“Love conquers all”, this astounding couple believe in the power of Love and also the Love of God
Photographer: Alfonzo Hartzenberg
Truly made for one another, Mark and Michelle met at a mutual friend’s birthday party. Although coming from different backgrounds, what brought them together is their commitment, dedication and loyalty to their faith and belief. They both also love being around people and another thing they both strongly believe in, is that family always comes first.
Michelle says she knew he was going to propose as he had dropped a hint before he left for an overseas trip, but she had no idea where or when, and not just as he was arriving back. Mark on the other hand, aka, planner extraordinaire, had their friends and family, all lined up, as well as a professional photographer, flowers and his four year old son, to execute the perfect proposal after disembarking off his International flight, right there and then at the airport.
Michelle had no idea that Mark had planned his proposal to her that day, and she wanted to surprise him herself, and so, she let him know that she could unfortunately not collect him, as she was too busy at work, and would send someone in her place!! Little did she know the surprise would be on her!! He was seemingly overwhelmed to see her waiting for him at arrivals, and after collecting his luggage, he suggested a drink at a restaurant at the airport.
Just as they sat down, she heard some commotion going on and she saw a photographer starting to take pictures, and then she saw Mark on bended knee, and there in front of her were her friends and family in printed t-shirts, four of them, the first one being “will” the second was “you” the third “marry” and the last one “me”. Michelle said that she was totally shocked, and she jumped back on the seat, crying out of sheer, total unbelief, happiness and being totally overwhelmed.
They say they loved the ambience of the venue they chose and could visualise a “vintage/ modern” feel that it had to offer. They wanted couples attending their wedding to also fall in love again and live up to their central theme and the words they use to describe their wedding day, “Love conquers all”.
They sent out a “save the date” to their guests and an invitation with the details followed after. Michelle says they were deliberate in setting the subtle “love running through it like a golden thread” theme in everything. When we asked them about their vision or style for their day they were emphatic that they wanted a vintage theme and that they wanted it to be visible in the colours, décor and clothing. Nothing could top the vintage vehicle they used as part of their wedding, a stately, gold coloured 1964 Rolls Royce, which apparently belonged to Queen Elizabeth for many years.
Michelle says she kept simplicity in mind for her wedding look. She says she wanted something different from the norm for her gown, out of the box yet appropriate, stunning and elegant and in keeping with the vintage theme, she opted for a vintage pin short gown, with lots of tulle and a white lace. She loves pearls and was happy to make them part of her look. She went for more natural tones for her makeup, with the emphasis on her lips. Her hair was a simple but elegant up style and hair accessories were a must. Her shoes were very important and what she had in mind was a Cinderella effect to show off her shoes, which she created with a stunning pair of matching Jimmy Choo’s.
Mark is an accomplished classical pianist, so it made sense that the music and entertainment was supplied by a band, comprising of musicians of different bands who had played with him over the years. The couple say they had an amazing time dancing the night away with each other and their guests.
At most weddings, there is always something that does go wrong, but for Michelle and Mark, there were a couple of disasters awaiting them. She called her dressmaker for the final fitting just two days before the wedding and he had got the dates wrong. He worked throughout the night to finish her gown and it was delivered just two hours before the ceremony. Also, one of her bridesmaids had to wear something else as her dress was a mess. Then, as if that was not enough, her mom also had a gown made, and when she collected it the day before the wedding, it was a total disaster. She had to cancel the dress and went shopping for an outfit on the very morning of the wedding day. Talk about stress!! But wait, there’s more, the wedding cake had a crack in it, and eventually collapsed completely, fortunately this happened much later in the evening.
On a positive note, the highlights of their day included how delicious the food was, beyond their expectation and in abundance, more than enough for everyone. They also enjoyed when some jolly tourists joined in on their “Bo Kaap” photo shoot. A whole bunch of them just walked in to the area where the photos were being taken and cheered, laughed and posed for the photographer, unrehearsed, and such fun.
What was very special and unique for them about their wedding day, was the fact that Michelle’s mom was the Officiant at their nuptials in the very church where they both stand in leadership. They are affiliated to a community NGO and had clients from the drug rehabilitation centre and shelter present at the nuptials. Michelle’s brother was the programme director at the reception, and he kept the guests entertained with lots of laughter and lighter moments.
The photo booth they had at the venue was a great hit and their guests had loads of fun posing for photos with props. They loved that the guests could paste their strips of photos with a message in a guest book provided by the photo booth company.
Love, laughter and fun was had by all!!