Here they are: the 12 couples who have made it through the photographic judging to the finals of The Herald Bride and Groom 2016 competition, and one of them will win the lion’s share of prizes worth more than R100 000.
And you – the reader – have a hand in deciding who will take the title. A panel of judges will meet the finalists on Thursday March 9, and their vote along with yours will go towards choosing who is The Herald Bride and Groom 2016.
The finalists are: 1. Melissa and Allistair Joseph 2. Shumeez September and Refeeq Moodaley 3. Kimendri Moodley and Prinesh Naidoo 4. Mandisa Mantla married Majola Nkohl 5. Vuyolwethu Ngqondi and Buntu Qupe 6. Nicole Frieslaar and Haylin Redelinghuys 7. Diane van Eck and Daniel Schultz 8. Jessica Baker and Bjorn Ronaasen 9. Samantha Batyisi and Jonathan Skepe 10. Kayla Burns and Bentley Van Wyk 11. Leigh Plaatjies and Gavelyn Windvogel 12. Zoliswa Vimbayo and Thando Yose.
The Herald Bride and Groom 2016 finalists
1 Diane and Daniel Schultz
Diane van Eyk married Daniel Schultz in April last year at Hamilton’s Exclusive Country Venue in Port Elizabeth.
The Broadwood couple started off as friends while playing for the NMMU squash team in 2006 and then started dating a few months later.
“We just got on so well and had so much in common,” Diane said. “But things weren’t always easy, especially when Dan worked in East London for a year in 2008.”
The couple dated for nine years, during which they moved in together, adopted two kittens and got to know each other before getting married.
Daniel proposed the day after Valentine’s Day on February 15 2015.
“He made a flask of coffee and said we were going to go and drink it on top of Maitlands Hill. [On the hill] Dan suddenly pointed and said ‘Ah, there’s a whale’. I looked and couldn’t see anything and as I turned to ask him where the whale was, he was on one knee with a ring in his hand,” Diane said.
Daniel is a process engineer supervisor at Mahle, an automotive parts manufacturer company in Markman Township, while Diane is a quantity surveyor at Rousseau Probert Elliott in Walmer.
The couple enjoy playing squash, cycling and running together.
“We love competing against each other in everything we do but nothing beats sharing in your partner’s victory after so much hard work and passion has gone into the preparation,” they enthused.
“No matter where we go or what we do, she is always prepared and has thought of everything,” Daniel said. “I also love her caring nature and her determination.”
Diane loves her husband’s sense of humour and his ability to always make her smile and laugh.
They chose the picture by Hannah Minkley because they thought it truly captured their special day.
2 Samantha and Jonathan Skepe
Samantha Batyisi married Jonathan Skepe in March last year at Ebenezer International Christian church in Algoa Park.
The couple live in Jacksonville. Samantha is a second-year management student at Dower College and Jonathan is an HR administrator at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Summerstrand.
The couple first met at Gelvandale High School while performing during an assembly they were both invited to.
“We were both invited to perform there because we share the same passion which is reaching lost young people through our talents,” Jonathan said.
The Skepes dated for a year and a half before getting married. They have a six-year-old daughter, Cazley.
“We didn’t have much but that didn’t stop us from planning our life together,” Samantha said.
Jonathan revealed that when he popped the question, he was a bit dizzy and nervous because he did not know where the money for the wedding was going to come from.
“I laboured hard and saved up to buy her the ring she desired and when I finally had the ring, I took her and our daughter out for the day. The moment came after I took them to a secluded spot on the beach and proposed,” Jonathan said.
Meanwhile Samantha said she had no doubt in her mind “that I had made the right choice”.
The Skepes have a passion for music and enjoy composing together.
“I love that she loves God, she builds me up as a man and supports my passion for rap,” said Jonathan.
“I love the fact that he can make me laugh no matter how I’m feeling. I love his humble spirit and I love the fact that he is a man of God,” Samantha said.
They chose the picture by Elske Botha because it signified that “no matter how broken the walls are around us, we will always have each other’s backs”, they said.
3 Kayla and Bentley van Wyk
Kayla Burns married Bentley van Wyk at the Port Elizabeth Polocrosse Club in Kragga Kamma in April last year.
The high school sweethearts live in Sherwood, and Kayla is a special needs teacher at Quest School for Autistic Learners, while Bentley is a ceramic designer who is busy establishing his own business.
Kayla was first drawn to Bentley during their years at Westering High School and made the first move by asking a cousin to introduce her to him.
They dated for eight years, before Bentley proposed during a 5FM party in Cape St Francis in front of all their friends.
