perfect happiness; great joy: she gave a sigh of bliss.
- a state of spiritual blessedness and contentment
The resident pair of monogamous fish eagles called just before sunrise as I painted on the final brushstrokes of my make-up. The light changing from the deep pre-dawn quiet to the warm and rich golden glow of daybreak. There was a slight buzz in the air, a static of excitement that filtered through and settled over everything like a fine layer of sparkly dust. Even the morning chorus seemed aflutter.
Fresh and clean was the first light air as we made our way from the Bailey’s Banda where I got dressed, over the bumpy 4×4 tracks, towards the Msini River Valley, and made a sharp left into an almost nonexistent path, the aroma of crushed vegetation crisp as we drew near.
Hanging jars of summery flowers on Shepherds staffs and bunting dancing in the breeze set the scene; the amble down the aisle in time with John Legend’s All of me with my dad is a walk I will forever cherish, the violin strings of Lindsey Stirling pulling on everyone’s heartstrings.
Walter and I got married beneath the lofty limbs of a beautifully gnarled Fig Tree, hundreds of years old, in the middle of the forest in an area we call ‘butterfly alley’. It was perfect. We had a choir of baboons gleefully chirping in the background and a myriad of white butterflies flitting from blossom to bloom. Witnessed by an intimate gathering of our beloved family and friends in their ‘Out of Africa’ attire, we said our vows and exchanged the rings under the dappled light and the open sky.
Following the eloquent ceremony which was led by my brother in law, Vincent, we moved over through a shoal of iridescent floating spheres to another gracious Fig where the breakfast station was spread out and the family photographs were taken; the tunes of Etta James and the Beatles playing in the background.
After a leisurely game drive back to camp, everyone changed into cooler dress and a light lunch was served down in the lookout banda. The kitchen did exceptionally well, coping with a full camp right at the beginning of the season and I puffed up like a proud mama hen, I was so very proud. To have our South African Family meet and sample the fruits of our Tanzanian Beho Beho Family. Good old home cooking, comfort food made from the heart.
As it was such an early start to the day, we all scattered and the camp hushed over in the midday heat for a nap after lunch, and we reconvened in the main area for the cutting of the cake at afternoon tea. Some good laughs were had and everyone dispersed again for an afternoon activity while Walter and I went with the photographers to make the most of the beautiful afternoon light for the photo album.
A glitzy glamorous black and gold decorated main camp awaited us for the soiree, everyone decked out in 1920’ inspired Great Gatsby garb, flapper dresses and fedoras all around whilst we listened to a few impromptu speeches that had everyone in stitches and in tears before we sat down for the main event.
Once again the kitchen did a marvelous job. Everything went off without a hitch and the dessert was a hit – white chocolate cheesecake which is my favourite sweet treat, but this time dressed up in beautiful edible black lace and a golden sugar brooch on top. Hey, it is my wedding day – I had to show off just a little bit;).
Dinner was followed by the first dance underneath the stars, lanterns lighting up the parade ground, and Van Morrison’s These are the days was a very fitting choice.
Although my nerves played up and I made a few mistakes, I think it went ok and nobody really noticed it under the layers of tulle and lace! Then the Father-daughter dance to Bruce Springsteen’s When you need me.
We left the party just before midnight in true fairytale style, although I think the rest of the group followed soon after – the four day wedding safari drawing to a close; all thoroughly sated.
Walter and I are so blessed and grateful for the opportunity to share our special day with both halves of our lives: our nearest and dearest from our homeland as well as the Tanzanian family we have come to love over the last four years, right here in the Selous. Our sincerest heartfelt thanks goes out to those who made the day so special, who worked so hard to get everything ready in time and contributed to the massive success of the entire day, each in their own way – we will carry these spectacular memories with us until the end of our days.
Below are 2 photos from the special day….. To see more visit https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.904432722931785.1073741832.173155732726158&type=3