Planning A Destination Wedding? Magali shares the Story of Her Exotic Fête in Morocco

Posted on Wednesday, November 21st, 2012 at 9:46 AM

By Magali Lajetfete

I started up a boutique destination wedding planning and design company straight after planning my own. I came from a Marketing and PR background. I have organised and hosted social events including special birthdays across the world .

When my husband proposed, we weren’t comfortable with the idea of getting married in London. We love to travel;  loved the idea of going on holiday with our close friends and family, and wanted to offer our guests an unforgettable experience, so we opted for a destination wedding. Event planning and designing is definitely my strength, so naturally I turned into wedding planner extrodinaire and started with the first task – where?

I was born in Paris and I spend half of my time there so my husband didn’t want Paris. He wanted us to pick a neutral ground as well as celebrate our African heritage. We eventually narrowed it to Marrakech, Morocco.

Thankfully I had a great insight on Marrakech. I had been there a few times, and since it was a French speaking country I did not struggle to manoeuvre and make the essential contacts. Our aim was to create an unforgettable experience for our guests so we wanted to find the venue that will revitalise our guests’ senses upon arrival. After months of searching high and low, we found a waterfront hidden gem on the outskirts of Marrakech.

It was essential that we had the buy in from our mothers, so I organised what I like to call a selling trip. After the Hamman, the warm welcome at the hotel, the suppliers who treated us as if we were made of gold, all I can say it SOLD.

On our return we were ready to announce to everyone. We had previously done a travel themed engagement shoot to give our guest a taste of what was due to come and was used through all communications and wedding collateral. We set up a website with all the information our guests could possibly need – including flight and accommodation packages that I had brokered directly with British Airways, Royal Air Maroc and the hotel.

We wanted to incorporate travel and the African theme into the design of our wedding. The majority of our stationery incorporated the travel theme – such as the passport invitation, boarding pass save the dates, fan program, menu and escort card on post card and so forth. We incorporated the African theme into other elements such as naming our tables after African countries. We also celebrated some elements of our traditions, from traditional Nigerian drummers to Congolese dancers.

My husband and his groomsmen wore Itsekiri outfits to honour his mother’s tribe. My bridesmaids used the same george that the groomsmen wore to create fan dresses.

We were happy to have 100 people who were ready to join us. Our  families hosted our traditional engagement two months before the ‘white wedding’ and this number went up to 180.

A month to the wedding, a couple’s worst nightmare happened. A bomb exploded in the centre of the tourist part of Marrakech – Djemaa el Fna. Thankfully my PR/crisis management skill came in handy. I immediately sent out a note to all our guests within the minutes of receiving the news. I informed them of what happened and reassured them that their safety is of utmost importance to us. We continued to update them on information as we were receiving it from liaising with the government officials and airlines. We received the go-ahead, but 20 people decided that they weren’t comfortable with go ahead with the trip – so we went ahead with 160 guests.

The first flight had 100 of our guests flying with us – to say that it was a fun trip is an understatement. The airport was buzzing. The wedding itself was a fun and definitely an unforgettable experience for us and our guests. From the ceremony that took place by the lake – I was so blessed that my pastor flew in with his family to bless us- to the cocktail reception and the five course meals. The entertainers were great too. We were fortunate that one of my husband’s friends was a belly dancer and boy could she dance. The Gnawa musicians were also at hand to remind us where we were (in case the mesmerising surrounding didn’t) and the party went until the early morning courtesy of our DJ that we flew over from London.

We held a post wedding brunch and started saying our goodbyes. My husband and I (and a few others) stayed longer as part of our honeymoon. We also had some other events we organised such as the welcome dinner and the group day at Nikki Beach (for the young people only).

Our guests had an amazing time, and as the host, that was my priority. I found out what their interests were and negotiated discounted rates for them. So whether it was a luxurious hamman experience or Golfing – all of this was negotiated prior to the trip.

