As the sun was setting at Swahili Beach Resort on the Indian Ocean, the sky went from blue to pink to orange in a short span of time and the very gentle and cooling breeze refreshing Leah and Ricky’s guests as they enjoyed a quiet late afternoon tea. However, on the other side of the pool, all hell was breaking loose. Fuelled by dawas and Tuskers, Leah, Ricky and their friends and cousins were all in the pool playing what I can only politely put as a hotly contested waterpolo match. The DJ added to the carnival atmosphere as he spun one blockbuster after another. A quick drinks break later, the day finished with some amazing/ hilarious (choose one of the above) karaoke near the beachside. What was quite spectacular about this event was that pretty much each and every guest had a go on the mic. And such was the unity that we saw during Leah and Ricky’s wedding throughout the two days on the beach.
I first met Leah and Ricky almost a year ago when they came to Mombasa to scout out venues, and I remember asking them lots of questions. For most of them, their answer was ‘I just want the wedding to be fun for everyone, for us and for you’. And true to their word, they stuck by that theme and their July wedding was a hell of a lot of fun for all the guests. We could visually see the joy on their faces. They didn’t want any unnecessary customs or traditions which were not meaningful, and this resulted in a stunning wedding ceremony on the beach.
I hadn’t seen any nervousness in Ricky through the few days but literally just a few minutes before Leah was to walk in, I noticed he was pacing up and down, playing with his hands, biting his lips…This to him was the most important moment of his life. As Leah walked down the aisle, looking like a princess in her white dress, Ricky became emotional and it was one of the most beautiful things we have witnessed at a wedding. In what was probably the shortest wedding ceremony we have ever shot, having exchanged their vows and rings, they walked back down the aisle as husband and wife! I wasn’t expecting anything less than a crazy Reception that evening and yes, it was pretty crazy. The rain didn’t bother the guests one bit. Everyone danced on the dancefloor, near the bar, on the sand, near the pool, in the rain etc! But most of all, it was heartwarming to see those smiles on Leah and Ricky’s faces towards the end of the evening when they watched everyone having fun, and they themselves had had the best days of their lives.
Leah & Ricky – thank you for everything you have done and all your trust in me. I hope I have created memories for you that will last generations. One love!