Pindie Kuzvinzwa and John Fanibe: Bohemia meets Carrie Bradshaw at South Africa wedding

24 Jan 2019

Pindie and John, from London, wanted their wedding guests to have a trip they would never forget

How did you meet?

Initially at John’s work – I had gone to complain about a product. A few months later I saw him in his store and he asked me to go out for drinks. 

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Tell us about the proposal.

I had gone away for three weeks to visit my family in Zimbabwe. A few days before I was due to come home, John told me he had missed me so much that he had booked a weekend away in Suffolk. As it was a self-catering cottage, he went out the evening before we set off to get supplies.  On the second day of our stay in the amazing cottage he told that he had packed a picnic bag and we should go for a walk. Again, this took me by surprise because he hates walking – I should have known then that he was up to something. We walked for 45 minutes before finally setting up our picnic and he opened some prosecco. We started having a heart-to-heart about how happy we have been and all the things we wanted going forward. I started tearing up and got overwhelmed at how much he loved me. As we were sitting opposite each other he got up and before I knew it he was on one knee asking me to marry him. I started crying uncontrollably – I couldn’t believe it and of course I said YES.

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What was the theme for the day?

I love ‘Sex in the City’ and Carrie Bradshaw’s style but I can also be very bohemian, so I told my planner I wanted a bohemian – Carrie Bradshaw wedding. As it was a spring wedding we went with classic white and green, and then used blue and gold accents in our colour scheme.

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What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?

We picked MolenVliet Oosthuizen Family Vineyards in South Africa. Set amid rolling vineyards and towering mountains, it felt magical the first time we saw it. We always knew we wanted a destination wedding and I always knew it had to be near Zimbabwe or at least on the continent – we wanted a country that represented us as a couple. We both love wine and are big foodies, and we wanted it to feel like an adventure – somewhere where our guests would love to visit but had perhaps never had a reason too. So, we picked Stellenbosch (wine country) which was out of this world.  

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When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?

I settled for an Enzonai dress, Melinda, which I bought from Anne Louise Bridal in Eastcote.  I had tried on something like 15 or 20 dresses. I really didn’t know what to wear as I loved every dress I tried on. I knew I had found ‘the one’ when I saw it – the dress was elegant and alluring but also very sexy at the same time. I hadn’t seen anything else like it. I felt it spoke true to me – and that it would suit the venue and tie in well with my theme. 

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What did the bridesmaids wear? 

This was a difficult process but I decide to go for a grey multiway maxi dress from Oasis. The dress allowed each bridesmaid to express their personality but most importantly feel comfortable and beautiful on the day. I had six bridesmaids. My sister was my maid of honour; one of my closest and best friends was chief bridesmaid, and two close friends from university and secondary school and two younger cousins were also bridesmaids.

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Where did you find your suits?

The groom wore a bespoke three-piece suit from Dress2Kill, Southwark, and the groomsmen wore tailored suits from T. M Lewin.

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Did you hire a wedding planner?

Yes – this was essential as it was a destination wedding. Jessica Thiart, who runs Amour Events in Cape Town, was our go-between with vendors and she co-ordinated the wedding week. She also became a friend – we couldn’t have done it without her help.

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Tell us about your floral arrangements.

This was where we felt we could express my bohemian flare. We went for a lot of foliage mixed with elegant whites – as it was spring we were spoilt with choice for flowers. We also went with a mixture of high and low arrangements with hydrangeas, tulips, orchids, roses, gladiolus and fresh trailing greens. My bouquet was a combination of hydrangea, garden roses and cascading orchids and eucalyptus leaves.  The boutonnieres were made of a beautiful dendrobium orchid with subtle grey foliage and ribbon detail.

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Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.

  • We wanted to ensure that our guest got to experience the best of South Africa so for the ceremony we had string quartet and a South African gospel choir
  • We hired Zulu dancers to perform during the pre-drinks reception
  • We hired a photo booth with all the props so we could have some fun memories with our guests
  •  As we couldn’t have fireworks on the estate we had a surprise fire dancer performance for our guests

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

Surreal, I completely zoned out and just focused on John. There were so many emotions running through me, I felt like I was on cloud nine. It’s a level of joy I can’t put into words.  

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How did you make the ceremony personal to you?

One of John’s longest and best friends officiated - he moved to South Africa with his Columbian wife and the church to start up a charity. He made the whole ceremony so personal to us and shared the best martial and spiritual advice. It was so moving. 

What was your most memorable moment?

Saying our vows in to one another.

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

The distance.

What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?

Jennifer Hudson ‘If this isn’t Love’. We both love this song and thought it was fun and not typical.

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Tell us about your wedding cake.

We had a simple elegant six-tier cake, with an intricate rose petal design. We opted for lemon and poppy seed with lemon frosting (my favourite) and red velvet (his favourite).

If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

The time of year we went. We opted for a spring wedding as we didn’t want it to be too hot but it was early spring, so we had very wet and cold week.

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Did anything go wrong on the day?

Nothing I know of – the planner ensured I didn’t see or know.

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

We decided not to go straight away and are planning a trip to Bora Bora this year.

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Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?

Surround yourself with family and close friends. Stay true to your vision – it is your day. Manage your expectations, especially when setting a budget – it’s not fun when you have to make cuts because of overspending and if you are going to have a planner make sure they understand your vision and that you can relate to one another. Make sure you and your partner are there for one another and allow each other to have a safe place to air concerns and emotions without judgement.

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Steal their style: 

Coordination / Wedding Planner: Mon Amour Events
Venue: MolenVliet Oosthuizen Family Vineyards
Lighting: N Concepts
Furniture: Lounging Co
Catering: Two Chefs
Cake: Wade Cakes
Staffing: ASAP Staffing
Photography: Wesley Vorster
Videography: Hauke Films
String Trio: Simply Strings
Acoustic Jazz Trio: Shout Music
Zulu Dancers and Choir: Shake and Bake Entertainment
DJ: DJ Voodoo
MC: Carl Weber
Photo Booth: Booth Central
Fire Dancers: Firetribe
Flowers: Okasie
Hiring: Urban Tonic
Hiring: Table Cloth Hiring
Hair and Make-up: Mary Gouveia and Saskia Buxton
Stationery: Lara Friday Designs

For more destination wedding inspiration and planning advice, click here.

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