Three weddings and Vegas!

2012-02-14 00:00

SINFONIA cruise director Stephen Cloete met his wife on board a cruise ship. Ship hostess Sherice Jonker was the one in 15 years of cruise work who caught his eye and captured his heart. They had dated for three years and it was only natural that they decided to tie the knot on board the ship.

“Sherice is a ship hostess and her job is to make events like this special for other people so when we decided to get married the whole crew wanted to be in on the action. It would not have been fair to get married anywhere else,” said Cloete.

The couple tied the knot on board the MSC Sinfonia on May 2, 2011, and this was their first wedding. Cloete explains that they had also decided that they had both been against having a big wedding where the plans are for everyone else and the couple gets tense.

“I’ve seen it so many times. A perfectly normal bride gets so tense and worked up and then she turns into bridezilla — ugh! The poor groom wants to run a mile. We both decided the ship wedding would be great and then we fancied doing something fun and spontaneous,” said Cloete.

The pair decided to fly to Las Vegas and also do a Vegas wedding. “We drove around looking at all the wedding chapels, and believe me there are hundreds,” said Cloete. They were initially drawn by the idea of a “quickie” wedding, but also wanted something that they could look back on without regrets.

“If we had done the drive-through wedding in a pink Cadillac where you say your vows to a person through an intercom — it would have been fun but it would also have been a bit silly,” he said. The couple searched online and then had a face-to-face chat with a wedding planner from the Chapel of Flowers.

“It was so professional and she asked us to come in the next day for a brief interview,” said Cloete. “She had a list of questions and we chatted and within an hour we were off to a bridal hire shop to select our outfits.”

Cloete and Jonker were stunned by the professionalism and service. “We were not only given the dress and suit to hire, but also the jewellery and the shoes and even the cuff links.” They met the minister 10 minutes before the wedding and Cloete said he gave them a decent ceremony.

“I was expecting him to say the vows and then say ‘Next …’, but he really did a good job considering he didn’t know us from Adam.” They received a legal wedding certificate and the whole ceremony was done with “no mess and no fuss”.

They did not evade the clutches of their friends and family back home, however, and the last wedding reception in Durban for the legally wed couple was an “organising headache”.

“We tried our best, but in the end it was all good fun,” said Cloete.


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