Wartburg Wedding – Helga + Bruce

Helga and Bruce’s wedding had it all. A horse drawn carriage, a brass band, a choir, balloons falling from the ceiling of the dance floor, 15 flower girls and Page boys and a bagpiper. These sorts of things are always wonderful to shoot but my most favorite thing to photograph is love, heartfelt emotion and happiness and there was so much of that at this wedding.

Helga and Bruce got married in Wartburg, which is a tiny farming village in KZN in the middle of the sugar cane. Wartburg was settled in the 1850’s by Germans and German is still spoken by many of the folk about town including Helga and her family. As with most farm weddings, the whole community seemed to be involved in the wedding set up and there was a wonderful spirit of togetherness.

Helga and Bruce thank you so much for picking me to photograph your special day. It was so wonderful to be part of something so special.

Huge thanks to the Hof Hotel www.wartburghotel.co.za for having Liz and I to say.

Here are the credits and a few words from the bride

On the 7th of February 2014, Bruce and Rachel arrived at my parent’s house with our mutual friends, to swim in the Midmar Mile the following day. As Bruce picked up a sleeping Rachel out of the car and started walking towards me, little did I know, that my life was about to change forever.

We started chatting a few weeks after that and then found reasons to meet up from the end of March. On Easter Sunday our relationship began, followed by a whirlwind of weekend flights between Pretoria and Durban.

I was down in Cape Town for a course, when Bruce flew down on my birthday to take me out. Picking me up in a convertible, we drove along the windy Camps Bay roads, arriving at a little cove where Bruce proposed on the beach with a protea-ring. The following morning we flew in a helicopter along the cove, seeing the burnt Cape mountains, oystercatchers, dolphins and our spot on the beach from the sky.

A short while later I was asking him where the word ‘protea’ comes from. The protea signifies our diverse heritages (Bruce with Scottish and me the German roots) and symbolizes diversity, transformation and courage. We googled the origin of its name and turns out that the protea was named after Proteus, a Greek God, who escaped his prophetic duties by living on the island of Pharos. This island is now called Hvar, part of the central Dalmatian archipelago in Croatia, and where we went for our honeymoon (even staying in a lighthouse there).

This is just a snippet of the beauty and wonders which have accompanied our entire journey. From meeting to marriage, we have been surrounded with miracles swirling around us.

Our wedding day was everything and more than we could have imagined. Bruce went the extra mile to make all my dreams come true. When Bruce and I started speaking about what the day should be, we agreed we wanted it to be a celebration of love, family, friends, life and victory. Above all, God’s love for all of us. And that is what it was.

I still marvel at how everyone came together to help; so much effort was put in place to attend to every last detail. We tried to get an elegant earthy feel – a mixture of proteas with driftwood, lots of candles and fairy lights, even a burnt down tree on the stage. With 179 adults and 54 children, people from around the world, beautiful choir music in the service, hymns being sung in English and German, ribbon sticks, hoops and bubbles taking us to the horse carriage, a campsite photobooth, the brassband and bagpiper playing together, lots of craft beer, glühwein and cheeses, a kiddies paradise with 4 Occupational Therapists (my previous students) having an activity programme, the opening dance (Du bist die Ruh by Schubert) sung by one of Bruce’s good friends followed by a kiddy dance with the balloons falling and later throwing the bouquet and garter to the over-50s… everything just enfolded in beautiful bliss.

Bruce, thank-you for asking me to be your wife. Rachel, thank-you for embracing me as your Mama. It is the most incredible privilege to have you both as my family… I love you so very much.

Jacki and Liz… no words can express. Thank-you.

Second Shooter. Liz Donnell

Venue:  Wartburg Kirchdorf Church and Hall

Hotel:  Wartburger Hof Hotel for pre-wedding dinner and guest accommodation www.wartburghotel.co.za

Catering:  Henny Hillermann, Wiltrud Wiesinger, Ingrid Peters and Waltraut Eggers, with additional help from Meira Köhne

Decor: Kerry’s Flowers and Decor cc www.facebook.com/kerrysflowersanddecor

Many of the guests arrived on Friday to help set everything up.

