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Cape Town couple feels true South African spirit at their Home Affairs wedding

Nina Steininger was stopped by many strangers for a picture opportunity and to wish her well as she made her way to the Home Affairs in Wynberg to marry her beloved, Mark Collins. Picture: Supplied

Nina Steininger was stopped by many strangers for a picture opportunity and to wish her well as she made her way to the Home Affairs in Wynberg to marry her beloved, Mark Collins. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 29, 2022


Durban - We’ve all heard people say “love conquers everything”. But is it enough to conquer years of segregation and hardships?

A Cape Town couple recently felt the love of South Africa after hoards of strangers cheered and sang for them during their “low-key” wedding at the Home Affairs in Wynberg, Western Cape.

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Nina Steininger, 50, and Mark Collins, 53, from Cape Town, got married on July 22 at the Wynberg branch of Home Affairs, which is situated inside the Maynard Mall.

The couple said they wanted to keep their wedding low-key and intimate and have a nice honeymoon.

But little did they know that South Africans were going to make their day everything but low-key.

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Mark Collins and Nina Steininger on their wedding day. Picture: Joe Rajcoomar

Collins said that he arrived before Nina and waited for her outside the Home Affairs. As he waited for his bride to arrive, he could hear a loud roar coming from a crowd which got louder and louder.

When he looked to see what it was, he saw his wife-to-be accompanied by a large group of people who were singing and cheering her along as she made her way ‘down the aisle’.

“All the cleaners, and crowds of people started singing ‘it's your wedding’. The whole crowd sang for her as she walked through the mall. It was beautiful. It was such an uplifting day.

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“It’s something we did not expect. And when we were done, all the taxis were hooting and cheering us on as well. It was such a nice day spent with really good people. We thought it would be really low-key, go to Home Affairs, sign the marriage and then go to the after-party, but it actually made the occasion,” Collins told IOL.

Collins said Steininger made him wait until she was 50 to get married and as soon as she flipped the year on her birthday, the wedding bells were ringing.

Steininger said that the people standing in line at Home Affairs and outside the mall stopped to take pictures with her and congratulated her.

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“Normally, I wasn’t aware people get married in jeans and stuff. I got dressed up in my wedding outfit because I thought afterwards we would have lunch straight away.

“My family came and we parked near the Maynard Mall entrance where the taxis are.

“I get out of the car in my wedding finery and all of a sudden people are cheering. To get to Home Affairs, you have to walk all the way to the back of the mall.

“As I walked into the mall, everyone, I mean even the cleaners were banging their brooms, and singing to me. People were walking up to me and hugging me. Everyone was dancing around me. It was like a wedding march to Home Affairs.

“When we were done, it was the same. I mean you could not have orchestrated it. These people didn’t know me but were so happy for me. My family was amazed and said it was the best part of the wedding,” Steininger said.

“I felt really South African,” she added.

Nina Steininger was stopped by strangers around the Home Affairs in Wynberg to wish her well on her wedding day. Picture: Supplied

She said her friend persuaded her to post about the day on the Facebook page #imstaying, which is when IOL reached out to her to find out about their special day.

The couple, who has been dating for the last four years, had their family lunch at the Bungalow in Camps Bay.

They are expecting to visit Collins' family in the UK for their honeymoon abroad.