Tanya and Stuart

We have two words for you:


And if that doesn’t grab your attention, then we don’t know what will.

Tanya and Stuart got married on a sunny day in Durbs. They dipped their toes in the ocean, had the cutest flower dog, danced the night away at a silent disco and had a cake that was made of cheese… no, not a cheesecake, a CHEESE cake.

Their wedding day has us dreaming of summer days, so if you are wanting to get married in the summertime and you are looking for a bit of inspiration, read on. 
Hey guys, please can you tell us a bit more about yourselves
Hi there, We are Stuart and Tanya. We have been together for just over 12 years and met by accident at a mutual friend’s birthday party.

Hooray: Tell us more about your proposal.
Tanya: Life threw us a few curveballs and Stuart had some plans that fell through- he told me after the wedding. Regardless of that, I loved the way he proposed. We were on a road trip up the west coast of America in summer 2018. We saw the Hollywood sign, walked along Venice Beach and then had brunch in Malibu. We then drove up the Big Sur, stopping at McWay falls and cruising with the top of the Ford Mustang convertible open. We drove over 350 miles that day (over 560km) and ended up at the Sanctuary in Monterey after dark. It was a cold evening so we had some room service, lit a fire and popped a bottle of bubbly. Stuart proposed right there in our beach villa! I don’t even remember what he said but it was perfect in every way.

Hooray: How did you choose your photographer?
Tanya: Stuart researched for months and we chose our photographers because of the feeling we got from their photos- not only their professional ones But the ones they posted on their own profiles. After weeks of stalking them on Facebook and Instagram, we could see they had a real and unique way of looking at life, they came up with creative ways of capturing and editing moments to almost jump out of the page and they kinda reminded us of ourselves so we knew we would have a great time on the day… not just great photos. MAN- we were so right! We had such fun with Tarryn and Troy and have already booked our fur-family photoshoot with our brand new pup on the beach

Hooray: What was the one non-negotiable at your wedding?
T + S: Our Golden Retriever, Willow, was going to walk down the aisle and needed her own flowers

Hooray: Your pup – we are in love with her! Tell us more about involving her in the wedding.
Tanya: Her name is Willow and she is my angel. She is with me all day, every day. She travels with us and is the most gentle beautiful soul. We had a “couture” harness made for her from Chantel at Ezydog harnesses. It was white with lace and satin and then Kate from the Wedding Company who did our décor created the wreath that she wore. She had a day at the parlour the week before we left and then my brother in law took her for a bath the morning of the wedding in Ballito. She drove down with me on the Monday before the wedding and we spent some time together on the beach and went to stay at a previous colleague’s house when I needed my make up trial as well as the night of the wedding. She walked down the aisle with my niece Cheyenne and sat patiently and beautifully for the whole ceremony. She decided to have a seat on the train of my dress while we had our hugs and hellos after the I do’s and she did her own thing at the venue. My friends and family know that she goes everywhere with me and usually fight over who looks after her when we go away so we had ample babysitters. It was quite hot but she had a little dip in the pool at Canelands to cool down. Hooray: We are not sure who stole the show more – your flower dog or ring bearer – who is this cutie?
Tanya: Cameron is only 6 weeks older than Willow- they grew up together and absolutely love each other. His mommy was my maid of honour. I must say that one of my favourite moments was when he walked into the room and told me I looked “perfect”. We were all in tears. He also took his job of bearing the ring very seriously. He was carrying around boxes for a few weeks before the wedding to make sure he knew what he was expected to do.

Hooray: What role did your families play at your wedding?
Tanya: We didn’t have any expectations from others as it was a destination wedding so we insisted to friends and family that their “presence” was our “present” and we meant it – so we’re happy that they all made it down to the coast. We did lean on the family for ideas including the traditional ones of something old, new, borrowed, blue and chatted about lots of things through the process. Ultimately, I was very lucky to have a very interested groom, so between us, the wedding party and the wedding planners, we had it covered.

Hooray: Destination wedding… have we missed something? Are you guys not Durbanites?
T + S: Nope, we are Joburgers. I have spent many many holidays at Chakas Rock and it is a very special place for our family. My father’s ashes were placed into the ocean just in front of our flat on the beach and Canelands is the only venue on that coastline. It was the closest we could be to having him there on the day.Hooray: We love your decor – what made you go with this colour scheme?
Tanya: I was actually inspired by the venue. It was already beautiful enough so didn’t need more colour or anything too over the top. When we met with our décor lady, Kate, I just said to her- “Make it look perfect- I trust you”. We didn’t even do a trial- I trusted her and it paid off totally Hooray: Be honest, how many hours did you spend on Pinterest?
Tanya: I’ve lost track but I can tell you that Stuart spent at LEAST 10 times more time on Pinterest than I did. We both travelled quite a lot for work before the big day so Pinterest is a great way to pass time in an airport

