Shalwyn is a beautiful wedding venue! And it was perfect for the very pretty wedding of Kate to Mark.  From Kate’s lacey dress to the pink flowers and little sweetie table…it was all kinds of pretty.

Kate and Mark, thank you for the opportunity to photograph your wedding.  I really hope to see more of you guys.  Come back when you’ve made cute ‘lil babies…ya hear me?? 

 
 
COLD and WET and MUDDY. Not the kind of weather any bride hopes for on her wedding date.  But Justine took this in her high-heeled stride and was not going to allow anything dampen her day.

Justine and Gareth got married at Straven Court – one of the best venues that I have had the opportunity to photograph at this year. It really is stunning – even in the rain.

When the party started – it started! It was obvious that this couple has a great group of friends and family. Charity and I left around 11pm and things were still going strong.

Justine and Gareth, I was sad to have your album in my hands for only a few minutes before passing it on. But I hope that it brings you a life-time of joy as you reflect back on that magical day.

Xx

 
 
When Robyn and Anthony first contacted me, they were having their wedding on a Saturday in Durban.  A few months before the wedding, they had to change their date and location to a Friday in JHB. When Robyn emailed to tell me the change in plan, I could sense that she was a little stressed that I wouldn't accommodate her and the change.  But flying from Durban-JHB first thing in the morning with all the business men and their briefcases, holding my camera bag and light stands.  Who would say no to that?? Micaela and I felt like Top class traveling photographers.  Just as well I had the excitement of the flight to get my adrenaline going - it was an early start, a late night and I had shot a wedding the day before!!

Robs and Ant are really such lovely people and were such fun to be around.  Robyn's Dad had the 'coolest' moves I've seen and had the whole room cheering and clapping along  as he boogied with his baby girl.

Thanks for the opportunity of a lovely adventure for Micaela and I.  I wish you two all the best for the future.

Xx
This veil has been passed through the family for 100 years. Isn't that just incredible??
I have never seen  a mover like Robyn's Dad.  So impressive!
 
 
“Aaahhh, I’m so excited. I’ve never won anything before!! ” 

This was the response I got from Tamara when she won my '500th fan' prize of a free photo shoot.  The reaction was enough to get me keen to photograph this girl.  Then she told me that their wedding at The Windmills had rained out resulting in a cancelled creative shoot and no wedding photos of them together. Any bride whose gone through this deserves a second chance at wedding pics.   As we started planning our shoot through an email conversation, I learnt more about Tamara and her husband Derek and what marriage has been for them so far – and my heart pours out to them.

Three months after their wedding (Which was in December 2011), the couple got into a very bad car accident.  They thought that their worst problem was a written off car.  A month of two later Derek saw an optometrist for head-aches and blurry vision and suddenly he was on the operating table having a cyst removed from his brain.  The first op was unsuccessful and during the second, Derek’s heart stopped for a while.  They were able to save him though and remove the cyst, however an hour after the surgery he suffered a stroke, which left him paralyzed down the left side of his body.  He was now forced to learn to walk again, hold things, lift things. Derek was adamant that through all this, he was going to loose his wife too but Tamara was going nowhere!

3 years on and the couple are living on a quaint dairy farm in Nottingham Road.  Derek is up early tending to the cows and farm, but exhausted by 7pm and unable to maintain his energy.  Tamara teaches in Howick and comes home after quite the commute to an exhausted husband. BUT, she tells me, “We are a lot closer and value each other far more than we did, but our life style has changed! Derek's short-term memory is very weak and he is constantly tired! He often can't remember what he did in the morning or the day before!

Although we have had a tough first year of marriage and nearly lost each other, we are more in love with each other now than we have been in the 7 years we have known each other! “

Now isn’t that a story of courage, commitment and love?  Normally when I hear things like this I just want to cry – but Tamara and Derek are so strong and so matter-of-fact about what their life is and what needs to be done.  It is really inspiring.

 
 
Lolly and Dave planned their wedding from the UK, so the first I heard of them was though Lolly’s Mom, who started her email to me with the following:

“Lolly plans to wear a reproduction 1930’s “silver-screen” satin dress with butterfly twin trains combined with a huge 1930’s arum lily shower bouquet exactly the same as her Granny’s.”

Well…that got my attention!

Lolly and Dave opted for an informal lunchtime wedding at Coco De Mer Hotel in Balito, with the focus of their day being family and friends.  A good portion of time was allowed for mingling and lunch.  There was laughter, chatter, a few shooters and eventually a dip in the hotel pool by a handful of guests.

IT – WAS – BOILING!

Thank goodness for the wine fridge.  I thought it would be unprofessional if I cooled off in there, but after seeing the change in the guests after leaving the fridge – I thought it would improve my ability to photograph well if I was in a better (less-dead) condition.

Toward late afternoon, Lolly and Dave said farewell to their guests (who I suspect remained in the pool with a few bottle of tequila) and headed out with Charity and myself to the beach.  

Lolly and Dave, your wedding was beautiful – I hope that the photos contain the love and happiness that the day expressed.

 
 
Michelle and Ben’s story shows how love has no borders.

Benjamin from South-east Missouri in the United States met Michelle from Durban, South Africa over a Christian dating website called ‘Christian Café’.  They started emailing, then sending texts and eventually Ben asked Michelle on a date.  Very reasonably and before getting too excited, Michelle replied saying ‘Yes, but how??’  

