Hi guys, Robyn here. Don’t worry, there hasn’t been a hostile blog takeover — I have full permission to take the lead on this post and I feel really honoured! I’ve known Michelle for almost a decade and we’ve been best friends for most of that time. She was brave enough to be Maid of Honour on my Big Day, kind enough to let me be a bridesmaid on hers and now she’s been crazy enough to give me control of her blog. I couldn’t let my BFF interview herself now could I?
Michelle and Adam’s wedding was…idyllic. The venue was breathtaking and so was the bride. The groom was charming and the food was divine. The bridal party were pretty awesome – if I do say so myself! Both Adam and Michelle worked tirelessly to put together a perfect day and their personal touches made the whole occasion even more special for each and every guest in attendance. Because these two are such a dynamic duo, I thought it only fair that the groom have his say too. And so, as Adam said in his speech on the day, “I’m sorry Michelle but this one’s not all about you”.
How long was your engagement?
Mish: Just under one year, to the day!
Adam: 363 days, 15 hours and 30 minutes… approximately.
Where did you get married?
Mish: Lace on Timber in Pretoria South Africa.
Adam: Lace on Timber, SA
Describe your wedding venue in 3 words.
Mish: Unique, Simple, Trendy
Adam: Rustic, elegant, hot
How many guests were at your wedding?
In 200 word or less, please describe the style, theme and overall vibe of your wedding.
Mish: Our wedding was heavily based on a colour scheme we found very early on in our planning process. Dusty pink, grey and champagne gold. Every decision we made we consulted the colour palette. Other than that, we kept the wedding simple and elegant with pops of interest, such as having 1000 origami cranes strung up for our ceremony. We had only greenery for our flower arrangements. Neither one of us have a particular interest in formal flower arrangements and both loved the whimsical look of greenery. We spent a lot of time making sure our guests would be entertained and enjoy themselves as much as we knew we would.
Adam: I think the style of our wedding was vintage/rustic chic. I wouldn’t necessarily say we had a theme but the vibe of it did end up being quite a hipster as the venue and surroundings lent itself to that.
Did you write your own vows and, if so, what made you decide to do that?
Mish: It was never a discussion we needed to have, we both assumed we would and took that as a sign. For me, I wanted something personal and I wanted my chance to stand up in front of all of our friends and family to declare my love for Adam.
Adam: Of course, it wasn’t even really a discussion. We wanted to tell each other how we felt about one another.
Describe your wedding day in 250 words or less.
Mish: Perfect. The day was filled with love and laughter. Our best friends and most important family. It was a true representation of both of us and our love for one another. We had an afternoon ceremony on a (very) hot South African summer’s day. Underneath the trees of a forest, an open chapel and 1000 origami cranes. Canapes followed with a live band and photobooth for some fun. Dinner was three courses of some of the best food I have eaten, finished off with a 4 tier cake of cheese. After that, we danced, we chatted, we laughed and when it was all over, we exited the building under a shower of champagne!
Adam: Exactly what we set out to do.
How involved were you [Adam] in the wedding planning?
Adam: Very… in opinions and decisions but Michelle is the one who made all the magic happen.
Mish: Very! We were 100% a team and no decision was made without the other being 100% onboard – even if that took one of us having to compromise.
What did you find most surprising about planning a wedding?
Mish: The neverendingness (is that a word?) of it all. I knew it would take a lot of planning and organisation (two of my favourite things) but I didn’t expect for it to feel like no matter how much you did, there was still more.
Adam: That you end up having a strong opinion on things you never thought you would have, like the colour of napkins or what underplate you have.
What did you find the most challenging part of planning your wedding?
Mish: Pleasing everyone! It’s so common for people to say that you should not try to please everyone and that it is ‘your day’ but that is a very oversimplified look on the day. You forget that having certain people at the big day or not will affect you. As well as making your parents happy. So, if what you are planning somehow compromises those things, you will feel the need to please them and in turn, yourselves. It’s a difficult balance to strike but it is an important one.
Adam: Learning how to give my opinion in a way that was not hurtful or too critical really took some time for me to do. I have very strong views on what I think things should look like visually and so often it is difficult for me to see another idea of how something could be…I would also give my opinion on whether I thought something looked good or shit…but soon learned to express my opinion in slightly more delicate terms and be more receptive to other ideas and opinions…even if they were shit ;-P
How involved was your family in the planning process?
