wedding.

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Venue - Cranford Country Lodge Video – Karen Le Grange Photos- Kelly Daniels DJ – Allan McCabe Decor- Settings

“We went to Italy for our honeymoon. It was the most amazing week of my life.” 1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 33


Sleep Tight

Big Day Tomorrow

GETTING a good night’s sleep before your wedding day is absolutely essential. Every activity that you do each day is affected by your previous nights sleep. An energetic, happy day will depend on how well you have rested the night before. Going without sleep is intensely stressful, with unpredictable short and long-term effects. People lose the ability to act and think coherently if they have had insufficient sleep. If you are not a good sleeper then topping your health and beauty regime leading up to your wedding day should be working on establishing a good sleep routine. What happens to your body if you go without getting enough vital sleep? • Your heart will become untamed, which can cause stress and high blood pressure.

energy is available, grehlin is responsible for hunger. Lack of sleep causes these hormones to go a little crazy and it won’t be long before you gain weight.

Lack of sleep taxes the immune system, and may even lead to disease and premature aging. So how do you get a good night’s sleep?

• Sleep regenerates the neurons in the cerebral cortex of the brain.

• Keep to a common schedule of sleep each day. • Do not have too much caffeine and nicotine. • Do not eat heavy meals or drink alcohol before bedtime. Eating too much at night prevents good digestion. • Exercise more. Exercising in the morning is a great way to improve your sleep. Late hour exercising is not advisable. • Avoid taking afternoon naps. • Make sure your bed is comfortable. • Do not lie in bed too long without falling asleep. If you are still awake after 45 minutes, get up and do something relaxing.

Remember, sleep is one of the most important things contributing to a healthy lifestyle and it is up to you to follow these tips and get yourself on the right track for your big day.

Too many late night outings ages you and affects your blood. Blood starts forgetting how to do the basics like metabolising glucose or completing tasks like regulating blood sugar.

Not getting enough sleep can affect your weight. Leptin and grehlin are the hormones that encrypt eating information. While leptin regulates appetite and tells the brain how much

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DUNCAN & CASEY PRATT “We honeymooned in the Maldives.” OLDER BROTHERS often have nice friends and that’s how Casey met Duncan. Watching rugby at a friend’s braai was to be the start of their romance. What made you choose iNsingizi Game Lodge & Spa as your venue? We thought it would be nice to be in the bush as we practically live on the beach and the bush is our other love. We wanted something casual and I wanted a potjie area with a boma and bonfire. iNsingizi’s set up was perfect. I loved the way you could use the whole venue outside and inside so it felt like you were really part of the environment. It was the only venue we looked at and we loved it straight away. How long did you have to plan? We got engaged in February and married the following May - so just over a year. Theme/colour scheme? Greys and Blues - a chilled natural theme. How did you choose your bridal party? Mine was easy - I had my three sisters. Duncan had his four surfing buddies. The best part of your wedding day? We’d been together around 13 years so finally getting to say ‘I do’ was amazing. My sister and her husband did a surprise little campfire song for us. And just having a party with all our friends and dancing the night away. Any glitches? The flowers I wanted weren’t available but my florist was amazing and just changed a few things. Also our first song didn’t play so well on the speakers but the rest of the music on the night was perfect. Did your invitation include children? No, but we had our 2 year-old son and a few of his cousins at the ceremony. We asked our friends to get babysitters so that they could let their hair down. Things you would have changed? Honestly nothing - we just wanted a chilled relaxed wedding celebrating with our friends which is exactly what we had.

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Venue: iNsingizi Game Lodge & Spa Photos: Jacki Bruniquel

“Don’t get sidetracked by the detail. Remember what the day is about and enjoy it.”

