Elegant Colonial Style Wedding

An elegant, colonial theme set the tone for  Bruce  and Taryn's  special day. Most of the romantic décor in romantic blush gold and white was done by Taryn and her mum.  Not even misty, chilly weather could ruin their big day!

How did you meet?

We met in in Dundee. I was helping my cousin with an event that she was hosting at their farm. It was a motorbike Enduro Race... the first time I had seen anything like it.

What were your first impressions of one another?

Taryn: Oh my! I can remember the very first time I saw him. I was standing at the door checking that the guys had their food vouchers.. and those big blue eyes saw right through me! I remember standing watching him and thinking how handsome he was.
Bruce: I can remember my mate saying to me, “Now look what we have here...” and I said, “don’t worry, I've already seen!” (He can even remember to this day what I was wearing)

Tell us your love story

After that race, Bruce left and didn’t ask me for a phone number or anything. I completely forgot his name and, after the race, I was offered a job with the company that hosted the event. They were based in Pinetown.

My job was to communicate with the riders when the events were taking place, and I wondered if this particular chap was on my list. He was, but I didn’t know that. He was then at another race in Matatiele and when we saw each other I just had a mouth full of teeth! I had been waiting to see him for months and then didn’t have a clue what to say!

He left early for a wedding and I was bleak! About a week later, my flatmate (who was also a bridesmaid) and I were messing around with Tinder, swiping and laughing, and next minute THERE HE WAS! And we were a match! I was not letting this opportunity go by and so, I said, “Hello…” and the rest is history

When did you know he was the one?

I didn’t know for a while, not because there was anything wrong, but I wondered if it was too good to be true. I waited a long time to meet the right man and so I was cautious. But I knew I loved him like almost immediately.

When and how did he (or you!) propose?

hahaha he definitely proposed - FEBRUARY 29th - a Leap Year proposal!

He lived in Underberg and I was living in my flat in Hillcrest. He had said to me in the morning that he was thinking of coming down to a meeting in Pinetown. So I said that was fine but he needed to let me know because I had dinner plans with my friends. He phoned at about 11 to say he was coming down and had to bring our puppies too. I was keen but also said I was going to run so he was welcome to come and bring the dogs to run.

After the run we got back to the flat. I had made a delicious dinner and we both were settling in for the night. We sat in our PJs and started eating dinner.

Bruce: “Well we actually may need to put some nice clothes on.”
Me: “Oh no, why?”
Bruce: “Well, (pulls out a ring my mum gave him) because Id like you to marry me and your parents are waiting at home with the Champagne!”
Me:...(long silence)...looking at the ring, looking at him: “What? Now, this is really happening now?”
Bruce: Yes Blue (this is what he calls me) will you marry me?
Me: Yes, Yes, yes, of course I will marry you!

What's the one thing you have most in common?

We both love people.

How did you cope with the whole wedding planning process?

I actually loved it. I am an event planner. I also had the most amazing person on my side, my mum. She was amazing.

Did you stick to your budget?

We had to. We split it three ways: Us, my mum and Warwick, and my dad who is in Australia.

Any budget tips your can share with our Brides- and Grooms-to-be?

It really is what everyone says, the hardest part of planning a wedding! (the first is the guest list!)

What you think you want and what you actually need are two different things. Pinterest is stunning but so often just unattainable. Wedding favours are really the biggest waste. I have been to possibly 30 weddings, been a Bridesmaid 10 times and now, just having got married myself, I can honestly say we did everything we could to keep everything in perspective. I can’t say it will work for every couple but, for the most part, the money is a tough one. My advice is to be really wise with your decisions. Yes, it is the best day of your life, but it is also one day.

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

I think finding the whole look and feel of what I wanted. And I had my mum and six of my best friends plan that with me.

Did you have any moments/epiphanies when planning your wedding?

I really wanted a videographer but had a real ‘talk to self’ and thought it was best to rather have the people we wanted there and then hoped for the best from my photographer.

What advice would you give other Brides currently planning their own wedding?

Have a person who believes in you! Have that one person you can talk to and who can give you the right kind of advice. It is a stressful time, so you need someone to vent to, but also to give you perspective. They also keep you from being a brat - no-one likes a brat! The best advice I got was to enjoy the process.


