Previously KNOT JUST PICS. Same shit, different name.

The Big Straw Knot

So this page will be dedicated to Andy and I tying the knot!

In case you are wandering where the big straw came from, be warned, super cheese ahead! My surname translated means ‘big’ and Andy’s surname, Stent is a tube or straw like thing (okay, usually used in surgical procedures but I’ll leave that part out) hence, the name big straw! :)

Andy and Szerdi riding an elephant in the Nepalese jungle

Our Engagement

Andy and I didn’t do the conventional things when it came to getting all engaged. See we picked out the ring together at Churchill House, an incredible antique shop in the same road as my childhood home about 6 months before he actually proposed. That way, I got the ring I wanted so less pressure on Andy, and he could still surprise me and propose whenever he wanted!

Our 2010 centred around our trip to Nepal in September which we had been planning for ages and I suspected that this might be when he was going to pop the ol’ question, but knowing me, and knowing when I might expect it – like the first time we saw the Himalayas in Nagarkot or when we were at Fewa lake looking at the highest Buddhist Stupa- he left me hanging to point that I thought he wasn’t going to do it! But he picked the most perfect time. The last few days of our trip were spent at Jungle Island Resort, the most incredible rustic jungle paradise filled with elephant back safaris, jungle trekking, tiger tracking and bathing with elephants and this was the place he decided to do it and to be honest, it was better than any of the other places I had expected it! Go Andy!

Our E Party

The one thing Andy and I were unequivocal about was the fact that we wanted our wedding to be small and simple but the excitement which followed our engagement led to us maybe going a little over board.

I became obsessed with the awesomeness that is In Good Company and from their inspirational site, our hay bale picnic with 1920’s jazz and Pimms engagement was spawned! The day we had the E party was fortunately one of the two not raining days Durban had in December (so someone up there must clearly sanction our union). Instead of traditional bunting which is super cool and I love, we kinda made our own but instead of colourful triangles, we hung up  photos from the six years we have been together so it doubled as decoration and a trip down memory lane! We had jugs of Pimms with mint, strawberries and blackberries with lemonade which was the perfect drink to accompany the balmy summer day. We had lots of yummy sarms and dips courtesy of our moms. All this with chilled jazz (thanks lil’ sis Stent) made it the most sublime afternoon! Yay for love and getting married! What a great excuse for a Summer party with friends and family! Now to plan the wedding…..

Planning to tie the big straw knot

We threw around a LOT of ideas about how and where we wanted our wedding, but for some reason, I couldn’t get the uber excitement that all other brides seem to have when planning their wedding. And then I found it! Inspiration hit in the form of  A Practical Wedding and Offbeat Bride, these 2 sites made me realise it was ok to have our wedding according to our own terms, and whaddaya know? I started getting suuuuper excited! After much deliberation, Andy and I decided that perhaps our best wedding possible was the one we always spoke about but never really imagine happening for real. About 3 years ago, while on holiday in Mozambique we chatted about how cool it would be to get married on the beach with a chilled fish braai afterwards with everyone just drinking local 2M beer and relaxing- that was when the idea of getting married was still waaaaay in the future. The more we though about it, the more we realised that is exactly what we WANT! Plus then we also get to SCUBA in one of the best dive spots in the world! we <3 to SCUBA!

We have decided to have a long engagement to the dismay of some people. But it’s the most practical for us, in between us both having full time jobs, trying to run ‘knot just pictures’ and Andy and Habit To working on their album and training for the Comrades Marathon we didn’t want the added stress of hurrying a wedding plan. So we have decided on June 2012 in Ponto D’Ouro in Mozambique (June is also our dating anniversary and winter, which is what we wanted from a photography point of view, winter afternoon light is what we want for our own wedding pics and will look killer)

