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Chitwa Chitwa Part 3 – A Bride in the Bush

21 Dec

Brett and I decided to say our vows to each other at sunset in the wide open bush of the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve in South Africa.  Countless emails were exchanged between our travel consultant, myself, and the amazing team at Chitwa Chitwa to create the perfect setting for our special moment.  Bags upon bags of rose petals were ordered for the aisle.  An unusual duo of musicians (a classical violinist and an African drummer ) were hired to create the perfect background melody. Pink roses were selected for bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces. Pink Champagne was ordered for celebratory toasting.  A perfect spot was chosen and decorated with lanterns and candles galore.  And of course, a minister was hired to bless the vows and the marriage.  For how many guests you might ask?  Well…for two!  It was just Brett and myself (and our new friends at Chitwa Chitwa). That is all you really need though, right?  A Bride and a Groom.

Very little about the day could be considered traditional.  I mean our guest list consisted of a herd of giant Water Bucks…  Also, the fact that the Bride and Groom got ready together.  I did wait to put on my dress until after they had taken Brett to the ceremony spot…but for the make-up and hair roller portion of the primping process – we were together!  The day was lovely – perfect really,except for one little, itsy bitsy glitch – but I will save that for later!

Here is the our day summed up in pictures photographed by the wonderful Stefan du Plessis.  Warning!!  Lots of photos!

Brett sees me like this every day...I figure he must like it or he wouldn't have proposed in the first place! (Although, I am not sure why I am posting it for all of you to see!)

My good-looking groom tying his wedding tie.

Oops! I guess I should have waited to apply my lipstick until after I kissed him goodbye. The groom is not supposed to have ruby-red lips, right? Brett & Morgan Hutchinson

The Dress! I designed and had this made here in Beijing. It was my something new and my something blue!

Brett on his way to the ceremony site. Just about a 5-10 minute drive through the bush.

The elegantly rustic archway that God and the team of Chitwa Chitwa created. (God because the tree became an archway when it was struck by lightning). Tristan, our ranger even made the rails on either side of the arch with fallen branches and covered them with lanterns.

Here comes the bride! (In her open-top ride...) Hair and veil be damned!

The groom - what a jack of all trades. He escorted me down the aisle as well.

The lovely sounds of Anneke Coetzer. In fact, I think their unique beat would be perfect for Hotel Costes soundtrack!

Of course I already knew that I loved this man...what I did not know is what a poet he is. Truth be told...his vows put mine to shame 🙂 Morgan Hutchinson

My turn now! I did get a big laugh from our guests (Water Buck excluded) when I pulled them from my cleavage...I mean - it's not like my wedding dress had pockets!

The prayer and blessing after our vows.

Now you may kiss the bride!

Signing our marriage certificate. This one is just for show...the real one was done back in Beijing. That said - if you are planning to wed in South Africa, they can take care of everything for you so that your marriage is also legal in the USA (or other countries for that matter).

Our first dance as Mr. and Mrs. Brett Hutchinson! ( be fair - it was our third. First at the Circus of Love and second at our Chinese Wedding celebration). Third time is a charm, right? Brett and Morgan Hutchinson

Popping some pink bubbly!

This might be my favorite. You can see the Water Buck in the background! Brett and Morgan Hutchinson

Just look how perfectly Stefan captured the sunset in our hands

I actually requested the photos on this termite mound. Why you ask?? Because termites are incredible. Not the "eat your deck" kind of termites. They are terrible. South African termites; however, are the bee's knees. The queen can live to be 20 years old and she can lay 300,000 eggs a day. Can you believe that? A 20-year-old insect. Plus they make their own food - it is a fungus, but still. I mean - I love mushrooms so who I am I to judge. Seriously - I heart nature.

Our get-away car! Chitwa left no stone unturned. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Tristan let me use his Ranger's Rifle as a prop for a few photos. Don't get any ideas - the problem I mentioned at the beginning of this blog entry did not involve me shooting myself or anyone else for that matter!

