Being part of this beautiful weddings has to be one of the highlights of our career as wedding photographers. When Sandra & Can 1st contacted us to document their wedding, they sent us a short pre-invite video about their love story & we were absolutely blown away. We knew we had to be part of this wedding. Oh, the love between Sandra & Can is too incredible. It was great seeing how much they loved each other, even after dating for so very long. We know that this wedding is a shining example of true & authentic love. We travelled down the Kenyan Coast to tell this amazing love story…here are some of the vendors who helped pull off this amazing wedding…
Ceremony :: Emrald Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa
Reception :: Emrald Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa (Pavillon d’Amour & Cave)
Photo-session :: Emrald Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa
Wedding Co-ordinator :: Bianka Scharf (Mombasa)
Bridal Gown :: Orit Barzelai (Tel Aviv)
Veil :: Atelier Laura Jayne (Toronto)
Bridal Shoes :: Forever Soles (Australia)
Groom’s Outfit :: Manor (Schweiz)
Make Up Artist :: Emrald Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa (Spa)
Hair :: Emrald Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa (Spa)
Cake :: Albrette’s Designs (Mombasa)
Catering :: Emrald Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa
Decor :: Coast Occassions (Mombasa)
Cinematography :: Alko Films
Live Band :: Alisha Popat (Mombasa)
DJ :: DJ Rishi (Nairobi)
So, we took the trouble to ask Sandra how this beautiful love story came to be…this is what she had to say…
‘Love was in the air in August 2007, when my sister and I just arrived from a night flight from Switzerland. Still exhausted from serving all our passengers during the flight, we headed for the pool for a lazy day and from the corner of my eye I suddenly caught a bald guy – totally my type 🙂
Can, who lived in Kenya at that time, was with his friend Mookie (who just arrived the evening before from Bosnia) also had the same idea, after a hard night partying. And besides, the Severin Sea Resort in Mombasa was well known for being a good place to check out girls as many flight crews had their layovers there…
So, my sister and I passed by without looking at them and made ourselves comfortable on the other side of the pool. They kept watching us, but we pretended not to recognise them. After they had finished their coffee, they took the sun chairs just in front of us. While they were talking in English, I remarked that the bald guy spoke with a Swiss accent. My sister told me to talk quietly so that they wouldn’t remark that we’re Swiss too, as flight attendants weren’t supposed to talk to their passengers privately.
Suddenly, the bald guy came over and started the conversation with a trivial but life-changing question: “How’s the weather in Switzerland?”. That’s how our love story all started 🙂 Can and I were talking for hours finding out that we grew up in the same area in Switzerland, but hadn’t met before. I call it faith, that we met that day far away from home.
While we were talking at the pool, my sister fell asleep. Waking up now and then, she heard us talking about job, life and, by late afternoon, about very personal stuff like past relationships. Her, being all tired and sleepy, she asked herself: “did I miss anything?”
Can and I got along really well and so we all decided to go out to have traditional Kenyan food in the evening. We enjoyed each others company: interesting conversations about life, good laughs and heaps of fun. The next day, my sister and I left for a trip to Nairobi taking the night train. During that train ride, Can wrote me many romantic messages and we both watched the stars thinking about each other~ As Mookie told me later on~ Can was in love with me at first sight 😉
4 days later, the guys picked us up at the airport and we all went out for a last dinner as our layover was over. When it was time to say goodbye, we looked into the eyes of one another and finally kissed 🙂
Back home, we stayed in contact, skyped for hours the following two months and by the time Can visited me in Switzerland, we already knew that we wanted to share our life together. Even though we have had a long distance relationship, over the past few years and many ups and downs, our love was strong and the belief that we are meant for each other accompanied us on our path. We were up in the air often visiting each other and travelling the world.
