Cape Town - "It had always been our first choice to celebrate our special day with our family and friends in South Africa," former Springbok and Stormers player Juan de Jongh tells us on the phone from England.
Juan and Simone (née Lourens), who live in Coventry, about 155km from London, tied the knot earlier this month in front of 150 guests at the picturesque Landtscap venue near Stellenbosch.
Juan, who was born in Wellington near Cape Town and now plays club rugby for the Wasps in England, says it’s special to be able to finally call Simone his wife.
"Nothing compares to giving your soulmate your surname," he says proudly.
Juan proposed to Simone, originally from Paarl, in September last year in the small English town of Royal Leamington Spa.
"We got wedding planner Samantha du Toit to help because we couldn’t organise everything ourselves from over here. She was incredibly helpful," Juan says.
Simone’s gown, which she bought in Stratford-upon-Avon in England, is a Willowby by Watters design, while Juan looked handsome in a suit by The Tux Tailor.
The couple have a six-month old baby daughter, Emily, who was born in February. Juan says Emily wasn’t part of the bridal party because they weren’t sure how the little one would deal with all the attention.
which included former Stormers fullback Gio Aplon.
Juan, who renewed his contract with the Wasps earlier this year, says they’re not sure when they’ll get a chance to go on honeymoon but "it’ll be soon – as soon as there’s a break in my schedule."
And the most special moment on their big day? "Seeing the woman of my dreams so happy."