Celeste van Rooyen - Photography

Leah and Greg’s most beautiful and loved day!


I am actually a fashion photographer but how can anybody resist to record a special day when your bride is so absolutely beautiful

and every little styled detail is to die for, exactly like a planned shoot where location, hair, make up, model and clothing is perfect!

I have neglected blogging as I’ve been super busy lately  but today it’s my

pleasure to introduce to you Mr & Mrs Greg and Leah Shanks.

They tied the knot at Boschendal- a beautiful vineyard venue with the perfect rustic indoor setting.


Read Leah’s interview below as featured in: My Lovely Wedding




some of Leah’s service providers:


The Dress:   Griet de Villiers

Tel:  072 430 6938 – Paarl

The Vintage Car:

Jowine  021 862 7741   info@palmiet.co.za

Makeup:   Lyn.  Beauty on Main.   079 1804 085.


Nadia -

Salon Classique op Wellington.  081 270 2224

Décor:  To-Netts Florists and To-netts Décor and Hiring Tel:  021 863 2170 functions@to-netts.co.za


* see the last image below – Leah is my cousin and I decided to post a pic of the wedding day of our great grandmother and father -

how interesting to see photography during that time.

Interview with a Bride…



Names of bride & groom:  Leah and Greg Shanks

Venue:  Boschendal Estate, Paarl, ±55km from Cape Town.

Wedding date:  16th March, 2013

No. of guests:  56

Wedding theme:  Vintage


How did he propose? 


Greg took me for a picturesque drive up through the Du Toits Kloof mountain pass on a misty evening just before sunset. It was crisp and beautiful as the sun’s last rays were breaking through the clouds surrounding the mountaintops.  We were on holiday in Paarl, where my parents live, and i grew up surrounded by these larger than life mountains. Where we are currently based in Mozambique there are no mountains, just ant-hills. I treasure the beauty of my hometown. He drove passed a beautiful spot, we climbed out and we stood chatting for a while. Got back into the car and before turning around we drove a little further. As we passed the spot where we first stopped, he pulled over again, quickly jumped out of the car, ran to my side, opened my door and sank on both knees onto the sand. He said he would make me the happiest woman on earth and that his hearts desire is to be the one beside me all the days of our lives. I already knew in my heart that he was my one and only.




Finding the dress…

I live in Mozambique and took off four days in October 2012 to make the initial wedding plans of which one part was finding a dress.   I had a picture on my IPad of what I liked and I knew a great dress maker in Paarl, Griet de Villiers, would be able to make it in five days as I didn’t have time in October.  I showed her the photograph and as she was on her way to London for two weeks, she couldn’t go with me to buy the material and just told me how much of each to buy.  So with telephone calls backwards and forwards between the shop assistant in Cape Town and Griet, I managed to buy the material in October but only dropped it off on the day I went to have my measurements taken – exactly five days before the wedding. Griet’s passion is making clothes and it was a real comfort knowing that she was making my dress.  As the week progressed, at each fitting we changed this and tweaked that until the final product which I picked up at 19h00 on Friday evening (my wedding was at 10h30 the following morning). And I was thrilled to pieces with the final outcome.



Planning the wedding…

As I live in Mozambique, I had to rely on my mother a lot to help with the planning of the wedding.  She, together with a friend, visited many possible venues and reduced this to a short list of approximately 12 places, which my mother and I revisited during my five day visit home in October.  We booked Boschendal for the venue.  It was the last one we went to see and it was absolutely stunning.  I grew up in Paarl in the heart of the winelands so it was only fitting that I got married on a wine farm with a view of the mountains as it is nestled in the valley.

During those few days, I also booked the dressmaker, bought the material and had a meeting with the florist and Décor Company.

Finding suppliers…

The cake, the vintage car, the makeup artist and the nails were organized by my mother.  She works in the hospitality industry, which was a great help.  I managed to send a photograph of what the cake should look like and when I walked in to the reception and saw that it looked exactly like the photograph, wow, that was stunning.  My hairdresser in Paarl/Wellington, Nadia, who has cut my hair for years, was the one person I insisted on doing my hair and she did it exactly as I wanted it.

