A few years ago, November 2012 to be exact. I met the perfect stranger, who fast forward 3 years later would be the person I call ‘husband’. We met in Johannesburg’s Maboneng Precinct at a restaurant called PATA PATA. It was his first trip to the “motherland” and had his friend Sibusiso, a native Joburger show him around town. I was out with a girlfriend of mine Thabo, minding our business and enjoying Sunday lunch, when these two strangers approached our table and asked if they could sit with us as the restaurant was filled to capacity and our table was the only one that had two extra chairs, we very annoyingly said yes they could join us. If body language was anything to go by, we clearly were not interested in engaging them at all, until I noticed one of the gentleman had somewhat of a foreign accent, and that’s when I thought this poor visitor to our country must think we are so rude and then a very interesting conversation ensued. We had a lot in common Devon and I, and at the end of our interaction we exchanged email addresses, as he was travelling to other parts of Southern Africa and I had offered to email him some of the best sites to experience whilst he explores my backyard. At that time I had concluded that I have just made a new friend who lives in New York, and that someday when I visit his part of the world, he will show me around. At the end of his African adventure and the night before he flew out, he emailed me and asked if I would like to go out for a burger, and I a happily accepted.
He returned to New York, and we kept in touch via email, our communication became so regular that we decided to move it to Whats’app as it was a lot more instant. Whats’app then became long everyday phone conversation. We shared everything, our interest, our daily problems, even our dating issues, he became my bestie from across the pond. 2013 Valentines was approaching and he asked me to be his valentine, I obviously thought it was a joke, because how will we navigate a Valentines date with the distance, and thank God for technology we decided on a ‘virtual date’, given the time-zone factor we both decided to go a restaurant we liked, it was lunch for me and breakfast for him with our iPads and we had Skype date. I have to admit it was awkward but fun. That’s when I realized I actually like this guy, anyway long story short. He came to South Africa 5 months after his first trip, he asked me to his girlfriend, the old fashioned way, I accepted and we have been dating long distance ever since.
He proposed 3 years later, at the same restaurant we met, and on June 16th 2015 we officially wed, courthouse style in New York, then proceeded to plan a wedding celebration with our friends and family here in South Africa, which took place on February 27th 2016.
PRE-WEDDING PHOTO SHOOT
I have attended and organized many weddings, and I think the most painful time for the guests, is when the ceremony is over and the bridal party goes off and take pictures. This exercise can be tedious! so we really wanted to illuminate this and opted for a pre-wedding shoot with the wedding party the morning of the wedding. Devon and I wanted the Johannesburg downtown city sites. This was another opportunity for dressing up. I chose all white and fashion sneakers for my side and D’ went for all blue with red shoes for the boys. I had always dream’t of a street art and vintage/classic car photo-shoot, and my awesome brother Jacob organised the very rare and stylish 1974 VW split-window combi. It was the perfect prop for our pre-wedding photo-op.
We had the privilege of having 2 really talented souls document our wedding experience. Petronella Lugemwa http://bypetronella.com/ and Deronn Kidd @deronnkiddphotography were absolutely amazing. I don’t have to say much about the work as it really speaks for itself.
Devon and I have always envisioned a wedding that is simple, understated, bespoke and classy. Agreeing on most things was easy. He styled his groomsman. I styled bridesmaids and the entire wedding. We wanted to reflect my rich African heritage and this was carried out in the accessorize we chose for our outfits. I incorporated Ndebele beads for the ladies and Xhosa beads in the place of ties for the gents. The bridesmaids were in pants suites, as I’ve always loved the idea of bridesmaids in trousers instead of dresses. I wanted something out of the ordinary, structured, deliberate and in rich jewel colour.
My dress was designed by Pantora Bridal, in Brooklyn NY http://pantorabridal.com/. After numerous fittings I felt Andrea really understood my vision and carried it out beautifully. I don’t like veils! especially their symbolism. I wanted to look regal and powerful and I thought a cape depicts exactly that and when I saw one of my style icon Solange Knowles kill it in a cape, I knew I was on the right style track.
We invited 100 guests, we really wanted to keep it as small as possible. Devon friends and family from out the country were 45 and the rest was my side of the family and very close friends. The dress code was ‘Monochromatic‘ and everyone looked amazing in full colour.https://za.pinterest.com/diaro31/monochromatic/
All I wanted on my decor wishlist was sequence-tablecloth and our national flower, the Protea. My very good friend Lulu, of Lulu D designs coordinated everything on the day and did an acceptional job. The cake was the awesome work of Belle Patisserie http://www.bellespatisserie.co.za/
We loved Emoyeni, its the perfect Jo’burg spot, with stunning views of the forest and unbelievable sunsets, it was a no brainier for the kind of experience we wanted to create. http://www.emoyeniestate.co.za/
Our wedding was absolutely perfect!! Wouldn’t even dream of changing a thing. Our family and friends were awesomely supportive and Devon and I felt very treasured and loved. Thanks to everyone that attended, those that couldn’t make it and to our guardian angles that we wish were still alive to cherish our special day.