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.

Our wedding planning service fee starts from R14 000, ranging up to R30 000 depending on your individual celebration needs.

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?

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.


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 10 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 fairly short notice and have a very special place in our hearts and company.

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

Annelie & Chris

As a bride that wanted a unique, beautiful day... Nothing of our day would've happened without Rebecca. AND she did it all in a very short timeline (2months!). She was able to sort out every detail from the venue straight to the fun on the beach at the end of it all. I didn't know venue options, food options, flower choices, decor options or even if or how to get confetti!  She took extra time to follow us on social media, in the process learning our quirks and finding ways to include it on the day - she got me dried orchid blooms as confetti (as I love orchids)!! Nothing, nothing, would've happened without her! And everything that did, was a dream come true! Everyone walked away saying it was the most beautiful, unique and special experience - everything due to a lady that could make my wishlist come to life! A magical experience, stress free and wonderful memories - thanks to the decision of hiring Runaway Romance!

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.

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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.

Hanri & Ryan’s Destination wedding

Hanri & Ryan’s small destination wedding to Plett was as much about them & their love story as it was about celebrating this love & forever promise with their nearest & dearest. Family is a very important part of these twos lives, so we helped create a wedding week of meeting, greeting, site seeing & […]

Wild horses & Waterfall elopement

Hands down the best thing about elopements (ok second best, to it being flip off romantic) is the places you can go. Those tiny hidden spaces, the top of your favorite mountain, that private gallery, the waterfall at Kaapsehoop! Once a year Runaway Romance teams up with a special bunch of suppliers & creates an […]

Cindy & Steyn’s small environmental retreat wedding

Cindy & Steyn are this incredible couple that mix their serious, detailed natures, with a wildly funny & a little bit cheeky side! I honestly dont think they could have chosen a space, the Waterfall Retreat & Environmental Center, or way of celebrating that reflected all of these attributes more perfectly! With the couple living […]

Cobus & Kat’s Picnic style, Forest elopement

From the very begging of their planning process, Kat & Cobus knew exactly what they wanted their elopement celebration to be…AND that eloping was 100% right for them! It’s always such a joy when this happens, as many couples doubt their decision to elope or be pressured along the way to fit into a more […]

Universe inspired styled shoot

“She wears strength and darkness equally well, The girl has always been half goddess, Half hell.” -Nikita Gill- These powerful words are just a little insight into what & how Ewalda was wanting to celebrate & create in this beautiful, universe inspired photo shoot. If Ewalda looks familiar to you, you are totally right, she […]

Jason & Nicole’s Joburg city wedding

Jason and Nicole have the most beautifully simple, easy, meant to be kind of love. Which now that I have met the Hartford/Otte swarm I can confidently say comes from/was taught/nurtured by their families. I got to experience Jason & Nicole’s special, simple way of being in little snippets of morning/evening Skype’s (because they live […]

Secret forest wedding in Plett

My couples are the people of the world who see things differently, who see marriage differently and the couples who do things differently. So when these two wandering albatross decided to make their promise to each other ‘official’ they did it in an informal celebration that was the truest version of them, just outside Plettenberg Bay […]

Megan & Brent’s Small Bush Lodge Wedding

For Megan and Brent nature is their special place, their escape and one of their greatest joys. So obviously, they wanted to celebrate their marriage and time away in nature. We had exclusive use of the Itaga Private Game Lodge as a small group of Megan and Brent’s closest family and friends gathered for a […]

The gift of nothing – Runaway Romances 2nd Birthday

December is the birthday month of Runaway Romance. Whoop whoop! This business birthday month is important to me, because Runaway Romance is important to me. The couples I serve and the people I meet because of Runaway Romance are important to me. Last year I celebrated by throwing myself a 1st Birthday shoot. It was so […]

A Joburg city shoot inspired by the bottle brush flower

Judith is the photographer behind Judith Bell adventure stories. She always looks at things a little differently. So when she asked me to be part of a creative shoot that celebrated this spiky little bottle brush flower I was too excited. We took a flower she loves & put together a shoot in a city […]


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

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