The day of the wedding…

My mother and I stayed over at a local guesthouse, Roodeberg Lodge which was great as I had to have everything packed and done the night beforehand.  However, I still had to finalize my speech as my laptop broke on the Friday and I hadn’t finished it yet.

We were at the hairdresser in Wellington at 06h30 and I used her computer to finalize my speech.

At 08h00 I was having my makeup done and then we ran into the florist to pick up the corsages and I asked them to print my speech as there wasn’t time to go home.

From there it was back to the guesthouse and myself, my bridesmaid and my mother got dressed.  And then the car arrived – wow – it was just what I had dreamed of.




What was it like 

Our wedding day itself was an absolute expression of love.

The majority of the guests at the wedding were family members, many of whom i had not seen for years. It was heart warming being surrounded by people who i grew up in front of and loved dearly.

There were a couple of little details which were important to me. One of them being the flowers, which was done to perfection by Antonette from To-nette’s florist in Paarl. The flowers were “fynbos”, which is indigenous to the western cape. My favorite. She managed to capture the fresh scent of the mountains and brought it to life on each tables flower decoration as well as the dried rose and lavender petals on the floor. It was important for me that cape proteas and lavender stand out. Lavender’s purple being an important color and its strong flavor. Each person’s table setting had a transparent glass plate with lavender and thyme beneath it which presented well with the lace ribbons and crocheted table cloths.

The second thing i really wanted was bright orange little lovebirds, as it reminded me of my childhood holidays in my grandmother’s kitchen. We hung up photographs of our life together in Mozambique, our dog, the children and the people we work with daily, which was a nice touch and shared our family with the family we’ve made in the bush.

‘It was a very special occasion and a day we will both relive with smiles on our faces and hearts. ”


15 comments to Leah and Greg’s most beautiful and loved day!

  • Christine

    Wow, absolutely stunning. Thank you Celeste – these are a wonderful memory of a wonderful day. I can’t wait to see them all. xx

  • Neil

    These photos are amazing Celeste.WOW. The photos speak so loud and leaves such an intense warm feeling of joy and love even with an outsiders mind of view. They are really special. Thanks again.

  • Tilda Claassen

    Celeste one word BEAUTIFUL!! wish we could have the day over!

  • Rozanne Visagie

    Greg and Leah,may you continue on this journey that started in such an awesome way, with God’s love and grace to guide you all your lives! It was wonderful to share your special day with you and your loved ones..
    Celeste,your photographs are unique and very poignant…Keep up the great work!You are really talented! Blessings, Schalk,Rozanne,Schalk(jnr) Shanna Visagie

  • Leah Shanks

    These photographs depict the most amazing day of my life exactly how it was… We could not have asked for a day any more perfect than the way March the 16th 2013 turned out. Thank you so much Celeste for your contribution and distance you travelled, to ensure our special day will be remembered so beautifully. The memories will keep me smiling for years to come.

  • Savannah

    What great photos and such an amazing subject to photograph!! They all beautifully capture such a special moment! :)

  • Stan

    Wow what awesome memories. They are the perfect couple with these perfect photographs that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. Celeste, great job! Their happiness is evident through your professional photography.


  • Richard

    Such beautiful photographs of a beautiful day!

  • Wesley Roberts

    Beauty personified… One can only describe this wedding as a match made in heaven. A true example of the benifits of waiting on the lord …. Big up to the photographer in capturing the true essence of this union. Wesley

  • Ina

    Dis met een word stunning!!! Sjoe elke foto spreek boekdele, dit is regtig sooooo mooi. Baie dankie!!

  • Carilee McBride

    These photographs are magnificent, Leah you made the most beautiful bride i have ever seen, your inner beauty and love shine through. i know how you planed each detail. WOW…… BREATH TAKING…

  • Jenna

    Exceptional photo’s!! Mind blowingly beautiful bride! Absolutely exquisite wedding!

  • Lisa

    I love these awesome photos. They are a lovely reflection of the most perfect day that you will treasure forever.

  • Matthew & Claire

    We loved the wedding – it was our first and our best! The food was delicious. These photos are beautiful and will always remind us of the wonderful day. THANK YOU!!!!

  • marystratton

    Beautiful pictures they are. Photographs are the best way to keep memories conserved.

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