Tell us your love story! How did it all start and how did your journey lead to a proposal?
Our story begins 14 years ago (2002) when a simple introduction from a close college lead to a friendship for many years. The distance between cities with Amanda being a Jozi girl and me a Durbanite created that vibe with tons of chit chat every time we met. Catch up time become really funny and meaningful.
Many years later (2013) after a crazy chunk of past adventures independently, I get a call asking for a friendly partnership to a friends’ cultured wedding. Dress code Sharara (Google it) was the eye opener. Not sure what happened that day but I immediately knew that friendship was up in the air and code name “Make Your Move” was kicking in. So I did, EISH…I felt so low when I got a NO.
Understanding her reasoning made me even more attracted to her soul.
With her much traveled African adventures immediately after and me finding my path with the Big Guy, distant chit chats made the friendship really special.
In December 2014, an unplanned travel to Jozi with friends made me consider that maybe the Big Guy just meant for us to be friends. So at that moment, mission “Avoid The Friend” was slowing kicking in.
A slick consideration of avoidance whilst in Jozi was panning out pretty well until I get a Whatsapp, “Hey there, I’m at Oriental Plaza (in Jozi) and thinking of my Indian friend”. My heart sank at that moment.
Operation “Make my move again…EISH” was starting to creep in. An immediate call concluded a lunch invite to her family’s New Year’s gathering. I knew I was back in the game.
Chit chats over lunch landed a 6 hour road trip to a walk on the beautiful shores of Umhlanga. A weekend of fun and celebration with a surprise lit up Cinnabon muffin as the clock struck 12 for midnight on my birthday, resulting in a “Ray Band” move of surprise causing my heart to sink once again. I knew I could not let this day go by without making my long awaited move, so I did it at the tail end of the day resulting in an expected YES! I knew at that point that my life was about to change completely.
As the months went by, it became clearer that both our paths were starting to become one. Operation “BIG BUTTON” was in the making. The plan was to beat her curious mind of expectancy. The setting of a beautiful deck overlooking the river mouth tunneled by an overhead railways bridge with an eye catching glimpse of the ocean was the perfect setting. The eve of a romantic Valentine’s dinner was complete with a dancing diamond chain to compliment the celebration of the romantic Saint. Just when she thought all was done, an invitation to walk on the beach kept her curious mind at ease as she approached a lit up deck. Four little chalk boards which mentioned her name in Cantonese made her realize that something is about to happen. I could see that beautiful glow on her face when I whipped out my guitar and started to sing her “PHOTOGRAPH” by Ed Sheeren. Tears whailed down her beautiful cheeks as she absorbed every lyric. I concluded with my knee to the deck and asked, “WUN YEE, Will you Marry Me”?!
Tell us what the inspiration behind your wedding was? How was your wedding fitting to your style and personality?
Amanda: I wanted something simplistic yet elegant and fun. I personalised my ideas I had in my head and reflected them throughout the wedding day, from ceremony till the end of reception. From petals thrown from a basket (childhood memory) by the flower girl to pallets that had our dating memories on.
Where did you get married and what did you love about your venue?
Calvin: Growing up as a young guy, I always admired the architecture of the Cape Dutch setting. The Estuary reminded me of those memories.
Amanda: I met the ocean for the first time at the age of 15 and I found it to be a place of tranquility. Ever since then it has been my favorite place. Conveniently the Estuary was 10km away from Glenmore beach, where I first set foot on beach sand.
What caught our eye about the Estuary was the panoramic view overlooking the lagoon embracing the ocean, surrounded by the Cape Dutch architecture. We both knew immediately that The Estuary, Port Edward was going to compliment us on our special day.
Do you have any tips and advice for couples planning a wedding?
Elope! 🙂 BUT don’t forget to take Matt along.
Did your wedding include any do-it-yourself projects?
Yes and we discovered new found memories while doing them.
Calvin bought bottles that were strung on the on the chairs with hessian. They each contained a single pin cushion flower.
My eldest sister, Eileen collected Doug Egbert coffee jars. My younger sister, Alice and I dug up my elderly uncle’s old stash of vodka and brandy bottles from the 70s. We collectively washed, cleaned and laced or strung them. Eileen was so awesome to decorate them. Her glue gun was her weapon.
While negotiating with the florist to change our flowers to drop our initial quote, he ended up giving us a “twig tree” in which we happily broke off the branches to put into the vodka/brandy bottles to give the centerpieces height. We bought bunches of roses, grey gum and baby’s breathe to fill the coffee and brandy bottles ourselves.
We bought linen bags online from Cananda and we filled them with our childhood sweets: jaw breakers, chomps, eclairs, milkies, mentos, hearts and chappies. Greg, my brother in law helped us create the tag which we hand cut, eyeleted and tied around the bag,
Gift Table & Seating Arrangement:
After nagging Calvin for 2 weeks to take the scrap pallets that initially housed cylinders from work, we saved them from the dumpster. Calvin sanded the wood and knocked the long nails down.
We suspended our photos and seating layouts with mini pegs on hessian string onto the pallets.
Tell us about your experience working with us!
From our very first email to a Facetime meeting from different cities, the one thing we wanted from a photographer was their ability to not only have a unique eye but to also bring out our natural personalities in a way that would enhance the moment. Matt’s skill together with his exceptional personality, made the moment really special for us and our guests. Every aspect of the day was so clearly timed and monitored to keep us on track with the day ahead. We enjoyed every moment with him and his beautiful wife Philile. We just want to Thank You both for capturing our wedding day and we will always re-live our special moments through your photographs.
Your wedding service providers:
Ceremony: The Estuary Hotel, Ivy Events and Heart Beat
Reception: The Estuary Hotel, Ivy Events and Heart Beat
Dress and accessories: Pranitha Sahibdew (Exodus Original), Lovisa earrings, Shimansky necklace & ring, Call it Spring sandals, Converse shoes, Cool Waters perfume
Suit and accessories: The Tailor Shop, Woolworths shirt & tie, Converse shoes, Chrome cologne, Timberland watch
Make-up: Marzel Heyns – Harmony Nails & Beauty
Hair: Annie – Tangerine Artistic Excellence for Hair
Floral Design: Ceremony: Flowers Direct, Reception: Eileen Yen & Debbie Lai
Decorations: Ivy Events and CalMan Orginals
Catering: The Estuary Hotel
Cake: Chateaux Gateaux
Music/DJ: Heart Beat
Wedding planner: The Estuary Hotel: Bronwyn
Marriage Officer: Ivan Ronald
Anyone else?: Stationery: Greg Yen, MC: Drew Land, Preacher: Gareth Bowley