22 DECEMBER 2020
ABOUT YOU, AS A COUPLE
How did you first meet?
I can’t say it was love at first sight, but there was definitely a special moment when we saw each other for the first time. It was at a funeral… I walked in and turned around to greet a friend, Kyle thought I was waving at him, when in fact I was actually greeting a mutual friend sitting behind him.
A week later our paths crossed again, this time he made a point of speaking to me. All this while I had not realised that Kyle and my brother had befriended each other at the local soccer club. By some weird and wonderful twist of fate, we coincidentally kept seeing each other. One day my brother Richie brought Kyle home after soccer practice… I guess we can say the rest is history.
Tell is a little about yourselves as a couple?
Kyle and I have been together for 14 years. When we first started dating, Kyle was a 16 year old and an incredibly talented soccer fanatic. I was an 18 year old ballet dancer who had just matriculated from high school.
We have been blessed with an incredible journey. Through the highs and the lows that life throws at you, a beautiful friendship developed. Although it is not perfect and we both have many flaws, somehow through it all we managed to stay together.
Today Kyle is a professional soccer player with a bachelors degree in business and is currently completing an LLB law degree. I am a ballerina/ professional dancer at the Playhouse Theatre, managing director of KZN Dance Production, with a BSc in biochemistry.
Everything that we have been given is by the grace of God. We have supported and walked this amazing journey together, through all the difficult times, it is only with hard work, dedication and the willingness to never give up that we have grown and shaped each others lives.
What qualities do you admire about each other?
Leagan: I admire Kyles determination which he exhibits in all aspects of his life.
Kyle: I admire Leagan’s good heart, she’s very caring, loving and understanding.
Tell us about the proposal…
Kyle proposed on my birthday – September 2, 2018. He had an artist build a sand castle on the beach, it was very romantic. He asked me to go with him to a beach photoshoot and when we arrived there was a table and chairs sculptured out of sand with champagne and rose petals and a giant heart written “Leagan will you marry me?”
PLANNING YOUR WEDDING DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Did you have to postpone your wedding due to lockdowns?
Yes, we did. Our wedding was planned for May 23, 2020, Unfortunately it fell during Level 5 lockdown. We not only had to postpone our wedding but we also had to reduce the number of guests.
Did you do something special on your original wedding date to celebrate?
We had supper with family as the country was still under lockdown and there was a travel ban at the time.
How did you inform guests of the postponement? How did they react?
Fortunately we used the Paperless Post Company to send our invitation out via email. When the restrictions were put in place, we had to send retractions to all our guests as we waited for confirmation from government on when the churches and venues would open. It was only after the country was placed on Level 2 that we were able to set a new date. All our guests were very understanding.
How were your vendors at helping you throughout the decision-making and postponement process?
All our vendors were incredible and so professional. It really made the process a lot more bearable. The only difficulty was with our cake. A week before our wedding our original baker, due to the strains of the pandemic, was unable to make our cake. We decided to buy a cake from the local cake store when a close family member sent us the number of an incredible baker. Faraz from Crafty Cakes was able to make us a 5-tier cake with only one week notice at an incredibly reasonable fee. He was absolutely amazing in getting our cake to the wedding. It was stunning!
Did it have any effect on your overall wedding budget?
Due to the drastic drop in guests, our budget changed significantly but we still had to be thrifty to ensure that we were able to pay all our vendors on time despite the lockdowns and level restrictions of the covid pandemic.
How was it finding it new date that worked for everyone? Were your vendors flexible?
It was extremely challenging to find a new date that suited both the church, vendors, and the reception venue. Finally we decided on a weekday wedding as all the Saturdays were booked. I was very happy with our decision to have a Tuesday wedding.
What was the best piece of advice you received that helped you?
A wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime.
Did you find it challenging to find your perfect venue?
Finding a venue was lots of fun! Every weekend we would visit a new wedding venue but when we found Lythwood, we stopped looking.
What made you decide on Lythwood as your wedding venue?
There are so many reasons that we fell in love with Lythwood… from the incredible avenue of enchanting trees, to the fields of endless grassy hills. The owners, staff, and overall service at Lythwood is absolutely amazing. The final deciding factor and the cherry on the top was the Avellini glass tent with cascading water flowing down. In short, absolutely beautiful!
Describe Lythwood in 3 words…
Enchanting, surreal, and magical.
What was your vision for your Big Day?
As most young girls dream… I wanted a fairytale wedding! A glass tent, beautiful waterfalls, a horse and carriage, a burning fire to warm the crisp Midlands evenings, friends, family, and laughter. A fest of thanksgiving and celebration for all that God has blessed us with.
Did that vision have to change much due to restrictions around Covid-19?
Unfortunately our winter wedding had to be postponed and our guest list had to be shortened. With endless uncertainty it was a very difficult decision to make, but in the end it was a blessing. We finally settled on a beautiful Christmas, summer wedding. Our guest list went from 140 guests down to 70 guests. It was an amazing day.
Did you have any special details and décor? Tell us…
We hired E by A for our décor. They were incredible in supplying all our décor and satisfying all my wild and imaginative whims and wishes, which made the day that much more magical and special.
PLANNING YOUR WEDDING
What did you find most surprising about planning a wedding?
There are so many details that go into the production of a wedding, but this event showed both Kyle and I that working together can have amazing results. Taking decisions as a couple brought us closer together and through the ups and downs that come with a wedding we were able to love every challenge and overcome every obstacle which made it fun.
How did you deal with any planning stress? Do you have any tips or tricks?
The show must go on, so don’t sweat the small stuff. At the end of the day it’s about you and your partner. There will always be things to stress about, so try and enjoy the process however difficult it may be. Everything happens for a reason and with patience and persistence your time will come, so enjoy the journey and be grateful for the opportunity.