“I was busy making a potjiekos on a gas stove and as I closed the pot, I turned around and saw him on one knee in front of all our friends. I was so excited when he proposed because I had waited for so long,” Kayla said.
In their spare time, the Van Wyks have a passion for cars and travelling together.
“I love her cooking of course, the fact that she can build me up as her husband and she is such a caring and loving person,” Bentley said.
“His smile, his caring heart and his love for God,” Kayla said of why she felt the way she did about Bentley.
They chose a picture by Fabian Sneaker Bartlett Photography.
4 Kimendri and Prinesh Naidoo
Kimendri Moodley married Prinesh Naidoo in a traditional Tamil ceremony at the Tramways Building in the Baakens Valley.
The Westview Village couple developed a friendship after meeting through mutual friends in 2007 but only started dating at what they felt was finally the right time a few years later.
Kimendri said she was not thinking about marriage but when Prinesh proposed she knew it was what she had always wanted.
“Prinesh planned a surprise proposal in a cozy spot at the Emmerentia Dam in Johannesburg. I was under the impression that we were going to Johannesburg to attend a concert and spend the weekend with his sister,” Kimendri said.
After much strategising with his family, Prinesh proposed in a scenic spot with music playing in the background.
“With the biggest smile on my face I said: ‘does my dad know about this?’ and after a good laugh I said yes,” she said.
Kimendri is an architect and project manager at a construction company in Port Elizabeth and Prinesh is a pharmacist at a family-owned pharmacy in Uitenhage.
The couple love to travel, try out new cuisine and adventurous activities like kayaking and zip-lining together. Prinesh is also passionate about cricket while Kimendri enjoys all things crafty.
“There’s so many qualities to Prinesh that I love and appreciate, but what stands out the most is that he is extremely generous, loyal and loving to his friends and family. I also love that he makes his best effort at all times to be the best kind of husband he can be,” Kimendri said.
Prinesh said “I love her patience, her nurturing side and I love how super hot she is.”
They chose the picture by Charlene Channon because not only had they formed a good relationship with her since she took pictures of their engagement, but the picture they submitted was one of their favourites.
5 Leigh and Gavelyn Windvogel
Leigh Plaatjies married Gavelyn Windvogel at La Colline in Theescombe in November.
The couple lives in Arcadia and Leigh is currently completing her articles at Legal Aid, while Gavelyn is a New Part development assistant at Shatterprufe.
“We met at a mutual friend’s birthday and when we were introduced he said he knew me and I was, like, ‘no way’.
Two years after that party he became close friends with my older brother and that was when our paths crossed again. He took my number and we started chatting on MXit,” Leigh said.
The couple dated for four years before Gavelyn proposed on Valentine’s Day in 2015.
“We booked a table at Cape Town Fish Market and during dinner he kept saying he wanted to ask me something.
“I had my suspicions but he kept on talking about other stuff. We landed up eating ice-cream at the pier where we just talked and ended up sitting on a bench at the beach and that’s when he got on one knee and proposed,” Leigh said.
The Windvogels enjoy going out on coffee dates and watching movies.
“I love his strength and not just the physical strength but also that he is someone I can count on, my rock to lean on. I love his sense of humour – he always has a joke to tell and is always the one talking when we hang out with friends. I also love his willingness to always assist. He’ll literally do anything for me,” said Leigh.
Gavelyn in turn adores Leigh. “I love that she always motivates me to do better. She is very loving and caring and it’s a fact that she would go out of her way to help not only me but others too,” Gavelyn said.
They chose a picture by Charlene Channon Photography because they love how it showed how happy they were on their wedding day.
6 Zoliswa and Thando Yose
Zoliswa Vimbayo married Thando Yose at La Cigale in Seaview in December last year.
he Uitenhage couple met in 2014 when Thando offered Zoliswa a lift to work. It was during their first brief conversation that Thando picked up that Zoliswa preferred to work on Sundays because she had nothing else to do. He used that as an opportunity to ask her out for drinks.
It seems Thando’s special feeling was spot on and he could not help but seal the deal with the big question three months later.
“When he said he wanted to marry me and start a new family with me, I couldn’t believe it. I felt it was too early but then I realised that you don’t have to wait too long to marry someone if you are ready to marry, so I said yes,” Zoliswa said.
Thando is an electrical technician at Volkswagen and Zoliswa is a social worker at the department of social development.
The couple enjoys travelling and going out to watch movies together. They also like sharing their dreams with each other. Zoliswa loves reading, trying out new recipes and cooking for her husband, while he enjoys watching soccer.
