Wild safari elopement South Africa

safari elopement south africa rhinos mhondoro lodge photographer

What if your environment expects you to ‘marry in a certain way’, but you just feel so strongly that this isn’t for you? It’s exactly what Marie and Daniel from Germany experienced. They decided to elope in South Africa and have a wild wedding with just the two of them.

I remember Marie writing: “We feel that the whole world is our home, so we want to share this moment in the wildness of the world. Nothing around us, just nature and wild animals. I have been in love with Africa for a while, that’s where we want to elope. We will be in Uganda up front, but the ceremony will be in South Africa. I can’t explain why, it’s just a feeling.”

South Africa safari wedding photographer

When I read this email, I knew we were the perfect fit. These two followed their gut and it sent them straight to mother Africa. And, straight to me. I was even double sure this was a match made in heaven when her email continued with this: “We aren’t models, there aren’t a lot of pictures of us as we’re not comfortable being the center of attention. That’s why I would like a photographer who has a big focus on nature and landscape and have us be part of that. It maybe sounds a bit strange, but I hope you understand what I mean…” 

Two-day safari elopement wedding

Of course I understood what she meant, because I’m exactly like them 🙂
Marie and Daniel ended up not booking one, but two days with me and my goodness were they great! We wanted to have the golden Africa light for their ceremony, but also for their wedding photos in the wild. You actually can have your cake and eat it too, if you just give it enough time. That’s why we spread their elopement documentary out over two days. Because of this, they didn’t have to chase the sun like mad people, but have a super chill wedding day and post-wedding day. 

Wedding photos with wild rhinos

And man was I happy with this plan, because on our second day we bumped into a mother rhino with her calf! They were super relaxed with us as we slowly moved a little closer. Still at a safe and respectful distance with plenty of exit routes and keeping our vehicle close. But close enough for Marie and Daniel to truly experience what it is like to walk with a wild rhino in the wild. And, to top it all off, we arrived home at the safari lodge to find a herd of elephants drinking out of the pool (no chlorine, FIY). How amazing!?

Cheers mama nature, thank you mama Africa, you did it again <3

Also, fun fact: their elopement wedding happened super close to my home at the time. I can remember having a blast driving there and back. On my way in, I saw a honey badger in broad daylight and on the way home, an aardvark! I repeat, AN AARDVARK. If you know, you know.

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