Real Life Wedding: Caroline & Gareth – Zimbabwe

Caroline Banks & Gareth Crosland married on 31 March 2013 in Zimbabwe. The ceremony was held at Chisipite Senior School Chapel, followed by a reception at Thorntree Lodge in Harare.


Why did you choose that destination?

“We both love Africa (we’re both originally from Harare) and wanted somewhere that all our guests could get to relatively easily but still make a holiday of the wedding. The amazing Zimbabwean weather was also a big plus.”

Why did you select that venue?

Caroline and all of her sisters went to school at Chisipite and it has a beautiful chapel situated at the school.

“It was something different and we just loved the chapel which is very open with lots of glass doors and windows. The lodge where the reception was held is in the city, so it was easily accessible, but it’s on a very large property so it still feels like you’re out in the bush. It has beautiful rolling lawns surrounded by tall trees, and has a river running through the property.”47

Did you have guests attend? If so, what was their reaction to you having a destination wedding?

“We ended up having 200 guests at the wedding, with many flying in from all over the world including South Africa, Australia and the United Kingdom. Some of our guests had never been to Zimbabwe before but they all said they had a wonderful time.”

What’s your favourite memory of the day?

“We absolutely loved our entire wedding day, so it’s impossible to pinpoint one thing. The weather, speeches, food, music and company all worked out perfectly. Being surrounded by all our closest friends and family was very special.”210

What was the best thing about having a destination wedding?

“We were able to make a whole weekend of the wedding and got to spend a few days with our guests instead of just one day – which can end up being very busy.37

What theme or style did you base your wedding decorations on?

“Because of the beautiful location, we wanted very simple decorations. Our colour scheme was Champagne gold and we wanted a slightly vintage theme. Instead of vases we used gold teapots, and the tables were named after different types of tea. Tea light candles, fairy lights and diamante crystals finished the table décor.”



Thorntree Lodge


Maggie Sottero

Wedding Coordinator:

Jacque Anderson


Madeline Jarvis,

Fingerprint Photography

To inquire about weddings at Chisipite Senior School, visit