Dan and Cait

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How did you both meet each other? Cait – We’ve actually known each other for quite a while now. Daniel is part of a circle of friends that my brother made during High School. My brother used to bring them over to our house after school and I would make them lunch. I can’t remember the exact day I met Daniel, I just remember him always being around. He was funny and interesting so I was curious but only years later would romance turn our friendship into us getting married.

Daniel – Pretty much as Caitlin said. I think my first memory of her was walking into my new friend’s apartment (Justin, who is her brother and now my brother-in-law), and seeing a girl on the couch by the window, who all the guys knew. Girl?! Defense mechanisms engage! Funny enough, we really only started to get to know each other via Skype years later, that lead us to hang out more often. I remember the World Cup was happening around this time, and we watched a few Portugal games together. Pretty quickly, the intervals between our visits grew shorter and shorter, until we were barely ever apart. Eventually it just seemed silly to be away from each other at all.

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How did Dan propose? It’s September 2013 and we’re flying to Portugal for 2 weeks (blissful sigh). This was our first time traveling together and we were off to meet Daniel’s Dad too (eek!). We had planned to spend a week just exploring Lisbon, including the surrounds, and the last week with his Father. The first day we woke up and I must have been exhausted or something killed my mojo because the skip in my step that I normally wake up with was nonexistent. I woke up a very unhappy royal grump. We had an agreement to sleep in on our first day and explore at our leisure later in the day but here was Daniel waking me up before the sun was up!  I will say I was not a kind girlfriend that morning. I was miserable, complaining to him about the time and asking him why we were in such a rush. Eventually I’m dressed and we’re marching all 15 mins down Avenida da Liberdade. Daniel is pointing things out but I’m not really listening nor looking at the scenery because all I want to do is head back to our hotel and sleep. Naturally I’m still moaning when the next thing Daniel stops, I look up and we’re in front of the Santa Justa Elevator (Elevador de Santa Justa). Daniel makes moves to go take the lift up, saying we can watch the sunrise from the top. I’m feeling more accommodating and interested now, so I follow. We are a bit early, and the only ones there, so we explore the wrought iron structure until finally we’re allowed to take the stairs to the top. The view is wondrous, with the city and the São Jorge Castle in front, the sea to the right, and the Carmo Convent ruins behind us. It was incredible, and there was the sun rising over the old Castle. Daniel asks me to take off my sunglasses – I refuse, it’s too bright. He insists and I grumble but eventually I comply. He gets on one knee and says “I’ve always said you’re my heart, but now I want to make it official, will you marry me Caitlin White?” In his hand is the most stunning engagement ring! Instantly I’m feeling ethereally happy but at the same time devastated. I have been such a terrible person the whole morning and here is the man I love asking me to marry him. I said “Yes, of course” but I also just kept on apologizing for how I’ve been. Daniel told me he almost turned us around but I’m glad he didn’t. The rest of the day and the holiday was a mixture of being on cloud 9 and taking a walk on the Moon :).

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Cait: My Dad and I haven’t had the easiest of relationships but he is a man I am proud to have as my Dad and love deeply. He is my hero – not one without blemish and scars but one that has overcome the darkest places in life and stood after it all. He faced the horror of watching the other half of his heart snatched away by disease, my Mum. He was her strength, her sunny place, the man who serenaded her with his guitar and lavishly loved her in health, and he was the man kneeling beside her when she could no longer stand, fed her when she could no longer eat, comforted her when all she knew was pain, and was a rock for us when she left. So when I think of my Dad, I think of someone who is stronger than anyone, a man who stands his ground, a protector and defender of his family. He pushes you to be your best because he wants the best for you and most of all would lay down much for you, who loves us unconditionally. He has my deep respect and love.

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Cait tell us about your dress? Haha this was quite funny. I’m normally quite conservative and don’t like being the center of attention, but being a Bride brings out a boldness in you that I wasn’t expecting. This is not just an ordinary dress that you would buy. I was looking for a dress that would be comfortable and not too “loud” – so no crazy blinged to the nines dress for me. Daniel also loves my waist, so I wanted a dress that would make him think beautiful and be one happy husband to be ;). I had narrowed it down to two dresses, one understated and something that was soft and whimsical – one I felt suited The Glades Farm and the little me. The other dress that had caught my eye on the Bride & Co website was more modern but elegant. It was blinged more than I was comfortable with and I was unsure seeing it on the hanger. I felt that it was perhaps too much… I was nervous of it, like it was a creature that would swallow the timid me and spit out someone else entirely. But when I tried it on… Wow I felt gorgeous – it was just stunning! I was a Bride. Once this dress was on I fell in love and knew it was the one. In the end I was swallowed by a beautiful white monster of a wedding dress and a Bride came out.