Just like that, Ben booked a flight to SA and spent a 2 week holiday with Michelle and her family.  Between then and now the couple have gone through 36 flights, 11 airports, 3 bus rides. Lots of cities, lots of packing and unpacking, lots of hellos and goodbyes, lots of time, lots of money and lots of tears.

In Michelle’s beautiful speech, she made mention of the lyrics that Ben recited to her from a Relient K song called “I’m taking you with me”…

"And so I'm trying to hold it all together and make it through the day
When I'm just dyin' to drop it all and take your hand
So we can run away from all the miles and the hours
That seem to endlessly devour the time that I could be with you
If home is where the heart is, Then my home is where you are
It's getting oh so hard to spend these days Without my heart."

I hadn’t know Michelle and Ben before their wedding at Kearsney Manor, but after listening to each of their very heartfelt speeches (and feeling a little teary eyed) I can see how deeply these two believe in the love and connection that they share and how devoted they are to the God that brought them together. 

Kearsney Manor is a really charming venue for a wedding.  It's situated on an original sugar estate near Stanger and was home to Sir Leige Hulett in the 1800's. This magnificent old colonial estate is recognised as a Heritage Site and after housing the Hulett family, became the original Kearsney College School grounds.  It's quite fascinating walking the corridors and imagining it as a boring school.  The photos on display make it easier to imagine it and shows the boys sleeping out on the balcony to escape the humid Durban summer.
Back to the couple though...

I wish for the two of you a long and exciting life – and no more frightening interrogations at US customs!!!

Xx

As the ceremony was coming to an end, I was reminded of the fast approaching storm by long and very grumpy sounding rumbles.  In a space of about 10minutes, we snapped some out-door shots and then rushed for cover before the the rain came bucketing down.  
 
 
Rachel and Kyle's wedding at Nkhutu Gardens was an incredibly warm and heart felt event.  Through out the day I got to witness what a strong and supporting family both kyle and Rachel come from.

Their service was done by Kyle’s 92 year old Grandpa.  He delivered such a powerful sermon and stood strong  for the full hour long service.  The music that Rachel walked down the aisle to was played by an orchestra made up of relatives.  The speaches told a lot about who each of them are as individuals and said a lot about the care their families have for them - I'm sure that this will flow through to their married life.

Rachel and Kyle...welcome to the start of the rest of your lives!
 
 

Sarah and Richard had a beautiful morning wedding at Kings Grant in Ixopo.  The weather was perfect, the food was THE most delicious I've tasted at a wedding and everybody had a lovely day.

Here's an interesting fact.  Ixopo was given it's name because of the squelching sound a cow's hoof makes when it is pulled out the mud.  Cool huh?

 
 
As I drove into the gates of Giants Castle in the Berg, I felt incredibly nostalgic.  This was the place that I first experienced the world of wedding photography while assisting Jacki Bruniquel about 4 years ago.  Up until then, I was terrified at the idea of photographing the most important day in a couple's life - and the potential of messing that up. I didn't feel that I had the technical experience behind me, or the life experience to handle the pressures of such a big day..  The truth is that I didn't - BUT, what Jacki showed me was that it really didn't have to be as scary as I was making it. and that as soon as I got a bit more shooting experience - I'd be ready. I've continued to follow Jacki's work and very helpful blog posts and feel privileged to have a friend in one of SA's top wedding photographers.

So here I sit, with the popular months of 2013 already fully booked...about to blog one of my best weddings yet.

I met Lyndsay at Adventure Boot Camp.  As we ran up and down a set of stairs she told me about her 'wedding woes' including the conversations she'd been having with photographers. I didn't say much (I was hyperventilating from exertion) but sent her an email later that day with links to my website.  

Lyndsay and Dave are the nicest people with so much energy - and you'll know that I'm not making this up once you watch their wedding video.  Charity Sarah did an exceptional job on their wedding highlights movie and this is now something that 'Derryn Semple Photography' offers as an add on to your wedding package.  We're still new at it, so I wasn't sure how well it would all come out. But I am ecstatic! and watching the tears fill the corners of Lyndsay's eyes - made all the hours and hard work worth it!

Enjoy the movie - enjoy the photos!

Xx
Derryn

Click the title below  - you'll be re-directed to Vimeo where you can enjoy the movie.  I haven't figured out how to embed it yet.

Lyndsay&Dave's wedding movie

 
 

It was WONDERFUL to have had the opportunity to be at Judi and Warren's wedding.  I had originally RSVPed with a sad no :( but circumstances changed and I booked a flight from Singapore to Durban for a week and Judi managed to include me in her seating plan. YEY!!!  I had another wedding in the morning, so couldn't get any photos of Judes and the girls getting ready but managed to snap a few shots between the ceremony and the reception.  David Rees (http://www.davidrees.co.za/) was the hired photographer and he was sooooo sweet. Usually photographers are all like 'Get out of my way', but after introducing myself to David he said, "Wonderful, we can shoot alongside each other, come over this way.  I was thinking that the light here….." I was so pleased.

Judi is a girl who once said to me she would never get married, so it was SOOOO special to see her tie the knot.  Warren, you must be some man!!!!

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Doidge!

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