A bush lodge wedding can be a spectacular affair for the bridal party – no stress, the entire event is planned for you and you arrive, get married and celebrate! We have played host to various bush ceremonies, and we asked our Jaci’s Lodge GM, Lauren to write a piece on a recent wedding that she planned.

“With the wind in our faces and a cloud of dust behind us we move through the winding roads of the reserve…….Me, the lodge manager (soon to be wedding planner) and a very excited couple. We aren’t on game drive, we are in search of the perfect spot for a wedding ceremony.

Having looked at a few spots already we round the corner and there it is, a gigantic Fig Tree and a wide open space under it.

Image by Yolandi Du Plessis Photography

After some inspection and walking around and planning the layout we head back to the lodge with great excitement as we now have the location.

After a brief discussion about colours, flowers, cakes, menus and how the couple would like the wedding day to go, they depart and I start getting the ball rolling………

As most people can imagine, most things start with writing a list, and I very long one I might add, as the next time I am going to see this couple is when they say their “ I do’s”.

The next few days I spend booking a photographer, someone to do the flowers, a hairdresser, a minister, someone from Home Affairs and a group of traditional dancers. All of which would need to come to the lodge on the day of the wedding. After everyone has been booked and I’ve discussed the what’s and how’s with them, I head to see the chefs to chat about the wedding cake and how it should look and the menu options for that day. The amount of ticks on my list by now is pretty impressive.


Next on my list is to build a Pergola. Thankfully I have a fantastic maintenance team, so all I really had to do was draw a picture, give measurements and voilà, next tick on my list. And that, in a nutshell brings me to the wedding day.

Armed with a water cart( for the dust), Pergola, bags of leaves( used to create an isle to walk down), chairs and tables, me and my team head out early that morning to set up the ceremony spot. While we are out doing that, the Photographer and the Hairdresser are busy at the lodge with the wedding party. It’s a beautiful day and not a cloud in site. Phew!


After the main set up is done, we head back to the lodge to do the final preparations and to collect the flowers and the very important Champagne and canapés.

The game viewers are ready to transport the wedding party to the ceremony site.

Quick introductions are made between the couple and the minister and the official from home affairs as the register gets signed and then we are ready to depart.

I head out a bit earlier to do the final preparations and wait for the first game viewer to arrive. It’s quite a sight to see such smartly dressed people climb out of a game viewer, but that’s what a Safari Wedding is all about. Once everyone is seated, the next vehicle arrives with the bride.


While the ceremony is in progress we had to place guides at various spots to make sure or give us fair warning at least should any of the Big 5 want to make an appearance. Thankfully, although the whole area was full of elephant spoor in the morning when we got there, they hadn’t returned.

After the ceremony while everyone enjoyed champagne and canapes the traditional dancers performed to celebrate the newly married couple, while the photographer was capturing all the memories that were being made.



The reception dinner was back at the lodge, so after the photo shoot was done everyone headed back to the beautifully decorated dining area. The cake was cut and the rest of the evening was spent celebrating.

Another successful wedding had come to an end….