AT a lagoon along Schoenies, NMMU psychology lecturer Kempie van Rooyen proposed to Melissa Slater on a mini-water bungalow he’d handmade with the words “Melissa will you marry me” written on the wood.
“It was always a dream of ours to go to the Maldives for a holiday or for our honeymoon when we did decide to get married and stay in a secluded water bungalow on stilts, just the two of us.
“This was our dream destination and we were very excited about going there! Unfortunately we soon realised the Maldives was way out of our budget and no longer an option for us.
“My fiance came to pick me up from work just before sunset, and drove me to a secluded beautiful lagoon. In the middle of the lagoon was a handmade, wooden water bungalow, made in secret by him in the weeks leading up to that day!
“We sat with our champagne and watched the sun go down, ending a perfect proposal. We were even greeted by a very friendly octopus that decided to swim underneath us, obviously wanting to wish us well,” said the excited bride-to-be.
The Lorraine couple met at university in Port Elizabeth and a few years after Melissa graduated their paths crossed again and they agreed on their first date in Stanley Street.
“We were lucky enough to win the R20 000 Pentravel honeymoon prize at The Herald Bridal Fair and we saw that as a very big ‘meant to be’ sign. So we finalised the engagement ring design and, even though I knew a proposal was coming in the next few months, Kempie made sure it was a total surprise! We have since put the prize money to good use on a luxury tropical island honeymoon.
“Kempie is the most special person to me because we have a completely unique bond that nobody else understands.
“He understands me completely and because of the people we are and also what we do for a living, we have so much in common. We learn from each other every day and inspire each other in so many ways. He encompasses everything I value in a person and he’s my absolute best friend,” said Melissa.
Their wedding is on April 19 next year, with the ceremony at Sea Otters Lodge in Kini Bay.
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