We met and made the wedding dress for a real life mermaid!
Meghan, who is a marine biologist and living every little girls dream, tells us about her fairy tale romance and wedding day.
We loved making this beach babe's wedding dress. We looked forward to our fittings with her as she just lit up the room as soon as she walked in, with each fitting we were able to catch up on her travels, adventures and career path.
Tell us how you met your partner (please include the proposal story☺)
I was studying in this middle-of-nowhere, beautiful city in Israel (as all good marine biologists do, haha), and my now-husband, Michael was volunteering at a backpackers/hostel called The Shelter. The church I was going to was linked with The Shelter and so as all our friends spent a lot of time there, we ended up spending a lot of time together. Our first “real” talk was in the desert one evening while we were out there watching a meteorite shower. Of course, he was unforgettable after that! A few months later we were running (him looking great and me gasping for air, as per usual) along the seafront at sunset when he told me how he felt about me. We both liked the relaxed relationship that we had so we made a deal to keep it that way for now…and we even shook it.
Our proposal story is not all that different from the rest of our relationship story. Michael seized the perfect opportunity of a get-together/multiple birthday celebration that I had actually planned to get down on one knee in front of most of our Israeli friends and “family” and ask me to be his bride. He proposed in the exact spot where we first met!
When and Where did you get married?
We got married on the beach in Kenton on Sea in the Eastern Cape on the 11th April 2017 :)
What made you choose the venue and the date?
Michael and I are both crazy about the beach and the sea! Michael loves surfing and I just love all things ocean! My parents live in Bushman’s River Mouth (the town across the river from Kenton) so choosing that beach was easy.
Our date was trickier. Michael comes from the USA so we had to choose a date that would most suit both of our families but particularly allow his family to come out for the wedding. Since we technically had a destination wedding, we were more free to choose any date we wanted, and so Tuesday, 11 April worked the best for most of our family and friends to spend the weekend with us and have a few days of wedding celebrations before the actual big day!
What was the theme of your wedding?
I guess we didn’t really have an actual theme. We just wanted relaxed and casual, but pretty too…and as many fairy lights as one could fit in the space!
Any tips for future brides when choosing a theme?
Choose what makes you happy! That’s really all we can say! And the best advice that Melissa from Blackeyed Susan gave me: “Don’t’ sweat the small stuff!” This is far truer than you’d ever imagine!
How did you hear about Blackeyed Susan?
A girl with whom I went to university was a Blackeyed Susan feature bride and that made Blackeyed Susan just catch my eye. When I looked up Blackeyed Susan, I fell in love with everything about it!
What made you choose the dress you chose?
One of the first dresses I saw by Blackeyed Susan was the dress I eventually chose. Even though I loved it, I made sure to try on multiple other dresses just to get a feel and see if any surprised me, but in the end I had to come back to my old love – the Coming Up Roses dress!
How was your experience with fitting your dress and the final product?
Every fitting of my dress was just a fabulous experience! Every time I put it on, I just felt the overwhelming sense that it was the right one. And the final product was even more exciting than the fitting! I really LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my dress :)
Any advice or tips for bride-to-be’s when choosing their dream dress?
My sister-in-law, Elizabeth said something that stuck with me: “Buy the one that you keep imagining yourself in. If you can’t get it out of your mind then it’s the right one.” I think this is so true! Don’t let what you thought you would wear on your wedding day dictate what you actually do wear, but rather allow yourself the freedom to try something else if it’s the one that you can’t get out of your mind!
Your beautiful documentary style photos were taken by: VanBode Wedding Photography. Why did you choose this photographer to capture your special day?
When we were looking for a photographer, we wanted someone who would capture the essence of the day – the love in air, the family bonds and just the fun of the actual day. We didn’t want just “graduation portrait posed” photos but also the real deal moments. And that’s what VanBode was able to capture!
Would you change anything, (or do anything different) about your day?
No, I can’t say I would! Michael and I had the most amazing day, and we just didn’t want it to end! We had the most fun we could ever imagine, surrounded by both of our friends and family, and there was honestly nothing I would want to change about that!
Except I do wish we had even a short video of the day – you think you won’t want it, but it’s so difficult to remember the whole day so you just might :)
What was your most memorable/favourite part of your special day?
Wow, there were so many! I guess one of the most memorable moments was during the ceremony. Michael’s Dad was our wedding officiant, and we wrote our own vows, but also wanted to say the traditional vows. Michael went first (and it was beautiful)! Then it was my turn. Through choked back tears I managed to read my own written vows. Michael’s Dad was so enthralled by what we had been saying that he forgot to get me to say the traditional vows. I reminded him…and he called me out for even organising the marriage officiant on my wedding day. This left us all in hysterical laughter and really broke the nervousness for all of us!
Any advice for future brides for the overall planning of their wedding and how to deal with their nerves on the day?
I am so fortunate to have such a supportive, relaxed family! My Mom and Dad were instrumental in helping plan the wedding, especially since I was overseas until 4 months before the wedding. I was also fortunate that I had a lot of time to plan in those last few months before the wedding so my parents and I made a lot of the décor ourselves. My Mom and I made the bunting together. My Dad and I made the wooden table numbers, chalkboards and all the other wooden décor together. We even (with Michael’s help) made our cake stand.
At night while my parents and I were in the lounge together, I would decorate the glass jars and bottles that we were going to use for the flowers and candles and get their opinions on it. My brother’s girlfriend, Jen also painted an amazing world map for the guests to sign on our wedding day. It was so special being able to organise and make all these things with my special family, and if you have the time, I would highly recommend doing this! It really was one of the highlights of the wedding!
As for nerves on the day, I didn’t think I was nervous until I was standing looking down over the beach and watching my flower girls and bridesmaids walk down the aisle before my Dad and I. That’s when I got nervous! But you know what, I knew this was exactly where I was meant to be and much prayer about this moment had brought such an inner peace that it overshadowed any excess nervousness that tried to rear its head!
Please List Vendors/services involved in making your day so special:
Wedding DJs: East Cape DJs – Lester from East Cape DJs was fabulous with organising our sound on the beach, as well as playing the best mix of music that kept our friends dancing well into the early hours of the morning
Wedding Co-ordinator: Great Occasions – Deon from Great Occasions made our day (and our planning leading up to the day) a dream! He and his team set up the ceremony area; set up the Bedouin tent; handled all the décor for the tent and the rest of the reception area; catered our entire wedding; and made sure the whole evening just ran 100% smoothly! What a pleasure to work with them, and our guests still talk about “the best lamb they’ve ever eaten”!
- "Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned." ~ Song of Solomon 8:6