1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 37


SHANE & TAMMY PERCIVAL

“A fiasco with my customised backless underwear - resolved with a pair of sidecutters and a roll of insulation tape! “ A lift to a mutual friend’s 21st birthday party is how this couple first met. Tammy says she took one peek at Shane’s serious grey-blue eyes and she was hooked! What was your theme? I’m not wild about details or matching colours, our guests were invited to “a marvellous country lunch”. Tell us about your venue. Tumble Downs is a wonderful restaurant in a converted stable building on the Midlands Meander. The food is glorious and we found a lot of common ground with the couple who own and run it. We had more guests than their dining room can accommodate, so we set up a Bedouin tent in their grounds with spectacular views. Highlight? The whole bridal party got dressed together at our house. We had our formal photos taken before the ceremony - sneaking around trying to avoid being spotted by our guests was a good laugh! We were all relaxed and in good spirits when the big moment arrived. Were you a hands-on? Absolutely, albeit with a team of enthusiastic family members and friends. Invitations, floral arrangements, centrepieces, table runners – you name it, we made it. Did your invitation include children? Yes, though I did specify that only well-behaved children were welcome! Honeymoon? We road-tripped down to the Cape. Things to avoid? Getting too wrapped up in trivialities. People quickly forget if your napkins matched your chair covers, but they don’t forget a good laugh on a day full of love. What tips do you have for brides-to-be? Get the mood right and the details will work themselves out.

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Venue: Tumble Downs, Currys Post Photos: Kelly Daniels

“During the groomsmen’s speech, our good friend Anthony took a moment to mention my late father, and raised a glass to him. It was an unexpected and poignant moment.” 1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 39


Umngazi

Honeymoon In Local Paradise

In 1925 the Leach family established a trading post on the site, and built a few small bungalows for visitors from the gold mines. It was this small outpost that formed the nucleus of the present day hotel named Umngazi River Bungalows, which has become a popular honeymoon destination.

Together with it’s location on this pristine stretch of coastline, Umngazi’s laidback atmosphere, warm local hospitality, and abundant facilities, has earned it a reputation as one of South Africa’s most popular and picturesque honeymoon destinations. For more info visit www.umngazi.co.za

Nestled on the magnificent Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape, close to Port St Johns, the award-winning Umngazi River Bungalows offers complete pampered relaxation and escape from city living. Set on an estuary within a unique eco-paradise, overlooking stretches of unspoilt, golden beaches, ‘Umngazi’ is a romantic honeymoon. Umngazi gets its name from the ancient Pondo history, when the legendary King Faku found it necessary to execute his enemies at Mlengana (Execution) Rock, their blood “igazi” literally ran down the streams into the river into what is known as the Umngazi River. With its tastefully decorated and modern facilities, Umngazi River Bungalows hosts a variety of stimulating outdoor and indoor activities, including: hiking, swimming (pool, river & sea), canoeing, fishing, mountain biking, wine-tasting, outdoor dining, sunset cruises, tennis, snooker, mangrove walks, birding, gym or relaxing treatments in the Spa. In particular, the Gym and Spa, with their breathtaking panoramic views to rival the world’s best, allow every guest a healthy environment in which to unwind in sheer comfort and luxury.

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Bella Vista is an established venue with a warm and welcoming ambience, perfect for creating a magical occasion – a great place for wedding ceremonies and receptions. The venue has a reputation for excellent food and superior service, a private establishment that is yours for the day. Facilities include a function room with panoramic views of the majestic and breathtaking Valley of 1000 Hills and an adjoining large covered deck which together can hold 170 guests, a service bar, a lower open deck, gazebo, swimming pool, secure parking and landscaped gardens for great photographs. Bella Vista boasts gold awards for In House Planning and Reception Venue from the South African Bridal Industry Academy. We believe in a hands-on approach, seeing to the client’s every need and understanding the value of service excellence, welcoming décor and exquisite cuisine. This is the philosophy of all at Bella Vista.

Contact Us: 84 Old Main Road, Bothas Hill, 3660 Tel: 031 765 2738 Fax: 031 765 7387

We aim to bring your dream to life by offering you a breathtaking venue and the freedom and support to create the day you have always dreamed of ...

