A perfect combination of friendship and love.
Photographer: Brittany Tuhi
Combrinck and Simone both started studying at the University of Pretoria in 2013. She hosted a house warming party and a mutual friend asked if he could bring along a friend. When the doorbell rang, Simone says, a tall, freckled guy stood in the doorway with the kindest most unforgettable smile on his face. Combrinck and she instantly became great friends, however, it took about a year before the love started blooming and that is exactly how Simone wanted it!
On a hot summer’s night in November, Simone got home just before 9pm and as per usual, kicked off her shoes and threw on the ugliest and most comfortable t -shirt she could find to start cooking dinner. She recalls swaying to the music playing in the back ground; it was Al Green’s “Love and Happiness.” Combrinck stood in the kitchen door watching her, as she loves to cook, and she thought the lingering had to do with him being hungry, but as she turned to reach for a wine glass, he was down on bended knee behind her, she says it was a spectacularly emotional moment and night. Combrinck had planned a weekend away to propose, but he says when he saw her in the ugly t-shirt, barefoot in the kitchen, dancing slowly to the music, a wave of emotion came over him and he could not wait another minute!
What makes this couple tick is that they were friends first, which is very important to them. They are both goal and career driven which compliments their lifestyle perfectly. As Combrinck is a pro golfer and away playing golf for 7 months of the year, her career and business ventures help to make the time alone bearable. Simone says “Our relationship has just been a happy breeze right from the beginning. Don’t get me wrong here… Combrinck has happiness weaved into his DNA. He is a happy-go-lucky, grateful soul with a very calm presence, where I am a tad more serious. We balance each other out perfectly. He is the kindest, most patient man I have ever met. I love his sense of humour, and he loves my cooking!”
They said their vows where Combrinck started his career and where his roots are, in Eshowe, which is a small town in the heart of Zululand. As this little town with the kindest people had such significance to Combrinck, Simone wanted to include this sentimental place into their special day, and she did, very successfully! The opening line to her speech was that everyone who attended their wedding was sitting right at the point of his heart, and she felt that as grooms hardly have any say when it comes to planning weddings, getting married in his home town was the least she could do.
They celebrated their special day over the Easter weekend, which meant their guests had quite a few days to relax, enjoy and get to know one another. Their goal to host an intimate, personal wedding was achieved. Friends and family started arriving on Thursday and everyone had dinner and then set off to the beach, and right there the tone of the wedding was set, celebration time! They wanted a romantic and light hearted wedding with lots of greenery, and Simone says that her mom and mom-in-law made this a reality.
They had made the decision to not have flowers at their wedding, based on the countless weddings they had attended where they hardly noticed the flowers. They rather contributed that huge cost towards more intimate details to their special day. Eucalyptus plants as runners on the tables, combined with shwe-shwe napkins on a matt grey plate, created a pop of colour. The rose gold shapes hanging from the ceiling as well as big glass spheres with fairy lights inside, as well as all the lights that covered the ceiling, created a romantic atmosphere.
Simone says one of the best decisions they made was to offer their guests, for dinner, a harvest and grazing table which was topped up late into the evening. Some guests went for seconds and even thirds up to as late as 12pm!
When asked how she achieved her wedding look, Simone says that it’s quite a funny story and goes on to tell how it unfolded. “I went to Japan in December. My favourite designer has an outlet in Tokyo. Combrinck and I got engaged in November – with our busy and irregular schedules, I had planned on getting married in November 2019. However, on Christmas Eve he had told me that he wants to tie the knot as soon as possible. The first off weekend he had was over Easter, and so it was decided. So, I had 4 months to assemble my look; I knew I had to hustle. I also knew getting an appointment with the designer would be a long shot with such short notice. But my sister surprised me with an appointment! Her translator knew someone that knew someone. That’s how I got my dress. My biggest concern was the shoes. I wanted blue wedding shoes and being a size 2 (ridiculous, I know) I readied myself for another long shot, however, as we were shopping in a thrift street in Japan when we heard a yelp coming from one of the aisles. My best friend has spotted the most sparkly, blue high heel shoes, and would you know it, in a size two. How unlikely. God yet again fulfilled my wishes. My hair was done by Juane Crous. I went for soft and simple. I wanted to look like me. Make-up was done by the fantastic and talented Carlien Louw from CL Make-up and Beauty.”
Her bridesmaids wore colourful, cheerful pant suits instead of gowns; it was an idea she had in mind for a very long time. The groomsmen wore boutonnieres made from gold pegs. They loved that the DJ read the crowd perfectly and had everyone on their feet the entire night.
Miracles happen, and when they do in a small town like Eshowe, everyone knows. The predicted weather was sunny skies, right up until a week before the wedding when they started forecasting showers. Simone says it was the first time in all of the 4 months of planning that she experienced nervous pangs at the news of the weather. She admits to having a secret bridezilla moment, right there! The reason for her melt down was their planning the ceremony outside and because they had faith that God was going to provide the perfect day, so there was no plan B. She recalls that the morning of the wedding her father-in-law called to come over for a cup of coffee and he showed her the predicted weather for the day, rain and showers! She now laughs when she remembers her mom saying that God was probably saying, “Not you again!”
The rain and showers did fall, but all around Eshowe, on the outskirts of town and they were blessed with the most perfect, sunny day. Her father-in-law said that it was the first time he witnessed someone praying the rain away. Simone says it was the perfect day, and nothing remotely even went awry.
Simone says that the privilege of walking a daughter down the aisle belongs solely to a dad, and as her dad passed away a few years before, she made the decision to walk down the aisle by herself, but she says she felt his presence by her side the entire day. There was no father-daughter dance; however her sisters surprised her by arranging a dance with all the significant men in her life to a special song.
Simone lists the highlight of her wedding:
1. Walking down the aisle and seeing Combrinck waiting there for me. I kept my eyes locked on his.
2. Combrinck had the privilege of meeting my dad, who was also a golfer. Hearing him speak about my dad in his speech and referring to him as his father-in-law was immensely special.
3. We got married over Easter Weekend. During the ceremony, Combrinck and I, together with our guests took communion to celebrate the Lord, and to signify us becoming new and one.
4. We planted a tree for my dad right behind the tepee under which we got married
5. Seeing everyone we love under one roof and dancing the night away.
They had entertainment during the canape hour and whilst they took their photographs. The drink stations including, beer, gin, wine and R&R was a great hit with the guests and her best friend, Adel, a very talented painter, painted a massive painting of Combrinck and her as the backdrop of their photo booth. “It was such a special, personalised touch to our special day,” beams Simone.
Words of advice from Simone include:
“It is so important to do exactly what you want on your wedding day. That image you have in your head, those moments where the emotions you feel are almost tangible. Do them all! I can confidently say that I do not feel that the day was over in the wink of an eye. I woke up slowly and was extremely calm the entire day. Yes the butterflies are inevitable, but embrace that feeling, and all the other feelings you have on your wedding day, and all the days leading up to it. Don’t waste a second on feeling stressed or nervous over what could and couldn’t happen. And the best piece of advice I have is to every once in a while, go find your hubby and stand with him for a few seconds to take everything in. Hold hands and look at your most loved ones dancing and laughing… and go join them! You’re only a bride once!”