Rainy Estuary Hotel South Coast Wedding – Shelley + Craig

When Shelley wrote C+S forever on her school ruler after a teenage romance with Craig, it is highly unlikely that her teachers would have imaged her saying I do to the “older boy” many years later.

Shelley and Craig have a sweet story. They met in their early teens, had a two-month fling, lost each other for many years and then found each other via Facebook. After chatting online for some time, they finally got it together to meet for a drink and have been inseparable ever since.

They got married down the Natal South Coast at the Estuary Hotel. Shelley is the only bride who I have photographed walking down the aisle twice! The first quarter of the ceremony happened outside the Estuary overlooking the beautiful view. Not long after Shelley walked down the aisle it started bucketing down which had guests grabbing their chairs and heading inside where the ceremony continued without any dampening of spirits. As with all rainy weddings I have shot, this wedding was one heck of a party!

Shelley and Craig it was so wonderful to work with you guys and your crazy bridal party! Wishing you both a wonderful life together. C+S FOREVER!

And now for a few words from the bride along with the credits


The wedding day was perfect (even the rain!), all my planning the year leading up to the day came together beautifully and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Here’s how the theme, décor and flowers came together…

Craig and I both love South Africa, but there was a big wonderful world out there that we both ached to see.  From the day I arrived in the UK we made sure we got to experience as much of the world as possible.   This was represented in the travel theme.  But, because we couldn’t choose every destination we’d been to, we chose our favourite destinations or the destinations with significance.  When making decisions about most aspects of the wedding we made a conscious effort to try and represent the special times and people in our lives. The country we got married in was decided because South Africa is where we first met, almost 20 years ago now.

Craig and I also wanted our wedding to be a celebration of our love and a reflection of our relationship to be shared this with our closest family and friends, and while mostly everyone we wanted to be there could be, there were a few that could not make the day.  The vintage part of the theme was dedicated to love ones who had past on.  The birdcages present at the ceremony, tables and even favours were symbolic of my Nana Walker who loved birds.  You would have also noticed the protea in my bouquet, on every table and even the blushing bride protea buttonholes on the groom and groomsmen.  These were symbolic of Craig’s wonderful mom Linda, who was taken from us too soon.  She was one of the strongest, kindest and selfless women I have ever met, who made a huge impression on so many peoples lives.  And, when you look through your photos again you’ll also notice many people who knew Linda wore a touch of red, her favourite colour.

The day could not have been as special as it was without the amazing work of all my wonderful suppliers.

Venue:  The Estuary Hotel and Spa www.estuaryhotel.co.za

– Thank you to all the wonderful hotel staff who ensured everything ran smoothly on the day.  Bronwyn and Quinton you truly went above and beyond my expectations.
Wedding planner:  Me 🙂

Decor:  Ivy Events www.ivyevents.co.za – Bree and her team transformed the room beautifully.  It was almost like she could read my mind.

Favours: Designed by myself and made in South Africa by Mom, Mick and Eldene.

Stationery:  Paper Willow www.paperwillow.com

Flowers:  Twisted Willow

– Margie captured exactly what I was looking for in my arrangements and bouquets. If only flowers could last forever so I could have taken them home with me.

Hair:  Nixon Make-up – Kendyl McPherson www.nixonmakeup.co.za – Kendyl made me feel totally comfortable in her hands, she is an amazing lady and went above and beyond to make sure I was comfortable.

Make up: Nixon Make-up – Kendyl McPherson www.nixonmakeup.co.za

Brides Dress: Casey Jeanne www.caseyjeanne.com/ – There are no words to express how talented this lovely lady is, you just have to check out her collections.  My dress was absolutely magical.  Love her work!!

Bride’s shoes: Mia

Bridesmaids dresses:  thedaintyard www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thedaintyard

Groom’s Suit: Occasions on Broadway

Cake:  Sue Neel  – Aunty Sue!!! I love you lot’s, not only did this lady make my cake as a wonderful wedding gift, she was there for the frantic 2 weeks leading up to my wedding to help wherever she could.  Don’t know what I would have done without her.

Music: David Yapp www.surrealeventing.co.za  – David is AWESOME!!  The sound, lighting and music throughout my wedding from the ceremony to the last song was phenomenal.  This is a guy who goes above and beyond just being your DJ!  I mean he served us our starters, poured our drinks and made sure Craig and I, and our guests, felt comfortable.  He knows exactly the right time throw in a cheeky humorous song during speeches, but also knows how to deflect the attention during speeches when things get a bit emotional. Fantastic man, we loved his presence!

Videographer:  Videoccasions www.videoccasions.co.za – We felt very comfortable with Karen.  Can’t wait to see our Videos!

Priest:  (Wedding Celebrant) – Jonathan Payne theweddingcelebrant.co.za

Jonathan was great.  He captured exactly what we were looking for during our ceremony.  Throughout the day and even after the wedding my guests were complimenting him on how wonderful our ceremony was.  Very grateful to have been fortunate enough to have Jonathan marry us.  I’ve even had requests to pass on his contact details 🙂

Second Shooter : Liz Donnell


  1. Eldene Pearce on September 4, 2015 at 11:47 am

    The Wedding was beautiful even the rain the photo’s are exquisite I was priviledge to be a party of the Wedding for which I am so thankful to Craig & Shelley (she is my granddaughter). Thankyou for your hard work the photo’s are awesome

  2. Casey Jeanne on September 7, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    So special Shelley! Looked like such fun, rain and all. Well done Jacki!

  3. Shelley Smith on September 8, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    We are so grateful for all the hard work to capture our special day… These moments capture exactly what we were looking for… the mood, love, emotion and craziness of our special day. Moments we can look back on and know exactly how we were feeling and what we were thinking. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

    Big thanks and love!

    Craig and Shelley xxx

  4. Tricia on September 9, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Such a pretty wedding. What is it about rain that gets the party started, every time! I love the pink and blue umbrellas.

  5. Ancelote Givry on September 10, 2015 at 3:09 am

    Congrats to Shelley and Craig, be careful of the plant prick tho. Nice capture of the wedding party.

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