Dale & Lauren,
I will remember Dale & Lauren’s wedding for three things: 1) Such a beautifully, authentic couple who are grounded in their faith and in the Lord. 2) Getting one of the biggest scares of my life. And 3) Being woken up in the middle of the night by my neighbour – let’s leave it at that. ? Plus of course it’s a Limpopo wedding and I love this part of our beautiful country!
I have been shooting weddings for a long time (12 years, over 550 weddings) and it takes something special to surprise or impress me at this point. Basically, I have seen it all. But I knew Dale & Lauren’s wedding was going to be special the very first moment I started. For the first time ever, my services were delayed because the groom & his men were in a praying session – how awesome is that? What a great reason!! I never met Dale or Lauren before their wedding day and had no idea on what to expect. But after being informed of this ‘delay’, I knew it was going to be a very special wedding with a very special couple!
The proposal in the couple’s words…
What a God ordained moment…
We had both thought that we would get engaged at my family holiday house in Mozambique, but God had other extravagant plans. Dale’s business had been blessed with an amazing financial gift which enabled him to get my engagement ring which had a family diamond I inherited (that’s another amazing story). Dale got the sensing that he had to propose near to his child hood home of Port Elizabeth. Being the game reserve nut, I am, he knew a game reserve would be the perfect place. He enlisted the help of a family member who happened to be a travel agent and she suggested Shamwari. Dale booked a weekend away at Shamwari and left it at that.
One week before we were to fly down to “visit his parents”, Shamwari called dale and asked if they could possible move his booking to another lodge? Dale said, “no ways this is my engagement weekend and I have a plan, please don’t mess with the plan”. Apparently, they had a massive American group coming in and Dales booking was the only thing preventing the group booking. They came back with and offer he could not refuse… they put us up in there most exclusive lodge (Prince Charles etc stayed there), organised a helicopter ride and lunch on top of a boulder koppie AND gave as the 2 nights back at the original lodge we booked at for free – God at work!
On the day after a full morning game drive I was whisked away for a helicopter safari which landed next to this boulder koppie in the middle of nowhere. On top of the koppie was a deck with a stunning view and lunch set out for 2. He popped the question…tears all around!
A nervous game ranger eventually popped his head up to check if all was going according to plan, after thumbs up from us, he was able to breathe a sigh of relief. Apparently, the last proposal at the reserve didn’t go according to plan and landed up in an awkward ride home. Despite having a feeling/sense that this was “the weekend” it was still an amazing surprise and incredible spoil. We used the 2 additional nights we got for our honeymoon; Shamwari will always be one of the most special places for us.
The second reason why I will always remember this wedding is the scary part. I was shooting away during their couple portraits, being inspired by the amazing sunset and bushveld that is so typical of a Limpopo wedding. And true to my nature, I zoned in completely and the world seized to exist… only to realize we were shooting literally just a few feet away from a crocodile!!! The couple were the closest to it and slowly moved away harmless, but it was one of the scariest moments ever. And I’ve shot with pretty much every kind of wild animal Africa has to offer – even cheetahs!
The couple decided on a Limpopo wedding at Mongena Lodge after visiting it once before and of course because they love the African bush. The reception was held under the open skies next to the river (filled with crocodiles of course ?). The couple entered their reception on a boat (!) and lit the huge bonfire which made for a fantastic African feel wedding. What an amazing wedding – just all-around bliss… from the great worship during the ceremony, the never-ending joy, fun and laughter to the very end with a fun filled dancefloor. Dale & Lauren, thank you so much for making me part of your wedding day, it was such a privilege!
What the couple say about my wedding photography services
Without a doubt best money spent! We have already started recommending you to friends.
Christelle is one of the most amazing photo journalists I’ve seen. Photographs are extremely important to me and I knew I had to find someone who would do justice to the wedding God was planning for us. Important emotional moments had to be captured so that the essence of the day would live on forever. Christelle did exactly that and more. Her artistic eye puts a unique light into every photo that not only captures the moment perfectly but allows you to experience the emotion in the photograph, leaving you with transcendent glow of love in your heart…remnants of God’s grace experienced on the day.