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My hubby and I went through hell trying to organise our wedding. We argued about everything from the colour scheme to the best man's shoes. Our fights started with me insisting on a wedding in a forest, which has always been my dream. My hubby, being the logical one, pointed out the logistical problems involved with my idea. I never thought I would ever be bride-zilla but I found myself actually throwing a tantrum. Then he took me to Umtamvuna River Lodge and I was sold as soon as I stepped out of the car. I've been to many weddings, on wine estates, at hotels, on beaches, but never had I seen a venue as breathtaking as this. It was perfect in every way. I had wanted to keep the decor simple and use natural elements as far as possible, and here was a place where I could literally have set the bare wooden tables and have a stunning wedding with nothing more.

There were plenty of other battles to fight once we had chosen our venue, but through all the stress Nicole and Zorann were understanding, flexible, full of ideas and solutions, and went far out of their way to make our dreams a reality. Come the big day I was totally calm and unlike any bride the photographer had ever seen, no tears, no anxiety and when he asked me why I said that I felt like I was dreaming. Everything was surreal.

Despite having set our date in the middle of the rainy season, our two days at Umtamvuna were perfect. Someone had heard our prayers. As I walked down the aisle in the sunshine and and saw my hubby standing with tears in his eyes against a backdrop of the forest and the cliffs, I felt like I was in heaven. As we said our vows a butterfly landed on my dress and I had to pinch myself once again.When I look at the photos and hear my friends say that it was the best wedding they've ever attended, I get that same dreamlike feeling. It a feeling that I feel guilty about, because I never thought I deserved to be so lucky.


My wish is for every bride to feel like I did on my wedding day. And if I can offer any advice on my recipe for a perfect wedding, the main ingredient would no doubt be Umtamvuna River Lodge.

Lots of Love to you guys,

Vicky Basson

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