Stunning! South Africa Elopement in Cape Town

Melisa and Raymond initially met through mutual acquaintances on social media.

Having a few friendly conversations online, they wondered if they might run into each other someday. As fate would have it, that very next weekend Melisa was invited out to a bar with a friend, and immediately upon arrival, she crosses paths with Raymond on the dance floor. Pleasantly surprised, they greeted each other and went back to their separate parties. Moments later, Melisa turned to her friend and said, “I don’t know why, but I feel like I should go find him again.” Meandering back through the dance floor, Melisa found Raymond to be looking for her as well. From that point on they became inseparable.

Featured in the Summer 2019 issue of MunaLuchi Bride Magazine. Order your copy here while available!

Bride & Groom: Melisa & Raymond
Wedding Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Wedding Date: August 18, 2018
Photographer: Dearheart Photos

Throughout seven years, whether it was directly together or long-distance, Melisa and Raymond’s love has more than endured – it’s flourished. For Melisa, she knew Raymond was the one when she “realized how much I enjoy life with him in it – highs and lows. He’s absolutely the person I wanted with me.” Raymond, admiring Melisa’s “kindness, loving heart, and gorgeous smile,” knew early on that she was the one, and so found the perfect opportunity to propose when the purchase offer on their dream home was accepted. Upon entering their new home, a bouquet of Melisa’s favorite flowers were waiting inside. After admiring the flowers, Melisa turned to find Raymond on one knee. So overwhelmed by the moment, she got down on the floor with him, where he asked her to spend the rest of their lives together as husband and wife.

Melisa and Raymond were married in an intimate elopement ceremony in South Africa. Surrounded by the natural beauty of ancestral land, they said: “I do.” Melisa was gorgeous in a blush-toned Marina Liana dress, and Raymond, sophisticatedly handsome in a classic suit. Following their wedding, they continued their journey of cultural exploration in Ethiopia and Uganda. In their words, “our whole trip to Africa was the most life-affirming experience, being able to celebrate and explore our similarities with friends in different countries of Africa.”

Best Memories: Melisa: “So many – but probably the most memorable experience was the morning hike. We woke to the most gorgeous of days (after a few days of cold/rain) and decided to take a trail on the adjacent game preserve. Our initial idea was that we might see the zebras and giraffes that were on the grounds, decompress a little and then make it back to the room in order to have our couple’s shoot. Well, we did not see ANY animals and I severely overestimated my ability to take a hike post-surgery. What should have been a forty-five-minute hike turned into almost two hours and we managed to be late for the shoot! Our wedding coordinator was so freaked out that we were lost but we had an absolute blast! It was just the best time of us really decompressing and enjoying each other and journey to the altar.”
Raymond: “For me, I mostly remember how stress-free we were the day of the wedding. While every step we made while planning our wedding abroad went relatively smooth, working through a house renovation, collaborating with our families to see us get married locally and Melisa needing emergency surgery the week before we left proved to be really stressful. But once we got to Cape Town and eventually our wedding day, we were truly able to relax, enjoy our day and focus on our love for each other.”

Advice for Engaged Couples: “Find out what works best for you. Family and friends are important but when you think about your wedding day and making a life-long commitment to your partner, envision what’s most important and then do that! If having one hundred of your closest friends is important, do that. If an intimate ceremony is what’s in your heart, do that. Everything else will fall into place if you focus on what’s important. Try to ignore the outside “influencers” of your relationship because, at the end of the day, your most favorite memory will be a unique moment that you and future partner share.”

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Ebert Steyn Films

Bride’s dress: Martina Liana Bridal
Dress style: Casey Corset (with custom sleeves), Scout Skirt
Bridal salon: Town and Country Bridal
Bride’s shoes: Betsey Johnson
Cakes/desserts: Sweet Lionheart
Catering: Bosjes Kombuis
Ceremony venue: Bosjes Chapel
Event decor/design: Happinest Wedding Decor
Entertainment: Trilogy Audio Music Lighting
Event planner: Happinest Wedding Decor
Florals: Bouwer Flowers
Groom’s shoes: Aldo
Hair: Kirsten Murphy Makeup
Linens: Happinest Wedding Decor & Two Birds
Makeup: Kirsten Murphy Makeup
Photography: Dearheart Photos
Reception venue: Bosjes Kombuis
Rentals: Two Birds & Gather
Stationery: Lara Friday Design
Videography: Ebert Steyn Films
Dress Accessories (Belt): Carol Hannah
Bride’s Earrings: Cleo Classic Designs


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About Samuel

Bookworm with degrees in English, Psychology, and Fine Art. Interests include cycling, rock climbing, hiking, Tabla, Violin, hoarding books, and poorly identifying birds.

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