Picture yourselves celebrating your marriage beneath an ancient tree, on the banks of River Nile (the world’s longest river) or overlooking a waterhole. Imagine being serenaded by the uplifting performance of a local African choir [or a traditional dance goup] or walking down the aisle to the evocative sounds of Africa’s untamed residents. Imagine having Africa’s Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and buffalo), chimps, giraffes as well as a choir of thousands of birds for your wedding guests.
To be wed in Africa is to answer the call of the wild and it is indeed the epitome of romance. With 10 National Parks, 12 Wildlife Reserves and 14 Wildlife Sanctuaries, Uganda offers a rare opportunity for the two of you to exchange vows in one of the world’s best safari destinations.
Wherever and however you choose to say “I do,” we’ll help you find the perfect spot that captures your hearts as well as your imagination. Together we’ll help create an exquisite wedding ceremony that takes full advantage of the promised land around you in a way that couldn’t feel more natural.
Having a safari wedding means you and your guests will enjoy an intimate meal underneath the stars or a mouthwatering sunset feast in Africa’s intoxicating natural air. Alternatively, perhaps you’d prefer a poolside candlelit dinner for you and your guests or an authentic bush grill out in the reserve.
While here, you’ll spend your nights under the African sky. Cuddle in a secure safari lodge (tent or luxury eco-lodge), watch the sunset across the horizon and listen to the bush lullaby as you fall asleep beneath a canopy of stars. Then, as dawn breaks, gaze down on a variety of Afrika’s wildlife animals as they feed all around you.
A few things to consider as you organize an African safari wedding
1. Wedding Planner
To sail freely and have a successful safari wedding, your first to-do item should be finding the right wedding planner. A credible and efficient wedding planner will work with you to draft a budget, source service providers on your behalf (while getting you reliable service providers at good rates), and still be present on the wedding day [and even the day after] to ensure every service provider fulfills their duty. Additionally, he should link you to a credible tour agency. That is because you won’t be just coming to Uganda for a wedding but also to experience Africa.
The tour agency will also help in organizing transfer flights within Uganda and to other tourist destinations in Africa.
Are you planning on staying in an authentic tented camp or luxury[with breathtaking views over the hills and plains]or spending your nights in a treehouse [in the middle of the jungle and sleep off the relaxing gentle pleasant sound of water streams flowing beneath you] or do you prefer luxurious 5-star safari lodge with a private heated pool, deck, and more.
Don’t be surprised if you wake up and find that there’s no water – it could mean that the cheeky elephants or giraffe stopped by overnight and helped themselves to some freshwater!
Whichever type of accommodation you prefer, your travel agency should transparently advise you on what to expect and if your choice aligns with your plans. That is because not all game parks or reserves accept guests to host weddings at their lodges.
3. A minister
Depending on your religion, your wedding planner should advise you on a minister’s availability. The worst thing that could happen is to arrive at your wedding venue, and there’s no minister to officiate your wedding. Another important issue to look out for is: your officiant will need to be qualified in the eyes of that religious organization you will be wedding though. If they are unqualified, your wedding certificate may be nullified or you may not get one at all.
Every country has its local food. Since you will be inviting your friends and family, you have to know what foods they distaste or are allergic to. You will, therefore, have to work closely with your wedding planner as well as your safari lodge to ensure they create a customized menu for you and your guests.
5. Same-sex marriage
In Uganda, same-sex marriage is still illegal. If you are planning a same-sex marriage, you may have to go to a few of the African countries like South Africa, whose laws do not prohibit it.
Do you want to listen and watch a traditional African dance group for your entertainment or you prefer a 1980 classic?
It is easy to get married in Uganda as a non-citizen. However, you need to have enaged your wedding planner to book a minister in advance if it is a church wedding as the church needs to display your wedding banner 2 months prior to your wedding day. In Uganda, it is religious ministers who offer marriage certificates on behalf of the government.
For civil marriages, your wedding planner will help by registering you and getting your posters pinned. Also note that for civil marriage, the couple has to be wed at the Uganda Registration Services Buraeu offices.
There are however a few things that you need to know to further assist you with your planning. You need to understand how you will obtain your marriage certificate.
In some countries, processing a marriage certificate may take more than 7 days- in which case you need to be sure that your wedding planner will work with the minister to process it on your behalf and mail it to you after you’ve returned back to your home country.
7. Safari Honeymoon
African lodges offers unparalleled opportunities to get up close and personal with the local wildlife – making it the dream African safari honeymoon spot. And, once you’ve tied the knot deep in the African bush, your luxury safari wedding and honeymoon blend into one. With incredible wildlife viewing to enjoy on game drives as well as from our soothing spa, it’s time to truly unwind in a natural nirvana that oozes exclusivity, elegance and relaxed charm.
If you want a change from safari, then you could fly across to the exotic island of Zanzibar, where white sandy beaches line the shores, fringed by wispy palm trees that sway gently in the breeze that comes off the Indian Ocean. The crystal clear, warm turquoise waters entice snorkellers and divers to explore never-ending coral reefs, and romantic dhows cruise into the golden sunsets.