Richard and Tuiya’s wedding in Kenya is a wedding I will remember forever, for many reasons. For once, after covering so many destination weddings as a photographer, this was the very first wedding I have ever traveled to another country to attend, as a guest. I knew Richard and Tuiya separately before they got married. They both became good friends of mine when I was still living in Delhi but at different times. It was actually me who introduced them when I first came to Nairobi in 2013. It was love at first sight. Well, almost. God moves in mysterious ways so I don’t want to take too much credit here, but I did play my part. As it turns out, it worked quite well. About a year later I was in Kenya again, this time with my wife and our three daughters, to attend the wedding. I was not the official photographer so these are just a few pictures I took ‘on the side’, so to say.
The Traditional Koito (Engagement) and Eldama Ravine
We came to Kenya a couple of weeks early and started with a great safari before meeting everyone in Nairobi. We then headed up to a small town called Eldama Ravine for the traditional engagement ceremony, the ‘Koito’. Richard had previously already arranged for two cows to be delivered to the bride’s family and those, after a long negotiations, were accepted as his gift to the family for taking away their daughter. After having to answer the village elders questions, showing knowledge of the tribe’s traditions and proving his respected lineage, the groom had to pass the test of recognising his chosen bride among a few other young maidens. This was not so difficult and he was finally given the blessing to marry Tuiya. Listen to a short recording of the songs as you look at the images. Click on the image for a larger view.
The White Wedding at Lake Naivasha
After the Koito the family and I headed up to continue our safari in Kenya at lake Baringo and to see the flamingos at Lake Bogoria. We came back to lake Naivasha a week later to meet everyone at Crescent Island for the white wedding among the ‘yellow fever’ acacia trees. The beautiful bride came on a horse and was accompanied by a Tugen warrior. It was a bit warm but Richard and his best men were looking very smart in the three-piece suit.
A year back, it was in Crescent Island where they actually met. Richard and I were planning to come up here for camping and Tuiya, who joined us for dinner in Nairobi the night before, was very hard to be persuaded to come along. She eventually called her boss to say she will not be coming to work for a couple of days, and the rest is history. The three of us camped by the lake with the hippos, the zebras and the wildebeest. We made fire at night and had lunch at the fantastic club house. There was no way back for them after that trip.