Mike and Gigi get married

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Mike and Gigi tied the knot on a glorious sunshiny day not too long ago – their wedding was rustic and charming and so full of  love.  They broke from convention wherever possible and enjoyed a relaxed celebration surrounded by their nearest and dearest.  Thanks for choosing us to photograph your big day – we loved meeting you both and wish you all the best for your future together <3

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Why did you choose your venue as the place where you would get married?

“A friend of mine took me to Twin Streams in Mtunzini when the wedding venue I had booked fell through 3 months before the wedding.  As I walked down the forest path and watched the sunlight playing on the leaves and heard nothing but the creaking of the forest, I could visualise the entire wedding as if it was already happening.  I loved the dappled sunlight dancing on the ground and the quirkiness of the tyres hanging at different levels from an obstacle course that would be our backdrop.  We wanted a natural surrounding that was beautiful without adding much décor and Mike wanted somewhere where no one had been married before – this ticked both those boxes.  The magic of this forest sold it to me immediately.”

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What were your initial thoughts when you saw each other?  

“(Mike) WOW! Then I loved her voice and laugh and finally I told myself “Please don’t mess this up!”

Mike what do you love about Gigi?  

“I love our friendship and that Gigi teaches me important lessons. I love her laugh and smile and touch. I love the way Gigi puts so much time and effort into her passions and how creative she is. I love how much Gigi loves her family and friends. I love her for accepting me for who I am.”

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Gigi what were your initial thoughts when you saw Mike? 

“I have always been intimidated by tall people but Mike relaxed me quickly with his easy smile and a great big hug.”

 What do you love about Mike? 

“Mike’s enthusiasm draws people into his magical world.  When you talk to him, you feel as though you are the most special person in the world.  I love his loyalty and passion for life, nature and family.  He has the most incredible ability to live in the moment and make the most out of any situation.”

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Any favourite moments from the day?  

“It’s so hard to choose just one!  (Gigi) I had a ball from start to finish.  I loved seeing Mike at the end of the aisle, watching Mike’s nephew’s delivering our rings in a box of ‘treasures’ from the forest on a surfboard, hearing our beautiful song being sung in the forest, lying down after lunch and watching the clouds in the sky beyond the leaves while hearing the kids playing, ‘slap-shots’, zulu-dancing with my dad and grandfather, ‘Free-falling’ with amazing friends and running through a tunnel of our closest friends and family surrounded by fairy-lights and lanterns in the forest.  (Mike) – Seeing Gigi for the first time, hearing our loved ones speak from the heart, every quality moment I had with Gigi and having everyone there and seeing Gigi’s creativity come to life.”

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What was your vision for your wedding day?  

“We wanted family and friends chilling in nature with kids running between them.  We wanted dancing, celebrating and singing, games being played and the guys surfing when they felt like it.  We wanted everyone to be relaxed – ourselves included.  We didn’t want a seating plan or a cake or fancy speeches.  We didn’t want to be nervous for a speech or a dance or any formality.  We wanted a relaxed atmosphere where we were able to challenge traditions that didn’t suit us and who we are as a couple.  We wanted our guests to interact with us during the ceremony as much as they wanted to and this made it so much more personal.  We also used our own unique symbols of love and passion throughout our wedding.”

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Anything funny or unexpected that happened on your wedding day?  

“Mike had a game going on the side that I had no idea about.  He bought a novelty tie specific to each significant man and boy’s passion or interest.  I knew his tie had surfboards on it but I began to notice the other tie’s soon after the ceremony.  My grandfather, who loves to travel, had compasses on his, Mike’s nephew had a ‘Hogwart’s tie from Harry Potter, my dad had a fishing tie and his brother had scuba-divers.  The game was to see who could go the longest without me detecting the tie.  I thought this was a lovely touch and a special souvenier for the men.”

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How did Mike propose?

“We always celebrate our anniversary at Moyo, uShaka, where we first met.  On our 3 year anniversary, we went there to celebrate and just before we reached the restaurant, Mike got down on one knee and said, “Gigi, there’s a question I’ve been wanting to ask you for a long time.”  I was totally oblivious to what was going on until he said ‘Question’ and then i thought, What?!  He’s on his knee!!  and he said… “Can I tie my shoe-lace?”  Needless to say I nearly kicked him into the ocean!!  He then pulled out 2 ring boxes he’d covered in red paper with symbols on them, like the gameshow Deal or no Deal.  He said we were down to the last two boxes and I had to work out which one I wanted before the end of dinner by working out the symbols.  I worked out that one box had a 3 and the other had the symbol for infinity.  So my choice was the 3 years we’d been dating or forever.  Mike said I could say at any time after dinner “I’m Ready for the Question” Just like the show.  I was soooo perplexed by what was in the ‘3’ box!  I eventually worked out that it was my favourite sweet – a Lint chocolate – which of course makes the decision OH soooo much harder ;-)  I pretend to be totally besotted with the 3 box and though I HAD to work out a way to get him back for his ‘Fake’ proposal.  After dinner, we walked to the end of the pier and I covered the bottom part of the 3, so it looked like infinity – and so it was then that he got down on his knee and proposed to me with a chocolate – without knowing ;-)  The look of shock on his face when he saw the box and questioned my decision and then realised that I’d got him back! He hurled that ‘3’ ring box into the sea so I couldn’t change my mind!”

