We have been together since May 2002, I was 17 & he was 20.
We were really close friends and he convinced me that it would be a good idea to turn it into something more - I knew that it would be a really serious relationship because I already cared for him so much as a friend, and I think if I'm honest that really scared me at the time. Anyway I put the fears aside and took the plunge and here I am over 7 years later......crazy in love with my best friend and soul mate........and FINALLY engaged!
We've had our ups & downs and every single one has made us stronger and with hard work and commitment we are here today.
I am English, born in Portsmouth on the south coast and grew up on a small island called Hayling Island.
He has dual natonality, South African/British. He was born in South Africa and moved to England when he was 15. When he moved to the UK his family ended up on a small island called Hayling Island.......FI and his sister started at my school and the rest is history.
We now live in South Africa - near Durban. We emmigrated from England to South Africa in July 2006. We have just bought our first home together and we are very happy here.
We became officially engaged on the 27th September 2009.
We had chosen the ring together 2 days before but he had told me that he wasn't going to propose for a while so that I didn't know when it was going to happen. So I was expecting to wait a few weeks - even a few months as he was adament that it had to be a surprise. Well the ring was burning a hole in hs pocket and he says he simply couldn't wait..........
So that morning I was woken with breakfast in bed. He sneaked to the shops while I was sleeping to buy all his supplies and cooked me a delicious breakfast of french toast, bacon, mushrooms, and fresh juice - accompanied by a single rose.
He then brought in the second course, a covered plate. He opened it up and here's what I saw.....
He presented the ring and a HUGE bunch of champagne and red roses. He said something really sweet and asked me to be his wife (he got emotional which was so cute). I didn't even say yes - I just cried I was so happy!
Here is my ring. I love it's simplicity.
We agreed that we wanted a really fresh, light and bright feel to our day - but we still want it to be sophisticated too.
After alot of discussion we have decided on the colours below. The inspiration came from a bouquet of flowers in a local shop, it was a mix of mini sunflowers, yellow gerberas, and a mix of other bright green and white flowers. We both loved it and knew that was the feel we wanted for our wedding flowers. So we set about finding a colour to go with it (I couldn't make my bridesmaids wear yellow or green they would kill me!) I'd wanted to include grey all along but FI said it was too dull for a wedding.......until I found loads of pics of weddings with grey in for him to see..........
Here is my favorite inspiration picture (If this pic is yours let me know & I'll credit you - I've been a little 'save image as' crazy and I don't know where I've got them all from!)
I'll just have yellow/white in the bouquets with the green.
Yes u read right......we won our wedding !!!! Aaaahhhhhhhh I am soooooooooo excited!! I truly can't believe this is happening to us, every time I speak or think about it I get these little moments where I just stop and say.......oh my god I just
can't believe it!! This is a true blessing and I will be forever grateful.
Here are ALL the details...
So a couple of weeks ago I see an entry form in the paper for a competition being held at the bridal fair we were going to be going to. So I say to everyone right I'm going to enter........cos someone has to win it so we need to be in with a chance. So the conditions were that the entry had to be posted in and get there by the 11th feb and that when they did the draw on Sat 13th at 13:00 that both the bride & groom had to be there to claim the prize. So that was FI in for - he had to come with me to the bridal fair just in case we won!! He was so bored watching the bridal fashion show too!
So they drew out 10 couples to be the finalists…we weren’t in the 10 couples they drew. BUT the condition was that both the bride and groom had to be present and 4 women were there alone so they were disqualified! So 4 more couple were drawn……..we weren’t in those!! This time most of the ones they called weren’t even there!! So they had to keep picking out until they finally picked us!!!! So we went up on the stage and we stood there as one of the 10 finalists still expecting not to win anything or at very best I was hoping for one of the gift packs lined up at the back of the stage!
So they put the 10 finalists names back into a draw and they drew 3rd place first……..not us………..then 2nd place…………not us……..by the time they drew 1st we both said to each other ‘OK we’re def not gonna win this’
Anyway they drew the 1st place and of course there was a big dramatic pause……the announcer looks around at us all and I’m convinced it’s not us cos he hardly even looked our way………..then he’s says AMANDA………AND DANIEL!!!
I absolutely could not believe it…….one of the vendor guys said he wishes he had a camera just to catch my face!! Dan was holding an empty drink container thing (a smoothie thing) so he has to figure out where to put that before he can go up and accept the prizes!
So we go up there and there are just people everywhere handing us envelopes with vouchers and hampers and champagne and hugging us and congratulating us and and and and……..it was just all such a blur! I was an absolute mess…..I was shaking uncontrollably and crying and everything!! And all the while the newspaper photographer is clicking away for photos for the paper!
Then we got whisked away by the photographer for more photos somewhere else……..seriously it’s all such a blur.
So we’re gonna be in the paper next Saturday and they said they’re gonna try get us in our local paper too. And all along I’m thinking ‘bugger I wish I’d done my hair properly this morning!!’
I added up all the prizes we won and it all comes to about R135,000 (around $19000) - WOW!
We were on a serious budget for our wedding and hadn't even been able to start saving yet, we hadn't even booked a date because we didn't have the money for a deposit on a venue yet! This is a true blessing and I will never understand what we
did to deserve this miracle.
Honestly I am still walking on air, I haven't slept properly since.
