MEMORABLE WEDDINGS Nicole & Jadeon
Text by Melanie Saxton Photos by Debbie Lourens Photography and ST Photography Cape Town
Imagine the logistics of planning a wedding overseas! That’s precisely the challenge faced by Nicole Mora of Katy and Jadeon du Toit of South Africa and their family and friends.
To accommodate all their loved ones, the couple had a simple civil ceremony in Texas followed by a one-of-a-kind wedding in Cape Town on January 5, 2015.
Nicole attended Mayde Creek High School in Katy and Texas A&M University, majoring in business management. She owns Frosted Betty Bake Shop, which currently operates a mobile truck and caters desserts. As evidence of her baking talents, she placed third in one of the Season 2 episodes of The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.
Jadeon attended Strand High School in Cape Town and studied sports management at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He attended University of South Africa for his post-graduate degree in education. Jadeon is a teacher and partner in Frosted Betty Bake Shop.
First Date and Courtship
Jadeon had been in the U.S. only four months when he and Nicole were introduced at a summer pool birthday party through a “friend of a friend of a friend.” The conversation started, and they talked about education and serious topics right in the middle of the festivities. “We just hit it off and have been inseparable ever since,” notes Nicole.
Their first official date on June 6, 2013 included hiking and picnicking at Lake Houston Wilderness Park. They enjoy
outdoor activities such as hiking, bike riding, picnics and kayaking.
The couple dated for seven months before becoming engaged.
Proposal and Engagement
During a road trip from Houston to the Florida Keys, they visited New Orleans, Palm City and Miami. Then it was on to Key Largo and a special stop by a cove.
“We committed our lives to God and were reading a few passages from the Bible, and when I turned the page there was a marking pen with a ring on it!” says Nicole. Jadeon got down on one knee and proposed in the shallow rocky water — an extremely romantic gesture. Later that night they drove back to Palm City and celebrated the milestone with Nicole’s aunt and cousin with dinner and champagne.
After being engaged three months, they were civilly married and began planning their big wedding in Cape Town. During this time they settled in as a couple. Jadeon adopted Nicole’s 2.5-pound Chihuahua and helped Nicole coordinate their overseas nuptials. Preparations were complicated, to say the least! Nicole had never been to South Africa, so it really tested her hands-on personality to trust others help arrange one of the most important events of her life. Her future mother-in-law, Marianna, helped by meeting with vendors and visiting venues — and taking a lot of photos! About 500 emails went back and forth as Nicole researched and hired florists, photographer, hair stylists and makeup artists online. She made only a few international calls due to the expense.
“I had seen a styled engagement photo shoot on the Internet that had a link for the Cheetah Outreach center in Capetown,” says Nicole. “So my husband contacted them to inquire if we could take wedding photos with the big cats.” Jadeon was informed that one of the cheetahs previously had actually doubled as a ring bearer at a wedding. Since no children would be flying to South Africa for their wedding, the couple decided to “invite” a cheetah to step in. But having a feline ring bearer is no small feat, and they had to have their venue approved by a trainer.
The couple chose the Rhebokskloof Wine Estate for the wedding and reception. The bride envisioned a romantic outdoor garden-style summer ceremony in valley vineyards with mountain views — not too over-the-top, but something that made a statement.
Attire: The bride’s “something new” was her Wtoo English net and lace, fit and flare gown splendidly beaded and accented with hand-placed lace motifs that cascaded down the silhouette. It featured a keyhole back, sleeveless neckline, striking scalloped hem and chapel train. A romantic two-layer ivory soft tulle veil and Nine West cream strap high heels completed the ensemble. The bride’s mother’s garter was her “something old,” and her aunt’s pearl earrings were her “something borrowed.” Bridesmaids wore their choice of dresses, all in a shade of light pink. One was full length, and the other two were knee length.
The groom and groomsmen wore slim-fit clothing. The groom opted for a light grey Calvin Klein suit jacket, ASOS burgundy trousers, a white shirt by Vertigo (in Cape Town), a burgundy and white polka dot ASOS tie and blue suede shoes by Aldo, which provided the “something blue.” Groomsmen wore light grey pants, white long sleeve shirts, burgundy suspenders, burgundy and white polka dot bow ties (all by Vertigo) and brown shoes.
Bridal Party: Reverend Titas officiated the wedding. Parents of the bride, Federico and Alicia Mora, and parents of the groom, Stephanis Du Toit and Marianna Olivier, watched as their children exchanged vows.
Patricia Santos served as maid of honor with Lori Ramirez and Maruschka Du Toit as bridesmaids. Stephan Huemer served as best man with Langa Ntloko and Steven Du Toit as groomsmen.
Ultimately, the couple was surprised with not one, but two cheetah brothers who served as ring bearers! This special pair had been rescued and rehabilitated at Cheetah Outreach. They filled their roles with splendor, despite the fact that they weren’t yet full grown. “I think this was only the second wedding in recent history to include cheetahs,” says the bride.
Bouquets and Floral: The wedding hues were initially soft pink, white, gold and burgundy, but the florist added her own flair, which the bride thought was wonderful. The bridal bouquet consisted of snapdragons, hydrangeas, poppies, eucalyptus, bougainvilleas and a variety of wild flowers. The ceremony arch was decorated in poppies.
Top wedding moments: The bride’s gift to her groom was a black Hugo Boss watch, while the groom’s gift to his bride was a walk with elephants. The animal theme played a large role in the wedding.
The bride felt both peaceful and excited as she was escorted by her father. But the cheetah ring bearers also rated as memory makers! The officiant had told everyone to stay quiet when big cats walked down the aisle so they wouldn’t get startled. These special ring bearers presented rings to the bride and groom right on cue. But then the officiant accidentally sighed into the microphone, making a loud noise that made the cheetahs jump and attempt to run off. Luckily their harnesses kept them from going too far. Taking photos of the cheetahs was thrilling, as well as petting them and hearing their loud purrs.
The couple’s first dance was to Matthew Mole’s “The Wedding Song,” with lyrics that deeply resonated with the couple. The bride and her father danced to Angus and Julia Stone’s “The Devil’s Tears,” a soulful, sweet and loving song. The groom and his mother danced to Tina Turner’s version of “Simply the Best,” which was fun and spunky.
A photo booth and Jenga sign-in table awaited guests, as well as carved wooded magnet and key chain heart favors made by local Cape Town artisans.
Décor: Gold candlesticks set off the beautiful white linens with a swirled design. Vintage-style lanterns filled with flowers hung from the ceiling and perched on top of tables. The same flowers as in the bridal bouquet brightened the venue.
The Cake: The two-tiered wedding cake was chocolate with chocolate ganache on the outside and decorated with fresh flowers. In lieu of a groom’s cake, the couple opted for a dessert buffet with tarts, choux swans, chocolate cake and fresh fruit.
Top reception moments: The dance floor was packed during the entire reception! The bride’s special moment was when she and her husband took their shoes off and escaped to the cocktail area, where they cuddled on one of the couches and caught their breath.
After the reception, the newlyweds departed to a vineyard next door to their venue, then explored more of Cape Town on their honeymoon. They returned home to Katy, but will, of course, be returning to South Africa to visit family and see more of the sights!
MEMORABLE WEDDINGS Nicole & Jadeon