What did you find the most challenging part of planning your wedding?
I really enjoyed planning my wedding but it did become exceedingly challenging when we had to shorten the guest list. With the pandemic it felt like one stress after another. A week before our wedding one of bridesmaids informed us that she couldn’t attend the wedding as both her and her mom were ill with covid. Sadly her mom passed away a few days after our wedding. Covid has been very traumatic for everyone and losing a loved one is even harder to understand.
What was the most fun detail of your wedding to plan?
I enjoyed every moment of it, but finding the perfect wedding dress was an amazing feeling.
What did you learn about your husband/wife during the planning?
I learnt that I have an incredible husband who is willing to fulfil my every desire no matter how weird and crazy it may sound. Someone who is willing to give up his time to make sure I am happy. The support, love, and appreciation exceeds my expectation. He is incredible.
What did you learn about yourself?
I can multi-task. I’m a little crazy at times but in a good way and I believe that anything is possible.
What’s your number one piece of advice for couples just starting to plan their wedding?
It’s your wedding. It’s most probably only going to happen once so try to enjoy doing things together and most of all have fun even during the difficult times when you feel like screaming at each out. There’s nothing wrong with a little cry or laugh here and there. It’s emotional, so don’t be too hard on yourself or on each other.
What would be the one thing you would recommend that a couple spends good money on for their wedding?
A wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime. It’s not about the money but the memory you want to create.
YOUR WEDDING DRESS
Tell us about your dress, from buying it to how you felt in it on the day…
I found the most incredible wedding dress. It took a very long time and a lot of dress fittings until one day when I had all but given up any hope, I found the perfect dress. It was the only one in the store and it fitted! I felt as if it was made for me. I felt like Cinderella at the ball with glass slippers. It truly was a beautiful dress. The staff at Jasmine’s Bridal in Durban were incredible. They were very helpful and patient. A truly incredible experience to share with my mom and godmother.
ON THE BIG DAY
Give a brief description of the morning of your wedding – how did you feel, who were you with, what did you do?
We had a very early start to the day, with the hairdressers and makeup artists arriving very early. I cannot begin to thank Melanie Van Der Bly for her professionalism and incredible hairstyles… everyone’s hair looked amazing. To finish off the look we had the incredible Lynne from Kiss and Make-up, who even took the time to help me get dressed, fluffing my dress until every layer of tulle was in place!
Being the busy body that I am, i quietly slipped away while everyone was getting dressed to pick up my bridal bouquets from Flowers on Florida where Ms Breda and Sis Themi did an incredible job.
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?
The ceremony was nothing short of perfection. I arrived at the beautiful St Francis Xavia Parish which overlooks the Indian ocean. An absolutely beautiful parish! My dad walking me down the aisle to the incredible singing of Roshanda Lewis as she sang Elvis Presley’s “I can’t help falling in love” was an incredible send off. My dashingly handsome fiancé standing there waiting for me. A beautiful moment which I will cherish for ever. The Homely by Father Michael Foley brought tears to all. It truly was a wonderful experience.
And your reception?
On a wet and humid Tuesday morning, after our memorable wedding ceremony, two days before Christmas, we drove from Durban to the incredible Lythwood Lodge in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, where 70 close friends and family celebrated and stayed overnight.
On arrival one could hear the smooth tones of Luke Holden as he sang during the serving of canapé’s, at the entrance to the Lodge stood the beautiful and dashing horse, Sir Robin Hood along with Helen and the carriage from Crab Apple who helped make our wedding extra special.
As the sun started to set and the magical lights of the trees and the Avellini glass tent with waterfalls, stars lit up the night sky. A truly memorable reception. All of our guests danced the night away. We woke up the next morning to the peaceful sounds of the beautiful Midlands countryside… and to the formidable Lythwood breakfast! A few more laughs were shared before we all went our separate ways.
Our whole wedding was truly a magical celebration!
What was the most memorable moment of your wedding for you?
The entire day was so wonderful, each moment was just as beautiful as the next and the entire day will forever remain in my most fondest of memories.
Was there anything about being a Bride/Groom and your experience of the wedding that surprised you?
It’s such an incredible rollercoaster ride. The highs and lows that go along with a wedding… there are so many surprises everywhere you look. It truly is an incredible experience that everyone should experience in their lifetime.
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?
I loved every moment of wedding, I wouldn’t change anything. Nothing in life is perfect. Our wedding was imperfectly perfect, with all the ups and downs.
Name one to three things that were a “must have” for your wedding – that were worth spending your money on.
I wanted a glass tent, a water element, a fire element, and a horse and carriage. Everything that I was looking for, I found at Lythwood, which is the reason why we chose it.
Did you go on honeymoon and, if so, for how long?
Unfortunately we have had to delay our honeymoon due to covid and travel restrictions. We spent an amazing week with our family as we celebrated Christmas. It turned out to be a very special year after all!
Finally, do you have a favourite quote on love and/or marriage?
For me I would say marry your best friend… “The simple truth is that happy marriages are based on a deep friendship. By this, I mean a mutual respect for, and enjoyment of, each others company.” – Dr John Gottman.
Photographer & Videographer: Darryn Sykes Photography
Videographer: Bigfoot Video Productions
Wedding Dress: Jasmins Bridal
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dresses by Gladys
Suits: Dominion Outfitters
Hair: Melanie Van de Byl
Make-up: Kiss & Make-up
Décor: E by A
Flowers: Fresh Flowers on Florida
Wedding Cake: Crafty Cakes (Faraz)
Live music: Ceremony: Roshanda Lewis
Canapés: Luke Holden
DJ: Mobile DJ (Farren Jacobs)
Wedding Stationery Design: Li Joshua
Horse & Carriage: Crab Apple
Table Favours: Weddings Ballito (Samantha)