Destination Weddings in Kenya – An Awesome Trend to Consider in 2022
If we’ve learnt anything from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s the value of family and close friends. This sense of intimacy is exactly what destination weddings in Kenya focus on.
When planning weddings in Kenya, couples are making a deliberate decision to host small, intimate gatherings and are looking into wide, open spaces to just have a change of scenery for their pre- and post-wedding events. You can take advantage of these spaces to hold different kinds of events, ranging from a large welcome party to rehearsal dinners.
Some fun activities like a group hike or tours to do during the day can also be arranged. This offers the couple and their guests not only the time to celebrate the marriage itself, but an intimate vacation all wrapped into one.
8 Things to Consider as you Plan Destination Weddings
Planning a destination wedding miles away from home can be quite challenging if no proper planning is done. Below are a few things couples can consider as they plan their big day away from their hometowns:
#1 When to hold your destination wedding
The first major consideration should be both your schedules and availability. Also consider how the weather usually is around the time you choose to hold your wedding, especially if there will be outdoor activities involved.
Another big factor would be fluctuations in tourism; Rates are generally usually higher in high seasons as compared to low seasons. Congestion insights is also very common during high seasons, though low seasons could translate to empty streets and closed hotspots.
#2 Notifying your guests
Save-the-dates should be shared at least 6-8 months before the wedding while the official invites should go out no later than 3-4 months prior to the big day.
Consider giving your guests a lot more information when you’re asking them to join you out of town. Outline all of the events you’ve planned out and include the date, time, and location of each event.
#3 Guest accommodations & travels
Traditionally guests are expected to cover their personal accommodation and transportation expenses, but it’s important you make this known to them as gracefully as possible. Tactfully lay out expectations by providing recommendations for accommodations or booking websites. If you’ve booked a hotel room block, emphasize that each guest needs to reserve their own room within it to help save on time for all activities planned.
#4 Hiring a professional wedding planner
Find a wedding planner or coordinator that specializes in destination weddings in Kenya. This not only makes the whole planning process easier, but gives you the confidence that you have an expert who knows how to handle all the challenges that may arise and you are guaranteed of an amazing experience on your big day.
#5 Visiting the destination in advance
Once you’ve chosen your dream destination, ensure to visit at least once before booking and again 3-4 months before the big day to finalize all details. Alternatively, you can arrive at least 5 days early to follow up on all planning and coordination with your wedding planner and the venue.
#6 Offering welcome bags
Appreciate your guests’ attendance by offering welcome bags once they arrive. Fill them with items that give them a glimpse of what to expect or that will provide some comfort for their stay. Things like water bottles, chocolates/mints, maps, hats, sunscreen and aspirin are great additions.
Consider adding a personalized note or customized gift, such as an embroidered handkerchief, to each bag to truly make your guests know just how thrilled you are to have them.
#7 Tailoring your wedding dress to the destination
Brides should carefully consider the climate and terrain of the wedding day when shopping for a dress. Go for breathable fabrics and lightweight laces while considering hot and humid locations. On the other hand, the embellished ball gown would be perfect for Nanyuki weather.
#8 Getting away gracefully
Consider communicating to your guests prior if you are planning to transition into honeymoon mode, especially if you’ve decided to stay at the same resort as those who have extended their own travels. You could excuse yourselves by saying your goodbyes during the fanfare of a post-reception send-off or next-day brunch. If it’s privacy you seek, move to a different section of the hotel. You could ask your venue if they have elevated accommodations (luxury suites, over-water villas, or independent cabins) that are positioned separately from other rooms.
15 Best Top-Rated Wedding Venues in Kenya we Recommend
Due to the government’s COVID-19 regulations, especially in the hospitality industry, some of the best wedding venues in Kenya have become a bit more expensive than they used to be before the pandemic.
This is mainly because now a lot more planning and organizing has to go into making the perfect wedding venue while still trying to adhere to these regulations.
See below our list of the prime destination venues that we recommend for couples in Kenya;
#1 Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club
Looking for a taste of royalty? Then Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club is the place to have your wedding. They offer a blend of comfort, adventure and relaxation, with a magnificent view of the great Mt. Kenya, where one can see the wild animals that the Nanyuki area is famous for. Their gardens can seat up to 500 guests and can tailor make a package for each couple as per their requirements. The hotel’s honeymoon extras include; romantic breakfast on the slopes of Mount Kenya, nature walks, horse riding and picnic at Lake Alice.
#2 Windsor Golf Hotel and County
Located along Kigwa Lane in Ridgeways, Windsor hotel offers one of the best wedding gardens/venues not only for the wedding ceremony, but the beautiful landscape offers a great backdrop for your photoshoot and is a perfect honeymoon destination for those who don’t want to go so far from Nairobi.
