There are two words which most accurately describe Rachelle and Ashley’s wedding, and they are HOT and FUN. Temperatures were flaring on both the thermometer and the dance floor on the 15th of December at Vrede and Lust wine estate in Franshoek! It was a small wedding mainly attended by Rachelle and Ashley’s close friends who had flown in from all corners of the globe. With such a young hip crowd there was little doubt that it would be a party, but I don’t think anyone was really prepared for the sweltering dry heat that enveloped everyone like a giant hair dryer on full ball! Rachel spent much of the morning retreating into air conditioned rooms with her good friends icing her down with wet cloths. Cape Town summers aren’t for sissies or those straight out of a European winter! But eventually temperatures cooled as the sun dipped over the vineyards and set behind the mountains. And that is when the fun really began!
There are some weddings which are just about impossible to put into words, and Chio and Gumby’s wedding is definitely one of those. I have been going to Cape St Francis on holiday with my family since I was a tiny tot, and this little town has become my soft place to land, and also a place where I have learnt some hard truths, but ulitmately it sits deep in my soul, coated in a plethora of happy memories, milestones and personal growth. Shooting this wedding was quite surreal, as every time I turned my head there was a special person from my past, or smile from someone that I still hold close. The 1st of February touched me deeply, that is for sure!
I have known Chio and Gumby for many years. In fact, it is hard for me to imagine Cape St Francis without Gumby in it, or JBay without the Kraaks! It is a special place, a place with it’s own smell, light and energy. It is no wonder then, that they decided to settle and build their dream family home there. They live nestled amongst the fynbos just a short walk away from some of the best waves that this country has to offer. The lifestyle of Cape St Francis AKA Seal Point, suits these two and their two very gorgeous boys perfectly, as they are both hippies at heart who love the ocean, the earth and nature. You couldn’t meet nicer people ….. their house is always open to friends, and they are the type of folk, that even if years have passed between visits, it’s like no time has passed at all when you see them again.
When my mind slips back to Sarah and Sharan’s wedding, it slips into a sensory world of saturated vibrant colours, rich spicy smells and gentle sitar sounds floating through the steamy Durban air. More so it slips into a memory of love that moved through the wedding party like a wave of energy touching everyone that it washed over. Sarah and Sharan’s wedding day wasn’t flashy, it was however filled with light. They weren’t bogged down on wedding day details and yet there were so many heartfelt personal touches. Sarah and Sharan are both doctors and from the outside their love for each other seems gentle and nuturing which all good doctors should be.
They got married at St Anne’s Guest House on the Berea in Durban and had a Hindu ceremony followed by a short Christian ceremony and they seemed to effortlessly blend their two cultures into a rainbow of joy.
Ursula and Daniel had been together for so long without a proposal that she didn’t really expect that she would be that girl that walked down the aisle in a wedding gown, and she was Ok with that. But life has a funny way of shifting our perspective and next thing you know they were checking out diamonds at Shimansky and Daniel landed up proposing not once but twice! The second time involved a cupcake which must have certainly sealed the deal as Ursula’s passion is to bake. I spent a fair bit of time oogling over her delicious looking treats on her website and do so wish that they lived closer so I could actually sample a few of her creations.
It took a bit of arm twisting to get me to photograph a New Years Eve wedding, but my interest was immediately sparked when Fran told me that her and Phil would be getting married on her families flower farm in Hilton. I absolutely love shooting on farms! I also love proteas! And Murraefield farm happens to grow proteas as well as hydrangeas ….. they also have loads of horses which equals Jacki heaven!
Besides all of that, Fran wrote me the most wonderful email describing in detail how she envisioned her big day. They didn’t want lots of posed photos nor did they want to be away from their guests for very long. They wanted their day to be about the people, conversation, a garden party with champagne for all followed by a reception with delicious food and yummy wine. She also told me about how her and Phil met in Australia while they were both training for the same marathon and described how a couple of years later she got home from a cycle session to find him suited up and bent on one knee. I knew from her emails that it would be a special wedding and it definitely was.