Dreamy Scottish Wedding in Nairobi
On Easter, I had the honor and privilege of photographing Graham and Louise’s Wedding at Karen. It was a sunny spring day as family and friends decline in private estate house in the rolling hills of Nairobi.
One of my favorite moments was at the end of the ceremony after the whole speeches had completed and couple sings the Scottish song, walking out in the cool mountains air. Guests began to congratulate couple as they came down the stairs with Graham holding Louise's hand and everyone exploded into joys. It was so fabulous!!
How/when/where did you first meet?
We reconnected in Nairobi after being schoolmates years ago. Graham was visiting from his new home in Australia and in Nairobi for a friend's wedding. It was instantaneous.
How/when/where did the proposal happen?
In January 2016 in Uganda whilst with a big family of gorillas Graham got down on one knee - spur of the moment - after I said yes made a ring out of jungle grass on our walk home.
What was the vision for your wedding, the style/color/scheme?
As casual and simple as possible. Our bridesmaids were the colorful part of the wedding and everything else was just set to enhance their beauty!
How many guests?
We had 180 in the end
Why did you choose your wedding venue?
An easy choice - it was in my childhood home where my Dad still lives. Every important event in my family has happened here.
Describe the ceremony, what made it unique/special:
My brother built our ceremony stage himself and 6 layers of netting were removed from my wedding dress and used to adorn the pillars - yes there was a LOT! The steps & bridesmaid seats were made from a tree that fell down in our garden and the bamboo posts holding up the canopy are also from our garden. My Mother's memorial in 1995 and Aunt & uncle's wedding in 1992 were held in this same spot. Our friend is a priest and so was the ideal person to marry us.
Describe the reception, what made it unique/special:
Our reception was on my Dad's front lawn where we spent our childhood playing badminton and croquet. The central tree still has a massive burn from one of my parents' BBqs back in the day and we ate at tables outside my childhood bedroom and had our first dance on our family verandah. It was a tight squeeze but made the atmosphere just incredible. We had an open bar (made by my brother out of old shipping pallets) and our food was in stations - Sausage Station, Potato station, Salad station, Tapas station and Dessert station - I loved the casual approach to eating as much of whatever you wanted. The popcorn station was popular with the kids!
Describe the flowers used for floral arrangements:
Our friend Stella does dried bougainvillea confetti which we used for the aisle and then we just kept it simple with Calla lilies in recycled blue wine bottles. Our table cloths were crazy Kitenge colours so there was no need of any other decor or fancy flower arrangements. The grounds of our home in the forest were just bursting with greenery & life.
What was the inspiration of your wedding cake?
The lady who looks after our beloved dog designed, baked & decorated our cake - totally her style & we loved it. Another friend (Pink Implala) custom-made our acrylic cake topper - bride, groom in kilt & St Bernard dog.
Describe the favors for guests:
We made Limoncello for everyone from the lemons off our lemon tree (first time it's ever fruited) in memory of my Grandfather who died 2 years ago - he bought my Mother our home in the 80's and during the last 5 years of his life he loved a glass of my homemade limoncello after dinner. We used this for our toasts & encouraged everyone to take a bottle home after.
What do you love most about your wedding?
That everyone enjoyed it as much as we did. It was overwhelming seeing so many happy, smiling faces of the people we hold most dear from all over the world and from such different aspects of our lives.
From your experience, what advice or tips would you share with other couples?
Enjoy your day - take time to experience it - you have worked on this for months, it'll be great, don't sweat the small stuff - it's fine!
Focus on your budget early on and decide what you REALLY want to splurge on - for us it was the photographer & making sure we had nice wine & cold beers - and then try and stick to it - don't cut corners on important things like food in favour of silly things like matching ribbons and guest favours!
Do a welcome dinner/ drinks with family, close friends and those that have traveled half the world for you - give them the time they deserve, you probably wont have time for them on the actual day.
Definitely do a first look - with the groom and with the father of the bride!
What do you think couples will get out of their experience with Maiafreia Photography?
Lola's endless enthusiasm & energy and her absolute complete and utter dedication to getting every single photo just perfect. Everything looked unbelievably stunning due to her talent. You'll have the most insane amount of amazing photos to remember the day for years to come - nothing can beat that.
Your favorite love or inspiration quote?
"Marry the one that gives you the same feeling you get when you see your food coming at a restaurant"
Location: Karen, Nairobi
Wedding dress: Dress was a Justin Alexander that Mitumba Art (Sonja Parkinson from Nanyuki) had customized with hand-painted guinea fowl feathers for someone else - I think it was 3rd hand for me!
Shoes: Cowboy boots my cousin wore on her wedding day.
Jewellery: A pearl necklace & bracelet from Oceano Pearls (Harriet Patrizi).
Groom attire: He wore his traditional Scottish Kilt his father bought for his 18th birthday.
Bridesmaid dresses: Annabelle Thom silk saree dresses
Catering - Lime Catering
Flowers - DIY
Decor - DIY
Makeup - Amber