Laura in the Alexandra Gown

Bride wearing Grace Loves Lace Alexandra Gown kissing groom holding bouquet

Danie & Laura

In the Alexandra Gown

Congratulations on your recent wedding, you looked stunning! Tell us how and why you chose your GLL gown?

My sister wore the Hollie gown two years ago and I fell madly in love with all the beautiful dresses on the Grace Loves Lace website. I decided back then that if I got married I would be a Grace girl. I was in love with a number of dresses, especially the Verdelle, but my best friend Louise helped me to reach a final decision and I chose the stunning Alexandra. I also purchased the Eden for our second day celebration.

So tell us, how did you both meet?

We met in March 2013, when we were both invited to an event in Galway by Danie’s teammate. He and his friend approached me towards the end of the evening and we starting chatting.

Was it love at first sight or was it a slow burn kinda situation?

Danie asked me to attend an after party with him. I was quite wary so I politely declined! He contacted me through Facebook the next day and invited me for coffee a couple of days later and the rest is history.

What first attracted you to your partner?

I was instantly attracted to Danie! I called my sister after our first date and told her Danie was ‘The One’. We talked and talked for hours. We actually had no choice but to leave after three hours as the restaurant was commencing dinner service! He was such a gentleman that day and it was apparent that he has a good heart and excellent values. It was clear that he is a very driven, motivated and positive person. Danie moved from South Africa to Ireland, without knowing a single person, for his rugby career. I also thought he was the most handsome man that I’d ever seen!

And the proposal? How did that go down?

Danie proposed to me a couple of days after my birthday, last October, in front of the Azure Window on the island of Gozo, Malta. It was the most beautiful setting. He planned to do it at sunset but he waited for the other tourists to leave so it was dark by the time he got down on his knee! The proposal was perfect. I was the happiest girl in the world that evening.

How did you feel on your day and how did you style your GLL look?

Caroline Coyne and Natalie O’Brien are the dream wedding team. I wouldn’t allow anyone else do our hair and make up so we flew them over from Ireland! Caroline is absolutely amazing, I always feel my best once she has worked her magic. Natalie is also incredible, I was delighted with my hair. The bridal party looked so beautiful. I adored my dress – it was so comfortable and I loved dancing in it. It was so lightweight and easy to wear in the heat. It travelled from Australia to Ireland and from Ireland to Portugal exceptionally well! I styled my Alexandra with a fresh flower crown and a beautiful simple veil created by Galway milliner Edel Ramberg. I purchased the gold ‘Linda’ sandals from the Aquazzura boutique in Florence. I kept my jewellery minimal and wore a thin gold bangle which was a gift from my parents and a simple gold ring on my right hand which Danie bought me as a wedding gift. I wore a silk flower crown after the ceremony as the fresh flowers wilted in the heat.

Where did you get inspiration from for your wedding?

We wanted our wedding to be relaxed occasion, a big party with lots of dancing and wine. We both love our food and we wanted to ensure that there was lots of delicious food for our guests.  We put a lot of thought into the menu. I always wanted to get married on a vineyard. My parents are wine lovers and I grew up visiting vineyards in Europe every summer. My Dad discovered Quinta de Sant’Ana. Danie and I visited the family run vineyard in February and we instantly fell in love. It was perfect and precisely what we had in mind. The setting is incredible, it took our breath away. We were both a little worried about asking our guests to travel from South Africa and Ireland to Portugal but having it abroad in the sunshine was the best decision we ever made. It was a week of celebrations and the Irish and South Africans had a great time together. We joke and say that we will renew our vows there in the next 10 years so that we can relive that special time all over again.

Describe your wedding in 3 words…

Love, Dancing, Wine

What was your most memorable moment?

The entire day was full of memorable moments. There was a very special moment in the morning when my bridesmaid Louise gave me a poem she had written about our friendship. She later agreed to read it during the reception. When we were ready and leaving for the venue and I first saw my Dad looking so smart in his lovely light blue suit, I got very emotional and I couldn’t hold back my tears.Another moment I will remember forever, is when my Dad and I started dancing in the courtyard after the ceremony while the band played one of our favourite songs. A friend caught this on camera and it is such a special moment to have captured forever. My most memorable moment was walking up the aisle with my Dad and seeing Danie at the top in tears. My emotions completely took over and I bawled! When we entered the reception room to The Beach Boys ‘God Only Knows’ I was filled with so much happiness with the realisation that I was sitting down to my first meal with my new husband surrounded by all our closest friends. I danced all the way to my seat!

Any top tips or advice you can give fellow GLL brides (beauty, health & wellness, planning etc)

We were worried that many of our guests had never met, so we arranged a party two nights before the wedding. This was a great success and ensured that our wedding day was relaxed and great fun for everybody. Don’t sweat the small stuff, everything will fall into place on the day. The day absolutely flies, take five minutes with your new husband before the reception to take everything in. Be in the moment and do whatever you want and what makes you happy, I danced all day! Don’t lose sight of the fact that this is your special day. Make decisions that suit you as a couple and don’t allow yourself to be influenced by others.

Vendors

The Bride Wore: The Alexandra Gown
The Groom Wore: Hugo Boss
Photographer: Pedro Vilela
Videographer: Fullcut Wedding Films
Venue & Florist: Quinta de Sant’Ana
Hair: Natalie O’Brien
Makeup: Caroline Coyne