Cathedral Peak Wedding
~A Mountain Chapter
Tell us about how you met and the attributes that drew you to each other.
Sam : We met when I was the pilot for the Air Ambulance helicopter in Nelspruit and Paul was the Aeromedical Manager for the medical service provider and flight paramedic. We soon became friends. Paul simply has a way with people, his beautiful heart and delightful smile makes being around him good for anyone’s soul. We love to laugh and we do this often! We make a fantastic team. We are each-others support network, cheerleader, watch dog, shrink, advisor and devil’s advocate. We believe that we bring out the best in each other and that we are better persons when we are together than when we are apart.
Paul: I find Sam’s eyes very attractive. She is as beautiful inside as out. She is an ambitious achiever that finishes everything she starts. I appreciate how independent she can be yet she has a sensitive side which I love. She is devoted and professional in everything she does. I love it when she sings to me…
How did the proposal go down?
It was my 30th birthday and we were on holiday in the magnificent city of Gold Coast in Queensland Australia.
Paul woke me up to watch the sunrise on the beach, with Champagne (and Oreos) and as the sun lifted it’s perfectly luminous head over the turquoise water he asked me to be his wife.
Why did you choose your venue?
We love roadtrips! We ended up at Didima in Cathedral Peak Resort on a previous occasion when on arrival at our booked accommodation we were let down and had to find alternative accommodation on very short notice. Fate led us to the jewel in the mountains – Didima right next to Cathedral Peak Resort. The view is just breath-taking.
Whilst driving on the narrow and winding mountain roads, looking at the Zulu huts and children playing in the streets, Paul noticed a group of small boys playing soccer with a homemade soccer ball. He summarily turned the vehicle around, drove the 40km back into Winterton and found a bunch of soccer balls at the local grocer. We then returned up the same winding road to find the boys. Paul kicked the balls to the children to their absolute delight and quickly jumped back into the car without making much ado about it. I could see the joy that helping others brings to him and that simply seeing their little smiling faces was more than enough of a thank you to him. That moment I knew that this kind-hearted man would one day be my husband.
What was the style of your wedding and where did you find your inspiration?
We wanted it to be a celebration which would be an embodiment of the type people we are. We are down-to-earth chaps, Paul and I, and we wanted a celebration with the people who mean the most to us without undue extravagance and cost. We wanted to cherish where we came from and celebrate our collective future and decided on a theme which incorporated family heirlooms with modern beauty.
The table cloth on our main table was made by my great-grandmother as well as some of the other parts of the décor. The penny for luck belonged to my father’s father who died before I was born.
My mother made most of the décor in addition to my dress! She is indeed a busy little bee. Every little part of every table was painstakingly made with a lot of love and effort by her.
How did you decide on your dress and where did you find it?
My mother does the most beautiful crochet hand-work. I asked her to make my dress and initially she was hesitant but I convinced her in the end. She made me the most beautiful and exquisitely unique dress I have ever seen! I am so grateful for her, it took months for her to put every stitch in with love. The seam of my dress, for example is 9 metres of finely crocheted lace.
Who made sure your make-up and hair looked beautiful?
Yoané from Yoané Make-Up and Hair did my make-up and hair. She is an absolute darling and made us all feel very at home and most importantly did as I requested. I do not generally wear make-up and wanted a more natural look without too much and too dark eye shadow and make-up and that is exactly what she gave me. She really went above and beyond expectations and we are very grateful that she was there.
What was the most memorable moment of the day?
Sam: For me it was probably walking down the aisle seeing the majestic mountains and hearing the most beautiful music and having all of the people who truly care about us with us there in that perfect moment, walking toward the person who means the world to me at the start of our lives together.
Paul: When I saw Sam walking down the aisle and we both had tears of joy, the beautiful vows and candle lighting ceremony and our special dance.
Is there any special story behind your rings? Where did you find them?
Paul’s ring was made by Mark Staley from Uncut Jewellers in Benoni. Mark specialises in Mokume-Gane (Mokume-gane is an ancient Japanese jewellery technique where different precious metals are layered to create a wood-like grain effect. It has its origins in the manufacture of Samurai swords.)