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What are you both most looking forward to now as a married couple?  

“Being together again!  Mike and I have been apart for nearly a year as we are in the process of moving to the UK.  It has taught us so many challenging lessons but the biggest one has been to treasure every moment you get together and continue living life to its fullest when you’re apart.  We believe continuing to follow your individual passions and sharing your growth and new experiences with one another keeps you interesting as a partner and a couple.”

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Any advice to future brides planning their wedding?  

“Before we began planning our wedding, Mike and I sat down and made a list of what we loved about weddings and we only did these things at our wedding.  I wanted dancing, singing and to walk down the aisle.  Mike didn’t want formal speeches or to be nervous about stiff formalities and awkward silences.  He came up with the idea of an interactive ceremony. We didn’t want a traditional wedding and I don’t believe a fortune must be spent in order for a beautiful day to be produced.  My advice is to decide on what your most important aspect of your day is (eg dress/décor/photographs) and set a budget on that.  I loved how involved Mike was in the planning and vision of the day and we spent a lot of time re-defining how our wedding would pan out.  Use the help that is offered to you and people’s talents.  I loved how our family and friends all had a part to play in creating our vision – it felt like a real achievement and reduced a lot of the costs.  I kept focused on the overall vision of the day.  When small details started going wrong, I didn’t let it bother me unless it would compromise the overall vision.  Have fun with the planning!”

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Venue – Twin Streams Environmental Centre http://twinstreams.org/ A magical forest with rustic accommodation and footpaths to a nearly deserted beach.  This was our little piece of heaven.

Dress – Katherine Fleur of Dream Day Couture http://www.dreamdaycouture.co.za/  An unbelievably talented designer and seamstress with an immaculate eye for detail.  She managed to gather all the details from my mind and create the dress of my dreams.  I absolutely love it and would wear it every day if I could!

Make-up – Katherine Fleur of Dream Day Couture http://www.dreamdaycouture.co.za/ She’s multi-talented this lady! 

Hair – Corrine of Hair by Corrine at Lavender Lane https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hair-by-Corrine/549881615048270?fref=ts 071 243 5916 Corrine has such a gift with hair.  I loved what she did with all the twists and knots to come up with something so unique for me. 

Décor hire, Flowers and Event Co-ordination – Marlene of Events by Design 082 321 1382 https://www.facebook.com/pages/EVENTS-BY-DESIGN/230070426477?fref=ts  Marlene provided the most outstanding service of function hire and décor set up.  She ensured the smooth running of such an unconventional wedding.  Her flexibility and standards of excellence were so appreciated. 

Food – Niki Collins of Cherry on the Top Catering http://cherryott.co.za/index.html Cell: 076 162 7617 Niki was amazing in listening to what I needed and delivering the most tantalising food for our picnic lunch.  Everyone raved about the food for days after the wedding.  

 

 

Comments

  1. Ah Alexis you have done it again.
    You captured the day in such a special way.
    What an awesome wedding and so different.

  2. Lex, we are SO thrilled with these pictures! You have captured the moments so beautifully and each image is bursting with happiness! Thank you so much for doing such an incredible job. Can hardly wait to see the rest! We love you guys and your work!!

  3. Garry . . . DAD says:

    So beautifully created and collated Alexis . . . well done and thank you !!

    You depict and exude the beauty in Gigi and Mike’s joyous and loving, uniquely special day . . . looking through the pictures and their story warms you with love and happiness ;) ….. lovely.

  4. Karin Britz says:

    WOW, Absolutely stunning photos, capturing the moment & essence of this glorious wedding!!!! I never actually realized the true magical aura the indigenous forest provided, as well as the perfect harmony the medley of colours created by the Bridesmaids dresses and the unique ties worn by the handsome men. So glad that we could be part of this momentous occassion. Thank you for sharing these photos to provide a birds eyeview of all that went on, and the parts we were not there to experience.

  5. Christl Watt says:

    My friend, you never cease to amaze me!! What stunning images and memories captured. No matter what the setting, you always get it right!! :)

  6. Lindsay peckham says:

    WOW! I have always loved taking photos and this has inspired me so much more. You are so talented! There are no words to describe how amazing these photos are!

  7. Thank you all so much for the lovely comments <3 Such a special wedding!

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