AS A FORMER The Herald Spec-Savers Miss Port Elizabeth, Di-Anne Qoto has attended countless functions, modelled stunning bridal gowns and worked with the top hair and make-up artists in the city – all of which have been invaluable for planning her own wedding day this Easter.
"We've been to The Herald Bridal Fair and I've always had an idea of what I wanted, and I knew who would give me that," said Qoto who has been a fan of Bay fashion designer Johan Wolmarans since Miss Port Elizabeth in 2009.
"I always said to him, 'when I get married I'm going to ask you to make my dress'!" she said – albeit with one very important stipulation: "And it must not be a boob tube!"
She said the style was extremely popular but she had seen too many brides choose a strapless dress only to constantly check if the dress was sitting correctly, revealing too much or too little, tugging and pulling it into position.
"You don't want to spend the day stressing about your dress," she said, revealing that her choice was long, white and figure-hugging – and would include Wolmarans's signature looks of rich beading, lace and a Spanish veil.
She already knows who will be doing her hair: "Abby – she does good weaves and she has done my hair for ages!"
Wolmarans will design the dress for the church wedding on Saturday March 30, and then on the Sunday the Qoto and January family will unite in a traditional African ceremony.
As a lawyer, she sometimes is asked to explain the concept of lobola to non-Xhosa friends.
"I am not involved in the negotiations, so I don't even know how much it was but the money is not the important thing.
"Of course, your parents must be compensated for raising you and the groom's family are gaining by getting a daughter, but it is so much more complicated, there is so much more to it," said Qoto.
"Lobola is a way of introducing the families to each other and making sure they are not related.
"A marriage is two families uniting so it is very difficult for black people to divorce. Even if there is conflict there is no going back on that bond because that is a cultural bond and you cannot break it.
"There will be feasting and I am a new daughter and he is my family's son."