Charleigh and I met while studying at film school together through mutual friends. I was an actress in a short film he was producing, and the minute they said "action" and the camera started rolling we decided to never say "cut"!
We were together for around 5 years when Charleigh plucked up the courage to pop the question, it was midnight on new year's eve in 2009 moving into 2010 - he walked me out in the blue moonlight onto a small wooden jetty at the beachfront in the holiday town of Busselton 2 hours south of Perth, here he told me: "I got you a present" to which I replied: "We said we weren't doing any gifts this year" - he then dropped to one knee and said: "well you can only have this gift if you agree to be my wife!" My squeal was clearly enough of a yes!
He proposed in 2009 and I agreed 10 seconds after midnight in 2010, perfection!
I had the wedding day planned since I was 9-years-old; this included an array of scrapbooks, wedding cutouts and a collection of 200 or so wedding magazines! Charleigh was very tolerant of my obsession! An hour after the proposal I was researching venues and picking a date - it worked out that we had just over a year to arrange our nuptials, this I think was the perfect amount of time to allow the attention to detail I really wanted.
We had a very clear idea of what we wanted for our big day - but the biggest problem was where to do it? We tossed and turned over venues and continents as the majority of our families were based in South Africa. We decided to head back to Cape Town in South Africa to have our wedding so our nearest and dearest could attend!
It was a whirlwind year of planning a wedding from a continent away, which would have been impossible without the internet, we did end up deciding to hire a wedding planner in South Africa to assist us with the nitty gritty and help us brin
g the day together. We decided on 5 bridesmaids and 5 groomsmen, they were a mixture of best friends and family. The bridesmaids flew over from different places, one from Johannesburg, South Africa, two from England, one from Australia and one other was a local Cape Town girl. The Groomsmen were similarly international, two from Australia, one from Zambia and two were local Cape Town guys. An exciting and eclectic mix of cultures and relationships made for an exciting time.
I arrived to the ceremony in a horse and carriage riding with my father and bridesmaid! It was held in a small stone chapel nestled in the Tokai forest in Cape Town. Large windows filled the room with light and quaint wooden furniture lined the aisle. We had bunches of orange tiger lilies, hot pink roses and gerberas with gold ribbon - a large arrangement sat at the top of the aisle in a golden urn to enhance the opulence of my Moroccan theme.
We had a ceremony based on friendship and love peppered with some religious contexts as our families are a mixture of beliefs. I walked down the aisle to "The first time I ever I saw your face" by Celine Dion - this song was my grandparents song and meant a lot to me as they had passed away before my wedding, I wished they could have been there. The atmosphere was one of happiness, joy and relief that the day had finally arrived and we could be husband and wife. The day was a magical summer day at about 28 degrees or so with a sprinkling of cloud - the sunlight hit the sides of the mountains surrounding the venue reflecting off and playing delightfully with the grape vines in the vineyard. I was beyond excited and Charleigh being so shy was very nervous but happy! My most memorable moment was seeing Charleigh's smile when I walked down the aisle and our first dance, because Chareligh NEVER dances and he did it for me!
Our wedding reception was held in a large Marquee in the grounds of the venue in Tokai forest. The tables were decorated with opulent gold urns filled with orange and pink flowers and rich ripe fruit bunched across the table. Each guest received a small Moroccan oil lantern as a gift with their names written in Arabic on their place cards, each table was given a name of an attraction or place in Morocco. The chairs were brightened up by alternating orange and pink sashes with bows, the table decor was interspersed with large white Moroccan lanterns filled with sparkling fairy lights.
For the entertainment I sang a song for my new husband accompanied by my sister on guitar and then it was followed up by a performance from a belly dancer - she got everyone on the floor and having some fun!
The food was a Moroccan inspired buffet of delights and our cake being one of the desserts on offer, a white chocolate ganache! I would not change it for the world - our day was perfect because it was all ours and had us as a couple written all over it!! The simplest thing had to be my dress - I knew what I wanted and it was the one thing I could do here in Australia. The most difficult had to be coordinating an international bridal party and getting dresses made and suits fitted!
I was treated to a surprise honeymoon by my husband Charleigh - thinking we were heading back to Australia after the wedding, we ended up boarding a plane to Mauritius! We spent two beautiful weeks in a 5 star boutique resort in a honeymoon suite! I spent two weeks relaxing, eating and getting massages in the spa - as well as hiring a scooter and exploring the island with my new hubby.