14,000 km to Bliss!

Shari and Tendai chose what they believe is the most beautiful part of the world to tie the knot – the Paarl Valley in the Western Cape.

Words by Elandi Coetzee of ZaraZoo

The ZaraZoo team were delighted to be back at our favourite Polo Estate in South Africa, this time for an Aleit Wedding at Val de Vie. What a pleasure it was to work with such a professional and organised wedding coordination team!

The happy couple were Tendai and Shari, originally from Zimbabwe but now living in the UK. Tendai and Shari are both based in London in the UK, but both have lived in South Africa before… so it was a no-brainer for them to tie the knot in South Africa. After all they believe it is the most beautiful part of the world.

But their perfect plan posed a substantial challenge for the couple – how do you organise a wedding of this size and complexity when you live 14 000km away? It’s almost impossible! Fortunately, the services of the trusted Aleit Group were employed to make sure Shari’s fairytale comes to life.

The couple met at a mutual friend’s wedding and were both part of the bridal party. It turns out that this was, in fact, a well-orchestrated plan by the bride and groom to make sure that, by the end of the wedding, Tendai and Shari would be a couple.

The plan worked!

After dating long-distance for a while, Tendai proposed in true grand style – in Paris, by the Eiffel Tower. It doesn’t get more romantic than that! Shari moved from Johannesburg to London to join Tendai to start their life together.

“While the wedding was one of the best memories we have created, the best day of our lives was definitely the day we met…” smiles Shari.

The couple wanted a festive celebration – it had to be a fun, light and joyous day for their guests, most of whom travelled from far. To be exact, 13 countries – UK, US, Zimbabwe, Australia, Taiwan, New Zealand, Canada, UAE, Zambia, Switzerland, Kenya and around South Africa.

Tendai and Shari could not be more full of praise for Nicola of the Aleit Group for the excellent job done in achieving the look, feel and atmosphere they envisaged for their most special day.

Shari and the girls did their preparations at a luxurious villa on the Polo Estate. The bride was dressed in a classic creation by American designer Monique Lhuillier that she bought in Amsterdam after a fruitless search in UK Bridal shops.

“I fell in love with the French Silk trumpet style, teamed with a cute bow and the chantilly lace top with lovely flower detail,” says Shari. “It was just so ‘me’! Kudos to my good friend Kobus Dippenaar for helping with the last-minute nips and tucks!”

Her dress was complemented with a pair of glitzy Jimmy Choos and Swarovski encrusted studs and bracelet. Her six bridesmaids looked gorgeous in their off-the-shoulder, dusty rose pink mermaid dresses.

Tendai and the boys got ready at Pearl Valley Golf Estate, which is located right next to the Val de Vie estate. As a big fan of renowned Savile Row designer William Hunt, Tendai wore an Ashmore Collection suit and shoes from his favourite designer.

His accessories included a silver Patek Philippe watch, his Oxford University cufflinks, black bowtie (handmade in Scotland) and a classic cream Christy’s Panama hat and pink happy socks. The Groomsmen were dressed in navy blue DKNY suits, grey double-breasted waistcoats, black neckties and Panama hats.

After the lovely outdoor ceremony in the courtyard, guests were treated to an especially arranged Polo match while they lounged around on the veranda of the Polo Pavilion.

Liezl Kotze Floral Art lived up to her reputation and created breathtaking floral displays! The hanging arrangements and the soft pastels used throughout – together with the ghost chairs, draping and mood lighting – transformed the Grand Ballroom into a magical, crisp party pad!

Shari’s favourite moment: “Walking down the aisle with my brother to the most amazing rendition of Prince’s “Beautiful Girl in the World” by Breakfast Included. High Five to them for creating that amazing atmosphere and memory. And then looking up at my happily-ever-after at the alter!!!! PS I saw the tears behind those glasses, Tendai…”

Tendai’s favourite moment: “The first dance, when I finally got a moment with my beautiful wife to take it all in after a long day of preparations and activity! It was a beautiful day enjoyed with family and friends… We need a do over !!!”

Big congratulations Shari and Tendai!

Photos: Stefan Steenkamp & Laura da Paixao of ZaraZoo Photography. Tel +27 (0)21 910 1196




 Coordinator: The Aleit Group

Cake: Cakes by Wade

Flowers: Liezel Kotze Floral Art

Hiring: Something Different

Catering: Dish Food and Social

Lighting: Magnetic Storm

You may also like