It’s my website and it’s my business, so for once I’m going to be unashamedly biased! But it’s for good reason. You see, Izandi and Du toit’s wedding holds a somewhat special place in my heart. Izandi and myself go back a bit. We first met at a wedding expo a few years back where she took the trouble to knock over her flower vase onto the floor. Helen ran over to help mop up the mess and from that moment on we started to get to know the very spirited, enthusiastic and delightful Izandi van Wyk. I was also to soon realise that this Wedding Planner not only has an incredible eye for all things weddingy, but also has the energy levels of a long distance desert camel. And then to top it all, she gives you 100 and fifty thousand percent commitment and encouragement and support and, and and. Yup, if she sounds to good to be true you’d be right. So Izandi my girl, for your wedding I’m bringing out this bumper edition and I’m going to pepper the photos here and there with my take on how the day unfolded. As for Du toit, well, he isn’t too bad himself – bit of a male schmodel and the perfect match for Izandi. One gets the feeling that he’ll do just about anything for his girl. Here is part 1 of the pics (I’m also putting in the links to some of Izandi’s suppliers, so check out their sites).

Izandi got ready on the perimeter of Stellenbosch at Wedgeview Country House and Spa. Beautiful surrounds, delightful and pleasant staff, and an environment which is very conducive to kicking off proceedings. The very talented Nicci from ‘Weddings by Nicolette’ did Izandi’s hair and make-up, cool as a cucumber amongst all the pre-wedding goings-on. I often think that make-up artists don’t get enough accolades for the job they do. It’s a huge responsibilty, and trying to get mom, bridesmaids and bride looking like they’re about to take the Best Actress Award at the Oscars is no mean feat in the melting pot that is the bride’s room. Well done Nicci, you were brilliant!

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I knock on Izandi’s room door. No answer, but I can hear a lot of excited chatter inside, so I open the door and go in. This is always a somewhat tricky part because you never quite know what you’re about to step into. I generally drop my eyes to the floor as I walk in while asking if everyone has clothes on. It can be a bit of an awkward moment if you strut through the door only to be met by Gran in her undies. Anyway, all was good and it was kiss Izandi, hug Izandi and meet the bridesmaids time.  Quite often, I’ll throw a bit of a chirp at the bridesmaids to see how they’ll react. It’s a telling moment in that it allows me to very quickly assess how they’ll respond to me later on in the day. In this instance I think I said something like: ‘Oh, you guys are quite ugly!’ Make-up artist Nicci retorted with an: ‘Uh-oh’ and the fun and games began. We all got on like a house on fire for the rest of the day. Nana and Miena you guys were marvellous and a shining example of what bridesmaids should be. Thanks for making my job so easy! And as for those bridesmaids dresses, my oath.

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Vintage bridal accessories 1

Vintage wedding accessories 2

Vintage bridesmaid dresses

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Meet Du toit. Good, good, good, good oke. Du toit is one of those people who you like immediately simply because it feels like you’ve known him forever. I could tell you all about his bachelor party and the fact that he had Izandi’s initials branded on his bum by his mates, but I won’t because the next time I see him I’ll probably have to down a Tequila. So we’ll leave it there. Du toit, you’re a legend my friend and you made your wedding day an incredible experience for me from the moment I saw you carrying cases of beer into the venue in the afternoon sun, until the moment I left. But on a more serious note, Du toit and his bestmen arrived at Wedgeview to pick up Izandi before the ceremony began. It’s something that doesn’t happen in South Africa that often (Michan and Emile whose wedding I shot at Leipzig Country House also decided to do it this way) and it’s always a very special moment when they see each other for the first time…

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Blydschap weddings 1

Blydschap weddings 2

Blydschap weddings 3

I see quite a few people who want to break into wedding photography and my message to them is always the same: ‘Don’t follow the herd, don’t copy everyone else, live on the edge, blaze your own trail, hit the ball out of the park!’ Develop your own style, pin back your ears and go for it! So at every wedding I try to do something different. In this instance, I took the first shot of Izandi, Du toit, the bestmen and bridesmaids in a nice, safe, traditional pose. Then I got the bridesmaids to charge at me like wounded rhinos and jump in the air. It’s always a bit of a risk because heck, all you need is a bridesmaid to fall and twist her ankle and it’s a slight technical problem. But the girls held their line and length and we got the shots.

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Blydschap weddings. Forrest 44 weddings

In part 2, it’s ‘meet the decor’ time…