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Danie Nel WEDDINGS: D&L

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For this wedding of my good friends and family in the faith, I travelled to Gauteng. Our bride is from Russia where D had been visiting her and winning her heart (after meeting through Facebook acquaintances… I think… or through our church’s social network….). I was keen to see what opportunities this would bring. I’m no stranger to foreign and mixed nationality weddings, as by far the majority of weddings I do are actually international weddings in South Africa. The last couple from Russia I photographed insisted on an African beer-drinking ceremony at their wedding in the Slangkop lighthouse. This time around however, there were some chain-saw cake-cutting and throwing of glasses and drinking of vodka out of a shoe, but other than that, it was just pretty darn awesome.

I might also mention that within half-an-hour of arriving in Jo’burg, I was given a GPS and a Toyota FJ-Cruiser and told: “You’ll pick up the bride and her mother, and take them to the venue 60km away. Don’t lose them.” I’m from Cape Town. I barely get from the airport to Sandton without calling in air-support. Anyways, in for a penny, in for a pound.

I’m not gonna say too much, just share a bunch of pics. You can check my Facebook Page for a more complete list.

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You just have to love the Russian/Gypsy/Balkan shawl  L and the bridesmaids wore. I don’t recall if there is any significance to it, but it’s pretty cool and unusual. Which translates into cool pics.

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There simply just isn’t that much to do about making a guy look good. He shaves, he get’s dressed, he’s done. 20120601_026420120601_0401

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The anatomy of a genuine, real, first kiss. The couple held to absolute purity standards as dating couples, making this event so much more meaningful and special. My wife and I followed the same route, and it is a non-negotiable as far as I’m concerned.

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After the group portraits, it was time for some fun couple and entourage pics. Note to Cape Town photographers shooting up north. The sun sets early. By 5:30 it was dusk, and light was low. I was shooting with flash, but what’s great though is you can shoot wide open and still get quite a bit of ambient light, nice sunsets and everything saturated. You run out of light fairly briskly though, as there is no Atlantic Ocean reflecting sunlight into the sky for another hour or so after sunset. When the sun goes down there, it’s down.

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Some Russian drama…. Ok, it’s a bit Andrew Lloyd Weber, but hey, it looked cool.

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The bride brought some props along, and in the end, it made for some fun pics. I’m not a huge fan of propping normally, and would only do this on the couple’s insistence. In this case, I’m glad they did.

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The MC was well prepared for the job, as he is also married to a lady from Russia and could give the guests some insight into making inroads into Russian familia… He even has a convincing Russian accent, but it could just be that his wife don’t want to hurt his feelings and tells him that it’s convincing. However, it sounded pretty good to me.

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The best man is required to drink vodka from a shoe.

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I don’t think chain-saw cake-cutting is the norm in Russia, but it was a fun idea. Why not totally blow the normal stereotypes out of the water? I think chainsaw-cutting cakes are probably more likely in Canada, but with all the fake Russian accents and James Bond anecdotes doing the rounds that night, why not? By the way, I have it on very good authority that none of the Russian Bond bad guys’ accents are any good. In fact, no Russian accent on TV is probably convincing. Much like the Afrikaans accents in Lethal Weapon 2.

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The first dance happened in a little gazebo outside, with the temperature outside at about 5 deg C, but it looked great though.

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and so forth and so on…..

Again, awesome time shooting this .

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