How did you meet and what drew you to each other?
When a mutual friend of ours showed James photos of his girlfriend (now wife) with friends, James immediately asked out about the one friend – Rése! His now wife, being the good friend that she is, then immediately sent Rése a picture of James and said you need to meet this guy – only problem he stays in Port Elizabeth. But our friends decided we need to meet and all of a sudden we were added to a whatsapp group called “That Awkward Moment” and our friend left the group right after. We chatted for a month before we actually met for the first time – and the rest is history.
What drew me to James was his infectious laugh, his kind demeanor, patience and that he is taller than me. James being handsome does not hurt either!
What drew me to Rése was her beauty, similar interests and ideals. The clincher was that she is an avid sport watcher! No guilty feelings to watch sports all day!
Was your wedding affected by Covid-19 and how?
We got engaged on the 27th of September 2019 and set our initial wedding date for the 22nd of August 2020. When the level 5 lockdown was implemented and not knowing how long it will take for restrictions to be eased we decided to rather move our date to 22 May 2021. With us both being in separate provinces we did not see each other for 6 month due to level 5 and level 4 lockdown restrictions (Rése was in Stellenbosch and James in Johannesburg). We have always done long distance, but those 6 months really tested us and I think made us realise even more that we want to be together forever. One thing that the postponing of the wedding took away from us was the opportunity to have our grandmothers witness our special day. They would have loved to celebrate the day with us.
What made you choose your venue?
We want a venue that was close to Stellenbosch, and spectacular views for the winelands and caters for all weather conditions – seeing as we wanted a winter wedding. Landtscap ticked all those boxes! With lots accommodation in the surrounding area, a 180 degree view that includes Simonsberg and Stellenbosch mountains, a fireplace to keep our guests warm until late at night – what more could we ask for!
Tammy and her team helped make sure that our dream wedding could become a reality! All our guests were in awe about the amazing view and food provided by Two Chefs Catering.
What was the most memorable moment of your wedding day?
James memorable moment – Seeing Rése walk out of the building. She took my breathe away and that image will be ingrained in my memories forever!
Rése memorable moment – Seeing James stand there in his suit looking super handsome. Another memorable moment was that at James’ request we had to walk into the reception area on a song choice he made – and that song would be Meisie Meisie by Kurt Darren. It was hilarious and the guests did not expect it at all and loved it!
How did you experience your photographer’s service?
I have known Landi since 2008 when we met each other in Monica Ladies’ Residence at Stellenbosch University – and when she started doing wedding photography professionally I told her she will be my photographer one day. Not even an hour after we got engaged I told Landi to keep her weekends open in August 2020. Throughout the whole Covid-19 date change and timelines having to get adjusted to comply to lockdown regulations – Landi always stayed positive and helped to make the logistics of the event run smoothly. Throughout the day Landi made us feel comfortable in front of the camera and we had lots of laughs during the couples shoot. If you naturally look happy in the photos it shows in the photos and Landi brings that out in all the people she photographs.
Where did you go on honeymoon and what made it special?
We had an action packed 2 week long local honeymoon. We first went to Thronybush Game Lodge (https://www.thornybush.com/lodge/thornybush-game-lodge/) for 4 nights. With international tourists not being able to come to South Africa we got an amazing deal, where it was all inclusive (except for drinks) and we went on 2 game drives each day. We had amazing sightings of the Big Five and rare animals – like wild dogs on the hunt and lion cubs playing in the river bed.
After that we road tripped down to Umhlanga and stayed there for 2 nights in a lovely AirBnB overlooking the ocean. We enjoyed the warmer weather and James even had a swim or two!
After that we spent 4 nights at Bushman’s Nek Berg and Trout Resort. We went hiking, Rése had her first fresh snow falling experience and had to build a snowman – and we tried to go up Sani Pass by making use of Sani Pass Private Tours (https://sanipassprivatetours.com/sani-pass-tours-private/). Greg our guide was so knowledgeable and tried his best to get to the top but no cars could make it up to the Lesotho border due to the heavy snow fall.
We did a lot of driving and it felt like we needed a holiday after the honeymoon – but travelling local just reminded us of all the beauty we have in South Africa and that we have so much exploring left to do!
VIDEOGRAPHY: Hendrico Bekker Films
(Dear Service Providers – please contact our client for the downloadable gallery)
Photographer’s assistant: Ronel Strauss Photography
DJ: COMPACT SOUND
Lawn games and golf: Lawn Games 4 You (https://lawngames4you.co.za/)