All that Planning…

Getting engaged is exciting – and for some, just a little stressful. But honestly, it doesn’t need to be… my fiance and I planned our wedding in two weeks. Yip, you read that correctly: two weeks. No mess; no fuss.  How did we do it? We kept Forever in mind. We used our engagement to prepare for our marriage and not our wedding… did we have a beautiful wedding? Definitely. Let me share some of our planning tips with you…

The Ring.

Newsflash to Potential Proposers out there: not every girl wants a diamond. There. I said it. Sorry multi-billion dollar industry, but there are girls out there who’d rather have something a little more unique than a 1/2ct solitaire set in white gold… Its always worth having That Conversation. We did. In fact, we went one step further: I spent the afternoon with the most amazing jeweler, Hettie from Wainwright Jewelers in Cape Town. We played with ideas, she got to know me and what would suit me – and then Garth took over the rest of the process. I can’t imagine anything worse than being delighted at the proposal… only to be given a ring that is just ‘not you’ – and then expected to wear it for the rest of your life? Maybe I am just fussy, but I think if most women were honest they would agree that personal thought going into the design of the ring, means a lot.

 

 

Picking the Venue

Its the age old question: do you pick your venue based on your date or are you prepared to change your date for the venue..? It really all depends on which is most important to you! If you’ve had your heart set on a particular venue and its only available date is winter 2021; are you prepared to wait? We are beyond spoilt for choice when it comes to venues in the Western Cape; we have wine farms galore, beach venues, forest venues, mountain venues and my favourites – country style venues found in the Overberg. The choice can almost be overwhelming… but don’t get swept away by the variety. Which venue resonates with you as a couple? It seems a little silly to choose a funky Industrial/ Inner City venue when you’re both beach people, don’t you think? Choose a venue based on your ‘couple style’ (and then start looking seriously at that budget because things can get pricey very quickly!)

 

 

Your Tribe

Surround yourself with your Favourites – those ladies who have walked a path with you, loved you, encouraged you, maybe rebuked you too… but they have been there through the thick and thin of it all.  Life changes after the wedding and suddenly all that time that you had for your friends seems to get absorbed into Couple Stuff (and laundry…).  Celebrate the incredible women around you by keeping them close on your Big Day; cherish them, honour the roles they have played in your life and enjoy the engagement process with them.

 

All the Pretty

Find a Decor/Floral Specialist you can trust and hand over the responsibility to them – you really don’t want to spend the morning of your wedding worrying if they knew what you meant by ‘Mint with a splash of choral’ or arriving to find your ‘fuscia’ pink flowers toned down to a dustier version of Wrong. If you are not the kind of bride to simply let go and allow the professional creative license (no judgement here; I get you…) then why not try using Pantone colour references when discussing your ideas? It may seem silly, but one person’s burgundy is another’s maroon. And once decisions have been made: stop looking at Pinterest. I mean it. You will second guess every decision you’ve made and drive everybody crazy – it’s not worth it, I promise!

 

Have your Priorities clearly defined

At the end of the day, your wedding is ONE (amazing) day, beginning the rest of your life.  Its so easy to get swept away with the details and all the pretty Pinterest-worthy ideas out there… but let’s take a reality check quickly: that costs money and wedding budgets can get out of hand extremely fast.  Know what’s important to you as a couple and keep that as the foundation for all decision-making moments.  Decide for yourselves what is worth ‘investing’ in and what constitutes an unnecessary ‘splurge’.  Obviously, as a photographer, I will say your wedding photos are a required ‘investment’ – yes, let’s face it, you can find a ‘cheap’ photographer willing to work for a free meal and pocket money, but will they not only produce quality photographs, but also manage to capture a sense of the emotions and memories of that day.  I can only imagine it must be so disappointing to wait eagerly for your photographs and be left regretting spending that bit more. The flowers die; the cake gets eaten and the dress gets put away – but hopefully, your photos will be shared and printed and cherished as memories forever.

 

I hope this helps – happy planning Bride-to-be!

 

xx

 

To E or not to E – Tips on Engagement Shoots

I have so many couples ask me if having an engagement shoot is ‘worth it’. The simple answer? Definitely!

As a photographer I offer engagements shoots as part of my packages because it not only builds relationship between myself and the couple, but it increases Trust. And Excitement for the upcoming wedding.  I like to approach it as a Trial run. Experience has taught me that couples are a little anxious and awkward when placed in front of the camera; every single couple I have photographed has complained they don’t know how to pose.  But that’s just the thing – you shouldn’t be posing; you should simply be yourselves and enjoy the moment together. Engagement shoots are opportunities to get comfortable with eachother (and me), so that on the wedding day, you can just relax, cherish the moment and rock your couple shoot like pro’s.

As a bride you spend the time having a hair and make up trial; why not use this day to make the most of looking gorgeous and get in front of the camera? You score some extra profile pics, as well as getting an honest reflection of whether your hair and especially, your make-up, is what you really want. (I have had several brides return to the MUAH team asking for changes after seeing the results in their engagement photos – from simple “please make my eyes/ lips pop more” to “help, I look like an orange oompa loompa!” The camera does not lie.

 

 

The next question I get asked is “what do we wear?”. Well, that’s a bit trickier and more personal.  My go-to response: whatever makes him weak at the knees and smile crazily when he looks at you – so ask your fiance which outfit he loves you in the most. (And then maybe begin the negotiation process to find the balance between his choice and what you feel confident and comfortable in).  There is nothing worse than feeling self-conscious about what you are wearing – with a camera pointed at you. Choose an outfit that makes you feel super confident and at your most gorgeous – if that’s a pretty dress or jeans and a tee, its all about being the best, most radiant version of You. And once you’ve settled on your outfit – make sure your fiance wears something that complements it (similar colour palette and style, but not exactly twinning it if you know what I mean…) and not clashing (patterns, colours, style).

