Archive for 'Just Hitched/Weddings'
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Thought I would call this slideshow “Just Cuba”, love the music which was a gift voucher from Triple Scoop Music and thought that it would be appropriate for these images from Tanya Saraiva and Robbie’s wedding. Song is called Alexcuba aguadelpozo.
Traveling is part of doing weddings,and the wedding of Landy and Tertius was no exception,albeit just that the distance was little bit further. Cradock is nestled along the upper valley of the Fish River and home to merino wool,milk and other produce that I wasn’t even aware of. A small closely knitted community consisting of enterprising individuals makes for interesting dinner conversation and tales of yonder years when walking down the streets you would be greeted by a medley Greeks, Italians, Portuguese, and other interesting characters. But as with the changing times families move out,new ones come in until the original memories are just that,memories. But things are slowly changing and I believe that folk a slowly making their way back from the cities opting for the more idyllic lifestyle and pace that Cradock has to offer.
Which brings me to the wedding of Landy and Tertius. having met each other at University it wasn’t long before Tertius knew that Landy was his sould mate, and what better place to get married than in Cradock. The little town is a photographers dream, with colorful houses,wide open streets, trees that are slowly preparing for winter and friendly people and let us not forget the Victoria Hotel which has so much character and charm that one would be doing yourself a huge injustice if you did not stop and explore this grand old building.
The service took place at the Catholic Church in town and if you weren’t concentrating you would drive right past it. Loads of character, wooden benches and tiled floors the church was packed to capacity. There is just so much to tell and share about this wedding that for now I will let the images tell the story. In short awesome weding, great food, I don’t think that i have ever eaten so much sea food in one sitting in my entire life, and one could easily have been mistaken that you were some where along the coast and not in Cradock. To Landy and Tertius many thanks to you two and your families for making us feel so much at home. Enjoy the honeymoon and best wishes. Mario
Above: Just love this image, I wonder what Tertius was think at this moment, probably something along the lines of ” Yea! I am looking rather Cool”.
Above: The famous staircase, a family tradition that all family members that get married walk down.
Above: This is one of the bridesmaids dancing with the priest, I noticed this out of the corner of my eye, the bump and grind, loud music and lots of laughter made for an crazy party.
From the first moment when I met Tanya and Robbie I just knew that there wedding was going to Rock! Big time. And to say that the camera loved them both would be an understatement. Capturing Robbie and the rest of the bestmen was so chilled and relaxed and everything was running according to schedule. Upon arriving at the house where Tanya was getting dressed I did a quick tour looking at all the rooms to photograph he getting dressed. This was proving a little tougher than expected as the natural light that was coming through these large glass windows was not ideal. I eventually stumbled upon one of he main bedrooms whose curtains had been drawn and the room was extremely dark. Natural light just filtered in on cue. And this is where I took the bulk of the getting ready images. From there it was off to church, couple shoot , family and reception.
So Tanya and Robbie if you are reading this while on honeymoon, many thanks for an awesome day and enjoy Thailand.
I remember very clearly when I started shooting weddings that rain held a huge fear factor for me. What would I do if it started raining where would I shoot? were all concerns for me. As time went by I learn’t one important thing and that is “Embrace it”. Consider it a challenge, which is great as it just pushes you out of your comfort zone and consider it an opportunity to get the creative juices flowing.
So it was with Jodri and Avalon’s wedding. It was a typical hot and humid summers day with white fluffy clouds all jostling amongst each other. It was only during the bridal preparations when I heard the ominous drumbeat of thunder and then before we all knew it there came the first downpour. It rained throughout the service and folk were all huddle in the church. At this point I then made the decision to use the rain to my advantage,the light was pretty good but would be fading very fast within the next hour or so. Jodri and Avalon were not fazed at all and we managed to get some real cool shots.
Jodri and Avalon thank you so much for a fantastic day and enjoy the honeymoon.