From that day on in August 2007, Kenya always had and always will have a special meaning to us, as we have found love in this beautiful country. And after the proposal in Diani Beach in March 2014, We finally got married in Mombasa on the 10th January, 2015 in presence of our beloved ones! Two hearts, two lives, one LOVE! ‘
****Lots of Love – Sandra!!!!***
We kick-started the day early at the Spa, we arrived to find Sandra & the girls getting dolled up…
Our gorgeous bride of the day, Sandra
Carina, Sandra’s sister, translates the speeches
On the other hand, the guys got up to some healthy breakfast
Can looking pumped up for the day
1,2,3,4 for the road maybe ?
Hahahaha! I have no idea why Can was stuck in a corner? with a towel over his head
Lots of love was shared though
Groom had to look sharp for his big day
Loved his cool beach sandals, and I loved the angle at which Gathoni caught this pic
Incidentally, Can & the guys were doing their morning prep from Severin Sea Lodge, where he 1st spotted Sandra. So, he & Mookie were sitting right here when they spotted Sandra & her sister in bikinis 🙂
And that is when Can walked up to them, as they lay basking on these pool beds & exchanged their 1st words…’So, how is the weather in Switzerland?’
And this view would be the birthing place of this beautiful love story
Perfect case of the ‘Giraffe stole our rings’
And this was their idea of wedding invites!!!!!! telling of their love of flying & travelling the world
Sandra’s shoe game on fleek!
Carina goofing about 🙂
I caught a glimpse of Sandra as she left the Spa heading for the suites to get dressed….I can shoot weddings in Mombasa every day of my life 🙂
Sandra’s beautiful beach Orit Barzelai gown, blows in the air
Sandra jots down her vows for the day
Time to get dolled up!!!
Loved this picture, Sandra told me that she was going for a simple look like this, less is always more!
There was a record hugs & kisses that was shared throughout the day
Some white wine to calm all the butterflies flying about 🙂
A tiara should be a compulsory accessory for every bride
Sandra did her own mascara, she told us she liked it that way
Loved all the mixed reactions in this image…but we all agreed that Sandra looked amazing!
It was my very 1st time seeing these barefoot sandals!!! I absolutely loved them!
Sandra went for different coloured dresses for her maids…you can never go wrong with colour!
Double kiss from the folks
Most glorious bridal convoy ever!!!!! introducing the awesome ‘Tuktuks’
All their 50+ wedding guests each got to ride in pairs
We had about 25 tuktuks in one honking convoy….we caused quite a bit of stir 🙂
Heaven’s view of the ceremony!!!! Beach weddings are the TRUTH!
At about 3pm the guests were to check in and have cocktails here for about an hour before the bride checked in
Every wedding guest got a cool heart shaped rock with their name inscribed on it, as a keepsake
That view is everything
The table names were all the cities that Sandra & Can had visited together
At 4pm, the ceremony kicked off!
There’s just something magical about getting married by a beach!
Isabelle, Sandra & Carina prepare to walk down to the beach
Beautiful procession this was
Both Sandra’s dad & Can’s mum bless & join their children together
Finally they got to walk down the sandy isle together
I absolutely loved their wedding ceremony. They had no officiant or MC. Just members of their bridal team all gave such moving speeches…all of us were in tears…photographers, guests et al…
Tears, tears & more tears
Sandra’s mum & dad…after so many years together, they still hold hands… #AfricanMenTakeNotes!!!
Alisha Popat and her band, played some of the best live music we have ever heard
Michi the best man, gives a hilarious speech about their Wedding symbol
Mookie finalises the speeches
There’s nothing more special than getting married in the witness of the people who know you best
And when Sandra & Can started exchanging their personal vows…
The tear ducts let loose!!!!
And after their promise of marriage, Alisha Popat got to perform a very memorable rendition of ‘Alexandra Burke’s -Halleluja’!!!!
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Exchange of rings led by Michi 🙂
And then to a very passionate 1st kiss
So many beautiful moments
Can’s mum got to pray & bless the newly weds
Beautiful moments such as these, have absolutely no price tag attached to them
And then after the ceremony was done, we had a flash mob where everybody got to show case their best moves 🙂
Let’s get this baby on the road!!!
