How did you meet?
On the 13th of April 2006, I went salsa dancing at a Cuban bar in London. Across the dance floor, I saw a beautiful Mexican man, a beam of light illuminated him and I was mesmerised. I had to meet this man. Fueled by the beers I’d had earlier and I went over to introduce myself. He will say this next part isn’t true but he blanked me. Ouch!
A while later I spotted him leaning against the DJ booth. With my bruised ego, now repaired by tequila, I went over and convinced him to have a beer with me. He obliged and we toasted to new friends. After discovering that the exotic Mexican was actually South African, I knew this was definitely going nowhere, I travelled 7,636.73 miles to meet people from other cultures I was not about to fall in love with a South African…from Bloemfontein, nogal.
Well, we all know how that plan worked out but I would not change a thing. The Mexican and I have made a beautiful life together and I couldn’t wait to take this next step with him.
How did he propose?
For our 10 year anniversary (I know right, what took him so long?) I surprised Justin with a week long road trip around Iceland, we were driving alongside a gorgeous lake and he stopped to fly his drone, well that’s what he said but instead he whipped out a ring and popped the question.
I was surprised, not by the proposal exactly. You see this was Justin’s second attempt at it, let’s just say the first one lacked romanticism, so technically we were already engaged but he was a sweetheart and brought the ring with us to have another go. The ring was very special, his father had it made for his mom. It had three big diamonds, one for each of their children and seven little diamonds, one for each year they had been married at the time the ring was made. We thought about melting it down to create our own ring but decided to keep it in tact to pass onto our children as a family heirloom.
Tell us more about your wedding planning?
Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same. I’ll risk sounding corny and say that we are best friends, we moved in together after dating for 2 weeks and even though we know each other better than we know ourselves we are somehow still learning new things about each other eleven years later. I accredit our longevity to our strong friendship base.
We chose a group of people we liked, gave them our ideas and trusted them to deliver our dream wedding. Did everything go to plan, hell no but you know what, it was perfect to us. We had around 35 guests and we chose a laid back bohemian styled beach wedding with soft coloured flowers decorating the tables.
Let’s talk about the dresses!
My wedding dress was made by the French company La Redoute – a 1970’s bohemian inspired cotton V-neck dress with long lace sleeve detail. My dad is not a fan of my arm tattoos so out of respect I covered them up; but I had the sleeves tailored for hot weather by adding zips which turned out to be a Godsend when we were blessed with a glorious hot sunny day.
In continuing with the laidback style, my bridesmaids wore Floral flowy ruffle dresses with cheeky thigh high slits designed by Myleene Klass for Very.
We were all barefoot.
We know guys also love their outfits – tell us about the boys!
Justin and his groomsmen wore hipster casual chino shorts with white collared shirts. As a wedding gift, the groom and his groomsmen wore leather suspenders which were made by one of the groomsmen. The matching bushy beards were not planned.
What was the most difficult/stressful aspect of planning your wedding?
My favourite colour is rainbow so it was hard not to get carried away and end up with a kitsch wedding. In the end, I was allowed my multicoloured wedding as long as all the colours were pastel. Good thing my husband has good taste, if I had my way the aisles would have been lined with fake flamingo’s.
Any advice for brides-to-be?
My advice would be to use your idea of the perfect wedding as a ‘guide’ rather than a ‘or bust’ plan. Being prepared to compromise means you won’t be easily disappointed.
Candice and Justin also opted to have a pre-wedding shoot the night before the big day – which we think is such a cool idea!