Maxine + Stephan
Okay, we have to admit, when Maxine sent us a few snaps of her and Stephan’s intimate celebration, we first fell in love with her bridal jumpsuit and “Old Hollywood” styled RED hair… we decided then and there that we just had to see more!
Surrounded by 15 of their nearest and dearest, Maxine and Stephan were able to say their I do’s in her parent’s backyard. Maxine made her own jumpsuit, decorated the garden with help from her mom, bought a cake from Woolies, and loaned an arch from their original wedding date decor supplier… what more do you need?
Get ready for some major intimate celebration inspo!
Hi guys, please can you introduce yourselves to the Hooray readers.
M + S: Hey, we are Maxine and Stephan. We met on a dating app at the beginning of 2015, I was in my last year of college and Steph was working. We had both just gotten out of long term relationships and weren’t looking for anything too serious… obviously that was our of our control!
We got engaged in April 2017 and planned on having a long engagement (weddings are expensive!) Flash forward to 2020, we picked out the 4th of July to be our wedding date. But by April 2020, with the coronavirus having resulted in the nationwide lockdown, we realised we would have to postpone our wedding. We decided that the most important part for us was getting married and being together, and not the big party, so we decided to have our ceremony on our same date with just close family and friends, and we would postpone our reception till next year.
Hooray: Tell us more about your proposal
M + S: We got engaged on 15 April 2017. Steph’s family was coming to visit us from Limpopo, he suggested we have a big family lunch on Saturday with both our families. I was in the kitchen busy sorting out the last bits for the lunch when I turned around and saw my dad filming me (with his flash on- haha so obvious!) Then I saw Steph standing at the entrance to the kitchen holding our dachshund in the most adorable little jacket with a bow tie! When I looked closer, printed on the collar was “Will you marry me?” I just started crying. Steph knelt down and I just started nodding! Turns out it was supposed to happen on our deck outside and he had a speech planned, but he didn’t know how to get me outside without making me suspicious and then was too nervous to speak- so it didn’t exactly go according to plan! I loved it regardless.
Hooray: We are sure you had a rollercoaster of emotions when the lockdown was announced… how did you feel?
Maxine: We waited as long as possible to see if we might not have to postpone, but by the end of April we could see it was not going to be possible. I had many sleepless nights trying to figure out what to do and was really upset to have to wait longer to get married, but eventually, we decided to postpone and a few days later decided that we would still have our ceremony this year and a bigger wedding with all our family next year
Hooray: A backyard celebration, would you recommend this for other brides?
Maxine: Yes, I would recommend it! We had my brother’s wedding in my parent’s garden too and set up a big marquee. I think the decor is most important to really make it feel like a wedding. A garden wedding can be as big or as small as you like and it worked perfectly for us as we used a smaller area of my parents garden to have an intimate celebration
Hooray: What was the one non-negotiable at your wedding?
M + S: I just wanted the big dream wedding with all our family and friends, first dance, a big cake, wedding dress, etc. I didn’t have any specifics that I was stuck on. Steph just wanted a big honeymoon, overseas! Obviously neither of us got those things. For our lockdown wedding? The non-negotiable for me was pizza from Pinto’s in Kloof as our catering! (Chicken and blue cheese!)
Hooray: Was there anything you were able to use from your “original” day?
M + S: No we didn’t keep anything from the original wedding- but we didn’t want to. We saved all our decor, outfits, ideas for next year’s wedding so we could experience all of it with ALL our family and friends. This year’s wedding was more about being with each other, next year is about being with all our family and friends.
Hooray: How many people attended your celebration?
Maxine: We had about 15 guests. Unfortunately, none of Steph’s family could make this year’s wedding as they live in Limpopo and the UK. We were hoping by the time July came around that inter-provincial travel would be open, so that his mom could at least make it, but it ended up that she could not be here with us.. The guests were my grandparents, my brother, and his wife and then 3 close childhood friends. We stuck to our absolute closest family and friends, although naturally there were some complaints, we did the best we could with the options available to us.
Hooray: Your jumpsuit is GOALS! How long did it take you to make? What made you decide on a jumpsuit?
