Grootbos Nature Reserve – Rain in February
I first met Xenye and Ross back in December 2018, where they shared their recent engagement with family and friends in Plettenberg Bay and I got them up at 05h00 for their sunrise engagement shoot in Keurboomstrand. I feel that I got booked for their wedding on the walk back to the car and I have been stalking their instagram profiles since. This wedding was one that I was looking forward to the most, for many reasons, its Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, a first for me (more about that later), its Xenye and Ross (just look at them!) and it didn’t feel like I as going to photograph a strangers wedding. Instagram friends!
We arrived a little early, the Wednesday before the wedding and walked around Grootbos and I felt like I kept wiping drool off my face, it is so spectacular and if I didn’t have Emily Moon as my favourite wedding venue, Grootbos is definitely right up there! The next day we got to share Xenye’s Bachelorette party, I don’t think I have ever laughed so much in my entire life and whenever I hear Sofi Tukker I get flashbacks of flames, floor, baby oil and dodgy moves! What a BLAST! Xenye the trooper that she is, decided to do a Trash the Dress shoot (not her actual dress) the next morning, once again another sunrise mission. I don’t know how someone can look that GOOD after a bachelorette!
As this was a destination wedding (Xenye and Ross live and work in London) many family and friends travelled from far and wide to share this day with them, there was a family dinner planned for the Friday night and as the sun set over the ocean and lit the entire Grootbos up, I was hoping and crossing anything and everything that I could, that I would get the same light for the wedding the next day.
Roll on 22-02-2020.
I have four, yes four weather apps on my phone, they all said the same thing, rain. Of course the weather doesn’t always turn out the way they say it will, my goodness it did this time. I kept looking out, looking at the wind, the wind direction, the visibility and I just knew that this was going to stay here for the day and that we as a collective team of vendors had to take the weather battle on and no matter what we were feeling inside, we had to buck up! And I really feel we all did. Under the stress and pressure we found our way.
The moment I walked into the ceremony area and saw the most MAGNIFICENT arch of florals that consisted of something awesome and orchids, my eyes couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was soooo ridiculously beautiful! It was something from the movies! Even though the rain came through the forest, the umbrellas got up, there were two most beautiful people (yes this is going to sound cheesy, inside and out) declaring their promise to each other. Ross your reaction when you saw Xenye, was something that I don’t think ill ever forget, special isn’t even a word that comes close to it. It was a reaction of love.
Due to the rain, we knew that fighting the elements was a bit pointless but that we would live to fight another day, we did their couple shoot the next day. Again, how do they look sooo freaking GOOD!
Xenye and Ross, it was more than a privilege to be part of your day, the laughs, the tears, climbing up ladders for the dress, baby oil, Sofi Tukker, photographs, smiles, sunrises, cold water, bangers and everything in-between. I knew this was going to be an amazing day and it was, regardless of weather, you did it. Your wedding was a fairy tale.
I just know that you two special humans are going to create some magic in the years to come and ill be there, instagram stalking!
Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale – Anonymous
Second Photographer: Kate Maclean
Wedding Co-ordiantor: Nicola Johnson from Aleit Weddings
Florals: Heike Hayward from Fleur le Cordeur
MUA & Hair: Lisa Brown
Bridal Dress: Galia Lahav
Bridesmaids Dresses: Kelsey Rose
Grooms Suit: Suit Supply
Groomsmen Suites: Suit Supply
Videographer: White Motion Films
Wedding Officiant: Kevin Robertson