Locnville's Andrew Chaplin and Alyssa Buettgen's 8-year love story: 'When I got another chance, I wasn't going to let her go'
Andrew Chaplin, Alyssa Buettgen (Photo: Aaron Polikoff )
Cape Town - Overlooking the marina in the heart of the Mother City, I meet with one half of electro duo Locnville, Andrew Chaplin and his bride-to-be Alyssa Buettgen.
In an exclusive interview at the One&Only Cape Town, the newly engaged couple talk to Channel24 about the beautiful proposal and their upcoming wedding plans.
It's 11:00 on a Thursday when Andrew greets me at The Vista Bar & Lounge, smiling and eyes beaming behind yellow-tinted glasses.
ALSO READ: One half of Locnville is engaged and his proposal was the cutest!
He escorts me to a private room, overlooking Devil's Peak and Lion's Head, where I meet Alyssa for the first time. There is instant chemistry between them, with Alyssa's hand lightly placed on Andrew's thigh, and she smiles and tilts her head towards her soon to be husband.
We start talking about our morning routines, and it's apparent that Andrew is the early-riser, while Alyssa will sleep in later.
"The earlier, the better," Andrew tells Channel24, adding: "One of my favourite things to do is wake up early and go on an early-morning road trip, with Alyssa of course, sleeping in the passenger seat."
Alyssa admits that Andrew is the one who'll make the coffee in the morning. And I try and trick Andrew by asking: "How does Alyssa take her coffee?" to which he quickly and correctly replies: "It has to be weak and small."
She laughs in agreement, as she answers, looking at Andrew: "And you are the opposite. Strong, and you'll have like 20 cups."
The couple met in 2011 at a launch party to promote an episode of Locnville on Nikki Greenwall's The Close Up at 15 on Orange in Cape Town.
"We were standing around when this one came around and asked if we wanted to dance, and I was thinking: 'Damn she is hot.' But then she left me by my lonesome," says Andrew sheepishly.
Alyssa continues, saying: "I got his number, but I didn't give him mine. I left and then I didn't contact him for a couple of days."
Alyssa admits that she wasn't at the event specifically for Locnville but instead was invited to attend because of her socialite status: "Most people had left the party at that time, but I wasn't ready to go and was looking for someone to dance with. And I didn't realise that it was him when I asked him to dance. As soon as I did, I backtracked a little. But I told myself that he was just another human, and went for it."
She admits that she wanted to prove that she wasn't just another "fan or groupie" and waited a couple of days to message him, not knowing that Andrew was trying to find her social media.
He explains: "She has a necklace with her name on it. I remembered how it was spelt, and the following day, I was on social media looking for an 'Alyssa' hoping to find her online because I didn't have her number. Someone had then tweeted us: 'Yo, our cousin Alyssa met you last night" or something like that, but it turned out it wasn't her. And it went from never having met an Alyssa, to seeing her name everywhere."
When asked what first drew him to Alyssa, he says: "In hopes of not sounding too shallow, firstly I thought she was just gorgeous. I found out that she was German, and I always had a thing for Germany, and that was an instant connection. And we had mutual interest. I thought she was funny, which was vital for me. I thought to myself; I can chat and hold a conversation with this person."
Her answer is pretty much the same when I asked her the same question. "We just clicked," she replied. "He is quite a deep person, and I resonate with that. He is creative, and he has inspired me to become the person I am today."
Alyssa is very much grounded in her faith, and after working several casual jobs, decided to study Theology in Australia, after finding God in the Hillsong Church.
She has strong views when it comes to social justice, saying: "Most Sundays I am in Polsmoor prison, bringing the church to the prisoners. My passion is going out to people and speaking life into them. For me, that is fulfilling, I love that," she says.
And that is one of the character traits Andrew loves most about his fiancee; he says: "She is always thinking about, and looking out for other people. But she still always has time to ask me about my day and make sure that I'm happy and secure."
Which ironically is the complete opposite of Andrew, who says he can feel "overwhelmed" very quickly.
From a lifestyle perspective, it is something the couple have in common. Andrew echoes the same views, saying: "I have the same beliefs in social justice and upliftment. It resonates with me a lot."
Despite having started dating in 2011 soon after they met, Alyssa and Andrew's relationship was put on hold several times, due to their personal, travel and work schedule.
It was when they reconnected on New Years Eve 2019, that they realised it was meant-to-be and the talks of tying the knot started a few weeks later.
Which lead to Alyssa designing her custom engagement ring mere weeks later.
About their sudden epiphany, Alyssa says: "When we start talking, we won't stop. We started talking, and we just fell into the relationship again. He makes me feel safe in every way. My heart and my life feel safe. Everything I need, I know he has my back."
To which Andrew replied: "At the risk of sounding too deep. I told myself that if I ever get the chance to be with her again, I won't let her go."
Andrew adds: "We can talk for hours, and hours and it will never get boring. Or we can sit in silence, and it feels like the most natural thing in the world."
About the timings in their relationship, the couple couldn't be more comfortable, saying that the time spent apart allowed them to grow individually and pursue their passions.
About the magical proposal, Alyssa says she knew it was coming. "We had already started the wedding planning and planning the engagement party in January. I designed my ring, so we were waiting for that. There is also a lot of international families that we needed to inform ahead of time to ensure that they could all make it."
Andrew confesses that he can't take full responsibility for the proposal, and says he got a lot of help from his brother, and her friend.
"It was better than anything that I could ever plan, and I was blown away," Alyssa says, even though she likes to plan and be in control when it comes to organising her life.
Both Andrew and Alyssa are very unconventional when it comes to wedding planning, although Andrew followed tradition when he asked Alyssa's family for permission to marry her - over chicken wings.
Not giving away too much about their upcoming nuptials, Andrew says the wedding will be "low-key, laid-back and intimate."
The couple explains that instead of following the tradition wedding format, the couple has rented a large estate surrounded by nature, where they will have the ceremony and reception.
Staying true to their easygoing personalities, there will be no speeches or formalities, but instead, the couple will celebrate their union with a big party, together with their close friends and family.
After their wedding, the couple has set aside about a month, where they will be travelling nearby, before heading for their honeymoon in Kenya, followed by Cyprus,
Andrew says, one of the places that they will be visiting nearby is tattooed on his body, and that is the only hint he is giving us!