Weddings Abroad

Lizelle and Michael’s Destination Wedding


Lizelle and Michael

05/01/2007 – Presbyterian Church in Darling, South Africa
Strandkombuis restaurant, Western Coast of South Africa

Lizelle and Michael's wedding photos

How and when did you meet?

We met in South Africa when Michael came back from the UK to visit his parents for a holiday. We met through mutual friends of ours and it was love at first sight. Five months later, I moved to the UK to be with Michael and we got married five years later.

How old are you both?

Lizelle is 33 and Michael is 32.

Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?

We went snowboarding at Verbier Resort in Switzerland and after a wonderful day on the slopes with our friends, he proposed on his knees (of course) in our chalet right at the top of the resort overlooking the most stunning scenery. He was going to propose on top of the highest mountain but was nervous he might lose the ring when crashing down on the slopes like you do.

Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?

I had a hen do in Ibiza with four girlfriends. We have a tradition in our group that every time a girl gets married she gets passed a blow-up doll which gets a naming-ceremony at the hen party. I was handcuffed to ‘Michael’ for a day. We had a dancer on the beach who performed for us and then we went out that night dressed up as angels and partied all night. In South Africa all the girls got together and dressed me up in a veil and hoop with white material over so I can practice to walk in my dress! I had to walk though one of the most popular beaches in South Africa and beg people for money to buy the girls a glass of champagne each. My staff at work made me dress up in a sexy apron and decorated the pharmacy. Michael had his bachelor party in Sheffield- had a meal with all the boys and then went to Spearmint Rhino for a bit of dancing!

How did your groom help with the wedding planning?

Bless him- he had to listen to EVERYTHING! He also helped me with selection of the wine and music. And he was the most amazing man on the day of our wedding- I fell in love with him all over again.

Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?

Yes, I got a lot of ideas from confetti and also bought a few bits and bobs from the store in London. Fantastic supportive site that makes things a lot easier.

Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?

I went to the store in London.

Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.

Hollywood dreams dress Style Georgia. Bought it at Caroline Jane’s in Tamworth.

Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?

My sister. I have lots of close girlfriends and just too many to choose from. I involved most of them on the day though- three did readings in the church, two handed out confetti, and one got all the guests together for the photos. My sister wore a light blue dress which was bought in London.

Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?

Best man was his best friend and they hired suits in South Africa.

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?


Where did you hold your ceremony?

Ceremony was at the Presbyterian Church in a town called Darling in South Africa.

Where did you hold your reception?

At an open-air restaurant called Strandkombuis (Beach kitchen) on the beach of the Western Coast of South Africa. There was a fireplace on the beach and tables underneath a Bohemian tent overlooking a beautiful beach and sunset. Food was mainly seafood straight from the BBQ.

Did you have any special wedding transport?

An really old classic Rolls Royce.

How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?

We had about 60-70 guests and everyone attended both the ceremony and reception.

Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?

The venue is so beautiful you didn’t need much more to it, but we used mainly white with a lot of greenery and a bit of turquoise (on the paperwork). Because of the beach venue we had lots of shells everywhere and lots of fairy lights and candles. The wines and champagne bottles were on ice in a little boat in front of the venue.

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?

Shells, candles and green licorice on the tables.

Did you give your guests favours?

Yes- green licorice ropes (apple flavour) with a ribbon around with a thank you note attached. We bought the licorice from the UK.

Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?

Jo-Lise Florist from South Africa. Long wooden white-washed boxes with a lot of green leaves and Lisianthus, White Chincherinchee and White Phalaenopsis Orchids. Two bouquets- mine was made up of five smaller ones which I loosened when tossing it to girlfriend so that they had the surprise of catching five smaller bouquets. It was made up of White Lisianthus, White Oriental Lilies, Gerberas, Chincherinchee and a few white roses.

What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?

Our venue had the most amazing seafood menu: Starters:West Coast fish soup, freshly baked bread made in ovens next to the fireplace, smoked snoek pate(Snoek -local fish delicacy), butter and home-made jams. Main course: Yellow tail fillets, prawns-fried in butter and fresh garlic, mussel paella, tender fried calamari, warm smoked snoek, West Coast fish cakes, lamb and fresh vegetable potjie(South African favourite-stewed in big black pot on fire), Greek salad, and curried bean salad. We served the following sauces: rich butter sauce,home made tartar sauce, home made mayonnaise and mustard sauce, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. For dessert: Koeksisters (South African favourite sweet treat), wedding cake and coffee/tea

What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?

We wanted chocolate and lots of it, so we had a four tiered brown chocolate cake that was drool worthy! Made by South African- Wade’s Cakes.

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

We had cocktails and canapes on the beach after the ceremony. Everyone took their shoes of and enjoyed the beautiful view on the sand while being served by well-dressed waiters and listening to the saxophonist. After photos was taken on the beach everyone’s feet were washed by waiters in a big metal washbasin filled with water and rose petals and after their feet were dried and shoes were back on, they entered the Bohemian tent where the fun started. We had a DJ for the night and a dance floor was built on the edge of the beach overlooking the waves and sunset.

Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?

Yes, we had a gift list with Trailfinders.

Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?

Our first night was in Villa Pescatori on the beach on Yzerfontein which was walking distance along the beach to where we had our reception.

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

Walking down the aisle seeing my husband’s face. We also had a moment apart from everyone where we went and sat on the beach after sunset and just enjoyed watching the waves and all our friends and family partying together.

Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?

I got us a website and put lots of work into it and then the whole company and our website went missing. I had to do another one which we are very happy with. Also had hair extensions done in the UK which ended up looking green and had to have it coloured again in South Africa a few days before the wedding.

Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?

It was the best day of our lives- only regret was that I didn’t get a photo of just me and my mom. Please, please always remember to ask the photographer because it’s not up to him to decide what photos you want. Make a list before the wedding of all the shots you want! Our DJ was brilliant- we told him all our favourite songs and everyone had a ball because the music was great. Music can make or break a party. We used a very good wedding coordinator for our wedding and it’s just so much easier that way and worth every penny. Our wedding coordinator was Theresa from Aleit Wedding & Function Coordination in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

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