On the 6th December 2014 my beautiful daughter Amy married her Prince, Ewald Nel. The wedding ceremony took place in Clarens in the afternoon with the reception at the nearby St Fort farm. The morning was a time of catching up with family and everyone's nerves were surprisingly calm.As the pace quickened with busy bridesmaids getting ready and me being told the time has come to slip into my specially purchased suit, suddenly a whole bunch of butterflies burst forth.
|My Gorgeous Daughters - Kelly doing Amy's make-up. Glen Green capturing the moment.|
|On seeing Amy for the first time in her wedding dress!|
Courtesy Glen Green
Nothing really prepares you for this incredible day! Not that we had rehearsed anything other than the church ceremony however I knew that my amazing wife Andrea and Ewald's equally amazing mother Riekie had all things sorted. I was aware of endless phonecalls, plans, negotiations and arrangements that had taken place. The brilliant wedding coordinator Conrad was in fine form and had every angle covered including a last minute arrangement to supply a generator for the church.
Amy was ready and as I saw her in her exquisite wedding dress there was such an overwhelming flood of emotions - my new suit suddenly felt too small! She was exceedingly beautiful - radiant - too beautiful for words! It was time to leave for the church - it was happening!
|Amy and Andrea leaving for the church|
|Beautiful Amy on her way|
An over the shoulder shot - Nikon V1
I was now chauffeuring Amy to Clarens in our old Mercedes with its bright red leather seats. There she was quietly confident, anticipating the imminent events whilst I was pinching myself in the front seat, driving, photographing and just reminding myself to breathe. As a keen photographer I could not resist the temptation to have a camera at hand and managed to squeeze a Nikon V1 with 18,5mm lens into my pocket. I knew my friend and accomplished wedding photographer Glen Green had this special day covered and we had spoken how annoying the intrusive "Uncle Bob" with his fancy camera can be for the appointed photographer. But Glen wasn't in the car and I couldn't resist photographing these once in a lifetime moments! In keeping with the retro theme I also brought my old Rolleiflex along loaded with black and white film, my favourite. Being the ever consummate professional Glen captured the true essence of the day in his photojournalistic style giving Amy and Ewald a stunning collection of images that will be treasured for years to come.
|Ewald lost in Love|
Nikon V1 - front row seat
|The bridal couple hearing Pastor Phillip whilst being captured by Glen Green|
| A Very Proud Mr and Mrs Nel emerging from the church being showered with Blessings!|
|Shooting from the hip|
Courtesy Glen Green
The Wedding Ceremony was Wonderful Beyond Words! Walking Amy down the aisle to her song "It is Well" by Bethel Music was out of this world! Shane Pretorius lead us all in passionate worship and Pastor Phillip Boshoff gave such an inspiring and personal message. All eyes were on Amy and Ewald and there was such a sense of overwhelming JOY.
The generator kindly provided by DJ Francois rescued the load shedding and there was a flurry of activity and well wishing outside the church. Frantic family gathering for photographs followed and thankfully Uncle Bob was polite and accommodating.
|Classic Pose of Amy and Ewald outside NG sandstone church in Clarens|
|Amy and Ewald on Cloud 9!|
|Chauffeur steals a shot of the bridal couple entering the Merc with Kelly and the bridesmaids in blue|
|Beaming Ewald and Amy - We are Married!|
Glen had the brilliant idea of driving up a nearby hill at St Fort for a stunning view overlooking the Eastern Free State with the beautiful late afternoon light. I struck a quick deal that if we went up in the Landy he would allow me a few shots with the Rolleiflex! The view and light was perfect with Amy and Ewald literally on top of the world. Our good friend Ronnie armed with another Nikon V1 took magnificent photos.
|We did it! Ecstatic couple bathed in beautiful sunset!|
|Amy and Ewald smiling for Dad!|
Nikon V1 courtesy Ronnie
|Magnificent setting - setting sun over Eastern Free State. Rollei time again|
Courtesy Glen Green
|Ewald and Amy in Blissful Embrace|
|Ewald and Amy on top of the World!|
The sun set and we made our way down to the awaiting reception to experience an unforgettable evening. The celebratory atmosphere and the youthful exuberance of Amy and Ewald's friends was so contagious! There were inspiring speeches and then Ewald took centre stage. His groomsmen and friends provided some entertaining jesting as Ewald declared his unfailing love for Amy with many a tear shed. Ewald proceeded to deliver a heartfelt and rivetting speech which was more like inspired preaching where he had the whole hall hanging onto every word of his as he spoke about God and His Unfailing Love. We were all deeply impacted by the Truth and rather stunned. Shortly afterwards Ewald led Amy in an impressive and beautiful dance as they opened the floor. Many a young man was mesmerised by what had just happened.
The festive mood continued and sometime later I was frantically called to the hall by my daughter Kelly. I thought there was a medical emergency but what I saw was nothing short of a miracle! There before me was my whole family, my wife, my daughter, my parents, my brothers, my sister in law as well as my beautiful nieces dancing in delight! I joined the circle and we continued to enjoy the evening and all it had to offer. Later that night suddenly my musical request "Beautiful Day" by U2 (a very special song Amy and I share) played over the speakers - what a way to celebrate one of the best days of my life! Amy and Ewald you are truly blessed!
|The First Day of their rest of their Lives Together|