It's a tale of a Tanzanian girl falling deeply in love with a South African boy. Aisha and Kevin–high school sweethearts–started dating in their senior year. Temporarily breaking up when Aisha moved to the UK for university, the strength of their love mended them back together. The pair committed themselves to a long-distance relationship for six years until she moved back to South Africa to be with him. After ten years of dating, the couple wed in December of 2014. Celebrating a year of marriage, Aisha teamed up with destination wedding and anniversary photographer Renee Hollingshead to plan a beautiful anniversary shoot.
Taking to the beautiful streets of Johannesburg, Aisha and Kevin wanted a shoot that was reflective of their relationship – vibrant, filled with life, and edgy, Renee says. "On a cloudy day, we met up at the ever so cool neighborhood of Maboneng. Art on Main is known for its casual, hipster crowd, artists and vendors from all over, and incredible entertainment," she continues. The usually bustling area was surprisingly empty and quiet that day so they had the place to themselves to create the anniversary shoot Aisha had envisioned. Read more of their newlywed love story below.
Bride: Aisha O'Reilly - Art director and blogger
Groom: Kevin O'Reilly - 3D Design and Animation
Wedding date: December 19th, 2014
Tell us all about the proposal!
He surprised me with a trip to Mozambique. I had no idea we were going anywhere until the night before so I had to pack blindly. I only found out our destination at the airport! He rented this beautiful villa that overlooks the ocean. Early the next day, he went to his bag to look at our flight itinerary but instead was getting the ring. He proposed in bed as the sun was rising. I was so emotional I can barely remember what he said, just that he asked me to be his wife.
How did you know he was the one?
I'm a very guarded person, so I knew he was the one for me when he didn't treat or look at me any differently when I was my most vulnerable. He knows everything about me; my deepest fears, insecurities and secrets but he loves me regardless. He's the most humble person I know.
When it comes to career, what do both of you do and how do you make time for each other?
I'm fully employed and he's self-employed so sometimes that works in our favour as his hours aren't rigid. But when he has a big project he needs to pull all nighters which can be challenging. To make sure we have time for each other, we have a dedicated date day once a month. We take turns planning it so it's always a nice surprise for the other person. We don't talk about work, and rather focus on having fun and reconnecting with each other.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
Our first dance. We'd been talking about it for years and the song was the first details of our wedding we had agreed on ages before so when that moment finally came, I broke down in tears. It felt like a long chapter in our lives had closed and a new one started.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to newlyweds?
It's easy to fall into the hype of planning a wedding. It's stressful, expensive and can be overwhelming. Never forget the reason why you said yes to him, remember the wedding itself is just a day and after that, you have a marriage to look forward to.