Durban man proposes to the love of his life and plans secret same-day wedding
Shongweni, KwaZulu-Natal - It all started out with a man wanting to give the love of his life the surprise of her life. Now, the couple from Durban has become somewhat of a local internet sensation among hopeless romantics.
David Rees, a wedding photographer, proposed to and married his girlfriend Sia on the same day -- the 15th of November 2015.
She told us that Mr. Rees contacted her two weeks before the big day with a basic outline of what he envisioned and how many guests to invite. He wanted everyone to line a driveway and shower Sia with petals as she rode in their vintage car, sitting on the boot without a clue that they were there.
According to Mrs. Yapp, stealth work was needed not to blow the surprise for the unsuspecting bride. She said the groom wanted an outdoor wedding and had selected Summerveld in the countryside town of Shongweni as the venue. The plan was to invite their friends and family to a picnic at the venue but not to tell them they would be witnessing a marriage too. Not even the bride's mom knew about the nuptials.
With little-to-none infrastructure at the spot, there were plenty items that needed to be brought in and hidden so that Sia would not catch on before Mr. Rees popped the question. "There were thousands of Whatsapp messages between him, myself and our service providers," she said. On the night before, the couple even visited Mrs. Yapp and her husband for dinner. The gathering was a ruse for finalising everything. "Sia came into my kitchen and saw me sorting out the flowers for her wedding. She asked me what they were for and I casually told her it was just for an event I was doing. I had to lie through my teeth."
For Mrs. Yapp several aspects of the actual day felt like working in live television. "Think about it, we could only start setting up the ceremony site after she said 'Yes' and all the guests were already at the venue."
That meant, pulling out hay bales and flower arrangements that had been stashed behind trees, setting up a customised, on site, boudoir for the bride to get dressed in and having a separate team on hand to make her look beautiful. Even the bride's bouquet was made up just minutes before she could walk down the aisle. Expert videographers The Shank Tank took care of filming the beautiful occassion, whilst well-known DJ and radio presenter David Yapp paid careful attention to providing audio ambience.
Surreal Eventing certainly lived up to its name when just 88 minutes after getting engaged, Sia was walking down the aisle as a bride. Mrs. Yapp said the pressure was enormous.
She said their family and friends had started arriving at 2PM and by then the temperature had dropped to significantly. A coffee bar and blankets she arranged for also did well to keep guests comfortable.
"We could not have had better service from Jen at The Farmer's Daughter, who did all the catering. While the guests were waiting for David to arrive, Jen kept their tummies warm and full," she said.
David arrived at 3PM and Sia a short while later, in the vintage car they own. She asked to take a seat in the open boot and close her eyes. As the car drove down an avenue of trees, their dearest in life showered Sia with petals. When she opened her eyes, she could see them lining the driveway with David at the end. He went down on his knee and asked the big question.
Will you marry me.... NOW?
David popped the question and then followed it up with a "Well, what are we waiting for? Why not now?"
"It really takes someone special to be able to absorb this kind of surprise. Everything had been chosen for her.
"David bought a vintage dress that needed to be altered. He managed to get Sia's measurements and took them to well-known designer Karen Monk-Klijnstra who altered the dress. Some of the stitching was done on the day. The hair and makeup stylists were also selected without Sia knowing but she just went with it and enjoyed the whole experience," said Mrs. Yapp.
Mr. Rees had considered the possibility of Sia saying 'no' and told his team that if that was the case, all the people who had pitched up would be treated to lunch at the venue.
Fortunately, it was a resounding and tearful 'yes' from the bride who was immediately whisked away and who walked down the aisle looking resplendent.
Derryn Schmidt was the photographer with the daunting task of having to take wedding pictures for a wedding photographer. Her brief was to keep things in the moment and she certainly did. "This wedding was a step out of the comfort zone and a highlight of my 2015." [read her blog and view pictures of the wedding here].
With Mrs. Schmidt's permission, we have included a collage of the images she captured from the wedding.
Said Mrs. Yapp, "We have never seen a groom plan to surprise his partner with an engagement and wedding within minutes of both happening." She said that to be able to carry it out successfully, both partners would have to know each other extremely well. " She handled it all so brilliantly. I can't say that a lot of brides want it that way. You definitely have to be a very special person to be able to handle it."
Of the time limit placed on her and Surreal Eventing to pull off two events in one day, Mrs. Yapp said: "I would definitely do it again. It helps that I trust my set of service providers and that they have always given me their best. They helped this event to run as smoothly as it did."
Of the costs involved, Mrs. Yapp said that a lot of people and service providers pitched in extras where they could. "People are amazing when someone wants to do a good thing. This wedding wasn't costly at all. Often, we (event planners) have great relationships with industry people and we all can make a plan to make someone's event unforgettable."
"It's not always about the money. People in the industry often help each other out because of the passion we feel for the happiness we're bringing."
View the couple's pictures here.
Editor's note: All images used with permission (c) Derryn Schmidt Photography. No part of this article may be republished or quoted without written consent from Newsful.