Your Day, Your Way

mail@bellavista.co.za Janine St Clair 082 324 9765 www.bellavista.co.za


SENZO & OLIVIA MYEZA

“Honeymooned in Malaysia for a week then on to Melbourne to spend more time with my family and friends.” A LOVE of music and a passion for community upliftment brought Olivia and Senzo together. They first met when Olivia was on a study tour to South Africa with an Australian aid and development organisation. How long did it take to plan your wedding? We had a long engagement of 18 months to allow friends and family from Australia time to save up money and leave. 30 of my family and best friends made the trip. We did all the planning ourselves and made every single decision together. Theme/colour scheme? Purple, with some silver thrown in too. Our theme was 12 words: love, peace, hope, faith, laugh, happy, joy, dream, inspire, dance, sing and smile. They were on our invitations; used as our table names and on the cup cakes. They represent everything that we hope our marriage will contain. Why Bella Vista as your venue? It was local. It has the most stunning view of the Valley of 1000 Hills where Senzo is from and where I fell in love with South Africa (and him!); their prices were competitive and a ‘one stop shop’ who managed our décor, food and even our flowers. What worked best? Everything worked like a dream! Something special was that the bridal retinue didn’t walk down the aisle – they all danced in one after another – including Senzo. Then we changed the music and my father and I entered, just walking though! The dancing set the tone for the whole celebration. Any interesting or extra special guests? Our choir, Connection Choir, attended as our friends and they performed a number of songs. They are amazing and got everybody up and dancing! Unique aspects? It was the coming together of three cultures – Australian, Zulu and Sotho as Senzo’s father is Sotho and his mother is Zulu. We incorporated aspects of each culture into the wedding, and it worked beautifully.

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Venue: Bella Vista Photos: CC Rossler

“Senzo surprised me by singing me a beautiful Zulu love song!” 1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 43


GARETH & CHRISTINE

MORGAN “We went to Thailand for 10 days. Phi Phi Island and it was amazing!” Nature lovers Gareth and Christine met through both working for the same company. What was your theme? We both love nature and enjoy the outdoors. So we picked a garden wedding on a nature estate, The Bend, in the Natal Midlands. Why did you choose your venue? The setting of our ceremony was a little gazebo overlooking a pond with a water feature. This was perfectly in line with our theme! What time of the year did you get married? December. The most stressful part of planning a wedding? Probably the last two days before the weddingmaking sure all the suppliers were on track and that they knew what to do and where to go. Also making sure the timing was exactly right for when the florist arrived and the photographer etc. Highlight of the day? Our speeches were all very personal and close to the heart. It was amusing and fun sharing some special memories with our family. How many guests did you have? We had a very small intimate wedding with only about 17 guests. Only very close family and friends. Any amusing or special moments? Our best man was supposed to toast us by opening a bottle of champagne and “popping the cork” high in the air. Instead, he ended up by spraying us all! My dress and Gareth’s suit were covered in champagne! Any surprises or disasters? It started raining towards the end of our photo session. We had to hurry back towards the house and, as it turned out, those photos of us walking back in the rain actually ended up by being our favourites. Would you change anything? Not a thing!

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Venue: The Bend Dress: Fabulous Brides, Umhlanga Photos: Kevin Bender Decor: Kerry’s Flower’s & Decor

“Don’t get too worked up about the detail. No one will even notice the little things that you were worried about!”

1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 45


YOUR big day is looming and you start to feel a tickle in your throat, a fuzzy head and an achy body? Yep, you’re coming down with something and the pre-wedding panic sets in. The average adult gets three colds per year, each lasting anything up to nine days. But you don’t have to surrender. Here’s how to stop a cold before it takes hold—and feel better by tomorrow. Stay Hydrated As soon as you feel symptoms start drinking water or juice. Staying hydrated cuts down on symptoms like a sore throat and stuffy nose. Gargle with salt water To combat a scratchy throat add half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water. The salt draws out excess water in your throat’s tissues, reducing the inflammation, and clears mucous and irritants from the back of the throat. The rinse also flushes out bacteria and viruses, which may help whether you’re getting a cold or want to prevent one in the first place. Keep your nose clean Using a saline nasal spray right after cold symptoms first appear may reduce their impact, studies suggest. And take a hot shower as warm moisture helps clear nasal passages. Get help Within the first two hours head to the pharmacy. Grab a pain reliever recommended by the pharmacist to fight off achiness. Over-the-counter allergy meds help with symptoms like runny nose and watery eyes; allergy meds that contain decongestants, will help clear your sinuses and keep you alert. Keep it natural Avoid using an over the counter cough medicine. Good old honey works just as well - and tastes better too! Have one to two tablespoons straight from the jar or stirred into tea.

