It’s dry. When the sun is not scorching the earth and licking up the last bit of moisture with its flaming tongues of thirst, it is the wind that evaporates any traces of water in to thin air. This is what the Western Cape is currently facing. With none of the regular lush green landscapes we are used to, we are now learning to find the beauty in what we once saw as devastation. The dry, sandy banks of dried up reservoirs have become art. We see the bittersweet beauty of white dust reflecting the pink sky. A world transformed. A reminder that love will conquer our deepest fears. Love can florish where we plant it – we just need to believe. Here follows a story:
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.
Words simply cannot explain. Goosebumps still let my arm hair raise when I think about the strong sense of love that was so overwhelmingly present on this day. The ceremony was one of a kind. Rye-lee looked stunning and beyond and their spontaneous laughter, tears and praise filled the canopy of trees under which they promised themselves to each other.
I want to write a whole book on this beautiful day, but I’ll let the pictures do the talking instead.
To all the vendors that helped make this day special to the couple:
“That’s the lesson of the dogs, that it’s important to both live in the moment and then go on to the next wonderful thing.”
-W.Bruce Cameron, The Dogs of Christmas.
I had such a lovely time visiting Roxy Hutton of CityGirl Searching down in the small town of Buan. Roxy is a fellow South African Creative who also resides in South Korea with her husband Dale Hutton and their adorably cute rescue pup, Shadow.
Roxy and I connected via social media and started collaborating on creative ideas and concepts, exchanging tips and tricks We eventually decided to meet up for a shoot and afterwards we sat down over lots of cups of tea, while playing around in our editing software, sharing knowledge and insight and more cups of tea.
It’s always such a wonderful thing when creatives get together and decide to share their knowledge. It is so refreshing and inspiring.
This was one of the most daring shoots I’ve done so far. Very different from my usual style and genre, but it turned out to be so much fun and such a great learning phase.
My model, Aletta was such a trooper and without her this shoot would never have materialized. We met a day before the shoot in a Starbucks cafe to throw some ideas around.
And lucky that we did it on this day since the snow came really early this year when it was still relatively hot and it all melted within a day. Originally we had all sort of ideas but we lacked the time to plan it all. Now we are waiting for the next snowfall to have those ideas come to life.
There is something truly magical about autumn in Korea.
Eunshil and Yungi chose such a beautiful time of the year for their wedding pictorial. Beautiful yellow and orange leaves were painting the streets of Asan in bright colours. The love between this couple had such an amazingly strong presence during the shoot and the way they interacted with each other reminded me of something writers like Rumi would get their inspiration from.
Tyson and Staci are from Colorado and the Great state of Texas. Both adventurous souls who love to travel and explore and engage in all sorts of exhilarating activities. Both living and working in South Korea, it makes their travelwonder so much easier with all the great beaches of South East Asia so easily accessible. It was on one of these fun filled vacations to Thailand when Tyson decided to pop the question. And she said… “duh!”.
For the engagement photos we headed over to the Asan Folk Village for a picnic set up with some traditional Makeoli brewed by the couple themselves.
Autumn really is the most beautiful time of the year in Korea. So many red and orange trees colouring the grey city scapes. The Korean Ginkgo tree being the prettiest with its bright yellow leaves.
The magic between these two people is so obvious that anyone can sense it from a mile away. I’m so honored to have captured their love.