Megan and Carl's love story is like something out of an epic novel, and their wedding is a reflection of their out-of-the-ordinary, adventure-filled, and romance-despite-the-odds tale. Little White Dress Bridal Shop is truly honored to have played a role in Megan's happiness on her journey to marriage, and we have the privilege of sharing Megan and Carl's incredible story.
Tell us about the story of your wedding. What made you decide to get married in such a unique and far-away location?
Carl is originally from Montana while I was born in Utah, but we met in Namibia in 2007 as Peace Corps education volunteers. When we got engaged during a trip to Australia in 2011 we immediately knew we wanted to return to the place where we met to exchange vows and introduce the incredible country of Namibia to our closest family and friends. Shortly after we got engaged our parents threw an engagement party and we announced to our family and friends that we planned to wed on August 26th, 2013 at the Sossusvlei Lodge in Namibia, and if they had any interest in an African adventure that we would love for them to join us. We budgeted, planned and coordinated for just over two years. In the end, forty of our closest family and friends, traveling not only from Utah, Montana and other parts of the States, but also from Europe and Australia too, all came together in Namibia. It was literally a dream come true.
Megan continues: The landscape around the Sossusvlei Lodge is expansive and open, pierced with island mountain ranges. Our ceremony took place 20 minutes from the lodge, in the middle of nowhere in this vast landscape, and was held at sunset. Planning the ceremony had been the most difficult part for us because we wanted it to be personal, meaningful, unique and a true representation of our shared values and commitment to each other. A lot of time and effort went into the ceremony program, which we were so excited to share with our guests.
I was really lucky to find your store and I will forever be thankful for Tayler helping me find a dress I loved so much! Since I don't live in Colorado, I visited a couple of stores locally in Salt Lake and also in New York City, but always left feeling disappointed. I took a chance flying to Denver based on the excellent reviews Little White Dress Bridal Shop had online and it was the best thing I ever did. LWD not only carries beautiful and unique lines, but the overall experience with staff was so personal and positive. I am so grateful. When my mom and I entered LWD, it didn’t feel like I was just another of the thousands of brides looking for a dress that day. Rather, Tayler and Malea not only made us feel welcome and comfortable, but they were also excited and invested in me finding something I loved. Tayler, Malea and the others at LWD reminded me how significant and exciting it is to find your perfect wedding dress. I tried on many different styles and brands at LWD, but when I tried on the Jenny Packham “Eden” gown, I knew I’d found the dress.
What were some of the most memorable parts of your trip leading up to the wedding?
In the two days before the wedding, guests enjoyed hiking the windswept dunes and photographing wildlife, indulging in delectable food and being consumed by a twinkling, vast, endless night sky.
The team as Sossusvlei Lodge planned a rehearsal dinner at Desert Camp, which is the sister campsite to the Sossusvlei Lodge. Namibia is known for its incredible night sky, which is what everyone enjoyed while alongside a bonfire, enjoying ceremonial toasts with delicious South African wine. It was intimate and perfect.
Sossusvlei is one of the most famous places in the world to take a hot air balloon ride, and many guests planned to do so the day before the wedding. Unfortunately, a violent windstorm prevented that from happening on August 25th, so the only possible day was the actual wedding day. Along with 20 other guests, we arose at 4:30am to catch sunrise from a balloon. The rainbow-colored balloons were magnificent as they were slowly heated and filled by huge bursts of fire in the pre-dawn light. We spent our wedding morning silently floating over the Namib Desert, the landscape scarred only by the mysterious fairy-circles below.
What did you do for your reception in the desert?
After the ceremony, Carl and I were driven in a buggy behind the rest of our guests and we had little idea what to expect, and since night had fallen, we could see no detail beyond the headlights of the buggy. We parked, and were told to walk around a large rock formation, and we would find everyone waiting for us. As we rounded the rock formation, we saw that the walkway was lined with flickering candles inside paper bags that wound their way up a mountainside. You could hardly tell where the earth ended and sky began beyond the glow of the candles. The ceremony and reception were truly magical. Many of these guests remarked that they never would have considered traveling to Namibia, but it ended up being the best journey they’d ever had. We could not have dreamed up a better way to start their lives as husband and wife.
Megan and Carl, we cannot thank you enough for sharing your beautiful story with us! We wish you a lifetime of happiness together and many more adventures to come. Many, many thanks also to their photographer Dror Eyal, based in South Africa, for graciously sharing their absolutely stunning photos with us.
Venue: Sossusvlei Lodge in Namibia (Megan said, "All of the 'magic' of our wedding is because of Christelle and her team, and the care that they put into our wedding.")
Photographer: Dror Eyal Photography (Megan said, "He is incredible!")