A Multicultural African Safari Wedding In The British Countryside, Yanika & Develin - Eternity

A Multicultural African Safari Wedding In The British Countryside, Yanika & Develin

17th July 2023

Welcome to Real Weddings: where we speak to real couples about their wedding planning process, the lead up to the big day, and any advice they have for couples currently planning their wedding. 

There’s something that’s extremely beautiful about Fusion weddings, it’s a gorgeous reminder of how each culture is so unique & rich; and when combined, it truly creates something beautiful. The wedding of Yanika & Develin is something that we’ve never seen before: a beautiful African safari themed fusion wedding in the British countryside, planned entirely by the extremely talented Coco Blush Events.

With few African-Indian weddings to turn to for inspiration, planning a fusion wedding did prove slightly tricky for Yanika & Develin, but nothing which Sheleena & her incredible team couldn’t work through, to produce the wedding of their dreams. Have a look.  

All photography by Mohsin Ali Photography.


How would you describe your wedding planning process in a few words?

Exciting, Creative, Cultural Explosion.

How did you meet?

We actually met at a local Essex Nightclub (Faces), we were friends for a while and went out in the same places. He then got the courage to ask me out, apparently I was quite intimidating, but we went for a milkshake at 18 years old and 11 years later here we are married.

How did you / he propose?

He had a lucky escape with COVID so it saved taking me to an exotic destination, we recently bought our first home, and he decorated the home with petals and candles and proposed on the day we first ever started talking. It was lovely for it to be just me and him in that moment, and very unexpected. 

What was your favourite part of the wedding planning process?

Exploring different vendors who understood the vision and importance of combining 2 cultures. Starting to see visuals/decor plans/entertainment ideas made everything come to life. 

What was one thing you wish you did differently during your wedding / planning process?

Try and do as many site visits as possible/vendor meetings. 

What was the trickiest part of your wedding planning process?

Ensuring we combined both cultures, it was tricky because it is still very new so we didn’t have a lot to compare/take ideas from, but I am excited we were able to do it with so much energy, lots of blessings from friends and family. 

Would you have benefitted from a platform like Eternity UK, whilst planning?

Definitely, but equally with my wedding being so diverse there aren’t many platforms that have featured such weddings.

Tell us more about your supplier dream team

Coco Blush Events, Wedding Planners & Coordinators – Sheleena/Coco Blush events were great at sourcing the right vendors from food/decor/entertainment to fully embrace as much cultural diversity as we could.

Mohsin Ali and Film Art, Photographer & Videographer – both worked in sync together, collaborates so week and made it really comfortable for us to make some amazing visuals.

Ragasaan, Caterer – There isn’t a better caterer than them, they took on the brief so well and prior to the event organised a great food tasting where we could pin down a great and unusual menu.

Iconic DJs, DJ & Production – Created an unforgettable night, the dancefloor was LIT the whole night.

Peekaboo, Decorators – Nailed the decor and production. Created a magical morning mandap ceremony and then literally brought an African Safari to life in the evening. It was created so elegantly.

Bantu Arts, Entertainment – African Dancers/entertainers brought an amazing energy to the evening through authentic music/dance and performance.

Sandy D, MUA – She has been doing my makeup for a few events leading to the big day, and she is so talented. Very personable and easy to get on with which is so important with nerves etc. She understood the styles I was going for and honestly made me look and feel amazing on the day.

Casa De Gaia – provided amazing bespoke linens for the events across the day, tying in perfectly with the décor

Your piece of advice to brides & grooms?

Enjoy the planning process, it is your day so ensure everything you vision is put first. Discuss details amongst yourselves first before introducing family members, and always support each other with decisions. 


Describe the wedding planning process with this couple in a few words

A dream couple with a beautiful vision!

How long were you involved in the planning process?

From the start. Yanika was one of my first bookings, this amazing day was years in the making!

What was the inspiration behind this wedding?

The fusion of cultures that the couple wanted to bring to life through various elements of the day.

What was your favourite aspect about planning this wedding?

The incredible finer details that complemented both cultures, bringing the traditional Kenyan vibes into an Indian wedding – including an afrobeats bharaat!

Was there something this couple did that you wished all your couples did?

Trusted my advice and suggestions fully throughout the entire process, which really allowed me to provide a luxury service. They were also timely with decision making and all communications, making them a dream couple to work with!

Was there a hiccup throughout the process / on the day that you don't mind sharing? If so, how did having you as a planner help?

Pleased to say that the day on the whole went seamlessly and guests were all blown away! As always, there were a couple of snags which weren’t predictable, however having me as a planner softened any concerns / issues by alleviating any stress and providing reassurance to the couple and family, whilst of course resolving the issues.

Advice for future couples?

To TRULY TRUST and work with your wedding planner, it brings out the best in them and Yanika & Develin’s incredible day shows the magic that can happen when you get this right!

The event

We absolutely love the vibrancy of this wedding. From the outfits, to the entertainment, to the decor, this wedding truly emulated good vibes & love. We love the luxurious tropical safari theme, which was eloquently decorated with one of our favourite wedding trends – disco balls.

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