There really isn’t anything more romantic than eloping. My best friend did it in Thailand (despite my not-so-subtle suggestions that she and her husband-to-be allow me to make a “surprise” appearance. Note: I didn’t) and my childhood girlfriend is going to do it in India (to which I might make a “surprise” appearance. Nat, consider yourself warned). Just the two – bride and groom – uniting, celebrating their love and commitment to one another while enjoying a beautiful destination. Amazing.
This was the first time I had the opportunity to photograph a genuine elopement. Eric and Sara came all the way from Atlanta, USA, to the Masai Mara – a place in a country they had never been to – to tie the knot. And they came just the two of them. No best friend, no parent, not even a witness to sign the marriage document, tagging along. And considering that the wedding was a limited party of two, it still managed to contain a LOT. A lot of beauty. A lot of fun. A lot of laughter. A lot of joy. A lot of silliness. A lot of alcohol (which might explain the four aforementioned things ;). A lot of tears and a lot of love. And I mean A LOT.
Every couple that I’ve had the opportunity to photograph loves differently. These two showed their love in the most perfect. beautiful, unabashed, outward way. Tears flowed as Sara walked down the ‘aisle,’ sobbing ensued during the reading of their vows and the two were genuinely so in love and so excited that they had their ‘kiss-the-bride” moment before they even remembered to exchange rings (and then countless more moments after they did).
Sara, alone in her beautiful tent at Kichwa Tembo, gets herself ready while Eric, in another tent, dresses. He hasn’t seen her blush pink dress and has no idea what she’s going to look like (beautiful. Obvs). Can I mentioned here that this bride told me that I was going to have to heavily edit her (clearly fictional) ‘moustache, droopy eyelids, bad skin, bug bites’ and a multitude of other things and that I’ve done absolutely none of those things? And she’s still stunning?
I meet Eric at the lodge bar so I can photograph him before he leaves for the wedding venue. He’s meant to leave thirty minutes before Sara but his car isn’t ready. So: drinks. Drinks make sense.
Eric produces a TV show that airs in the US called Archer. Despite having never seen it, it took me all of thirty seconds of time alone with Eric to know that his show couldn’t be anything but a comedy as I was crying tears of laughter the whole time.
When I returned back to Sara’s tent after Eric left I found her sitting quietly alone on the bed, texting love notes to her groom-to-be. Cuuuuuuuuute.
Eric’s first look at Sara as she comes down the aisle. Tears.
Vows. More tears. Some light sobbing. A whole bunch of adorableness.
There is a lot I could say about this cake. The two things I want to say most are 1: I’m glad they (the hotel) removed the candles they had originally stuck in it (…) and 2: The names are spelled properly. That is all.
More wonderful examples of Eric’s posing creativity (genius). I still cannot look at these without laughing. Literally. Eric really wanted to ‘hatch from her dress, like an egg.’ How could I NOT think that was the best idea ever?! (Clearly it was).
Whisky, wine, champagne, love, coffee. Perfect.