Like a Damascus steel sword, we wanted the precious metals to be symbolic of the fusion of the two of us together. I also had my heart rate measured and recorded in an ECG strip ( perks of working on an air ambulance J ) and had it engraved on the inside of his ring. So now my heart is close to him wherever he goes.
My ring was made by the same jeweller and master goldsmith who has made my grandmother and my mother’s rings – Ivan at Krassen Jewels. I explained to his lovely wife Vessy what I liked and showed her a couple of pictures and she designed it for me. I love the vintage style and I think it came out absolutely stunning.
Who officiated the ceremony? How did you find him and what made you choose him?
Reverend John Green from Bergville was absolutely fantastic! We could not have asked for better. He is a lovely kind-hearted man who made us feel at ease and delivered a beautiful message and will forever hold an extremely special place in our hearts. I truly believe that God led us to him and knew that he was the one to make our wedding perfect.
How did you experience your Photographer’s service and where did the importance of photography fall in your day?
Landi is extremely professional. She made sure to find the perfect spots and the perfect time the previous day. She was calm and collected the whole way through. I love Landi, her beautiful personality makes the day just so much better. I knew that I wanted Landi as my photographer from the first time I saw her work. I did not want “ Matric Farewell” –style photos. We are unique in every aspect and needed a photographer that could capture our distinctive individuality. I also love how she makes use of natural light to capture not only the most beautiful pictures in nature but somehow manages to lock an emotion onto a picture.
I am so glad that Landi was willing to fly all the way from Cape Town and then travel 5 and a half hours in a car ( in which the air-con failed!) to spend a whole weekend with us at our Cathedral Peak Wedding . She was such an integral part of the day’s success.
We love you Landi xxx
Who made sure there was good music and sound on the day? Any special bands? How did you and your guests enjoy them?
I think everyone will agree that we had the best band and music ever! We had the ladies and gents from The Afterparty band wow us with their amazing talent and kept the party going until late! They were extremely accommodating and handled all the sound from the ceremony, to the beautiful live sax music at the canapes and the full band at the reception.
Who were the caterers who made sure your guests were happy and fed? What was on the menu for the evening?
Didima did all of the catering for the evening.
Guests were served canapés of Thai marinated tiger prawns , sweet chilli chicken wraps, Spinach and feta phylo baskets and other lovely snacks along with fantastic summer cocktails.
Dinner was a selection of beautifully roast meats with crispy potatoes and vegetables. Hearty and delicious. Didima even went out of their way to make us “ Pampoenkoekies” even though the sauce was not conventional, they were lovely.
Desert was my beautiful cupcakes from Sugar Plum Creations, yummy fudge and coconut ice from Philmari Brummer as well as traditional Malva pudding and Crème brûlée.
Did you have an open or cash bar? Why?
Yes, we were such a small wedding we were privileged to be able to do this. We limited the open bar to certain basic liquor, beer and wines and anything fancy was for the guest’s own account.
If there was anything about the day you wish you could change what would it be?
I made my mom a very special gift. A fine handkerchief brought all the way from London via family on which I had the following embroidered:
Mom, for drying your tears, as you’ve always dried mine. Today a bride, tomorrow a wife, always your daughter. Sam
But in all the chaos of getting ready I forgot to give it to her
Tell us about the Honeymoon!!
We love the outdoors! We spent our honeymoon on the houseboat Retreat, owned by our good friend Paul Stevenson, on Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe. We slept under the stars and watched the sunrise with the elephants drinking on the shores next to the boat. We love Africa. There is no place like it anywhere else in the world. We caught some fish, laughed a lot and had a fantastic time! In typical Paul and Sa fashion we love to share our experiences with family and after a couple of days alone my dad, a friend of his as well as Paul Stevenson and his partner Lisa joined us on Retreat and we have an absolute ball. We sometimes forget how privileged we are to stay in this most beautiful continent.
Describe your wedding day in ONE sentence.
In the shadow of the great mountain and in the presence of those we love most, we promised ourselves to one another and our marriage to God Almighty for eternity.
Venue: Didima Camp | Cathedral Peak Resort
Photography: Organictales Photography
Music: The After Party
Make-up: Yoané Make-up and Hair
Dress: Bride’s talented mother
Jewellers: Uncut Jewellers | Krassen Jewels
Officiant: Reverend John Green – 082 447 5186
Dessert: Sugar Plum Creations | Philmari Brummer