Wedding Stories

Zuko & Xoliswa

How did you first meet? 

We were working for the same company but in different departments.

Tell us a bit about yourselves as a couple…

We were in a relationship for 12 years before we got married. Because we have known each other for so long, we know everything about each other. We have two children – a son, Lilitha and a daughter, Oyama – and another one on the way! Our relationship is trusting, secure, loving, and comfortable.

What quality do you most admire about each other?

Zuko’s sense of humour. He’s also dedicated and intelligent.

Tell us about the proposal…

Our proposal was done traditionally with the two families negotiating Lobola and coming together as one.

How long was your engagement?

Three years.

Did you find it challenging to find your perfect venue?

We had decided on Nottingham Road and ended up booking Lythwood. We visited each and every wedding venue in the area and nothing came close to Lythwood!

What made you decide on Lythwood as your wedding venue? 

When we saw the Avellini staircase lit up at night and the water feature, we found it absolutely breathtaking! Plus, Lythwood was accommodating and flexible.

Describe Lythwood …

Magical.

What was your vision for your Big Day… 

Classy and elegant. Graceful and romantic.

Did you have any special details and décor? Tell us… 

We brought in the majority of the décor and everything was white. The dress code was Black Tie and the men all wore black tuxedos and all the women were dressed in white.

Our bridal party was our friends with their partners. Married and unmarried. The idea was that everybody was getting married. For those that were already married, we wanted them to feel like they were getting married again. And for those that were not married yet, we wanted them to dream that they were getting married.

What did you find most surprising about planning a wedding?

The cost of everything – we went way over our budget!

How did you deal with any planning stress? Do you have any tips or tricks?

We booked the venue in 2015 and got married in 2018. We had a lot of time to plan and to pay for everything. We had more fun than stressing. We made an adventure out of each and every step of the planning. We also documented most of it as part of our wedding.

What was the most fun detail of your wedding to plan?

We made it a point to have fun with everything and we would plan something fun around every milestone.

What did you learn about your husband/wife during the planning?

We work well together and make good partners.

What did you learn about yourself?

That I am decisive. I am also accommodating but don’t compromise on what I want.

What’s your number one piece of advice for couples just starting to plan their wedding?

Make sure you have enough money for the type of the wedding you want. Budget right.

What would be the one thing you would recommend that a couple spends good money on for their wedding?

It was important for us to create a breathtaking overall atmosphere. Looking good. Outstanding décor. Out of this world entertainment. What you see and how you feel about the overall experience.

Tell us about your dress, from buying it to how you felt in it on the day…

The designer was Casey Jeanne Walters and our first meeting was in 2016. We shared ideas on the design and selected the fabrics. In 2018, we didn’t change much, just added sleeves because the first design was sleeveless. Enjoyed every step of the process. Casey is such a sweetheart. I would recommend her and her team to any Bride-to-be. I am still obsessed with my dress and veil!

Give a brief description of the morning of your wedding – how did you feel, who were you with, what did you do?

The weather was perfect in the morning. I was with my girlfriends doing hair and make-up. It was us girls getting ready to go to the biggest party of our lives! Our photographer came to my suite and we did a little shoot with my father. It was a perfect father and daughter moment before taking the big jump.

Tell us  a little bit about your ceremony… for example, did you write your own vows and, if so, what made you decide to do that?

I had a live performance. Musa, the SA idol, was performing my favourite song live while I was walking down the aisle. At first he remained hidden and the guests did not know he was actually there performing live until I got to the front, then he appeared. The surprise when the guests saw him was priceless.

And your Reception? 

For the reception we had two top R&B and Soul DJs from Metrofm performing. Top Durban DJ Sox and DJ Meech. We had the entertainment on lockdown! And for the MC ‘TK Njaroste Ndawonde’ – all I can say is that he made my day!

What was the most memorable moment of your wedding for you? 

Everything was as I dreamt – my dream come true and more.

Was there anything about being a Bride/Groom and your experience of the wedding that surprised you?

The love on my husband’s face. I can see it in the way he looks at me when I look at the photos from the day. Priceless.

In hindsight, is there anything you wish you had done differently – an aspect you would have left out, something you wish you’d done or perhaps something that didn’t turn out the way you had planned?

The cake was cut towards the end of the reception and there wasn’t enough time to serve it on the tables. Some guests did not eat the cake.

Name one to three things that were a “must have” for your wedding – that were worth spending your money on…

We spent on everything. There was no compromise. We married late in life and we wanted to do it properly. Memorable and magical.

Where did you go on honeymoon and for how long?

We spent a week in Italy – Venice, Milan, Verona and Padua.

Describe newlywed life in 3 words…

Sharing life with my best friend.

Wedding Suppliers

Photographer: David Weeks Photographic Please note picture quality has been reduced for display on our site.

Wedding Dress : Casey Jeanne

Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Their own.

Suits: B.Gangaram

Hair :Nhlanhlo, Ethnix Hair

Make-up : Zonke Mnyandu

Décor & Flowers:  A2Z Events

Wedding Cake: Zolitas Culture Cakes

Wedding Stationery Design: Fuchsia Fine Event Stationery

Live Entertainment: Musa Sukwene

DJs: DJ Sox and DJ Meech and Metro FM DJs – Sentle Lehoko & Wilson B. Nkosi

MC : TK Njaroste Ndawonde