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A Magical Botswana Wedding

I’m excited to share today’s wedding. By far one of the most beautiful weddings that I’ve ever shared. Beautifully, captured in the heart of Botswana by Mavens Collective photography, this wedding is magical. I don’t know about you but judging from the images, it looks like Setadimo, Kgosi, and their guests had a brilliant time. This wedding will for sure go down in the archives as one of my favourite. Enjoy!

How They Met 

 I went to University with two of Kgosi’s cousins who were very close friends of mine so I met him through them, at a party. When we were introduced, it felt like I’d known him for a very long time. He felt familiar and warm and had the most beautiful smile. I didn’t see him again for a couple of years after that. When we got in contact again he asked to take me out for dinner for my birthday. I thought it was presumptuous of him but I said yes anyway.

On the date, we spoke about everything we could think of. It felt like catching up with a best friend you hadn’t seen in forever. We made plans to see each other again a week later because we lived an hour apart. He was at my gate the very next day, to take me on a date, and every day after that.

The Proposal

I’d recently moved to Cape Town and was always exploring new places. I’d explore during the week then took him to the places I liked when he came over on weekends. One weekend, he was coming to see me with our friends so he asked that we go to Cape Point, which he knew I loved, so they’d experience it. I was slightly disappointed when we got there because there was a thick blanket of clouds covering the view that I’d relentlessly spoken about. Kgosi insisted that we hike to the furthest point because there were no people there and the view would possibly improve. The clouds didn’t go away but somehow I realised how gorgeous the view was. I started waxing lyrical about the view not realising I was leaving everyone behind. When they stopped responding, I turned around and Kgosi was on one knee and our friends recorded it all. He’d planned the entire thing with their help. 

Lobola 

His family wrote a letter to mine indicating their intentions and asking to meet with them. Our moms then met with each other before the big family meeting. They felt it important to establish what each of their expectations was and how they preferred the process be run and then deliver that to the delegation who would run the process. I loved that. Our families met, decided on a date the lobola would be paid and we had a small ceremony to celebrate on the lobola day. 

Planning

It was quite tricky trying to plan the wedding amid a pandemic. There were a ton of uncertainties and anxieties around picking a date, securing suppliers, controlling the number of guests, etc. We had to postpone the wedding twice.

We also had to find the best way to marry the modern wedding we wanted with our rich cultural practices and traditions, which we mostly learned about during the planning process. We loved that. 

The Celebration

We are both from Batswana so our cultural practices are very similar. On the days leading up to the event, the family and community come together to start the preparations. A white ceremonial flag is erected at our homes. An intimate gathering is held and animals are slaughtered for the ceremonial representation of the joining of the two families. The wedding is a two-day celebration. On day one, at my home, we go through the process of ‘go laiwa’ where the bride and groom are given marriage advice and wisdom by the married elders in both families. Then a celebration is held and the bride is sent off. On day two, at Kgosi’s home, the process is repeated followed by a celebration to welcome the bride. 

Marriage Preparation

I hadn’t thought much about marriage before being with Kgosi but when we started planning our future, we knew we wanted each other in it. We actively and intentionally built a foundation we felt was solid so that when we decided on marriage it wouldn’t feel like a major adjustment for us. We went for pre-marital counseling and had a ton of conversations about what we both wanted out of a marriage. I can’t stress enough how instrumental counseling has been for our relationship.

3 Lessons From The Bride

1. We’d never planned something this big together so we had a great experience figuring out ways to maximize each of our strengths, setting goals, and celebrating milestones.

2. The help you get from family and friends is immeasurable. They did so much towards the wedding, we simply couldn’t have done it without them.

3. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by family expectations, inputs, and instructions but standing up for each other and communicating with family what our needs and wants were helped us reach a comfortable middle ground.

Best Part Of The Day

When the formalities were over and we hit the dance floor with our family and friends. We were so happy and had the best time with them. We spent the majority of the day in awe of how everyone had honoured our invitation and chosen to celebrate with us and share the moment of joy during an anxious and chaotic time in the world.

Tips

Do as much research as you can on suppliers. Decide what’s most important for you and don’t settle for anything less. Have a budget and stick to it as much as possible. Don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy the planning process. On the wedding day, be present and have fun.

We have the same friends we’ve had for years and we’ve made new friends together. Our life hasn’t had a major adjustment. It feels like a smooth progression into the next stage of our relationship.

Suppliers

We found them through a combination of family and friends recommendations and Instagram finds. We made sure to use suppliers who had done work very similar to exactly what we wanted.

Photographers: Mavens Collective :  

Décor: Twinlight Eventz and T&N Creations 

Dress 1 : BMashilo Designs 

Dress 1 : RichFactory 

Grooms suits: O.S Man and Gerald Designs . 

Makeup: QueenDmua, Celestemakeup & Hlayisani.cm 

Catering’s: Molemi Morake Trading and Odirile Catering perfect. Cake : KellyJayneCakes made beautiful . 

Dj: Quaint Sound   

Entertainment: Magakwa youth development

MC’s: Crazykaycloudnine and Godfrey Monaise 

Honestly, the amount of time we spent on researching and meeting with suppliers paid off. Every one of them exceeded our expectations.

About Author

Hi! I'm Ika. Thank you for visiting Bontle Bride, a gorgeous space where I share exquisite weddings with a flava of culture.

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