Africa Wedding Lauren Ashley Studios

An Exotic Wedding at Giraffe Manor in Africa

February 27, 2024




Weddings are always emotional for me, no matter how many I photograph. I love serving every couple, creating an experience just for them.

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As a wedding photographer, I’ve been fortunate to witness countless love stories unfold in breathtaking settings around the world. Yet, there are some tales that stand out, not just for romance, but for the remarkable journey that brought two people together. The union of Shakti and Phil is one such story. It is a fusion of cultures and moments that came together in Nairobi, Kenya. This exotic wedding at Giraffe Manor was one for the books.

A Chance Encounter Across Continents

Shakti and Phil Extra Lauren Ashley Studios

Their story began in the bustling streets of Brooklyn, New York, and the skies above Montreal, Canada. Shakti, a flight attendant with an adventurous spirit, found herself on a layover in the Big Apple when fate intervened. Invited to a BBQ by a mutual friend, she crossed paths with Phil, a Brooklyn native with an infectious charm. Amidst the laughter and conversations, their connection sparked, fueled by a shared passion for travel.

Despite the distance, their bond grew stronger with each passing day, bridging the gap between Montreal and Brooklyn through late-night conversations and virtual adventures. Seven years of love, laughter, and shared dreams paved the way to a momentous occasion. This would mark the beginning of their forever.

A Proposal Fit for Adventure

Their journey took them to the majestic landscapes of East Africa, where Phil seized the perfect moment to ask for Shakti’s hand in marriage. At the breathtaking Victoria Falls in Zambia, Phil’s heartfelt proposal echoed the depth of their love and the promise of endless adventures together. With the falls as their witness and a ring hidden in plain sight, their journey into forever began.

Yet, Phil had one more surprise up his sleeve. Upon their return, he orchestrated a rooftop engagement party, surrounded by loved ones who had eagerly awaited this moment. It was a testament to the bonds that united them, transcending borders and bringing together friends and family from around the globe.

Discovering “The One”

Shakti and Phil Extra Lauren Ashley Studios

The journey to finding “the one” was marked by moments of shared laughter, spontaneous adventures, and unwavering support. From dancing in the rain in Sydney to exploring the streets of Paris, each experience deepened their connection.

Shakti knew Phil was “the one” when he surprised her in Paris. He demonstrated his commitment to their relationship with a spontaneous trip across the Atlantic. Phil, on the other hand, found certainty in Shakti’s resilience and positivity, even in the midst of a downpour on a New Year’s Eve boat party in Sydney.

A Dress Fit for a Dream

For Shakti, finding the perfect wedding dress was a journey of its own. It is one that led her to the Angelina gown by Pen Liv. From the moment she slipped into its graceful silhouette, she knew it was meant to be. Despite the unexpected twist of pregnancy, she found a talented seamstress who transformed her dream dress into a radiant expression of her love and joy.

A Wedding Amidst Wild Beauty

Africa Wedding Lauren Ashley Studios

Against the backdrop of Giraffe Manor’s lush grounds, Shakti and Phil’s wedding was a celebration of love, adventure, and the beauty of nature. With free-roaming giraffes as their silent witnesses, they exchanged vows surrounded by the vibrant hues of burnt orange, copper, and reddish tones—a reflection of their shared passion and warmth.

Navigating Challenges with Grace

Like any journey, theirs was not without its challenges. From the last-minute change in wedding planners to uncertainties of a pandemic, they faced each obstacle with resilience and grace. With the support of loved ones, they turned adversity into opportunity, creating a day that surpassed all expectations.

Advice from the Heart

Shakti and Phil Extra Lauren Ashley Studios

For couples embarking on their own journey of love and marriage, Shakti and Phil offer invaluable advice. They emphasize the importance of staying true to oneself amidst the pressures of wedding planning, reminding couples that it’s their day to celebrate their love and their story.

They also stress the significance of choosing vendors who align with their vision and values. The chemistry and connection can elevate the entire wedding experience. And above all, they encourage couples to embrace the journey, cherishing each moment and memory along the way.

As I reflect on Shakti and Phil’s remarkable love story, I’m reminded of the transformative power of love. In their union, they have found not only a lifelong partner but one to navigate life’s adventures. And as their photographer, I am honored to have captured a glimpse of their love. It is a love that knows no bounds and flourishes amidst the wild beauty of Giraffe Manor.

We Would Love to be Your Destination Wedding Photographer

Africa Wedding Lauren Ashley Studios

It would be an honor to become a part of your wedding team, and create that timeless keepsake of your big day you’ll love forever. Myself and my team of photographers at videographers at Lauren Ashley Studios will go above and beyond. We capture the atmosphere of your special occasion, and share it with passion and authenticity.

We welcome you to browse our portfolio of wedding photographyvideography and if you would like any information about our investments please click here. If you’re looking for a wedding photographer in Chicago, or beyond, and you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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Hi, I'm Lauren

You and I share a unique bond; we're both adventurers, explorers, and seekers, constantly on the hunt for something greater, than anything we've experienced before. 

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