I concluded my 2017 wedding season with a highlight trip to Jongensfontein. A small beach town a few kilometers from Stilbaai. Like most destination weddings, I arrived the day before and met all the close friends and family as we sat around a big camp fire eating barbecued ribs and chatting about the next day’s celebrations. I think by now most people know that one of my favourite parts about being a wedding photographer is becoming friends with so many wonderful people. The journey leading up to these celebrations is one filled with excitement and hope and I truly feel blessed to walk this journey with so many new friends. Here follows the unity of Chris-marie & Steyn Wessels:
Growing up as friends
We’ve known each other for most of our lives. We both grew up with our families camping in Jongensfontein over holidays. This is how we met. We only really got to know each other at the end of 2012. First it started as friends and quickly escalated to something more. It was his blue eyes that drew me to him!
A Christmas Present:
On Christmas day 2016 we celebrated our 4th year anniversary. We spent the day with his family, but when we got back to Jongensfontein, we went for a walk on the very same beach we got married on. He dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him!
A Rustic Beach wedding
We decided on a rustic theme and got most of our inspiration from social media, pinterest, friends and family.
We wanted both a beach and a farm wedding. So we decided to get married on the beach where we got engaged and to have our reception on a horse farm, Jongensdal, just outside Jongensfontein. This venue fitted our ideas perfectly.
A dress tailored to her liking
I bought my dress on Gumtree! I took it to the very talented Esna Saayman from Riversdale, who changed the dress to my liking. I wanted an open back and a lot of lace. She made sure that the dress became a dream wedding dress to me. The veil was bought at Bride & Co and was a 5 meter long ivory veil with lace outlines.
Rings plain and simple
We both like a plain setting and that’s how we decided on our rings. My ring was made at Viljoens juweliers in Worcester and Steyn’s wedding ring was made by House of Kallie with a wood inlay. The wood inlay is something he really wanted. My wedding band is a Swarovski rosegold ring.
Stephanie Kamfer from “The Beauty Spot” and Natasha Henning, a cousin of the bride, did a great job with the make-up of the bride, bridesmaids and mother of the bride.
Mariaan Odendaal, the sister of the bride, and Verna-Marie Beukes, a close friend, are both employees of Scar Hair in Cape Town and took care of Chris-marie’s perfect hair. Martelize Wessels created the wreaths for the bridesmaids’ hair with greens, folded flowers and roses.
Riversdale NG Church
Ds. Deon Beyers from NG Church Riversdale West officiated our wedding. This is the Chrurch I grew up in. He was very well prepared and gave a wonderful message at the ceremony. He also prepared us for the ceremony during a practise session on the beach the day before.
A Photographer with Experience
Landi from Organictales Photography was very professional and we could see that this was definitely not her first time taking wedding photos. She went the extra mile and tried to capture every moment of our special day. She made us feel at ease and was not just a photographer, but also became a friend. Pictures are all you have left after your wedding day and we wanted to make sure we had the best photographer capturing our special moments.
Videographer in motion
Henlu & Karin Cronje from “Cronje Productions” did an excellent job at recording our special day on camera. They literally think about every little detail. I would definitely recommend them to anyone that is getting married.
Memories with Friends and Family
For both of us the most memorable moment of the day was when we walked in at the reception and everyone waited for us with sparkles and something to drink. We could see everyone was having a good time which definitely set the mood for the evening.
A Cash Bar with Cocktails
Hansie Saayman Bar services made gin cocktails, cosmopolitans and had lots of ciders when the guests arrived at the reception. Red wine, white wine and grape juice were from Calitzdorp Wine Cellar and Champagne from KWV. Hansie and his team were very organized and had more than enough available for everyone.
Friends and Food!
Now this is a surprise to everyone… We didn’t have a caterer.
Breads and spreads were made by the bride, the mothers, and grandmothers of the bride and groom.
A close friend of ours did a Lamb Spit for the main. Our farm neighbours organized the kitchen, made the roasted veggies, potatoes and pumpkin fritters. My two aunts made the salad and tropical fruit sticks!
Everyone was so helpful and this was much so cheaper than caterers.
Snacks and a variety of breads and spreads
Sheep spit rolls with mozzarella and bacon inside.
Tropical fruit sticks
Wedding cake – Carrot cake
Ferrero Roche Tower
Take-away/eat-in portion deserts: Chocolate mouse, peppermint crisp tart, cheese cake and strawberry tart.
Music and the Ocean
Charles Du Preez from “Just For You” made sure everything went according to plan with music and sound at the ceremony as well as the reception. He did an exquisite job. One of my bridesmaids, Irma Du Toit, sang a beautiful song at the ceremony called “Far away” written by David Edwards. Jeandre Schultz from the band ‘Slow Jack” in Cape Town, played the guitar while Irma sang while we signed the register. This was a very special moment with the ocean waving in the background and all our friends and family witnessing our union.
Chris-marie & Steyn’s Advice to other couples:
Planning a wedding is a very big step. Be organized and double check everything. Get a good photographer and videographer, because this is all you have left at the end to keep as memories. It is important to have a DJ that knows what they’re doing. Sound and music can make or break a wedding. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Make use of your loved ones, friends and family for advice and planning. Our friends and family were very helpful and without them, our wedding would not have been the same.
Multiple Destination Honeymoon!
We had such a lovely Honeymoon driving from Stillbay to Mosselbay and spending the night at Nyaru Game Lodge. From there we went to PE and then to East London. We had a lovely time at Coffee bay next and had the privilege to see Hole in the wall. We were traveling along the coast till Durban where we got onto the MSC Sinfonia for a 3 night trip to the Portuguese Island.