And then its a matter of choosing a location.  My question is this: do you have a personal, favourite place? If not… are you beach people? Love the mountains? Forest? Inner-city buzz? Your engagement shoot should reflect something about your relationship, so let’s find a location that compliments you. The best time of day for photographs is usually the hour before sunset, but this could also change depending on your choice of location – if there is a mountain blocking the sun, you might be in shadows by 3pm.  Little factors like these are worth communicating with your photographer about; you don’t want to be disappointed that you don’t get the golden ‘glowy’ photos when you chose to do your photos during the midday light.

 

I don’t know if this post is meant to convince you to rush off and book an engagement shoot, but let’s be honest: who doesn’t love photos of themselves, looking gorgeous and in love – and not taken with a cellphone or selfie-stick?

{Wedding} Kayley + Jarred

I honestly do not know where to begin describing this couple and their gorgeous Industrial Wedding… their Love Story is beyond special – family friends, as a child Kayley announced she was going to marry Jarred. Well, this girl got what she wanted (it may have taken a few years…), but even after dating for 9 years, Jarred is as smitten with his beautiful bride as any man can possibly be – you just have to look at his face when he is with her, to get all the warm fuzzies so many girls dream of…

A massive thank you to all the service providers who lent their creative talents to making this wedding absolutely beautiful –

Venue – Colourbox Studio (Paarden Eiland)

Flowers/ Decor – My Pretty Vintage

Cake – Sheena Henry

Dress – Billie’s Boutique

Hair & MUA – Alicia from BLUSH Hair and Make Up

Marriage Officers – Ava & Symi from Tie the Knot

DJ – Mark da Silva

 

And a special thanks to Katie Mayhew for being my second shooter.

        

    

 

   

 

 

             

                            

    

    

{Preggie Shoot} Yolande + Andre

One of my absolute favourite things about photography is getting to spend time with couples and hear their stories… and Yolande and Andre were amazing: they grew up in the small town and fast forward several years (and moving to two different big cities later), they fell in love and well, the rest they say is history… but such a fun, lovely couple!  I don’t think I have laughed as much at a shoot as I did at Meerendal.

Thank you Yolande + Andre for being great, for giving G and I relationship advice and simply sharing your hearts with us: we wish you all the very best (and God’s greatest, most special blessings upon Andie Mae) for life as Three+

 

{e-shoot} Kayley + Jarred

We were supposed to do Kayley and Jarred’s engagement shoot a few weekend’s ago… and then winter arrived in Cape Town with a vengence… but yay for it finally happening and bigger YaY for the beautiful golden light they got as a reward! Llandudno beach never disappoints – we are so spoilt in Cape Town…

So here it is: a beautiful setting and sunset for a gorgeous couple – am sooooo excited for their wedding in October (sneaky inside info: they have the coolest venue! #myownweddinggoals )

 

 

 

{Love Joy Clothing promo shoot} Eva <3

From the moment I met Eva, my heart melted and I was in love… her joy is contagious and we had the best time taking photos of her, while she squealed and played on the couch. This little girl is going to change the world; softening the toughest hearts and shining Jesus’ love wherever she goes…

Outfit by Love, Joy Clothing (on Insta as @love_joy_clothing).

{Styled Shoot} Nika (introducing ‘love, Joy clothing’)

This shoot holds a very special place in my heart… not only was it absolutely amazing meeting Nicolene and getting to spend an hour chatting to her about relationships and hearing how God wrote her Love Story or even what a cutie baby Nika is (is she not adorable??)… but, this shoot is me stepping out in faith and marks the start of New Things.

A few months ago, God spoke to me about slowing down and living a more simple life that wasn’t filled with a constant need to chase after everything ‘the world’ said I needed – and to start redefining my identity in Him.  And somehow that began my new found love with sewing; first my own dresses and more recently, my heart has been drawn to baby rompers and cute baby outfits.  So this is me extending my vision for Lauren Joy beyond photography and allowing God to use my creativity to birth ‘love, Joy clothing’.  As I said, its a step of faith filled with courage, trust (in God) and simply opening my heart to the new adventures ahead… let’s see where this goes..?

Let me know what you think..?

{Styled Shoot} Unicorn Party

I have been wanting to do a styled shoot for ages and the concept of a Unicorn Party swirled about my head for a while before putting it into action. We had such fun and little cutie Lea looked adorable in her tutu, kindly donated by Noochi Kidswear.  And doesn’t that cake look amazing?  I can tell you first hand that it tastes as good as it looks 😉 contact BASH function venue for all your kiddie party needs and specialty cakes!

Thank you Marali for helping with the set up and allowing Lea to model xx

{Family Lifestyle} Bird Family

My favourite thing about doing family lifestyle photography is getting to see couples together – how they relate to eachother – and by far, my favouritest (yes, I made that up) are couples who laugh together.  Kerry and Kevin are such a couple; knowing bits of their story, I know they haven’t had the easiest time of things but they have endured and overcome by God’s grace and their awesome sense of humors.  And as they prepare for Baby #2, I know that whatever lies ahead, their home will still be filled with laughter and love… and Moet (couple goals, anyone??)  Such a special couple and a beautiful family; Claire is going to be the best big sister…

Location: Arderne Garden, Cape Town

 

 

 

{Family Lifestyle} Angela + Elijah

Last week I did a collaboration with Angela of Our Sunshine Journey blog (please go read her story… just have some tissues close by, its got all the feels!) and spent the morning with her and her amazingly gorgeous son, Elijah; what a sweetheart!

Elijah is dressed by Clever Little Monkey

Angela is dressed by Label Collections