Africa is a continent which evokes many different images - amazing sunsets, wide rivers, wildlife wandering across the plains, hot air balloons drifting over the game reserves at dawn, luxury tented camps.....all incredible in their own way, but even more magical when combined with having your wedding in Africa.
This continent is massive and varied, with some of the most spectacular locations in the world to exchange vows. Have you ever thought about getting married in the bush, with a ceremony under a tree with zebra and giraffe wandering by in the background? Or maybe you'd prefer to get married in a luxury lodge, with your ceremony on a deck overlooking a watering hole at sunset as animals come by to drink?
Countries where it is relatively easy to get married are South Africa
. Both of which are good for two centre wedding and honeymoons. They have wildlife reserves and safari camps which give you the chance to have your wedding surrounded by exotic animals, but also miles of coastline with high end resorts, white sand beaches and the deep blue of the Indian ocean – ideal for a relaxing honeymoon after you've become Mr and Mrs.
Getting married in South Africa and Kenya is straight forward, which unfortunately cannot be said of two other African countries – Morocco and Egypt. They are also popular choices for an African wedding, but it's very difficult to legally marry in either country unless you are resident. So we suggest you have the ceremony there but do the legal part at home.
evokes thoughts of souks, spices and deserts, and it does have those, but so much more. Popular Marrakesh has its world-famous central square Jemaa el-Fnaa, where you can watch the world barter and eat (and see the occasional snake charmer), and its large, warren-like souk selling everything from expensive pottery and carpets to items to fix the house.
This city has a romantic air, with the light falling softly in the evenings as you sit in your riad listening to the sounds of the city as it prepares for night. A symbolic wedding ceremony here can be as opulent or simple as you like – perhaps get married in a riad courtyard surrounded by the sound of water falling from a cooling fountain, or leave the city behind and go into the nearby Atlas mountains for a ceremony overlooking the soaring peaks? Alternatively, Morocco's Atlantic ocean coastline is cooler than those further south, but still has miles of beaches and ancient towns with their own unique character, just ideal for a wedding abroad.
, on the other hand, is a good choice for a resort wedding as there's plenty of choice particularly along the Red Sea coast. Or, if that doesn't appeal, how about holding your wedding on a felucca or other boat sailing down the Nile? Feluccas are small sail boats which are ideal for an intimate wedding, or you could marry on one of the larger Nile cruisers which hold larger parties and you can hire out for a few days or a week.
are an island chain well known for being a luxury destination. So , if money is no object, then take a look here for your wedding abroad - you could even hire a private island to ensure you have no interlopers on your wedding day! However, most couples who marry here have an intimate ceremony at one of the resorts on the main three islands, and then stay on for a couple of weeks for their honeymoon. Beach weddings are a mainstay here, so if you'd like a different type of wedding then maybe look elsewhere in Africa.
Another wedding option is Mauritus
- this volcanic island is an intriguing mixture of French and English and offers ceremonies in a range of resorts to suit all budgets. The high end resorts offer privacy, while the mid-range hotels give you a taste of the local culture while you decide if you'd like to get married on the beach, or in a nature reserve, perhaps by a tumbling waterfall?
As you can see, weddings in Africa are as diverse as they are beautiful. So, whether you'd like to get married on safari, on the beach, in a fabulous resort, or on a boat sailing down the river, Africa could be just the place for you!
By Marry Abroad
See the marriage legalities for Africa here.