Paul & Kodie Van Deventer

STORIE:


Paul and I met in 2019 at ‘Mawana Game Reserve’ in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. I am from Australia but accepted an 8-month field research position studying the wild vervet monkeys on the reserve and luckily for me, Paul was the Manager of that very same reserve. Over that 8-month period, we got to know each other very well and despite our attempts at suppressing our feelings, we were undeniably in love.

When my time in South Africa came to an end, Paul travelled to Australia with me for a holiday, to extend our time together and to meet my friends and family. But all good things must come to an end, and he had to return to South Africa.

We spent about 6 months apart whilst we planned and prepared for my permanent return to South Africa. Unfortunately, Covid-19 then swept across the globe causing the pandemic before my travel documents arrived. In fear of being separated for even longer, Paul heroically dropped everything to be with me. His tourist visa to Australia was still valid so he jumped on a plane as soon as he could. We were extremely lucky as he got the LAST SEAT on the LAST PLANE landing in Australia just HOURS BEFORE THE BOARDERS CLOSED. It was a close call, but we will be forever grateful that we were together and not separated during the 2-year pandemic.

Our relationship grew even stronger, and we decided to call Australia our permanent home. We began to plan our forever together and Paul romantically proposed to me in November 2021 while we were on a glamping trip surrounded by nature. It was perfect. He even hired a professional photographer, who posed as the property owner, to capture the moment.

Our wedding planning journey was fun and exciting, and we mutually agreed the wedding would be held in South Africa as that is where our relationship began. We returned to South Africa in December 2021 for the first time since the pandemic, to spend Christmas with Paul’s family. It was wonderful to see everybody again. While we were there, we decided to search for the perfect wedding venue. Searching for the perfect venue became a family outing and we looked at many venues both near and far. The venues that I liked, Paul did not, and the venues that Paul liked, I did not. The last venue we viewed was Mountainview Game Ranch and I think we both knew this was the one before we even got out of the car. It was everything we both imagined for our wedding, a beautiful property with abundant wildlife and luxury accommodation. Before returning to Australia, we had chosen not only our venue but also our amazing photographer, videographer, make-up artist, and florist, and sourced the perfect horse for my grand entrance. Ever since I was a little girl, I had always dreamt of a grand entrance and seeing as horse riding is a hobby that Paul and I both share, it felt fitting to arrive on a Friesian Stallion. We planned the remaining wedding details from Australia, with the help of Paul’s family who remained in South Africa.

We planned and designed our wedding to reflect our love story and who we are as a couple. Our colour palette was made up of natural colours such as olive green (our favourite colour), browns and ivory. Complimentary colours were peach to add a touch of warmth and gold to add a hint of luxury. The venue resembled the reserve where we first met and the wildlife within it. We had table names instead of numbers with each table named after a country where we have been to or where we would like to travel together. This was also fitting as we had an international wedding with guests from many different countries attending. Our seating chart was a world map hand-painted in our wedding colours. Each of the table names was laser cut out of wood with the outline of native animals from those countries making up some of the letters, again touching on our love for wildlife. Our place cards were gold coasters that doubled as wedding favours and Paul’s father and his friends found a fallen tree and made beautiful wooden underplates out of it for each guest to take home, which also had our names and wedding date lasered into the corner. They also used this tree to create beautiful sign boards for us to use throughout the wedding.

The ceremony took place outdoors in nature, with hay bales used as seating and whimsical floral arrangements positioned down the aisle. Native flowers and roses of white and peach climbed the trees at the altar and during the ceremony, curious giraffes gathered in the background and were visible during my long ride to the ceremony. Our wedding party consisted of my two sisters and Paul’s two sisters as bridesmaids and flower girls, two of Paul’s close friends as groomsmen, his dad as his best man and Paul’s staffy ‘Jess’ as our ring bearer. My dad walked me down the aisle to a recording of my little cousin Amelie singing How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding, which she recorded especially for us. Paul was in tears at the altar as I walked down the aisle, and I was so happy because I was about to marry the love of my life. We chose to write our own vows to each other and that too was a very beautiful and emotional moment.

We joined our guests at cocktail hour to enjoy a little live music, where we also cut the amazing wedding cake that was gifted to us by Paul’s parents. At our reception, the rest of the formalities took place including speeches, bouquet and garter toss, and special dances. Our first dance was to Forever After All by Luke Combs and I danced with my father to My Little Girl by Tim McGraw. The dance floor was occupied all night and we even extended our event by 1 hour because no one was ready to leave yet. We then sat outside around a fire for the rest of the night, only returning to our rooms the following morning. Our day could not have been more perfect, and we will never forget the magical time we had celebrating our love, surrounded by friends and family.

      STEM | VOTE

      VERWYSING | REFERENCE:

      TVJ23164

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          BANK BESONDERHEDE:

          Verwysing: Gebruik die verywing wat begin met TVJ23****.
          Rekening Houer:  Mooi Troues

          Bank: First National Bank
          Rekening Tipe: Tjek Rekening
          Rekening Nommer: 62528022792
          Takkode: 250-655
          Belangrik: Gebruik die onderste verwysing wanneer jy stem.  Geen terugbetalings sal gedoen word nie. Indien jy die veerkeerde verywing gebruik sal die stemme nie na die korrrekte troue toe gaan nie.


          BANKING DETAILS:

          Verwysing: Use the reference starting with TVJ23****.
          Account Holder:
            Mooi Troues

          Bank:  First National Bank
          Account Type:  Cheque Account
          Account Number: 62528022792
          Branch Code: 250-655
          Important:  Use the below reference when voting. No refunds will be done. If you use the incorrect reference, the votes will not be allocated to the correct wedding.

            VERWYSING | REFERENCE:

            TVJ23164

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                Diensverskaffers:

                • Blomme: Anrule Plant and Decor Hire
                • Bruidegom-pak: Bruno’s Suits
                • Dekor: Anrule Plant and Decor Hire
                • Fotograaf: Just Jordan Photography
                • Grimering: FDK Styling
                • Hare: FDK Styling
                • Huweliksbevestiger: Willem Sauer
                • Juweliersware: Temple and Grace
                • Trouring: Michael Hill
                • Troukoek: Kim’s Creation’s
                • Platejoggie: Throwback Thursday
                • Strooimeisie-rokke: Bridesmaids Only
                • Trourok: The Bridal Company
                • Venue: Mountainview Game Ranch
                • Paartjie se verblyf: Mountainview Game Ranch
                • Vermaak: Throwback Thursday
                • Videograaf: Vlak Vark Productions
                • Wittebrood plek: Pezulu Tree House Lodge