It definitely wasn't love at first sight for Gertrude and Tapiwa. "Tapiwa and I are both from Zimbabwe but we met (in June 2010) whilst at University at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia" shares Gertrude. She was entering her final year Law School while Tapiwa was beginning his Accounting degree.
"I thought he asked too many questions in lectures and just wanted to show how intelligent he was!" laughs Gertrude. A few of weeks later, a mutual friend formally introduced the two and Gertrude says, she did everything to control herself from rolling her eyes at Tapiwa. But, in spite of being annoyed - the pair ended up exchanging numbers and later adding each other on Facebook where they surprisingly talked non-stop for hours.
"We spent so much time together and he was such a sweetheart, taking care of me when I was stressing out with final exams. He used to bring old seasons of Friends just to get me to relax and not stress too much. I decided to give him a chance and we have been inseparable since!" shares Gertrude.
Fast forwarding to present day, the lovebirds married in a romantic, pastel floral filled wedding held at the Pabani Lounge in Harare, Zimbabwe. Gander on for more of their love story along with photos from their big-day captured by Alana Meyer Photography.
Bride: Gertrude Tsungai Kurewa
Groom: Tapiwa Darius Mutsinze
Occupations: Bride: Lawyer | Groom: Army Officer
Wedding date: 12/12/2015
Wedding location: Pabani Lounge in Harare, Zimbabwe
Tell us about the proposal!
Gertrude: The proposal was just right. It was so me and so us - which made it extra special. I am not one for attention and definitely did not want something in public. He got up early on the 22nd of December 2013, carried my half sleep body to the next room and I wondered what was happening. And to be honest I was so scared of him dropping me that a proposal was the last thing on my mind! Next thing (with soft music playing in the background), he sits me in down and gets down on one knee, - and I'm thinking what’s happening? He next read a beautiful poem and declared his undying love for me. It was perfect, and I said YES before he even asked!
Describe your wedding dress! What was wedding shopping like for you?
Gertrude: My wedding dress was an Embellished Sweetheart Mori Lee which was just absolutely divine. It had a mermaid fit and it just curved me in the right way. And when everyone saw me wearing it, they said it was so ME! I tried it on at a shop in Brisbane and it fit so perfectly I almost cried. However, the shop could not get it here in time for the wedding. I was so upset.
A few days later, my sister-in-law in Philadelphia called and asked me how the wedding dress shopping was going and I started crying. Looking back, I must have sounded very dramatic because all I said was I was never going to get married because I couldn’t get a dress and everything was a big joke (she laughs)!
She calmed me down and asked me to send her a picture of the dress I had fallen in love with. I sent her a picture and she said she would see what she could do. Fast forwaring, three days later she had found my dress in the States and was shipping it in a week. I couldn’t believe it! I call it my miracle dress because it was just meant to be!
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen gifts: Everyone got to keep everything they wore on the wedding day. In addition the guys got personalized socks and the ladies received personalized shirts that they got ready in.
Favorite item on the menu: Where to begin - the ribs were amazing! And everything on the dessert table I got seconds of! Everything just looked so good.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding?
We incorporated as much culture as we could because we might be Australian citizens now, but Zimbabwe is always our first home. During the ceremony after my Father walked me down the aisle, Tapiwa, his brother and all the groomsmen got down on bent knees and gave thanks to my Father for me and as a sign of respect and welcoming me into their family.
When I was getting ready, because my mother is late, all my mother’s sisters (who are my cultural mothers) came in to help me get ready - carrying on the tradition of having a mother help the bride get ready. This meant a lot to me and it was their way of saying they will always be there for me!
What is your best memory from your wedding?
Best memory was looking at my husband to be when I was walking down the aisle and it hit me that I was doing this - I'm marrying my best friend. The other best memory (there were too many to choose from!) was seeing everyone on the dance floor having the time of their lives and knowing that without God we could not have pulled this off!
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
Pray, pray and pray!!! I cannot stress this enough. We organized everything from a different continent but everything just worked so amazingly that I still cannot believe it. It was nothing but a miracle.
Photography: Alana Meyer Photography
Wedding dress designer: Mori Lee
Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka & Roberto Cavalli
Grooms' suit: M.J Bale
Grooms' shoes: Steve Madden
Ceremony location: Pabani Lounge (Harare, Zimbabwe)
Videography: Swee Capetown
Hair/Makeup: Make Up & Hair by Anesu
Wedding Planner: Zillah Chilowa, Tangerine Company
Florist: Tangerine Company
Entertainment: Alexio Kawara and the Shades of Black
Catering: Amanda Wessels, SophistiCatered
Bridesmaids Dresses: Chi Chi Styles
Cake: Cakes by Nyari
Dessert Table: Rhys Creations
Wedding Stationary: Sunflower Creations
Wedding Decor: Tangerine Company
Wedding Choreography: John Cole