Leana + Stuart

Wedding date: 23.10.2021
Dress: Bay by Jo Malin

How did you and Stuart meet?

We met through a mutual friend in High School. Needless to say, I played hard to get. Through Stu’s determination and perseverance over five years, he finally won me over.

In 2011, Stu studied and stayed at his flat in Stellenbosch, and I stayed with my parents in Durbanville. We started spending a lot of time together. It was exhilarating and spontaneous, and we would look forward to every weekend that we could spend time together. We both knew that no matter how many miles were between us, or however many days we had to be apart, we wanted to be together for the rest of our lives.

On the 23rd of November 2011, Stu and I went on a coffee date at Vida e Café in Willowbridge. Stu ordered a cappuccino, and I ordered the hot chocolate. This was the day Stu asked me to be his girlfriend. Stu’s exact words were, “I don’t know if it’s too soon to ask, but would you be my girlfriend?” I smiled, blushing, and said, “yes!”

A few years later, in March 2018, Stu and I decided to move in together at our first duplex rental townhouse.

In 2020, even though was a challenging year for most, it was a positive one for us as we reached a new milestone in our lives and purchased our very first home together.

Soon after, on the 7th of November 2020, another milestone was reached, as Stu popped the big question at Aquila Private Game Reserve. Little did I know, he had been planning this moment for quite some time, however due to the World Pandemic all plans had to be placed on hold.

Now, after nearly eleven years together, we finally tied the knot and celebrated our happily ever after on the 23rd of October 2021, with loved ones.

Tell me about your proposal story?​

A friend of mine had won a day trip to Aquila Private Game Reserve.
She was generous enough invite my best friend, Stu and myself along for the trip.

With over 10,000 hectares of Big 5 private game reserve, Aquila Private Game Reserve is the best destination for a “Day Pass” safari adventure.

Not only does Aquila offer visitors an unforgettable wildlife experience, but they also allow guests to indulge in luxurious African hospitality that serves traditional culinary delights. Best of all, this is all just short of a 2 hour drive out of Cape Town.

What made this private safari even more special, was our surprise engagement.

We headed off on our safari trip with so much excitement, but little did I know what was to come.
We managed to see quite a few animals along the way.

As embarked up a steep hill, our driver stopped at a picturesque lookout point and said it was time for us to stretch our legs and take some photos.

We started taking many photos and selfies (as girls do); Stu came to stand next to me and whispered, “I want to go on many more adventures with you.”
“Let us take a photo together”, he said, “but I’d like a photo of us looking at the horizon.”

My best friend, Michelle was tasked to hold the camera to take the photo. While I stood admiring the gorgeous view, spotting some animals in the distance, Stu went to assist Michelle with the “correct camera setting” on his very intimidating professional camera. This seemed to take a few minutes, so I turned around to see what was taking them so long.

As I turned around, there Stu was, on one knee, with the breathtaking ring in his hands, and that moment he asked me to marry him.

During all the laughter and tears of happiness, Aquila had organised a lovely cheese platter and some bubbly for us to celebrate at the top of the lookout point.

How did you feel when you first stepped into your wedding dress?

I felt excited and relieved, as I knew I had finally found ‘the One’.
The Bay dress truly made me feel like a Real Bride.
I knew the it was ‘the One’ the minute I saw it. It was everything I had ever dreamed of. I truly felt like a bride as soon as I stepped into it. As Jo secured on the bow around my waist, and placed the veil on my head, tears of happiness rolled down my cheeks, as the final look came together. My exact words, “Jip, there’s the moment.”

What did you love most about it?​

What I loved most about the dress is the design, a full ball gown skirt with a high-low hemline, a 1 m train, and don’t forget the bow and pockets!  The Bay dress is classic yet modern, chic and elegant. So luxurious, made entirely with duchess satin. A true vision of Vogue.

Did you have a specific theme for your wedding? If so, please tell me about it.

We had a minimalist elegant wedding. We wanted something timeless and classic, with a touch of modern. Colour scheme: Emerald green hues, soft whites, and silver.

Where was your wedding and who was your photographer? Why did you choose them?

Our wedding venue is situated in the beautiful Durbanville countryside and voted as one of the top wedding venues in South Africa. Eensgezind was the perfect venue for our special day.

The lovely Kirsten Goslett, from “Kirsten Goslett Photography” was our photographer.

Kirsten captured incredible moments during our engagement shoot, and again on our wedding day.
There is something so magical about the way she photographs and captures the special day.
Kirsten is easy-going and will go the extra mile for her bride and groom. She has such a creative and beautiful style. You can see how passionate she is about her work and that she loves what she does through the photos that she captures.

We can’t thank Kirsten (and Rob) enough for giving us such beautiful memories to cherish.

We loved every moment spent with you.

I would absolutely recommend “Kirsten Goslett Photography”.

Describe the essence of your wedding day, and what you experienced?

We experienced absolute euphoria, along with the true essence of Bridal Glow.

Our love for each other was (and is still) infectious. One couldn’t help but feel that we were a walking love story straight out of a Disney Movie.

Do you have any words of wisdom for newly engaged couples planning their wedding?

They say your wedding day flies by, and it does, take a moment to enjoy it as a couple.

Have fun! If things go wrong, no one is even going realise.

Break the stereotype, do things differently, play around with fun and crazy ideas.


Venue, rentals and Catering: Eensgezind Function Venue

Photographer: Kirsten Goslett photography

Videography: Delicious Bokeh

Flowers: Make My Day Floral Design

MUA and hair: Blush Babe Makeup Artistry

Rings: Dear Rae Jewellery

Veil: Lindi Loves Lace Bridal Accessories

Cake: The Wright Cake

Ice creams: Pink Book Weddings and Las Paletas

Suit: Woolworths

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