Newcastle’s Zakiyya Ismail had her fairy tale wedding in her hometown with her closest family and friends.
“Junaid and I had a long-distance relationship while I worked on my career in Cape Town. He flew down to visit me one weekend. He took me out to Victoria and Alfred Waterfront for dinner. The view of Table Mountain is just spectacular. He didn’t go down on one knee, he just looked at me and asked me what my plans were for the next 40 to 50 years. This was, of course, before the formal proposal, which was traditional.
I was not going to get married in Cape Town when all our family is so far away. We decided on my hometown of Newcastle. I had little over 10 months to plan the wedding; this was after the traditional proposal which was in Easter last year.
I did not have a wedding planner and did most of the work myself. I, of course, had lots of help from my parents, my husband, the amazing events co-ordinator and her team at the venue and the décor team at Danielle draping.
Our wedding reception was held at Vulintaba Country Hotel. After my parents visited the newly-built hotel, they felt it was the perfect venue for my special day. I was surprised when I first saw it in reality; the ambience and spectacular views was what sold me on it. It is like a hidden gem in the small town of Newcastle.
I wanted to go for more simplistic, modern and white decor for the wedding. I never wanted a “themed wedding”, as I always feared looking back and regretting the theme I chose. I thought that one can never go wrong with one colour, so I went for the “all white” non-traditional wedding with a splash of colour coming through from my lighting and centrepieces. Looking back now, I’m very happy with my choice – it made the venue come to life and it added something magical to an already unforgettable evening. Everyone involved did such an amazing job to make things just extra special on our wedding day.
The bridal shower
My sister hosted a surprise bridal shower for me the weekend before my big day with my closest friends and family. It was a beautiful afternoon of laughter, love and great food and treats. It was truly something we all needed to take a step back from all the wedding hustle and just relax and enjoy.
A moment that stands out above the rest
I always said I would never cry at my wedding. However, the moment my husband greeted me as his wife for the first time after our religious ceremony, I was overwhelmed with emotion and having my dad there just made the moment more special. A roller coaster of emotions I have never felt before… a moment I will forever treasure.
I tried three dresses at most before deciding on my gown. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I felt like a queen in my dress. It wasn’t over the top, yet it was elegant and the intricate lace and bead work caught my attention. I felt like the most beautiful version of me…and my mother’s reaction was priceless.
My cake was a gift from my very talented aunt who runs a bakery called ‘Bake someone happy by Raeesa’. It was a four-tiered simple vanilla sponge with butter cream covered in white fondant and adorned with jewels and crystals.
To start, we had two dishes – a sweet carrot dessert or ‘Halwa’, as we call it, and a savory chicken roulade. We had two main meals, saucy chicken with chunky vegetables in a creamy sweet corn sauce and mutton korma, both served with a selection of cocktail rolls and a summer green salad as a side. Dessert was a variety of cakes, sweetmeats, biscuits and candy!
Northern KZN & Midlands Get It May 2018