Dawid & Nilmini’s Wedding
Weddings like Nilmini and David Willem’s set your soul on fire, purely because the traditions and culture from both sides of the family make the celebration such a unique experience. Let me explain. Nilmini is originally from Sri Lanka, Dawid is from South Africa and they met as students in the UK at Oxford, where they fell in love and eventually became engaged.
Planning a wedding from another country can be tricky, and this is how I was fortunate enough to be chosen as Dawid and Nilmini’s wedding planner. Shortly after their engagement, Dawid and Nilmini paid a visit to South Africa and it was during this time that they decided to get married right here in KwaZulu-Natal. For those of you who know how much I love my province, you can imagine my joy at their choice of wedding destination!
Nilmini loved how the south coast reminded her so much of Sri Lanka, with its endless fields of sugar cane, banana farms and tropical climate and they fell in love with the Estuary Hotel for its natural beauty – it really is a stunning venue at which to tie the knot.
I had so much fun styling this wedding and being able to be creatively unique to this specific couple was a dream come true! We worked with a colour pallet of navy blue and fuchsia pink with gold accents, and this was carried through in the choice of bridesmaids saris, flowers and table décor, as well as in the stationery and wedding favours. The Lotus flower was a central theme to the on the day stationery which was designed by Ruby + Swallow.
Every aspect of the wedding was meshed to highlight both Dawid and Nilmini’s cultures and the formalities of the day included two ceremonies – a Christian ceremony in a catholic church (held in both English and Afrikaans) and a Buddhist ceremony which was conducted under a poruwa on the hotel lawns. A few hours lapsed between the two ceremonies, and in order to keep their guests energy levels up, traditional Padkos bags were handed out after the church ceremony, which included much-loved South African snacks like biltong and dried fruit. To signify the start of the reception dinner the new Mr and Mrs Pienaar lit the Pahana, a traditional Sri Lankan oil lamp, which is lit at the start of a celebration to signify good luck.
Dawid and Nilmini – thank you for trusting Oh Happy Day to plan, style and coordinate your wedding day, I will always look back on your day with a happy heart and remember it as one of my favourites. Sending you love and happiness, always.
Venue: The Estuary Hotel
Décor and flowers: Labola
Stationery: Ruby + Swallow
Photography: Derryn Schmidt Photography
Videography: Jeff Wood