An elegant blush pink wedding wasn’t part of this couple’s original plan…
When they first got engaged, Meranda and Aaron didn’t plan on having a wedding celebration and kind of went along with it because they were afraid they might miss out on something if they didn’t. In hindsight, it was one of the best decisions they could have made as they now count their wedding day as one of the happiest and most memorable days of their lives! Carry on reading to see why…
Marriage Meander: Please tell our readers who you are and how your love story began?
Hi everyone. We are Meranda & Aaron and our love story began 14 years ago. Meranda was literally the “Girl-Next-Door”. What started out as friendship blossomed into a romance as we spent more time together. (Aaron) I was definitely the one who fell head over heels way too fast. Meranda was more cool and calm but eventually caved to my persistence (and good looks)! 😉
Marriage Meander: Your proposal sounds epic! Tell us more about that day.
(Aaron) The proposal was a well-planned surprise & Meranda’s father was in on it. Meranda was under the impression that her dad had won a coastal weekend getaway which he gifted to her. During a casual walk on the beach that afternoon, we stumbled on a romantic lovers’ picnic set-up, which sparked her wild sense of curiosity. I have never seen someone so casually pry through a random picnic setup. After much encouragement to keep prying, Meranda went on to find a message in a bottle hidden in a treasure chest. The message read “Will you marry me?”
Marriage Meander: Apparently you guys initially didn’t plan on having a wedding celebration?
Yup, we originally didn’t intend making too big a deal out of our wedding and honestly just went ahead with our celebration due to FOMO. Little did we know it would end up being the most memorable day of our lives! Choosing to celebrate our love with the most important people in our lives gave us untold joy and left us with memories that will live with us forever. It truly was an experience we are eternally grateful for.
Marriage Meander: What sort of theme did you choose for your big day?
We wanted our wedding to be sophisticated and elegant and the duBoirs Boutique Lodge checked all our boxes. The hideaway appeal and beautiful gardens made us fall in love with the venue and provided a lovely setting for an outdoor ceremony. We planned everything together, down to the tiniest detail (This, by the way, is an excellent pre-marital test! While the planning was done by ourselves, all credit on the day goes to our wedding day coordinator, Mandy from Hello Bride Weddings, who ensured that everything ran like a well-oiled machine!
Marriage Meander: Your blush pink colour palette is so fresh and pretty. Tell us how you chose your wedding colours?
Our colour palette was inspired by our national flower, The Protea. This surrounded us with shades of pink, red, cream, greenery as well as gold accents to complement our sophisticated yet elegant look and feel.
Marriage Meander: You had a beautiful ceremony in the garden. What was your ‘bad weather plan’ in case of rain…?
Given that we had opted for an outdoor wedding ceremony, we wanted to avoid rain at all costs. We carefully selected the driest time of year (our wedding was in August) but in the event it did rain on the day, our back-up plan was to hold the ceremony on the covered outdoor deck area. We also hired some outdoor gas heaters in case of a chilly evening so that our guests could be warm and cozy.
Marriage Meander: What ‘were your “biggies”, your non-negotiables, for your wedding?
Of most importance, was to make the wedding truly ours, and reflect our character and personalities. In doing so, we focused a lot of attention in ensuring our guests had the best time in celebrating with us. This meant good food, plenty to drink, a photo-booth for some fun snaps and a light-up dance floor to bring out those movers and shakers.
With all the fun being had, preserving these memories was a top priority, which is why we were very selective in our choice of photographer & videographer – and no regrets here – these guys did an incredible job. High-five @ Sean Baker! We placed a big emphasis on spending where it mattered and saving where we could. There were endless hacks and cheats that allowed us to pull off a day that looked and felt like more than the sum of its parts.
Marriage Meander: We are dying to know about your outfits and which element of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ made it into your ensemble!?
(Meranda) I wanted to break from tradition and opted for a blush pink embellished wedding dress. Aaron chose a simple yet timeless classic navy suit accompanied by a Fifty Shades of Grey tie to complete his look. Yes, his ‘perfect’ tie was the actual Fifty Shades of Grey merchandise purchased from an online adult store. Kinky, right!?