Above: It was raining outside and the question was what to do with the confetti? The confetti throwing needn’t be thrown outside, lts do it inside!
This is a rather larger post than usual especially when it comes to the text and a the majority of the contribution came from Vivek and Charlene. I have always been told about the rituals of a Tamil wedding but this has always been “spoken” and I have been meaning to write it all down for future reference for myself as a photographer, so when I asked if Vivek if he would be willing to do it, I was amazed at the wealth of information and detail that he has put into this. All I can say is Vivek, thank you, thank you I reckon that a lot of photographers out there are going to benefit from this as much as i did. But before we get to that a little about this awesome down to earth couple. Here goes.
“How did the two of you meet? And was it love at first sight?”
We met at university…friends at first and then Vivek fell head over heals in love with me…lol!
What was the first movie you saw together?
What’s one thing she couldn’t live without?
Before Charlene met Vivek, she couldn’t live without her GHD hair straightener, then she met Vivek and now she can’t live without him (and her cell phone and her Louis Vuitton accessories)!!!(he likes her just the way she is…)
How long have you been together? 4 years 6 months.
Regarding the wedding plans, where did you folks buy your outfits? India
After the wedding in South Africa you then travelled to India. Tell us more about this and any funny stories while traveling there.
We were in Chennai for a few days and one day while we travelling in an Auto/Tuk-tuk. The driver had a fat chat with me(Vivek) in Tamil throughout the ride. Charlene cannot speak Tamil so she was (unusually) quiet. When we reached our destination, the driver of the auto looked at me, very puzzled, and asked if Charlene was from a village because she didn’t talk much. While trying to contain my laughter, I had to explain to him that Charlene is South African and does not follow Tamil. Needless to say, Charlene (Louis Vuitton handbag in tow) was not impressed. I thought it was priceless and tipped the auto driver. Charlene did get an apology out of the driver after all of this.
Mario Sales: Just love this story when I asked Vivek when they came to collect there images about something funny that happened on honeymoon he shared this with me, and I am so glad that he has now mentioned it in writing. You guys are Legends.
For your honeymoon you went to the Maldives. What made you folks decide to go there?
We knew we were having a reception in India so we wanted a place that was fairly close by. The options were Pangkor Laut in Malaysia and the Maldives. After looking at the pictures and all the travel websites and hearing all the good things said about it, the Maldives won. (Pangkor Laut was never really in it to be honest)
The question below is slightly loaded and I was very curious to have a thorough explanation as to the intricacies of all the rituals. So I am really indebted to Vivek for taking the time to put pen to paper to explain it all.
Question:Your wedding ceremony had a lot of rituals could you explain the sequence and what these mean and the importance. Especially for photographers who have not yet photographed a traditional Indian wedding.
This was the procedure at our wedding, it can differ depending on the respective families beliefs)
1) Vratham – This is done by the groom and his family, this signifies that the groom is entering the next phase of his life, he is leaving his bachelor days behind and entering into the married phase of his life. He also pays his respects to his parents and family members who have supported him during his bachelor days.
2) Greeting and bridal procession – The bride and her family arrive at the venue first. The bride’s family then welcome the groom and his family to the venue by turning holy water for them. This removes any ‘evil eyes’ from the groom and his family. The bride and groom then greet each other and exchange garlands. Once the greeting is done, family members turn holy water for both the bride and groom and their families which removes any ‘evil eyes’. The bridal procession then moves to the stage (Mandappam), where the ceremony commences. The grooms sister usually stands behind him on the stage holding a lamp which must remain lit for the entire duration of the ceremony as it is auspicious. A married lady usually stands behind the bride as a witness and also to assist the bride during the ceremony.
3) Ganesha Prayer – Most Hindu ceremony begins with a prayer to Lord Ganesha, this is so that he can bless the occasion.
