Wedding tips from one bride to another: Shana Kreusch

Shana and Carl got married at the beginning of 2012, and after knowing them as boyfriend and girlfriend, then fiancees, being able to see them become husband and wife was a really special day! Their wedding was a beautiful day of family members, friends and community coming together to celebrate! Shana and Carl, together with their bridal party and family put together some amazing DIY decor, so look out for photos of that!

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1. How did your fiance propose to you?

He (with the help of his sister and her now-husband) set up a pretty pink picnic breakfast in Kirstenbosch gardens with all my favourite breakfast things. He made me think it was for my birthday which was a short while before, but I realized when he got on one knee that that wasn’t really what was going on.

 

After that he’d organized to go shopping for a little black dress which I’d been wanting for ages, and then took me to supper in a tree house at Spier so I could wear it. Except the dress didn’t fit, and I was majorly unprepared for sitting outside while there was snow on the mountains. Our waitress hooked us up with some blankets though.

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2. What was your favourite thing about the planning process?

I absolutely loved that we did exactly what we wanted. I often see weddings where the bride and groom have their wedding prescribed to them by family or other pressures, we decided to do things our way, even if people thought what we’d decided was ridiculous.

 

I also loved that we got to make everything from scratch and do everything ourselves, and that our family and friends got involved. Though it was a little stressful at times it made the day so much more personal for us.

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3. And your least favourite thing?

I can categorically say my least favourite thing was working full time and finishing my degree at the same time as planning the wedding. I submitted 9 assignments in the week before the wedding, one of which was 10 000 words. It did not make me happy. And I think I was a bit of a horrible person to be around during that time, which I wish I could go back and change. I would have loved to have been more relaxed and to have enjoyed the preparation a little more than I did, even though I loved it!

 

4. Describe your wedding:

We wanted our ceremony to be the mother of all celebrations, so we gave an open invite to the church and had a popcorn machine, lemonade and ice lollies outside afterwards. I loved that we had our whole community celebrate with us!

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For our reception we had lunch in a friend’s garden. We wanted things to be very festive, relaxed and fun. Lunch was ‘build-your-own-sandwich’ with an array of breads and toppings for people to choose from. We went with black and white with a touch of colour (bright blue, pink and orange), but that kind of became colour with a bit of black and white.

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5. What inspired your wedding theme, decor and colour?

Carl really wanted a day reception, which had to grow on me at first. But when I was thinking of some of the happiest, most relaxed times in my life I thought about sitting in the garden with my family and friends for Sunday lunch or a braai, with kids running around. We decided we weren’t the fancy wine farm, formal dinner wedding kind of people. A lunch with friends, family and kids being generally raucous was far more us! I think that was the best wedding decision we made (apart from our photographers!).

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6. How involved was your fiance in the planning process?

Anyone who knows how stressed I was with work and studies at the time and was involved at all in the planning knows that Carl pretty much held the whole thing together. He got stuck in with all the DIY stuff we did (which was everything), did a lot of the organizing, ran around fetching stuff, gave his opinion as to what he did and didn’t want (which was great, because it wasn’t my wedding, it was both of ours!). He somehow managed to keep me calm and excited, which was quite an achievement!

 

7. And your family and bridal party?

What a question. On the Monday before the wedding our caterer fell through. I know, right! I was only told of this small development on Tuesday, after my sisters had planned all the catering, quantities and budget, and had put together a plan of when they’d do the shopping and how they would get everything cooked and prepared. This was over and above all the décor they did, the prep, the setting up until 12am the night before and so much more! (Plus one had just flown in from America, the other had done massive amount of décor stuff and the third shattered her arm on the Wednesday before and had to have surgery on the Thursday, 2 days before the wedding!).

 

My mom and dad and parents in law sat for hours making stuff, sanding stuff, sticking things, sewing etc. Carl’s cousins got stuck in too. Our bridal party was amazing! They each spent hours helping us with random things, picking up stuff, organizing drinks, phoning etc. In fact, even now we look back and are so blown away with how much random people got stuck in and helped out with things we didn’t even know about till way after the wedding. We literally have the best family and friends!

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8. If you had to redo your wedding, would you change anything?

I honestly wouldn’t! It’s strange, if I were to plan my wedding now, little things like décor and colours etc might be different to what we did as tastes change as you grow older. But even so, I wouldn’t have changed a thing!

 

9. What was your most memorable moment at your wedding?

It’s so difficult to answer this one. The whole thing was filled with memorable moments! Every now and then I remember little snippets of the day, and I realize how incredibly blessed I was to have the most amazing wedding, but more importantly to be able to be married to an incredible man who loves me and loves God. There’s really nothing more memorable than that. Although I did particularly enjoy how our pastor inadvertently made a sex joke, which I genuinely struggled to keep a straight face through. Our photographers very appropriately caught that one on camera!

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10. Any advice for brides planning a wedding?

Enjoy the dating season: you don’t get that time back, and though marriage brings a deeper intimacy, that time is so new and full of excitement. There really is something special about it, don’t will it away by wishing so hard to be married. Enjoy the engagement: the planning, finding a place to stay together, making decisions together, becoming your own family unit… it’s amazing! Look forward to the marriage: Don’t get so caught up in planning an event that you lose sight of the most important part, the marriage! Marriage is the happiest, most fulfilling and challenging venture you will ever get into, don’t listen to the sceptics and cynics! Love the journey of loving each other. 

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Wedding date: 28 January 2012

Photographer: Love Made Visible (couldn’t have asked for better photographers!)

Make-up artist: My sister, Bronwyn Witthoft

Hair stylist: My hairdresser Megan from Synergy Hair

Dress designer/shop (bride): Bride & Co, with some lace added by Carl’s mom

Dress designer/shop (bridesmaids): they each bought their dresses at different shops!

Venue: A friend’s garden in Bishops College

Co-ordinator: My amazing sisters and Carl (who was a machine)

Entertainment: Matthew Mole and Ash Stephenson gave us awesome chilled background music.

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