Why did you choose a wedding in the country?

It wasn't my first choice. I wanted a colonial look and feel and phoned places such as the Durban Club and even the City Hall. hahahah - but they didn’t work out. We were also going to get married in Underberg but hiring everything in at a venue was turning out to be just way too expensive. I was running out of options and then phoned Lythwood and provisionally booked. At the same time, a friend told me to enter Lythwood’s Leap Year Proposal Competition... and we won it so it was just incredible!

Tell us about Lythwood as a wedding venue?

STUNNING! I do not have enough words in my vocabulary. We were first blown away with the weekend we won there. From the moment we walked in I was in love - with the staff, the decor, the feel, the level of excellence, the food, the room, honestly with everything!

How would you describe the style of your wedding?

Elegant, romantic, colonial.


Tell us about your wedding dress…

Vintage lace, scalloped V neckline, with an A-line skirt and scalloped V at the back. I had my dress in my head for many, many years and so, after trying many dresses on, I realised wasn’t going to find it anywhere and had to have it made.

A story from your wedding ceremony?

Well, my mum walked me down the aisle. Even though my dad and stepdad were both there, it was an honour that my mum was due. It was the most wonderful experience. We walked down the aisle to “It is well with my soul” by Audrey Assad. I chose that song because, like so many people I know, I have walked through many challenging years and finally at the ripe age of 36, I married the man of my prayers.

What was your first dance song?

“Certain things” by James Arthur - the words of the chorus reading: “And you keep coming back coming back again, keep running round, running round, running round my head. There's certain things that I adore, there's certain things know but I’m certain that I’m yours!”


A story from your wedding reception?

Two of my Bridesmaids got up onto the main table chairs and were dancing, then I joined in, then the rest of the Bridesmaids, and then, the Groomsmen - we were then dancing in front of the whole wedding party, concert style, sett the tone for the dance floor. It was the best memory!

What were you most nervous about?

My family dynamic.

Was there anything that made you cry?

I cried at the top of the stairs before walking down the aisle with someone who has been my mentor and dear friend, Claude Robert. We both had a little cry. He asked me a while back if it was well with my soul and, as I kissed him, I said, “it is well with my soul”.

I also felt like crying while I said my vows but nipped that one in the bud. (I'm having a small cry now... hahaha)

What moment of your wedding day stands out to you the most?

Saying our vows. Committing myself before God, and my most precious family and friends, that I will love this man till my dying day. A day I felt God had promised me so it was an answer to many years of prayer.

Is there anything you would change if you could do it all over again?

I can honestly say, NO! It was way more than I could have ever hoped or dreamed for.

Anything else about your wedding you'd like to share?

I decided, as I got engaged, that my Bridesmaids were a very important part of the journey. I felt it was an honour having these favourite people walk alongside me. These girls were, in so many ways, my lifeline and each one of them gave me something so different along the way. I didn’t want them to wait on me, but rather saw this as my opportunity to honour them. We had nine months and one day of such special times, phone calls, a night away, some pampering, gifts and just such fun and love.

Where did you go for your honeymoon?

We only went away for two nights in the Midlands. Bruce and I both own businesses and we just couldn’t afford to be away for a long time. We also paid a third of our wedding and so we had made a choice to wait till next year to go somewhere nice. I have asked Bruce to keep this a surprise for me. We will both be paying for our honeymoon because together we are a team, and we all know teamwork makes the dream work!


Photographer: Darryn Sykes Photography
Venue: Lythwood | 033 234 4666
Wedding Dress: Maxine Willemse, Forever After | 071 517 6408
Suits: Belle & Bravado 
Bridesmaid's & Flower Girl's Dresses: MaXine Willemse, Forever After | 071 517 6408
Décor Hire: Planned to Perfection | 031 764 2416
Flowers: Lynette Hillermann | 082 312 3250 (together with Taryn's friend Erika)
Wedding Cake: Jax Rey from Food Matters (personal family friend)
Hair & Make-up: Angela Watson, Make up your mind | 031 312 2019 and JM Make-up | 082 923 2760
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