4) Kalasa Puja – This is also performed in most hindu ceremonies. The water in the kalasha (pot) which is on the stage represents the primordial water from which the entire creation emerged. The mango leaves symbolize the creation. The threads signify the love and peace that binsd everything in creation. We worship Gods and Goddesses, and love our parents, brothers, sisters, wife, children, relatives, friends, and well wishers, but we would not worship the creation and the universe from which we are emerged and in which we are living. To accomplish the worship of everything in our universe, a Kalasha Puja is performed.
5) Nelengu – An odd number of married ladies apply turmeric to the bride and grooms faces, thereby blessing them and preparing them for the marriage ceremony. They are given gifts from the bride and groom’s families for performing this ritual.
6) Havan Payers – The priest then lights the ceremonial fire which is housed in a havan (urn) and starts chanting mantras which signify the official commencement of the ceremony. The bride and groom then put their offerings into the havan while the priest is chanting the mantras.
7) Kanyadhanam – In this ritual, the bride’s parents offer their daughters hand in marriage to the groom and his family. The groom then embraces and offers his respects to the bride’s parents and gives a gift as token of appreciation to the bride’s mother.
To welcome the bride into the family, the grooms family gives the bride a new sari. Once the sari is give to the bride, the sari together with the ‘thali’ is blessed by the elders from both the groom and brides family. The thali is gold string decorated with ornaments representing the bride and groom’s family heritage and is dipped in turmeric and kumkum. It is then given to the groom which he will place around his bride’s neck in the next rituals.
8) Malai Mattral – The bride changes into the sari given by the groom’s family for the rest of the ceremony. The bride is wearing her wedding garland now and greets the groom with his wedding garland. They then exchange garlands 3 times which signifies their acceptance of each other as husband and wife respectively.
9) Mangalya Dharanam –This ritual needs to be performed before the muhurtham time is up, this is the crucial part of the ceremony. This is an auspicious time determined by the priest. The groom ties the thali around the neck of his bride and ties two knots with the grooms sister tying the third and final knot. The sister tying the third knot is because the bride is now a part of the grooms family. The 3 knots signify the marriage of mind, body and spirit between the groom and bride. During this ritual, the nadaswaram (traditional flute) music is playing to ward off any evil eye during this most sacred ritual of the ceremony.
10) Pottu Podal – The groom then applies the ‘red dot’ to his brides forehead using his right hand, which is symbolic of spiritual enlightenment and signifies her now married status.
11) Samandi varisai – The groom and brides parents embrace and pay respects to each other and exchange gifts as a sign of appreciation for each other.
12) Saptapadi – The groom then leads his bride in a procession around the ceremonial fire 3 times signifying their first journey as husband and wife. At the end of each procession the bride and groom offer pori (fried rice) into the ceremonial fire thereby requesting the gods to grant them a healthy, happy and prosperous marriage. Then after the pori is offered for the first 2 processions, the bride places her foot on a grinding stone and the groom puts a toe ring on, signifying the married status of the bride. At the end of the 3rd procession, the groom’s sister ties an ankle bracelet for the bride also signifying her married status.
13) Arundhati Star – The groom and bride are then lead by the priest to view the Arundathi star, this is considered auspicious for the marriage.
14) Akshadai – The bride and groom then pay their respects to the elders in the family and in turn the elders shower them with akshadai (rice grains flavoured with turmeric).
Aarti Mangalam – This is the conclusion of the ceremony where holy water is turned for the newly married couple to remove any evil eye.
How did you go about setting your wedding date? How is the date set according to traditional custom?
When we decided to get married, we approached Charlene’s family priest as her family hosted the wedding. The priest then did a compatibility ‘check’ on the two of us using a combination our date and time of birth and Hindu astrology. There are certain times in the year when no hindu weddings take place as they are inauspicious times of the year. We then told him the ideal month when we wanted to get married, the priest then gave us a range of auspicious dates based on the Hindu calendar in that month. An auspicious date depends on many factors including the cycle of the moon and the position of the Sun in the sky. Once the date was selected, the priest also gave us the most auspicious time within that day so that the ‘thali’ can be tied during that time, this is called the ‘muhurtham’. The belief is that if the ‘thali’ is tied during the muhurtham, the marriage will be a long, healthy and prosperous one.
