Have you been missing our destination wedding locations? I know it has been a while since our last post, but rest assured, they are now back! And with the chilly weather all around us, I wanted to take us somewhere warm. So, today I’m taking you to a Kenya destination wedding. I’ve been waiting to share this wonderful destination wedding location with you until the timing was right and I think now is the perfect time, don’t you?
Kenya offers so much to see from beautiful landscapes to the animals to the people and culture. Kenya is a location for adventurers and those who love the outdoors and wildlife. So, a Kenya destination wedding is perfect for these types of couples. Safaris are the mainstay for Kenya’s tourism and with good reason. A considerable part of the land is dedicated to wildlife habitats, which makes Kenya one of the best places in Africa to see lions, elephants, leopards and the famous wildebeest migration (one of the Natural Wonders of the World). Imagine sharing the landscape and the animals with your guests as a part of your Kenya destination wedding experience. That is pretty amazing, I think.
Kenya is an east African country that resides next to the Indian Ocean and lies right on the equator. Kenya is a varied country both in its geography and its culture. Kenya is such a large country that it has not only snow tipped mountains, but beaches, rainforests, grasslands and deserts. Similarly, Kenya’s culture is a mix of different ethnic groups including those that have migrated from neighboring African countries and of course the Arab, Indian, Portuguese and British influences that took place over the years.
Kenya’s climate varies from tropical along the coast to temperate inland to arid in the north and northeast parts of the country. The country in general receives a great deal of sunshine and warmth throughout the year. The main tourist season is in January and February, when the weather is at its hottest and driest. At this time, the animals in the wildlife parks tend to congregate more around the watercourses, making them easier to spot. Because of this, the parks can get crowded and prices will be higher.
Try to avoid Christmas and Easter if possible, as those are peak times for tourists and thus prices soar. From June to October, the annual wildebeest migration takes place, with thousands of animals streaming into the Masai Mara National Reserve from the Serengeti. This is another peak tourist time, as July and August tend to be cool and dry. The “long rains” season from March-May and the “short rains” season from October–November/December are less crowded, but are also less desirable as the temperatures rise with the rain, wildlife is harder to spot, and mosquitos are out in full force.
Getting married in Kenya does take some time and paperwork, but is a relatively straightforward process. You must be at least 18 years old to marry. You will need 2 witnesses and will need to show your passport. Marriages can be performed by a civil registrar or by clergy. If the marriage is conducted by a third party somewhere other than the Registrar General’s Office, the Marriage Officer will charge an additional fee.
For an ordinary license, a couple must file a “Notice of Marriage” form with the Registrar General’s Office, pay the fee and then wait 21 days. After the 21 days, you will then complete the affidavit under S 11 of the Marriage Act, get it commissioned by the Registrar and complete a Marriage Certificate Form. There is another fee you will need to pay and then you can book a date for the marriage. The marriage must take place within 3 months from the date of giving the 21-day notice.
A couple can also apply for a special license, which waives the 21-day waiting period. But, keep in mind that this is not a right and can be denied. The couple must state the reasons why they want an exemption from the waiting period and present an affidavit stating their marriage status.
I’d like to introduce you to one of my destination wedding friends, Christophe Viseux. He is a destination wedding photographer and a travel photographer at his company, Christophe Photo. Christophe is particularly fond of Kenya and has been ever since he was a child. I’d like to let him share with you some of his thoughts about Kenya and an having a Kenya destination wedding along with some of his beautiful photographs.
Jamie: Hi Christophe! I know Kenya holds a very special place in your heart. What do you love most about it?
Christophe: Kenya is among the most photogenic locations on the planet. It has everything to offer: bush, wildlife, tea plantation, mountains, a Kilimanjaro view, and tropical white sand beaches. I truly love bush weddings because I find them very romantic. Imagine an intimate wedding with the big African sky and the dry savannah as backdrop (I love the yellow acacias so much!!!). The late afternoon light is absolutely gorgeous and sunsets are unforgettable.
Jamie: Why should a couple consider a Kenya destination wedding? What is the best thing Kenya has to offer engaged couples?
Christophe: In Kenya, you will find exclusive game lodges off the beaten tracks or trendy villas in front of the Indian Ocean. The location and services are great and make the journey a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You will experience Africa at its best and you will enjoy the magic of the place even more than you can imagine — such as a Land Rover for a wedding car!!
Jamie: What types of couples are attracted to a Kenya destination wedding?
Christophe: I work a lot with British couples in Kenya obviously due to the colonial heritage. Americans are also attracted to East Africa along with Indians who are based locally. Couples attracted to a Kenya destination wedding are more of the adventurous kind. They are usually outdoor/nature people and frequent travelers.
Jamie: What is one thing a couple should know before choosing Kenya for their destination wedding?
Christophe: This is Africa, meaning you are under African time rules. Adapt your mindset, be patient, and things will get done.
As Christophe mentioned, I think the couples most attracted to having a Kenya destination wedding are adventurers, people who really enjoy the outdoors and all kinds of wildlife. I think Kenya lovers are also people who are avid travellers and those who enjoy trying and experiencing new things. Kenya is not a place for the faint of heart. The reality is that there are wars going on in neighboring Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia, which can be cause for some concern. If you stay in tourist areas, away from country borders and apply common sense, you’ll be fine. With that being said, Kenya is not for the meek or newbie traveler. I think you have to enjoy that sense of the unknown and possibly the uncomfortable and be excited by it. And to some degree, I think that is what marriage is about. It’s about entering the unknown future and wanting to experience it together, no matter what happens. So, why not start if off with a Kenya destination wedding?
(All photos in this blog post are credited to Christophe Photo)
Is a Kenya destination wedding right for you? If not, we’ll be visiting more destination wedding locations soon, so check back for more!