Mike and Zelphinia met through a mutual friend in Johannesburg. They were both working for a multinational IT company and Michael was on assignment from the US.
It was not exactly love at first sight. Zelphinia says that she actually thought he was quite arrogant. “Only after I saw him with his kids did I see a different aspect of his personality and became interested in knowing more about him. In fact, our first kiss was two years later on top of Table Mountain.” For the proposal, Michael planned a romantic weekend getaway to a spectacular lodge. On the big day, they took a trip to the beach and walked along the shore – the setting was beautiful. After dinner at a beach-side restaurant, they returned to the lodge where rose petals were spread over the floor and bed. Michael says he poured champagne and they talked about their future, vision, love, values and priorities. Michael says, “We often talked about marriage, so I said, ‘If I were to ask you to marry me, would you say yes?’ This was a question she had heard often, so she frowned and said, ‘I am not answering that question and do not want to hear it anymore,’ – a typical Zel response. I smiled and said, ‘I will never ask you that question again except this one last time,’ so (with ring in hand) I asked, "Will you marry me?” and, of course, she said yes! The vision that Zelphinia had of a ‘vintage elegance’ summer wedding came alive at the all-iconic the forum embassy hill.
She says, “We were blessed with breathtaking mountain views, beautiful weather and a show-stopping floral arbour by Prickly Pear. It was a garden ceremony and we invited 90 of our closest friends and family to witness the new chapter in our lives.” They opted for simple but stylish décor, which consisted of crystal chandeliers and candelabras, white orchids, blush roses, a Perspex seating plan and white table linen. Wooden coasters served as wedding favours for their guests. When asked if they would change anything about the wedding, their reply was a resounding, “Nothing. It was the perfect
wedding.” Zelphinia says the highlights of the wedding day for her were, “Firstly, when we exchanged our wedding vows during the wedding ceremony. We prepared them separately yet they were so similar – it was surreal. And secondly, seeing the bridal party looking beautiful in their unique dresses brought tears to my eyes.”
Michael says, “My main highlight was seeing my amazingly beautiful wife walking down the aisle with my favourite song playing in the background, hearing the gasp from our guests and seeing the tears flowing. She took my breath away in her body-hugging dress. It was a perfect picture of love, not only my love for her and her love for me, but that of our guests for us.” Michael explains how he felt when they first stood together as husband and wife, “It felt like the beginning of a new chapter in my life. After all the planning, stress and anxiety, standing next to the person you will face the rest of life with felt so secure, peaceful and complete.”
The couple’s honeymoon was a six-month job transfer to Dubai. Seventy-two hours after they said “I do”, they were on a plane to begin a new life journey. The wedding was such a wonderful way to not only celebrate their union, but to celebrate the end of their journey in South Africa. The couple’s advice? “You should have a vision for your beautiful day. Make sure everyone, including your suppliers, buys into your vision – never compromise. Live in the moment, laugh a lot and love every aspect of your big day!”