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Aiden and Nicole | Kleine Rijke – Hartbeespoort

Photographing at Kleine Rijke has always been a dream of mine, so much so that I put it on my vision board for this year. While 2020 hasn’t been quite the year I had envisioned, I’m not all that surprised that this dream of mine has become a reality.

I say this because this is not the first time I’ve had dreams come true after posting them on a vision board, despite the odds being stacked against me. The first time it happened involves a trip to South America, a bougainvillaea, and a vintage piano, but that’s a story for another day … for now, I introduce you to Nicole and Aiden and the special afternoon we created for them.

Just the Two of Us

Nicole and Aiden received a hand-delivered invitation by JP Design inviting them to an afternoon filled with surprises and delights. What awaited them when they arrived at the majestic Kleine Rijke was a sight to behold.

Nicole had her hair and make-up done by Bianca McCann and she slipped in to a bespoke Mrs Rose dress, made just for her. A stroll away, they were seated at a magnificent table-for-two styled by By Blythe, with flowers by Plantation Revival, decor by Skat Rentals and furniture by Reserved Exclusive. They were serenaded by a live violin perfomance by Naomi Tagg and they dined on the most wonderful spread by V&Me Catering.

We finished the day off with a couples session that had my story-telling, golden-hour-loving heart overflowing. Getting to know Aiden and Nicole was a highlight for me and I can’t wait for you to read about how they met:

The Story of Aiden and Nicole

It’s a modern day love story, beginning with too many mutual Facebook friends to be a coincidence and a bold friend request from Aiden. It would take another year until they officially met, but when they did, they’ll both tell you the sparks flew ✨Theirs was an instant connection and all that Aiden remembers thinking was just how beautiful Nicole was.

Being only 16 at the time, Nicole was under strict instructions not to date until she was out of school. Somehow she persuaded her mom to bend the rules and Nicole and Aiden’s first date was movies and milkshakes. Little did Nicole realise that as much convincing and vetting it took to convince her mom to allow her to date Aiden, her mom would end up loving Aiden as if he were her own son in the years to come.

Nicole admits not knowing much about cricket when she first started dating Aiden – in fact, they met during rugby season, so Nicole had no idea of Aiden’s cricket talents and passions. Fast forward to today and Nicole is one of Aiden’s biggest fans. She has her own superstitions and rituals, she is totally invested in the game and, in her words, “to see him play for his country is truly inspiring”.

Aiden and Nicole, from the moment we met, I was smitten with everything you are–together–and your love. I’m so happy the world has a couple like you in it. You’re amazing individuals, but together you light those around you and believe in their very best.

A huge thank you to the team who brought this vision to life:

Planning, Styling, Coordination: By Blythe

Photography & Videography: Jenna Storey Photography

Venue: Kleine Rijke

Flowers: Plantation Revival

Décor: Skat Rentals

Furniture: Reserved Exclusive

Stationery: JP Design

Gift Box: The Baked Bean

Illustration: Vos & Ink

Violinist: Naomi Tagg

Cake and Canapés: V&Me Styling

Bridal Gowns: Mrs Rose

Hair & Make-up: Bianca McCann

Couple: Nicole O’Connor and Aiden Markram


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