destination African wedding

Our destination African wedding: Jon & Tor

Our Destination African wedding:  Jon & Tor

We are featuring the beautiful Destination African wedding of British couple, Jon & Tor who got married at Botlierskop private Game reserve.  We asked the couple a few questions regarding their wedding planning and their wedding inspiration.

destination African wedding

  • Tell us a bit more about your love story? Where did you meet, was it love at first sight etc..

We met in a nightclub called Mahiki in Dubai! I was chatting up his friend then Jon offered me a lift home and the rest is history as they say!!!

  • And the proposal?  Was it a surprise?  Romantic? 

It was a complete surprise, it was boxing day 2015. We were at my parents house in the UK and he kept saying he was going to do an annual review on me! He took me for an early morning walk in the country and got down on one knee then pulled champagne and glasses from his coat pocket! My parents knew and were waiting at home with the champagne and his best friend was on his way down.

  • Let’s talk about your stunning wedding… We love your wedding venue. Why did you choose Botlierskop for your destination African wedding? 

We live in Dubai so an overseas wedding was always an option. Jon grew up in Africa and my Granddad was from SA. We have always loved SA and decided we wanted something memorable and loved the idea of a game reserve. It was a friend who had stayed there that recommended the place so we went entirely off their recommendation as we didn’t see the venue till 2 days before the wedding! Luckily, we made the right choice!

Destination African wedding

  • It was pouring buckets while on your pre wedding game drive! With the majority of your guests being from abroad, did they embrace the weather?  What did you do to keep warm? 

The guests got straight into spirit of things, embraced the atmosphere and safari. Alcohol and laughing kept them warm!

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  • We hear you had a close encounter with a rhino during your portrait shoot, what happened?

I think it was just an inquisitive rhino who decided to get a little close!! We had to run and get in the jeeps, with the bridesmaids stuffing my dress in behind me!!

Destination African wedding

  • We love the subtle touches of ‘Africa’ through out your wedding, tell us a bit more around these choices?  For example the crocodile meat?  Did your guests enjoy it?   

The guests loved all the food and it was made extra special by all the staff.  I had decided that we were in such a stunning location with a beautiful setting so wanted to keep everything simple to allow the natural beauty to shine through, fairy lights make everything wonderful!!

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  • In hindsight is there anything you would have done differently?

Everything turned out perfect minus the unfortunate event of my father not being able to make it.

  • Any tips or advice for couples planning a destination African wedding?

Get a wedding planner!! Can defiantly recommend mine (Debbie) she was amazing.

We couldn’t agree more with Tor’s advice on getting a wedding planner!  We asked their wedding planner, Debbie from ETC events to give us a few tips for planning your destination African wedding:

  • Hire a Professional Wedding Planning that specialises in Destination Wedding and is preferable on site and can recommend suppliers and assist with decisions on the ground
  • Choose a location that is meaningful and has all the resources you need
  • Advise your guests well in advance with a Save the Date and accommodation details to ensure they are able to plan ahead of time and will be able to attend your wedding
  • Consider your guests with options for accommodation that are in close proximity to the venue
  • Always do a site visit prior to booking and then again about 4 months prior to the wedding to finalise details.  If you can’t make a 2nd trip then arrive a least 5 days prior to the wedding to do final prep and table, hair and makeup trials
  • Setup meetings with service providers prior to your site visit and meet with them at the venue.  Local is lekker.
  • If you are wanting a specific vendor from home then remember to consider travel and accommodation costs
  • Don’t forget to ensure your Wedding dress suits the location

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Service Providers

Photographer:  Christelle Rall Photography

Venue:  Botlierskop Private Game Reserve

Make Up & Hair:  Marlize Earl

Wedding Planner:  Debbie from ETC events

Efficient:  Gavin Brown

We hope you enjoyed Jon & Tor’s beautiful destination African wedding.  Please make sure to also visit our blog post regarding Africa Wedding inspiration as well as our recommendations for destination Africa wedding venues.

Disclaimer:  Although we do extensive research for all our articles, we do miss things!  If you have any suggestions or corrections on this blog post, please do let us know at