Jamie and TJ

I don’t think I will have to explain why I am obsessed with this wedding day – these rooftop shots say it all!
Jamie and TJ were one of the many couples who went through absolute torture while trying to navigate the world of “what now, covid?”

They had to postpone their wedding just TWO DAYS before it was meant to happen… talk about frustrating!
But, through all the ups and downs, they were finally able to have their amazing wedding celebration, filled with all the beautiful jewel tones, copious amounts of beer and G+T and a whole lot of partying!

So, let’s hear a little bit more about their day!

Images by Marielle Catherine Photography.

Hey guys! Please can you introduce yourself to the Hooray readers?
Hey! We are Jamie & Tj van Rensburg. We have been together for 6.5 years and are the best of friends! We met in our last few weeks of college and have been inseparable since.

Hooray: Tell us about your proposal, give us all the deets!
Jamie: Our engagement was intimate and private. My husband made me breakfast in bed for my birthday and bought one of our fur babies into the room with a tag around his neck asking me to marry his daddy. When I looked up Tj was on one knee next to the bed, all teary-eyed and with a quivering lip. I said yes before he could even finish his sentence. 

Hooray: Let’s start off with the difficult one, how badly did COVID affect your wedding plans?
Jamie: It definitely affected our wedding. My dad and stepmom live in the UK and travelled to SA for the first wedding when COVID arrived. They managed to get back home 2 days before the borders closed. They, unfortunately, were not able to make the second wedding date and subsequently, my dad was unable to walk me down the aisle. This was absolutely the worst effect COVID had on our wedding. But although he was unable to be here, the internet is an amazing thing and we did all we could to live stream the event for them. We also lost a lot of money, close to R50000 and had to put in a lot of after-hours work to pay for the second wedding.

Hooray: How did you deal with the emotions of postponements and uncertainty of what would be?
Jamie: We were incredibly angry the day we were told we had to postpone our wedding with only 2 days to go. The original venue didn’t give us a choice and forced us to postpone. We begged to have our wedding, even in line with the COVID regulations at the time. This was by far the angriest I had been throughout this journey. After the postponement, the line of communication was extremely poor and the news of the venue closure was impersonal. We were promised that an agreement with a new venue would be made, which they did not honour, and were then told we would not get any money back. We also had to deal with the constant up and down, on and off, that came with COVID. We had to bend and adjust to the ever-changing regulations, curfew, load-shedding and weather. It felt like a constant uphill battle, but the day was absolutely worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing. We also really hope we will be able to go on honeymoon soon – fingers crossed.

Hooray: What was the one non-negotiable of your wedding?
Jamie: We knew that no matter where we had it or what we did, we wanted everyone to have a good time. And it was quite a party!

Hooray: How did you choose your photographer?
Jamie: I studied with Marielle and knew before I even got engaged that she would be the one! And man was it the BEST decision. She almost wasn’t my photographer (COVID), but the universe ended up making it happen. I also knew that if I wanted great photographs, I had to give her creative freedom. Marielle’s entire brief was that we just wanted city photos, the rest was totally up to her. 

Hooray: How many people were you able to have at your wedding?
Jamie: Due to our wedding being outdoors, we were lucky to have 90 people, including staff.

Hooray: What safety precautions did you have in place?
Jamie: We asked everyone to wear masks and keep a distance from each other as best as they could. Our page boys sanitized hands upon entrance and we had sanitiser on all tables. We also tried our best to still keep the party alive and had a COVID-safe beer pong table. This meant that beer pong cups were filled with water and everyone drank out of their own glasses. It was a lot of fun!

Hooray: Be honest, how many hours did you spend on Pinterest?
Jamie: Is there even a number high enough? I think not.

Hooray: Tell us about your bridesmaids and groomsmen?
Jamie: I literally do not have any bad experiences to share! Our bridesmaids and groomsmen were PERFECT. Not a single hiccup… we let our ladies choose their own style of dresses, shoes, hair and makeup and they all looked and felt incredible. The bridal party all helped us set up, put flowers together and made sure we had a great time. We are so grateful to them.

Hooray: What role did your parents play in your wedding?
Jamie: Our parents all contributed what they could and they all helped as much as possible. Even my dad and stepmom in the UK. They were all fantastic! We loved having their support and helping hands.

