Some couples dream of tying the knot in a majestic cathedral, sun kissed beach or flower strewn garden… But not Nina and Sebastian. When toying with ideas for their big day the self-confessed nature lovers soon found themselves captivated with the rugged beauty and natural splendor of Africa. The idea soon gained momentum and before they know it Nina and Sebastian had enlisted the help of prominent wedding photographer Jonas Peterson to help them capture their special day.
As a highly sought after professional photographer Peterson has shot weddings in a plethora of beautiful destinations across the globe. Yet despite his well-travelled camera he maintains that his latest Kenyan shoot might just take the crown.
“I didn’t know Africa would touch me so deeply,” says the Melbourne-based photographer. “It sung to me in a way I didn’t know possible, found new chords and played on strings I didn’t know I had inside me.”
The wedding took place in late September and saw Nina and Sebastian say their vows in the presence of their closest friends and family. National wildlife reserve Maasai Mara provided a breath-taking backdrop to what was undoubtedly one of 2014’s most unique weddings.
As a wildlife photographer and senior marketing advisor to wild cat conservation organization Panthera, Nina has indulged a lifelong love affair with Africa, its animals and its people. Over the past few years she spent several months in Maasai Mara following a pride of lions for a specialist project.
“During this time, I have become very close friends and almost family with the Maasai, who have welcomed me into their lives,” explains Nina. “Because we were planning to hold our ceremony on the land of the Maasai, it was very important to us to incorporate some of the traditions of the Maasai culture into the ceremony.”
According to Nina the event was a mesmerizing fusion of Western culture, Maasai traditions and the enchants of Mother Nature.
“The bride of the Maasai normally wear a lot of jewelry, and the necklace, called enkarewa, is especially important,” explains Nina in an email to The Huffington Post. “When I first told my closest friend in the Maasai community about our wedding, he came back to me with a necklace and bracelets as a special gift made for me by his family. The stick carried by Sebastian was also a gift from the local Maasai community.”
The pictures take our breath away and we take our figurative hats off to Mr. Peterson for his incredible documentation of the spellbinding event.
Images via: Jonas Peterson