Dawie and Charlene got married at Fatherland estate in Brits


I will always remember when Dawie called me to ask me to photograph his and Charlene’s wedding. I photographed a wedding in Clarens, and we were driving through the Golden Gate Highlands  Park on our way to Ballito for another wedding two days later when his call came through. I looked at the number on my phone and said to my wife I have no idea where this person is calling from (It was from Finland where they stay) I pulled off next to the road between the majestic mountain scenery and chatted to Dawie about their wedding. What an awesome job I have! (Thank goodness for technology)

What can I say about Dawie and Charlene’s wedding…

This must be two of the most fun (and sincere) people (their friends as well) that I have EVER met. Because Dawie and Charlene stay so far from their native South Africa they don’t see their friends here often. They really made up for lost time at the wedding, it was one big party that nobody will ever forget. I don’t think Fatherland Estate near Brits has ever seen a wedding like this. We left after 11:00 the evening…and the part was not nearly finished by then.

This was truly an international event, they stay in Finland, got married in the North West Province in South Africa and Dawie’s suit was made in Hong Kong. I have to comment on the suit, it was really something special. (Charlene your dress was really out of this world as well)

We took our Photo bus (a photo booth built into a 1971 VW Kombi) with as well, the guests really had fun in this, have a look at some of this photos.

O yes…and the grooms speech. Poor Dawie. This is the most I have seen a groom suffer in my whole professional career as a wedding photographer. By the time he was finished with his speech (which was VERY good by the way) he looked like he came out of a swimming pool. His friends all had water pistols (and buckets to fill it up with water again.) They didn’t give him a lot of chance to speak. Luckily Dawie is one of those people that doesn’t get angry or put off very easily, he took it in his stride and finished the job.

Dawie and Charlene, you are two awesome people that deserve each other. Thanks for making us a part of your special day, we will never forget your wedding.

We also did the videography at Dawie and Charlene’s wedding, you can view a shortened version of their Wedding video at Fatherland Estate here.

I asked Dawie how he and Charlene met. Here is the story in his own words:

 When we met: Sometime in June 2002

Where we met: Pretoria Korfbal/Ringball tournament

How we met:

I was playing in the U/19 North West men’s team and Charlene was playing for the U/16 North West Ladies team. Of course I was dating one of her friends who was playing in the same team as Charlene.

I was and still is always the centre of attention and was a very irritating guy, so that particular day we were all lying on Charlene’s blanket on the grass relaxing and waiting for one of our teams to play, so we can support them.

I was all the time poking the girls not to fall asleep and of course Charlene was the closest, so she got the worst of it. She may have asked me about 10 times to stop it and leave her alone, but of course that did not happen.

She warned me that she will hit me in the balls, but even then I still carried on.

She jumped up and grabbed me between the legs and squeezed…!

We started dating 0n the 20th of July 2003. My previous girlfriend was not pleased and not so friendly with her friend Charlene after that.

We got engaged on the 3rd of October 2010

We got engaged at the Gardens of Versailles in France close to Paris.

How we got engaged:

I started arranging for the engagement ring at the beginning of 2010 already and have also asked her parents the old fashioned way…

We got invited to our friend’s Wedding in Paris, France and I started asking him for advise on where will be a romantic, beautiful and memorable place to ask Charlene to marry me.

The South African guy that made my ring and my friend both suggested the Gardens of Versailles, so I started looking into it, as I was looking to get a horse and carriage with roses and everything, but unfortunately they only do that during spring and the beginning of summer. I started planning our day so that I will ask her to marry me at the end of the afternoon during sunset at the Garden of Marie Antoinette at the Temple of Love.


We set off the morning by train from the center of Paris to the Gardens of Versailles with the ring in my camera bag and not letting the camera bag fall into her hands. The whole day I was a stress ball and I am rehearsing over and over in my head what I am going to say and all those romantic things….

We ended up at Marie Antoinette’s Garden (me not saying very much) and even taking the long way to the Temple of Love. When we go there I said to Charlene that I am going to ask a lady close by to take a picture of us (which we not normally do). I walked away from Charlene and explained to the lady across from us that I am going to propose and if she would take the picture when I do it.

She almost fainted and luckily her husband captured the moment.

I was so stressed out that I went on one knee, but forgot all about the romantic things I wanted to say and promise her. As if that was not the worse, I took her wrong hand when I asked her to marry me.

After that that the day was perfect and I was much more relaxed…!



JC Crafford Pretoria wedding Photographer and Videographer

JC Crafford Photography and Videography is a family business. We stay in Pretoria in Gauteng from where we  travel all over South Africa to photograph and film people’s weddings. Our speciality field are wedding photography and videography.


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[…] A shortened version of Dawie and Charlene’s wedding video filmed at Fatherland Estate by JC Crafford Videography. We also photographed their wedding. […]

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