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Will it be a mountain, beach or park ceremony?

Kenya offers the idyllic setting of bush,
Kenya offers the idyllic setting of bush, beach, highland or a quick business wedding, the locations for any of these are readily available. PHOTO | COURTESY 

April is here and the sound of wedding bells is in the air. Trends change but when it comes to weddings, people still opt to have their wedding during the school holiday months of April, August and December.

The weddings themselves have evolved, it is no longer the self-catered event that the bride and groom orchestrated themselves or with the help of family, now we have event planners to take the job off our hands.

Cakes, dresses, transportation and venues are all integral in the modern-day wedding as the couple strives to impress family, guests and each other.

As the bride takes the first step down the aisle, she and her groom stare longingly at each other as the symphony plays in the background, it is essential that the backdrop fits in seamlessly with the mood.

Kenya offers the idyllic setting of bush, beach, highland or a quick business wedding, the locations for any of these are readily available.

When dreaming up or planning the ideal wedding, the lure of the perfect setting in the perfect scenery with the perfect view is part of the package that all couples look for.

Be it a wedding in the highlands with the backdrop of the mountains or the thrill of a wedding with lions strolling in the periphery in the national park or even the sound of crashing waves on one of the spectacular beaches at the coast, Kenya is, without a doubt, the perfect destination for a glamorous wedding.

Wedding planners, both local and international, have Kenya as the go-to destination and all these are within reach.

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Fairmont Mt Kenya Safari Club

The Fairmont Mt Kenya Safari Club has been rated as one of the top luxury outfits in Kenya and a top wedding destination over the years.

A wedding on the manicured lawns overlooking a rose garden and a stream with a ballroom that seats 200. The wedding setting comes with manor suites, deluxe rooms or secluded riverside cottages, each with a view of Mt Kenya, making it an ideal wedding location.

The wedding package which includes complimentary use of the resort grounds, chef’s choice buffet menu, use of the grounds for photography, a discount for rooms at the Norfolk or the Mara and complementary bed and breakfast on the eve of the wedding including room service breakfast.

The wedding package caters for a minimum of 50 guests and a maximum of 200 at a price range of between Sh4,500 and Sh5,500 per person.

Mukima House

This boutique property nestled in Laikipia on the slopes of Mt Kenya, is an ideal setting for an intimate ceremony.

“We have hosted many successful weddings at Mukima House for up to 150 people, and also have a designated area on the estate where we can host larger weddings,” they say. The property has an area than can hold larger wedding parties.

According to Mukima house, all their weddings have been different, some include marquee tents and dance floors, others are more simple. We can arrange for everything from the food and tables to the flowers and music.

In addition, the property offers customised honeymoons at Kizingoni Beach, Lamu.

Though the costs vary, the wedding package, which is just the grounds, party license has a basic cost of Sh150,000.

However, a full package including catering, flowers, tents, transport, washrooms for about 100 people may be around Sh1 million. Soft drinks, cake, wine and beer come at an additional cost.

Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort

The Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort, which is a popular destination for intimate and large wedding alike in Naivasha has three wedding buffet packages.

The Classic White, Red Rose, Butterfly and will include complimentary use of the resort and grounds for church and reception ceremonies, furniture for church and reception set-ups, buffet menu, use of hotel lawns and poolside for photography, complimentary night stay for the bride and groom and fruits and flowers in the room.

The Red Rose and Butterfly packages will include a bottle of sparkling wine during cake cutting, an hour’s massage for the newlyweds, continental breakfast served in the room in the morning and one soft drink per person.

The Butterfly also has the addition of the evening party venue and cocktail with bitings. The packages, however, do not include tents, décor, entertainment and beverages.

The Classic White is Sh3,000 per person, the Red Rose is Sh3,500 per person and the Butterfly is Sh4,000 per person.

Enashipai Resort and Spa

Enashipai is currently one of the top choices for weddings in Naivasha. The hotel has the two packages for the big day, the Rose Package and the Orchid package.

The Rose package includes a four-course menu, bridal table set-up, Enashipai tent set-up including tables and chairs, one night complimentary stay in the honeymoon suite, room service, complimentary anniversary lunch or dinner, use of the resort grounds for the service and reception, use of the grounds and poolside for photography, catering and an hour classic massage for the couple.

This package is for a maximum 700 seats and a minimum 300 people otherwise a ground hire fees of Sh200,000 applies.

The cost for this package is Sh4,250 per person but does not include cake, photography, décor, licenses, entertainment and nyama choma.

The Orchid package which is Sh4,750 with the same exclusion as the Rose package comes with a five course menu with a 90-minute massage for the couple and a complimentary anniversary night on full board.

This package is for a maximum 700 seats and a minimum 300 people otherwise a ground hire fees of Sh200,000 applies.

Fairmont Mara Safari Club

The Fairmont Mara Safari Club has a similar package with the use of the hotel and surrounding savanna with wildlife for photography, Boma reception venue, a complementary night stay for the couple on the wedding night in a deluxe tent.

The couple will also be able to enjoy a Hippo Deck breakfast, complimentary ceremony venue, PA system and a soft drink per person with meals.

The classic package cost of Sh3,500 per person excludes ceremony venue, PA system and beverage, Sh4,000 premier package minus the PA system and beverage and the exclusive Sh4,200 per person for the entire package for a minimum 30 people and a maximum 100 people.

Angama Mara

This new entrant in the Mara does not have specific wedding packages but there are two types of weddings that can be conducted at the luxury tented camp.

The Angama Mara Wedding for 30 guests or 60 guests which means the bridal party has to take up either one or both Camps. However, a private affair can be conducted at the Out of Africa Kopje. The ceremony is conducted overlooking the Mara 1000 feet below.

There will be a feast at the lodge and no extra charge for using the Angama Mara as the wedding venue.

There is also the Maasai Blessing which is held at the traditional Maasai Boma at sunset followed by a traditional performance by the Maasai.

The outfit offers a six-night journey with Sagera Retreat for honeymooners. It will include three nights at the Sagera Retreat in Laikipia and three Nights at the Angama including private charter flights.
The cost per adult sharing is Sh740,000 ($7,400).

Voyager Beach Resort

Voyager Beach Resort, also part of the Heritage Hotels has beach wedding packages, the Captain’s Special for Sh2,400, the Laveer Package for Sh2,900 and the Royal Escape Package for Sh3,400 per person.

All the packages include the option to marry on board a ship, reception venue, complete set-up for the reception, professional catering service, use of grounds for photos, dinner at the seafood restaurant and an anniversary cake.

The Laveer and Royal Escape also include free airport transfers for the couple, champagne breakfast, ceremony venue for a maximum 200 people, an album including 30 photos and the Royal Escape has the option of an upgrade to the executive cabin, one hour massage for the couple and dress up for photo session.

Vipingo Ridge

Vipingo Ridge in Kilifi has packages with the choice of three locations either at the club house rooftop terrace, the club house lawn or the beach bar.

Roof Top Terrace has a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean on one side and the African sunset on the other. The Club House Lawn has a lush lawn and the clubhouse has enough space to hold up to 500 guests.

The Beach Bar holds up to 500 people with a view of the ocean. All wedding events are tailor-made to suit the client and Vipingo Ridge supply Catering and Bar Services and charge a venue hire fee for use of the grounds.

The four menu options go for Sh6,800, Sh2,500 and Sh4,300 depending on the variety, courses and food selection.
Boutique destination properties also offer couples the option of honeymooning at the properties at a discounted rate or with packaged rates in partnership with affiliate properties.

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