from the bride herself, Janna… “The day that my husband and I wed is a day that has wrapped itself around my heart and has been imprinted into my mind for all of my days. I ached to see the smile of my father–to have him there to walk me down the aisle–for the warmth and comfort of my mother and sister’s doting love and laughter as they would help me slip into my dress, reminiscing on days gone by, and for the sight of the sweet tears that would roll down my grandmother’s face and fill my heart with joy. Alone in our thatched villa in the wild bush of Africa, thousands of miles from our loved ones, I bowed my head in prayer and I felt serenity wash over me. This day, this feeling, these memories will never fade.
As we wound through the African bush, I closed my eyes and felt my soul awaken as I inhaled the crisp air into my lungs. The wind tugged at my curls and my skin tingled from the chill in the air… I could feel the spirit of the land running through my veins. The lull of the engine slowed as we approached the ceremony site, and my heart began to beat faster. In the distance, I could see my strapping groom in his tall leather boots and suspenders, waiting patiently. Jabulani and each of the other elephants saluted me with their trunks aimed toward the heavens as I grew closer to the lantern-lit aisle. I slowed, my body imploring that I take in each second. Jabulani, the gentle giant, and I locked eyes, and I resisted the urge to praise him for his patience. In the distance, I could hear the scoffs of disapproval from the baby elephants who were being shied away from their posing mothers. I felt as though I was soaking up the soul of Africa through my bare feet asI drifted over the rose petal covered bush floor. As I reached my groom, I exhaled euphorically and listened as the Ghost Birds gave their blessing. We became bonded through Christ as Mother Nature surrounded us and cloaked us in her beauty. Our souls will forever be willfully bound to this soil, and our hearts will ache to be in the presence of this ethereal land until we return once more.”
Photographer SARAH MARIE PHOTOS | Wedding Planner & Florist ELSIE OLËN, CAMP JABULANI | Venue SUNDOWNER LOOKOUT AT CAMP JABULANI, HOEDSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA | Gown AIGUILLE GOWN BY ANNA SUI | Reception Dress ALLSAINTS | Shoes CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN | Groom’s Attire COL. LITTLETON and J.L. POWELL | Videography BMG WEDDING CINEMA