A life-threatening accident brought this couple closer together… Take a look at their photos and read their love story.
Brett and I met at church a few months before we started dating. I always admired his sense of humour and what a good listener he was. We often had good chats and I always enjoyed spending time with him. Then we went away with mutual friends over Easter in 2007 and went horse riding.
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Brett, always the adventurer, was much braver than me (I decided to rather take my horse for an extremely slow walk). Unfortunately, Brett's horse did not stop and he landed up on the ground, unconscious, after hitting his head on a wall – the result of attempting to jump off the horse to avoid any further injury to his already-injured knee. I surprised everyone (and myself) by how emotional I became and how concerned I was.
When we returned, I wanted to see him again and asked him to accompany me to the University of Johannesburg (old RAU) library, as I had some research to do for an assignment due for my Honours in Industrial Psychology. He has an incredible general knowledge so I call him my walking encyclopedia – if I want to know something, he usually has the answer. I knew he'd enjoy having all those books at his disposal and was I was secretly hoping he’d ask me out for a cup of coffee afterwards.
Things happened very naturally from there. He asked me out for coffee and to go shopping with him – pastimes we still enjoy very much.
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He kissed me for the first time on 15 June 2007 and we have been together ever since. Our special bond grew as we have been through so many trials together – job changes, moving house, financial difficulty and family trauma. Through everything, he has been my best friend.
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After being together for almost two years, in February 2009, he took me to our favourite place in the world, the Pretoria Zoo. He had arranged for an amazing, scrumptious breakfast in the koala enclosure on our arrival. As we arrived, I saw that we had the whole enclosure to ourselves, with the gates closed and people guarding the gates…
I turned to look at Brett, thinking this is strange, and there he was, down on bending knee, opening a box with an engagement so perfect for me, I couldn't have chosen better! It was so elegant and timeless and tasteful in its simplicity – just like our wedding. He simply said: “Marry me, baba.”
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I burst into tears, as this was a complete surprise. I was so taken aback. I could hardly get the word 'yes' out fast enough! The koalas carried on chewing their eucalyptus leaves, unfazed, as our worlds changed forever and we became one.
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We filled every aspect of the celebration with personal touches. Brett posted an enlarged photo of us (taken by our photographer Jaco in our engagement shoot at the Union Buildings) on a big piece of card and we asked guests to write personal messages on it, instead of signing a guest book. This will hang in our house and is presently being framed.
Instead of table numbers, we had names of dogs we've each had growing up written on pale yellow cards (the theme colour). I bought the pewter frames from an animal shelter we support and the funds went towards their animal hospital.
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As favours, they later went as gifts to the wedding party, with a photo of Brett and I on the day inside. I am sure by now that you have guessed that we are animal lovers! We also bought pale yellow, rose-shaped, scented, tea light candles in glass vases to add romantic ambience to the tables and gave those as gifts too.
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To honour Brett's stepdad's Scottish origins we hired a bagpiper. The tunes welcomed guests as they sipped drinks in the gardens before the ceremony. The bagpiper was supposed to play us out of the ceremony, as we released the peace doves. However, the rain clouds opened a few minutes after I had safely entered the venue in the carriage, drawn by Sugar and Rambles, the resident Oakfield ponies.
The rain held up for a while after the ceremony and guests were escorted to the venue by staff shielding them with umbrellas. Mercifully, the rain stopped just in time for our individual photos and made them even more breathtaking!