A Breathtaking Port Elizabeth Wedding

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Ever since I started this blog my main aim has been to promote traditional weddings and give them the press they deserve. However, through the years I’ve realised that Bontle Bride is so much more than that. It is a place where every bride matter, regardless of age, race, or indifference. Therefore when I hear stories like Janine’ (today’s bride ) search for her wedding dress my heart aches. Bridal shops should be held accountable and provide samples in many different sizes that can fit everybody. Anyhow that is an article for another day.

I’m loving proposals I’ve been receiving these days. The SA men are on another level. The romance in this proposal is one of my favoutires. Let me not write a long intro. Dig in and ENJOY.

The Love Story
Basically, we were introduced by his two cousins, who were then both my colleagues. It was January 2011, just some random day in the office and a very random conversation which then ended with a very random telephone call (weird, I know…), next thing I know here I am talking with this guy with this smooth voice, oh so mesmerizing. We then exchanged numbers to get to know each other better, because of course, the conversation could not go any further as there were curious ears☺. We then went on to chat on Mxit and a few weeks later on the 6th February 2011, (yes I will never forget the day I met my then “future husband”) we decided to meet. We met in a central place, in the park at the Library and we sat and talked for ages…he was so honest and open about everything that was happening in his life at that moment. It was a first for me and very touching. However, our relationship started with a few complications, but that didn’t stand in our way. The one thing led to another, random visits and dates. We were there for many different milestones in each other’s lives…basically, we grew together to where we find ourselves now. Our lives had changed forever. On my 23rd birthday, he had made a vow that one day I would be his wife and then he placed a promise ring on my right ring finger to “seal the deal” (so I could say I had two proposals, hahaha). Three years later he stayed true to his promise and went down on one knee and asked the big question.
Saturday, 3rd March 2018 is the day I became the wife of Mr Sikhumbuzo Mabokela. How lucky am I to have married such a romantic, charming, honest, upright, God-fearing, goal-driven man.

The Proposal
It was my 26th birthday on the 27th December 2016, when hubby went down on one knee and asked that big question that most of us girls can’t wait to hear: Janine, will you marry me?

So here is how it all played out….
I was, unfortunately, a bit cranky on the day as I was very ill the previous day, but never the less who can say no to a good spoil now and then especially on your birthday. He made a booking at an expensive restaurant but the vibe was not that of a romantic feel and the menu not worth the prices. So we left and decided to go to one of my favourite restaurants, we had a good lunch. Nothing out of the ordinary. Hubby wanted to take a stroll on the beach, but the scorching heat on the day did not allow me to, which is then when we decided to drive home along the Marine drive. But hubby was not done, I remember us stopping at two random places along the road but nothing happened hahaha, he was so nervous I guess…. (hubby is a very private person, clearly there was too much activity in the area…nope, no quiet spots on the beach in December).
And nope I didn’t catch on anything, surprisingly…
We got home, and just as I was getting comfortable…hubby comes up behind me and boom, there he is down on one knee, giving me the most loving, appreciative speech ever….I could not hold back the tears (always wondered why girls cry at this moment until it happened to me). I don’t think I even gave him a chance to finish his speech, it was just too much…it was beautiful, I just needed to be wrapped in his arms right there. Ooopsie, I then realized the guy asked me a question and I didn’t even answer him (how rude). YEEEEEEEES!!! A million times YEEEEEES!! Was my answer…
And so it appeared that he had the ring in his pocket the entire time, but just couldn’t find the perfect place and time:0!!
Bontle Bride: awww such a beautiful proposal.


The Planning
I think every bride will agree with me that planning a wedding can be very overwhelming and stressful, but yet so exciting at the same time. However, I am an organised person (or atleast I try to be) and this helped to ensure smooth sailing. I had about six months to plan which was sufficient enough and it helped to write everything down. It also helps to have a good support system, my inlaws helped me to ensure that everything goes accordingly…they were there through every step of the planning process.

The Dress
Being plus size, it is not so easy finding the perfect dress. Most of the dresses I tried to fit on could barely go over my hips or even my head hand over face moment. And the dresses that did fit were not even close to what I imagined I would be wearing on my wedding day. Bontle Bride: Sorry about that Janine, bridal stores have a responsibility to order samples for all body types. It is so frustrating and time and time again they ignore this.

Then there were two dresses but none the complete package (and of course I couldn’t get them on as the sizes were too small), I loved the style of the top part of the one dress and the bottom part of the second dress, soooo then boom, slap them together and voila perfect wedding dress. Then it was love at first sight when I finally went for my first fitting, I felt like a princess, like Cinderella dancing with her prince. Tears, not yet….maybe I was too overwhelmed or maybe the reality was taking too long to sink in. But it was definitely the perfect dress and it was a perfect fit for my body.

