Top Tips For A Great Bush Wedding

Chris and Leigh Bush Wedding Garonga

Chris and Leigh marry at Garonga Safari Camp, South Africa

Your destination wedding in the African bush needn’t be stressful or complicated.

So the boyfriend finally pops the question and suddenly the bride-to-be is on the hunt for the perfect destination wedding venue. The world is certainly getting smaller and all the while dreams and expectations are getting bigger! Let’s face it…the local registry office followed by some sparkling wine and sausage rolls at the local pub just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Engaged couples now set their sights on combining wedding and honeymoon destinations and a bush wedding is becoming a popular choice for outdoorsy, nature lovers or simply those looking to tick something off their bucket list at the same time. And with those African sunsets, that ‘away from it all’ feel, the sights and sounds of wildlife all around and some incredibly luxurious bush wedding venues to choose from, it is easy to see why.

Chris and Leigh marry at Garonga Safari Camp

Chris and Leigh marry at Garonga Safari Camp, South Africa

Planning a wedding is usually stressful but often even more so when it is going to take place overseas and often in a place you have never visited before. Here we list a few key points for consideration when organising the perfect bush wedding:

Keep it simple:
A bush wedding comes with all-inclusive décor. The setting alone is spectacular enough so no need to complicate things with elaborate table settings, flowers and lighting. Just embrace the romance that can be found in nature all around you. And who wants all that extra admin anyway right?

Chris and Leigh marry at Garonga Safari Camp

Chris and Leigh marry at Garonga Safari Camp, South Africa

The best wedding favour EVER:
Rather than your guests going home with a trinket to add to their collection of ‘wedding favour trinkets’ in their ‘we don’t know what to do with this stuff’ drawer, rather give them an experience to remember. If timed well you can send your guests off on a game drive while you have your photos take or rather, stuff the photos, join them on the safari and have your photos taken along the way…who knows, you could end up with a couple of unexpected (but very much anticipated) guests joining you in them.

Timing is everything:
Making sure you get the right time of year is crucial. Remember to think about how hot / cold it will be as well as what you want to be wearing. No one wants to see the groom almost passing out in his suit and a bride sweating into her makeup! The seasons fluctuate greatly across African safari destinations and you should also think about what time of day you would want to get things started. All good safari lodges will be able to advise based on their knowledge and experience of the location.

Chris and Leigh marry at Garonga Safari Camp

Chris and Leigh marry at Garonga Safari Camp, South Africa

Wedding + Honeymoon Combo:
No need to rush off after the ceremony to catch a flight, your honeymoon is right on your doorstep and you don’t have to go anywhere. Book private game drives, the honeymoon suite and private dining to get that privacy you crave or make it a family/friend-moon instead and make the most of time with your nearest and dearest.

A professional, friendly and experienced safari wedding venue:
Last but definitely not least, choosing the right lodge is essential not only to the beauty of the environment within which you will have your ceremony but more importantly ensuring you have the service you need to make your day as stress free and wonderful as hoped for.

Ruth and Adam Gooding are a couple from Scotland who chose to have their special day at Garonga Safari Camp which lies in the Greater Makalali Private Nature Reserve, just west from the Kruger National Park, South Africa. This lodge’s claim is to offer a ‘Safari For The Soul’ and somewhere you go not only to see wildlife but also to relax and unwind in the utmost luxury.

On being asked for her top five tips for a successful safari bush wedding, Ruth replied to say “I’m not sure if i can be of any help as Garonga took all the stress out of organising a wedding and I didn’t need to do much apart from show up. As we had such a small wedding I only really organised a photographer and then went with the flow”

Adam and Ruth marry at Garonga Safari Camp

Ruth and Adam marry at Garonga Safari Camp, South Africa

Maybe Ruth is onto something here…planning your destination wedding on Safari in Africa needn’t be as daunting as it first seems if you choose the right place. You can see more about their big day in the bush on their blog

Some Safari Lodges we recommend tying the knot at:

Garonga Safari Camp:
Exclusive luxury camp set in the Greater Makalali Private Nature Reserve, just west from the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Tongabezi Lodge:
A romantic hideaway on the banks of the Zambezi river, upstream of the majestic Victoria Falls, Zambia

Inyati Private Game Reserve:
Intimate wildlife experience with authentic African hospitality situated in the western sector of the Sabi Sand Wildtuin, South Africa.

Tortilis Camp Amboseli:
Majestic backdrop of Africa’s highest mountain, and the world’s highest free-standing mountain, Kenya.

Tongole Wilderness Lodge:
Luxury in the heart of the wilderness, Malawi