Attention to detail makes wedding a truly unforgettable experience – regardless of where you decide to host it.

If you’re planning a destination wedding, here are some tips to guide you in your quest.

1. Get people to buy in to your idea!
2. Remember that your guests are priority
3. Use trusted vendors
4. Make sure the venue is a feast for eyes
5. Do your research
6. Get to know the legal requirements and regulations for getting married
7. Personalise your wedding
8. Incorporate your destination in your design
9. Get organised
10. Hire a destination wedding planner
11. Have fun

____________________________________________________________________________________________
Magali Dunkwu is based in London but caters to couples worldwide. She owns the exclusive boutique destination events company – La Jet Fete. Magali and her team specialises in creating unforgettable experience everywhere they go. They have done weddings in Paris, French Riviera, Marrakech, Portugal to name a few. They cap their weddings to 10 a year – in order to allow their clients to receive the utmost attention and care. www.lajetfete.co.uk. Twitter @lajetfete. www.facebook.com/lajetfete

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  • 40 Comments on “Planning A Destination Wedding? Magali shares the Story of Her Exotic Fête in Morocco”

    Comments
    • Docia November 21, 2012 at 9:57 AM

      I love your blog and the latest news. Is that Omosexytola? First time here and following. Hope you don’t mind following me and also adding me to your blog list

    • chychy November 21, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      Interesting sight. God bless their union.

    • ejogene November 21, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      Beautiful venue, BN team thanks for the advice and this is wishing the couple happy married life.

    • pynk November 21, 2012 at 11:00 AM

      I want a destination wedding abeg.

    • nems November 21, 2012 at 11:02 AM

      I have always wanted a destination wedding, love the article and will save your website details in my dreams folder. I will definately be revisitng it :)!
      http://www.anemistyle.blogspot.com

    • Doks November 21, 2012 at 11:03 AM

      one word – WOW!

      BN could you please provide a contact email or phone number? I’m not on twitter and I need to contact Magali for my wedding. Pllllleeeesseeeee????

    • Ife November 21, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      I was there!!!!!
      I can see myself in the Pics lol, I must admit this was by far the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever attended from the start of the journey to the very end!. I travelled to Morocco with my son and friend on the “chartered plane” well it was practically chartered as there were over 100 of us on the plane. Our stay in Morocco was extremely enjoyable as each day as packed with fun filled activities that Magali and Chike organised for us e.g. massages, party at Nikki beach and quad biking and camel rides. We also had the opportunity to explore Marrakesh ourselves by visiting the souks and enjoying the sites. The actual day of wedding was like something out of a movie, perfect setting overlooking a beautiful lake. The wedding reception was so fun with the DJ playing Afro beat whilst we all danced by the pool.
      I recommend anyone planning to have an amazing wedding abroad to contact Magali because you will surely not be disappointed!!!!!

    • Pam November 21, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      I was fortunate enough to attend the wedding and it was honestly breathtaking, the view at night when the pool and venue was lit was surreal. It was very well thought out down to the transportation to the venue and coaches leaving on the hour every hour from the wedding party to bring you back to the hotel if you were an early bird or even if you needed to go to change etc. It was definitely the talk of the town here in London!!!

      • iyke November 22, 2012 at 4:43 PM

        hello pam here is Iyke my email is iiumeh@yahoo.com. can you please help me with the hotel name..thanks! will love to go for a vacation. blessings!

    • Mma November 21, 2012 at 11:32 AM

      Great idea, would love to do something like that, probably for my anniversary.

      http://africansweetheart.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Chattyzee November 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      Beautiful wedding. HML!

      http://dprodigalchild.wordpress.com/

    • Ma chérie November 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      La Jet Fete has the simple philosophy of providing trusted information and advice for events abroad, such as weddings, parties and group vacations. It is filled with everything you’ll need to have the most amazing destination vacation, party or wedding imaginable.

