“We dated for five years before we actually got engaged,” says newlywed Makho. “When we first met, Carl lived in Dallas and I lived in New York City so we dated long distance for a very long time. Neither of us was in a rush to get married, our focus was building a beautiful foundation based on love, commitment and trust.”
“Since my dress was more on the traditional side I went with simple accessories that packed a lot of punch,” Makho says. We heart these shoes!
“I have known my friend Marshana since high school and over the years she has done my makeup at many major moments in my life so we have a really good rapport with one another,” says the bride. “As my bridesmaid she pulled double duty by being in the bridal party yet also being responsible for my hair and makeup look.”
Makho’s wedding day makeup was flawless.
“What I love most about Carl is how pure his heart is,” the bride tells us. “He always sees the best in people and has this beautiful unwavering faith in the human spirit. He is the friend that you call when you need help at 4a.m. or just a fun night out on the town. It’s almost as if he is never in a bad mood. That kind of energy is contagious and it makes it so easy to be around him all the time.”
“I had two wedding dresses for our special day,” says the bride. “The first one was a by a designer named Augusta Jones. When I started my hunt for the perfect dress, I didn’t have a set aesthetic in mind. What I wanted above everything was to feel comfortable in whatever I chose to wear. I didn’t want to have to think about sucking in or hiding imperfections on my big day.”
“Words escape me any time I try to describe her,” Carl admits. “At the end of the day ‘my girl’ are the simplest words that sum up what she is to me. She is a source of happiness in my life. She is a very complex but beautiful person. That juxtaposition of complexity and beauty is intriguing to me.’
We love everything about this portrait.
“Above all I love how she loves me,” says Carl. “I don’t have to guess or wonder if she does. I feel it, I know it and I love and appreciate that. It’s probably the most comforting thing and one of the most valuable things in my relationship.”
Introducing Carl’s nephews Tino, Spencer and Nyasha. Could they be any cuter?
“What I love the most about him is that he pushes me to be a better person, constantly challenging me to reach higher,” says Makho. “The game of life is filled with many highs and lows and I am super lucky to have a power player like him on my side. He is my biggest cheerleader.”
“I was absolutely speechless when he proposed,” says Makho. “I am usually never at a loss for words; I am the girl that always has something to say. But this moment left me stunned. We had talked about marriage so I knew it was coming but I didn’t know exactly when it would happen. I was so happy when he finally proposed.”
“As the bride, I wanted my flowers to complement and not clash with my attire,” says the bride. “I opted for a nice round bouquet of ivory flowers to keep my style nice and simple. For my bridesmaids I wanted them to have a bit of color so they carried a bouquet that was mixed with soft yellow roses, pale pink ranunculus, ivory hydrangea, dusty miller, and touches of babies breath.”
“I can’t say I had one a-ha moment that let me know that Carl was the one,,” says the bride. “For me it was gradual feeling and understanding that this was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life. It was more of I knew that I couldn’t live without him and this was my soul mate.”
“We both work from home so we spend a huge chunk of time together, and even through this, we always find something new and fresh to talk about,” Makho shares. “Even the quiet moments are enjoyable. We don’t always have to fill the space with words. We are so in sync on so many things and that’s what makes our relationship work.”
“Before anything we are friends so we have a really solid foundation,” says Makho.
“I am absolutely serious about how wonderful Carl is,” boasts the bride. “He really is a gem. We complement each other so well even though our personalities are so different. He is more on the quiet and shy side yet I am the social butterfly and the life of the party.”
“I have been a bridesmaid at least six times over the years so I know how expensive the process can get,” Makho shares. “From the hair, the nails, the dress, the shoes- one can go broke once it’s all said and done. So in an effort to keep costs low I had my girls rent their dresses at a low cost from One Borrowed Dress. It was such a seamless process: they had their dresses delivered two weeks before the wedding. They also got the dress in two sizes and the return process was incredibly easy. I would highly recommend it.”
“Our relationship evolved very gently over time,” says Carl. “Being in a long distance relationship initially, we cherished every moment that we shared together and always valued each others’ time and company. I knew I was into her from the very few times that we hung out and talked. She lit a warm fire in me that glowed long after she had left. I knew she was special then.”
“I decided on our wedding venue before I even saw it in person,” says Makho, “I did a Google search on the top wedding locations in Indiana and this magical looking place kept popping up. After looking at the pictures I knew that was the venue for us. It had this old world charm with a mix of modern sensibilities. I was really attracted to the fact that we could have both the ceremony and reception in one location in lieu of shuttling guests from one location to another.”
“The format of the ceremony was really relaxed,” says the lovely bride. “At first we were set on having the ceremony outdoors but after much consideration we decided that having it indoors would be the most comfortable for our guests. That July heat can be brutal and we didn’t want our guests sweating out their perms or twist outs. We are a very relaxed and fun couple so we wanted our ceremony to reflect who we are.”
