We got quite emotional after seeing Monja’s wedding photos and reading her answers below. She was one of the most amazing brides we have ever had the opportunity to work with. She completely trusted us with her vision and creating her wedding dress and gave us creative freedom with her dress which was so refreshing. Read below all about this gorgeous lady’s wedding planning journey – she’s got some excellent tips!
How did you meet your husband and how did you get engaged?
My best friend and I decided on a girl’s night at a local place in Potchefstroom. Quite coincidentally, so did Alex and one of his best friends. My friend and Alex knew each other briefly and he did the gentleman thing and came to greet her at our table where he then introduced himself to me. We ended up talking the whole night away without a care for the rest of the world. We then went on a few coffee and dinner dates after and within the first two weeks both of us knew: “this is it!” This is what we’ve been searching for and our prayers had finally been answered. Exactly 5 months after we made it official, he got down on one knee and proposed at a small, intimate restaurant where we had our very first date. My best friend was in on the whole secret and managed to video the event (how special!).
Where did you get married and why did you choose that venue and time of year for your wedding?
We got married at Rosemary Hill Farm in Pretoria on the 10th of August 2019. We chose this venue because of their professionalism and abundant friendliness regarding all our questions and requirements we wanted for our special day. They also include almost everything which made the task of arranging an entire wedding, feel like a breeze, as I did not have to go looking for external vendors since they are already (almost) fully equipped. We were assigned a wedding coordinator (which they have a bunch of) that kept me updated about everything they needed from us and exactly what we needed to prepare to make our day unforgettable. I would have drowned in wedding preparations if it wasn’t for the lovely Caryn who gladly and willing helped me every single step of the way. We chose this day, as the “10th” has a special meaning to us and it was the perfect time of year since it wasn’t too hot or too cold which meant I wouldn’t be sweating off my make-up and Alex wouldn’t be cooked in his suit nor would I have to cover up my gorgeous dress in an attempt not to freeze to death. The plants all have beautiful warm colours at this time of year as well, which produce stunning pictures.
What was the vibe of your wedding?
Our wedding had a rustic farm feeling, intimate, with a nice and relaxed atmosphere in and around the venue. The overall vibe was very festive as we wanted the occasion to truly be a celebration to enjoy with our close friends and relatives, so we opted to keep things simple and the program short. We had a bit of a snag with the table placements as one of our guests removed the names (key chains) from our placement board and handed them out to their owners, which meant our seating plan crumbled quickly, luckily everyone was comfortable to sit wherever they found a spot and the rest of the evening went smoothly.
How did you hear about The Wedding Collective?
My mother-in-law told me about one of her friends telling her about Zanne Couture’s wedding dresses. I then contacted her, to which she responded that she’s a bit far away from Pretoria (Cape Town) but told me to contact Marié at The Wedding Collective in Pretoria as her wedding dress collection is available in her studio. I ended up deciding to have a custom dress made, which Marié and Ora delivered on unbelievably well.
What made you choose your wedding dress?
Every girl has always had an idea in her head of how she wants her wedding dress to look and sit comfortably on her body, so I gave Marié all my ideas and told her about certain parts of all the different dresses that I liked, all the while she sketched a picture while I was talking my heart out, and WOW… She took every idea floating around in our session and put it all together on a piece of paper that exceeded my best expectations. Right then and there Marié not only designed my dream dress, but made the little girl within me sparkle because I could finally see exactly what I had dreamed of.
How was your wedding dress experience from fittings to the final product?
From the moment I stepped into her beautiful comfy studio, up until the very last day I left carrying my perfect dress, they made me feel exceptionally comfortable. They handled every single step in such a calm, professional and friendly manner that got me excited and comfortable about every part of the process. They even made last minute adjustments, which I requested, in the week leading up to the wedding with such kindness and got every part of my dress perfect.
Do you have any advice or tips for new brides-to-be looking for their perfect wedding dress?
Remember that those pictures will be forever and the only thing you will have left from the day (except for your husband, of course *wink*) so be very mindful of your body type and what you are capable of successfully pulling off.
Ensure you can sit, lift your arms above your head and make bathroom breaks while wearing your dress.
Keep it classy and elegant, YOU will be the center of attention the entire evening.
Who was your wedding photographer?
Mandy Klopper (Mandy Klopper Photography) and her assistant was Karen Barnard. They were the absolute best! Unfortunately Mandy has since immigrated and I was lucky enough to be her very last South African bride. Luckily the talented Karen is still available.
We also made use of a videographer, Cinastage Studio, that made the day fun and relaxing during our picture and video sessions, they really capture all the small moments you miss during the rush of the day.
Any other vendors you would like to recommend to new brides-to-be?
The only external vendors we used was for the flowers and the wedding cakes. I would highly recommend Rachelle Redelinghuys from Wild Flower Creations as she surpassed my expectations and did exactly what we wanted. Melissa Joubert from Melissa’s Bakery made us 3 beautiful wedding cakes, our guests loved them so much, there was not even so much a crumb leftover.
What was your most memorable part of your wedding day?
Having my dad walk me down the aisle. Before they opened the doors for us to walk in, he cracked a few jokes about how he’ll hold my shoes if I felt like running and that we’d have to do so right now before the doors open. This made me giggle and slightly forget about the stressful event that’s about to go down and as we walked he kept me calm by whispering funny things to me about how I please shouldn’t trip because I’ll take him down with me and it took my mind of the 100 guests staring straight at me. As my dad lifted my veil, I saw my husband’s tears of joy. I honestly wish every bride this amazing moment for her on her special day.
Do you have any advice regarding the overall planning of a wedding?
Buy yourself a book to write down all of your arrangements and things you still need to do and when they should be finalized. No matter how small, you might think you’ll remember. Trust me, you won’t, there’s just too much going on to depend on your memory alone.
Create a budget for your wedding and stick to it as best possible, it helps to save for the big payments while managing the little ones as well.
Prepare yourself for 90% of what you expect on your wedding day, prepare for mishaps and flaws because it’s bound to happen.
Remember that your guests don’t know it’s wrong until you have a reaction to it, so keep calm and embrace every part of the day, even if it doesn’t go exactly the way you wanted it to.
The day and evening pass so fast, find an opportunity for you and your newlywed husband to soak it all in.
Lastly and most important: remember to enjoy your day/evening and take in all of your hard work and endless preparation finally falling into place.