Scuba Diving Produce Wreck, Aliwal Shoal

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Andy & Szerdi on Instagram

  • If you ask a lot of photographers what weddings are all about, they will probably talk about your gorgeous decor that reflects “you” as a couple, or some nice portraits to show the grandkids one day, or something cheesey about freezing your special moments in time. And I mean, we can’t really argue with any of that, but there’s another secret awesome part of your wedding that often doesn’t get as much airtime. The time when all the formalities are over, everything is all signed and official, speeches have been said, all the yummy foods been scoffed, and it’s time to just cut loose and celebrate with your favourite people. It’s that trouser-ripping splits, that air guitar, that chuck your shoes in the corner time of night when the real celebrations happen. And honestly it’s one of the most awesome parts of the day!
  • So keeping with the happy vibes ☺️ Oliver’s  face at seeing Sarah for the first time is everything 😍
  • Can I still just post happy people for a while?
  • We’re both still pretty miz after losing our little fur boy a couple days ago. So these super happy brides are mostly for me, but also for you if you need something to whack a smile on your face too.
  • A cheesey ass pic for a cheesey as hell day of the year. We’ve never been valentine people, preferring to honour our relationship on our anniversaries and other significant dates, but the older (and less jaded?!) I get, I realize there is no harm in celebrating your person and your relationship every chance you get. This doesn’t mean we are suddenly going to squeeze into a restaurant tonight crammed with tables for twos, or get some made in China synthetic teddy bear holding an “I love you” heart. But I am going to hug my person extra tight and remind them that they mean the world to me and life with them is the best thing ever 💜
  • Yesterday we unexpectedly lost this angel ruby eyed boy. We always knew bunnies were very delicate souls, but Doug and his brother have been through being rescued from horrific conditions before eventually ending up with us. We watched them gradually lose their timidness and grow into two wonderful quirky little guys. He’s the bun that made me fall in love with Rabbits. Both of us and his husbun Mike are super heartbroken at this unexepected loss just a couple months short of their 7th birthday.
  • Spontaneous hand kisses always make me weak at the knees ☺️
  • A love like this 💜
  • Run away veils, much better than run away brides ☺️
  • A lot of wedding blogs, Pinterest lists and photographers will suggest on your wedding day that you book into a nice hotel room, make sure there is no clutter (eeeek god forbid there is some signs of the day that’s been happening in the background!) and lots of natural light.  We tend to approach it kind of differently... get ready in a comfortable environment, don’t send your bridesmaids rushing to clear any sign of real life from behind you, and rather let your surroundings be part of the story of your day. I absolutely adore that Katie got ready in her childhood home, here you can see her sisters getting ready in one of their rooms which was covered in memories of their lives, which seems kinda perfect.
  • Carrying on from my previous post about the special place we get to occupy on a wedding day, these special and intimate moments abound if you just take the step back necessary to be witness to them. Claudia’s dad came in to see her once she was dressed, and while its easy to only see the enormity of the moment between them, when I stepped back and saw the overwhelming pride and love on her mum’s face, I knew I had to capture the bigger story.
  • Hands down one of my favourite parts of a wedding is watching the bride share her morning with her closest and most special people.  What an honour it is that I, an almost complete stranger get to be in this sacred space with them, and they trust me enough to be there and capture them honestly and with my whole heart.

We Choose Adventure on Instagram

  • I’ve played guitar and bass for a while and always wanted to try sitar. Had my first lesson today in Varanasi. What an amazing instrument! So different to guitar. I was very shit and my fingers feel like they’ve been manicured with a sword, but I love this thing.
  • Following @the_szerd around temples since 2010.

Our first big overseas adventure was to Nepal, where we got engaged. The travel bug bit hard and it’s been love and magical unicorn farts ever since. Here’s to a trillion more adventures with this person ❤️
  • There’s something beautiful and timeless about a shawl or saree. The Indian woman are such a vibrant contrast to the dusty streets.
  • Up to our eyebrows with hot chai (tea) and hotter curry. #wishyouwerehere #notreally
  • Unbelievable detail carved into these old stone mansions (called “Havelis”) from the 1800s. The one took 55 years to finish! It may take us that long to finish painting our kitchen...
  • Epic views over the small desert city of Jaisalmer in North West India, not far from the Pakistan border. 
First time in this beautiful country. Managed to step in cow shit within the first 2 minutes and dog shit within the first 10. Welcome to India!
  • This weekend exceeded all expectations! 🙌 Sooo many good bands, the friendliest people, and delicious veggie food. The mud and rain even made it a proper English festival experience 🌧 This was our first @downloadfest and we WILL be back! Thank you @the_szerd for enjoying the same noisy music as me and always being my band buddy 😘
  • This summer in Europe has been epic for bands so far! Another one from our “must-see” band list. Alice in Chains 🔥 Definite highlights were this song, Them Bones, and Nutshell, which Jerry Cantrell dedicated to Layne Stayley. Totes emosch 😥 @aliceinchains
  • I played bass for a long time and this man was my bass crush 😍 #justinchancellor was worth every second of the 20 year wait to watch this man play 🙌 ... and I got his plectrum ! That’s getting framed.
  • Tool 🙌 I waited 20 years to see this band and it finally happened last night in Berlin, of all places. They were a massive influence on my own band and were actually one of the reasons @the_szerd and I started dating over 15 years ago. I even played in a Tool tribute band back in the day. Excellent times!
  • People watching from the shade.
  • Exploring the narrow streets and alleyways of Stone Town, Zanzibar. This place reminds us so much of the old part of Jeddah with the African/Arab cross culture and architecture.

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