Hahahah Can 🙂
While everyone else was busily sweating it out on the dance floor, Sandra & Can were warming up to each other 🙂
Truly, Love was in the air…everywhere…Love, love, love!!!
And then from here onwards, we just stood back & captured the beautiful moments as they unfolded
Father & daughter bond!
With Can’s mum
And lots & lots of them were shed
For better, or worse, we stick together, through it all, just you & me!
If this is what forever looks like…then I want to live here 🙂
Maaeeeen, this is so beautiful, still brings back happy tears, many weeks later
Together, forever, one step at a time
Nothing beats the feeling of warm white sand running through your toes!
More bitings & drinks just before dinner was served
One very fun bridal team this was…we always go for fun looks, this is what memories should be made of
Songstress extraordinaire, Alisha
Hey, wait for me 🙂
One of my very best images of the day, Can just swept her off her feet and carried her away!
Happiness is truly just moments, and learning to enjoy them every day as they come
Too many beautiful moments, well, weddings should be like this
After this it was time to head for our evening reception & dinner….now, now, now. When Sandra & Can 1st told us they wanted to hold their reception in a cave…we never believed them —> till we walked in to this….and then our jaws dropped to the floor 🙂
Gorgeous set up as a result of Bianka, their planner & Coast Occassions who did the decor
I am a sauce-kinda guy 🙂
The set up looked like something out of a fairy tale. Alice Wonderland-ish 🙂
And dinner was served 🙂
After dinner, Sandra & Can’s photo journey was played for all of us….it was both hilarious & very emotional!
If you are having an evening reception, please have a photo-journey to be projected….you can thank me later 🙂
Just before we had cake, Sandra & Can had organised an instant photo-booth where their guest could take instant pics with a polaroid camera
And the tourist finally found the spider he had been searching for 🙂
Loved the look of the polaroids, they had that vintage look to them
After taking the picture, you would stick it on the signatory book and leave behind a love message to them
Look at that cake!!!!! Simple but cuuuuuute!!!!!!
Look at these couple giraffes…absolutely took the cake-toppers to a whole new level
Love was in the air…all day & night long!
That awesome feeling when you finally hitched!
After this they had the 1st dance & the dance floor was officially opened!!!!!
The party was insane, most of the guests had flown in from half across the world, and they were not about to let the night just go down like that
Indeed it was party like it was 1999
Photographing the photographer 🙂
Love this kinda love
Then it was time for the battle of the sexes
Bet we can beat that pretty easy
Try beating this guys!!!!
We just did 🙂
Keep dreaming guys….
Hahahaha this was too much fun!
We just schooled y’all like this!!!!!
Schooled who? Can you do this?
Hahahahaha…and the battle was finally concluded, wonder who won though…
I have never seen weddings guests dance this much…and they knew each and every song by heart!
That guy literally bowed down to those moves 🙂
Cute couple alert!
As Sandra & Can continued to up the temperatures in the room sorry Cave 🙂
That glorious moment when the beat drops!
But when you cannot just handle the heat!!!!
DJ Rishi kept the guests on the dance floor till morning…that’s one gifted DJ
We call it the screamie 🙂 Screaming Selfie!
And finally, we had to call it a night…the energy was on a whole different level. This wedding really changed & challenged everything we had thought about weddings. At the end of day, our work as photographers is to tell the story, wholly, purely & in its un-adulterated form. That is what we were born to do & we thank God—–> paid to do so too.
To Sandra & Can, this is definitely one of most amazing love story we have ever been part of. Thank you for trusting Gathoni & I with this very important day in your lives…your wedding was so beautiful & we pray that God will make your marriage even more beautiful. May you travel the world, loving each other and making us all believe in this wonderful love that you have found in each other…
God’s Eternal Blessings always,