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Dream wedding planned in six weeks

When fun, kindness and love mix with spontaneity, you get Nandi Mzobe and Thubelihle Wela’s intimate love story. Nandi shares how years of friendship, loads of adventures culminated into arranging her dream wedding in just six weeks.

‘Both our versions vary as to our first meeting, but I was convinced I made the first move,’ laughs Nandi. With a successful belly dancing studio, Nandi was studying public relations and was working as an intern at the same company as Thubelihle. ‘After a while of ‘water cooler conversations’, Tee offered me a job in the company, and I only found out later that this was just an excuse to keep me around longer.

‘Our friendship and eventual love grew from there and over an eight year period we really got to know each other, enjoying many weekends away as well as some beautiful Durban sunsets. I knew things were getting serious when Tee decided to make life decisions with our future in mind. From career changes, to spending six months away from home, our love stayed strong through those trying times.’

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The proposal

Although we talked about it extensively, this was an unexpected surprise! Tee planned a trip to Stellenbosch to attend his high school friend’s wedding. The week before he told me he’d asked my mother for her permission to marry me and she’d said no, advising him to give it another year, so I had ZERO expectations.We planned to attend the friend’s wedding on day two, visit a couple of wine farms (of course) and take a drive around Cape Town on day three, before flying back home.

‘On day one we checked into a beautiful cozy Airbnb, went out to dinner at the cutest Greek restaurant in Stellenbosch and later snuggled in to watch Bridesmaids (keeping within the theme of that weekend). When the movie ended, it dawned on me that I would have to wait another 12 months before I could start planning my own big day. This brought tears to my eyes, which made him really sad. So sad that he couldn’t contain himself and the next thing he grabbed something, got down on one knee, with tears now in his eyes as well…held out a ring and proposed.

‘I was in such shock that I couldn’t get the word ‘Yes’ out! I couldn’t stop crying… now tears of joy. I couldn’t even look at the ring. About two hours later, I eventually calmed down and said YES! I discovered afterwards that he’d planned to propose at one of the wine farms we later visited. I was sad that I had ruined Tee’s surprise, but I was very happy and excited to spend the rest of our time there as his fiancé. With such an intimate proposal comes no photos, but I wouldn’t have it any other way because of how incredibly emotional it was for us both.

The engagement

We got engaged in January 2018 and experienced a few hiccups while planning our traditional ceremonies (which are more focused at bringing the families together). The stress of this affected our relationship, resulting in a complete halt on all plans and we split up. A few months passed and we found our way back to each other, but vowed to focus on what was important… us. Lobola took place in August 2019, after which we moved in together for the first time. At the end of October, we decided to get married on 14 December 2019 at Brahman Hills in the Midlands.

Planning the wedding

The inspiration/theme: Our inspiration was to have a small wedding, with minimal decoration, but at a stunning location. I had seen a photo of this beautiful chapel on the internet and wanted to find something similar here in KZN. A few weeks later, my mother sends me a link to a web page, and says she’s found a beautiful place for us to get married…. I scroll down to the photo of the chapel and it’s the exact image I had seen a few weeks back! I knew then that we would get married here.

The invitations: Our aim was to save costs as far as possible, especially with the short notice. I designed e-invites that went out to our family and friends via WhatsApp. The RSVP link also contained more information about the day, accommodation booking options, directions, the registry and automatically added the ‘event’ to their Google calendar with GPS coordinates.


The ring

Because Tee and I had discussed being engaged we had done some ring shopping, which ultimately led to a decision of him designing my dream engagement ring with Christopher Reid Fine Jewellery in Cape Town. With the short time frame of planning the wedding, he bought my wedding band at Arthur Kaplan, Gateway, and it compliments my engagement ring perfectly. I also purchased his band there too.

The décor

We really wanted to keep it simple yet beautiful. We hired our own decorative pieces, including a big arch for the ceremony, and arranged our own flowers. We set up everything the day before, and our family and friends set up the flowers and added final touches that morning.

The cake

Our wedding cake was made by Tee’s cousin, and she surprised us by adding two extra tiers. It looked beautiful and was absolutely delicious with layers of carrot, chocolate and vanilla cake, absolutely delicious!

The dress & suit

We went to Bride and Co and Eurosuit at The Crescent and were treated so well by the staff, even though they were shocked about our tight deadline. I had already searched their website and knew exactly which dress I wanted. I tried it on first, along with two other dresses, but once I put the first dress on again (this time with a veil), I knew it was THE dress. Tee tried on a few suits, I always pictured him in a black suit, but the blue suit we chose really complimented the nude tones in my dress.

The bouquet 

The only thing that made me frown on our beautiful day! We received the wrong bouquet, and only one bouquet, when we had ordered two. Tee ended up finding the nearest florist on Nottingham Road, and from the pictures I sent them, they were able to make it happen. I used the other bouquet for the toss.

First dance

We slow danced (not choreographed) to “Perfect” by Ed Shereen feat. Beyonce. We had both heard this song for the first time the weekend we got engaged, and it unofficially became ‘our song’.

Photos

We took a drive after the ceremony around Brahman Hills Hotel and got some beautiful photos of us and our magical day.

Photos: MATTOGRAPHY 074 899 4402

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