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Take it easy Slow down if you can. Your body can fight off the virus better if you’re well-rested. But if you have to keep going, it’s not the end of the world. Just steer clear of people as best you can—the first few days of a cold is when you’re most contagious. To keep from sharing your germs, wash your hands regularly or use an alcohol-based disinfectant gel. Keep drinking Don’t forget the fluids. Keep drinking plenty of water, juice, or tea and have some chicken soup for lunch. Grandma’s favourite cure-all really does help to ease cold symptoms. At day’s end A healthy diet can help fuel the immune system, so choose a dinner that includes protein-packed foods like lean meat, fish, or beans, with a whole-grain side like brown rice and plenty of antioxidant-rich vegetables. Take a hot shower before bed if you’re still feeling stuffy. Then get a good night’s sleep. The next day All better? If you feel worse or have a fever, start vomiting, or develop an increasingly bad headache, call your doctor—these are signs you’ve got something other than the common cold (such as flu or an infection), and you may need antiviral medication, antibiotics, or other treatment. Otherwise, keep up the routine for the next few days, just to be sure you kick that cold for good.


WESLEY & JEMAINE NAIDOO “Rome, Venice, Paris, Dubai. The most romantic honeymoon!” WESLEY and Jemaine attended the same junior primary school and then got together years later in High School after meeting up at church. They call their relationship a divine connection. What made you choose The Oyster Box as a venue? The ambiance is amazing! The location was perfect. We loved the views too. Everything was what we had envisioned for our day. Classy and elegant is the best way to describe it. The gardens too had lovely scenery which led to stunning photos. Five star treatment is what The Oyster Box truly offers. Theme/colour scheme? It was a summer wedding, so the colors we chose were green, silver and white and we had a ‘ heavenly ‘ theme. Did you use a Wedding Planner? No. We preferred to do the planning on our own. It’s much more fun to be hands on. The venue had a very efficient wedding coordinator. Everything was outsourced. We paid for the best to be done, by the best. Most stressful part? Having to choose a limited number of guests considering the wide circle of friends and family that we have. Highlight? The entire day. What really stood for us was the song I sang to Wesley - “When God made you”. Then Wesley’s speech, when he didn’t hesitate to give God all the praise and glory and declared it freely to all. Another highlight was just being with our friends and family. And being whisked off in a green Lamborghini, followed by a Ferrari and the rest of our convoy of white vehicles that all had “Wesley and Jemaine” number plates! What tips can you give to future brides-to-be? Take advice from those you love but always make your own decisions based on your expectations. Plan and organise together as a couple. Have a checklist and record details of the planning, no matter how insignificant they seem. Be logical and practical in your approach.

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Venue:The Oyster Box Photos: Chilli Pix

“Dancing with my Dad. It was so cute - we called it the ‘penguin’ dance because he danced just like Happy Feet!” 1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 49


ALLAN & KALINKA WANTENAAR

“We honeymooned in Thailand.”

ALLAN and Kalinka met as first year students at university. You chose Tres Jolie as your venue, tell us why? We just loved the beautiful gardens and the intimacy that the venue provided. How much of the planning did you do yourself? We did pretty much everything ourselves from beginning to end, with the help of my mother and my sister. How long did it take to plan your wedding? Around about eight months. What time of the year did you get married? We had a beautiful Summer wedding in November. If you had your day over, would you change anything? No, everything was absolutely perfect. Theme/colour scheme? Cypress green, black and silver with a dash of cerise pink. Highlight of your day? The look in Allan’s eyes when he saw me walking down the aisle. Something old, something new, something borrowed & something blue? Old – Hairpins; New – a lovely pendant from my parents; Borrowed- my sister’s earrings and Blue – my garter. Any surprises? No surprises, everything was well planned! Did you have a gift registry? Yes, we opened a wedding registry at Boardmans and we also opened a “Help-our-honeymoon” account. Most useful wedding gift? All our kitchen appliances!