“What I love about him is that he is humble, doesn’t like to argue and is a loving and caring man.
“He is a hard worker and dedicated to his work,” Zoliswa said of Thando.
Thando in turn said “Zoe is a good listener, a loving, caring and strong woman who is always positive. She gives me strength when I’m feeling down and is a beautiful woman who makes our house a warm home.”
They chose the picture by Gavin Gouws because when they look at it they relive the happiness they felt on the day.
7 Melissa and Allistair Joseph
Melissa Mahomed walked down the aisle with Allistair Joseph in February last year at the Newton Phillipton Union Congregational Church in Fort Beaufort.
The couple live in Gelvandale and Melissa is an administration clerk at Workforce Staff Solutions while Allistair is a compliance officer at Aspen Pharmacare.
Allistair said he could not help but notice Melissa as she stood out in a crowd, and he immediately asked a mutual friend to introduce him.
“I was like, ‘wow’, but she didn’t really show any interest at the time. That didn’t stop me from trying to get her attention!” Allistair recalled.
They dated for three years before deciding to get engaged. Allistair said there was no proposal but rather a conversation about people getting engaged and never marrying.
“I told her that I don’t see the purpose of getting engaged because if you want to spend the rest of your life with that person, you should get married and surprisingly, she agreed with me,” he said.
In their spare time, the couple love watching live rugby, socialising with friends and going for walks on the beach.
“I love her personality, the way she looks at me, her smile, her smell, her soft skin and not to mention her cooking!” said Allistair.
“I love it when he makes me laugh and cherish his caring heart, respect for others and his wisdom when he gives me advice,” said Melissa.
The pair chose the photo by Theo Jettha because when they look at the picture, it transports them back to that very moment on their wedding day.
8 Nicole and Haylin Redelinghuys
Nicole Frieslaar married Haylin Redelinghuys at Africanos Country Estate, Addo, in February after a church reception at St Martin de Porres Roman Catholic Church.
The Levyvale couple met after Haylin asked Nicole’s sister to introduce him to her.
“I was visiting her sister and we were watching her 21st birthday on video and I saw Nicole in the video and asked her sister to introduce me to her,” Haylin said.
They went out a few times before Haylin officially asked Nicole to be his girlfriend.
They dated for six years before deciding to get married. Nicole works in administration at KFML Holdings while Haylin works as an ocean export controller for Kuehne and Nagel logistics company.
Haylin enlisted the help of close friends in planning his proposal to Nicole. The morning of the proposal, Haylin hired a car because his vehicle refused to start and they drove off to Jeffreys Bay.
“As we were walking down the beach, Nicole noticed the sandcastle that one of my friends made. It was a sculpture of dolphins and a few steps later, the last two words were ‘marry me’.
“She immediately started crying and after I knelt on one knee and proposed, she said yes,” Haylin said.
“I love his smile, his patience and his sense of humour,” said Nicole.
“I love her kind heart, caring nature, her order, planning skills – and definitely her legs!” said Haylin.
They chose the picture by Astrid Cordier because it captures in essence the happiness they felt in their hearts “and our smiles could not be bigger because we couldn’t have been happier”, they said.
9 Mandisa and Majola Nkohli
Mandisa Mantla married Majola Nkohli in June last year at Port Alfred.
Although newlyweds, the couple can only see each other on weekends as Mandisa lives and works in Fort Beaufort while Majola is based in Uitenhage.
They met at the Uitenhage Provincial Hospital in 2013 where Mandisa was an intern medical doctor.
Police officer Majola had visited the hospital on a professional call when he experienced what he believed to be love at first sight.
“We exchanged phone numbers. As they say, ‘the rest is history’.”
Two years later Majola prepared a romantic dinner for two in Mandisa’s flat and popped the question.
Majola is a communication official for the South African Police Service Uitenhage and Humansdorp clusters while Mandisa is a medical officer at Tower Psychiatric Hospital in Fort Beaufort.
Majola said Mandisa had introduced him to the gaming field and it has become a hobby they share together.
He enjoys keeping up with current and social affairs, watching sports and reading.
When not playing computer games, Mandisa loves cooking and watching movies.
While there are other qualities Majola loves about his wife, he evidently cannot get over her humility.
“Humility, humility, humility! Other [qualities] such as her intelligence and sense of humour are just a bonus,” he said.
Mandisa also loves her husband’s humility, as well as his loving and caring nature.
They chose the picture by Sabatha Mafani, because it perfectly captured their mood on the wedding day.