Mish: Quite involved! Both our moms were keen to get stuck in and we were just as keen to include them. My mom made my veil (yip – she is a rockstar) as well as my something blue. She also helped make the programmes and organised our bar/wine.Adams mom helped us by collecting hundreds of bottles that we used down the aisle, on the tables and on a hanging centrepiece above the table.
Then our siblings were all involved in some way or another, from being in the bridal party to helping us fold 1000 origami cranes and so much more. We are extremely fortunate to have families willing to go the extra mile for us.
Adam: I would say as involved as a family should be. Michelle and I had a very clear vision of how we wanted everything to be and so my family was less involved with the planning aspect of things and more involved in the execution.
Adam, any words of advice for grooms just embarking on the wedding planning process?
Don’t delay planning! You put a ring on that finger for a reason not just to stop them from nagging about not being engaged. They have been dreaming of this day since they were little girls, so get on board and start helping them plan it…even if you have to pretend you are as excited by centrepieces as they are.
Mish, what’s your number one piece of advice for brides just starting to plan their wedding?
Have a vision! If you don’t, you will quickly find that someone else will, be it your mom, your fiance or your best friend. Make sure what YOU want for your big day is clear in your mind (or on your Pinterest) or you might find yourself planning someone else’s day. I would even go so far as to say that you should postpone doing any major planning or decision making until you have had time to finalise your vision.
Give a brief description of the morning of your wedding – how did you feel, who were you with, what did you do?
Mish: The morning of my wedding was one of my favourite parts of the day. I woke up at my parent’s house, in my childhood bedroom. My bridesmaids and mom jumped on my bed for a chat. It was a lovely moment and we were all so happy and excited, I will cherish that memory. After that, I made breakfast (I don’t know why no one asked me too – maybe I default cook as a way to control a situation?). Anyways, we had a yummy breakfast together and then left for the venue. Adam surprised me with a Mini Limo to take us all there which was loads of fun. Overall, the morning felt filled with anticipation and excitement. My mom was a bit emotional.
Adam: I woke up with three guys in my room. My groomsmen had all spent the night. I felt no different than any other morning, I woke up with a song in my head (Girls Like by Tinie Tempah) I remember because I was walking around shouting ‘tell JK that I’m still Rowling, tell Russell I’m a Brand!’, and Michelle wasn’t there to tell me to shut up.
Mish, tell us about your dress, from buying it to how you felt in it on the day.
I didn’t plan to buy my dress and when I did, it was a very difficult decision for me to make. Firstly, the day I found my dress was supposed to be just a spur of the moment research day with my future sister-in-law, Claire. I don’t live in the same country as my mom and my plan was always to have my dress made at home. A big driver behind the decision was so that my mom would still be 100% involved in the process. I didn’t even want to try my dress on as it was the opposite of what I wanted. The only reason I did was that Claire wanted me too. From the moment the dress was on my body, I just KNEW it was the one.
Only hours before in a previous shop, Claire and I watched a Bride find her dress and dissolve into delighted tears. I looked at Claire and said ‘I am never going to feel that way about a dress’. And then I turned around for the big reveal to Claire and I saw her face and burst into tears! Her reaction was exactly what I wanted. I phoned my mom and we cried and cried.
I knew it was my dress but I felt as if I was robbing my mom of an experience I so desperately wanted to have for her. So I didn’t buy the dress. I phoned Adam crying, he told me to turn around and buy the dress. I didn’t. Claire and I went for lunch and by the time lunch was over, my mom had convinced me to go back and buy the dress. A part of me still feels guilty that I bought the dress without my mom but fortunately the bridal shop was really good about Skyping my mom for fittings and I managed to do a private reveal for my mom on a trip home.
Tell us about the moment you saw the bride/groom for the first time on the big day.
Mish: It was a surreal moment. We had a blindfolded kiss a few minutes before the ceremony. I felt strongly about seeing Adam before as I knew I was going to be very emotional but neither one of us wanted him to actually see me. If I remember correctly, Adam wasn’t particularly keen on the idea and I might have had to convince him. But on the day, the moment was pure gold.
To begin with, I saw his sister walk him up to me and I had never seen her so happy and proud of him. It made me so happy to witness that special moment between them. Then, as he got near to me, I broke down in tears. I am not kidding – this was not a glamorous Bridal tear. I was sobbing and he quite literally, too my breath away. Every emotion I was keeping in check on the day boiled over and we could simply hold one another and be together. It was the most overwhelming moment of my life and I don’t think I will ever feel like that again.
