Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip will tie the knot with Port Alfred guesthouse owner Janine Handley today in a simple ceremony with 110 guests at the seaside village of Kasouga between Port Alfred and Kenton-on-Sea.
It is a second wedding for both bride and groom.
Trollip is divorced, while Handley is a widow.
“I’ve tried to make the wedding as personal as I can,” Handley said.
“I’ve made my own serviettes, got a caterer from our church to help with the food and my friends are helping with the flowers and arrangements.
“We want to make it feel like a nice dinner party instead of something formal.”
The pair, engaged for a little over a year, said they were excited and looking forward to the “intimate celebration” spent with their closest friends and family.
Handley said she would be wearing a long cream lace dress she had designed and made with the help of a friend.
“It’s a simple dress, which took me a day-and-a-half to make, and I had fun while doing it,” she said.
When asked if the rumours that former DA leader Helen Zille was not invited to the wedding, Trollip said guests included only their closest friends and family, including their four children and DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
“Friends from our past and friends we’ve made together are coming,” he said.
“Unfortunately, there are people who I’ve worked with for 20 years or more, such as [DA Eastern Cape MPL] Bobby Stevenson, who were not invited.
“It’s not a reflection on anyone, but we’ve invited people who we are good friends with and those who have become friends with Janine,” Trollip said.
The couple will exchange vows under a canopy of wild fig trees at an open air chapel, The Cathedral.
Handley’s pastor from Port Alfred, Isabeau Human, who is also a personal friend, will conduct the ceremony.
“Isabeau was there after Gary [her late husband] died.
“She has been a great help and support system for me,” she said.
“She was also the first person I told about Athol, so it’s only fitting that she marries us.”
With two adult children each from their previous marriages, Trollip said their children would stand with them while he and Handley exchanged vows.
“We wanted our kids to share in and be part of the ceremony. There’s no formal best man or bridesmaid,” he said.
Trollip said they would go on honeymoon for a week.
Deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani from the UDM and the DA’s Andrew Whitfield will take charge of municipal matters while Trollip is away.