A Mara Wedding Quite Like No Other

24 July 2018 | Inside Angama |

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The planning, the emails, the phone calls, the details and the monumental logistics all came together on a beautiful May afternoon in the Mara when the groom smashed the glass and the bride said ‘I do’

And what a celebration it was…

The bride and groom hailed from London and decided, site unseen, that at the base of the lovely Out of Africa kopje was where they wanted to declare their vows with fifty friends and family in attendance. They travelled from all four corners to honour the marriage of their beloved friends.

wedding venue pano

This is the story of how it all came together.

When a couple are getting married for the second time they know exactly what they want and what a joy it was planning it all from afar: London, Johannesburg and the Mara all blended into one seamless operational hub with nearly 2000 emails, over 50 phone calls and a couple of face to face meetings in Jozi pulled it all together.

jossel wedding ceremony

The challenges were tackled one at a time: the Rabbi understandably asked for a fully kosher wedding feast. No problem. Nearly 20kgs of kosher chicken were flown to Kenya in Nicky’s suitcases plus all the ingredients needed for a beautiful kosher feast. Drappier champagne and kosher wines were ordered, the brides favourite chocolates were sourced in SA and flown up in staff suitcases over the 3 months preceding the wedding. The groom, a homesick ex-South African, ordered heaps of biltong and droewors which accompanied the chocolates in every available corner of free luggage space.

kosher wedding food jossel

‘Please can we have a thousand white roses’ asked the bride. Absolutely no problem other than it took supplier #3 to find the perfect white rose. ‘And we will get married under a chuppah’ she added. A quick visit to Pinterest and the drawings were on their way to the lodge. And just to make everything look perfect we carpeted the floor of the chuppah with white rose petals.

chuppah jossels wedding

shannon and chuppah

Maasai warriors to accompany the groom to the chuppah. Tick. Maasai maidens to accompany the bride. Tick. Parev wedding cake. Tick. The right shade of pink for the bride’s bouquet. Tick. The seating plan. Tick. The beautiful and never ending gifts for the couple’s friends perfectly wrapped and delivered to the tents each evening. Tick. The daily programmes. Tick. The safari vehicle seating plans. Tick. Tick. Tick.

maasai and groom

Bride and maasai ladies

The Rabbi nearly stole the show with his cantor brother-in-law performing joyous wedding songs. Everything was going to plan and then of course the heavens opened. In Maasailand no celebration is truly blessed unless it rains. Well, it poured. Plans B, C and D kicked into gear with the wedding feast moved from outside to inside in a matter of minutes. The bride’s speech made us all cry and the groom looked mightily pleased with his beautiful catch.

wedding table

I am not sure who had the most fun but if it was the couple and their guests the staff came a close second. We would do it all again in a heartbeat.

wedding view

Note from the editor:  My warmest thanks to the couple who graciously allowed me to tell their story. We guard our guests’ privacy fiercely but in their words ‘We are proud ambassadors of Angama and would be delighted for you to share our story’.

FILED UNDER: Inside Angama

AUTHOR: Nicky Fitzgerald

After more than 30 years in hospitality, starting with a small hotel at the foot of Africa and followed by a further couple of Cape hotels, most notably The Bay, and sixty plus safari lodges across Africa and India, Nicky has served more meals, puffed more cushions, filled more beds, trained more staff and opened more properties than she cares to remember. Nicky retired as Angama's CEO in July of 2022 and remains an advisor and delightfully opinionated member of the Board.

shari provenzano
August 14, 2018

I can not even imagine a more glorious place to exchange wedding vows! I am not one bit surprised that you and your staff went to such great lengths to make sure it was perfect. What a wonderful party!

Nicky Fitzgerald
August 15, 2018

Hi dear Shari
Lovely hearing from you – thank you for this lovely comment
Warm regards – Nicky

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