Our wedding was at Thatchwoods (Holmeleigh Farm, Port Elizabeth), we had our ceremony in the Barn and the reception was later held at the restaurant. The landscape is beautiful and was the perfect setting for our wedding. Christie, the owner, is so amazing she was there throughout every step of the way of the planning. She assisted in the setting up of the venue and décor, which was great and one less thing to worry about. She even added a few extra things that I didn’t think of and gave some great advice during planning sessions. Oh, and the food was amazing!!
I hired a few extra décor items from Wise Hire PE, they did an amazing job with the draping and also assisted with the setup of the two venues.

Our wedding cake was made by Susan at Exquisite Cakes, not only was it amazingly beautiful but tasted yummy too. We opted to use wedding cake samples as our favours which were also made by Susan and they were gorgeous and neatly wrapped.

Our photographer and videographer was Ashwin (who was assisted by his brother) from Ashtwins Photography & Videography. They have very reasonable packages and deliver quality services. They do not have a time limit as most photographers and stayed till the very end of the evening, making sure they capture every important moment of the day.
Our MC/DJ was TBOZZ (4 Weddings and Stuff Like That), he was amazing and really goes the extra mile to ensure that your day is extra special. He assisted us with our rehearsal as well as the wedding coordination. The Monday after the wedding his name was still on everyone’s lips and boy, did he get everyone on the dance floor and ensured that there were many laughs throughout the evening. He really ensured that we had a spectacular day and I am sure other brides that have worked with him would agree with me that he can be dubbed as the “Guardian Angel of Weddings”.

One Thing I’d Change
I would maybe have changed the starting time of the wedding to a little bit earlier so that we could have spent a bit more time during the photo sessions and also to socialize more at the reception. Things started to get a bit rushed as the older folk were starting to leave before dessert already, as the time was getting a bit late and of course people needed to rest due to the traditional wedding the following day.

We had a two-day wedding as my husband is Xhosa and I am Coloured. So to honour both cultures we had a white wedding on Saturday and the traditional Xhosa wedding on Sunday.

Favourite Part Of The Wedding
Me: Walking into the barn, seeing my soul mate at the altar waiting for me and only me, the woman he chose to be his bride. I can never forget the look in his eyes, so precious.
Hubby: The moment I saw my beautiful wife walking down the aisle in her beautiful white wedding dress, even had a tear in my eye. She looked like an angel.

The Wedding Style
Our wedding had a bit of a rustic elegance flare to it. Our colour scheme was burgundy/shades of berry red, dusty pink and gold. We brought the burgundy element in through the flowers as well as smaller details here and there, we used a selection of Proteas and red roses to bring in the colour scheme. Various items in the décor were gold: gold under plates, gold candelabras, gold vases, etc.
The traditional wedding was more of an informal and comfortable setting, just following strict tradition of a Xhosa wedding.


Biggest Investment
Investment: My dress (it was perfect), the MC/DJ was well worth it and not too expensive at all, and then the venue of course.
Save: I did the design and print of stationery and posters myself. And with the traditional wedding, family and friends of hubby did the catering so we did not need to spend on caterers.

It’s your wedding day, enjoy it and make the most out of the day as it goes by so quickly. It is a memory that you will cherish forever. Take your time in planning, start early and don’t always go with the first or cheapest vendor you find. Weigh out your options and prices of course, and check the reviews before making a decision. And remember the main objective of the day, it is the day you become one with your husband…embrace that moment and make it last forever. And lastly, surround yourself with reliable and supportive people who will have the same objective as you in contributing to making your day beautiful, as you will need to delegate and a lot will, therefore, depend on them.

Looking Forward To
Me: I look forward to spending the rest of my life with the man of my dreams, building a family and growing old together.
Hubby: I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my life with my beautiful wife and starting a family and raising our beautiful children together with love.

Photographer: Ashtwinz Photgraphy and Videography, Port Elizabeth Wedding 078 274 8752
Venue: Thatchwoods, Holmeleigh Farmyard, Port Elizabeth 041 379 2906
Dress: Love Lace Bridal, Port Elizabeth Wedding 084 014 2697
Make-Up: Metallic Make-up Artistry 073 191 3946
Suits: Hubby – Delbro Premium //Groomsmen – Hire Society (Port Elizabeth)
Décor/Venue Styling: The style of the décor I put together myself and the setup was done by Christie (Thatchwoods).

(Only draping done by Wise Hire PE. Décor items were also hired from Wise Hire PE.)
MC/DJ: TBOZZ (4 Weddings and Stuff like that), Uitenhage 073 510 4790
Bridesmaid and flower girl dresses: Chumisa Creations, Port Elizabeth Wedding 078 798 7719

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