Photos by Daniel Meigs Photography
Like Terri-Ann and Berchaun, my husband and I planned an exotic destination wedding. At the time I was an executive with a major travel company and could have selected any spot on Earth to get married. But our desire to include family in our marriage tugged at our hearts, and ultimately we exchanged vows in Nashville before jetting off to the idyllic islands of French Polynesia for our honeymoon.
Who doesn’t want to be walked down the asile by beloved parents, witness a mother’s joy, celebrate with friends and hear the touching toast of a proud father? Terri-Ann and Berchaun found their own solution to this dilemma by starting with the African Safari wedding of their dreams followed by a Cedarwood vow-renewal and reception with their family and close friends. This final post of Terri-Ann and Berchaun’s wedding celebrates the blessings of family, friendship and community, and offers insights from the bride regarding considerations, challenges and rewards of their amazing two continent wedding.
What was unique about your wedding? Rather than having an average wedding with all of our respective families and friends present, we wanted to start our journey together as husband and wife in an extraordinary way. We decided that the best way to do that would be to combine our wedding ceremony and honeymoon. So we traveled 7,000 miles to one of the world’s most beautiful destinations to exchange our vows in a private ceremony and spent two weeks enjoying our surroundings and each others company. When we returned from our honeymoon, we felt it was important to have an equally extraordinary celebration with our families.
What are some of the challenges that you faced planning your wedding? With smaller gatherings, it can be challenging to find a venue that is the right fit. We focused our search on outdoor venues with lush landscaping in order to avoid spending the majority of our budget on decor to bring an event space to the appropriate scale for our guests.
No matter what size wedding a couple has, the guest list will likely be an issue. We were fortunate enough to be supported by our families in our decision to have a private ceremony. To avoid ruffling our friends feathers, we kept our plans low-key and explained that our celebration would be small and family oriented.
What were the highlights of your safari ceremony in Singita? Seeing each other for the first time and walking hand in hand towards the minister.
What were the highlights of the reception at Cedarwood in Nashville? Renewing our vows after about two weeks of marriage! Seeing everyone having such a good time during the cocktail reception despite the hot and balmy conditions. The fairytale like atmosphere highlighted by spectacular floral arrangements, delicious food and friendly service.
What was the best thing about the way you structured your wedding? We were able to splurge on our honeymoon. We were also able to afford better flowers and food for our guests.
What advice do you have for couples? Make sure you hire a great photographer to document your story.
Thanks Terri-Ann and Berchaun, for sharing your amazing wedding journey, and for allowing Cedarwood to be part of the celebration. We wish you a life of great adventures.
Linda & the Cedarwood Event Team