Rockhaven Elgin Wedding – Melodi + Alex

Melodi and Alex met in Muscat, Oman and made a life together. As with most ex pats they have friends from all over the world who have become like family. Melodi is South African and Alex is British so their actual families are also of different nationalities and scattered in different parts of the globe. After Alex got down on one knee in Lake Como and they started planning their wedding, they made a decision to prioritise the experience of their guests over any other wedding tradition. They also wanted to give their guests enough time to make a plan to attend their Cape Town wedding which meant that Mel and I were chatting for a long time before we actually met!

Mel has a delightful online personality and I loved receiving her chatty emails over the year of planning. When we finally met in Elgin the day before the wedding it was confirmed that her cyber character is as awesome as her in person persona! Melodi was very honest about the fact that her and Alex suffer from FOMO and didn’t want to be away from their guests who had flown in from all over the world for very long. This was a destination wedding with a capital D!!! They had guests from all four corners of the globe and Rockhaven was the perfect venue to show all the foreigners a good time! It’s an hour and a half from Cape Town and so picturesque boasting mountain, vineyard and orchard views.

Despite the beautiful venue these two were not keen on loads of pretty wedding portraits, they wanted me to rather capture the spirit of the event, its emotion, atmosphere and their people! I did however take a portrait of Mel in the morning with the dog pillow which says follow your dreams which I feel captures Mel’s quirkiness, inspirational journey and her love of dogs! And I did convince the two of them to nip down the road for just one or two pics! The rest was party party party! And what a party it was!!!!

Mel and Alex thank you so much for picking me to photograph your big day! It really was such a delight to meet you and share this journey with you. We so loved Elgin and your dog shot is now one of my favourite bridal portraits!

And now for a few words from the bride

Alex is British, I’m South African, we live in the Middle East and have friends scattered all over the world – quite a mix! When we thought about where to get married South Africa was a unanimous YES! We love going back to Cape Town so we knew we wanted to look for a venue that was close to Cape Town, somewhere a little different – and the amazing Rockhaven ticked all the boxes. So, we sent our invites our very early to make sure that everyone was able to get there. The most important part of our day to us was the people. We wanted to create a laid back, beautiful space with good food, music and drinks to be enjoyed with all our best people under one roof! We wanted to spend AS MUCH time as possible with them. Over 80% of the guests had traveled in from abroad so it was incredible to bring everyone together for this time. That was the inspiration for our day and dictated all the decisions we made. We organized everything from behind a laptop screen which meant, we really didn’t sweat the small stuff and get wrapped up in the detail and kept it all very simple. My biggest bit of advice to brides planning their wedding day is – lock in your venue 1st, find out who the best suppliers are that know that venue well and book them up. Then TRUST them and let them do their job. They know a heck of a lot more about weddings than I did and so I just outlined what we had in mind and let them all run with it. And it was perfect, we wouldn’t have changed one thing. I personally loved doing all the creative side of the day but had the incredible Theresa about a month before the time to take over and run it on the day – best decision ever. Everyone told us before our wedding day that it was going to be the best day of our lives. Well, it was SO MUCH more! A massive THANK YOU to each of our suppliers, we had the BEST of the best!

And Jax, you and Liz. You guys are INCREDIBLE. The amount of people that came to me and said, “I can’t believe the photographer is still here!”. You put SO much energy into your work. We were each allowed to choose one thing for our day that the other had no objection over and my choice was you. Like I said to you before, it was never a case of shopping around for someone to capture our day – I only wanted YOU! Thank you for working with what was going to make our day a happy one. Not heaps of portraits but lots of time with our people with your super quirky, creative flair. You are so super talented and we are so happy that we had you to document all the love and emotion that made our day what it was. SO much love xxx

Venue: Rockhaven http://rockhavenfarm.co.za/

Wedding planner: Theresa Lazarevic http://www.creationevents.co.za/

Decor: Lighting: 4 Every Event http://www.4everyevent.co.za/

Décor Rental: Blooming Wonderful http://www.bloomingwonderful.co.za/

Stationary: Blooming Wonderful http://www.bloomingwonderful.co.za/

Flowers: Paradiso Flowers http://www.paradiso.co.za/

Hair: Helga Strydom 084 706 9190

Make up: Helga Strydom 084 706 9190

Nails: Natasha Swanepoel 0720636724 (she comes to the farm and does them the day before)

Brides Dress: Elbeth Gillis http://www.elbethgillis.com/

Brides shoes: BHLDN by Billy Ella https://www.bhldn.com/

Bridesmaids dresses: Bride & Co http://www.brideandco.co.za/

Groom’s Suit: Moss Bros UK https://www.moss.co.uk/

Cake: Sonja Edridge – The Larder Café http://www.thelarder.co.za/

Cake Topper: Jennifer Nel icingbydesign@gmail.com

Music: Crimson http://www.crimsonlive.co.za/

Priest: Ken Jackson +2784 5066 311

Caricature Artist: Martinus Illustration http://www.martinusvantee.com/