Benita & Edward - Pafuri Rivercamp
Words always fail me when I try to describe Benita and Edward's wedding! The whole experience was overwhelming and utterly beautiful! I remember every stage of the experience. From the day that Benita inquired until the day of the wedding.
When I received her first e-mail and saw that the wedding was to take place at Pafuri, I had no idea were Pafuri was. So a quick Google search was in order. That was the first of many gasps for air! I just saw all these pictures of Elephants and Baobab trees. My first thought was, "This is the dream!" To photograph a wedding in such a scenic part of the Kruger National Park is a dream come true for any photographer! Go and ask any photographer!!
The second gasp for air was when I clicked on "Directions" and the map just kept zooming out because of the looong red line that Google drew between my house and Pafuri River Camp, 2029km to be exact! That is when I knew that this wedding would make for an incredible road trip. And so, the planning started.
My wife planned our itinerary perfectly so that we would drive up in three days, shoot the wedding and take a week for the road back home.
Arriving at Pafuri River Camp was one of many breathtaking moments we had on our way to the wedding. We were treated like VIP's from start to finish! The first night, we had an open air dinner on the gravel runway near the camp. It was one of those experiences that you only see on TV when the bushveld lodges advertise themselves. I can only imagine how much planning went into just that part of the weekend, but that was only a taste of what was to come!
The wedding day started with an open air shower under the huge trees and the birds were in charge of the background music. I remember thinking to myself, "This is really happening, this is my job! Oh, what a great decision to become a photographer!"
You normally get a good idea of how great a wedding is, by listening to what the guests say to each other. This time it sounded like a broken record, "Wow!", "wow!", "wow!", "Oh Look at that!" and then some more wow's! That was before Benita even walked down the isle!
Benita and Edward had done it! They picked the most beautiful setting for a wedding ceremony ever!! I felt like pinching myself many times during the ceremony.
After the ceremony, the guests left on a game drive with a pit stop next to the river where they enjoyed drinks and canape's. We stayed behind for the couple shoot with a gun carrying German guide and a Landcruiser. We did the first part of the shoot near the ceremony area and when we decided to leave for the next spot our guide stood next to the Landcruiser, looking perplexed (insert heavy German accent and I will spell it how I heard it) "Where are the kiss" I wanted to joke and say that they kissed a lot and that they will kiss some more, but I saw that he looked a bit worried and I figured out that he meant "keys" I asked the guide if he was joking and with a smile on his face he said, "I am Cherman, I don't choke." (Remember the accent)
Long story short, the keys were not there and had to be brought to us. So we decided to continue with the shoot while we waited, no problem! Except for the herd of Elephant that were on their way to us.
We got the keys and on we went until it got to dark to shoot any more.
The reception was held under a huge tree on the deck of the main camp with mostly candle light and some lamps to give it that real bushveld feel. Amazing, amazing, amazing!
We went to bed that night, very tired but very happy! It had all worked out exactly like we wanted it to! PERFECT IN EVERY WAY!!
The next morning, we had breakfast with all the guests and for most of them that signalled the end of the trip, but not for me and my wife!! We still had a week worth of road trip to get back home and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life with the single greatest sunset of my life next to the Crocodile river. Sipping Mozambican Rum and spending time with the greatest person I know, my wife!
All of that, thanks to Benita and Edward!!
Thank you very much for making us apart of your best day! It was one of my best as well!!