LEIGH AND JASON (AKA CHEESYMIELIE) - PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMES CARLSON
The idea of settling on THE wedding venue was an intimidating thought, but the moment we entered the gardens at Umtamvuna, we felt welcomed and comforted, exactly the feelings we wanted to share on our special day…..
The journey to our wedding started in 2002 when Jason and I met through mutual friends. It took a full year for us to become a couple, and then after that we were inseparable. Over a course of seven years we shared long-distance dating, crazy student parties, local and overseas travel, good fortunes, personal losses, the stresses of renovating properties, and the challenges of building our professions. It was in December 2009 that Jason bought the engagement ring – a ring he kept hidden for nearly 10 MONTHS while waiting for the perfect proposal. In fact, Jason could not have found a more perfect moment as he dropped to one knee at sunset on a rock overlooking the ocean on the beautiful island of Nusa Lembongan in Bali, Indonesia.
Upon our return, we began planning our wedding and it was within a few months that Jason and I celebrated our vows at the charming Umtamvuna River Lodge, on 25 June 2011. Mother Nature stepped in and delivered the windiest day in South Coast history. But even though the weather posed its challenges – the day was filled with all the love, friendship and togetherness we could have hoped for. Our colour scheme was dark brown and ivory with coral accents and our décor was based on the themes of organic, ethnic and unique. We brought together elements of hessian, driftwood and traditional African wire beadwork, while we carried the indigenous theme through to our flowers by incorporating proteas, roses and succulents. Every element of our day was considered – from the bridal party exit on the speedboat, to the wedding cake personalised with our guests names, to our fun entrance song (I’m always here - Baywatch theme), and our choreographed waltz and tango.
The support of our family and friends, as well as the dedication and improvisation of the Umtamvuna team made our wedding a true success. We are still reliving the good vibes from the day as we share stories with loved ones, and are delighted by the many compliments we have received about the venue hospitality and relaxed atmosphere. Thank you Umtamvuna for providing us the space and flexibility to make our wedding a reflection of our personalities and values – you will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Much love, the Tuckers