Tasteful. Sophisticated. Chic. Those are the words that describe the event that was Gathoni and Allan’s wedding.
We are talking chavaria chairs, exquisite cutlery, a glamorous indoor ballroom and intricate décor arrangements. The colour combination of turquoise and chocolate brown was just right for a fresh and modern theme.
Have a look at this modern and elegant wedding – get inspired!
How and where did you meet?
We were introduced to each other by a mutual friend. He was in Maryland and I was in Los Angeles and I pondered whether I should call him for a month. Finally, we started talking and shortly after he came to visit me. Once he laid eyes on me (wololo) the deal was sealed (smile!).
How did he propose?
I had gone to Maryland for another friend’s wedding and right after that he quickly showed me the bling - at the CARPARK!! I’m still stunned that with his romantic qualities the proposal was at a car park. In his defense though, his plan had been to whisk me away to an undisclosed romantic location and on one knee asks me to marry him. Unfortunately, that was not be as the day was hijacked with many other events. Nevertheless it was still a memorable day.
For how long did you plan your wedding and what did you enjoy most about the planning process?
We planned our wedding for 2 years. I think what we enjoyed the most about our wedding was bringing the collective ideas to life. We wanted the wedding to be a celebration of our life and our families both extended and nuclear and also a thanksgiving to all who had been in our journey to get us to this point, especially God. Our wedding was actually a renewing of our wedding vows as we have already been married four years and we also have 3 kids.
What was your wedding theme and what inspired your choice of colours, suppliers and style?
Our wedding was definitely a celebration and thanksgiving. From the songs we sang during the outdoor ceremony to the joyful dancing. Also in line with our thanksgiving theme, we had a photo slide and video that was shown during the wedding. Our colors were turquoise and chocolate brown.
We found our décor, stationery, entertainment, photography and videography vendors through referrals. We found the rest of the vendors, the venue and photographers online. I feel that Kenyan vendors need to have websites.
It is extremely difficult to find vendors if you have no referrals and many of my referrals had no websites. So I had no idea what they can do or if at all they will deliver. I think many people who are very talented are overlooked because they have no online presence.
I love the outdoors; water, trees… so the poolside was perfect for our ceremony and cocktail hour. We focused on accessorizing nature with flowers and some glam like crystals in surprising places! My husband wanted an indoor wedding so the available indoor spaces were great for our indoor reception.
What songs were played as you and your bridal team walked down the aisle?
Mother, Son and Bridal party: You are the living one by Fred Hammon
Me and my Dad: I found you by Bebe and Cece Winans
Leaving the Church: Saluti by Daddy Owen
Tell us your biggest cost saver and any cost saving tips you have for people planning their wedding
Determine what is most important to you and spend your money on that.
Find a one stop shop so you have a package deal e.g. Safari park gave us the ceremony site, photography site and cocktail site for free when we paid for the reception venue.
We also got 2 free rooms and free discotheque. If we went elsewhere we would have had to pay to use a church, and pay for an after party and DJ and pay for rooms for some of our out of town guests. Having everything within Safari Park also helped avoid Nairobi traffic issues.
Negotiate with vendors and try to get your contracts as early as possible so you can lock in prices which are always going up.
We got our drinks (alcoholic ones) from DOD at a pocket friendly price and only paid a corkage fee.
Most people living abroad would get a wedding planner for a smoother process but I was fortunate to be able to travel to Kenya and so I did the legwork myself. I only got a day planner to coordinate the events on the day of the wedding. It was also fun for us to plan our wedding without a committee or wedding planner. It was at times also stressful but very rewarding at the end.
Give suppliers who are starting out in the business a chance to prove themselves. Their price ranges are much better than the well known vendors in the industry. They also tend to be more flexible and creative because they are open to new ideas and don't have the "this is how it has always been done" mindset.
Give a brief recount of the wedding day, from waking up till evening and the things that were going through your mind at the time.
We did things a bit backwards. We went for our honeymoon before our wedding. So 2 days to the wedding, we were on our honeymoon which included some of our friends from abroad. Since we were travelling with many people we had to work with the schedule that works for everyone.
Basically, I wasn't well rested by the wedding day but once I was up I thanked the good Lord and let it all go and was really excited. I was ready to celebrate, have fun and really wanted everybody who was there to really feel our gratitude and completely JIENJOY!
Did you make use of any entertainment at your wedding reception?
Yes we did. For our reception we worked with a band and they did a great job. My cousins did a great job in helping me put together a video and photo slide show which we showed at the reception
Is there anything different or unique you did? Share it with us.
I love nature and water. I am also playful and a free spirit. So in keeping with those qualities I impulsively decided to take photos in my wedding dress in the swimming pool and streams of safari park and had the time of my life doing so! Our photographers were very instrumental in helping me get the poses and a lot of fun to work with! They did a great job taking great picture which involved falling into the pool at one point ('twas a crazy photo shoot I tell you).
See more photos of this amazing photoshoot here
Wedding Venue - Safari Park Hotel Wedding Photographer - Joe Makeni and Osborne Macharia Number of Guests - 500