Just before taking off for our night-time game drive. That's right...we went to see the lions eat before we ate our own wedding meal - in full wedding garb and all. Surreal to say the least!

Since this entry is already quite long…and very photo heavy, I am going to write about the wedding dinner and party portion of the evening separately.  This way I can keep you in suspense as to what went WRONG on our wedding day.  Believe me… it was pretty terrible.   But when looking back, it does make for a great story.  Stay tuned!

All images courtesy of Stefan du Plessis Photography

Resort Worthy Prints

21 Dec


Some images below may make you green with envy and others might give you a zigzag head ache – but ALL of them should inspire you to take risks when packing your suitcase for Holiday travels.

Oh Lord - won't you buy me a Chris (topher) friends all wear Chanel, I must make a mends.

Black, White, & Red All-Over at Jean Charles de Castelbajac Spring RTW 2012

Yes, it is loud - but what else do you expect from Missoni? I really wish I would have had this look for South Africa!

More from Missoni. Love the pants - but I think they need to be paired with a basic tank. The fringe number is a little much for those of under 6 feet tall and weighing more than 100 lbs!

Doesn't every sunbather need a pink parasol? While overall this look from Tsumori Chisato is a bit over-the-top - but as separates, I think the parasol and the skirt are darling.

Another OTT (over-the-top) look with matching parasol from Tsumori Chisato. For the less girly girl type.

Love the turban. Love the shades. Love the look. Nina Ricci Spring RTW 2012

Mark Fast wasn't quite fast enough getting this to the runway...This would have been perfect for Mozambique!

This little Stella McCartney number is fun, flirty and fitting for a coastal destination.

Please share your favorites looks with A B in B

All images courtesy or

Chitwa Chitwa Part Two with Stefan du Plessis

21 Dec

On the morning of our wedding ceremony, we asked our wedding photographer to join us on the morning game drive.  His photos gave us an entirely different perspective than those that we took.  Stefan’s  pictures confirmed to us that even though we have the same camera base (Canon 7D) – skill and type of lens (but mostly skill) make all the difference!

Up and at 'em! 5 AM and ready to see the big 5!

Our transportation for the week

Brett cracking me up as usual...what "Brettism" could he have possibly just said??

Treking through the bush to get closer to a group of giraffes

Morning coffee on game drive

Chatting with the gang about the weather was calling for rain that night. Rain, rain go away!

Finding our perfect ceremony open area of the bush with a tree struck by lightning forming a natural archway. Of course the crew at Chitwa Chitwa transformed it later into something even more magical!

Brett taking a little bathroom break in the bush behind a termite mound...

With Tristan and Natalee talking ceremony details. I really do prefer candid shots. Thank you, Stefan for capturing every moment of the day!

Our version of a rehearsal...

As my favorite 2-year-old little girl, Drewsie Willson would say, "I am hap-hap-happy!"

I pray that we are still making each other laugh like this 40 years from now!


Trying my hand at photographing hungry lions

These big guys took down this baby Cape Buffalo and cleaned it out within 24 hours. Their bellies were so full they looked pregnant!

Nature is amazing. So is this photo!

With a pride of 4 male lions surrounding our range rover, I love the fact that we were still more interested in each other. Or as Cory Hutchinson and Brett Sweyer would mockingly sing, "Young love!"

Sitting down for breakfast after the drive. I swear we ate more on this 3-week trip than we usually do in an entire year!

At breakfast with the sweet and very helpful staff of Chitwa Chitwa. Thanks for the paparazzi-esque shot, Stefan!

Sitting down with the minister who married us later that day. Lovely man. Jesus lover and great joke teller. Killer combo.

After this breakfast we went for massages, manicures, and some down time in the room to finalize our wedding vows to each other.  I highly recommend writing your own vows.  We  said the traditional ones as well – but saying our own made it even more special – and honestly, more real.

Wedding pictures up next!

All images courtesy of Stefan du Plessis Photography.



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