10 Jessica and Bjorn Ronaasen
Jessica Baker married Bjorn Ronaasen in December last year at St Saviour’s Church in Walmer, followed by a reception at Slipperfields.
The Summerstrand couple first met at a church they were both visiting one Sunday evening.
Bjorn is a full-time dietetics student at NMMU and Jessica is a social worker at Early Inspiration, specialising in early childhood development.
“Bjorn was sitting with a mutual friend and I had to go and meet this handsome man – and little did I know he had spotted me earlier,” she said.
“When I saw her, I thought to myself I’ve got to do something about this girl.
“After our initial meeting I looked her up on Facebook and made my
“She played it way too cool but being a Stellies master’s student, I knew there was something different about her,” Bjorn said.
The couple, who dated for two years, said they spent a lot of time convincing themselves to wait before tying the knot but after a while, they knew it was time.
“We both felt so secure and excited about getting married and throughout our dating journey, marriage was always a very real goal for us both,” they said.
During their spare time, the Ronaasens love the adventure of exploring new places together.
“I love his incredible heart for helping people, his ability to relate and connect with me and others on a deep level and his fun, easy-going attitude,” she said.
“She is loving, genuine, both uplifting and motivating,” he said.
They chose the picture by “the talented” Astrid Bradley, who Jessica has known since high school, because “it was such an authentic display of the absolute joy and love we felt on that day”.
11 Shumeez and Rafeeq Moodaley
Shumeez September and Rafeeq Moodaley tied the knot at Aaminah’s Country Lodge, Port Elizabeth in December.
The Overbaakens couple met in 2013 at a Vodacom store in Moffett on Main Lifestyle Centre when Shumeez went to enquire about her cellphone contract. She was assisted by Rafeeq, who worked there at the time, and the rest is history.
“We did not have a formal engagement – we just both agreed [in August] that it felt right and it was time for the big commitment. We set a date for December 3 and asked our parents’ blessings.”
Shumeez is a prosecutor at the New Law Courts in North End and Rafeeq a sales consultant at MTN in Greenacres. Shumeez also has a six-year-old son, Muddathir.
The couple love to braai, play games and have family weekend getaways with Muddathir. Rafeeq enjoys playing indoor cricket while Shumeez watch cooking shows, as well as cooking for her husband.
Rafeeq loves his wife for much more than her “good back massages”.
“My wife loves experimenting in the kitchen and I like being the judge – she always gets positive feedback! She is level-headed and the complete opposite of me. She’s a strong woman who keeps me anchored.”
Shumeez loves her husband’s kindness and friendliness towards her friends and family.
“No matter what mood he is in, if guests arrive, he will always entertain them and make sure they enjoy themselves in our company. [I love] his caring nature towards my son and being such as good role model to him.”
They chose the wedding picture by Alicia E Photography because the look in their eyes “speaks a thousand words” to both of them.
12 Vuyolwethu and Buntu Qupe
Vuyolwethu Ngqondi married Buntu Qupe in both a white and traditional ceremony, the first at Running Waters in Kragga Kamma and the traditional wedding at the groom’s Walmer home in April last year.
The Richmond Hill couple met at a braai through mutual friends in Rowallan Park but they were each too shy to approach one another. Fortunately, they were rescued by Facebook.
“When I first laid eyes on her I remember thinking how beautiful she was. There was chemistry between the two of us though because our eyes locked from time to time. She ended up leaving the braai without us exchanging a conversation,” Buntu said.
“But months later, as fate would have it, she added me on Facebook, thanks [to] Mr Zuckerberg… and the rest is history.”
It was three years after the Facebook “friendship” request that Vuyolwethu woke up to the news that Buntu had sent a letter to her parents requesting her hand in marriage.
Buntu owns and manages the Buli Guest House in Walmer and is actively involved in a company in the maritime industry, while Vuyolwethu is a Skype engineer at Dimension Data.
“I know that this might sound strange, but I love how my wife dresses. She generally looks beautiful in most of her clothes,” he said.
Vuyolwethu said “I love it when I have had a tough day out in the real world and I come home, I literally just hand him all the burdens and he wallows with me and tells me that tomorrow will be better. He is good with budgeting and managing our finances [and I love] his smile.”
They chose the picture by Simphiwe Nama because “it has so much presence and we love how it accentuates the colours”.
How YOU can win
Take a look at the photographs and stories of our 12 finalists, then read the competition details in The Herald to see how you also can stand a chance to win prizes. If you correctly predict the winner – to be announced on the evening of March 9 – then you could win the prizes listed in print.
For more information, contact Nazma Smith on (041) 504-7184 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.