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Venue: Tres Jolie Photos: Chilli Pix

“It started raining during the photo shoot, however you wouldn’t say so when you look at the pictures.” 1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 51


How To Write Thank-You Notes THE art of writing thank-you notes has really fallen on hard times of late. In place of a handwritten expression of delight in a wedding gift, guests are apt to receive a telephone call, an e-mail, or a pre-printed card with “thank you” hastily scrawled across it. Or, worse still – an impersonal note written by a commercial service that has signed the bride’s name. So, don’t miss out on the pleasures of the old-fashioned thankyou note, it really is a pleasure and not a chore. In today’s hightech world, a note written by hand conveys the message that you value your friends and relatives. These relationships are important and we should never be careless of them. Simple white or ivory fold-over notes or correspondence cards on heavy stock are always in good taste. Traditionally, when you personalise notepaper, you use your maiden name or initials if you send the notes before the wedding; your married name or initials if after the wedding. Though that’s still correct, you may also use a monogram consisting of both your initials. Photographers also can provide postcards featuring one of your favourite wedding photos to serve as your thank you notes. You may want to invest in a fountain pen. Try several before you buy; pens differ in feel and writing style. A good rollerball or felttip pen is also acceptable, but never use a messy ballpoint. And if you are fearful your handwriting will be illegible, practice!

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Even before you address your first invitation, refer to the alphabetical list of the names and addresses of each person or couple to whom you sent a wedding invitation. When a gift arrives, jot down the date and a detailed description of the item. Writing a thank-you note is a ceremony, one that should be a pleasant experience for both the writer and the recipient. To create a sense of calm, set aside a comfortable area for the job, where you keep your list, paper, envelopes, pens, and stamps. Start the notes as the gifts arrive, acknowledging those received on or after the wedding at least within four weeks of returning from your honeymoon. No acknowledgment at all is just downright rude and will lead to guests asking or forever wondering if in fact their gift actually ever reached you. As you’re writing, refer to both of you when you say how pleased you are, but sign only your name. If your spouse shares the task, he does the same. Specify the gift by name and say how lovely it will look in your home. If you receive money, don’t mention the sum, but do indicate how you’ll be putting the money to use. Although your creativity may crumble after a dozen notes, try to think of something special to say in each one. Think of it as your gift to the people who love you.


Nkuthu Gardens A Real Fairytale Setting Every couple wants their wedding day to be perfect, so finding the right venue is crucial. The scenic and naturally beautiful Nkuthu Gardens fits the bill. Nkuthu Gardens, formally known as Crinkley Bottom Park, is now owned by Jeff & Anne Gard and the recent rechristening to Nkuthu Gardens was to ensure that the energy, positivity and personality of the property continues to grow. A new management team and revamp have made the natural beauty of the area shine through. Situated on 7 acres of pristine ground on the banks of the Nkutu River, about 45 minutes from the centre of Durban, a beautiful lakeside setting and scenic beauty makes Nkuthu Gardens an ideal location for that perfect fairytale wedding. Being conveniently positioned midway between Durban and Pietermaritzburg makes Nkuthu Gardens easily accessible from all major roads. Boasting two separate purpose built venues, they offer the choice of a smaller more intimate function or a larger more glamorous one. Choosing an all inclusive venue offers a great deal of convenience. Nkuthu Gardens are able to host both the wedding ceremony and the reception. This way, once the ceremony is over, guests can mingle before the reception begins, with no need for the bridal party and guests to drive to a different reception venue. On site catering and décor further adds to the convenience of the all inclusive approach. This ensures that things run smoothly under the supervision and guidance of the in house function’s coordinator. Those wanting to spend the night can choose from nine tastefully decorated en-suite bedrooms. At Nkuthu Gardens you will be assured of a warm welcome and undivided attention from both management and staff who take pleasure in offering you personalised service with flexible packages to suit your individual requirements. Their experience, commitment and attention to detail set them apart.

