Change of scenery today on La mariée aux pieds nus, with this sublime wedding celebrated in the middle of the desert of Namibia. Breathtaking landscapes and lunar landscape have welcomed our two german lovers, who said yes to the lens of Chloé…
“We know each other since 1994, both travel a lot, for work (he engineer for airline, she as freelance consultant of humanitarian organisation) and for fun: backpacking Asia, a bit South America – but it was Africa to which we would always return.
In 2012 we bought our Land Rover in South Africa and since then we regularly make long tours through Southern Africa, especially the deserts and semi-deserts.Desert is not only spectacular landscape, but also where we can discover ourselves, no distractions: no phone, no internet, no other people, no “daily small stuff”, focus on the essential questions. So we knew from early on that we wanted to get married there – because this place is so special for us. But not only a ceremony (no half-measures!), but we wanted the full official registration and Apostille.”
“While we were making plans one evening in a bar in the Okavango Delta we met Chloe, the wedding photographer. We hit it off immediately and since we believe a bit in destiny (how big are chances to meet a wedding photographer in the remote bush while you are discussing your wedding!?) we decided there and then that if we ever make it happen then she would be the one to take photos. Also, as a fellow traveller she would understand and “get it right“. We were very happy that she accepted. And we are happy still, because her photos are fantastic and capture the “vibes” of our 3 days in the desert very well.
Wolwedans Dunes Lodge is actually a group of lodges in NamibRand Nature Reserve. Here we found everything we looked for: fantastic, fun and highly professional staff, personalized arrangements, everything was taken care of (amazing food, bottomless drinks, activities) – it felt all very exclusive. And the place was simply spectacular. Everything ecological, socially responsible, one of the most beautiful places on Earth and the night sky with millions and millions of stars was beyond words.”
“First we wanted to go elopement-style, but we found that a few people at home wanted to share the moment with us. So we changed our mind and decided to invite some guests. The number would be limited by the size of the lodge (max. 18 guests). Our social circle is quite eclectic and diverse and we thought it would be nice to bring the different ages, backgrounds and nationalities together at the wedding as this also is quite representative of ourselves. Another thing that was important to us was to spend actually time with each other (more than only an afternoon/evening). So we booked a remote desert lodge in Namibia for 3 days.
The ring had to be sourced and made locally. South Africa as a gold producer was ideal. Bought at Charles Greig, a 5th generation family business, in their shop in Cape Town.”
“We did not care too much about wedding dresses and suits, but we wanted an easy-going, bohemian and a bit old-fashioned feel. Neither the bridal dress nor the suit were specially made for a wedding. And they were not very expensive either. Dress-code was “desert-chic”, maybe a bit eccentric, but comfortable.
No shoes needed, because it would not be possible to walk with shoes in the sand of the dunes anyway. For inspiration we told people to watch again Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile, with all these different characters and styles, all elegant but all in their own individual fashion. We did not want our guests to copy any particular costume, but most had never been to Africa and asked for some direction from us. “
“Our predominant memory of the wedding is that we stepped into a dream for a few days. It was in retrospect all light, happy and almost a bit unreal in a positive sense. We just “let go” and Wolwedans took care of everything. We let Wolwedans take care of the details and so it was all a bit of a surprise for us, too.”
Do not stress! Find a partner who you trust (as we did with Wolwedans – which we had “tested” before we booked them for the wedding – we trusted them 100%). Take your time with loved people: The ceremony was on Day 3 of our stay in Wolwedans, and by then we felt that everybody was quite relaxed, felt comfortable among the other guests and had “arrived”.