Safari wedding | Thornybush Game Reserve | Ben Viljoen Photography

Sarah & Mickey | Thornybush Game Reserve | Hoedspruit | Day 3 & 4

Here is day 1 and day 2 of Sarah & Mickey’s safari wedding at Thornybush Game Reserve.

It’s usually an interesting experience to visit the reception area early the next morning after a wedding, before everything is cleaned up.  It’s a bit like deciphering a crime scene, trying to figure out what happened after we left as wedding photographers the previous evening.

An empty bottle of Jägermeister under table #5. Furniture all moved to the side to enlarge the dance floor. A small heap of broken glass with a mop and a dirty bucket of water at table #8. A lonely shoe in the corner with a flower. Soaked clothing at the deep end side of the swimming pool. On the way over from my room I may have noticed champagne glasses cuddling under a tree, just where the light of the reception hall would have given way to starlight. As a photographer I like the mystery of all this, a balance of sorts to the whole wedding photography experience. Yesterday I saw everything first hand through my camera and captured the evidence myself, now there are only clues and my imagination.

On the morning after this bushveld wedding things were a little different though. I stayed on at the party after my hours were done, sipped on a whiskey and waited for the scheduled midnight snacks to be served. The “wors rolletjie” was completely worth it, but it meant sleeping in the next day and missing the game drive, if there even was one, I’m not too sure. Once up I requested a hangover kit because Sarah asked me nicely to photograph it. Melanie the manager smiled as she handed one over.

Enter day 3 of Sarah & Mickey’s Thornybush wedding extravaganza.

The brief for the day after the wedding was simple. It was a recovery day, hence the hangover kit. Instead of everyone crashing in their rooms though they relaxed at the pool, worked on a quick tan, played volleyball in the dry riverbed, and cooled down with iced beers and mineral water in the shade of the leadwood across from the lodge. It was extremely pleasant, the way I always imagined the day after a safari wedding should be. Late afternoon there was a short game drive, a final stop in the bush for sundowners, followed by a bush braai back at the main lodge.hangover kit safari wedding relaxing at swimming pool after a safari wedding at Thornybush relaxing at the swimming pool at Thornybush after a safari bushveld wedding fun in dry river bed at Thornybush safari wedding Catching a tan at Thornybush after a safari weddinggin and tonic in the bushveld at Thornybush game reservelate afternoon safari wedding game drivebeautiful elephant tusker on safari wedding game driveelephants on safari wedding game drive at Thornybush game reserveSundowners after a safari wedding at Thornybush Game reserveSundowners after a safari wedding at Thornybush Game reservepicture fun on Safari in AfricaSundowners after a safari wedding at Thornybush Game reserveBush braai at Thornybush game reserve after safari weddingBush braai at Thornybush game reserve after safari wedding

A Thornybush wedding experience: The final day

This morning we experienced our best game drive yet in terms of sightings. The eerily quiet misty morning turned into a bit of a car chase. At times it felt like we were on a drug bust in a bushveld version of NYC. We did see the big five though, all in a single morning. Best of all, three leopards at a single sighting!

The end? Smiles all around, good bye hugs, and a memory card wallet overflowing with precious memories.

Early morning coffee after wedding at Thornybush game reserve Early morning coffee after wedding at Thornybush game reserve Early morning game drive after wedding at Thornybush game reserve Rhino sighting on Safari wedding game drive Impala in mist on safari wedding game drive Two leopards sighting on safari wedding game drive at Thornybush Leopard sighting on safari wedding game drive at Thornybush

P.S There was a game drive on the morning after the wedding (of course), and I joined in. I just recalled.

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