Who we are

Runaway Romance is a specialised wedding planning company based in Johannesburg. We focus on small, non-traditional weddings, elopements and destination weddings to South Africa.
We use non-traditional venues and suppliers to create intimate celebrations that have never been seen or experienced before.
We use our unique perspective and knowledge of small weddings to give you a stunning alternative to the hype, cost and pressure of typical wedding ``productions``.
Our couples are the trail blazers of the world. Inspired by adventure, you are the ones who celebrate your love in an authentic, out of the ordinary and completely ‘YOU’ way.
Runaway Romance is all for less hype, more happy!


Unique, intimate and memorable

What We Do

We do madly in love. We do travel and adventure. We do family.
We do once off. We do extraordinary.We do happy.
We don’t do getting into debt to get married. We don’t do trend chasing.
We don’t do wasteful. We don’t do judging.

All 3 of our specialised wedding planning packages include nothing less than start to finish supplier sourcing and management, creative concepts planning, logistics and budget management, full event set up, professional on the day hosting and event breakdown services.

Destination weddings to South Africa

This is when you are living outside of South Africa but are (rightfully so) wanting to come to our stunning country to celebrate your ‘I Do’s’. Maybe it’s just the two of you or maybe you’re bringing some family and friends. This will be the best wedding come honeymoon decision you ever make.

By being part of so many local weddings that are creative, adventurous, out of the box Runaway Romance is able to source suppliers, venues and destinations that are wow’ing new comers and locals alike, giving you direct and reliable access to the best of South Africa and her hidden gems.

For our destination couples we are on hand a full week before your wedding day to make sure your pre-wedding events and expeditions are as well planned and stress free as your special day.

Who would have thought that getting married half way around the world and creating once in a lifetime memories could be less stressful, more affordable and triple the fun of a wedding in your home town?

*Service fees start from $2000.

Small weddings

If you have decided to treat yourself to a different kind of wedding experience, one that is full of romance, is totally focused on what you love the most as a couple and is like nothing you or your guests have ever experienced, then our small wedding package is perfect for you.

By having less than 80 guests at your wedding day celebration you allow yourselves the creative freedom to really have the wedding you want in the exciting non-traditional venue you love. Your wedding day budget is able to include the luxuries and experiences you never could with a big wedding (Think butternut soup for the masses vs Caviar for a few.)

These wedding days may be small in numbers but are big on heart.


*Service fees start from R16 000.


Without a doubt the most romantic thing you can do for each other, an elopement allows you to start your married life with just your nearest and dearest present.

Exciting, adventurous, desperately romantic and visually breath taking our elopement package is perfect for the trail blazing couples of the world who aren’t afraid to do life their way.

Elopements open up a world of possibilities giving you and your 15 or less guests choices of venues, destinations and suppliers that are light years ahead of what is available in the traditional wedding industry at the moment.

Elopements can be arranged on short notice and have a very special place in our hearts and company.

*Service fees start from – R12 000

We would also love to be part of your out of the ordinary romantic moments which include personalised proposals, styled couples shoots as well as engagement and anniversary celebrations. Please get hold of us to find out more.


Making that special moment even more memorable

Kind Words

Anna-Belle & Craig

From start to finish the process of working with Runaway Romance was awesome. Rebecca solved problems where they needed solving, provided great contacts for suppliers and her amazing ideas made our day come to life. She is easy to work with and a great planner! We would definitely recommend you to our friends and family getting married. It was just an all around great experience working with her. When problems needed to be solved, she solved them. When we had to adjust the way we were going to run certain things she was there with an abundance of ideas to make it work. It was such a pleasure, I felt relaxed right up until the venue trouble in the week before, but Rebecca came through for us! She had really cool suggestions and in certain cases took our ideas and made them prettier!

Kelly & Tyrone

We couldn't have done it without Runaway Romance! With only three months notice, Rebecca pulled off the most dreamy forest elopement. Her ability to remain calm and confident carried me through any hint of doubt I may have had with regards to the amount of planning required in such a short time period. Rebecca is extremely talented in all spheres of wedding planning - her sketching skills are definitely worth raving about when it comes to relaying stationery and table layout ideas, her organisational skills are flawless, Her professionalism and spreadsheets are a force to be reckoned with, her creativity and perfectionism is just what every bride hopes for and her professional network has every need and want a bride could have, covered. We really felt all the heart and passion throughout the process and even more so on the day. Thank you, Rebecca. Thank you Runaway Romance.

Courtney & Angelo

My fiancé and I had the privilege of working with the lovely Rebecca for a styled engagement shoot. She was absolutely amazing!! Very friendly, professional and totally made Angelo and I feel completely comfortable. Her Décor was incredible, and we felt like we had walked into a fairy-tale, a true dream of an engagement shoot! Rebecca constantly asked where she could help the photographer and was always quick with ideas and jokes to make us laugh during the “awkward laughing scenes”! I would HIGHLY recommend Runaway Romance, not only will you get a wedding planner, but a friend!

