Beach Stroll

African Destination Wedding


February 2, 2018
Words by Lauren Marshall
Photos courtesy of Flavio D Photography

Cape Verde was such a special place to Krista and Joao because she completed her Peace Corps program there and his parents retired in the beautiful African coastal country. The two met inside the Cape Verde airport and, as they say, “the rest was history.”

When the couple’s friends and family heard the announcement about Krista and Joao’s destination wedding, they knew the location fit their story perfectly. “We wanted something meaningful and intimate. Cape Verde was just the place to make that happen,” the couple says.

Joao’s parents found a statue of Saint Anna on the land when they began building their retirement home on the island. To respect the saint, they built a chapel and dedicated it to Saint Anna. The newlyweds would be the first people to marry in the chapel and, because of its size, it could only hold their immediate family.

Even with the help of the groom’s parents on site, the couple found it a bit tricky to plan the wedding in a different culture.

Krista says, “The biggest lesson we learned is that you have to be flexible and go with the flow. Some things just aren’t going to work out and you have to be ready to deal with it.”

In order to steer clear of complications, the pair kept it simple. Only shipping a few decorations by boat, such as candles and lights, the two allowed the beauty and history of Cape Verde cover the rest.

Keeping with the local theme, Krista and Joao ordered a simple wedding cake from a local baker and added flowers to make it unique to them. In fact, they took the wedding invitations, website and ceremony program into their own hands to design and relied on the groom’s parents for the rest. “We wanted it to be our style and represent us as a couple,” the pair says.

The couple left for their destination wedding about a week early to smooth out any issues. Upon boarding the plane, Krista brought her wedding dress, which she wrapped with many layers to protect and let the flight attendants know she was traveling with precious cargo.

Going into their destination wedding with the expectation of running into problems actually made dealing with their issues much easier. “Our guests dealt with a few delays and planes to the small island of Fogo being full, but we prepped them ahead of time that transportation will probably not go as planned,” Krista says.

After their intimate chapel ceremony came and went, the duo made sure to enjoy the fruits of their labor. They set aside a week post-wedding to relax and enjoy the start of their lifelong journey together. 

A small reception followed their return home, which ensured people who couldn’t make it to the African island still felt a part of it.

Ultimately, the newlyweds remained confident in their decision and recommend to focus mainly on the love for one another to achieve your perfect destination wedding vision.

“Make that (vision) come alive, whether it means an elopement, a destination wedding or a backyard wedding. Your day shouldn’t be stressful. It should be a celebration,” Krista says.

The quaint island off the coast of Africa was this couple’s ideal celebration spot and it allowed them to find a space in time to cherish a love that all began in a nearby Cape Verde airport.

Vendors: Photographer: Flavio D Photography, Ceremony/Reception Site: Ponta Verde, Florist: Blue Orchid Creations, Cake: Made by Fogo, a baker in Ponta Verde, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Giorgio Armani, Engagement and Wedding Rings: Trumpet and Horn

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