For our bridal party, we wanted an elegant yet whimsical look. Our beautiful ladies wore navy and grey tulle dresses and our dashing groomsmen sported dark grey suits contrasting against the groom. Accessories complimented the look and reflected each individuals’ personal style.
Marriage Meander: What details made your wedding feel unique and personal to your love story?
We spent a lot of time putting together our vows. It was deeply personal and from our hearts, as a promise to each other. Our favourite flower, the Protea, was the star of the show and featured throughout the ceremony and reception. Instrumental music from our favourite Disney movies also played throughout the ceremony and reception.
Marriage Meander: Tell us about the beautiful Japanese-themed gift box you gave Meranda?
The box was engraved with the words “For my bride” in Japanese text on the lid. Inside were 2 plane tickets to Japan littered with paper Cherry-Blossoms. Meranda has long been obsessed with Japanese culture, history, traditions, food, and architecture. I recall many conversations (or lectures rather 😊) on why Japan was such an amazing country. On our wedding day, I wanted to gift her with something that wasn’t material and that would really excite her – and so Japan it was!
Marriage Meander: Did you choose to do a “first look”?
(Aaron) Yes, we did. The moment kind of snuck up on me as I was running through my speech for later in the day when Sean fetched me simply saying, “Come on, you are going to see your bride”. I was walking down to her suite when the enormity of the upcoming moment dawned on me. Before I could compose myself, Sean positioned me for the first look, and gave me a stern warning to either cry, or I would be stabbed. Needless to say, when I did turn around, I had one of those moments where your entire life flashes in front of you, time slowed, and there she was. If I ever needed a reminder as to why I fell in love, seeing my bride for the first time was just that. And yes, this did make me tear up… which meant that no stabbing was necessary.
Marriage Meander: What was the most memorable part of your wedding?
(Aaron) Seeing my bride for the first time! It was a teary eyed and incredibly special moment. Those few minutes when all the chaos, cameras and people faded into the background and it was just the two of us.
(Meranda) Seeing the sheer joy and happiness on my groom’s face made me feel so special and I was so thrilled that in just a few minutes I would be saying ‘I Do’ to my best friend and soul mate.
Marriage Meander: Did you share any inside jokes or giggles on the day?
(Aaron) To say that Meranda has a phobia of crawling insects is an understatement. When we got back to the suite, we found 2 large crickets in her dress. They had hitched a ride on her train during the pre-reception photo shoot, partied and danced the night away, with her none the wiser. The poor guys were eventually greeted by chilling shrieks when she did find them. Good thing they kept a low profile for the best part of the evening! 😊
Marriage Meander: What advice can you offer other couples planning their wedding?
The day can become all one big blur, so make a conscious effort to pause, appreciate, and take in the moments. Those little moments gave us the greatest joy in talking about and remembering them for months after.
Plan a time-out for you and your bridal party on the day. This need only be for a short while but it allows you a moment to unwind, reflect and enjoy some bubbly (or 3 quick Tequilas!) before proceeding with the reception. For us, this was a refreshing break from the stresses and procession of the day.
Meranda and Aaron, thank you for sharing a little taste of your love story with us! You may not have started out with a ‘Wow!’ celebration in mind but that is certainly what you ended up with. We are delighted you went ahead with your elegant celebration and that we have the opportunity to share it with our readers. May you experience many more (insect-free) adventures together!
WEDDING VENUE & VENDORS
Venue: The duBoirs Boutique Lodge / Wedding & Conference Venue
Photographer: Sean Baker Photography
Florals & Décor: Dazzling Events
Bouquets: Lily of the valley florist
Wedding Day Coordinator: Hello Bride
MC: Wes Reddy
Caterer: Solly Manjra’s Caterers
Canapes & dessert bar: Chilli Chocolate Chefs
Baker: Sugar Coated Cakes
DJ: Pro Audio Sound Solutions
Wedding dress supplier: Jacqui Emmanuel
Hair and make-up: The hair affair & Sli Abie Khumalo
Stationery: Handmade by Janine
Marriage officer: Wessel Wessels
Bridesmaids outfits: Truworths
Suits: Euro Suit & Woolworths
Lawn games: Labola SA
Instabus photo booth: Aisle hire it
Ceremony musicians: Allegro Strings