Photographer: Nikki Meyer
As fate would have it, this couple were introduced at an annual ball at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, in Dublin Ireland. The reason for the introduction was that they both hailed from Johannesburg, and Candice say’s “we hit it off straight away.” Candice was studying her Masters in Marketing and Jason his Masters in Finance. Turns out both of them lived in the same estate complex back in South Africa and although they were practically neighbours, they had never met back home.
In March of 2012, Jason planned a trip for the two of to celebrate St Patrick’s Day at the renowned Cliffs of Moher. Fast forward three years and eight months later and at the same spot in 2015 on Boxing Day, Jason proposed and hence, the planning began. He surprised Candice with a ring he had made for her in South Africa which was exactly like one she had first tried on and fell in love with a few years previous when they were on a weekend away together in Prague.
A South African wedding was planned and they spent four days in Cape Town with their moms having nine venues to visit. Candice says they fell in love with Zorgvliet the moment they got there. Unfortunately it was an overcast afternoon, so it was an awesome surprise on their wedding day to see the majestic mountains in the background of this beautiful venue. The biggest advantage for them was that Zorgvliet offers accommodation on site as well as a chapel, reception area, and a lounge for pre drinks -there was even a tractor to transport the guests from the ceremony to the reception. Other advantages were the horses in their paddocks and they also enjoyed the exclusivity and privacy.
When asked to describe their relationship, Candice says they have a lot in common, for starters; they are both pug mad and have two pug puppies Bella and Bailey. Apparently these two were mentioned more than anyone else in the wedding speeches!! They both love travelling and they try to schedule a trip to Europe and a skiing holiday at least once a year. They also love to visit both homes, Ireland and South Africa to spend time with their family and friends.
Candice says it’s great to have the same culture; as they both love a good ‘braai’ and miss the same food like boerewors and biltong. The main challenge in their relationship is that Candice is very organised and punctual, whereas Jason likes to takes his time and in Candice’s smiling words, is a “faffer”.
To set the tone for their wedding they made use of a photograph of the two of them on the Cliffs of Moher where they got engaged as their save the date announcement. For their stationery, they had a consistent theme: an origami elephant and their initials.
For the style of their wedding, they opted to remain true to the venue, which is an old Cape Dutch traditional style with a twist of luxury. Naked bulbs were draped over the tables, bar and dance floor, which created a stunning ambience. Candice says their main priority was for their guests to have a great time and for their International guests to experience the South African winelands in all its glory, including the weather, food, the breath-taking spectacular views of the Simonsberg Mountains, and the impressive wines.
Leaving the décor and flowers to the experts, Candice says the vision (and many mood boards) they had for their wedding was silver and glass and lots of white and greenery for the tables. She was over the moon with the end result.
Candice wore a Pronovias gown which had a lot of detail and therefore, decided that she didn’t need much accessorising. Her garter was her something blue, and nostalgically, she had pearls from her mom as well as her gran’s wedding veils sewn into her own, as her something old!!
The couple were very grateful that the bridesmaids Siobhán and Sorcha flew over from Ireland and the best man Ross and groomsman Richard from Johannesburg. Candice says “they are all close friends of ours and it was great to have them there with their partners to share our special day with us”. The flower girls were their two nieces Mia (5) and Chloe (3) who Candice says, “were gorgeous.”
A fun idea they had for their wedding was a flip flop basket for when feet got too tired on the dance floor or if some of the guests had had too many of the gin lollies offered as pre drinks. As wedding favours, they had personalised mini JC le Roux sparkling wine bottles thanking them for sharing their first meal with them as Mr & Mrs. They were pleasantly surprised by one of the bridesmaids and a friend who, as a secret, danced an Irish dance, giving the South Africans a flavour of the other part of their lives and providing much entertainment.
Another shocker at the wedding was when the two of them told everyone that their first dance would be to an Ed Sheeran song, but they surprised everyone to the infamous song from Dirty Dancing – “I’ve had the time of my life.”
We asked Candice about the highlights of her day and she had this to say; “From the moment we woke up the morning of the wedding it was so great to see everyone so happy and so nice to have everyone together. We had a 1934 Ford V8 from the vintage car museum which was special. Acoustic Element at pre drinks kept the guests entertained, the speeches were fabulous. , the food was delicious and such great DJs and music made sure the celebration was enjoyed by all It was a day we will remember forever and we wouldn’t change a thing.”
What meant most to them was that they were able to bring family and friends from all stages of their lives, together, those from South Africa, Ireland the United Kingdom. “It was really amazing to see them meet one another and have a great party, we had such fun together”. The couple were grateful to all the guests for making the effort to travel to share their wedding day with them and making it so special. There were guests that had travelled from all corners of the world including Canada, the US, and the UAE.
Advice from this couple is to have fun. “It’s such a great day to have everyone you love in one place at one time, just enjoy every minute. Nobody notices the small details so don’t fuss about those. If the food, music and company are good that is all you need for a day you will always remember! Our other piece of advice is to have a great photographer and videographer because it goes by in the blink of an eye and you want to be able to capture the memories to have forever.”