People generally talk of far-flung places that drop right off the map and in this case, it quite literally did. The adventure began in earnest when Dror and I spotted our diminutive propeller jet at Lusaka Airport, in Zambia. We were on our way to the Chongwe River Lodge to photograph Monique's and Andrea's breath-taking African wedding ceremony.
The service itself took place on the pristine banks of the Chongwe River, situated in the Lower Zambezi National Park. In addition to the human congregation, it was accompanied by a hippo bellowing from distant embankments, along with a troop of curious monkeys fascinated by the proceedings and, almost on cue, the distinctive echoing cries of two African fish eagles, providing the perfect audio for the occasion.
To be in this flawlessly remote part of the world was a truly exquisite experience. The day was cram-packed with inspired meticulous touches; the refinements of which were co-ordinated by Monique herself. Added to the ultra-stylish ambience, we were surrounded by extroverted and fun-loving guests who flew in from all over the world, so it's almost impossible to perceive that the entire event was organised from afar - Australia, to be precise. Again, the attention to detail was positively astonishing.
I'm going to apologise in advance for the sheer size of this post, but, there are so many gorgeous images from Monique's and Andrea's big day that I'd be bare-faced stingy to even consider cutting back to a customary smaller dispatch.
I love the disco ball that was flown in from Australia.
PLEASE NOTE: I was not the principal photographer at this wedding and, for that reason, the copyright of these images is protected by Dror Eyal Photography. You may not use any of these images without prior written permission from Dror Eyal Photography.
Bronwyn's and Stuart's wedding was nothing short of an African dream. Beneath the arching boughs of a magnificent 400-year-old fig tree, serving as their open-air chapel and situated in the unspoilt foothills of the Waterberg, surrounded by family and close friends.
I've been lucky enough to photograph my fair share of African savanna matrimonies and it goes without saying that there's certainly something about doing the couple-shoot on a game drive; enjoying sundowners in a scenic location as the sun slowly sinks beneath the horizon. You also end the day off, welcomed by a boma area (or reception), lit by a crackling bonfire with lanterns and lights .... yep, you just can't beat it.
There were so many moments that I want to mention here, but, far too many to do them the virtue they so justly deserve.
To mention but two, there was Bryan's guitar ode to Bronwyn and Stuart and then the novel raising of Energade-filled glasses to toast the bride and groom, very apt as both Bron and Stu are dedicated runners.
As a compromise, for the lack of words, I leave you with this brief visual glimpse of Bronwyn's and Stuart's absolutely fabulous marriage ceremony, hopefully you'll take in a dash of what we experienced.
Whilst I thought the blankets were a nice detail touch for the chilly evening around the campfire, an even nicer aspect was that after the wedding they were donated to the local animal shelter.
Venue: Kuthaba Bush Lodge, Modimolle
Decor: Succulents grown by Bronwyn & Stuart
I really wanted to post a wedding before I left, but just ran out of time. (Stu & Bron it will be up when I return)
I am in Zambia, with no internet or mobile phone connection and back on the 5th July 2012.