167 Inanda Road • Waterfall • 031 763 4149 Email: info@nkuthugardens.co.za Website: www.nkuthugardens.co.za


ALEX & TAMLYN Nicoll “We spent our honeymoon in Bali and a few nights on a little island off Bali called Nusa Lembongan.”

THE beach was the place where this couple met and that ultimately determined their choice of venue. What was your theme/colour scheme? Black and white with a touch of baby pink. Vintage glam theme. Your venue? We wanted a venue where we could see the sea. That was our main criteria and also a place in our home town for the convenience. Botha House is absolutely stunning and perfect for us. The most difficult part of planning a wedding? Planning a South African wedding from the UK. Not being able to meet any of the suppliers until two weeks before the day was really difficult. When we finally arrived in SA it was crazily busy and stressful. All worth it in the end! Any amusing incidents? My parents planned to get up together in the church when asked who was giving me away. On the count of 3 they were to say, ‘we do’. Dad got a bit excited and blurted it out on 1, after which Mom tried to catch up. Everyone in the church cracked up! How many guests did you have? 120. Things to avoid? Take a step back on the actual day. Make sure someone else (mother/matron of honour) is in control and knows how everything should be so that they can handle it and you can enjoy your day. Don’t try or put pressure on yourselves to sit down and talk/mingle with every guest. The day is about the two of you. Spend as much of the time together as you can. Anything you would have done differently? I would have started with hair and makeup a bit earlier as we were a bit rushed for time. There are a few small details which we, in hindsight, wish we’d paid more attention to. Go with your heart and stick to your guns and do it all and have it all exactly the way YOU want it.

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Venue: Botha House, Pennington Photos: Kevin Bender

“Book the big things well in advance. Good suppliers book up quickly and things like your photographer and the DJ are probably the most important.” 1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 55


GARY & ABIGAIL SCOTT “Our main holiday in Thailand was in the December after the wedding.”

AFTER having originally met at a party, Facebook played a part in this couple eventually hooking up. How far in advance did you choose to have your wedding after the proposal? A year, we didn’t want a long engagement. It was only after we had booked, that we realised that we got engaged on the same day as we were to be married! How did you go about the wedding planning process? Did you do it yourself? We did it ourselves. Having been bridesmaid to a number of friends and family, I knew what was in store and started planning very quickly. I booked everything I could as soon as I could so there were no disappointments. Gary was very involved, being a Graphic Designer, his input was invaluable! Did you have a hen party / kitchen tea? My bridesmaids threw me a “High Tea” which was all prim and proper, a real classy affair, which was so me! They dressed me in my Mother’s wedding gown, which made it really special! Tell us about your venue. We got married at Camelot. Perfect, with the right amount of ambiance. We didn’t go for a themed wedding, we just had the beauty of being married in a castle! Our colours were antique gold and silver, which really gave a regal feel, with the Castle as a backdrop! As Camelot already has a lot of Ivy, we brought that in as an accent. Tips and advice for future bridal couples? Plan as much as you can beforehand. What goes wrong on the day is out of your hands, don’t sweat it, the important thing is to enjoy your day. Try to be “in the moment” for every moment! Take Rescue for nerves, as it does not make you dopey! Did you go on honeymoon? Cathedral Peak in the Berg for just two days after the wedding. Our main holiday in Thailand was in the December after the wedding (we got married in July). We wanted to enjoy our honeymoon, not still be tired from wedding stress and nerves. Also, being a teacher, I needed to take my holiday in school holiday time.

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Venue: Greensleeves, Camelot Videographer: Karen Le Grange Professional Video Productions Photographer: Jenny Grinwis

“Our colours were antique gold and silver, which really gave a regal feel, with the Castle as a backdrop!” 1 March 2012 • REAL BRIDES • 57



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