This means we are moving our wedding forward!!
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeh You don’t know how excited I am!!!! Actually you probably do considering all the exclamation marks in this page and how many times I’ve said I can’t believe it!!!!
We have contacted all the vendors that we've won prizes from, and to get the wedding in before the expiry of the prizes, on a day that they are all available we have had to go with.......
SATURDAY 6th NOVEMBER 2010
Over 4 months earlier than we had planned. We are so happy that we get to be husband and wife even sooner.
We visited our venue for the first time this weekend. Of course we took some pics......
We will hold the ceremony under the gazebo, so we've got to hope for good weather on our day! There is a small chapel that we will use if it is raining but we both reeeaaaaaly want an outdoor wedding.
The view from the garden and gazebo is down to a Dam in the distance and hills as far as the eye can see. It is beautiful.
After the ceremony our guests will be served canapes and punch under the shade of the trees, while we are having photos taken.
Here's a couple of pics we took of our reception room.
On the raised level we will have the cake & gift tables and the DJ. Also the dance floor will be up there. All our tables will be on the lower level. The room is draped by the venue and we will have fairy lights added. I just know it's going to look stunning once it's all decrated.
The bar is just through the door on the second picture and both the bar and the reception room open out onto the garden.
We tasted their food also, they hold a sunday buffet very similar to the wedding food, and it was delicious.
So we are very happy with it :O)
It's so funny how life works out. It isn't a venue we would have chosen for ourselves but now that we've won it we know our wedding will be perfect there!
We had our florist do a mock up for us to make sure she knew exactly what we want for the flowers. It turned out 100% right and we are totally thrilled with it! I am so happy as I can now relax about the flowers as I have total faith in our florist.
Here's the pics of the mock up........we will also be having the runner that is underneath it too.
I'll have 2 Bridesmaids & a little flower girl. They are FI's sister (my very good friend too) and FI's cousin's (best man) wife (who is also a very good friend of mine!) The little flower girl is The best man & bridesmaids little girl who will be 16 months old at the wedding. We are currently hoping she'll be walking in time!
We're having this style dress made in grey, just with thin straps instead of the one shoulder or flowers:
And we found these shoes. Next we need to shop for accessories...watch this space.
So far we've bought her dress & shoes...
We just want to find some yellow flower hair accessories for her. She is going to be soooooo adorable!
FI is having 2 best men. His cousin and FI's sister's fiance.
We went to the suit hire place this weekend and decided on this look for the men. FI's tie will be the colour in the picture, the best men's tie will be a lighter silver: FI will have a yellow rose button hole & all the other men will have white.
These were truly a labour or love. My fantastic future sister in law is a designer, so she did the graphic design & layout. Together we greated these beauties.....
Closed front... Whole invite open...
Close up... Map card & monogram on pocket...
All the white parts are on special shimmery paper which gives them a little something extra. I am sooooo pleased with how they came out. We also designed a matching envelope label that we printed on sheets of sticky paper, cut them out and stuck them onto each envelope.
To everyone who is thinking of doing DIY invitations;
- It is alot of hard work, make sure you give your self plenty of time to work on them. I made 70 and at times it did seem like it was going to go on forever!!
- Don't under estimate the amout of glue you will need - I still can't get over how much glue I ended up having to buy!
- Go for it!! I wasn't sure they'd work out but they did and it is SUCH a fantastic feeling of accomplishment once they're all done.
When my grandmother passed away 3 years ago she left this in an envelope for me;
It is my great grandmonther's engagement ring. I am so honoured that she chose me to give it to. My wedding day will probably be the only occasion I will see fit to actually wear it out of the house!
One of my best friends that is travelling all the way from the uk is bringing this with her for me to borrow...
It is a bracelet that one of my other closest friends bought for her on her graduation. I love that because now I have a little piece of both of them to wear on my special day.
Blue panties & blue toe nails. Thanks to the lovely PW ladies for both these ideas. I knew i didn't want to be the typical 'blue garter bride' so these two optios fit me perfectly.
I was bridesmaid for my oldest friend in may this year. It was so special to stand by her on her special day. Unfortunately she can't come all the way for my wedding but she did give me this to think of her on my wedding day...
What a BEAUTIFUL clutch! Every single inch is covered in sparle, i think my wedding day is the only day I could get away with something like this!
here's the rest of my bling for the day...
The necklace has special meaning too, my parents gave it to me as an 18th birthday present. I love the fact that I have a piece of them to wear too.
I'd like to introduce you to our only child...
He is the naughtiest, most 'drive you crazy', loudest, annoying at times pet but we love him to death. His name is Charlie :)
November 6th was amazing. I knew it would be a happy day but I truly did not expect to be so rediculously, extatically, can't stop smiling happy! Even the photographer kept telling us not to smile so much!
Oh and it RAINED! We had planned an outdoor ceremony but ended up having to use the smallest chapel in the universe (2 people can't walk down the aisle side by side it's that small!). So it totally wasn't the wedding we wanted but it turned out perfectly for us. In fact now I am HAPPY that it rained because it made it so much more intimate and I think some of our pics are going to come out so good with the rain. I totally trashed my dress too because of the weather but I just don't care :)
I will do a proper recap but for now here are a few pics from friends of what is now officially the happiest day of my life.....