What started off as a joke between lovers, soon turned into a 3.24-carat diamond ring proposal with, permanent body art and a blissful bride-to-be.
Yolandi Badenhorst and Gareth Menton had been dating for four years when while on holiday in Mozambique two years ago, Gareth hinted that he wanted to grow old with her. To which she jokingly replied, not without a two-carat ring on her finger and a visible tattoo of her name on him.
“A few weeks later on my parents’ wedding anniversary, Gareth took me on a treasure hunt and at the end of the hunt, on a balcony in Plettenberg Bay overlooking the ocean, Gareth proposed,” Yolandi said.
“I remember his hand shaking and obviously I said yes. We cried more than anything as we were so happy.”
A year later, the couple had their dream wedding in a wine cellar at Bramon Wine Estate, in Plettenberg Bay among close family and friends.
Yolandi said her wedding day was the hottest in months and remembered “her melting face sprinkling onto her wedding gown” which weighed a staggering 12kg.
Yolandi opted to walk alone down the aisle, her dad having passed away when she was only 16.
“I chose to walk to Andrea Bocelli’s epic ballad Time to Say Goodbye as it was a way of acknowledging my father’s presence, and I also had a picture of the two of us in my glove. My stepfather then took over the last steps and gave me away to Gareth.”
Yolandi’s wedding was a family affair with her cake created by her mother and her sister Melanie officiating the ceremony.
Having attended the North-West University, Gareth – along with fellow Huis Patria alumni – serenaded with an a cappella version of California Dreaming. Yolandi said her only wish was to do it all over again!
– Nomazima Nkosi