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Leepile x Kelebogile

How did he propose?

Funny thing is, he actually proposed (down on one knee, ring in hand) at the wedding! *I’ll get to the rest of that story shortly*

Our story

Funny thing is, he actually proposed (down on one knee, ring in hand) at the wedding! *I’ll get to the rest of that story shortly*

As perfect and unforgettable as our wedding was, our story isn’t even close to your typical “romantic proposal, months of planning the wedding etc.

Marriage was something we had always spoken about in passing and I didn’t really expect my husband to make that move just yet, us being a fairly young couple and all (he’s 27, I’m 24).

To my surprise, he meant every word. In February 2016, we found out we were expecting our first child and Leepile jumped at the chance to ask his dad to request a meeting with my family so they could begin lobola negotiations. His father was also quite an eager beaver and had the letter drafted and sent to my parents just a few weeks later.

Lobola Negotiations

Lobola negotiations commenced in April and when asked when they intended on returning to conclude the negotiations, the Mothupi family informed my dad and uncles that they would be back on 18th June, which shocked my entire family because they were expecting the negotiations to drag on for at least another year or so, as they usually do.

Excitement IMMEDIATELY came over my family and we started having talks of the umhlambiso ceremony that would take place when the Mothupi family returns in June. It was then that we decided to “go big or go home” with this ceremony and just make it our full-on traditional wedding.

IMG_8340  Zulu African Man proposing

Planning the wedding

Wedding Preparations

Wedding preparations began shortly after the first lobola negotiations, meaning we had only 2 month to get everything together. I’ve always been rather conservative and didn’t necessarily want the whole “tent with 300 people in the street” type of wedding. My family, on the other hand, would not have had it any other way. We actually ended up having a total of FOUR tents

Wedding Coordinator

Fortunately for me, my eldest brother, Pastor Given Mabena, is an events coordinator and he deals almost specifically with weddings, and I mean Top Billing stuff!!

He took the driver’s seat and got started with the preparations almost immediately (with the help my mom, sister and aunts who are all based in Witbank).

Wedding Ceremony

We would communicate over the phone and he would handle things from there. It was decided that the first ceremony (on the Saturday, at my childhood home) would be Ndebele themed and the theme for Sunday (welcoming of umakoti to the Mothupi home in Edenvale) would be Setswana. The colours came out absolutely stunning both on all our outfits as well as the décor!!

Black Woman wearing Ndebele traditional Cloths  emotional Ndebele bride wearing traditional cloths and groom.

The dresses

Tulle, tulle and more tulle

My dresses were designed (with some input from my brother) by the incredibly talented Lunga Khabanyane – who dresses Joyous Celebration. Lunga was actually the designer of basically 99% of the outfits worn by the Mabena and Mothupi families on both days of the wedding celebration.

The concepts/designs of the dresses was chosen based on the fact that I was 6 months pregnant at the time of the wedding and I wanted to conceal my baby bump as much as possible. It worked like a charm!!

Traditional Wedding

Being a traditional wedding, I had 2 (ndebele themed) outfits for the main ceremony on Saturday. One was the traditional Ndebele bride attire which mainly consisted of the following:
– iphotho (decorated apron)
-idzilla (metal rings worn around the neck – these are actually quite trendy these days, also known as “metal chokers” *smh*)
-izigolwane (large rings of beads worn around the neck, waist and legs)
-ngurara (beaded blanket)
My second dress was the show stopper I cannot explain how many people are STILL asking about it

This stunning number was a bright yellow and navy tulle with a cropped cape that was beaded in the traditional Ndebele colours. I hadn’t actually seen the final product until the morning of the wedding and it was just breathtaking …over and above anything I had expected.

IMG_8448     Two women wearing Ndebele wedding clothes.

My Traditional Attire

Sunday, I arrived at the Mothupi home in my Ndebele traditional attire. I was wrapped in a blanket by my husband’s aunt as I was welcomed into my new home and I changed into yet another beautiful dress – made by Lunga as well.

Peplum Seshweshwe Dress

This time, it was a peplum seshweshwe dress with a slight off-shoulder and some more tulle at the bottom lol. I felt absolutely STUNNING on both days!!

Natural Hair

P.S – the natural hair was the best decision I could have made!! My husband has been completely anti-weave or braids or ANYTHING since I started my “natural hair journey” and he insisted that I stay in my standard wash-and-go for our special day. It worked out perfectly. My hair was really doing the most on that day 🙂 🙂

What was most challenging?

In all honesty, I probably had it easier than most brides. My amazing wedding coordinator took care of pretty much everything

How was my culture incorporated?

Considering that this was a traditional wedding, our cultures were incorporated into pretty much every aspect of our wedding, from the outfits, to the décor and even the cake (which was simple but so classy!!)

IMG_9320  man and woman wearing blankets, African Traditional wedding ceremony

What Was My Favourite Wedding Moment?

Oh my word, too many to mention!! Top of the list though was – the first time my husband and his family saw me on the day of the wedding.

I had just finished getting dressed and doing my makeup (DIY) and all that, and my uncle called me to come out quickly because he wanted to say something to us all before the wedding proceedings started.

The moment I stepped out, everyone in the room froze and jaws dropped all around me. The odd “wow” and “yoh” somewhere in between.

My Husband’s Reaction

My husband didn’t even blink!! It went dead quiet for about 20 seconds (as they marvelled in my beauty, jokes). Thinking about it now, it’s actually really funny. I have truly never felt more beautiful in my entire life and he has never looked at me the way he did in that moment.

It was so overwhelming. I tried to hold back the tears for as long as I could but as soon as he walked up to me. He told me how beautiful I was and wrapped his arms around me, I wept like a baby. Thank God I had very little makeup on!!

Wedding Proposal

Second best moment was when he proposed. Because of how things happened, I didn’t really get the cliché romantic candlelit dinner type of proposal.

For us, it was basically “babe, we’re sending a letter to your family” and that was it. Boring, right?? I didn’t make a fuss of it though. I was just happy this incredible man whom I love (with all my heart) had chosen me to be his wife.

That was enough for me. We hadn’t even bought rings!! We told ourselves that we would deal with all that once the traditional stuff was out of the way and once things have settled down. The last thing I expected was for him to get down on one knee and actually propose.

The timing was crazy because he actually did it when we were saying our thank you’s – AT THE END OF THE WEDDING.

He let me speak first. I said my part and then he took me by the hand and looked me in the eye. He told me how much he loves me and how he wishes things could have been done differently. That he realises there’s one thing that’s still missing. Then his best man passed him the box with the ring and I saw him get on one knee. I died immediately.

I laughed because it’s silly for someone to propose AFTER getting married but it came as such a surprise. It was the sweetest thing.

  traditional Bride and bridesmaids taking a picture wearing white  IMG_8933  

Bride: Kelebogile Mothupi (nee Mabena)
Groom: Leepile Mothupi
Wedding: 18 June 2016 – 19 June 2016
Location: Witbank 18 June – Bride’s home
Edenvale 19 June – Groom’s home

From the Noir Weddings Team, we wish you all the best and thank you for sharing your beautiful story!

Mr & Mrs Mothupi

View Their Wedding Gallery Here ..

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