“I wasn’t searching for love when I found it,” Makho admits. “I was fresh out of college and looking to move from Indiana to New York, so the last thing on my mind was romance. I had always assumed that I would end up marrying an American man because I just didn’t think that men from Zimbabwe would understand me. I had generalized myself into oblivion so my idea of what my dream guy looked like was very different from what eventually happened. I am however very happy that love, life and God had a very different plan for me.”
“I am huge Beyoncé fan and so it was fitting that I walked down the aisle to “When I First Saw You” by Queen Bey featuring Jamie Foxx from the Dreamgirls soundtrack,” she recalls. “The song’s lyrics, melody and tone are just so beautiful. It was a great song to mark my entrance into the chapel.”
The bride’s Uncle Ethan had the honor of walking her down the aisle. “Even though he walked me down the aisle, I made sure to acknowledge the other men that have played a pivotal role in life – my step-father Andre Garnes and my deceased father Chris Ndlovu were all mentioned on the program,“ she adds.
“I was elated looking into his eyes at the altar,” Makho explains. “I wasn’t expecting to be nervous but somehow I was. I remember how he kept gently rubbing my hands to calm me down. That’s how much we know each other; I don’t even have to say how I feel and he can just tell by looking at my body language what my mood is.”
The couple made sure their guests knew they wanted them to share the love on social media.
“We chose to cut costs and skip getting a planner,” the bride reveals. “I did a lot of the heavy lifting but my friends and family really went above and beyond to make my dream a reality. My sister Erica was the genius behind our table settings.”
“Initially, we wanted to achieve two things,” says Makho. “To have the wedding of our dreams in South Africa and also have our close friends and family attend. After many grueling months of trying to nail down the logistics we decided on Indianapolis in an effort to make it easier for everyone to be there. Ultimately the stateside location pushed our original date back by a bit but it was really the best decision.”
“For our first song I struggled with going the foolproof way of selecting an old school song a la Luther Vandross, Tamia, or Babyface or choosing something a little more modern,” says Makho. “I opted for the latter and decided on Ed Sheeran’s song ‘Thinking Out Loud.’ I am huge fan of his work and that song was the perfect pick. I remember looking up to scan the room as we were dancing and almost everyone was singing along. That’s the beauty of selecting a top 40 song. Chances are, the majority of your guests know it and hopefully love it as much as you do.”
The lovebirds wrote their own unique vows to exchange on their wedding day.
“The venue was once home to one of Indiana’s wealthiest families and sits on six acres of land so it’s really grand,” says Makho. “With the estate’s striking staircase and lobby enhanced by the gorgeous stained glass windows it was really best to let the naturally beauty of the venue shine. The only thing I added was hints of pastel in the form of flowers and the bridesmaid dresses to add a bit of color to the whole affair.”
“We were just so excited and overwhelmed with immense joy that all we did was smile and laugh throughout the day,” the bride recalls. “We made a pact prior to the wedding that nothing would dampen our spirits. After spending so much money, time and effort, the last thing we wanted to do was cry. Our families on the other hand were very emotional; their tears could have collectively filled up the Mississippi River that day. They were all tears of joy. It was a very emotional day.”
“My wedding cake was made by a bakery in Indianapolis called Classic Cakes,” the bride shares. “We ended up with a three tier cake that was an almond pound flavor. I scoured Pintrest for ideas and I really fell in love with white and gold pairing for the cake. It complemented our centerpieces well. Because I am a girl who loves bling, we added a gold sequin table cloth to the cake table to give it a bit of va va voom.”
“Being a bride was an interesting experience,” says Makho. “I’ve watched enough episodes of Bridezillas to know that I didn’t want to be a terror to my loved ones. So while I was firm and adamant about things I wanted, I did my very best to keep a cool head.”
“I’m not sure what a typical groom is supposed to feel like but I had the time of my life on the actual day of the wedding,” says Carl. “It was heartwarming to see family and friends in one room. It was that great to see that moment that we had worked on together finally come into fruition.”
“With the wedding business out of the way, we all made our way to the dance floor just the next room over from where we dined,” the bride recalls. “While others opted to go outside to the patio to catch the cool summer breeze most of our guests hit the dance floor with a vengeance. So we had two DJ’s – Mpilo from Canada and Dux from Texas. Mpilo was also our host during the reception so he pulled double duty. They were the only entertainment we needed and they made sure we all danced throughout the night.”
“Our wedding favors were snacks for the guests during the dancing portion of the reception,” says Makho. “I wanted something practical that the guests could enjoy while at the venue or on their way home. My bridesmaids stayed up the whole night popping that popcorn and wrapping it up for me so they get all the credit.”