In April my wife and I travelled down to Clarens to Photograph the wedding of Nick and Lynette in Clarens. They live in the UK but decided to get married in SA because Lynette’s parents stay here. Two days after that I had to photograph a wedding in Ballito, interesting enough also a couple from the UK. Seems like South Africa is becoming quite a popular wedding destination.
Nick and Lynette didn’t want their friends in the UK to miss out on their wedding, so they brought all their friends along. I’ll tell you one thing, I learned a thing or two from this English about partying. (Have a look at the photos) They are the friendliest bunch of people, who clearly enjoyed their stay in South Africa tremendously. I’ll go to their parties ANYTIME. All of them, including the bride and groom went to St Lucia after the wedding for a breakaway holiday. Totally by coincidence my wife and I also booked a place at St Lucia for three days after our Ballito wedding for a little breakaway. Can you believe it, we haven’t been in St Lucia for 15 minutes when we ran into Nick and Lynette. Now what is the chances of that?
Their wedding day started VERY rainy, in fact, it rained a lot until about 15 minuted before Lynette had to walk into the church. Then the skies cleared up. I was just getting worried about the photoshoot. Linnwood guest farm
Linnwood Guest Farm
Nick and Lynette got married at Linnwood Guest farm near Clarens. A beautiful place with a lot of places to take photos. Everything there is built from beautiful sandstone. The people is friendly and the service and food is excellent. One thing I really liked is that Nick and Lynette got a guy, Mr Palm (can’t remember his name now) to roast sheep on the spit for their guests. Man…I NEVER ate meat like this in my life…EVER. He is master at roasting sheep on a spit. He said he’s been doing it for the last 25 years. He has roasted over 3000 sheep on a spit already.
The wedding ceremony was beautiful…and quite a challenge for me. About 2 minutes before the bride had to walk in the minister casually informed me that he won’t allow any flash photography. I couldn’t believe my ears. (This was a first for me in 160 weddings.) The church was VERY dark inside, and it was overcast outside, making it even darker inside the church. I really had to bump up my camera’s ISO to VERY high levels and worked very hard in post processing to remove a lot of noise. Luckily I was using a Canon 5D Mk3…very good at low light conditions and high ISO’s.
Nick and Lynette, Surika and I had an absolutely AWESOME time at your wedding. You guys must have been one of the nicest bunch of people I have EVER photographed. Thanks for all the good times we had together, we will never forget it.
Here is Lynette’s story on how the two of them met and got engaged
I’d lived in London for over 13 years and whilst I’d made some amazing friends, I realised that by keeping in the same circles, there weren’t many opportunities for me to find ‘the one’. After a lot encouragement from friends I decided to try internet dating. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I’m not going to lie, there are a lot of rather interesting people out there as well as a lot of very nice people. And after kissing a lot of frogs I met Nick. We arranged to meet for a drink one day after work (this tends to be a preferable option than a meal in the event you decide you need to make a swift exit!). However, when I met Nick he had just finished work and was clearly starving. As the conversation with him was so easy, I braved a meal and we went off to an Italian restaurant for dinner; that restaurant remains one of our favourites today.
As they say, the rest is history although the manner in which Nick proposed to me is perhaps worth a quick mention. Just over a year ago, shortly before we were due to go out to South Africa to see my parents, Nick informed me one weekend that he would be going off into central London with his best friend. I asked him why and rather cautiously, he replied that he was going shoe-shopping. This seemed a little strange (Nick does not usually go ‘shoe-shopping!), although I took this opportunity to ask him to buy a hat for my Dad which we could take out to South Africa with us. Hours later, he came back with no shoes or hat and explained that whilst he had done a lot of looking, nothing had taken his fancy; instead, he said that he had spent a fairly large proportion of the afternoon with a wine glass in his hand in a wine bar just of the river Thames! Little did I know that he had in fact bought a ring for me.
We then travelled out to South Africa and during the first week of our trip, Nick and I were able to get away for a night together in Clarens. He’d brought with him vintage champagne, which, in itself was not entirely out of character for Nick, although when booking a room, he did insist that we got a suite. I didn’t want him to spend the money but eventually he persuaded me that it would be fun and a good idea.
We arrived in Clarens and enjoyed an amazing day which involved (in no particular order!) wine tasting, good food, lovely walks and shopping. In the evening, we returned to our suite on the top floor of the hotel which had a rather large private balcony overlooking the mountains and opened the champagne which we enjoyed with some calamari that we had picked up in a local restaurant on the way back. As the sun was setting, Nick went down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
My reaction…. in tears of excitement, ‘I thought you going to ask my Dad first!’. However, Nick had clearly thought this through as he calmly explained that he had already done that earlier in the morning before we left for Clarens. Needless to say, I eventually said ‘yes’.
After more hugs, lots of kisses and a few more tears from me, we phoned my parents… despite having only learned of Nick’s intentions a matter of hours ago, it was clear that they had found it very difficult to keep this secret to themselves.
One year to the day, we married in Clarens. It was a wonderfully special day. I feel so lucky to have found someone who I feel so close to and who understands me so well; Nick’s an amazing guy and I’m looking forward to many more trips to Clarens when we can relive these memories and make new ones.
Service providers at the wedding
Flowers – Martelle’s Florists, Bethlehem, Conrad Wilken 0843542184, 0583033550.
Lynette’s hair was done by: Jana, Hair affair, Bethlehem, 0583032654
Makeup – Maryna, Niins health and skincare clinic, Bethlehem, 0583037973, email@example.com.
My name is JC Crafford, I am a Pretoria based specialist wedding photographer and travel all over South Africa to photograph weddings. I am also available for destination weddings worldwide.