#3 Fuschia Gardens
The garden is uniquely surrounded by the panoramic views of tea plantations, hills & valleys, botanical plants and wildlife that is indigenous to Limuru. The garden is able to accommodate both intimate and larger capacity weddings of between 200-1000 guests. If elegance is something you’re looking for, then this is the perfect place for just that, especially if you don’t mind a bit of the cold weather.
#4 Enashipai Resort & Spa
Located right at the heart of Naivasha along Moi South Lake Rd, this location offers one of the best wedding venues in Kenya, and for good reason. Enashipai offers services such as rehearsal dinners, perfect grounds for photo sessions next to the lake, and evening parties. Couples have the choice to choose from an indoor wedding in their beautiful set up conference halls or an outdoor wedding on the grounds.
#5 The Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa in Mombasa
The venue offers a beautiful beachfront view for weddings at the coast. They also have lush gardens, poolside venues, and other intimate options for couples looking to tie the knot. We can truly say it is the real tropical paradise in the Kenyan coastline.
#6 The Mukima House
Mukima House is the perfect place to hold an intimate, luxurious wedding, built on a privately owned 360 acres of land in Nanyuki. The house can comfortably host 150 guests indoors or a guest count of up to 200 outdoors beneath the snow-capped spires of Mount Kenya, overlooking its own dam, enveloped in velvet lawns and on its own conservancy. The venue has a custom-made wedding package for couples that ensures all their unique needs are catered for.
#7 Sawela Lodges
The Sawela Lodge Naivasha is, without a doubt, one of Kenya’s top destination wedding venues. Located 13 kilometers from Naivasha town on the Moi South Lake Road, the lodge offers customized wedding packages at the lush green lawns overlooking the lake and truly speaks everything luxury.
#8 Diamonds Dream of Africa
Being one of the most recent hotels in Malindi, Diamond Dreams of Africa offers one of the most amazing sand views along the shores of the Kenyan Coast. For couples thinking of a luxurious and elegant set up under warm temperatures, seaside view and privacy then this venue is the perfect place for your ultimate dream destination wedding.
#9 Lake Naivasha Resort
The Lake Naivasha resort is one of the most popular and prominent destination wedding venues in Kenya. It offers an expansive ground, beautiful grounds for photography, a variety of guest accommodation options and economical packages for couples, all of which include a complimentary boat ride.
#10 Hemingways in Malindi Watamu
The luxury beach resort is located in Watamu, and offers the ultimate tropical oasis for your big day. You will actualize your dream beach wedding at Hemingways in Watamu. You have a choice of a beautiful garden wedding accentuated by the beautiful palm trees or right at the shore with the white sandy beach that Watamu has to offer.
They also offer great wedding packages with diverse menu and bar selections for all your guests.
#11 Sweetwaters Serena Camp
If a safari wedding in the shadows of Mount Kenya is something you are looking for, then this is the venue for you. Located 17km from Nanyuki town, the camp is perched within the Ol Pajeta Conservancy and has different spaces to cater for the various themes a couple may wish to execute. Sweetwaters offers very flexible and elegant wedding packages in addition to special accommodation packages for the entire wedding guest list. They are however currently taking wedding bookings for only 30 guests in adherence to the government regulations in the fight against coronavirus.
#12 The Maiyan, Nanyuki
The Maiyan is in Nanyuki just a about 20km from the famous tourist town. How about a wedding with scenic views of the beautiful Mt. Kenya and Lolldiaga hills. The Maiyan is very expansive covering about 146 acres or pure green nature and photo-perfect landscapes.
They offer three main wedding packages which all include complimentary use of the venue, the Master En-suite King room for the couple and an extra room for bookings of up to 10 rooms for your guests.
#13 Pride Inn Flamingo Beach Resort Mombasa
This venue has become a popular destination for many couples owing to its expansive grounds full of charm and beautiful surrounding. The wedding package they offer comes with lots of complimentary services such as a honeymoon room for one night (all inclusive), huge discounts on room rates for your wedding guests among many others for weddings.
#14 Rusinga Island Lodge
This is another great wedding destination located on the shores of Lake Victoria that offers an atmosphere of tranquility. The Lodge not only offers posh accommodation for your guests, but also a number of extraordinary complimentary services for the bride and groom.
#15 Voyager Beach Resort
The Voyager Beach Resort is located off Mt. Kenya Road, Nyali in Mombasa and provides a romantic atmosphere for destination weddings in the coastal region. The resort offers various wedding packages that include professional catering services, grounds for a photoshoot among many others.
Planning the Perfect Destination Weddings in Kenya
Destinations Weddings in Kenya have truly gained popularity. Kenya being one of the top tourist destinations in the world, the options for your big day are in plenty and you will definitely get something to suit your taste. Working with a professional wedding planner in Kenya will greatly help you achieve that perfection and intimacy you are looking for on that special day.