Swell Eco Lodge Mdumbi Wedding – Lee-Ann + Justin

When my little sister called me to say that she would be organizing her wedding in just 4 months I thought she was totally bonkers, but Lee-Ann is an extraordinary lady, and when she puts her mind to something there is little that can stop her! The first two things on their wedding to do list were easy to cross off. The venue would be their home and guest lodge in the Mdumbi in the Eastern Cape, and the photographer would be me! They also knew straight off the bat that they wanted the theme and atmosphere of the wedding to fit in with the surroundings.

If you haven’t ever been to the Wild coast formerly known as the Transkei I would suggest you take a trip down there. It is an incredibly special part of the world with an untouched beauty that is absolutely breath taking. Lee-Ann and Justin have recently finished building their guest lodge, Swell Eco Lodge in Umdumbi . Now I realize I am a bit biased, but they have done a phenomenal job and the lodge is really outstanding. Besides all the lovely finishes, comfy beds and fab decor, Swell Eco Lodge sits in one of the most spectacular locations I have been to in South Africa! It is nestled right in the middle of  rural Transkei on a hill overlooking an enormous white sand beach and winding river mouth. This makes for a most memorable holiday getaway but an even more magical wedding destination!

There was a lot of magic in the air on Lee and Justin’s big day. Their nearest and dearest had trekked great distances along highways and dirt roads from all over the country to be there and everyone was excited for them to finally tie the knot. Lee-Ann and Justin have been together for a very long time and have stood together through thick and thin. If one is to believe in soul mates then these two are the real deal! The wedding was a laid back affair and they said their vows to each other barefoot on the beach with the sun beaming down on them.  There was no ways that I would get these two to pose for pics for very long as they wanted to enjoy every last second of the party and so I have made a set of images which I hope document the day as it unfolded!

Lee-Ann and Justin I am so very proud of you both. What you have achieved is nothing short of admirable and I cannot wait to take some time out to spend a nice long break with you both. Love you dearly!!!!! Thanks for picking me!!!

Huge thanks to my brother in law Tyrone Bradley for photographing the boys in the morning and for shooting during the ceremony. Also to Liz my assistant who worked her butt off and second shot for me!

After organsing their own wedding Lee and Justin have decided that they will start to do small intimate weddings at their guest lodge. If you like the idea of getting married on a pristine transkei beach with a menu of oysters, crayfish and fresh fish then definitely click on the link here . Otherwise do check them out before you start planning your next holiday getaway.

Venue: Swell Eco Lodge www.swellecolodge.com 0723465636

Wedding planner: Lee-Ann – Swell Eco Lodge

Decor: Lee-Ann & friends – DIY

Flowers: Hand picked at Swell Eco Lodge

Hair:Jules Ruby – 0825747117

Make up: Jules Ruby – 0825747117

Brides Dress: Claire – 0842125005

Brides shoes: Woolworths

Bridesmaids dresses: Various stores – they picked their own

Groom’s Suit: Woolworths & Markhams

Cake:Tricia Bruniquel (MOB)

Music:I tunes playlist

Priest: Mel Loumeau – not a priest though!

Cake Toppers: Ladies & Gentlemen Cake Toppers  https://www.facebook.com/customtoppers

We have always wanted to get married at our own lodge and finally this dream came true. Our lodge is in the middle of the Transkei and we are an eco lodge so we stuck to an African eco friendly theme! Traditional Shwe Shwe fabric was used to add colour to all our décor as well as Shwe Shwe table cloths made by our local ladies. Keeping eco with solar fairy lights, solar lamps, up-cycling and diy! Our guests donated their blankets they used on the day too which was very generous!

With perfect weather, family, friends, seafood, cocktails and a lot of love, Justin and I had the best day of our lives!

Thank you to all our friends and family for coming to share this amazing day with us all the way in the Kei!

Thank you to my amazingly talented sister Jacki for taking our photo’s and dealing with 7 bridesmaids and 6 groomsmen!

Thank you to Jules Ruby for doing the most spectacular job with all our hair and make-up, you are a very special women with so much talent and it was so wonderful to have you here!

Thank you of course to the bridesmaids, Lisa B, Lisa W, Kim, Ang, Cands, Rache and Zo Zo and groomsmen, Mark, Paul, Wesley, Chris B, Chris B & Kev – and Tyrone Bradley for stepping in and saving the day with all the setting up!

Thank you to my Mom, Tricia Bruniquel for making rows and rows of Shwe Shwe bunting and working away in our little wedding workshop for hours! Also, for making the best wedding cake ever!

Kimberly Schulze – you just are a super star and without you all our diy would not be complete! Lisa Williams, from day one you sent me ideas and helped me out till the end, you rock! Zona Smith thank you for all your diy help too and for loving our place so much! J

Lisa Bradley – I couldn’t have asked for a better Maid of Honour, thank you for organising so much including the wine and Jules! J

Shane Smith – the Master of Ceremony – you were so bloody funny, you may be in the wrong profession.

Mel Loumeau – you are an incredibly wonderful women. Thank you so much for marrying us and doing such a special job and brilliantly perfect ceremony. You really made it the most memorable day ever.
Cands Wallis and Melly – you made awesome wedding cupcakes, thank you!

Mom and Dad, without you this day could not have happened, thank you for your love and support – you really are the best parents in the world.

Denzil & his team from Anchorage Hotel for the delicious food and for running our bar.


  1. Brenda Pratt on July 14, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    How very special. Wow – I burst into tears when I saw the first picture – and I don’t even know these people! Your photos capture strength and love in such a natural and beautiful way, Jacki. They are blessed indeed to have you for a sister and their wedding photographer. You have done justice to very special people.

  2. Cox on July 14, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    These pics are beautiful!! Well done Jax!
    So happy that i was part of this special day, Leenie what a knock out bride 🙂 Cannot wait to come back to your slice of heaven xxx

  3. Lisa on July 14, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Amazing pics of a such a special couple in a very special part of the world…just gorgeous! xxx

  4. Lauren Kim on July 14, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    This wedding speaks to my sould – the African vibrance, the love shared between two amazing people and the most flawless location. Your photo’s talk louder than any words! What a joy to scroll through this beautiful day!

  5. Tricia on July 15, 2014 at 5:45 am

    Beautiful photos of a magical day in a magical setting. May the love and joy of this day always be a part of your future together.

  6. Debby on July 15, 2014 at 7:20 am

    OK so I cried through all the pictures how awesome Jacki you captured it so beautifuly and Lee-Lee and Justin you looked soooooo happy and at ease . Loved every thing. Wills xxxx

  7. Hayden on July 15, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Wow Lee-ann and Justice,how beautiful was your wedding,now I got Kushy saying she wants to have another wedding there

  8. Keri on July 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    My kind of wedding! If I got married again, I’d do it just like this! So different from some of the stuffy ones, hey J? I love the pic with the little boy cuddling the dog – I love them all! Just beautiful. Really, really, really. BEEYOOTIFUL.

  9. Dale Clendennen on July 19, 2014 at 9:20 am

    How wonderfully special and beautifully captured – the true essence of joy!

    Made even more special as my husband and I are privileged to have recently spent time at Swell Eco Lodge and of course met Justin and Lee-Ann – we wish them many blessings in their future.

    Hugs from us

    PS please see Facebook page South Africa My Best for more on this fantastic place 🙂

  10. Danette on November 22, 2014 at 2:35 pm


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