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Motozi Lodge wedding photography by JC Crafford


Motozi Lodge wedding Photography

Sometimes in life you get the most pleasant surprises…like I did when I got to Motozi Lodge near Hartbeespoortdam – about 30 minutes drive from Pretoria. I thought I knew about most of the very nice wedding venues around Pretoria, but here was another one to add to my list of “Awesome place to photograph at wedding venues” Thy only opened recently, the owners Christo and Laura and purchased it and built it up to what it is today. If you want an awesome place to get married at, close to town but with that “bush lodge feeling” this is what you want. There is really nothing to say about them except for the fact that this is a mostly undiscovered diamond on the wedding circuit in Gauteng. Everything is sublime, food, service, the looks…and definitely the price! They definitely have some of the nicest gardens “small little forest” I have ever seen.

And what a pleasure to photograph Francois and Mariette’s wedding at this stunning venue. I throughly enjoyed the wedding with them and their guests, down to earth people that make you feel welcome instantly! We has a LOT of fun with the wedding shoot, and Francois and Mariette were prepared to try anything to have fun during their wedding photo shoot!

Francois’s dad was the minister that married them, and it is always so special to hear a dad marry his own children.

Have a look at the photo of the seating plan, this is without a doubt the most effort I have ever seen being put into the seating plan!


A Few words from the bride

I asked Mariette a few questions about her and Francois and their wedding day.

How did you meet?

I can’t really remember the first time we met. It was a long long time ago (when we were about 3 or 4 years old). Francois’s dad was the reverent of our church and we became great friends. Then the unthinkable happened, they moved away in 1993 and lost contact although we did see each other a couple of times thereafter.

Our lives took its own course and we had to finish school, varsity and live in the “big world” for a bit before we could meet up again.

Francois moved up from Durban about 2 ½ years ago. I was in the church service where they welcomed him, recognized the name and started wondering if it could really be my childhood fried… so Facebook came to the rescue about a week later we started chatting over sms’s and whatsapps. We officially met again a week after he accepted my Facebook invite, both of us looking for friendship and nothing more. Little did we know that we’d click that well.

We started dating more or less a month after Francois moved up. The rest is history .


Tell us about the proposal

On Saturday the 16th of March we went to the Krugersdorp Nature Reserve for a day of game viewing and just relaxing. Little did Mariette know that I had the ring in my pocket. As we drove through the park she was looking at the game and I for the rite spot.  After a while I found a nice spot overlooking some game. So we got out to stretch our legs. When she turned to me I was on my knee asking her to spend the rest of her life with me. With tears in her eyes she said yes.

Describe your wedding day, anything specific that you will always remember

For me the day flew by. Getting up early, then doing all the titivating (hair and makeup) and before you know it it’s time to get dressed.

The first time I really got nervous was just as we started walking into the chapel. Fortunately the nerves were gone when I saw Francois’s face and from there it was all smiles.

The part I’ll remember most is seeing the smile of on the face of a 4 year old girl after she caught the bouquet, it was priceless.


The dress

I set out to find an idea of what I like and what will work and walked out on day 2 of the big search with my dream dress at the Bride and Co in Rivonia. They were great.


The Flowers

We played around a bit with different ideas we got from the internet before we started looking for a florist. It helped to know what we wanted instead of florists trying to push their ideas down on us. We met with several florists in Johannesburg and Pretoria and finally decided to go with Riana. She was great. She took our ideas and ran with our vision tweaking here and there to make it look amazing 


Highlight of the wedding?

Walking down the aisle seeing my hubby’s face.

Was there any drama?

None that I’m aware of

The Honeymoon

The honeymoon destination was kept a secret. The surprise was worth all the hours of trying to figure out where we were going. All I knew was we were going north, somewhere in SA to a Game Reserve. Francois stood his ground and kept the secret despite all my nagging. He finally told me the Thursday before our wedding.

We went to two game reserves. The first was called Bush and Buck near Brits and the second Soul of Africa close to Thabazimbi.


Tell us about your photographer.

It was a pleasure working with him. I was totally relaxed in front of the camera and we are totally loving the pictures.

Who did your make-up and hair? 

My hair was done by a stylist in Pretoria – Mandie from Hair at Mandi 072 155 2106 /

Makeup was done by Chané Badenhorst– 072 140 4614

Any other suppliers that you want to mention?

Laura from Motozi was a pleasure to work with

DJ was absolutely great adapted completely to the mood of the wedding as it changed:

Where was your honeymoon?

Bush and Buck close to Brits and Soul of Africa in the Thabazimbi area

Pretoria wedding Photographer – JC Crafford Photography

JC Crafford Photography is a family owned business, it consist of JC (Photographer) and Surika and Timothy (videographers) We are based in Pretoria but travel all over South Africa to photograph and film weddings. We love the romance and everything involved with a wedding. Read more about our wedding photography and our wedding videography.

You can call us on 0741 334 755 or email us at


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