Black and white photos from our wedding day

While I was certain that I would not like too many white and black photographs included in our wedding album, I really love most of the B&W photographs we received.

They capture emotions and memories perfectly, and though we have some of the shots in full colour, it’s easy to spot the better composition.

Tanya did a great job. Here are my favourite black and white photographs from our wedding day.

All images below by Tanya Kinnear Photography

What I loved most about our wedding day

I was excited about walking down the aisle. I looked forward to having all eyes on me, and the wedding dress that I picked out to represent such a beautiful occasion. I practically ran down the aisle, cutting the moment short, but still, it is one of my favourite memories and what I love most about our wedding day.

How did this moment outrank our vows, being pronounced husband and wife, and leaving the ceremony for our inner city break? Well, here’s the story.

…guess what, every single person that tells you that it goes by so fast  – is right.

It’s no secret that wedding planning and our wedding day brought up mixed feelings. I didn’t love every second, and I would definitely change my attitude and some of the choices I made before we said ‘I DO’. I was a bundle of emotions wrapped in white cloth that day, and I wish that I enjoyed myself more. Because guess what, every single person that tells you that it goes by so fast  – is right. Still annoying, but bang on the money. I am becoming that annoying person, but if it results in one happier bride – my work is done.

My wedding photos have been such a lifesaver. They let me experience feelings I didn’t allow myself to feel on the day, and through each frame, I’m able to relive the bits I did enjoy without the drama and wedding stress. By going through Tanya’s handiwork, I can pin-point the exact moments when I was in my head, or struggling with my thoughts. But in the scene I am about to show you, I am entirely free and present.

I wasn’t thinking about anything or anyone. My only job was to gather my nerves and put one foot in front of the other. I was getting married – and this was the moment that set it all in motion, like dominoes.

walking down the aisle city wedding

walking down the aisle city wedding 2

walking down the aisle city wedding

This moment helped me to ‘sober’ up mentally because it was the start of the wedding procession. But we also managed to make it special with some forward planning.  This is legitimately the beginning of your wedding ceremony – so you want it to be executed well and to your satisfaction. Better yet, you want it to be a moment you enjoy. I want you to look back and love about your wedding day too.

But who am I kidding, the next best bit about this part of the ceremony is seeing your partner see you for the first time. We’ve all seen the memes about grooms crying and what you’d do if they don’t play the part. I knew that Shad was not going to cry and I didn’t expect him too. Like we always do, we laughed. And it was perfect.

groom on wedding day walking down the aisle

walking down the aisle guests

walking down the aisle wedding city

What did you love most about your wedding day? If you are engaged and planning, what are you looking forward to the most?

Our Civil Ceremony

A year ago today, we were married for the first time. We arrived at that stage in wedding planning where every couple considers elopement at least one million times every day until they reach the altar. And though this urge passes for most bridal couples, getting married sooner, rather than later, made perfect sense for us. Three hundred and sixty-five days later, here’s a look at our civil ceremony at Home Affairs +  tips if you’re thinking of going that route too.

Image: Tanya Kinnear

To our wedding guests, who may feel like they’ve been duped – surprise! You were still part of the most special day. We chose to maintain the mystery for our privacy and your pleasure on the day of the wedding celebration. 😉

Image:  Tanya Kinnear

But first, why a civil ceremony?

We did not plan for a civil ceremony. Very late in our engagement (six months before the wedding in fact) we chose a civil ceremony and a civil ceremony chose us. Because this was not our predetermined wedding style, we had questions – some of which I’ll cover below. Our decision enabled us to ask our father (Shadley’s biological dad) to officiate our religious ceremony and plan the proceedings without any formal requirements.

l also wanted to complete my personal paperwork as soon as possible. I received my smart ID before our wedding celebration and changed most of my accounts over relatively easily since we received our marriage certificate on the day of our ceremony. Cutting out the middle man (private wedding officiant) was also our preference at the time due to limits in our budget. Besides that, choosing someone to marry us was a big deal. Essentially, whether you believe in God or not, you are allowing someone to speak a blessing over you and your household. I don’t take that kind of counsel very lightly. Since this is a legal ceremony, the DHA officiant does their part (only, no side comments) respectfully and to the point. You also have the opportunity to set the tone for your marriage by saying your own vows after the formalities.

Now, let’s get started shall we!

What will people think?

You can only control your own thoughts and actions. Your favourites will show up for you. Whether at a banquet hall in the Winelands or a back room in Belville.

Will it feel like my wedding day?

You will make funny faces, and belly laugh, and fight butterflies. You will stop worrying about your double-chin, or the shoes you hate but have to wear because there is no money for a new pair. You will develop a deep awareness of the commitment you are making to your companion and friend. Your union is big, but simple too. Whether you dress it up or down, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for.

So yes, this is your first wedding ceremony. You will promise to love, and cherish, and be irritated by the same person for the rest of your life.

Okay, so I don’t have to write vows?

There is love so wide and deep that words cannot wrap around it. Speak from your heart, but write that stuff down. Lest you be that wife eternally sorry for rambling!

And what about the other stuff I want?

You won’t miss the nail polish, and, to be honest, you don’t like it anyway. You will be so proud of your paper flower bouquet. Just keep it upright. No one needs to know about the polka dot straws. And about that, done is better than perfect, lol! You didn’t get that blue veil you wanted. But did you die? You wear your dress at least once a week. It fits even better now but your husband hates it. He says it looks like pajamas. Pajamas are nice!

I just want to do what’s best and right for us…

I feel you girl! And guess what? You are doing a pretty good job. Sometimes our humanness fights our deepest desires, and the most intricate parts of our stories, in search of things that are merely nice to have.

And when that’s over?

You’ll be rich in people! You’ve gained a partner and a family. <3 You will realise that the stress was only worth the wisdom accumulated over time.

The pictures need to look amaze-balls…

In that respect, you and l are still the same. Turns out that the solemnisation of a marriage at Home Affairs will not give you chic city hall vibes. For a cute courthouse wedding you will probably need to do some investigating, perhaps in a small town, where people would go the extra mile when they don’t have to. In a perfect world they’ll show you the space and you can see if you’d like to go ahead. In a busy place like Cape Town? Not going to happen boo. For you, the idea of another production (because let’s be honest, that’s what a wedding can become) was besides the point. Had you decided on this option sooner, maybe coordinating everything at your favourite café would have worked. But for right this moment, this is perfect, for you.


All photographs (unless otherwise stated) were captured by Lauren Pretorius Photography at Department of Home Affairs Belville and Majik Forest in Durbanville.