Hooray: The one thing you would change about your wedding if you could travel back in time?
Jamie: Don’t try to do everything yourself. Just pay someone to do it! I can’t even tell you the amount of time we had to put into setting up and packing down. We did all our flowers ourself and I hired every piece of decor and put it all together. I am glad I did, but also wish I didn’t have the pressure on me. I was very lucky to have had so many helping hands though. Could not have done it without them.

Hooray: LOVE your jewel-toned colour palette, what made you go with these colours?
Jamie: Burgundy is my absolute best colour and I decided to try to be different and pair it with navy, dark green and plum. Who says we only have to have one colour? We wanted an industrial feel to our wedding with the original venue and dark colours always go best. Luckily for us, it worked out perfectly at the Bellevue Campus.

Hooray: So many Durban couples choose wedding venues far out of Durban, what made you decide to stay in the city?
Jamie: This was our best decision. We always knew we wanted the street vibes. Street food like burgers and bunnies, brick, metals, dark colours, city lights – what a dream. Marielle had done a photo shoot on top of a building and when I saw those pictures, I knew we had to do it. Durban is SUCH a beautiful city and what better contrast than a neat bride and groom against a grungy city backdrop?

Hooray: Your rooftop photos are just so magical, were you nervous up there?
Jamie: Definitely not. The view was just incredible! The weather was perfect, even the wind played its part – the city was perfect and Marielle did such a great job to make us feel comfortable up there.

Hooray: YOUR DRESS – so unique, I love it. How did you choose the top and bottom?
Jamie: I didn’t want a white dress and I didn’t want lace, all I knew was that I wanted a beaded top. I went to a wedding dress store and tried on a bunch of different styles and knew that this top was the style for me. My bridesmaid, Kylie, made my top for me and she did such an amazing job. The bottom was quite a journey. I took inspiration from the Martina Liana Stevie Skirt. The range was discontinued and we only got the skirt right on the second try – that’s right, there were 2 dresses. It is quite a complicated cut, but my dressmaker got it spot on.

Hooray: The biggest hurdle you faced planning your wedding?
Jamie: COVID. We lost a lot of money when our first venue closed down and had to rebook everything. It was such a challenge to risk putting more money into this to possibly have to cancel again. There were a number of times when we both almost threw in the towel. But we are so incredibly glad we didn’t give up. 4 venues, 2 weddings, 2 dresses, a lot of money and a whole bunch of bad luck later, we finally got it right! 

Hooray: It seems like you guys had the biggest JOL! Can you give us some of the best moments of the night?
Jamie: Well, from what we can remember, everyone had such a good time – the dance floor was definitely the place to be. We did our best to provide all the shooters, beer and G&T’s that we could. My husband and his father made their own beer which was such a hit, and we had the most amazing gin bar. Our DJ also did well to make sure that the music was ON POINT. It really was such a fun day and I would do it all again in a heartbeat!

Hooray: And finally, what was the best moment of your wedding day?
The relief of saying ‘I Do’. We had to cancel our first wedding TWO DAYS before, due to COVID. So the long wait and constant threat of cancelling again made that moment even more amazing. We also had our little boy with us when we had our first kiss as husband and wife. I remember turning to my husband right after that and saying ‘I don’t care what else happens with this day, we are MARRIED!’.

Jamie and TJ, thank you so much for sharing your absolutely beautiful wedding day with us!
Even though you had to jump over many hurdles to get there, it looked like it was all worth it!
I won’t lie, those party pictures are giving me major FOMO!

Wishing you both many years ahead filled with all the love, city vibes and biggest jols!

Photographer: Marielle Beetge
Videographer: Vision Serve Media
Wedding coordinator: Dreams by Design
Venue: Bellevue Campus
Food: Turn Up Events Food Truck
DJ: DJ Riaan Extreme
Makeup: Makeup by Roxy
Hair: Futuristic Hair
Wedding Dress Top & PJs: 1 of a Kynd
Wedding dress skirt: Christy Ellen Atelier

Flowers and Decor: Bride and Groom!
Decor hire: Labola, Desire2hire, Settings Function Hire & The Ideas Factory

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