Mpilo and Nombuso

Mpilo and Nombuso were meant to get married in May 2020… but I am pretty sure I do not have to explain why those plans did not go ahead. (starts with “R”, ends with “ona” and she is a big pain in the “you know what”!)

But, they were able to have their amazing wedding day after all – and after months of waiting, their magical day finally took place!

With a team of magic makers behind them, their day went off without a hitch, and you can almost FEEL the love and joy that surrounded them in their photos perfectly captured by Kate Martens Photography.

Grab yourself a cuppa, and let’s read up all about  Mpilo and Nombuso’s wedding day. 

Hey guys! Please can you introduce yourselves to the Hooray readers?
Hey, we are Mpilonhle & Nombuso Vilakazi!
Once upon a time, we met at work and we started dating in 2015. We’ve been together for 5 glorious years.

Hooray: Tell us more about your proposal
Nombuso: It was July 2018 and we planned a weekend away to Cathedral Peak resort in the Drakensberg. This was really meant to be just another getaway but Mpilo had other intentions. He actually didn’t have a plan of how he would do it but once we got there, we found out that they had a helicopter ride that takes you up to the mountain for a romantic picnic with a view. It was our first time in a helicopter, so it was definitely an experience. When we got up to the mountain, Mpilo wanted to take pictures (which I found quite irritating at that moment, haha), not knowing that the intention was for me to stand up. As soon as we were done with the selfie’s, he got down on one knee and said the most romantic words whilst shaking with nerves, haha and of course, I said yes. Looking back now, he did seem a bit weird and extremely excited that morning.

Hooray: How badly did COVID affect your wedding plans?
M + N: Apart from the fact that we had to move the date to 6 months later, we also nearly lost the venue of our dreams due to the liquidation of the business. It was a tough time with high emotions of sadness and anger especially because the venue is one of the most important parts of a wedding day.

There was also the restriction on numbers which meant we, unfortunately, couldn’t have all the family and friends we originally planned to invite. It was quite a tough decision to make cuts but we were so blessed to have family and friends that understood the circumstances.

Hooray: How did you deal with the emotions of postponements and uncertainty of what would be?
M + N: It was difficult and we had tons of anxiety because we just didn’t know when life would go back to ‘normal’ again. There were some really bad days filled with tears where it all just felt unfair and extremely heavy to carry.

To be honest, there was no specific way that we dealt with it. Yes, we cried, maybe even a scream and shout but we also chose to accept the situation as it was especially because it was beyond our control. We really had to believe that everything was happening as it should and remained hopeful that things would get better soon.

When we think about it now, we honestly believe our wedding day was even better than it would have been had it happened on the original date.

Hooray: What was it like getting married at The Groves?
M + N: Magical! A dream come true. When we went to see the venue, there was no doubt that it was the one. We loved the elegance and the romance of the venue. The gardens, the views, the beauty! Need we say more?

Then there was Kate and her team, absolutely amazing! They bring the beauty of the venue to life!

Hooray: Your cakes are absolutely gorgeous! What flavours were they?
M + N: Thank you! They tasted absolutely amazing as well thanks to Lauren Lee Couture.
The wedding cake flavours were Vanilla Bean and Chocolate & Orange.
The mom’s cakes were Chocolate Mud….yes, there’s definitely an obsession with chocolate!

Hooray: How did you choose your photographer
M + N: We looked at a few options that were recommendations but we had also come across Kate Martens Photography on Instagram and we were drawn to how natural her photography was. We went through her catalogue and loved how she captured the love and joy in people. She also captured every single moment – the joyful ‘ugly’ tears and the loud laughs. There’s a story to tell in every picture that she takes.

Hooray: What was the one non-negotiable of your wedding
M + N: Definitely the food. We were not willing to cut corners or costs on this one. We wanted the best.

Hooray: Be honest, how many hours did you spend on Pinterest?
Nombuso: Haha more like how many days. We had folders that ranged from wedding dresses, decor inspiration, bridal nails, groom suits and so on. The fun fact is that the bridesmaid’s dresses and the groom suit came directly from a picture on Pinterest. It was such fun (Yep, Mpilo really enjoyed it too) Hooray: The biggest hurdle you faced planning your wedding?
M + N: Covid-19. Our wedding was originally set to be in May 2020 however all our plans had to pause, and we had to re-evaluate our priorities. We were also dealing with different suppliers and we had to manage all of them. There was a huge amount of anxiety and uncertainty of not knowing when life would go back to normal again. To be honest, there is no specific way that we dealt with this setback except for believing that everything was happening as it should. We remained hopeful that things would get better soon, and our prayers were answered when the country moved to Lockdown Level 1 which came with relaxations on social gatherings. We, therefore, had the opportunity to still have our beautiful day and end off 2020 on a good note.

Hooray: Tell us about your bridesmaids and groomsmen?
Nombuso: The Bridesmaids and groomsmen were our closest friends. 

Mpilo & I really enjoyed how chilled our bridal party was, they respected our requests, wore what we told them to wear and never complained. They were also a huge support and comfort which we loved the most. They brought so much fun and joy and even though some of them had 2 left legs and no rhythm, they still pulled through with the dance moves.

Hooray: How many people were you able to have at your wedding?
M + N: We were able to accommodate 125 guests. Not our original number but definitely fewer cuts than we expected so we were so grateful.

Hooray: What safety precautions did you have in place?
M + N: We encouraged the standard Covid19 safety precautions.

Hooray: What role did your parents play in your wedding?
M + N: They were a great support structure for every single decision we made for the wedding and we appreciate them so much.

Hooray: The best moment of your wedding day?
M + N: Oh my word, honestly every single part of the day was the absolute best and so memorable thanks to Oh Happy Day who ensured that the day ran so smoothly.

Hooray: Oh Happy Day… aren’t they just the best! What was it like working with them?
M + N: We honestly cannot even find the words to describe or even thank the ladies from Oh Happy Day! Let me start with amazing and end with absolutely incredible! They completely took every single detail we had envisioned and literally brought it to life! They went beyond our expectations and wildest dreams.

Their passion, their personal touch is like no other. They really dedicate themselves to you and to your day.

They were also our voice of reason, our support system when we needed it the most and quite literally, our calm in the storm.

Hooray: And lastly, the one thing you would change about your wedding if you could travel back in time
M + N: Absolutely nothing other than doing it again haha..and let it play out exactly as it did on the day.

Mpilo and Nombuso, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful day with us.
I am sure your day was everything you ever wanted and really worth the wait.
Here’s wishing you many more happy years ahead.

Venue: The Groves
Wedding Planning & Coordination: Oh Happy Day
Flowers: Oh Happy Day
Photography: Kate Martens
Catering: CHC Catering
Wedding cake: Lauren Lee Cake Couture
DJ: Sound Mechanix
Decor items: The Wedding Table, House of Hudson, M&B Events, Drape Rite, Weddings & Functions by Jackie
Bride Dress: Diamond Love Bridal
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Chanelle Wright
Grooms Suit: Verge Legacy Tailored
Groomsmen suits: EuroSuit

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