Maxine: Thank you, I loved it! Hmm, I think it took me about a week… I procrastinated and only finished it about a day before the wedding! I figured if I was going to have 2x weddings, I’d fulfill my dreams of a modern/chic wedding this year and a more traditional wedding next year. My actual wedding dress is my mom’s from her wedding, so I really wanted to save that for the big wedding!
HSN**: OMG! We love that you are going to be wearing your mom’s wedding dress, cannot wait to see pictures next year!
Hooray: Have you started planning your second wedding celebration?
Maxine: Yes, I had all but finished planning the wedding for this year- so will just follow all my plans through to next year’s wedding!
Hooray: How did you choose your photographer?
M + S: We weren’t going to have a photographer because it was just a small home wedding, but one of my closest friends is an incredible photographer and she offered to take some pics for us! I am so over the moon with the results, her photos are magical and capture our day perfectly!
Hooray: Be honest, how many hours did you spend on Pinterest?
Maxine: My mom and I had SO many Pinterest boards! A board for ideas, a board for outfits, and then a final board that pin-pointed our favourites from the other boards! Hours on hours for sure.
Hooray: Did your parents help out at all with your lockdown ceremony?
Maxine: My mom and dad hosted our wedding at their home, we all worked together to get the garden ready and set up for the wedding. My parents were a huge help, especially my mom who had all the big ideas for the decor, I honestly couldn’t have done it without her. She is so incredible and helped make me so excited for this wedding! She is the reason we had such a magical day.
Hooray: Those cakes look yummy! What flavours are they?
Maxine: The bigger cake was from Woolies (caramel and cream- yum!) and the smaller cake was from Checkers, I think… My mom had lace cake art and bought some fondant flowers and leaves, so we just decorated them ourselves to look more wedding-y!
Hooray: The one thing you would change about your wedding if you could travel back in time?
M + S: We had a Facebook room set up for family and friends to link in and watch the ceremony. Steph’s family live in Limpopo and the UK, so they couldn’t attend. After our vows, we went to sign the register and then were going to exchange rings and have the “I Do’s”- the phone we had set up for the link, was close to dead and our family who weren’t there, didn’t get to see the final moments. We did have a second recording that captured this, which we sent them after the wedding to watch. But I wish the live recording didn’t end, I’m so sad they didn’t get to see this in real-time.
Hooray: What wedding traditions were you able to do + which did you have to leave out?
Maxine: Steph and I spent the night before and day of the wedding apart so that the first time he saw me would be coming down ‘the aisle’! I kind of loved that, because it really built some suspense and you just cant wait to see your partner! And my dad walked me down the aisle and gave me away and said a speech later on in the evening. We saved the rest for next year, so we could experience all our ‘firsts’ with Steph’s mom and family.
Hooray: The best moment of your wedding day?
Maxine: My best moment was being surprised by Steph having written a few words to say after our vows. We decided that we would go with the vows written by the pastor, so when he stopped and asked Steph to speak, I was so moved! I started crying a bit He then asked me if I wanted to say anything but I couldn’t speak.
Hooray: The future of weddings is now leaning towards intimate celebrations, do you have any advice for couples who are thinking of having an intimate ceremony?
Maxine: I would say not to overthink things, sometimes you can get so caught up in making sure everything runs perfectly, but it’s really not in your control. Simple can still be beautiful, we strung a couple of fairy lights (actually about 100 meters!) pinned some fabric on the arch and strung some ivy around as decor… The rest was plants my mom had in her garden and furniture from in the house… But it was really beautiful and I couldn’t have asked for more.
Hooray: Lastly, do you have any words of advice for other brides that have had to postpone their wedding day?
Maxine: I think I would just say, remember what’s important… In our case, we knew that what truly mattered most to us, was our relationship and the love we have for each other. You will be able to celebrate with your family and friends, but you are marrying your partner so that you can be together forever, it’s your time to be a bit selfish and just focus on each other!
Maxine and Stephan, thank you so much for sharing your special day with us. It looked like the most magical day and we cannot wait to see your second celebration next year!
Wishing you many more happy years ahead, filled with backyard parties, sunset kisses, and all the love in the world!