I didn’t know what to expect. They told me there was going to be many tears, but that’s all I knew. She didn’t know I was coming. The secret was very well-kept, between her mother and her boss, Andre. Earlier that week, they told her sisters. But they were sworn to secrecy.
Andre was the master mind behind all of this. He contacted me months ago asking whether I’d be available for the 6th of October. I was. So he booked me. But I wasn’t allowed to say anything or even add their names to my online calendar. Nothing was allowed to leak out. I had to communicate via secret text messages and a few emails at specific times, where Lize wouldn’t check her mom’s computer. This was huge. I was booked to shoot Lize and Deon’s wedding in Pretoria, without them knowing. Something I haven’t done before.
When Iaan and I arrived at the airport, Lize’s one sister was there to pick us up. She told us the whole story. Lize has been a fan of my work for a long time. She works for Andre and he knew about Lize’s love from The Pretty Blog, as well as my work. So he decided to book me as a gift to them. The questions you probably have, is who did she think was going to shoot her wedding? Well, Andre is also a photographer, so he offered to photograph their wedding for them. Little did he she know he had other plans.
Apparently, Andre and Lize’s mom had been messing with her the week before, regarding the assistant that was coming to help out at her wedding. She wanted to know who it was going to be and Andre just said it was a girl from the local photo collage. Lize didn’t like the idea, but this gave them a bit of ammunition, to bring in some tention about the photography. Poor Lize was totally stressed out, but then the master plan was revealed.
The morning of the wedding Andre and I went to Lize’s room. Andre walked in. I waited outside. She had no idea.
Andre greeted everyone and then he mentioned that he wants to introduce her to the assistant that will come and take photos while she gets dressed. I walked in. My heart was racing. What if she doesn’t like the idea??! My emotions were high. But I kept them in tact. In front of me stood lots of girls. I had no idea which one was the bride. But then I knew. She couldn’t believe it. Once she started crying I couldn’t hold back my tears either. It was a beautiful moment I will never forget. Lize was excited and so was I.
Walking out of the room with Andre and Iaan, I realised that this moment was bigger than just a nice surprise. It was a moment that changed my life. Andre just smiled. And then he said: ‘What would life be without moments like this’.
Iaan and I would like to thank all the people who made this weekend possible. Thank you to Lize’s family for being so welcoming. You really made us feel like part of your family. Thank you to Andre for making this possible. For being so generous and being such an awesome guy. Thanks to everyone that kept this a secret. You gave me the opportunity to be part of something that changed my life. I’m forever grateful that we met you.