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Why did you choose the Glades as your venue? We both wanted a magical place that felt as relaxing and peaceful as we wanted our wedding to be. We wanted intimacy with beauty, a place of love, family and close friends.
I (Cait) grew up surrounded by tall trees that my brother and I’d climb every day, with rivers flowing in our backyard, so for me nature was freedom – it was home. Trees, and plenty of them, were a must. We scoured the Durban/Hillcrest venues but none of the venues made us feel that special feeling of intimacy we craved. I knew from my days designing wedding invitations that the Midlands’ venues had what we wanted but they were out of our budget. I am thankful that Daniel was persistent and said let’s get some quotes, go look and trust God that we would find our dream place – you never know. We were running out of time (we were planning our wedding in 6 months), many Midlands’ venues are booked months and even years in advance. I was close to giving up, sitting praying while on the web, seeing places we had already seen and written off. Then the word “Glades” popped into my head. I Googled it and The Glades Farm showed up. On opening their website, my heart began to race. Looking through their gallery, everything fit. There was an avenue of gorgeous trees, it was a flower farm, and the Church and Barn were just gorgeous – intimate with stunning beauty. I instantly contacted Daniel and sent him the link and we were in immediate agreement that we wanted to have our wedding there. So we prayed. I got a hold of Gabby and asked if our date, 10 October, was free and she said it was! Daniel and I continued to pray for a budget that would fit us, and God with The Glades Farm, together with Gabby, came through for us and we had the best venue we could have imagined, as a special place to say our “I Dos”. :)

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Cait why do you love Dan? Tell us how you felt at the front of the isle before you walked down. I cannot really say exactly “why” I love Daniel. It’s not in words, it’s in all he is. I love his unwavering love for his family and I, his laughter and humor, his intense loyalty and honesty make my heart feel very secure. His drive to be the best at what he does makes me respect him and want to match his stride. I love his intellect and his adventurous free spirit. His passion for what he believes in and his sense of justice on behalf of those who don’t have it leaves me in awe. Daniel and I have been through much, we have been in the valleys and on top the mountains in our relationship. We have overcome much together, we have grown together, we have fallen in love together. He is my best friend, I trust him with our dreams, our future together and his stewardship of my heart and our family to come. He is my sunny day with the wind blowing through the trees. He is the man my heart loves and I know the love I have for him today will be a minuscule speck compared to how much more I will love him in the many years to come.

When walking down the aisle I just wanted to be next to him. He was dashingly handsome standing there in his grey suit, and I was feeling overwhelmed with how full my heart felt for him – I just wanted to be there holding his hand as quickly as possible. I had been missing Daniel intensely the whole morning and desperately wanted to see him and hear his voice. I kept on asking my Dad to calm me down because I was going to cry, and I don’t have one of those pretty crying faces.  It’s crazy to have spent the morning getting ready for our wedding without Daniel being there to share it with me.

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Dan tell us how you felt just before Cait walked down the isle. I didn’t expect to be so overwhelmed by emotion as I was. It was a wave that consisted of a layered mix of emotions I could only do some justice in describing shortly after the ceremony. At that moment I suddenly realized, after stressing out the entire morning and my mind being all over the place, exactly why I was there, that Caitlin and I are getting married, and here she is walking down the aisle in a bright white dress, my bride, my wife! That everything we had gone through and fought for had culminated to this point. That I truly loved this beautiful elegant woman walking toward me, that I care for her, wanted the absolute best for her, and that I wanted to be with her forever. It had so much gravity, yet was uplifting at the same time. My heart welled up and my eyes watered. It really felt like the climax of a movie and the apex of our relationship. This is it, we’re joined. This is our wedding. I was just so excited and happy to have her next me again, for us to be together, and to hold her hand through the next steps.

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Tell us what your dream wedding day was all about/what you set out to achieve? Mostly we wanted intimacy, shared joy and love with our family and close friends, framed by gorgeous nature. We wanted a wedding that was as relaxed and mellow as we are. We wanted lots of laughter and to be surrounded by those we love and were comfortable with.

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Dan why do you love Cait? What did you first notice about her when you met her? As I started to get more familiar with Caitlin, and actually got to know her, it dawned on me that it was impossible not to love her. I suddenly deeply cared about and loved someone, and felt pain when she felt pain. I created and subsequently discovered some new “weakness” in me that I wasn’t willing to get rid of. I wanted to get closer to her than physically possible, until we were indistinguishable as separate people. I also knew I wanted to share every day with her, and that not actually having her by my side was quite kak. She was so cute in the way she loved me so honestly, in a way that only Caitlin could. Caitlin is so genuine it’s unreal. She sees the best in people, and gives second, third, and fourth chances . She’s my helper; making burdens lighter when I’m down. She’s sexy, keen for adventure, loves video games, loves anime, and loves movies (which is the perfect combo). She also has this annoying habit of putting me way ahead of herself, all the time.

When I first met her I thought, any girl who’s so chill, and hangs around with boys that smoke has to be questionable. Especially a girl who didn’t give me as much attention as the other guys! My strategy of a cool, mysterious, cold shoulder didn’t have the effect I was going for, and she totally ignored me. Also, legs.

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Comments

  1. Caitlin Carvalho says:

    Alexis… Shheesh WOW (I could just squeeze you!) You are incredible – all these memories you’ve captured are stunning and special, thank you. Daniel and I had such a blast with you. Much love C <3 <3

  2. Christopher White says:

    What a lovely presentation! Good job, Alexis – we will all remember the day better thanks to your artwork and skill (not that I have any trouble with my memory, mind you… :-)

    Best wishes for Christmas 2015 and the years to come – may your business grow from strength to strength and your happiness be blessed :-)

    Regards
    Chris White

  3. Christopher White says:

    . . . . and Caitlin, my gracious, beautiful little girl – you and Daniel did an amazing job, as did all those who shared the effort.

    What a lovely wedding; I am reminded of the neighbour’s kid at the end of ‘The Incredibles’ – he was literally gob-smacked – and pronounced

    ***** “That was totally WICKED!!!!!” *****

    Lotsa luv
    Fossil.

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