Laid back Hatchery Wedding – Natalie + Mike

The first time I met Natalie she brought me a MASSIVE bunch of country bumpkin flowers. On our second meeting I got to meet Mike and they brought along a bottle of champagne and a punnet of strawberries!  When they found stretch tent hire to be a bit too pricey for their liking, they bought their own. They have now started a little stretch tent hire business with affordable rates on the side (see their details at the end)

They are just those kind of people. And honestly Nats has the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen. Flip I have the best clients! I can’t even class these two as clients anymore they are now friends!

Natalie and Mike met whilst Mike was stranded alone in a non 4×4 bakkie on a sand road on the way to Ponto, Mozambique. Natalie and friend rode up alongside him and came to his rescue. The rest is history. A love story. A wonderful soulful connection. A beautiful child. And then a wedding at the Hatchery which is in Zululand near Amatikulu.

It was wonderful.

I will say it again ……. I have the best clients! Thanks guys for picking me!!!

And now the credits and so on in the brides own words

Everything except the catering, DJ and the venue were supplied by friends.  Selfless, creative, bold, magnificent people who have contributed so much to my life.  Our wedding was a like a quilt, each piece made with love, it made our day so meaningful – I will never forget the contributions and energy that each person gave.  The vibe was relaxed and natural, everything about our celebration was the best representation of who we are and what we like.  The cherry on the cake was having our loved ones under one canvas, literally from all corners of the globe.  Jacki (and don’t you dare delete this bit), you were so ill yet you braved having needles & drips to be there, I will never forget that.  It’s at times like these, when I want to express the depth of what I feel, that the English language becomes woefully inadequate.  I am grateful beyond words for the collective goodness that made our wedding day perfect, perfect, perfect!

Venue:  The Hatchery – magnificent, so unique and the staff there are ridiculously helpful!  Nothing is too big a problem, I am so indebted to them for making our weekend as seamless as it was.  Lana Myburgh: Website:

Hair & Make up: My beautiful friend, Kirsty Turco from Make Up Your Mind: 072 954 1687

Bouqets and Flowers at the venue:  Mokka Bloom at Lifestyle Shopping Centre – Sonja Watson

Brides Dress: The lovely Dominique Gatland, my friend based in Joburg.  She has just started her own label – she made my dress during one of the most stressful times of her life; between jobs, moving house, starting a new business and planning her own wedding.  She remained graceful and patient throughout because that’s who she is.

Hairpiece: Accessorize, Gateway.

Bridesmaids dresses: Nicola’s was from Desray in Cape Town / Hayley’s from Terence Bray Boutique in Ballito.

Groom’s Outfit: Hilton Weiner

Cake: Claire is not a baker or even a cook.  She is just a sweet, lovely friend who asked if she could make our cake.  She drove all the way from Joburg, stayed in Hillcrest, spent days making the cake with her niece, drove with the 3-tiered creation to Gingingdlovu by herself; delivered the cake in all its sparkling, chocolate, vanilla glory in one piece for our wedding night.  It was delicious and every bite laced with love.

Food: The Crooked Fork, Janine Hill – OK I’m not even kidding; Janine’s prawns were the best I have had just about anywhere!  And if you don’t believe me, ask the other 60 guests because they all said the same thing.  Her food was wholesome, comforting, rich with flavour and beautifully presented.  A highlight of our wedding without a doubt.

DJ: Jason Cramer – Jason is not your typical wedding DJ – if you want something a bit different, this is your guy.  He will not play Grease, YMCA or the Time Warp J  He rocked our dancefloor from start to finish.

Wedding Coordinator: Morag Oldreive.  Unfortunately, our wedding was her last and boy, did she go out with a bang.  She took the vision right out of my head and turned it into reality.  We got on so well and had such a ball putting this wedding together that we have remained friends.  We LOVE our wine and chats!

Stretch Tent: We own the stretch tent and hire it out to brides in KZN at a very good rate.  Here is our Facebook page with a little story of how the tent came about – get in touch if you’d like a quote.

Second Shooter: The marvelous Natasha Schoeman


  1. liza on April 18, 2012 at 2:46 am

    Hi Jacki –

    I’m a wedding/portrait photographer (and artist) in the San Francisco Bay area in California. I don’t remember where I came across your work first, but I’ve been following your blog for months. It is SUCH an inspiration to me – the quality of your photos is amazing, and always unique and true to your vision and style. I find that the hardest part of this business (and art in general) is developing a point of view that is different from the millions of others out there (and trusting it!). I often find myself seeing something and thinking “that’s beautiful, I should photograph it” and becoming paralyzed with the fear that while I think it is beautiful, others might not. It always feels safer to stick to the status quo. Thanks for being an inspiration and reminding me that while sticking to the status quo might be safer, true artists never do :0).


