Falling In Love With Africa For Your Destination Wedding

It’s African Wedding Week on Bridal Musings! Celebrating the vast & diverse continent filled with incredible venues & experiences, we want to show you why you should consider Africa for your dream destination wedding.

Long overlooked for destination weddings, the African continent is filled with stunning destinations & experiences tailor-made for luxury weddings & adventurous celebrations. Savannahs, jungles, deserts, mountains, white sand beaches & rugged coasts. Whatever your style & wedding vision there’s a place for your wedding in Africa. We want to help put these beautiful places ‘on the map’ as a top wedding destination for engaged couples.

All week long we’ll be featuring unreal African wedding inspiration from some of the world’s finest wedding vendors with help from Exalt Africa, an organization lifting up the wedding industry across Africa. We’ll share the best destinations & venue guides, fashion inspiration for guests & couples and we’ll finish up with a stunning real wedding from the beaches of Mozambique.

We’re even helping spread the word about an incredible luxury vacation giveaway to both Zambia’s Royal Livingstone (listed in our Best Luxury Honeymoon Destinations guide) and Tongabezi Resort. Head on over to Exalt Africa’s Instagram account for the details & enter by Friday, September 10, 2021.

The Founder of Exalt Africa, Mwai Yeboah is a multi-award-winning, international wedding planner and designer who helps culinary enthusiasts, fashion admirers, and adventure seekers plan experience-focused weddings that exceed their dreams and leave their guests in absolute awe. Read more from Mwai or explore her offerings by visiting her website.

Mwai & the Exalt Africa team will be sharing loads of incredible inspiration all week long on Bridal Musings, and here’s why she thinks you should consider African for your dream destination wedding…

Falling In Love With Africa For Your Destination Wedding

As a Zambian-born luxury destination wedding planner, I have been fielding questions about Africa’s capacity to host high-end destination weddings for as long as I’ve done this work. Are there decent vendors in Africa? Will I be able to carry out my design vision there? Are there nice accommodations for my guests?

The world is so often served—through images on their screen and articles in their news feed—a one-sided story of Africa. They know of her poverty-stricken villages, of her rich resources, of her opportunities for philanthropic efforts. But the other untold side of that story is one I believe engaged couples need—and deserve—to hear: Africa is a land rich with one-of-a-kind luxury, unforgettable experiences, acclaimed accommodations, and—yes!—award-winning event-industry professionals you need to host an unforgettable destination wedding. As I believe in my heart of hearts: Africa is the new Italy for destination weddings. Here’s what you can expect when you choose to celebrate your union in Africa….

Expect unreal landscapes.

People often only think of barren villages when they think of Africa, but ours is a continent of incredible diversity. Far from the homogeneous land Africa is often represented as—we’re home to unspoiled beaches, lush rainforests, expansive dunes, iconic sunsets, and every breathtaking natural marvel in between across our 54 diverse countries.

Zambia plays host to the spellbinding Victoria Falls—an official natural wonder of the world and one of the largest waterfalls known to man (trust me: this is a true bucket-list sight everyone needs to see at least once in their life). Opt to tie the knot at the iconic Royal Livingstone Resort by Anantara in Zambia, and you’ll have the majestic mist of the falls quite literally at your back as you exchange vows—a sight locals refer to as the “smoke that thunders” (or “mosi-oa-tunya” in the native language).

Or, if you’re dreaming of an intimate and extraordinary beach wedding, Mozambique in Southeastern Africa is likely just your pace. Known for its jewel-toned waters, sandy beaches, a string of private islands, and prime opportunities for whale watching—Mozambique truly is a paradise of its own rare and remarkable brand. I recommend an elopement at Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort. Twenty-five of your closest friends and family can gather on Pansy Island, a serene sandbank that’s bordered by the kind of bright turquoise waters you have to see in person to truly appreciate.

Be prepared for luxe experiences.

Ok—so I’ve convinced you that Africa has the stunning settings for your destination wedding…but what about the enriching experiences? It turns out we have those, too. After all, the best destination weddings aren’t just about a one-time celebration but, rather, a days-long collection of restorative, adventurous, and memorable experiences for you and your guests. In Africa, you have the opportunity to experience everything from balancing spa treatments for your bridal party at our acclaimed resorts—to river safaris on the stunning Zambezi River, private helicopter rides over the mighty Victoria Falls, and afternoon tea on private verandas.

A few of my favorite experiences to indulge in during your destination wedding weekend include:

  • The amazing spa treatments at The Royal Livingstone Resort by Anantara in Zambia
  • A four-course dining experience aboard the Royal Livingstone Express, a fully-refurbished steam train that oozes old-world romance while delivering you right to the Victoria Falls Bridge
  • A romantic farm-to-table dinner with your soon-to-be-spouse on your own private sandbar on Sindabezi Island (Psst…the location of the sandbar changes based on the time of year and tides, so this truly is a one-of-a-kind, impossible-to-recreate dining experience.)

Expect design with depth.

Africa is home to an array of award-winning event designers—all of whom are highly seasoned when it comes to layering color, texture, and flora to create an event aesthetic that’s alive with depth and dimension.

We often use the natural setting of your venue as our inspiration—and then work with skilled local artisans to develop textiles and additional decor elements that complete the natural surroundings without ever competing with them. Another bonus is that family-style farm tables, fine china, luxury linens, towering vases and florals are all readily available at many of Africa’s high-end resorts, particularly in Zambia.

If you’re dreaming of a destination wedding that’s inspired by nature—but then goes a step further and elevates the innate beauty of the outdoors with intentional, artisanal design additions, you’ll fall in love with Africa and her talented event designers.

Prepare for incredible service…and plenty of spirit.

It’s difficult to truly embody the spirit of Africa in words. It really is a place you have to experience to understand. From handcrafted cocktails and exciting drum circles waiting for you upon check-in at resorts that are ranked amongst the Top 100 Hotels in the World—to acclaimed chefs who pluck ingredients right from on-site gardens to use in the delicious meals they prepare for you and your guests—Africa is a place of unwavering pride and a rare brand of hospitality.

We welcome, nourish, and embrace outsiders in a way few places on Earth are prepared to do. We openly share our culture with you, we constantly anticipate your needs, and we’re at your service in any way you need us. Our goal is always to host you and yours in a way that helps you feel seen, heard, and understood as you celebrate such a special time in your life.

Overall, Africa a land rich with natural marvels, luxe experiences, acclaimed event professionals, and impeccable service—all of the necessary ingredients for a successful destination wedding. Whether you’re dreaming of an intimate elopement on your own private island or an extraordinary gathering with hundreds of your friends and family in tow—our continent offers the services and accommodations you need to celebrate your union in a way you’ll never forget, amongst a people and place that will stay in your heart for a lifetime to come.

Come back to Bridal Musings all week for loads of stunning African wedding inspiration.

This post was written by Mwai Yeboah, the founder of Exalt Africa.

Photographer: Stepan Vrzala Photography / Planning, Production & Logistical Management: Love From Mwai / Planning, Production & Logistical Management: Exalt Africa / Travel & Concierge: Love From Mwai Experiences / Design & Styling: Joy Proctor Design / Production Manager: Lonah Shawa / Venue: Royal Livingstone by Anantara / Venue: Anantara Bazaruto Island