Photography by Ulandi Sanders
Holly and Noel Naylor met on the 3rd May 2008, when Holly was out on the town with her sister. After about 6 months they started living together and have been together ever since. Noel proposed to Holly on Valentine’s Day 2017, in a very romantic fashion; with rose petals and roses from the entrance of the house, to her bedroom. On the bed was a teddy bear carrying the ring. And naturally, Holly said “Yes”.
Holly and Noel chose Engedi near the Cradle of Humankind as their wedding venue as it epitomized everything they were hoping to achieve on this very special occasion. The beautiful church, magnificent gardens and the reception area, together with the great food made it a logical choice for them, and they were not disappointed. The fact that it was within their neighbourhood so their guests would not have to travel too far also influenced their decision.
As both of the couple are middle aged they wanted an elegant wedding, suited to their ages and their relationship; as well as the age of their guests. Noel has not been married before and Holly wanted to occasion to be an especially memorable one for him. The couple has a peaceful relationship, and in Holly’s words “the relationship is the best we have ever experienced.”
Being a more mature bride, Holly knew exactly what she wanted for her wedding, and created her own “Save the Date”, and stationery. She created a beautiful wedding site, and the couple used printing companies for the printing of their seating arrangements board and “Welcome” board. Everything from food to décor had an age-appropriate theme in order to suit and appeal to their age group, who comprised the majority of guests.
In keeping with the desired elegance of the occasion, white roses, white linen and silver accessories was the choice for their décor. Candelabra with long white candles were simply dressed with greenery and roses, and placed on a mirror with candles. Holly chose Taryn from To The T Events to create her décor and flowers, Taryn says “At To The T Events we pride ourselves in making the vision of the Bride and Groom come to life – that is exactly what we did for Holly and Noel on their special day. Their desire was for décor and flowers that exuded elegance and beauty, but was simultaneously subtle, sophisticated and graceful. Holly and Noel requested the incorporation of the venue’s standard décor into their wedding, with which we prepared a couple concepts. It was, however, the look of the greenery and roses, enfolded with the candelabras that were topped off with dinner candles which won their hearts. It was truly wonderful working with Holly and Noel, and we wish them many years of love, joy and happiness”.
Holly did not want the tables to look cluttered so chose to do away with wedding favours, preferring to serve their guests wine instead. The couple’s choice of wedding cake was a 3-tiered cake covered in a white meringue icing. Each layer of the cake had a different flavour; being chocolate, carrot cake and a gluten-free vanilla.
For her look for the wedding, Holly wanted a simple, well fitted and age appropriate dress. To her The Boys were the obvious team to produce an elegant gown in Silver; paired with silver shoes and silver accessories for her hair. Her earrings were chosen to match her beautiful engagement ring. Despite her hairdresser deciding to cancel 2 days before the wedding, Holly said that she was lucky enough to have the makeup artist to do both their hair and makeup, and otherwise everything went off without a hitch.
When asked, Holly said that the highlight of the day was spending the day with Noel, as this was the first time he has been married. Another highlight was sharing their day with special friends and family, including a number of international guests from Tanzania, Noel’s brother Peter from Switzerland, the Master of Ceremonies and the groomsman Stephen Luck and his beautiful daughter (who was the flower girl) who travelled all the way from the UK. Both groomsmen have been friends with Noel since primary school.
Holly went on to describe their wedding as “a fairy-tale for a middle age couple.” They wanted to share good food and good music with their guests, which is what they did. In order to keep the occasion age-appropriate they did however drop the traditional throwing of the bouquet and garter, as well as Holly’s wearing of a veil.
Holly’s advice to couples planning a wedding is as follows: “With the internet at our fingertips and applications on our phones, it is so much easier to arrange weddings nowadays.”