Adam: The whole day all I wanted to do was see her. It’s this massive day you have planned together for so long but then you start that day apart, it’s quite weird. There was so much stuff going on that on a normal day I would share with Michelle but I couldn’t and so by the time I got to see her I was dying to just so, we could be us again.
The time eventually came, I knew it was her turn to walk up the aisle, the minister had me face towards him which I wasn’t happy about. He said he would let me know when to turn, I was like ‘now?…how about now?…you’re definitely going to tell me to turn right because I don’t want to miss this?’. Eventually, he told me I could turn and I was floored, I was just so happy to see her again.
Who were your groomsmen/bridesmaids – what made you choose them?
Mish: My amazing sister Amy was my Maid of Honor. My Bridesmaids were my two best friends Sarah and Robyn and Adams sister Claire (who I consider a friend too). I chose these ladies because they were the four people I wanted to talk to about my wedding. Their ideas and opinions mattered to me and I knew they had my back no matter what. They each have their own great qualities but as a group, I knew they would keep me grounded, keep me sane, be excited with me and go to the ends of the earth for me (because the feelings are mutual).
- My Best Man was Brett (because mans a badman).
- My brother Peter (because mans not heavy, he’s my brother).
- Brad (because mans a doctor innit).
- Hendrik (because we go way back).
- Mopsy (because he’s my brother from another mother).
Adam, tell us about your speech, from writing it to actually saying it on the big day.
It went well…I think. It took me a long time to write because there were a lot of people I had to thank. I was very conscious of trying to not make it too boring. I tried to balance jokes with serious moments so I hope it did what I intended it to.
What was the most memorable moment of your wedding for you?
Mish: Gosh, it’s so hard to pick just one because there were so many! I would have to say, the moment I will probably remember for the rest of my life in the most detail would be standing at the entrance to the chapel with my dad, waiting for the doors to open. The bridesmaids were walking ahead of me and it was just the two of us. My heart was beating the fastest it ever has before. I could hear myself breathing. It was the moment I had waited all my life for and I was about to marry the man of my dreams. The anticipation was overwhelming.
Adam: Blindfolded kiss.
Was there anything about being a bride/groom and your experience of the wedding that surprised you?
Mish: A lot of the time, you are not the one stressing out! Your friends and family closest to you might be the ones who panic or find certain aspects overwhelming. I think that is a lot to do with wanting to make the Bride happy.
Adam: I was surprised at how creative and artistic Michelle is. Usually, I’m the one who has to do the visual design but as I was studying for exams during a large part of the planning process Michelle had to step up. She designed invitations etc and she smashed it!
In hindsight, is there anything you wish you had done differently – an aspect you would have left out, something you wish you’d done or perhaps something that didn’t turn out the way you had planned?
Mish: I wish someone had told our guests to full the chapel from the front! It was not something that I had thought about before. All our guests were squished in the back with a few of our family in the front. Presumably, they were trying to be respectful of family. But, we don’t have massive families and a lot of them were standing up with us. So it looked a bit odd with a gap in the middle.
Adam: Nope, still can’t believe how perfectly everything turned out.
Name one thing that you think is totally worth the Wedding Tax.
Mish: The rings/ jewellery. They are the only things you will wear/use every day of your life once the wedding is over. They are a symbol to the rest of the world and they represent your love for one another. I look at mine every single day with a grateful and happy heart.
Tell us about your favourite DIY wedding hack.
Mish: Wedding day hangers! They are so easy to do yourself (for a fraction of the cost) and a great way to display the dresses on the wedding day. They are also a nice memento for the bridesmaids who will definitely use them to store their dresses after the big day.
Adam: Michelle’s veil.
Is there a question about wedding planning, the big day or being a newlywed that you wish I’d asked? Now’s your chance to share the answer!
Mish: I ask a lot of questions by nature so probably not, I felt pretty prepared for it all 🙂
Describe newlywed life in 3 words.
Mish: Happy, fun, perfect.
Adam: Squeak squeak squeak.
Thank you, Robyn, for taking the time to write such great interview questions. I hope that our answers will help some Brides and Grooms out there. I had such fun reading Adam’s answers and they really reminded me why I married him! He has an amazing ability to be a clown but also super sweet and thoughtful, all at the same time. We are also probably the only couple to have had a wedding and disagreed about the number of guests in attendance… I think that all newlyweds should do a post-wedding interview, it is great to see the day through your partner’s eyes. So, any newlyweds out there interested in having a little fun – let me know!