Destination Weddings/Real Weddings

Adventurous Namibia Desert Safari Wedding

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I suppose I’ll be in a post-safari-honeymoon state of mind for a while. With Friday’s South African-inspired wedding & today’s adventurous Namibian desert wedding, we’ll all be dreaming of soirees in the bush for a while now.

Kirsty and Kobus are a daring couple – planning a destination wedding in the Namibian desert, at a venue they’d never visited is quite the task but for some, the ultimate adventure. That’s what this fearless couple gifted their international crew of guests – not just a stunning wedding and beautiful photos, but an adventure to remember forever.

The couple left nearly all the details to the incredible staff of their breathtaking venue Sossusvlei Lodge & Desert Quiver Camp, meanwhile carefully crafted their own floral arrangements that were both akin to Kirtsy’s home in Australia but also sturdy enough to survive the five-hour rocky drive. Choosing hardy, local flowers like King Protea and pairing them with everlasting Australian eucalyptus was a fine choice for this wild destination wedding.

Bride Kirsty also wore a stunning, bohemian wedding gown designed by fellow Australian, Anna Campbell – whose Wanderlust Collection is so fitting for any adventurous bride!

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Our Love Story

We met on my 22nd birthday, out at a lodge where I was competing at a horse riding event. To be honest, it was quite the party, and I didn’t really remember meeting my husband until a Facebook add a few months later.

We were in Thailand, and my poor husband tried his absolute hardest to keep it a secret, however, a slip up that copied me into the email to upgrade our room to celebrate our “engagement” was a hint that was hard to miss. However, he pulled all the stops for a private dinner on the beach where he proposed.

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The Dress & Attire

I searched the internet long and hard for my Anna Campbell wedding dress before traveling to Australia to try it on with my mother and Australian family present. I loved the vintage bohemian charm, as well the comfort and simpleness of the dress. Perfect for climbing those Namibian mountains for those perfect scenery shots!

The groomsman suit was actually a suit made in Thailand at a small corner shop. However, my husband loved it so much he wanted to wear it for the wedding. He had originally wanted the groomsman to wear the same color, but alas, no matter how hard our best man searched Cape Town for a matching material we could not find anything even close. So grey for the groomsmen it was!

The ties were a bit of a specialty item, we sourced them also from Cape Town – my husband enjoying the touch of class given by the leather ties. It was also something the groomsman and himself would likely wear again at other formal occasions.

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The Venue & Style

Our wedding came together in a really organic way. I was living far from the venue and far from friends and famil, so actually, the fact it worked out so well was a small miracle. I wanted organic colors, a bohemian theme, and natural materials, but overall the scenery had to be the centerpiece of the wedding.

In all honesty, no one had seen our venue in Namibia until the day of the wedding. I am familiar with the area, but I left pretty much everything other than the attire and table pieces in the hands of the venue manager Chystelle. We didn’t talk over lighting, food, table plans – almost nothing. I cannot imagine many brides being able to let go of that amount of control but nothing will beat the moment I was driven out into the golden fields where my ceremony was set up, or following the candlelight in complete darkness to the awaiting reception area lit up with nothing more than candles and the full moon. That is what dreams are made of.

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The Flowers

The wedding flowers had to be pretty sturdy to survive a five-hour drive on rough gravel roads to get from Windhoek to the venue – and stand overnight. Proteas, Banksias and Eucalyptus are a popular choice in flowers for weddings – but for us, it was both practical and what I wanted. Being Australian, they were also a throwback to my home country.

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Favorite Moments

Oh, there are too many to count! For one I was actually EARLY – that’s right a bride who was early! So, on the safari drive to the ceremony, we all stopped and had to kill time. So we got out our phones and played “Heads Up”. It got pretty heated I must say.

Obviously, the ceremony was just amazing – the golden sun, the light breeze, and just seeing everyone’s faces. I almost felt like the people around me were more emotional than myself. It was super special on so many levels.

But one of the best moments was surely on my way to the reception entrance. We (the bridal party) were waiting out of sight from all of the guests in complete darkness waiting for the “all clear” to make our entrance. It was just the open desert and night sky all around. When we got the radio call to make our way in, my maid of honor was to go first. However, she didn’t really understand where to go and started heading in the opposite direction towards a distant light she had assumed was the “reception”. The rest of us actually left her to walk into the darkness before she turned around realizing that we were not following. Needless to say, we laughed SO hard. We all questioned how far into the desert she would have walked should be have followed her.

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The Traditions

We actually did a sand jar ceremony at the wedding – and I made my Australian parents pack sand from my favorite Australian beach and bring it all the way to Namibia!

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The Reception

The reception entrance itself (once we eventually got there) was super romantic. Again, I had not seen the set up so it was all new to me walking there. It was better than I ever could have imagined. EVERYTHING about the reception party was perfect – the music, the speeches, the games, the food – EVERYTHING.

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The DIY Details

We had a lot of handmade details at the wedding. My beautiful glass candle holder was made by our Grandfather. He even suffered a fall and bad injury whilst making them. However, when we offered to try and buy some at shops he absolutely refused! Needless to say, we received candle holders that will last a lifetime and give us many loving memories.

The wooden candle holder stands were cut and brought by farming family from South Africa. The tablecloths and napkins were cut and stitched by half the guests of the wedding in a farm “factory line” in the week preceding the wedding.

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The Cake & Favors

Oh, the cake! It was my sister-in-law’s baking which survived five hours of gravel road – not an easy task! However, there was a last minute icing disaster that fabulous people at the venue and lodge helped out with. It was a simple, beautiful cake!

Since we are farmers we gave guests small jars of farm produce. With dates from the farm we made date jam in one jar, and in the other, we made eggplant chutney. All farm grown and made with love!

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The Day-After Brunch

The most surprising BEST moments of the wedding happened at breakfast the morning after. Friends and family cried in my arms knowing that the wedding weekend was over. The guests had become like a family, they had not just come to any odd wedding – they had come to a destination, with dedicated, like-minded people.

It was the overwhelming sense that you had been a part of something bigger than just a wedding that really touched each and every one of our wedding guests. You know you can’t plan that into a wedding – and I am so thankful that the wedding could bring a group of people together and actually gift a life-changing experience. I get emotional just writing about it!

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Advice to Other Couples

1. It’s never too early to start.

2. Guests list are hard no matter how big or small the wedding.

3. Make time. All the planning in the world won’t matter if you don’t give yourself time to enjoy it. We did our wedding over a weekend (Friday and Saturday) and it gave us SO much more quality time with our guests. We never once felt rushed or as if we “missed” people.

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