Julie and Mark 30/07/2004 - The Town Hall, Venice St Mark's Square, Venice Joanne Dunn How and when did you meet? We met in January 2004 through a work do.…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: August 10, 2006
Q: How did you meet?
A: We were about twelve-years-old and on a School trip. Mark was very outgoing and approached me on the bus on the way home. We became instant friends and afterwards he would walk me home from school each day. Over the years as we moved to different areas, our friendship became stronger. Eventually, after five years we decided to either make or break the friendship by moving forward.
Q: Describe the marriage proposal.
A: Mark and I were living in South Africa. He had organised a weekend away in a coastal town. He told me on the Friday morning that I was to rush home so that we could avoid the traffic and get to our destination before the sun went down.
Once we had arrived, we went to dinner and then decided to take a stroll on the beach. It was such a clear evening. The weather was warm, there was a warm sea breeze blowing off the ocean. As I gazed upwards, the sky seemed to open up and all the stars in the universe shone at their brightest. The Milky Way was so clear I could almost reach up and touch it. As I turned to Mark to see if he was also enjoying the perfect setting, he got down on one knee and proposed. I was totally awe struck. After twelve years of being together, I was not expecting that!
Q: How long did you spend preparing for the day and how was it?
A: We spent eighteen months preparing for the wedding. As my family was flung across the globe, we needed to give everyone time to prepare and save for the tickets back to South Africa where we were going to hold the ceremony.
I organised the wedding via-internet and spent one week in South Africa six months before hand to ensure that every detail was taken care of.
It turned out to be better than I could ever have hoped for. All the time and effort was worth every minute. Even the weather that I had ordered was delivered, despite everyone’s doubts.
Q: What type of wedding ceremony did you have and where?
A: We were married in a religious ceremony in a gazebo overlooking an area called the Valley of a Thousand Hills in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Q: Where did you hold your reception and what was it like?
A: The reception was held in the hotel room. As we were organising the entire wedding from the UK, we decided to use a package deal from a hotel. It included the use of the Gazebo and the Reception room.
Q: Is there anything you’d change, with hindsight?
A: The only thing I would change would be the cake maker. She did not do anything I had asked and the cake, being chocolate, was dubbed the leaning tower of chocolate. Thankfully I had the forethought of ensuring that there were also pieces of traditional fruitcake available for the guests.
Q: What advice would you give to couples currently planning their wedding?
A: Plan well in advance and have a very clear understanding of what you want. Do not be bullied into other peoples’ ideas. Ensure that a week before the wedding everything is arranged and get a good nights sleep for the week running up to the wedding.
Q: Is there any other detail that you would like to share?
A: The internet is the greatest source of information you could ever want. Surf around and you will find what you are looking for.