Wedding Stories

Jerome & DeÁndra

How did you first meet? 

Jerome and I have known each other since we were little kids as our families were friends. We later lost contact as we grew up. Years later, destiny brought us back together, we regained contact while I was studying in Durban and became best friends!

{Jerome} De and I knew each other from when we were kids. Our families are long-time friends.

Tell us a bit about yourselves as a couple…

Jerome and I are a loving, fun and vibrant couple. We love adventures and travelling. We value our friends and family. Jerome and I love doing everything together and spending time doing fun stuff such as being his helper when he works on cars, Jerome helping me clean up as well as lots of DIY projects.

{Jerome} We are outgoing, fun and loud!

What quality do you most admire about each other?

How well we complement and bring out the best in one another.

{Jerome} The way De is able to know exactly what I’m thinking or about to do before doing it.

Tell us about the proposal…

Jerome had surprised me on a trip to Hong Kong and Bali for my 21st birthday. After spending a few days in Hong Kong, we flew to Bali. On our first night, he had arranged for a surprise dinner where he asked me to be his wife. It was a perfect night on the beach, under the stars.

{Jerome} Well I wanted something different so I told De that I’m taking her on a holiday to Bali. I secretly booked a romantic dinner for two and got down on one knee and asked her if she will marry me!

How long was your engagement?

One year.

Did you find it challenging to find your perfect venue?

Not at all! I’ve always dreamt of having my wedding on a farm or in a forest. Nothing beats the warm and golden feeling that it has to offer. We then decided to visit the Midlands for the weekend and had arranged to view four of our favourite venues. By the end of the weekend we were already settled with the venue of our choice – Lythwood. It was as easy as that.

{Jerome} Not as difficult as we thought it would be. We had our checklist of things we were looking for in a venue.

What made you decide on Lythwood as your wedding venue? 

Once we entered Lythwood we immediately felt the warm and cosy ambiance. We were welcomed by their friendly staff and then helped by Alison who took us through the venue and explained in detail about what Lythwood has to offer.

Lythwood has very reasonable packages which include all the major aspects of the wedding, as well as their own wedding coordinator and wedding planning app which also made us feel very much at ease and taken care off.

Our decision on choosing Lythwood was rounded up by their hospitality, fine dining and accommodation. They basically gave us the go-ahead to re-arrange the seats and dinning areas to our liking as well as the fact that they are so versatile – I mean we could have had our wedding anywhere on their huge, beautiful property! Lythwood was one of the only venues which could accommodate our huge family as we planned for our wedding to be a weekend celebration.

In our culture, it’s a must that an Indian couple celebrate their wedding eve, with lots of music, lights and dancing with their families and friends. Lythwood easily accommodated and catered for our Bollywood night.

{Jerome} Great hospitality, top-notch food and wonderful surroundings.

Describe Lythwood …

Cosy. Scenic. Accommodating.

{Jerome} Accommodating. Tasty. Peaceful.

What was your vision for your Big Day… 

My vision for the wedding was a day of peace and happiness filled with just love, pure love! To wake up and smell the fresh scent of roses, to hear the bells ring and witness the most magical day of my life, where I enter a beautiful union with the love of my life.

{Jerome} We wanted everyone to have a good time and not be worried about running around to do things or to be a different places. We just wanted to enjoy the day with our family and friends.

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

Our wedding was planned in April, mid-autumn, where the leaves are golden and crisp. Our colours were plum, grey and silver. The plum added so much radiance and royalty to the golden notes of autumn. Our theme was classical elegance. We wanted a classic décor setup with a lot of flowers. I mean a lot of flowers! Jerome and I also did our own souvenirs for our weddings guests as well as for the each of the guests that were staying at Lythwood. Just simple favours of love from us to them!

{Jerome} We wanted a wedding in mid-Autumn so that we got those vibrant autumn colours. With décor, it was just a simple layout with lots of flowers.

What did you find most surprising about planning a wedding?

Besides how ridiculously expensive flowers are, what took us by surprise is how intense and time-consuming wedding planning is. You literally have no time to breathe.

Also, the fact that Jerome and I didn’t have major arguments regarding the planning, which I thought we would, considering how impatient we both are! We both had the same vision and wanted the same things which definitely made it a lot easier!

{Jerome} That we hardly clashed when doing the planning.

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

Just close your eyes and think about how badly you want to marry your partner! LOL

I think communication is key! Say what you want and what you feel and find ways to work around that as a couple to achieve both individuals’ desires.

{Jerome} It’s all about communicating with your partner and the parties involved. If there’s clear communication then there’s no need to worry about things going wrong.

What did you find was the most challenging part of planning your wedding?

We Live in Mthatha and we were planning a wedding in KZN Midlands, finding the time to plan between our jobs and travelling every other weekend was a definite challenge. All of our vendor was also in close distance from Lythwood which meant trying to scram enough appointments into a single weekend. It was HECTIC but like I did say we love to travel, so we made the best out of it! And secondly who wouldn’t want to visit the Midlands every day?

{Jerome} The travelling. Being around 400 kms from Lythwood and all our wedding vendors made it a bit difficult to have meetings with everyone. We had to arrange all our meetings to fit in over a three-day trip.

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

For me it was the décor and wedding stationery. I love decorating and designing.

