Daniel & Kendall | Real Wedding
Kendall & Dan went through something days before their wedding that would have had any bride in tears!! Their photographer’s ditched them. It’s a complicated story, which you can read about below…but we couldn’t believe how quickly the Durban wedding community rallied to help solve their problem. There were a number of photographers who were willing to give up their very precious weekends off to help a bride in distress and we think this says a lot about our local community!
What most attracted us to this wedding was that spectacular transparent marquee. The set up allowed them to be in touch with their surroundings while still protected from the elements. We also love that Kendall’s dress had a detachable soft skirt which once removed revealed her slim and sexy figure. You rocked it Kendall!!
Our Love Story:
Dan and I met 4 years ago at a night club (Sorry Mom – I met my husband at a night club!) He had come from a long day at cricket, had consumed many a castle lite and lets just that his courage needed no help from the Dutch!
He made a move, I politely declined (I had been heading for the door when I noticed him), he insisted, my girl friend’s insisted and well…. here we are!
The first day that we spent together, we changed lyrics to a song – made it about ourselves and sang it to each other. I’m quite a strange cat, and didn’t think that I’d meet some one as weird as me. But I found Dan…my knight in shining armour.
2 weeks from our meeting date, I was scheduled to head back to NYC for a year of studies. Those 2 weeks were a crazy whirlwind of emotion as everyone tried to tip-toe around our fragile emotions. But we knew we could make long distance work – and we did!
I cried and cried when I had to say goodbye to him – like full on ugly cry! But we shared our journeys with each other via skype and whatsapp. Long distance is NOT a walk in the park, but we made it through.
When I came home from NYC, we moved in together right away! We are similar in many ways but we quickly learnt our differences. We both love the outdoors, we both love to compete – but we clash in the kitchen. Dan could eat bacon and egg rolls for the rest of his life, whereas I enjoy cooking and creating exotic dishes.
After two years of dating, Dan asked my Dad for my hand in marriage. Together they planned and schemed how it would all go down. During a family ski trip, I filmed Dan doing his snowboarding tricks through a beautiful forest. He was doing terribly! I got frustrated and said that I was done filming and was continuing on. He asked me to wait and film just one more. He snowboarded right up to me, he had no gloves on and his one boot was unstrapped. With the camera still rolling, he dropped to one knee and presented a ring. “WHAT THE HELL?” I said. I don’t remember much after that except screaming YES.
Planning a wedding:
Wow wee…this was a daunting experience. The one thing we were certain on was a wedding planner. We did our research and found Carolyn McNeil of Adore weddings. I can’t say enough about this special soul. I remember coming home to Dan after our first appointment and telling Dan that I had met my new best friend. After asking me a few questions, she offered up some suggestions and I knew that she got me.
Everything went really well, up until a week before the wedding.
I received a call from our photographers explaining that one half of the duo would be unable to cover our wedding as his father had passed away and he needed to fly home. I was disappointed as he was the real talent, but totally understood. I moved on with my day – we had spa treatments arranged.
Walking into the salon, I received another phone call. This time from the other half of the duo. I immediately offered my condolences and wished him safe travels. He was very confused – his father had died 15 years ago and he had no idea why his flight had been cancelled.
It turns out that our photography team were in the midst of a nasty separation. What unfolded was something out of a movie with stories of sexual abuse, missing persons, lies and deceit. NOT what I wanted to hear about days before my wedding. I handed the phone over to my bridesmaids and they took over from there.
Everyone rallied to find me a new photographer. We were pleasantly surprised to find that there were at least 3 photographers in Durban who were willing to come to our aid at the last minute. I ended up booking Shanna Jones Photography from Cape Town. I had seen her work from a friends wedding and it just so happened that she had taken the month of March off to revamp her website. I couldn’t believe my luck – she came in with the perfect attitude and flair for my once-in-a-lifetime moment. We will forever be grateful to Shanna, she was a Godsend!
Our wedding was everything that I wanted it to be. There was nothing that could dampen our day. I was so excited to marry Dan, that I could have sprinted down the aisle and into his arms. We laughed, we cried, we kissed and danced all night long. There is nothing more we could have asked for.
If there is anything that I could tell future brides, it would be to keep the wedding true to who you and your partner are. Don’t listen to other’s opinions on what you should do – it’s not their wedding. Write all your costs down, not matter how small – they all add up. Have fun, you only get to do this once. And most importantly, don’t loose sight of why you are getting married.
The biggest waste of money were my high heels. They look great in the wedding pics but who are we kidding? SO not practical for the bush! I do love shoes, and I was that typical bride who searched for the perfect pair for weeks – but MY goodness what a waste of time and money. Thank the pope I had two backup pairs to choose from when I felt that the change was necessary.
The best advice I received was definitely from my wedding planner Carolyn. One of the first things she said to me was “Don’t go with the trend unless the trend is who you are and what you love.” She said that one day I would want to look back and know that my wedding was something I felt connected to and not something I saw in a magazine. This advice made such a difference, it made planning and choosing decor so much easier. I loved the planning process with Carolyn, it was always fun and exciting!
The best spent money was on the band we had play at the cocktail hour while we were having our photos taken. I was so worried about our photos taking longer than expected and our guests getting restless. But when Dan and I got to the reception, the band was all our guests could talk about. They were incredible and created such a great vibe for the rest of the night.
Surprisingly, the best part of my wedding ended up being the thunderstorm that arrived about 30 minutes before speeches started. Sounds like every bride’s worst nightmare but because the day was so hot, the storm brought a much needed coolness to the air. It also caused the electricity to go off for about 2 minutes which was one of the most special times of the night as everyone started singing. My theatre friends will take any opportunity to turn a situation into a performance… with hundreds of candles flickering and lightening cracks above us, everyone joined in to make one very dramatic and special scene that Dan and I will never forget. We just loved it!
The biggest catastrophe on the day that I can laugh about now was that our other wedding coordinator from Tala had locked herself out of her car at a shopping centre on the day of our wedding and she had our seating plan. She wasn’t able to get to the venue on time to place names at the tables so it was up to Dan and his mom to try figure out where everyone was suppose to sit. I was getting ready at a venue with no cellphone reception so they couldn’t even ask me. Now that I think about it, there were probably a few couples mixed up that night, but Dan and I joke and laugh about it all the time.
We went for a glass marquee as we really wanted to illustrate the beauty of the outdoors while still being protected from the elements. We ensured that the food, flowers and decor were all in theme with our surroundings.
Thank you Kendall&Dan for sharing your story with us. Brides and grooms out there…there is no problem that can’t be solved if you have a good team behind you. Do you have any scary wedding stories to share? We would love to hear via the comments section beow.
The Team behind Kendall&Dan’s wedding celebrations…
Photography: Shanna Jones Photography
Wedding Planner : Adore weddings and events
Venue: Tala Game reserve
Catering: Tala Game reserve
Transparent marquee: MRent
Hanging Installations and lounge furniture: Functions for Africa
Cake: Penny Mcloughlin 0825693766
Flowers: Adore Weddings and Events
Videographer: James Gibbs
Dress: Alon Livne
Stationary: Glee Projects
Hair: Drew Christie
Make Up: Lindsay Nixon