Charlene and Vivek, may you both have many years of total happiness together and be blessed with health, family, friends and good times.
BEHIND THE SCENES
When I first met up with Kathy and Rein and they mentioned that they would be getting married on Rein’s parents farm which was situated in Mabalingwe I was very excited as the idea was also to shoot there engagement photos there. See post. Logistically you can just imagine all the planning and co-ordination that goes into a wedding like this. Everything needed to be brought in,lighting,chairs, tents, laying of electrical cables, leveling ground the list goes on and on. When I first visited the farm and Rein and Kathy pointed out where the tent would go and they started showing me around I think I had an inkling of the logistics involved, but when we arrived at the farm on Friday afternoon and everything was busy getting set up, I thought to myself WOW! This took some serious planning. So for this blog post I decided to include some behind the scene images to give you an indication of just a tiny bit of what went on.
Above: The lounge area was converted into a floral decorators paradise. Love the medicine / Ummmh! Emergency kit which was placed at the entrance to the reception. A definite indication that the party was going to Rock.
Above: I could not resist taking this shot, the insert image was taken during Rein and Kathy’s pre-shoot and was used at one of the bar stations. Check out the floor plan,total precision here.
Above: Every one lent a helping hand, even managed to grab a quick pic of the musicians rehearsing.
Above: The team from AV Emporium hard at work, these guys are incredible and extremely well organized. Thanks for amplifying the keyboard for Gaylen.
Above: The table settings and decorations almost complete, just got to love the crisp clean look.
Above: The gorgeous Kathy.
Above: Rein all suited up. You know the saying if something can go missing it will, well when we were busy unpacking Rein’s suit everything was there, but his shirt. Oh yes and also no socks. A quick trip down to the farmhouse sorted the shirt issue out, and some plundering by Rein from the bestmens stash of socks ensured that Rein looked mighty fine.
Above: This image is one of those grab moment shots, I was busy back pedaling and I knew that there was going to be a reflection of some sort,just love the raindrops on the windows of the car.
Above: Now this is such a great idea, notice the paddle, how creative is this? Everything that was happening or going to happen was printed on it. Names of the bridesmaids, groomsmen, what will be happening during the ceremony, vows, the exchanging of rings, a hymn and some tears of happiness and then at last… “We can eat, drink and be Married “. But what was so impressive that also printed on the paddle was an item called ” Photos” and on it it highlighted who was going to be photographed, which basically informed folk that they should get ready and not go wandering around. I just loved it.
Above: During the vows, the part where the Minister asks the bride “Do you take this man to be your husband”, Kathy started off and then there was a moments silence, just broke the ice. Everyone packed up laughing, some tears were shed and the Minister asked again. Of course they got married. I just loved this moment, letting the images tell the story.
Above: This is one of those classic moments and personally one of my favorites. The couple look fantastic, but there is so much going on, notice the two girls on the left of the image, their expressions say it all. The petals in the air, the folk on the right all caught in the moment.Just love the energy in this image.
Above: Image made possible by standing on the back end of a game vehicle.
Above: Sunset Rock with Rein and Kathy, unfortunately no sun, but some rain. But what a view.
Above: Kathy and all the bridesmaids, Abby, Samantha, Bronwyn, Danny and Lauren:
Above: Rein his brother Dirk with Anton, Dave, Dujon ( the cool dude on the left ) and Jason.
Above: How awesome is this, just got to love the lanterns. From here on the images below reflect some crazy party moments, I have not included any images of shirts been taken off, crazy oh my gosh moments.Enjoy.
