A no-show from the officiating pastor, a ruined cake and a delayed start to the ceremony, might seem like the recipe for a disastrous wedding, but these setbacks were not enough to prevent Ellah Ngobeni, 43, and Lucas Mokoena, 49, from saying "I do".
Sunday, "Our Perfect Wedding" visited the Pretoria couple to witness their journey down the aisle, but the road to the altar hasn't always been easy.
The couple's story started in 2005. Ellah's first impression of Lucas was of someone who was problematic but when his mother passed on, he found solace in her and that was the beginning of a love that now spans over 13 years.
"He fainted at the funeral and his brother called and told me someone from the hospital was looking for me," recalls Ellah.
Fast-forward to 2018, the couple now has four kids together and have made their love official by putting a ring on it.
This wedding ceremony, according to a neighbour, was the first of its kind to happen in the area of Beruti, bringing pride and joy to the community.
The bride chose to keep her entire celebration traditional because she hopes to inspire others to go back to their African roots.
"The white dress has no meaning to me. It's as if I'm following another culture. Nowadays, we've adopted the western culture and abandoned our own," said the makoti.
On the wedding day, the plan was for the gift exchange ceremony to start at 8am and for the official wedding ceremony to commence at 10am — but like they say, it never rains it pours.
On the big day, the bride still had to get her nails done which delayed everything including the collection of the groom's traditional attire.
The decor was also not up and the planned gift ceremony, which is mandatory in any African culture, did not take place.
"The ceremony was delayed because the Mokoena family was late," explained Ellah.
Lucas was not impressed by that. "I didn't like that. But the Ngobeni family accepted that mistakes happen," he expressed.
Furthermore, the groom's family had to come the day before to pay the remaining lobola money, and slaughter a cow which they didn't, and that caused Ellah's uncles to order for the wedding to be cancelled. Instead of being happy, the bride was sad on the morning of her special day.
Negotiations had to take place, which delayed things even more, but once everything was sorted the bride managed to finally get ready with her brother saving the day by officiating their matrimonial.
After taking their pictures, the couple changed into their second attire and by the end of the day, the two had become one.
"A moment like this, many search for it forever. I didn't search that long. Many people wish for this, and today I am blessed at the Mokoena house," said Ellah, thanking the masses for their support.
A light-hearted moment came when the couple had to cut the cake to feed each other but instead of feeding his wife, Lucas downed a big chunk of cake, only to later realise his mistake, adding that he misunderstood how things were done.
All in all, with the highs and the many lows the Mokoena faced in their trip of becoming a married couple, they still concurred that it was indeed their perfect wedding in the end.