Instead, like good wine maturing with age, the longtime romance of Llewellyn Jeneker and Cecilia Absolom blossomed into a fairy-tale wedding, which Pastor Manuel Benans conducted under a City freeway bridge on the Foreshore yesterday.
Adding to the romance was a perfect-fitting wedding dress worn by Cecelia and given to her by benefactor Jill Jeftha for the event, which had all the trimmings of a princely wedding - with over 100 guests, mostly homeless, blaring music and a feast of refreshments.
Jeftha said: “I got involved through the pastor. He asked me to help arrange the wedding. I was very touched and I’m very happy for them. They deserve to feel and look beautiful.”
After their marriage vows and their signing of the wedding register, Cecelia said: “I’m very happy for what happened to me today. Oh, the great day had come - marriage. He (Lewellyn) is sweet. When I saw the dress the first day, it stole my heart. It’s very valuable.”
Cecelia said she had been raised on the streets of Cape Town from a young age by her late mother, who had spent a major part of her adult life as a homeless person.
Asked what he thought of his bride’s wedding dress, Llewellyn, who was born and bred in Retreat, simply said: “Stunning, stunning. Seems that I can’t keep my eyes off her. What happened today is that I feel almost like a new person, because I have this long-time girlfriend with whom I had walked all these years, and today I legally wed her.”
The City’s Wilfred Fredericks, project manager of Culemborg Safe Space, a Foreshore venue where the wedded couple and other homeless people have been accommodated through the City’s intervention since June, said the City had organised the wedding.
“When they came to the Safe Space they decided to get married because of the opportunities that exist for them. They want to work towards getting together as a family and getting back to their families also.”
The newly-weds have had two sons together, of whom the elder died, Twelve-year-old Dylan Absolom attended the wedding yesterday.