Friday, November 11, 2016

Ricardo & Nicole's Misty Midlands Wedding - Part 1

The image below is the position I had to get into to achieve the desired perspective in the above image.
I ended up with so many beautiful images that I've had to split this blog post into two posts. The second blog post will go up within the next week or two, just to build up your levels of anticipation. 

Words from the bride:

To be honest, I'm not a planner! I didn't particularly enjoy the organizing, emailing, decision making, politics and 'stress' that went along with planning a wedding, especially my own! My mom was my rock during all the ups and downs, I was so lucky to have her by my side every step of the way to help me and to keep me sane.

Those closest to me will know that by the four month mark I was so desperate to just get married and go on honeymoon with my husband. Poor Ricardo had to put up with a very frazzled  fiance', thank goodness he stuck around! I can honestly say though, I would do it all again because when October 1st arrived it was the most incredible day of our lives and exceeded all of our expectations.

Cranford Country Lodge was the best possible choice for our wedding venue. The Cranford team were fantastic from day one and made our wedding day flow flawlessly. They thought of everything and were just outstanding in every way. Penny, who was responsible for our flowers and decor  transformed the reception room and chapel magnificently. She was always so happy and eager to  brain storm and play around with ideas and add special little touches. Every little detail was so professionally thought out and creatively executed. We were blessed to have a fantastic team of videographers and photographers capture the most important day of our lives so far. Heartistic Productions and Unprecedented Pictures were an absolute pleasure to work with and are exceptionally talented.

I was especially blown away by Craig and his assistant Stephen from Unprecedented Pictures. They were phenomenal, and saved the day on many occasions by supplying us with everything from safety pins, to umbrellas! They really kept us going and kept our spirits high even when we started changing colour due to the fresh midlands weather.  I've never met a more dedicated and creative team.

 I've been a part of many weddings over the years, my family even joked every now and then that I was on my way to my very own version of 27 dresses. I didn't mind the jokes as I always felt honoured to be asked to stand by my loved ones side and enjoyed every minute of the experience each and every time. I LOVE weddings and I've always loved how magical and special each unique wedding day felt, whether experiencing it as a guest or member of the bridal party, but none of those days compare to the pure joy and overwhelming love that I felt when it was my turn to walk down that aisle.

We arrived at Cranford on Friday the 31st October and had plan to spend the evening together with some of our family and friends having braai to kick off the pending nuptials. It was lovely and when guests started arriving it all began to feel very real. Neither of us had been very emotional during the build up to the wedding but tears started flowing on my side when my cousin Digby made a surprise appearance all the way from The UAE to celebrate with us. From that moment I was all smiles and the wedding worries started to fall away. The braai was a definite hit and really helped set the tone for the weekend by giving all who attended a chance to meet or catch up before the big day allowing for a little extra quality time.

The next morning was a relatively early start with breakfast brought to us in the Dairy while we got ourselves ready. Once the prepping and beautifying began the butterflies kicked in. I was so excited and could not wait for the day to unfold. It was very different now that I had been upgraded to BRIDE! When finally it was time to head to the chapel I felt such relief. I remember grinning from ear to ear from the minute I caught sight of Rick. He's is normally such a toughie so I was amazed and so touched by the emotion he showed as I walked towards him. When the ceremony began and we stood in-front of our nearest and dearest about to say our vows and I remember my legs were shaking uncontrollably! I think the importance of the day and the fact that all eyes were on us had finally hit me. I wasn't sure how long I'd be able to stand there shaking like that, but once our pastor, Gary, started speaking to us I began to feel so calm and content. The nerves soon subsided and it wasn't long before Gary had us in stitches. It was an absolutely unforgettable service and he really inspired us, as well as our guests, with his message about love and marriage.

The one bit of advise we received most throughout  our wedding planning was to take the time to enjoy and savor each and every special moment during the day, as they just flash by so quickly. What great advise that was! Our wedding day truly did fly by in a whirlwind of love, laughs and photographs. We took the advice for most and made sure to talk to eachother and slow down when we could to enjoy this monumental day that took the better part of a year to plan.

Our creative shoot was interesting to say the least. The weather really showed off and we managed to go from blue skies and sunshine, to rain, to mist. It was such fun, Craig and Stephen kept us on our toes and found so many beautiful little places to photograph. By the time we were done I was beyond cold and ready to defrost and get on the dance floor.

Our reception was perfect! The decor was exquisite, the food was amazing and there was such a happy buzz in the air. We were so grateful to have the best MC, our cousin Steve. He set the tone for the evening and really kept things flowing so well. Our wedding cake was incredible, Rick's mom Ana baked the most delicious sponge and it was decorated to absolute perfection by her closest friend, Paula. You could of sworn the flowers on it were real and not sculpted from sugar. The speeches were a definite highlight for us. Everyone spoke fantastically and each one was so unique and special. Our DJ, Greig, really got people off their seats and kept them on the dance. We loved his playlist and he had a very good feel for the room, knowing when to change things up.  I'll never forget that most of the way through our father daughter dance, all my dad wanted to do was switch into a break dance. Slow dancing is definitely not his thing! Thankfully I managed to convince him to stick to our clumsy waltz.

When all the formalities were over we partied and danced the night away. It was honestly the best night of our lives and we will always cherish it as a highlight of our journey together. We've always known that we are fortunate to have the incredible family and friends that we do, but our wedding day was just an awesome reminder of how blessed we truly are. We were especially lucky to have the best people stand by our side and go through this process with us. Our bridal party was top notch. We are incredibly happy and are loving our start to married life. With role models like our parents, who together have shared over 60 years of marriage, we have no doubt that we are in for one hell of a ride.

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