Photography – Ryan Graham
Do you believe in destiny? After reading this couples story, you decide! Stephen and Bianca met when they were twelve years old on a beach in Durban, however it took many years before they actually became an item and fell in love. After dating for eighteen months, Steven, having secretly planned the most perfect and memorable proposal, took Bianca to Portofino in Italy. Described as an ancient and sophisticated village overlooking a sea of indescribable beauty, surrounded by the scenery of yachts bobbing on the ocean, he popped the question. It was a complete surprise and Bianca was suitably impressed at his organising skills as he planned everything from South Africa.
Bianca and Steven describe their relationship as beautiful and blessed, perfect to say the least. They are truly in sync with one another. Bianca says, it’s almost impossible to believe that two people can get along so well even when spending lots of time together. “Our similarities and our differences are as they were before we got engaged, and I think that by knowing one another so well and respecting one another the way we do, makes us stronger,” says Bianca.
Summerplace in Hyde Park was this couple’s choice of venue, which Bianca describes as “timeless elegance”. Bianca says, in her opinion, Summerplace is one of the few venues left which exudes class and elegance. Her dream was to get married in a rose garden, and for their special day the rose bushes were freshly planted. She adds that the beauty of the surroundings and the magnificent rose garden, as well as the faultless service received on their wedding day, made her every wish come true.
The vision for their special day was to create a timeless, elegant affair, characterised by grace and simplicity. Sophistication and elegance that doesn’t date!! The colour palette was pure white, off white and silver. The dress code was strictly black tie.
To set the tone for their wedding day, they created a video as the “Save the Date” with all the greatest love stories of time and ending with their own love story, to which they had many compliments with their guests saying it was the best save the dates they had received. Staying in tune with the rest of their vision, their printed stationery was very elegant in whites with silver foiling.
Bianca is an event co-ordinator extraordinaire herelf, and with the help of a friend, they created a spectacular and sensational wedding reception. In keeping with their vision, crisp white and silver was used for the flowers and décor and a canopy of flowers suspended from the ceiling was simply breath taking. Crystal vases and under plates were used to complement the elegant, timeless theme. Bianca says the décor and flowers truly were spectacular and more than she could ever have imagined or dreamed of.
“Our ceremony was in the rose garden. We built a ramp through the rose garden and the guests were seated around us amongst the roses, which was very romantic”, says Bianca.
For her own look Bianca’s couture gown was created by a very talented Durban designer. He created the entire retinue’s outfits. She had two gowns, the first one for the ceremony with a long train and a 6m veil. The second gown was made out of raw silk, a sexy, slim fitting, off the shoulder dress, so she could dance the night away in it. She wore her late mom’s earrings which she says was very sentimental. As for her makeup, Renee from Gorgeous2go, created the most astounding look any bride to -be could ever wish for.
The groomsmen were in traditional black suits with bow ties, and the groom had a bespoke suit made by Frank Bespoke, Stephen looked so dapper and elegant in his black Tux. The bridal party were dressed in beautiful dresses made by the designer who made my gown; they were off white and very couture. Imported Clooney Hanoi Ranunculus from Holland was used for their bouquets to complete the look.
The wedding cake, created by Popi at 180degrees, was a real masterpiece. They opted for a 5 tier cake, which had silver foiling and a silver lead look with orchids draped down the side, which created a real wow factor. They had a phenomenal live band perform, whilst the canapes were being served but had a DJ getting the party started for the reception.
The wedding favours were beautiful Carol Boyes sugar ladles wrapped by la koufeto in a white paper with silver rope with a white ribbon and attached was a cross and symbol of our Lady Mary. They also gave each guest a knee blanket with their initials embroidered on them, in case someone got cold, as the wedding was in May, when winter is already setting in. “We also provided a parasol for the guests, for the ceremony as we had it outside, all of these were gifts, which we hope they were delighted and surprised with,” beams Bianca.
Her father walked her down the aisle and at that point, twenty one white doves were released and confetti and silver streamers as they exited the ceremony. Both Bianca and Stephen had lost their mothers and in remembrance of these two great women, they had lit candles on either side of the main table.
Being a wedding planner herself, Bianca says that there were a lot of expectations to create her absolute fairy tale wedding, however, she says that every moment of her day was a highlight and that she enjoyed every single second. It was perfect and exactly how I had imagined all my life. When asked what her favourite moment was, she says that walking down the aisle was it for her. She had the aisle made extra-long as she didn’t want that moment to end, as it is a moment you wait for your whole life!!
Bianca says that the most special things about their wedding was that it was so unique and that there was so much joy and happiness shared by all their guests. “I would truly say and I was blessed enough to learn this as a planner. You really need to take your time, and soak in every moment and enjoy it. The wedding day goes by so quickly, you want to remember every second; you want to share it with your husband as these would be your own memories forever. Don’t worry about taking millions of photos with family and friends. The night goes by so quickly, dance, celebrate and enjoy everything. Those moments are stronger than the images on everyone’s phones. Have the wedding you want to have, don’t have what others want. Just appreciate the time from when he proposes to the time you leave the reception. It’s the best time of your life. Choose an amazing photographer and videographer to capture the moments, the tears, and the laughs, the moments that count, not the posed moments. Our photos were incredible and going through them and seeing the moments brought back so many emotions. I have to say I was blessed with an amazing team. We were blessed beyond measure and we will be forever grateful to them for creating and working with us and putting our dreams into reality”, declares Bianca