Hooray: We love hearing about groom’s that are so invested in their wedding day too, tell us more about how Stuart and the role he played.
Tanya: Well firstly, Stuart planned and organised our entire Engagement party in 2018. It was about the same size as the wedding… I am so grateful for him. We both worked insane hours BUT Stuart is in eventing. He cross-checked quotes, prices and had a good handle as to what works and what doesn’t. Honestly, my main concern from the beginning was the food and the party. These are the 2 things that people remember when they are bad and they can make or break your day. I left the rest up to Stuart and Kate and my amazing bridesmaids. Whatsapp groups and joint Wanderlist’s were our secret weapons

Hooray: Tell us about your bridesmaids and groomsmen?
Tanya: We had 2 groomsmen and 4 bridesmaids, although my 13-year-old niece, Cheyenne was more of a mini-bridesmaid than our flower girl. The best experience would be the party, we had the most amazing time dancing and laughing and the silent disco was indescribably AWESOME! From the youngest to the oldest guests, it was an absolute winner- there was no sitting around as everyone had their headphones on and were on their feet dancing. Stuart and the 2 groomsmen ended up jumping in the pool! Hooray: The back of your dress is gorgeous, who designed it?
Tanya: Diaan Daniels designed the dress for me as well as Stuarts suit, the bridesmaid dresses and my nephew Cameron’s suit (our ring bearer). He made the dress and then the beadwork was done in India by a contact of his. He then sewed the beading onto the back of the dress. I sent him the idea that I wanted but he absolutely surpassed my expectations. He also chose the colours, design and material of the bridesmaid dresses. The tops were tailored to suit each lady’s body type. My prerequisite was that they all felt comfortable and that they didn’t blend in with the flora… which is why we didn’t go with green and white

Hooray: So, did you get your dress wet during your beach shoot?
Tanya: Hell yes! Stu and I ran in the waves and we had to sneak off to clean all the beach sand off us mid-reception… Stu and his groomsmen even jumped in the pool. I ended up sitting in the pool too! Why not? We were all barefoot or in flip flops as soon as the ceremony ended. None of us is made of icing sugar

Hooray: Cheesecake… literally, tell us more about your decision behind this.
Tanya: I am addicted to cheese so we went on a little cheese tasting experience one Saturday at a little shop in Linden called “Cheese Gourmet” and I drove the cheese down to Durban myself. Kate put it together beautifully and when it was dissembled, they put little tags in so you could see what was whatHooray: A silent disco – how did you pull this off? We love it!
Tanya: We had Silent Disco SA collaborate with 2 DJs from the Wedding DJ and then had 2 different streams of music. It was an absolute win. There was no half the people dance and half don’t, there was no cheesy wedding music if you don’t like that and we got song requests sent in with the RSVPs so our DJs could assess who our audience was and what the 2 streams should play. Every age- oldest to youngest had no choice but to get up and dance… We ended up giving the staff headphones too because I felt like they were missing out on the party… they were looking at us like we were absolutely nuts. The videos that were taken are all hysterically funny. We were all shouting and singing at the top of our lungs so just utterly hilarious to see what everyone was saying/singing… (below images of Silent Disco by Dane Forman) 

Hooray: The one thing you would change about your wedding if you could travel back in time?
T + S: It was quite hot but honestly we couldn’t have had a better wedding. The wind is the worst thing you could have on the beach and we had beautiful blue skies, no rain, no wind and only moderate humidity which is the best you can get on the Northern Coast of Kwazulu Natal

Hooray: The biggest hurdle you faced planning your wedding?
Tanya: I struggled with the fact that it seemed so slow from 18 months to 3months before the day and then suddenly I was overwhelmed with all the decisions that needed to be made within 6-8 weeks before the wedding. I don’t know if there is a way I could have managed that better but I think if you have a good wedding planner (which I did), you need to be able to trust in their experience and remember that ultimately, the objective of the day is to marry your person. It’s merely a single doorway that you are walking through in the mansion that is life

Hooray: And finally, the best moment of your wedding day?
T  + S: The “I DO’S”. We didn’t even practice our vows and we asked for a short and sweet ceremony. We were so excited to get married the celebrant asked us to please stop kissing each other because we kept on sneaking kisses. We just couldn’t wait!
Tanya and Stuart, thank you so much for sharing your beachside wedding day with us today.
We wish you many more happy years ahead filled with trips to the seaside with Willow in tow, partying the night away and adventures galore! 

Venue and Catering: Canelands Beach Club and Spa
Decor and Planning: The Wedding Co SA
Photographers: African Bear
Videography: Foreman Wedding Films
Music: The Wedding DJ
Makeup and Hair: Nixon Makeup
Bride and Bridesmaid dresses: Diaan Daniels
Grooms and Ringbearer suits: DIaan Daniels
Celebrant: Beulah Haasbroek from Dream Ceremonies

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