South African Destination Elopement
One of my dream destinations has always been Africa, so when I saw this elopement in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, my heart skipped more than a couple of beats. Samantha and Adam married with only their photographers, Feather and Stone (who are now living in Africa themselves!), their officiant, and a dozen singing and dancing locals nearby. The couple then celebrated with an intimate cake reception and started the next day with beyond stunning day-after portraits.
From the bride, Samantha: From the outset we were after a relaxed, low-key wedding with minimal fuss. Upon becoming engaged we began planning our wedding to take place locally. We were looking at different vendors and had a ceremony and reception venue in mind. After attending their annual open day, we walked away with an unusual feeling. We felt rather empty and a little underwhelmed. “How about we run away to Africa?!?” We have both always enjoyed travel. We feel that you get so much from visiting somewhere new and it definitely makes you appreciate what you have back home.
Bouquet recipe: We used the national flower of South Africa, the protea, as the stand-alone flower in the Bride’s bouquet and as the Groom’s boutonniere.
That night I think we googled the words “wedding” and “Africa” and we came across the AMAZING Ulusaba. The ball had started rolling! We made the decision quite early on that it would only be the two of us there and that we would hold a party back home upon returning. We spoke to our parents about the idea and they were supportive. The entire planning process was incredibly straightforward. Ulusaba gave us a list of questions to answer; this included what flowers and cake we wanted and the timing of everything. It was all very easy and it felt as if nothing was too difficult or a problem. After having had everything booked ten months beforehand, we couldn’t believe we were finally in South Africa! Our wedding day was surreal. I think the enormity of what we were doing hit us as we walked down the aisle together on “Hippo Beach”!!! Twelve African singers and dancers were creating the most beautiful sound and it was so hard to hold back the tears at that moment.
The ceremony itself was perfect. Our celebrant Carl is so wonderful at what he does and it was us to a “T.” Sometimes you attend a wedding and the celebrant takes the focus away from the couple – Carl was the complete opposite. We were also incredibly fortunate to have had the story of our day captured so perfectly by Feather and Stone Photography. Both Seth and Tenielle are truly two of a kind! They are the sweetest, most beautiful people you will ever come across, and they are so talented to boot! They are particular about EVERYTHING and it shows through their work. When we first received the link to our slideshow we were both in tears. We feel that a video couldn’t tell the story of our day as well as the images that they captured do. Looking back at everything, we wouldn’t have changed a single thing about our wedding day. Everything was so beautiful and it’s so lovely to have all of those wonderful memories for the rest of our lives. It was so relaxed – completely stress free – and just so beautiful.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? If we could offer any advice to couples planning their weddings it would be to have the day that suits you both. Many weddings we’ve been to have been about the fanfare. We made the decision to strip everything back and get back to what a wedding is all about – a Bride and Groom making a life-time commitment to one another. We still had a small get-together of 45 of our closest friends and family upon returning which was beautiful. We shared our photos and stories and it was so lovely to see everyone. If you’re considering eloping, I would run with this idea. It was the best thing we ever did.
View all images from this wedding in the gallery
Upon arriving in our open-air Jeep, we both almost began crying! We were fortunate to have had Ulusaba organise a group of twelve people sing and dance whilst we walked down the aisle together. The sound was amazing and to see all of their beautiful smiling faces was a huge highlight of the day.
Wedding Location: Kruger National Park, South Africa / Photographer, Hair, and Makeup: Feather and Stone / Wedding Venue, Planning, Flowers, Caterer: Ulusaba / Wedding Dress: Alex Perry / Wedding Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Day After Dress: Jennifer Gifford “Alea” / Groom’s Suit: Joe Black, David Jones / Groom’s Shoes: www.florsheim.com.au / Celebrant: Carl Louwrens / Invitation: Paper Dolls
I adore South Africa and what a perfect wedding this was. Stunningly captured, of course 🙂
How lovely…the photos of the dancers made me cry. In a good way. 🙂
WOW.. stunning! oxox
An exceptionally effective site. And the choice of incorporate select this info is utterly really appreciative.
Fabulous colours and I love the Protea bocquet!
What a perfect wedding!!! I LOVE everything about it… AMAZING PLACE.
Seems to be a lovable memories along with best lens work to capture sweet memories,Its really a perfect wedding 🙂
Gosh just came across this while I was busy looking at elopement packages in SA …beautiful!stunning… Cant I just play copy cat 🙂 your guys have just captured everything I with want in my wedding for TWO! my partner and I decided to have a beach elopement & a mini honeymoon to the Kruger Park so this in fact with be an all in one package for us. Pls send me details on how to plan something like things..wink wink….and thank you to the lovely couple for sharing your day with me!
Absolutely stunning and so beautiful. I would love to know what else the couple did there, how long they stayed and how much one would spend? Thanks so much for sharing xx
My boyfriend and I have been wanting to elope in South Africa for a while, and we are hoping to make it happen next year. Can I ask how long of a stay you had at Ulusaba and what the cost of the stay and wedding was? Did the two of you go on a safari as well during your stay? Thank you very much – your pictures are beautiful.
Hi! I was just wondering where you got your invitations made I love the floral pattern you used for them !
Thank you for your beautiful comments – this was the best day of our lives and one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. I’m so sorry that I’m only just seeing what you’ve written now. If you still have any questions, feel free to send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be more than happy to answer anything you’re wondering.
How can make contact to arrange a wedding.