Chloe and Stuart's Story
Although we went to schools in Perth, Australia, basically next door to each other, we never met during school. We met on the other side of the country when where we both had moved after university. We became good friends and then housemates, but pretty soon after that we fell in love.
We lived together in Melbourne for several years before taking an exciting break from our normal life and moved to Paris for a year and a half to experience the culture. We worked in bars and café’s to learn French and loved it.
The proposal happened on a weekend trip from Paris to Bruges, where I had given Chloe a box of Belgian chocolates for desert overlooking the canals. Hidden inside the last chocolate was the ring. Despite Chloe nearly eating the ring, the plan worked perfectly!
How does your wedding reflect your personalities and personal style?
We are both musical and outdoorsy. The Soweto choir in the ceremony and marimba band in the savannah managed to capture both elements of the being outdoors in the wild mixed with singing and dancing.
The relaxed, fun and rustic style of the wedding matched our personal styles perfectly.
Stuart (the Groom’s) Most memorable moments of his wedding day.
Our minister and the Soweto choir in the ceremony. It turned it into a ceremony that guests actually wanted to keep going longer!
We had a very entertaining bridal party so the sunset photo session with all of them was great fun.
Then we went to the sunset drinks where we danced along to the marimba band out in the middle of the game park. A once in a lifetime moment.
Chloe (the Bride’s) most memorable moments of her wedding day.
Unbeknownst to me, Stu had been secretly practicing a song to sing on the night. Thinking we were getting up to do our wedding dance I was in a state of shock and excitement when he pulled out a guitar and sung me the most beautiful love song. I am still smiling now thinking about it!
I also loved our Minister’s address at the ceremony and dancing the night away on the Savanah at the sunset drinks.
Did anything unexpected happen on your wedding day?
The Minister, who was amazingly energetic, put us on the spot in the ceremony and asked us to say a few words from the heart! We didn’t know this was happening but thanks to his energy throughout the ceremony we managed to say some words from the heart without missing a beat.
What made you “fall in love” with the dress? Did you buy it or had it custom made?
Despite originally wanting a casual, boho style dress, I fell in love with a huge, princess style gown. I loved the sweetheart neckline and delicate lace, plus sheer back with buttons. I purchased the dress from Lace Bridal and then had it custom tailored.
Tips for others planning a wedding? How did you manage everything?
If you plan on doing a wedding with as many different bits of entertainment and logistics…Get a wedding planner! We used Natalie at Tickled Pink Weddings who was sensational.
The budget: How did you cut unnecessary costs? Innovative solutions?
Have it in South Africa. We live in Australia and found even with the flights the wedding was far cheaper overall in South Africa than it would have been in Australia.
Avoid little trinkets and goody bags. No-one remembers them.
Make sure there is plenty of food and drinks available whilst you get your bridal photos done.
Use email for your Save The Dates, Invites and Thank You’s – it’s cheaper and easier to track (we posted out our Invites out in the end, but really didn’t need to)
Stu designed the invites himself, they looked amazing and professional!
Any additional information or stories that you would like to add?
Having a destination style wedding where people stay at a lodge for a few days really lifts the energy and comradery of the guests, as they get to know each other. This makes for a very fun and inclusive wedding. I would also recommend a following day braai so you get a chance to really get to see everyone after all the stresses of the wedding have passed.
Jack and Jane