A special elopement in the bush of the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya.

Ah it’s so lovely to be able to post another real G+P bride on here.  Shalini and Brett eloped, just the two of them, to Kenya for a stunning ceremony.  Before covid happened, they planned a wedding in South Africa but this hasn’t been able to go ahead due to so many country restrictions.  They had a stunning marriage in the bush of the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya. Read on to find out more about their special day!

Wedding location and venue:  At Olare Mara Kempinski in the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya.

We had planned to have a very intimate bush wedding in South Africa with just our parents’ but of course, COVID happened and all borders shut. So, a couple of months past our planned wedding date and Kenya had opened their borders to tourists and we thought why not. Still a bush wedding and what better setting than in Masai Mara.

Number of guests: Just us two

Do you have an engagement story: November 2019 on our trip around the Caribbean, he decided to pop the question in Cuba, while on a classic car ride around Havana!

Dress choice and why you chose it: Once I knew I was going to try on some dresses at Ginger+Poppy, I had a look at the brands they carry and browsed through them online before my appointment. When I was on the MWL site my eye immediately went to River and I couldn’t wait to try it on. And once I tried it on, that was pretty much it, I had to lock it in (no date no venue no plan at the time but I had a dress!).

Flowers/décor/theme of the wedding: Nature was our theme. Just a lone tree out in the Mara with a masai tribe as our makeshift family.

What changes did you have to make to your wedding due to the Covid-19 pandemic: Complete change of plan as South Africa didn’t open borders until October. While we had not made any down payments, we did have to go through the entire planning process to narrow down how and where we would do it in Kenya. And we had to proceed with just us two as both of our parents could not make it as Sri Lanka and New Zealand borders remain closed indefinitely.

What is your most treasured memory from the wedding:  I don’t think I can pick one moment, from Brett seeing me for the first time, to the masai blessing to being able to do a honeymoon right after in the Masai Mara for the rest of our stay, just so grateful to have been able to have done this amidst of all the chaos in the world right now.

What advice would you give to brides going through planning a wedding during a pandemic: You may have to adjust your plans and this may result in some guilt or disappointment but do what feels right for you in this moment and it will turn out to be the most perfect day. Covid gave us the most special day that we could not have even imagined.

Photographer and Videographer: @katzphotographykenya

Styling, flowers and deco and venue: Olare Mara Kempinski