Mike & Jess met at a restaurant in Ballito at the end of 2004. After not one, but two, failed attempts at a first date they finally managed to get together for a third attempt. It wasn’t the most romantic setting, however, as Mike asked Jess to attend a friend’s graduation ceremony at the Royal Hotel in Durban. Unfortunately for the friend, Mike and Jess got ‘waylaid’ at the cocktail bar and never made it to the graduation. And so it all began…
Jess celebrated her 21st birthday with close family and friends at Hartford House, the award-winning hotel and restaurant situated on Summerhill Stud in the picturesque KZN Midlands. Whilst there, she mentioned that she would love to one day get married in their beautiful gardens, but at the time nobody thought anything more of it.
Still going strong after dating for five years, Mike proposed to Jess in August 2009 and after a lengthy four year engagement, the two finally decide it was time to tie the knot.
There was never any doubt as to where the wedding would be held and so back to Hartford they went and set their wedding date for December 2013. It’s not often that a venue can bring together a five star hotel, restaurant and chef, an elegantly spacious reception venue, stunning gardens or a quaint chapel for the wedding ceremony, a stud farm (which lends itself to the most exquisite scenery for a bridal shoot), and above all exceptional service. For them the choice of venue couldn’t have been easier.
Before anyone knew it 2013 had sailed by in the blink of an eye and wedding day was upon us. Eight months of planning and organising had finally come down to one great day. And what a day it was! The ceremony was intimate and simple, but with a special little twist – Mike and Jess christened their beautiful daughter, Ava, after their service. Once they had wrapped up the nuptials it was time for everyone to let their hair down, head for the reception and get the party started. The DJ was a godsend (thank you Viv Westergreen for hitting all the right notes). Not a single moment went by when that dance floor wasn’t busting – a sure sign of a great night. And lastly, but most importantly, the guests were what made the whole day so special. If it wasn’t for them the day would never have been as emotional, exciting and fulfilled as Mike and Jess will so fondly remember forever. They owe all their wonderful memories to them. Thanks to all for the parts you played in their lovely day.