      If you’re looking for inspiration, advice and tips on events abroad then look no further! La Jet Fete is full of real information and great recommendations. For those planning a wedding abroad you will not only be having your close friends and family there sharing your special day but you will also be giving them a vacation to remember :-).

    • XoXo November 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      My village wedding is also a destination wedding…..It all depends on your perspective

      • Jiddah November 21, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        Your village wedding is not a destination wedding, its your traditional wedding :p

        Happy married life to the couple, trust their guest had fun too

        • Purpleicious Babe November 21, 2012 at 4:34 PM

          loooool…

        • Sephora November 22, 2012 at 8:43 PM

          If you have guests flying in from the USA, France, Thailand etc to your trad wedding in Enugu Nigeria… isn’t that a destination wedding for the guests?

    • Toinlicious November 21, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      Beautiful!!!

    • Peter November 21, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      This is absolutely great stuff! Here is a lot of good tips when planning a destination wedding

    • Gina November 21, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      lols @ XOXO.

    • Jess November 21, 2012 at 3:46 PM

      Awesome!! Always wanted to get married in Morocco after I saw the most gorgeous wedding. I’ll be saving Magali’s details for err..future…future plans.

    • Dee November 21, 2012 at 4:38 PM

      Wow the pictures are so lovely. I’ve aways wanted a destination wedding somewhere remote in Greece or France.

    • faith November 21, 2012 at 5:56 PM

      Plenty money must be involved… like how much r we talking abt here….

    • Occasions In Print November 21, 2012 at 8:31 PM

      Looks like it was such a fun wedding! Great tips for a destination wedding. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sbaby November 21, 2012 at 8:59 PM

      I want a destination wedding too biko, 5 years of girl friending and boyfriending this my bobo never touch the matter

      • Eva November 21, 2012 at 11:21 PM

        After 5 years and bobo never touch the matter, and you still dey there make em dey chop you for free eh? You berra wise up!
        In 6-12 months of dating, a guy has already known whether or not you’re his type to walk down the altar with, and even if he is not ready to get married soon, he will surely give you hints that you are the one (if he thinks you are)
        Berra shine your eyes……your biological clock dey tick ooo

    • Tosin November 21, 2012 at 9:32 PM

      Looks like loads of fun. Me likey.

    • iamfascinating November 21, 2012 at 9:56 PM
    • Marylou GOMES November 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      I really appreciated and miss you all

    • kikelomo November 22, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      Lovely pictures…..this is fantastic…..i love it.

    • mimi November 22, 2012 at 10:43 PM

      @ejogene koh i see uu>

    • Jerry L. November 23, 2012 at 9:01 AM

      Point number 2 is really important. A lot of couples just forget that the guests are the most important in their wedding.

    • anon November 23, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      Very well done and I love that you took into consideration your guests’ interests-wonderful!! I could feel the excitement of having most of your guests on the flight with you-priceless! Well done, very well done!

    • isoken November 24, 2012 at 12:39 PM

      Lol @ x0x0.

    • Naijainfotainment November 25, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      Pretty Location,I Love!

    • Veronica November 27, 2012 at 11:41 AM
    • lahips November 27, 2012 at 4:37 PM

      Most of these weddings are not realistic in Naija for those with a large close extended family. you cant even plan for a minimal number of guest cause family members alone you will be counting in hundreds, then friends, i once frowned at an invite with restriction to the number of guest the card permits, but now i am so buying into the idea, afterall no matter the number of people, at the end of the day you are married.

    • Leah K November 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      The wedding in Marrakesh was such a well done event! What an excellent website, you could spent a long time here getting information on so many issues and subjects. Love it.

    • Dana Caffrey December 7, 2012 at 2:18 AM

      Wow, amazing!!! I envy you for this! I wish to have a wedding getaway too! Thanks for sharing your beautiful wedding with us! Love it!

    • INVITESWEDDINGS August 5, 2013 at 8:25 AM

      I love the dress and flower! Also, that party is gorgeous. Great job!