James & Lorna

A destination wedding in Kenya for a couple that met while attending college in Iowa

November 23, 2019

This destination wedding was an especially memorable one for Mike and me.

The wedding was at Zereniti House in Nairobi, Kenya.

James, the groom, is my first cousin, and Lorna, the bride, is one of our favorite people on the planet. Lorna is from Kenya and went to university in Iowa, where she met my cousin James.

When James and Lorna decided to have their wedding ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, Mike and I couldn’t wait to ask if we were invited. We were delighted when James and Lorna said yes and asked if we would photograph their wedding.

I’ll start by saying that our week in Kenya was one of the best weeks of my life. Everyone we met was so nice, and we saw some incredible things. Getting to know Lorna’s family was so special, and now we look forward to returning to Kenya to visit our new cousins soon!

Here’s my uncle Craig looking pretty cool while everyone got ready:

Mike rode in the car with James on the way to the venue. I love these honest, candid pictures he captured.

a groom smiles as he sits in the back of a car on the way to his wedding
a groom gets ready for his wedding while looking in a mirror

The wedding ceremony and reception was at Zereniti House, on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. It was like a tropical paradise (even though Nairobi is at an even higher altitude than Boulder, CO). Lorna arrived in style.

a black car drives on a brick road surrounded by jungle in Nairobi, Kenya
a bride and groom hold hands around a corner to make sure they dont see each other before the ceremony

James and Lorna opted to hold hands around a corner before the ceremony. This is an adorable alternative to a private first look.

a bride and groom hold hands around the corner so as not to see each other before their ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya

One of the traditional elements of the wedding involved James’s family singing and dancing to impress Lorna’s family and encourage her to come out and get married. Some wedding guests were gracious enough to help my side of the family with this task and it was so much fun! Here is my gorgeous Aunt, Jan:

a woman dances to welcome the bride and groom to a wedding ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya

Lorna was the perfect bride and I still can’t believe how lucky I was to be a part of this wedding!

a bride stands next to one of her bridesmaids
a bride in a veil holding a bouquet of pastel blue flowers

Another gorgeous element of the ceremony what that Lorna’s aunties laid cloths down in front of her as she made her way to the altar.

a woman lays a cloth down on the ground in front of a bride before she walks down the isle
cloths laid down in the aisle by a bride's aunties for her to walk on

James’ face, when he saw Lorna coming down the isle, says it all.

a groom sees his bride for the first time.

Lorna’s 3 nephews acted as ring-bearers together and did such a good job!

three young ring bearers stand facing away from the camera and looking down the isle at a wedding

This whole event was so fun for everyone. If you look close you can see me in this shot… whoops!

a groom and bride walk down the isle right after being married
a group of family receives a bride and groom right after the wedding ceremony

The MC for the wedding, Peter Gitau, was so fantastic and getting everyone excited and dancing!

a dj at a wedding faces the reception

Not that this crew needed much encouragement to celebrate!

a woman in a red dress dances in a group at a wedding reception

I’ll never get tired of this look between newly-weds and their faces as they celebrate with their loved ones.

a bride and groom look longingly at each other at their wedding reception in Nairobi, Kenya
a bride and groom cheers champagne with their wedding attendants at their reception

My new cousin Adeline has the best moves around. She’s fantastic and I miss her!

a young girl hits the dance floor at a wedding reception in Nairobi, Kenya

Here are some more images of the juliation at the reception.

wedding attendants dancing on the dance floor at a wedding reception
a groom dances with his mother on his wedding day
a man pops a champagne bottle at a wedding reception

Sometimes you have to clear the dance floor to get the perfect shot.

two figures in silhouette hold hands and face each other. one is in a wedding dress and the other in a tux. they stand below a beautiful chandelier in a room with multicolored lights illuminating the wedding venue background
a groom dips his bride and kisses her outside a night
an event tent that is lit from the inside in a forest at nighttime in Nairobi Kenya for the wedding of James and Lorna

Destination Wedding Venue: Zereniti House, Nairobi, Kenya

Planning: House of Dotty

DJ: Discmen Ent

MC: Peter Gitau

Mike and I cannot wait to travel to Kenya again. And we look forward to documenting more destination weddings in the future!

If you want to see more photos from our trip to Kenya, I have some landscape and wildlife shots from our Safari in a gallery in my store.

Learn more about Bonnie Photo’s wedding photography on our website