Waterfront Elopement

When I first saw the pictures of Uvani and Edwin’s elopement, I thought they were in Miami!
I did a little jump for joy when I took a closer look and realised that they were actually in our good ‘ole hometown of Durban… winter in Durban really knows how to show off!

Uvani and Edwin’s wedding day was set for August. At first, they were optimistic that the Lockdown would not affect their wedding plans, but, as the days drew on, they quickly realised, they would have to postpone their day.

Do you think this would stop them from getting hitched? Oh no!
With the manager from the restaurant and their photographer witnessing their vows, they said their I do’s on a winter’s day at the Durban Waterfront. 

Read on to find out more about their intimate elopement.
All images by Misha Lee Photography

Hi guys, please introduce yourself to the Hooray readers…
Uvani: My name is Uvani and my HUSBAND’S (still so excited to call him my husband) name is Edwin. We met through mutual friends during university. We knew of each other before this, but never really spoke to each other. Social Media brought us together and we have been dating since 2011! We got engaged in 2019.

Hooray: Can you tell us more about your proposal.
Edwin: I bent the knee on Table Mountain, at sunset. It was an improvised plan which changed up in a matter of 30 minutes! The original plan was to propose while paragliding off Signal Hill…unfortunately the wind and cloud cover wasn’t playing the game. The views made the proposal epic nevertheless!

Hooray: We are sure you had a rollercoaster of emotions when the lockdown was announced… how did you work through these?
Uvani: When the lockdown was announced in March, we were optimistic and thought that everything would be better by August. As time passed by, we soon realized that we definitely had to postpone our big day. The day we decided to postpone, I was REALLY upset but Edwin was very calm and collected and e-mailed all our service providers and set a new date for us in May next year. We then sent out a postponement announcement to all our family and friends who were invited. Our family and friends have been super supportive and we are so lucky to have them in our lives!

Hooray: Wow, an elopement, who was present?
U + E: Literally just our Photographer and Marriage Officer. We asked our Photographer and the Manager at 9th Avenue Waterside to sign as our witnesses. It was very intimate!

Hooray: What made you go with the Waterfront as your venue? The pictures are giving us major Miami vibes!
Uvani: Haha, thanks so much! We absolutely adored the pictures ourselves! Edwin and I are big Foodies and wanted to enjoy a fine dining meal, but also have a venue that we could take scenic pictures. I must admit, the way Misha captured the sunset, sea, and love was perfect in every sense and exceeded all our expectations!

Hooray: So you have started on plans for your “second” wedding celebration?
Uvani: We have! We are currently in the process of picking a new wedding venue. Lucky for us, all our service providers are already booked for our new date so it’s a lot less stressful now. I’m keeping an eye out for new trends but most of our original plans with regard to décor and floral arrangements will still remain the same.

Hooray: What was the one non-negotiable of your elopement?
U + E: Amazing photographs! When we look back down the line we didn’t want to be reminded of postponing our original wedding date, but rather that we managed to overcome the circumstances and still have a great elopement with beautiful memories. #loveisnotcancelled

Hooray: So, how did you choose your photographer then?
Uvani: Positive energy! I came across Misha Lee’s beautiful photographs whilst scrolling on Instagram a few months before our elopement. I was amazed by her ability to capture the most stunning lighting and immediately knew that I wanted her to capture our special day. 

Hooray: Were you able to do any wedding traditions during your elopement?
Uvani: We weren’t able to do any traditions at all. Edwin and I just signed our papers and exchanged our marriage vows. Next year is all about the religious traditions – exchanging floral garlands, tying the thali (yellow string around the bride’s neck), and wearing a red dot. These are all important traditions that signify marriage in our culture.

Hooray: Be honest, how many hours did you spend on Pinterest?
Uvani: WAY too many! I had originally pinned images for our wedding day and reception, but after postponing that, I spent hours more looking at elopement dresses and bouquets.

Hooray: Was there anything you were able to use from your “original” plans?
Uvani: Apart from each other (haha)- nothing else. We are saving all our “original” ideas for when we can celebrate with all our loved ones. This elopement was something that we just wanted to experience with each other.

Hooray: Was your elopement a secret? How did everyone react?
U + E: We kept our elopement a secret until a week after the day. With having to postpone our original wedding date, we didn’t want to attract too much attention to our elopement. Our friends were very happy for us when the found out about it.

Hooray: Were your parents involved in the elopement at all?
U + E: Our parents were involved in the wedding preparations but the elopement was done by us. It was very hard for us to not have our parents’ be there to witness our marriage, but they were understanding of the situation and encouraged us to celebrate our love- even during a Pandemic!

Hooray: The one thing you would change if you could travel back in time?
U + E: COVID sucks! We would have loved to have our immediate family and friends to witness our marriage but we knew that it would be unsafe.

Hooray: The biggest hurdle you faced planning your elopement?
U + E: The uncertainty! But, we tried our best to embrace the unknown and work with it rather than against it.

Hooray: The best moment of your elopement?
U + E: The best moment of our elopement was our “first dance”. Never in our wildest dreams did we think our song would be played off a cellphone by our Photographer, but it was so special and beautiful. And, Misha nailed it by playing a John Legend song.

Hooray: The future of weddings is now leaning towards intimate celebrations, do you have any advice for couples who are thinking of eloping?
U + E: Do it! It was honestly the best decision we made. It was intimate, carefree, and such fun! It also just takes the weight off your shoulders, that you didn’t even realize was there!

Hooray: Finally, do you have any words of advice for brides that had to postpone their wedding day?
U + E: Our advice would be to always remember what is really important and keep reminding yourself about that. We kept thinking about the love we have for each other and we wanted the day to signify that, despite all the challenges that came along the way. 

I would also advise future brides to plan in advance and have a checklist of things to do. Even though our celebration was so small and intimate it still entailed a fair amount of planning. It is also important to live in the moment and enjoy everything because we felt like the day flew by. Lucky for us, we get to do this all over again for #PartTwo

Uvani and Edwin, thank you so much for sharing your elopement with us today. We are sure it will inspire many to do something similar as they wait for their new wedding date to arrive!

We wish you guys many years ahead filled with fine dining and trips to the waterfront… we will keep our eyes peeled for your wedding v2.0!

MAGIC MAKERS

Photography: Misha Lee Photography
Venue: 9th Avenue Waterside
Marriage Officer: Garry Govender
Bouquet: Flourish Flowers
Dress: Forever New
Makeup: Margeaux Quevauvilliers
Rings: Browns 

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