This post has been very different from my usual blog entries as I decided to add some commentary behind he images this time. To Kathy and Rein, your parents and crazy family a huge thank you for an incredible weekend. Little sleep especially Saturday you folks partied hard which is a great sign that everybody enjoyed themselves. I must admit that I did sleep most of Sunday afternoon trying to recover some lost hours of much deserved sleep. Enjoy your honeymoon and looking forward to catching up with you upon your return. Best wishes Mario and Gaylen
If there is ever a place that I would consider retiring to it would be Wakkerstroom. If you would have asked me a week ago where Wakkerstroom is I would most probably have given you one of those blank expressions of puzzlement. As I approached the little town I could not help but notice that everything is so green and it immediately reminded me of an English countryside village. Bistros, coffee shops, art gallery’s and neatly kept gardens with roses and colourful flowers everywhere. Oh yes and owls and bats at night, you have just got to love the countryside.
Carla and Charles must have single handly injected quite a bit of revenue into the town, as friends and family came from all over and booked out I reckon all the guest houses in the town. What I really enjoyed about this wedding in particular was that everything was so close by, Charles was getting dressed at a guest house just down the road from where Carla was getting dressed. The church was another block or two away, and then one was just spoilt for choice as to where to photograph the couple afterwards. So without further ado here is my interpretation of a wedding in Wakkerstroom..
Have you ever bought a lottery ticket and then dreamed about how you will spend it? Being a wedding photographer it has happened to me a million times. Think of it, no deadlines, no pressure, you can select the weddings that you want to photograph, you can be selective, oh bring on the perfect world. To me wedding photography is amazing.Yes there are those days that that I role out of bed with a bit of a moan and groan, but the bottom line is it took me 20 years to realize that this is what I want to do. Every wedding is unique, a different story, a couple in love, school sweethearts,that long last lover, perhaps a second wedding, different role players but still to me unique in every aspect. And so it is with Rethano and Victor’ wedding. The wedding took place at Cairnfern close to Winnaarspoort in Mpumalanga. It was a beautiful hot day, with some fluffy cotton clouds lazily drifting in the sky.
Rethano was getting dressed at Cairnfern while Victor and his best mean were a few km’s down the road. Cairnfern is a picturesque venue nestled amongst pine trees and rolling green hills and I can see how Rethano and Victor fell in love with the place. Rethano looked absolutely gorgeous in her wedding dress and could not wait to get married. The weather at this stage was slowly turning with huge banks of stormy clouds stating to make their presence felt, the wind had picked up and there looked like the possibility of rain, but when one could not tell. It was during the ceremony that the wind really picked up but still the rain held off. I knew that we would not have much time for photographs so straight after the ceremony we dashed off to the fields, with lighting all around us,it was getting scary, and this is when I managed to capture that one in a million shot. I knew when I pressed the shutter that just maybe, maybe I captured the lighting bolt. Chimping I could not believe it, there it was. So if folks ask me what is it that I enjoy about weddings, the answer is simple ” No two weddings are the same, you never know what to expect and this makes it exciting”.
Rethano and Victor enjoy Paris, and we will catch up when you return.
This was most certainly a wedding to remember for that you can be certain. Bianca and Carlos got married at the Bryanston Catholic Church with the reception held at Longmeadow right next to Monte Casino. So it was only natural that we would spend some time at Monte Casino to do the couple shoot.
Leaving Bianca’s parents home on the way to the church, the clouds did look a bit ominous, but I did not give much thought to it. But no sooner had I got onto the highway the first golf ball hit, Yea! Hail the size of golf balls just suddenly appeared, Wack! Wack! Then it had to happen the wind screen shattered, then another icy golf ball hit, the spider like network was fascinating to watch. Fortunately I was still able to see and crawled along the highway. Gina, from Gina V Productions who was slightly ahead of me also had her cars windscreen shattered. We made it to the church on time, the sun came out and all was forgotten. It was wedding time.
Bianca looked gorgeous, whilst Carlos seemed calm I just loved the way he looked at his bride as she walked down the aisle. I must now also add Carlo’s speech was really incredible. Carlos you spoke from the heart.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to capture your wedding day.
As ever, best wishes.