  2. Natalie on April 18, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Jacki Bruniquel I could kiss you from a dizzy height!

  3. rebecca on April 18, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Jax, you are absolutely PHENOMENAL! Seriously.

  4. Kerry on April 18, 2012 at 10:42 am

    These photos are beyond amazing, the story that you tell with you images is more powerful than any words could be, and yet every single photo could stand alone and still be amazing and powerful… you blow me away every. single. time.

  5. Mel on April 18, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Wow – Nats looked amazing, and your photos are amazing!!!!

  6. cara ferrar on April 18, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Hi Jax,
    A super-chilled, happy, everybody involved wedding indeed. My favourite kind of wedding. Congratulations Natalie and Mike! What a story! And Natalie, the way you use the English language to express yourself can hardly be described as inadequate. A beautiful, beautiful post. Again. Jacki, your clients definitely choose the best photographer! oxo

  7. Lauren Kriedemann on April 18, 2012 at 11:15 am

    stunning Jacs xx

  8. Robyn de Beer on April 18, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I LOVE these!!!! Jax you are so awesome!!

  9. Derryn on April 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Wait – you’re missing a head – that totally messed with my mind!!

    But….GREAT PICS…….duh!

    (And everything liza said!)

  10. Tricia on April 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Such fun – and what an awesome venue!

  11. samantha maber on April 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    MAGIC BRIDE MAGIC WEDDING MAGIC PHOTOGRAPHY!!! Jax, you,ve done it again. BEAUT!!!!!

  12. Natalie on April 18, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    @Derryn Hahaha. My mom said the same thing; but no, I am actually bent over underneath a sheet! I had to move to another room and didn’t want the groom to see me.

  13. Kelly on April 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    GORGEOUS. I love the Hatchery and these are amazing Jax.

  14. Ilse on April 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    LOVE every image you take!!!!!!! You’re such an inspiration and it blows me away how you keep bettering yourself with every shoot 🙂 🙂 Awesomest wedding ever btw, looks like a super-cool couple 😀

  15. Liz Brown on April 18, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    So utterly mesmerising. What a beautiful and unique wedding. Such lovely comment from the photographer in America. I agree with everything she says.

  16. mike on April 18, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    thank you Jacki! these pics will be with us for the rest of our lives and we couldn’t have asked for better. each time i look at these pics i remember something different about the day, all very special. thanks to you and Natasha for the memories.

  17. Erik Clausen on April 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Spectacular storytelling!

  18. janine hill on April 18, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Wow the most amazing phoos I have seen to date!!!! please can i put a link to my site so that enquiring brides can see how it is really done?!?

  19. Sam on April 19, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Squeee!!! Finally, finally, a really gorgeous Hatchery wedding! Awesomeness as always.

  20. Natalie on April 19, 2012 at 7:15 am

    This is an sms I received from my best friend, Louise, in London last night:-

    “I am absolutely blown away by your pics, they are the most beautiful pictures I’ve ever seen. Well done my darling it looks like a day made in heaven and one that was enjoyed by everyone I wish I had been there. I am speechless at those photo’s they are unbelievable”

    I have more sms’s and emails and could go on forever, but I think the message is clear. Jax, you’re the best there is.

  21. Natasha on April 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    So gorgeous!!!!!! Made me smile and cry all over again…………..

  22. Dominique on April 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    These photos are beautiful!
    Your words are too kind. It was such a stylish and divine wedding.
    Best music at a wedding, ever.

  23. Jentina Naude on April 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Hey Lady – I frikken enjoyed it and felt like I was part of the guests. You captured it beautifully! xx Well done.

  24. Jules on April 25, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    frikken beautiful.

  25. Laurie on April 27, 2012 at 5:20 am

    Wow! What a chilled, natural, absolutely beautiful wedding 🙂 Captured wonderfully…

  26. nastassja harvey on April 29, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    fantasmagorical Jax!

  27. Jani B on May 8, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    The venue is DIVINE!!

  28. Jacques Samson on May 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Amasing photos reflecting an amasing wedding ceremony. Congradulation to both Natalie and Mike. I wish i could still be in South Africa to attend such creative event. Everyone here we showned the photos were very much impressed by the photos and the «party»

  29. […] To see the whole of Natalie and Mikes wedding click here […]

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