Cati & Ash

When Rebecca originally approached us with the idea of a vow renewal, I did not expect it to be as meaningful and powerful as it was. In true Rebecca style, she presented us with a moment that was unbelievably beautiful and intimate. She really understood who we are and how we would celebrate. Her attention to detail and her thought behind each aspect really blew me away. Rebecca really honoured us as a couple and a family, and we are extremely grateful.


We had a fantastic anniversary! The experience of interacting with Runaway Romance was enjoyable and also somewhat exciting. Something I particularly appreciated was that you considered who we are and what we like when making suggestions. You were also very accommodating and understanding. It was wonderful to experience something different, something that I would never have arranged by myself.I am very much looking forward to next year’s anniversary. Thank you!


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Meet Rebecca

I’m Rebecca. A South African based wedding planner focusing on the small and non-traditional. I truly believe that small can be huge and simple can be extraordinary.


Rebecca Kooiker


My love for weddings was born in the traditional wedding industry but after experiencing too many tears, stressed out couples and family arguments I decided to breakaway and create a company that did it differently, with heart and a conscious and a whole heap of happy!

I bring my whole self to your planning process. In a highly organised, deeply honest and creative way I step into the roles where you need the most assistance and encourage you to take the lead with the ones you don’t.

I am quick to pick up on your personal style and create a day around you and your priorities. Know that I see you and recognise your needs as individuals, as a couple and as a family and that I am totally committed to making this the best possible experience for you all.

I believe in charity through business, businesses with heart and finding meaning through being and not having. I don’t believe in absolute perfection or competition. I have my fair share of quirks and qualms. I love family dinners, Sunday morning sleep-ins with my husband and airports.


Elopements, Weddings & Engagements


View our latest work by clicking on the Portfolio pictures below. To access our Blog scroll below the pictures and click on the 'View Our Blog' button.

Luke & Leigh’s Boer War Memorial Wedding

A simple, focused day of love & marriage in a city they adore, made for the best kind of wedding day magic. Each one of my couples brings their own love story, style and focus into the planning process and ultimately their day…I call this their magic. Each time I figure out this individual type […]

Taryn & Ruan – An elopement in the Proteas & Fynbos.

Taryn and Ruan wanted to celebrate their relationship and marriage in a simple, elegant and special way. Far from the mad crowds of Cape Town, in the heart of Gansbaai, we found a spectacular venue for their intimate wedding, in the form of Farm 215 nature retreat and fynbos reserve. Oh what a retreat it […]

Yolanda & Stanley’s Elopement to South Africa

When I first got the call from Stef that she had this amazing couple wanting to elope to South Africa the next week I didn’t really believe her. I know my couples are brave, adventurous and spontaneous souls but I haven’t met a couple who were THAT brave.. … well until I met Zhou Ziwei & […]

A paper inspired 1st Anniversary shoot

Krissi & Mart are the craziest, most full of life, love the flippen socks off each other couple ever! I met these two on Niki’s Promo shoot (if you haven’t seen the video Jacques Crafford Wedding Films created for her you are missing out) and I instantly felt like I knew them. They are fun, […]

Runaway Romance 1st Birthday Bash!

A couple of weeks ago Runaway Romance turned 1! HOOORAY!!!  I’m pretty sure that by making it to 1 years old as a new business we have beaten some kind of business management text book statistic!? To be honest part of me didn’t want to celebrate this important milestone, I mean an entire photo shoot […]

Kelly & Tyrone’s magical forest elopement.

In the silence of the forest it was like they were the only couple in the world. Surrounded by their nearest family Kelly and Tyrone promised themselves to each other for this life and the next. If I’ve ever seen real life magic this day was it! I met Kelly and Tyrone in the exact […]

Kelly & Tyrone’s (pre-elopement) couples shoot.

Every couple I meet and every love story I am lucky enough to witness I learn something new, I see love in a new way, I see marriage in a new way. I am inspired to love love, to honor marriage & to honor the lives people decide to create together. Kelly & Tyrone your […]

Anna-Belle & Craig’s spectacular City wedding.

Two weeks before their wedding there was a predicted heat wave… 2 days before their wedding a cold front pushed through which caused near constant rain. On top of having to change most (ok all) of our setup plans the day before, Anne-Belle was really ill the week leading up to their wedding… With all […]

Best Day Ever – An Orange Orchard Engagement.

A small town in the Eastern Cape, an orange orchard and two people so in love that they completely outshone the natural beauty around them! This was the makings of our Orange Orchard Engagement shoot. Hands down this is the most wonderful creative collaboration I have been part of to date. We had SO much […]

Destination wedding styled shoot – African luxury.

I believe in making the most normal and unusual spaces into intimate wedding venues. This abandoned water works house in the shadow of it’s dam wall in Kwa Zulu Natal, is exactly that space. I imagined a couple going to Africa for a holiday and coming back married. We took the chic style of a […]


Please feel free to get in touch with me. I would love to help you with your big day.

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