We love a good wedding album, even if it’s not our own. In our March issue of Marie Claire (you really should head out to buy it right now), we’ve included a few dream dresses and planning tips, so naturally, we’ve all started deciding on what canapés will be served and what dress we’ll be wearing at our own weddings.

The wedding photographer is the person who will capture the perfections of the day, and who will find a way to save the moments that didn’t go as planned. Choosing the perfect photographer is hard. Our advice is to troll websites, stalk your recently married friends’ galleries and pick your top three favourite photographers. Then, organise a meeting with each of them and follow the chemistry.

Ready to start planning your own wedding album? Let’s get you started:

Here are a few images that made us feel as though we were guests at these weddings:

Colin Browne Photography

  • Hollis and Nikoshia's Engagement Shoot |Colin Browne Photography

Matt Masson Photography

  • Nozipho & Zola's Wedding Day | Matt Masson Photography

JCclick Wedding Photography

  • Annie and James's Wedding Day | JCclick Wedding Photography

Christelle Rall Photography

  • Rich and Romy's Wedding Day | Christelle Rall Photography

Photographer Alana Meyer shares her favourite moment of a mixed race, mixed culture wedding.

Here’s a peek into Chipo and Bryn’s wedding day:

Alana Meyer Photography

  • Chipo and Bryn's Wedding Day |Alana Meyer Photography

1. Please give us a bit of background on Chipo and Bryn’s wedding.

I loved the mixture of cultures from this wedding and how much love surrounded the couple. The groom and his family are from Australia; the bride and her family are from Zimbabwe. The guests were from around the world, but they were all there with one goal in their heart – to show love and support for their new marriage and unified family.

2. If you had to describe the couple in one word, what would it be?

Gracious. I loved working with them. Both of them were so genuine and kind which is a rare thing to see.

3. What stood out from their wedding?

The bridal party were such a blast! It is always fun to work with guys and girls who are excited to be included in the wedding party, who are there to support the couple and who are up for anything.

4. Any advice for brides-to-be?

I wish every bride knew that the day goes by so quickly that they shouldn’t stress about the small things and rather just enjoy the day that they have planned for months. I also tell my brides that a wedding is actually a journey – it’s the planning, it’s the people who help you get there, it’s your family, it’s your friends, it’s your husband-to-be, it’s the day and then it’s the exciting marriage that you will create after the day.

Knot Just Pics

  • Jasna and Sanvir’s Wedding Day | Knot Just Pics

What should you keep in mind on your wedding day? Jasna shares her wedding day experience with us.

Jasna and Sanvir’s wedding was an explosion of intricate detail and classic culture. The bride reflects on her big day and gives those who are slowly making their way to the altar some advice.

‘We didn’t really have a theme in mind when we started organising everything. All we knew for sure is that we wanted a simple temple wedding. Sanvir’s mum actually found my wedding sharara and we pulled the gold and cream of the skirt through the decor. The most stressful part of the whole experience was definitely the planning stages. Talking to so many people about the same thing, trying to stay within budget, being unsure but making choices anyway and hoping everything turns out the way it looked in my head. Definitely not a process I would want to repeat.
I know my happiest moment probably should be when we were pronounced husband and wife…but as bizarre as it may sound, it actually was when it was all over and I could get into my PJs, put my feet up and relax with Sanvir!
I think the best advice for any bride is that sometimes when planning a wedding, the things that we are told are important really aren’t. It’s easy to get swept up in the planning process. Looking through magazines and talking to vendors you’ll find dozens of wedding “must haves”, but at the end of the day, your friends and family are not coming for the wedding favours or the centre pieces, they’re coming to share in your happiness; remember that.’

Should brides be breaking traditions on their own big day?

We spoke to bride-to-be Megan Sheppard about choosing her photographer and posing in a wedding gown before her big day. Her photo shoot also shows us that there are edgier alternatives to the princess-style white gowns… and that they’re refreshingly beautiful!

1. What made you go ahead with the photo shoot? It was an offer by our photographer that simply could not be turned down. Firstly, to be part of a magazine spread advertising these beautiful dresses. Secondly, it gave my fiancé and I the chance to get comfortable with our photographer prior to our wedding day and to top all of that off, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work incredibly close with South Africa’s stunning wildlife.

2. Being seen in a wedding dress by your husband-to-be prior to your wedding day is traditionally seen as bad luck. Do you feel doing this will take anything away from your big day? I do not think this experience will take anything away from our big day in that none of the dresses I wore are indicative of my own wedding dress, which will remain a surprise for him until the big day. Also, considering that this was not our wedding day, the moment of seeing me in the wedding dress was not charged with emotion as it will be on our day. As for the bad luck, while I appreciate wedding traditions and old wives’ tales, I believe it takes more than good luck to build a marriage.

3. How did you decide on your wedding photographer? Henry O was the photographer at one of my best friend’s wedding, for which I was a bridesmaid. We especially love the details and the vivid colours he captures in his photographs as if you were reliving the moment. He was the obvious choice for us – we even delayed our planned wedding date by a week so that Henry was available.

4. Have you researched any image ideas that you could use as a reference for your own wedding pictures? Yes, of course! I have already designated the duty to my Maid of Honour sister, who has taken seriously to the task of regularly updating the Pinterest board!

5. Will there be any wildlife in your own wedding album? No, not currently that I am aware of. However anything could happen once the bar tab has opened.

6. How would you rate wedding photography in comparison to the other aspects of your big day? I’d give it 8/10 on a scale of importance. Every small detail, from the delicate icing on the wedding cake to the colour of the ribbon in the flower girls’ hair plays a part in making your day magical.  In the end, it is only the photos that capture these small but significant details that may fade in your memory overtime.

Henry O Photography

  • Megan Sheppard's Pre-Wedding Shoot | Henry O Photography

Megan’s photographer, Henry Oechler, gave us a few pointers to take into account when finalising your wedding day photography.

1. The best time to do the creative shots of the couple and bridal party is during the Golden Hour (45 minutes before the sunset to 15 minutes after sunset). If the main photo shoot is done at the Golden Hour, we also avoid the heat as much as possible , so it helps to keep the bridal couple and bridal party from the excess heat of  midday.

2. One of the most important ways to avoid being nervous about your wedding photos, is to choose a wedding photographer that has got experience, because  that will transmit to the wedding couple and guests, and cause a general feeling of peace. Nowadays, the wedding photographer is the person that shares the most time with the wedding couple, guests and family on the big day.

3. What also helps to ensure that the bridal couple is relaxed with the photographer is to do an engagement session or pre-wedding shoot (basically the same thing) and always try to meet your wedding photographer before you hire them.

4. One very important tip when you choose your wedding photographer is to choose them according to their style of photography and not according to how many prints or albums are included in the package, as many times if you chose quantity rather than quality, you may end up regretting it.

The dresses that were photographed by Henry O Photography in this shoot were from Immagika Creative Designs. You can contact Marlize for further information.