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Planning a wedding in East Africa

The advantages

Getting married in East Africa presents a number of advantages:
Beautiful weather more or less guaranteed
A choice of stunning backdrops
Honeymoon venue and wedding venue combined
Special packages for your guests
The opportunity to get married with either minimal numbers of guests or no guests
The chance to turn your wedding into a holiday
All the planning can be done by the hotel.
East African hotels and lodges are famous for the excellence of their cuisine, the warmth of their staff and the lengths to which they are delighted to go to - to make your wedding as special as they can.

The cost

We will be delighted to offer you a selection of wedding and honeymoon venues, with attached safaris. All you need to do is let us know what you have in mind. We can also book all flights from your country of destination and organize all the ground arrangements for you.

When to book

Bookings for weddings should be made as early as possible (the hotel reserves the right to accept wedding reservations to a maximum of two per day). Most hotels will not accept reservations between December 24th and January 4th, or over Easter or on any other public holiday.

Legalities

It is not necessary for couples to visit any EA authorities in advance of the event: all the arrangements can be done by the hotel. In order that a legal ceremony be carried out by an EA registrar, however, the following documents must be sent to us (faxed or as email attachments) at least a month before the wedding.
• Copies of birth certificate of the bride and groom.
• Copies of passports for bride and groom.
• Details of profession of bride, groom and parents from both sides.
• Documents of eligibility from their local parish or lawyer (should one of them be a divorcee a copy of the DECREE ABSOLUTE is required).

The registrar

In order to comply with official requirements, a copy of a letter requesting his/her presence at the event must be received by the registrar three working days before the wedding ceremony. This must include the signatures of both the bride and groom.

Wedding locations

We offer a wide range of wedding and honeymoon locations in East Africa, such as
Kenya Coast
Kenya national parks
Zanzibar
Tanzanian national parks
Balloon weddings
Safari weddings
Beach weddings
Maasai weddings

The bridal bouquet

Most beach or city hotels will typically offer either a traditional teardrop bouquet or a posy (round), the colours of which can be themed to match the bridal theme. We suggest the following type of flowers: roses, carnations, lilies (seasonal), Enthuriums or Lysianthus. Traditional safari lodges do not have access to flowers, but can usually arrange to have them flown in: this must be planned in advance.

Pre-wedding preparations

The majority of the larger hotels will have their own beauty salon and hairdressing salons, which tend to have considerable experience in presenting bridal ‘looks'. We would suggest that the bride hold consultations with both hairdresser and beautician before the big day. Many hotels also offer spa facilities, some of which provide the couple with their own private suite and selection of pre-event massages and holistic relaxation therapies.

Private dining

Most standard wedding packages include a romantic dinner for two and a honeymoon breakfast: the venues vary depending on the location of the hotel or safari lodge. Most lodges and tented camps will also be pleased to serve private meals on the verandah or terrace of the room.

Music and dancing

Most venues can provide music, dancing, choirs, disco etc. Alternatively they will be happy to play your own CD of music. Traditional dancers, typical of the region of your choice can also usually be provided.

Wedding receptions

Most hotels and lodges are expert in providing large scale banquets with menus that are tailored to your exact specifications. Most will also supply wines and toasts or pre-event cocktails.

Family and friends

The hotel of your choice will be more than happy to offer you a special rate for the accommodation of your family and friends.

On the day

Typically, the hotel or lodge will arrange for the Registrar to be transferred from the nearest town (and back again after the ceremony). They will also arrange for the flowers to be delivered to the bride and groom. The wedding venue will be set up, usually with a decorated palm arch and flowers, there will also be a bridal desk (for the signing of the register) and two bridal chairs for the couple - plus seating for the registrar and other guests. The cake and champagne will be served at the wedding venue (after the ceremony). Witnesses can be provided if required (who will also shower the couple with rose petals after the ceremony). The photographer will be present throughout.

Wedding photography and DVDs

Most hotels will provide a competent photographer who will capture the entire event and submit a final CD or, if you prefer, prints in a presentation album. With sufficient notice, the hotel will also usually be able to arrange for a competent video operator.


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