“There lived a God-fearing girl with a fashion acumen and taste that marveled me” narrates Erik Okoth “she was my church mate, but she looked unapproachable’ he continues while stealing a glance now and then at Linda-the woman made from his rib. Eric and Linda finally met and struck friendship during one of their common church forums which would lead them to building fond memories of each other every time they parted way from the weekly church conventions, Linda carries on, “Eric is very persistent and he never gave up on chasing after me, he asked me for a date three weeks to the day so that he could be prepared for whatever.”
Their first date ignited a flame that saw them embark on their journey to matrimony; a tea date over a spoken word session titled I will wait for you seemed to be the last arrow for cupid-struck Eric, “The spoken word was very deep not knowing that indirectly he was hinting to me that he will indeed wait for me. We laughed about anything and everything and the friendship we had built for the preceding months moved a notch higher.
The sun was high up in the sky, casting dancing shadows on the ice cold waters of the swimming pool below; on the farthest corner of the pool’s deep edge, the love birds took a dive hand in hand. This was one of the favorite pass times for the last year they had been in courtship. “Then without a warning or any discussion, Eric said we need to go for a drive to Lake Elementaita; he said the weather was changing, I tried to make further inquiries into the sudden change of mind but didn’t get anywhere. We changed and took a drive to a lodge along the lake, it was around 4:30 in the evening.” Reminisces Linda of the beauteous memories that marked his proposal.
Now anyone who has been to Elementaita cannot fail to acknowledge the bewitching scenery as the sun sets into its western horizons, “the place is just beautiful, the air is breathtakingly fresh-it has the perfect panorama for romance in the wild” remembers Linda with a half-smile breaking on her face. Eric would then suggest that they go up the cliff for a perfect view of the lake below, unknown to Linda, lurking behind the rocks were waiters laden with fresh bouquets and sparkling wine, a few meters away her favorite song filled the air with a charming sensation and before she could take in the whole set, Eric was down on a bended knee, “I freaked out and asked him to get up, my mind was frozen, I couldn’t make out anything from his gesture! He stayed on his knees till I kept quite… it was like we were just the two of us against the world. He asked me by my full names to be his life partner and his companion … to be his wife. I was too overwhelmed and I hugged him and said a big yes!!!! The engagement ring was too gorgeous I kept looking at it the entire time. The waiters then clapped in cheer and the music went loud. We were in the middle of a bush …. It was too great; the sun’s last rays were fading off into the forest around us, making the perfect setting. That is why we ended up having a forest wedding
Inspired by the scenic setting on their proposal, Eric and Linda decided to have a forest wedding, a natural setting untainted by human activities and other factors. The décor set up would be in line with the wild theme and her entrance would be on the saddle back of a horse. Her brother would then carry her to the altar!
We had the best photographers I must say; our photo session was adjacent to the wedding venue near a small river, unperturbed by our presence, a herd of cows grazed by the river gorge, making for very captivating backdrop, we had an evening photo shoot at Sunbird lodge in Elementaita, to capture the magical sunset.
Cinderella was my favorite fairy, and when it came to my dream dress; it had to be nothing short of the princess! I went for a ball gown with a corset that fit my petite figure perfectly.
To give a burst of color to the forest, my girls wore the brightest orange in carpet sweeping gowns while my best maid went for a happy and fun-filled hot pink. We had disagreement on the type of shoe to wear due the setting of the location but later reached a consensus-it had to be a wedge for both support and comfort. The colors seemed to reflect the sunrays falling through the trees. Instead of flower bouquets-which I think cliché- my bridesmaids used dried flowers that looked very elegant. I however would have loved to carry my favorite bouquet of white lilies but they had not opened on the morning of the wedding, hence I had to carry the roses. Above all, my bridesmaids made my day; bursting with life, beautiful and supportive to the last day, this gave life, color and warmth to the wedding.
Funding the plan
We made a bit of savings for like three months, our friends and family did play a major role in financing the wedding. Since both of us are people friendly, we listed almost a hundred of our friends and they gave generously which met almost half our budget, our church – Lake view AGC enormously supported us. We had a committee of very committed guys who went out of their way to ensure the wedding took place the way we had envisioned it. I can confidently say for a wedding to run smoothly and the bride and groom to be stress free you need a team of committed guys. They really gave their best. My mother was my pillar throughout the planning.
Decor and set up
We wanted something out of the norm, and the moment we saw the venue we realized it fell in place with our forest wedding theme. For a forest set up, I was very particular with the setting because one small hiccup would make the entire setting lose meaning. I met the décor lady and her ideas were extremely unique; she absolutely shared in my dream, and together we had a harmonized vision of the event. I couldn’t wait for the end creation of our imagination!
Come the wedding day and my decorator set to surpass my expectations! It was like a fairytale, the aisle was laid out in orange linen, while pieces of the same gaily swayed to the winds from the tree trunks, the walkway was lit in light balls and as the horse gently trotted down to my altar, every blade of the grass underneath seemed to rise up in honor of this life changing occasion!
At one point, one of the tree branches broke away from the tree almost hitting some of the groomsmen! We however picked up from the shock first enough to resume the ceremony without disruption.
We had to give a three months’ notice to the attorney general’s office to allow them confirm that we were both single. Since it was a garden wedding we also had to get a license from the Attorney General’s office to hold a garden wedding which we got three days before the wedding from Sheria house, quite crazy. We had no idea of the hassle and protocol involved in getting married!
Venue: Kivuli Garden & Forest -Nakuru
Photography: Ideas Unplugged