Life After The Dress {Episode 15} Hannah Keppler

In this series I interview married women of all ages and from all walks of life and ask them real questions about their lives now, after all the glitter and sparkle of their wedding day is over. If you'd like to read more about the series and meet the other ladies I have interviewed, click here.

Today's interview is with Hannah, owner of The Ruby Orchard in Howick:

I used to stop by The Ruby Orchard whenever I was in Howick and longed for the day that I had a home to fill with all of the delightful goodies in store. It's been so wonderful getting to know Hannah (although it has all been over email) and I look forward to meeting her for 'real' soon.

Go grab yourself a cup of tea and get ready to be inspired.



Q1: Please introduce yourself (age, of both yourself and your husband, where do you live, what do you do & how long have you been married for?)

Hello! I am Hannah a 33 year old British Mum on a South African adventure! I am married to Greg a 38 year old South African and we live in Howick, KZN. We have been married for almost 6 years... and then we were 3! Our 3 year old Jonah arrived 3 years into our marriage – possibly the cutest boy on the planet!

We lived in the sleepy Devonshire Countryside in UK, and were both career monkeys who barely saw each other. Since moving to SA in 2012, Greg has joined the family business and I have opened The Ruby Orchard a décor furniture and gift shop in the Midlands. From Director of Sport to buying pretty things and designing furniture – Such a change, but so worth it. Greg and I now see each at least 4 times a day and I blog about our shop, decor ideas and products at TheRubyOrchard.

Q2: Which Disney character do you feel sums you up to a ‘T’?

Sally from cars. She grew tired of her high powered job and made a new start in a small town. She is straight forward, hardworking, and witty! 

Q3: How did you and your hubby meet?

Cringe... The Walkabout bar in Exeter, Devon. Jugs of snake bite, dancing, kebabs... the usual shenanigans of a 22 year old singleton. 

Q4: Was your wedding everything you hoped it would be? Would you go back and change anything? Do you have any advice for brides-to-be?

Our wedding was 100% everything I had hoped for and more. So many wonderful friend and family have said since that it was the most relaxed wedding they had ever been to. No strict timings for the day (apart from the ceremony) made it flow effortlessly. 

What I would change...? Maybe the music. In hindsight I wish we had had a live band rather than a DJ. Mainly because my mother in law kept hijacking the decks with Celine Dion... ah man...! 

My advice for brides-to-be: You don’t have to spend a fortune, have a fancy venue and hundreds of guests to have a beautiful wedding. We got married on my parents farm, arranged the flowers on the tables ourselves, I did my own makeup, friends played the music in the church, we hired the students I was teaching to run the bar and waitress and we borrowed our wedding cars from friends and famous Cricketers! 

Q5: Has ‘life after the dress’ been as you imagined it would be?

I have loved every minute of building our lives together. Our 6 years of marriage have been pretty hectic (careers, finding forever home, a baby boy, packing up our lives, goodbye forever home, immigrating, starting a business, drawing plans for forever SA home). Doing these things with a husband who supports and cares, is honest and gentlemanly has made life after marriage exactly what I hoped it would be. 

Q6: What do you think makes marriage work?

Acceptance, appreciation and lots of giggling. Accept each other for whom and what you are, you should not have to change to make a marriage work. Appreciate each other every single day and always giggle... especially at the little things that only the two of you understand! 

Q7: What have you learnt about yourself since being married?

I have leant I don’t need hobbies or sport or things anymore... A Sunday with Greg and Jonah washing the car, mowing the lawn, doing washing and baking in our little cocoon family world is pure bliss. 

Q8: If you could describe your marriage in 3 words, what would they be?

 Trusting – Devoted - Understood 

Q9: Do you have any pearls of wisdom you would like to share with my readers about being married? Perhaps something some wise person once told you, or something you've learnt the hard way?

Never go to bed with an issue that hasn't been resolved, if you are cross, upset or unsure... it needs to be ironed out over a cuppa and chocolate before bedtime! 

I hope you have been enjoying this series as much as I have enjoyed putting it together.

If you would like to be featured here on the blog, you can drop me an email using the contact form above or leave me a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!