Written by Lauren Perry
Jaci’s Lodges recently hosted a most romantic (different from the story book kind) bush wedding for an amazing couple.
It started over a year ago when I first met the happy couple to be. Their passion for the bush was clearly visible and infectious. I knew that this was going to be an exceptional bush wedding and we were going to have to pull out all the stops to make it happen for them.
After the initial visit the planning started, and hours were spent getting all their ideas on paper of how they envisioned their “big day”.
A few months after the initial meeting, the bride to be, her Mom and her wedding planners came back to spend a weekend at the lodge so that we could talk logistics. We needed to plan where all 77 people would stay, where the ceremony would be, the rooms and all the layouts. Our aim was to make everyone comfortable for a bush wedding and to assure the bridal party that we would be able to pull this off in a spectacular fashion. After that weekend it already felt like we were doing a wedding for one of our close Jaci’s family members. The next time I saw them again would be a year later for the wedding ceremony.
When a year feels like it’s far away, think again! After months of back and forth emails and WhatsApp calls, and then more emails and more WhatsApp calls, all the planning, all the small details and all the stress to get everything just right, the time had quickly slipped away and the wedding date had come.
The wedding was celebrated over an entire weekend. We had live singers, DJs, videographers and photographers, hairdressers, makeup artists and florists on site, not to mention the exceptional Jaci’s team in full force.
The wedding weekender was kicked off by a hugely successful game drive with group sundowners in the bush, and the whole wedding assembly came along. After sundowners we ended off the evening with a magical safari themed starlit dinner, a saxophone played accompanied by lions roaring in the background, joined by the beautiful voices of the Jaci’s staff choir, creating the perfect atmosphere to start this magical weekend.
The wedding day arrived, and what better way to release those pre-wedding jitters than a game drive! Whilst the guests enjoyed the local wildlife, the Jaci’s team were scurrying around like an army of ants to get everything in place for the ceremony, which was due to start at 16:00 out in the bush, a fair distance away from the lodge.
While the one team was tackling the wedding arrangements, another team was looking after the returning guests, escorting them to a buffet breakfast to line their stomachs for the day ahead. As soon as the guests had moved off from the main lodge to prepare themselves for the wedding, the transformation of the lodge began. It was a great convenience having Jaci’s Safari Lodge and Jacis Tree Lodge within walking distance of each other, as we were able to move seamlessly between venues for different meals so that we could have time to get everything set up.
The transformation of the ceremony site and the venue were both truly magical.
Lights, camera, action and it was almost over in a flash, the most beautiful ceremony and a most festive reception with lots of food, wine, dancing and music always makes for a perfect night.
The following morning activity recommenced and game drives and Bloody Marys were the order of the day, not to mention lots of rest and relaxation for the whole wedding party. The Jaci’s team miraculously got everything back to normal, and any new guests arriving on site would have had no idea of the wedding of such mega proportions the night before. Only the lovely big protea arrangements remained as evidence.
The day of departure for the wedding guests arrived far too quickly and lots of tears and hugs were shared. The realisation dawned on the Jaci’s team that the much anticipated event was over and that we could proudly pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.