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

Jason & Nicole

Rebecca is phenomenal. We were tentative about getting a wedding planner because we felt like it was an expense that we didn't need, but it was the best decision that we made (other than deciding to get married!) She provided calm advice and guidance throughout the process, turned our haphazard collection of ideas into a coherent aesthetic and was able to plan our perfect wedding despite us being on the other side of the world. We loved your honest, unbiased opinions on everything. Thank you so much!  

Tamsyn & Andrew

In many ways Runaway Romance helped us get back to the place that we felt we were being pressured away from. Our wedding was spinning out of my control and it was down to your kind and valuable words that we have really brought it back to exactly what we always wanted.

Megan & Brent

I am at a loss for words to describe the service received from Runaway Romance. From our first meeting to dismantling the decor, everything was handled professionally. I had my reservations about a small wedding, but there wasn't any part of the traditional wedding that we missed. Once we started to trust Rebecca (I tend to micro manage), the stress dissipated, and we were able to focus on the fun parts of the wedding. The service provided was excellent and extremely good value for money. The emotional support that we received was above and beyond. Thank you for everything!

Yu-Shan & Serafim

We were never quite sure whether we wanted a traditional wedding or elopement. However working with Runaway Romance helped us find something as special, in-between. We loved that our special day felt like our other holidays together - we got to share an amazing beach walk & late breakfast, while everything that followed was organized and managed perfectly. We’re so grateful that we got to focus on the most important detail of the day, each other. Thank you for reminding us of that, Rebecca!

Kelly & Tyrone

We couldn't have done it without Runaway Romance! 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, 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.


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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.

When two worlds meet in the South African bushveld

It’s an amazing thing to see how different couples bring their hearts and souls to their wedding celebrations, to truly make it ‘theirs’. For Raine and Ernst it was all about the feeling. How the space, air and open bush made them feel back home. How their guests would feel about the million little details […]

Laura & Dan elope to Emily Moon

If you ever wanted an elopement that inspires you to make the most of everything South Africa has to offer as a wedding/honeymoon destination, then Laura and Dan’s riverside celebration is it. They made their way down the Garden Route (stopping at many a golf course along the way) to Emily Moon River Lodge where […]

Small Stellenbosch wine lands wedding

On the most spectacular Cape Town summers day, this group of travelers celebrated Denise and Eoin’s small winelands wedding. The day was non-stop laughter, fun and festivities as the group of family and friends from around the world finished their week of South African exploring in Stellenbosch, to witness these two’s “I Do’s”. From the […]

Chris & Blaire’s Waterfall Elopement

Chris & Blaire where inspired by our ‘Waterfall & Wild horses’ shoot to travel from across the seas to have their South African elopement under the same beautiful waterfall spray. To say this was an adventure trip for them is an understatement. They had so many curve balls thrown at them (including an unplanned back […]

Jess & Jom’s Johannesburg Art Gallery Wedding

Between them Jean-Michel and Jess are laid back, creative, technical, lovers of the arts, generous, practical, all inclusive, wild flippen party animals and very very good friends (to each other, to their families and the people lucky enough to be in their lives). Their marriage and wedding day captured and celebrated all of this and […]

Bee & JP’s Free-spirited Bohemian wedding in Plett

Bianca and JP are the most effervescent couple! They laugh hard, smile always & have a deep & very real kindness. Their bright, boho, love filled wedding day was basically the physical manifestation of their colourful, crazy personalities (& man was it beautiful) They promised each other forever under their gorgeous flower Tee Pee, had […]

Small wedding in the heart of the tsitsikamma forest

“Love is support. Love is adventure. Love is laughter. Love is friendship. Love is what brought us all here today.” There is a special type of couple who is drawn to the forest for their wedding ceremony. The thinkers, the poets and the romantics! Lauren and Rollan are all of these things and more. This […]

A secret lighthouse elopement

“There is nothing you can promise me today that you haven’t already shown me…” These few words from Yu-Shan’s vows blew me away. Not only are they intensely beautiful, but so incredibly true to how I think these two love each other… They love with their actions not their words. This was why it was […]

Runaway Romance turns 3 – WTF!

For the last two years I have made it a point to stop and celebrate Runaway Romance turning a year older. Because business/life is tough, keeping anything alive for a year at a time is impressive & I have exceptionally low standards for reasons to open champagne! In my first year I was honestly just […]

Sarah & Jacques Delta Park wedding

“Come as you are” was the dress code for Sarah & Jacques wedding, and actually the main feeling I got from their entire planning process and celebration!! These two dropped all the stress, all the fluffy wedding pretenses and tapped directly into what made them happy (each other, family & fairy lights), to have one […]


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

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