The Nutcracker | Rustic Elegance| M&D

I just loved this romantically styled wedding of Matthuw and Daniela McEnery: chic elegance juxta-posed by the natural setting of a Pecan Nut farm on the banks of the Vaal river.

I know this lovely couple through my other half as they work together, which made it a very special event. Family had traveled all the way from Italy and the couple also knew the Nutcracker’s owners, which meant that all the stops were pulled for this gorgeous affair. I was fortunate to spend a couple of nights in Parys and really experience the The Nutcracker and its rustic elegance.

Wedding couple in antique doorway at Nutcracker, Parys

Daniela gives a quirky rendition of their love story…
“I was on a girls night out when  Matthuw, working in the food and beverage industry at the time, caught my eye.  It was really his hairstyle that got my attention as I thought he looked like a pineapple with the way it was spiked. I stopped him and said that he needed lessons on how to spike hair. We connect immediately and said to my friend “that is going to be my husband one day”. She laughed at me.
On the 21st April 2007 Matthuw asked me to be his girlfriend and from there our journey began. On the 21st December 2012 Matthuw said to me “Baby I feel like taking you out for dinner, you can choose any place”. I selected the Chinese restaurant Kong Sing in Bedford Centre, and after our meal Matthuw asked if we could pop by his mom’s place. However, on the way there, Matthuw drove past the slip towards her house and carried on up the hill. Unaware of what was about to transpire, I pointed out that he had missed the slipway and he said that he first wanted to show me the view from the top of the hillside.  The view was beautiful. I popped into the car to grab something, and when I came back out he was on one knee, lit by the headlights, nervously fumbling with a little box. I still didn’t realize what was up, but he managed in that moment to open his little box, presenting me with the ring while asking “Could I have the privilege and have you as my wife; will you marry me?” I was of course overwhelmed and started tearing up and said “Of course I will”.

Daniela’s wish for a wedding featuring simplicity spliced with elegance and the natural beauty of the surrounds was realized on the 30th August 2014. Working with the earthy tones and natural elements complimentary to the venue, they produced several DIY pieces to inspire you. I did my first round of shots shortly after dawn to capture the venue in the best light, and came across Daniela and her brother Stefano finalizing the bird cages for the table settings. It is always great to see people get so creative and put thought and love into their big day.

I am absolutely in love with Daniela’s gown created by my favourite dress designers at Immagika. It was feminine, yet striking, and the layers of lace and fabric dotted with details were to die for!

I was a little nervous when it was time for the bride to make her way to the chapel, and my ever-alert second shooter, Corinna Tannian, mentioned that she had yet to see the priest. As it turns out he had gotten lost in the country! The bride took it in her stride, and before long the ceremony was under way!

The highlight for me was certainly the couple shoot, the light at this venue (and this time of the year I am sure), was every photographers dream!  The chemistry between the couple was tangible, and Matthuw couldn’t keep his eyes off his bride. The bare pecan trees added a magical touch at sunset and the bridal party joined in the fun!

The food catered was particularly note-worthy, with three different spreads, and off course a candy table! With a series of heartfelt speeches, clicking glasses and tears, the dance floor was opened and guests danced the night away knowing they didn’t have far to go and could enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of Parys the next morning.

With all of this only 1.5 hours outside of Johannesburg, the Nutcracker is certainly one of the best “out-of-town” weddings I have had the honor of capturing!

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What Matt and Daniela had to say about their images:

“OH MY WORD they are amazing I absolutely love them 🙂
I can’t wait to see the rest of them, you are amazing Nats and very talented thank you so much for being there on our special day and capturing such beautiful moments. I am rather speechless by how beautiful they are, I wish you could see my smile.”


Photography | Natalie Field Photography assisted by Corinna Tannian

MUAH | Malissa at Hairline (084 251 5484)

Dress | Immagika

Flowers | Anjelina at Donna Flowers

Venue | The Nutcracker Country Retreat

Music | Mr Edwards

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