Nico & Liza’s Outdoor Feast

As a mid-week treat we bring you Liza and Nico’s merry, laid-back wedding feast. The young couple tied the knot on a very hot day at Red Ivory Chapel, close to the Magaliesberge.When André from Blackframe Photography sent me this wedding, I just looked at the pictures and fell in love with what I saw. But when I read the couple’s story, it made their wedding even more beautiful. Like Liza says, “everything at the wedding had meaning”.The most touching part, for me, was the way Liza described her walk down the aisle. Liza’s father passed away two years before the wedding, and she was worried that missing him might cast a bit of a shadow over the joyous occasion.
Instead, Liza says, she was blessed with an overwhelming sense of peace. Because her father was not there to “give her away”, Liza’s mother walked her from the car to the entrance of the chapel, and then Nico walked from the front of the chapel to meet her in the middle of the aisle. It was so special. And Liza says she felt the presence of both her Heavenly Father, and her earthly father throughout the whole day.The other men in her life also contributed to the special day; her father-in-law did the sermon, and Liza’s grandfather officiated their union. A big thank you to Blackframe Photography for giving us a glimpse of this great day!

Tell us your love story …

We met each other at the varsity swimming pool during a training session, (yes he was wearing a speedo). We obviously noted each other that day, but it was only eight months later that we bumped into each other again. After a few coffee dates, and some more (a lot more) training sessions, he started to introduce me as his meisie.

So how did he pop the question?

It was a long weekend, and we planned to go visit close friends of ours at their guesthouse in Bethlehem. We planned to take part in a mountain bike race, in the nearby nature reserve, on the Saturday. All the gear and arrangements for the race was made. But on race day, Nico woke me up, telling me the race is starting at 06:00 instead of 08:00. Me not being a morning person, refused to get up and said I would rather skip the race than getting up so early. But Nico insisted, so after a lot of moaning we finally got there “in time”. However the gates were closed and we were the only people there. But Nico had me jumping over a gate to find the “shortcut” to the starting point.As we biked to the “starting point” we experienced the early blue light arise to announce the sunrise any minute now. Nico suddenly pulled out a blanket and all my favourite goodies, and asked me to marry him. It was just perfect.

What was the highlight of your wedding day?

My highlight must be that moment when he answered loud and proud JA even before my grandfather, who married us, could finish the question. Oh, and I loved the vintage typewriter guest book.

Any advice for brides-to-be?

Our advice would be to make your first priority the marriage preparation. It gave us a good foundation and has helped us avoid some common pitfalls in our relationships. We also think it is very important to meet your service providers in person.

We got married quite young. Our dream is to explore the world and our lives together. So we decided to go on honeymoon every year in celebration of our marriage.

Oh yes, some people pitched up with plus ones that we didn’t know about, and I did not organise a mic and speakers for the reception area! Whoops!

Any time saving or organising tips?

Basic organising from the beginning can save you a lot of time. I downloaded a few “do it yourself” goodies from Perdekoop including a guest list spread sheet. It has all the details and things you need to know and do on it. Together with columns for all the guests’ info and RSVP statuses. We filled it in once and as we got cancellations etc. we could immediately see where the numbers were standing etc.

Were any of your family members or friends involved in the wedding and what were their contributions?

My mom was actually the only one involved with the planning, it was important for me to have our family as guests, to enjoy the day together with us. And rather have service provides running around to do the last-minute things. Everybody could be 100 % present in our day. My new sister-in-law and Nico’s brother helped us make sure that the flow of the day went as planned. She actually made a spreadsheet of all the service providers involved, and managed it from there.

What are you looking forward to now that you are married?

Ana Afonso & Pedro Amorim