Real Wedding | Pascale&Dane’s elopement
Dane and Pascale are our first featured elopement! The Hooray Weddings team just love brides who have the courage to fight the expectations of a traditional wedding and follow their heart! That is just what these two crazy kids did. They said “I do” with a handful of friends and family on a tropical island and started their forever together with their toes in the sand.
Before you start telling us about the details of your wedding, we want to know WHY you and Dane decided to elope and HOW it affected your family and friends.
Getting married in the Seychelles was never the original plan. We were initially following tradition and planning a local wedding, like our family and friends had encouraged. We had looked at venues, both coastal and inland but nothing seemed right. Instead of feeling excited with each step, it was a chore. Contacting vendors didn’t make my heart sing. Sounds silly, but it’s our wedding and if we’re not feeling passionate about it, then why are we spending our hard earned life savings on it. Planning just led to tears and frustration and one day Dane suggested, partially in jest, ‘Bugger it, let’s just elope.’ At first I loved the idea, then thought it was ridiculous, then thought it through and it made my heart flutter and my cheeks flush and suddenly it seemed like the only logical idea we’d had in ages. The following day we both spent a lot of time online googling destination weddings, and both came home pretty much wanting the exact same thing – an island getaway with the focus on us! (I am however very much a family girl so instead of traditional elopement, we invited both our families and very best friends to join us if they liked, hence making it more of a very intimate destination wedding, except without all the “wedding-ness”)
I received very mixed emotions from friends and family. Most of our close friends were so happy for us but also so upset that they wouldn’t see me walk down the aisle. Other friends told me I was making the hugest mistake and would regret not having a traditional wedding. (NOPE! No Regrets!) My family were split in their feelings. My mum popped champagne when we told them our plans, joyously excited for an island getaway, but my Dad said we were being impulsive and hadn’t thought it through. He had his reservations pretty much up until we boarded that airplane. (Since then he has agreed it was an amazing experience and the best idea we ever had)
We gave Pascale and Dane a few sentence starters, and this is what they had to say:
Surprisingly, the best part of my wedding ended up being… the quiet time with my new husband in the evening as everyone left. As we were wed on a small private island our family all had to leave on the last ferry at 10pm, so Dane and I went back to our room, scattered my bouquet into the bath and sat in the tub for 2 hours drinking champagne, laughing about the day and discussing our hopes and dreams for our future ahead. Starting our together-forever with an intimate conversation was the best thing!
The best advice I received was… do whatever you want. If you can’t do what you really want at your wedding, then when can you?!
The biggest mistake I made was… ordering a dress from china!! What a joke. Yes it was super cheap, and I took it as a calculated risk, but my goodness, the dress I received is NOTHING like the pic. It’s comical. When I received it I had to immediately rush to my mums to try it on. We laughed so hard we literally almost peed ourselves. It looked ridiculous. After all the laughs the reality was that I had 5 weeks to go and no dress. This honestly didn’t bother me, until I started phoning around and realised that most dress makers don’t like this type of ‘ridiculously short’ time line, and those that do accommodate it, don’t have time for my minuscule budget. Luckily I came across a woman in my hood who was more than happy to assist and pulled together my outfit in less than 4 weeks on nothing more than a shoestring budget.
Nobody warns you about… the nasty truth you discover about friends and family. When you plan a wedding people feel entitled to an opinion, and its very often not a pleasant one. Learn to brush it off quickly or else it will really get to you.
The best spent money was on… ourselves. We took what we were willing to spend on a wedding and spent it all on ourselves! Not flowers or favours or table cloths or catering – the entire budget was spent on us. Our wedding was very ‘selfish’ and focused on us, but isn’t that what it’s all about? Also, the 6ft beaded pink flamingos. We had two at our party in Durban and they were so cheap and so fun (We had a local chap that works at Spar make them for us)
The coolest idea I loved was… writing our vows together. We each wrote our proposed vows in private and then came together the day before our wedding and sat on the bed discussing why we had written what we had, and then drew up a new set of vows which encompassed everything we had each wanted. It was a beautiful moment discussing in detail how we promise to love and cherish each other for ever. By the end of it, we both felt very much entrenched in our vows and they meant so much to us. Reading them now still gives me a lump in my throat as they are so honest and real to us.
My biggest worry on the day was… that it would be just too hot up on the helipad, but you know, I didn’t even notice the heat.
The hardest part of planning was… liaising with a foreign country. Their time zones are different to us, and the hotel was very slack in returning my mails. I had a lot of long periods of just no response. The silence can be super frustrating as you have no idea whether they are okay with your requests or if they can even accommodate you.
If my budget was unlimited the one thing I would have added is… having a few more of my very best friends with us. There are people in my life that mean the world to me, and I would have loved it if they could have joined us.
When my sister gets engaged I will make sure to encourage… her to follow her heart and do what feels right. I have no regrets about my wedding. Because it was such a stress free event, all the little things that went ‘wrong’ didn’t feel wrong at all. We both talk about how, on the big day, we got total tunnel vision and all we could see was each other so I’m glad I didn’t waste time worrying about extras I wouldn’t have been aware of anyway ;o)
To have our friends share the celebration with us we threw a party the day after we got back to SA. We decided to focus on just the fun bits again (much like our wedding), so had a rock band (Avade), a bonfire and an open bar. We didn’t fuss with tables and place settings and food (okay there were some basic snacks) but we focused on the celebration.
As this party was sort of our reception, I wore my wedding dress when everyone arrived so that my girlfriends could actually see it. I then surprised my husband and changed into a feathered sparkly little dress later. I hadn’t planned how I was going to ‘reveal’ it to him, but luckily, while I was in the bathroom changing, he was actually looking for me, and as he couldn’t find me, he went up to the stage, stopped the music and started demanding I show myself. It was so perfect. I made him wait a minute longer and then ran out in my feathery little number to his total surprise ;o)
The last thing that we wanted to know from Pascale and Dane was about the cost of eloping and having a ‘home’ party.
When we began to look at a traditional wedding of 120 people in the Midlands, it looked as though our budget might be around R150k. In the end we paid less than that for our travel, the wedding AND a 2 week honeymoon which included a couple nights in a freakin’ fancy 5 star hotel – and we drank Moet Chandon like it was water. Since it was an elopement that our families were invited to attend, they paid for their own travel and we covered their costs on our wedding day. As for our Durban party, we paid R30k of which half went to the bar tab. It was WELL worth it.
Photographer – Momento Media
Dress maker – Renee Volker: 0722414524
Wedding co-ordinator – Seyexclusiv (UK company organising Seychelles holidays / weddings)
Venue in the Seychelles – Cerf Island Resort
Make up and hair – ME
Venue – Durban Undersea Club
Band – Avade the Band
Photographer – Ocean Drive Media
DJ – Ross Colepeper
Feather Dress – Bought it online from babyonlinedress
Hair & Makeup – Laura from Nixon Makeup
Décor – Friends and family ( I had friends over one night to make 86m of bunting! I supplied the booze, they supplied the labour)