{Jerome} The food tasting.

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

About what a truly substantial planner Jerome is, he loves everything to go according to plan and on time!

{Jerome} De has a lot of patience with me!

What did you learn about yourself?

Surprising I was no Bridezilla! I work well under stress and even though I don’t boast patience as a quality, I remained patient and took each day as it came.

{Jerome} That I don’t have a lot of patience!

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

Although it may all feel like there’s so much to do and so little time, just take one day at a time. Try to stay calm and relaxed. If you and your partner have any differences, take a minute or two apart, relax your nerves and then discuss with your partner and find a way to accommodate each other.

{Jerome} Choosing good vendors.

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

Food, food and food! To be honest, its what your guests come for.

{Jerome} Photography and videography.

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

Well just like everything else, we had to travel to do wedding shopping. On my first visit to do dress hunting I scrammed in four bridal boutiques! To be honest, I was a little exasperated from all the trying on I had to do – it’s no joke fitting those heavy, sophisticated dresses on and then off!

My last appointment was with La Principessa in Umhlanga where I had tried a dress that I really liked. I decided to sleep on it (longer than I should have) and went back two weeks later and found out it was sold! Nevertheless, their friendly and knowledgeable staff helped me find the dress of my dreams.

When I put on the dress on my wedding day everything around me finally felt real – a feeling I can’t explain. When I saw myself standing there in that dress, I could already tell that it was going to be the most perfect day!

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

I woke up feeling so relaxed and here’s why: Our wedding eve, which was our Bollywood night, was so beautiful, we literally had so much of fun with our family and friends and danced the whole night away. Just having a night like that made us feel so much more comfortable and relaxed as we experienced so much of love and support. I mean what could go wrong?

I woke up the Saturday of our wedding in my luxurious bridal suite. I felt totally at ease knowing Jerome and I had planned the day out to be perfect and we both had full trust in our vendors knowing that everything was well taken care off.

My bridal party joined me in the suite where we enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast before the Accentuate Hair & Make-up team arrived. The girls and I had so much fun chatting with each other and the artists. This went according to schedule which also eliminated any stress we might have had.

We were later joined by our fantastic photographers and videographers who also added so much fun and laughter into the room. We spoke, laughed and smiled for the camera until we were served with a delicious light lunch and then I proved most people who thought I would be a late bride wrong! I was ready in just under an hour early and, guess what, I was ready before the groom! LOL

{Jerome} I was a bit nervous but knowing that we had planned the day and had gone over everything, I was eased. I spent the day with my Groomsmen walking around the venue and talking to family and friends who had stayed the night. Spent some time on the jumping castle to loosen up. Did a last walk around Lythwood to make sure everything was in place. Then it was getting ready for the big day.

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?

Jerome and I decided to do the traditional vows as I were too nervous to say my own vows.

As I walked down those steps at our ceremony and had my first glimpse of Jerome, I just felt an overwhelming sense of love and peace in my heart and I knew at that exact moment that it was all God’s plan and favour over our lives.

{Jerome} The ceremony was traditional. We didn’t write our own vows. The moment I saw DeÁndra … well there aren’t words to explain the feelings that run through you at the time.

And your Reception? 

Our reception was beautiful, exactly everything we wanted. Nothing felt more perfect than walking into that beautifully decorated room, seeing our loved ones so excited and relaxed. Our vision was achieved!

{Jerome} Again, we wanted everyone to have a good time so we had a good MC making sure that guests were entertained thereafter handing over to Luke from Top DJ SA who made sure that we partied and danced the whole night long.

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

Seeing Jerome show so much emotion whilst I walked down the aisle. A moment which words can’t express.

{Jerome} The whole wedding weekend that we spent with our family and friends.

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

I feel just being able to experience and plan a wedding of your own Is amazing. Its such a deep emotion and connection between you and your partner. Just being able to share that connection with your Groom, is magical.

{Jerome} The experience as a whole. What everyone tells you about their wedding isn’t always the same experience for you.

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?

Well besides forgetting to put on my garter and then running with my maid of honour to fetch it. There’s nothing I would have wished or planned differently.

{Jerome} Never! The day went according to plan with no hiccups whatsoever.

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

The venue, which included the accommodation and catering for the weekend. Décor. Photography and videography.

{Jerome} Venue. Food. Photography and videography.

Where did you go on honeymoon and for how long?

We decided to keep it local and do a road trip of South Africa for two weeks.

{Jerome} We decided to travel around South Africa. We started in Clarens, travelled up North then on to Cape Town and down the Garden Route heading back home after two weeks.

Describe newlywed life in 3 words…

Romantic. Shy. Butterflies.

{Jerome} Cosy. Home. Shy.

Wedding Suppliers

Photographer: African Bear Photography. Please note picture quality has been reduced for display on our site.

Videographer: elephantsbelly

Wedding Dress : La Principessa in Durban North

Bridesmaids’ Dresses: YDE

Suits: B.Gangaram Tailors

Hair & Make-up : Accentuate Hair & Make-up

Décor & Flowers: E by A

Wedding Cake:  Lauren Lee Cake Couture

Wedding Stationery Design: Lightning Printers

DJs: Top DJ SA

MC : Ashley Somiah