Wedding at The Grand Beach & Cafe

Cape Town

Fancy doing a wedding at The Grand Beach & Cafe at the V&A waterfront. It must be one of the coolest venues in Cape Town and for that matter in South Africa!

At the end of 2013 we had the chance to work at the Grand to cover a high profile wedding for a couple for the USA.  Both bride and groom work in the creative industry and we got a very strict instructions on how to cover the wedding.

The short brief was very very clear:  #NOFLASH & you’re not to be noticed… Oh… and no couple shoot… So Natelee and myself contemplated having sand coloured onesie’s made to cover the ceremony (on the beach) at the Grand Beach & Cafe.  In the months and weeks leading up to D-day we had many conversations about how to do this job WITHOUT FLASH…  Eventually we just gave up and trusted the capabilities of our Canon 5D MKIII’s.  It says on the box that it could do up to 25 600 ISO and we had every intention of pushing that limits on the night. We had no option but to…  Embrace GRAIN…

D-DAY: We’re informed to just do the brides preps at their family holiday home in Camps Bay – no preps for the groom as “No-one knows where he is…”  After the preps off to The Grand for the ceremony – gorgeous, windless Cape Town summers day.  Then the wait… or should I rather say anticipation for the groom’s arrival – no timing of his arrival or in what manner was given as no-one actually knew.  Natelee and I imagined how he might para-shoot in or arrive by Jet-ski.

He did not disappoint and arrived fashionably late in a old C-Class Mercedes – fast – complete with dust and stones flying and a skidding stop on the parking-lot gravel. From here things were fairly normal – Chuppa done – we the couple into a quick 5 minute couple shoot and the rest was pure reportage.

The Grand Beach & Cafe is hands down the hottest wedding venue in Cape Town – Yes they are pricey and it is a fake beach, but that view is priceless and the converted warehouse restaurant with rustic features – what a location!

Back to the wedding – Classic speeches done and straight into the dancing with DJ Frankie, a DJ imported from NY.  This guy is good!!! Guests were given sunglasses and glow sticks and then they let it rip while enjoying granadilla suckers – crazy party!

The Jewish dancing was a bomb – I’m very proud of a few classic Black and White’s we captured here – kinda reminds me of 50′s era photos – must be the grain.  But I must say that shooting a moving target (dancers in this case) in a nearly pitch black room is a bit like setting off a semi automatic, blindfolded.  You know you’ll hit something, you just don’t know what it would be or whether it will be in focus – Yes on 25 600 ISO.

The night ended with  sparklers, moon balls, shooters and literally everyone on the dance floor.  I have to give it to the NEW YORK crowd – They know how to party!

Photos by Natelee Koen & Stefan Steenkamp

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