25 Feb Angela Chipaike Kudzai
Years of ongoing conversation between Zimbabwean-born sales engineer, Angela Chipaike and the Almighty had dabbled around her country’s uncertainty, her family’s prosperity and the bright hopes she held for her own future, but it was her consistent unspoken wish to wed her true soulmate, which dominated her heart and mind. The answer to her prayers showed up as cool, calm and collected Kudzai Makonyere, a successful IT test analyst, who over ten years ago recognised Angela as his heaven-sent ‘angel in the flesh’. Angela blushes, “He knew what he wanted and he got it!”
The pair met between classes when they were still students at Monash University in Johannesburg, and Kudzai turned to social media to pursue his nonchalant love interest. Eventually, the couple connected beyond cyberspace and post ‘likes’ to discover that they were perfectly suited in an ‘opposites attract’ kind of way. On their lobola day in December 2017, Kudzai went down on one knee, in front of their family and friends with a ring in-hand, and asked her to be his forever mate. “My heart melted, I was gobsmacked and overwhelmed with joy. Indeed there is no better surprise than that which includes diamonds,” the bride reminisces.
Angela was determined to find a gown that would capture her innate charisma and elegance on her wedding day, set to take place a year later. Initially, she scoured bridal boutiques to find a ready-made dress with a timeless ballgown silhouette, but nothing on the racks matched her vision. The nuptials date on the merciless calendar was fast approaching and her stress levels were starting to soar, but the panic was relieved when a serendipitous Instagram advert introduced Angela to our Tashreeqah Sadien design studio in Cape Town. “One gown caught my attention and this prompted me to visit the website for more details. I went through the collections, dress by dress, and I was beyond impressed. My heart was in awe and I knew I had found the designer who would exquisitely execute my vision.”
Angiee loved the ‘Gracia’ design from our 2016 collection and drew inspiration from that to create her own unique dress using our custom couture service. She adored the ballgown shape and how the lace flowed on the skirt, but chose to tailor it with a premium 3D-flower lace that appealed to her personal taste and requested an off-the-shoulder sweetheart neckline. A corset bodice, cupping in the bust, and a built-in waist-strap belt sculpted a tiny waist and perfect shape, while a double layer of Italian veiling completed her enchanting look.
The floral beauty of the landscaped Bliss Gardens venue in Harare continued into the façade of the garment, using 3D-silk flowers and petals hand embellished with Swarovski crystals. These custom-created posies were hand appliquéd along the bodice, trickling down the skirt and chapel-length trail, which mesmerised the crowd as the bride meandered along the manicured lawns.
In Angiee’s case, we followed our Distant Bride Process; we communicated via WhatsApp calls and chats to confirm all the details. Once she briefed us, we sketched her gown and sent the designs through via email. Before starting with the construction, we confirmed all the important dates, including when we would send her photos and videos of the gown to verify all the details, as well as the date on which we would courier her finished garment. Tashreeqah explains, “As part of this process, we need the bride to get her body measurements recorded by a professional and then send them to us. When Angela received her gown, it was a perfect fit!”
Angela’s advice for future brides is to pray about every detail of your wedding, anticipate hurdles and of course, don’t forget to have fun during the process. “Ultimately go for what makes your soul joyful, this will actually ignite your creativeness and uniqueness,” she adds.
“Seeing her walking down the aisle in her beautiful gown was the best part,” Kudzai recalls, “She looked angelic and I couldn’t help but fell in love with her all over again.” It looks like these two ambitious tech professionals both got what they wanted; the guy got the girl but the girl got the ring, the guy and the dress of her dreams! Our wish is that they fall more in love as each day passes and that their wires remain forever uncrossed.