A South African girl and an Aussie boy met in China and fell in love…
Tell us a little bit about the proposal…
I am very hard to fool and to be honest, Nathan did a pretty good job at convincing me nothing fishy was going on the night he proposed! Even up to the point of thinking my friend’s house might be on fire, I still didn’t suspect anything. It was only when I saw him texting someone he usually doesn’t text, that I knew something was up! After a perfectly lovely date night out, that included some delicious XiaoLongBao from DinTaiFung, and bowling, we ran to my friend’s rescue. And instead of finding a burning house, we found a candlelit alcove along a creek in the Hutongs, complete with 2 policemen who thought we were going to burn the place down and some spectators who were convincing them otherwise. Nathan proposed 8 months and 8 days(almost) after we started dating…..and he tried to make it on the 8th, so that in Chinese lore we would be blessed with the most abundant of luck in our relationship. Of course he didn’t need any luck, he already had me, hook, line and sinker. The candles were blown out, and flowers were cleared and we were whisked out of there moments after I said “yes, I’ll marry you” to avoid being arrested, or starting a fire. It was certainly a night I remember, and one that made for a good story
What was the inspiration behind your wedding theme/vibe?
No matter what I chose I went for genuineness and uniqueness. I didn’t want to be a cookie cutter wedding. And I wanted to maintain intimacy so that we could share the experience and spirit of the proceedings with all who attended. Elegant, class, with a touch of hippy. I think we ended up with that;) They key to it all was to be flexible and to not get too set in the expectations of things. Right down to the moment I walked down the aisle, I didn’t know how things would have visually turned out, and I loved what we ended up with!
The Dress –
My dress. Oh dear. I had it custom made by a dress maker in China called Silk and Espresso. The design was based on Jenny Packham’s Esme. I needed to make modifications for modesty and practicality. And my budget of course. So my dress making process required 3 translators, 3 useless and unhelpful appointments, and a significant amount of threatening. Not to mention the usual self doubts of whether I chose the right dress, would I look okay in it, will it be flattering, will it be too much, will it not be enough?? In the end I had a gorgeous, symmetrical (yes, I needed to quality check, and correct that too), quality dress that I was happy with, and mostly I was happy to be done with that dressmaker. I don’t think I ever imagined myself in a dress like it before and I have no regrets with my choice!
What was your favourite moment/memory from the day?
There were so many small moments that I appreciated::
– Seeing my groom with tears in his eyes as I walked toward him down the aisle. I’d never seen him cry before.
– Standing with my stepfather before walking down the aisle with absolute peace and calm in my soul.
– Waiting to sign the register and really taking it all in.
– The Ibis that joined the proceedings. It was my favourite.
– Eating McDonalds in the back of Ben and Hope’s car, trying not to spill on my dress.
– When my new brother-in-law took his MC responsibilities seriously and gave such a wonderful speech.
Any religious or family traditions incorporated to your wedding?
We were very careful to maintain a feeling of reverence of of the spirit during our ceremony. We painstakingly decided if we wanted hymns and if we wanted anyone to speak. In the end I feel we made good choices and the ceremony felt very special!
Anything that you’re glad you did or wish you did do?
I’m glad we just took things in our stride from the beginning. Problem solving was so much easier when we didn’t have our hearts too set on one thing or the other. I do wish I’d planned the music better, and had the speeches earlier in the evening.
Ben and Hope were key in our whole experience. They were the ones who really gave Nathan and I a nudge to get the ball rolling. And we are so grateful for them! On the day they brought with them feelings of relaxation and ease. They were both 100% in their element and it helped me relax and enjoy my day.
Wedding + Reception Venue: Roma St Parklands, Sunset Glade
Dress: Silk & Espresso
Shoes: Nine West
Reception: The Cliff’s Cafe
Decorations: The Palace & Co
Photography: Ben + Hope Photography