Life is a photo album of memories, attached to people, places, objects, and the senses. Interact with any one of these, whether intentionally or by coincidence, and the associated memories will reopen those moments in time, sometimes so distinctly you feel as if you've returned to the past. For Saneliso and Martin one of those places, a most important place, is the stairs of their college library where they first met. Martin would not only utilize the memory of this time, he would add to it, as it would also become the place in which he asked Saneliso to spend the rest of her life with him as husband and wife...
Read all about Saneliso & Martin's love story and sentimental surprise proposal in this beautiful classic wedding with rustic chic reception and vintage accents. Wonderfully framed by MunaLuchi Coterie member Samantha Clarke Photography - see the complete gallery here.
Bride & Groom: Saneliso & Martin
Occupations: Saneliso is a Labour and Employment Lawyer; Martin is an Educator and Law Student
Wedding date: October 10, 2015
Wedding location: St. Clares Church and The Storys Building (Toronto, ON)
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal: Martin and I met on the first day of my second year of university and his third year at the University of Toronto. We met on the steps of Robarts Library in the heart of campus - this is also where Martin proposed. On March 27, 2014 (just two days before our 5 year anniversary) Martin told me that after my evening classes we would be heading back to UofT to see a presentation his friend was doing for his Masters program. He picked me up from class and we drove to UofT quickly - we were running late. When we arrived, we parked just outside of the library and started walking up the steps. It was raining and naturally I was trying to rush inside. Martin stopped me to remind me that this was where we had met for the very first time. I told him that I knew, that he was very cute for reminding me of that, but it was raining and we were late so we needed to get inside. He told me to wait and began to kneel down on one knee. Then he started to reach in his pocket and all I could say was "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" I was completely taken by surprise and speechless - which for anyone who knows me is not normally the case. It was the most beautiful and sweet moment (next to saying 'I do') ever. To top it all off, our close friends and siblings came running out of the library with flowers and hugs to celebrate with us!
Describe your wedding dress. I had two dresses! My ceremony dress was very special because my mom and I picked it out together at the very early stages of our wedding planning. We went to a boutique sample sale with no intention of buying a dress - until we fell in love with a beautiful Reem Acra mermaid gown. It had a lace bodice, with an illusion neckline that gave it a vintage appeal (I love vintage everything). The trumpet portion of the dress was made of layered, whimsically flowing tulle! I put the dress on and instantly felt sick to my stomach about the idea of NOT owning it - and that's how I knew it was the one. Oh, and you can also tell its the one when your mama starts crying tears of joy because she knows you love it as much as she does! Now, as much as I loved my Reem Acra dream dress it posed a problem for me - the layered tulle was going to make dancing very difficult and I intended to dance the night away! So, my bridesmaids, mother-in-law, mommy dearest and I set out on a hunt for dress #2! I fell in love (again) with a Toronto based designer, Rivini, and her silk-charmeuse dream. The dress has delicate lace straps, an almost corsette-like bodice made of layered tulle fabric, a low back and a slinky silk-charmeuse bottom that felt like pajamas and like it was made for dancing the night away with my new hubby!
What was wedding shopping like for you? Dress shopping was mostly fun! The sample sale was intense. We had one hour to try on as many dresses in a communal style fitting area with a designated sales associate. Luckily I was matched with a wonderful woman who helped me snag all the dresses that caught my eye and helped me find THE ONE! She even dug out the Oscar de la Renta veil my mom and I had been eyeing for months to try with the gown! I would definitely recommend boutiques for finding your dress because even in the chaos of a sample sale, the one on one service is unmatched in big box stores.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? I think we tried our best to honour our respective cultures during our wedding and engagement. I am Zimbabwean and Martin is Ugandan. We had a modified Zimbabwean engagement (following our "Western" engagement) and went through a number of cultural processes that honoured our parents and their traditions. Many of the women in our families wore traditional outfits to the ceremony and/or reception - adding lots of colour and life to our pictures! And of course, we had to ensure that the music during our reception was ON POINT. We spent the night dancing to a mix of afrobeats, classic Zimbabwean and Ugandan Music, as well as lots of hip hop and R&B.
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen gifts: Bridesmaids - terrariums, champagne flutes and "No Ugly Crying" hankies. Groomsmen - Accessory kits (socks, ties, pocket squares and bandanas for the dance floor)
Favorite item on the menu: SHORT RIBS!! And all 5 of our Cakes!
First dance song: Corinne Bailey Rae's cover of "I Wanna Love You" by Bob Marley
What is your best memory from your wedding? I think there is a picture that Samantha took when we did our entrance dance at the reception. It sort of looks like we're having a freestyle battle. I think it perfectly captures how much fun our wedding day was from start to finish.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Remember to have fun, and to have each others backs! Wedding planning can very easily become a chore, or unpleasant when there are lots of opinions and input. Your family and friends mean well. But remember, even though it's a celebration for everyone - its your day! Make sure it's fun and true to your spirits and relationship!
Wedding dress designer: Ceremony = Reem Acra; Reception = Rivini
Wedding dress salon: Ceremony = White Toronto
Reception = Kleinfeld's Canada
Bridesmaids dresses: Navy Blue = Vera Wang for Davids Bridal; Magenta = Zac Posen for Davids Bridal
Hair: Allison Griffin of Kedar Hair Inc.
Bride, Mother of the Bride and Maid of Honour: Enas Abdalla (aka maid of honour)
Bridesmaids: Khera Alexandar
Shoes: Bride = Christian Louboutin and Jordan; Groom: Hugo Boss
Ceremony location: St. Clare's Parish
Reception location: The Storys Building
Photography: Samantha Clarke Photography
Videography: Themba Moyo
Wedding planner: Saneliso Moyo
Florist: Bouquets and Bouts by Coriander Girl
All other Flowers Designed by Saneliso Moyo and Arranged by Fike Events
Cake: Carmen Mak
Event Design: Saneliso Moyo
Day of Coordinator: Bianca Thompson
Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas
Welcome Sign: RememberNovember