Happiness is spending the rest of your life with your best friend and love of your life.

The first time Philip and Chantal met was at a well-known festival in Potchefstroom, exactly 8 years prior to their wedding. Life went on without any communication after their first encounter and the year after they both attended the same festival.   It was no surprise when Philip entered a beer tent at the festival, to find Chantal there. This time they really hit it off and remained in contact. However, she lived in Durban and he in Johannesburg which made it difficult.

A few months later she relocated to Pretoria for study purposes and Philip was living in Johannesburg.  The few times they did spend together were amazing, but time and distance was not on their side, as Chantal moved back to Durban and their lives went on as usual.  Then, in 2015 Chantal sent Philip a message on Facebook and their friendship was renewed.  Philip invited Chantal to meet up with him and some friends for a drink, as he was in Durban on a holiday, so armed with support in the form of her best friend, Chantal met with them and from then on they became inseparable.

Chantal believes that God’s timing is just perfect, as she would not have been able to be without Philip later that year when she lost her mom after a kidney transplant.  Chantal says “God knew when I was going to need him most and then brought him into my life again at exactly the right time.  I would not have been able to make it through the most difficult time in my life without him”.

Chantal had no idea that Philip planned the perfect surprise proposal, with a lot of help from friends and family.  At the time, Chantal and her friend had a catering company and an order was placed for a function on a yacht on a Saturday. It happened to be very close to her birthday, so when they arrived to deliver the platters that were ordered, she was astounded to see all her close friends and family were on the yacht, and was told that it was a surprise birthday party.  To top it all, there was a videographer on board, supposedly filming an advert for the yacht, and when Philip took her to the top level of the yacht for an interview with the videographer, he suddenly got down on bended knee, and with all their loved ones looking on, he asked her to make him the happiest man alive, and marry him.  Of course she said YES!!

When asked why they chose Cathedral Peak Wine Estate as the place to exchange vows, Chantel said, “if you have ever been to the venue you would know exactly why, the mountains, the vineyard, the dam, it all works together to form the venue of anyone’s dreams.  Also, Chantal says that, Caren the manager of the estate was an absolute angel and could not have helped more than she did”.

Setting the tone for their wedding day, they opted for a wedding website.  Chantal says she was drawn to the idea of everyone being able to interact and ask fun questions, for example, how do you know the Bride or Groom and do you have any special messages?  Everyone could see these messages and share memories and photos of the couple which made it really special.

The theme or vision they had for their wedding was for it to be very romantic with a country feel. Hosting the ceremony outdoors in the vineyard with the most amazing views, made the country feel a reality.  To accomplish the romantic feel, the couple chose lots of soft flowers and soft lighting from candles and hanging bulbs at the reception.

Chantal wanted lots of wild, soft and romantic flowers and wooden under plates engraved with their wedding logo, completed their décor.  Old books as well as rose gold candle holders and birdcages adorned the wooden tables which provided the country look she had in mind.

For her “something borrowed” she wore a pair of shoes that belong to her sister-in-law who married her brother just three months prior to their wedding day.  Her sisters had a rose gold bangle made with a message from her late mom, it was so special and she says “it felt like I had my mommy by my side” whilst walking down the aisle.

Wilandi from The Salon Ladysmith was responsible for Chantal’s gorgeous hairstyle on her special day.  Wilandi did her hair as well as Chantal’s 5 bridesmaids.  The brief to Wilandi was a soft but messy style which she got spot on.  Wilandi prepared coloured and pre-curled the required extension for her style for the day.

Highlight of her day included getting ready with her girls, enjoying girl talk, champagne and tears with her squad.  Walking down the aisle to take the name of her best friend and the love of her life.  The most amazing words and well wishes from our loved ones. Forgetting every single dance step they rehearsed for their first dance, but it turned out to be just perfect anyway.  Dancing with her daddy to his song and then her big brother.  Just having the time of their lives.

Here is Chantal’s wise advice to future brides: “it’s a very stressful time, but all the stress is worth it.  Never compare your wedding to anyone else’s, put all of your energy, love and time into creating this special day, and in its own way, it is going to be perfect.  At the end of the day, it is you and your new hubby’s (yes, HUSBAND, eeeeek) day – the people that are there love you both. Your happiness is infectious, so enjoy every second and that way everyone else will, too.”

Roxanne Davison Photography

Videographer Lilac Productions