Jess & Darren

marrakech, morocco

Morocco is an incredible country. It’s so close to Europe and so far in many ways. It’s a trip back in time into a land of tradition and craftsmanship. A walk through any of its medinas will bring you into a world of smells dominated by spices, leather and fresh mint tea.

Marrakech is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco along with Fez, Mequinez and Rabat. It’s a red city: red soils and red buildings dominate the landscape, and it sits by the Atlas the largest set of mountains in Morocco. It has nice overall weather throughout the year, though winters can get cold and the summers are fairly hot. Spring and autumn would make the best wedding for the event that brings us here: a wedding!

For some years now, Marrakech has gained a certain reputation for those looking to have a destination wedding in Morocco or near Europe. It’s well communicated with many European cities by a short flight, and it has some of the most stunningly beautiful venues anyone has ever seen. Luxury palaces modernly renovated with gorgeous styling and attention to detail, keeping an eye on Moroccan tradition while following the latest interior design trends. It’s a photographers’ dream, and I can tell you right now it was the best trip I’ve had in a long time, photographically speaking.

My dear friend Igor Demba was the main photographer for the event, and he was kind enough to bring me to second-shoot for him, ride camels and stuff our faces with Moroccan pancakes (you definitely have to try them out!)

It was a dream wedding: a 4-day event in 3 of the coolest venues on earth: El Fenn, La Pause and Ksar Char-Bagh.

Warning: It is a loooong post. Many things happened worth showing, so make yourself a cup of mint tea and let’s begin with a party at the rooftop of El Fenn.

Marrakech is famous for its riads: traditional houses (aka palaces) with an interior garden. They’re the favourite stay for stylish travellers looking to experience the city from within. And El Fenn is probably the most famous of it all. A renovated old palace sitting on the verge of the medina, it has 28 individually styled rooms, three courtyards and a few pools of different sizes, plus a gorgeous terrace that overlooks the old town.

This was the location chosen by Jess & Darren for their welcome party. It started in the afternoon and lasted well into the night, with a live band that had everyone dancing for a long time. It was the most beautiful setting to meet all the guests that were slowly arriving from all parts of the world. The views from the terrace are one of the most stunning in Marrakech, and it all came accompanied by a tasty dinner and great cocktails. Not a bad way to start this four-day big adventure!

The day after everyone made a trip to La Pause, an oasis in the desert. Marrakech’s location is privileged. It sits by the Atlas mountains, giving it fresh winters, but a 40-minute drive will take you to a rocky desert, a landscape of camels and Berbers in blue clothes. Another 30-minute camel ride and you arrive at La Pause: an oasis in the desert and the best place to have a party the day before the wedding!

It certainly is a fun adventure for your city dwelling guests and a much-appreciated break from the throbbing streets of the Marrakech medina. Camel rides, couscous by the moonlight and dancing under the stars are the perfect plan for the second day of Jess & Darren’s big Moroccan wedding. I had fun like a little kid and I took more photos than needed, but I couldn’t help myself. As you’ve seen, it’s a heck of a place with a great show included.

Then comes the most important day: the wedding day!

The moment I walked through Ksar Char-Bagh’s doors I was in awe. It’s like being transported to Granada’s Alhambra, one of the most beautiful places in the world. A middle-age Arabian palace at its best. But it’s a hotel. And it’s new. You wouldn’t believe the quality of the architecture, the unique pieces of furniture, the little corners that bring you to new rooms and courtyards and stairs… the design is outstanding and it makes for a unique luxury destination wedding in Marrakech.

So a bit about Jess & Darren. They come from different backgrounds: she’s Aussie, he’s a brit. A bit of an age difference. She’s the coolest one (according to him). And you can tell they L O V E each other. They now live in the US, so bringing UK and Australian families together, plus friends from around the globe, it’s a bit of a puzzle. Luckily they chose Morocco as a middle point and Marrakech as the final destination for their wedding. And oh boy, did they score big! As you’ve probably been able to tell by the first two days, they’re chill. The vibe for the whole wedding was relaxed and fun. There was one goal for them: enjoy these days with their dearest ones, as this is a once in a lifetime adventure.

The wedding day was the high peak of the event, with an emotional ceremony, a refreshing aperitif by the pool, a delicate dinner in the Orangerie and a lit party with the coolest band.

So... how do you even finish a long weekend like this? With the ultimate pool party!

An easter egg hunt, bloody marys, champagne and grilled fish plus electronic music and pool games. No hangover can keep you from enjoying it!

It brings us to a close. It’s been my first wedding in Marrakech, and hopefully, just the first in many to come. I’m in love with Morocco and with Marrakech, a vibrant, beautiful city. Thanks to my man Igor Demba for bringing me in this adventure, and a big shoot out to Gione da Silva, who was the videographer for the event, a wonderful man and a talented artist, and to the Boutique Souk weddings team for making the event go smoothly the 4 days, making the most beautiful decorations and stylings, and for taking good care of us.