Draping:  John Wright from Drape Rite johnandkirstywright@gmail.com

Flowers:  Gail Lambert from Howick Protea Farm www.howickproteafarm.co.za

Erna Muir from Candy B Flowers www.candybflowers.co.za

Kathryn Goble

Invitations and service booklets: Designing by Roger Galloway and Dedere Vianden. Printing by Marco van Niekerk and Amanda Haggerty from www.iconicprint.co.za

Driftwood:  Monika Drews, owner of the Travellers’ Rest, New Hanover www.thetravellersrest.wix.com/guesthouse
So many of the lovely guests and friends also bought flowers and driftwood from their homes.  An incredible group did the arrangements.

Hair:  Sandy Daugherty from Transformations Health and Beauty Salon

Ingrid Eggers

Make up: Birgit Eggers from Salon Jeunesse

Brides Dress: Yelena Kay from Belle’s of Hilton www.belles.co.za

Bridesmaids dresses: I gave the bridesmaids some specs and then each one bought theirs on their own (we had bridesmaids from three continents!)

Flowergirls:  Material from Fabric Gallery and then each mother arranged for the dresses to be sown.

Pageboys:  Protea Lederhosen Suspenders arranged by Rita Lütge

Bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres: Lynette Hillermann and Karen Meyer

Embroidery by Nicolene from NicaDee Embroidery

Groom’s Suit: Belle & Bravado

Cake:  My mother baked the cake and Tante Henny Hillermann decorated it

Craft Beer and counter from Standeaven www.thestandeavenbrewery.co.za

Bagpiper:  Gordon Capper Email: gordonlcapper@gmail.com

Music:  Ryan van Rooyen (DJ Fuego Heat) www.djfuegoheat.tumblr.com

Pastor Helmut Straeuli from St Peter’s Lutheran Church in Durban

Father Grant from St. Wilfrid’s Anglican Church in Pretoria

Organist:  Cäcilie Ringelmann and Edeltraut Johannes

Soloist Trumpet:  Berndt Wichmann

Soloist Voice:  William Silk

Soloist Opening Dance:  Nick Hudson

Piano Opening Dance:  Connie Ortmann

Choir Conductor:  William Silk

Brassband Conductor:  Rainer Johannes

Master of Ceremonies:  Heiner Hinze

Horse Carriage:  Barbara Zietsman from Champagne Carriages, Whitfield Farm

Groom’s Family Accommodation:  Fountainhill Guest Lodge

Other Accommodation: Christa’s Guest House Bed & Breakfast, Overstone Cottages, Harburg Retreat Centre, Thorpe Lodge, Breland B&B

Bridal Couple first two nights honeymoon:  Ukuthula Lodge, www.ukuthula-lodge.co.za/


  1. Debby on September 21, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Wow Jax beautiful, so full of fun and laughter and emotion , you catch it all. xxx

  2. Lauren Kim on September 21, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Your work never ever fails to inspire, evoke emotion and showcase the day as if we were there! Thank you for being so INCREDIBLE

  3. Lindsay on September 21, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Wow! so much emotion! Such a beautifully captured wedding! Well done Jacki!

  4. Gigi Straeuli on September 21, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Stunning! Awesome pics ~ really tell the story of the day beautifully! Well done!

  5. Karen on September 21, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Stunning photos of a beautiful day – especially with lighting and movement!

  6. Jaap van Vuuren - Vryheid on September 21, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Julle het so mooi gelyk – Mag julle huweliks boodjie vir ewig vaar op kalm water en met Jesus se seën

  7. Erika Hinze on September 21, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    It was a wonderful day and these are such stunning photos conveying the heartfelt emotions that draped the occasion. Congratulations Helga, Bruce and Rachel.

  8. Mark & Simone Spyker on September 21, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Wow! What a wonderful set of photographs for a wonderful set of people! Helped to make us feel like we had been there with you all! Sorry we couldn’t make it, but we look forward to seeing you spend many happy and fruitful years together through the years ahead!

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