Monday, November 24, 2008


1. He wore a tie, just for me, and looked smoking hot!
2. I was super relaxed, ecstatic, excited all day long
3. The ceremony felt so intimate, loving and real
4. The photo session was a blast
5. Things went a bit wonky over dinner but our lovely guests made it go away
6. The reception was a massive, crazy, marathon dance party, which I never expected, and loved, loved, loved!
7. Overall it was just imperfectly perfect and I couldn't be more thrilled.

We leave for Bali in about 12 hours, I can hardly wait.

Friday, November 21, 2008

ooh lordy

I've been completely calm, so calm I fell asleep during my mani/pedi this morning!
Now that I'm sitting here writing the final post before the day, I can hardly type... Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!
See you on the other side.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

the wedding: super quick update!

Hello blogosphere, how I miss you!
Sorry it's been so long?
BB is snoring cutely upstairs and I finally have half an hour to myself so here I am, forgive my absence!

The past week has just flown by in a blur of happy activity.

I had my hen night, the best night out of my life, it was fantastic. Embarrassing pictures later!

And then so many of our friends who live far away have arrived in town and now it's daily breakfasts and shopping and lunches and wine tours and sun-downers and dinners and on and on and on...

BB and I really miss our copious amounts of alone-time together, but also realise that there will be years and years for that, so we're living it up and absolutely adoring having so many fabulous people gathered for this celebration of ours.

Monday night I finally had all my bridesmaids together in their entirely individual black dresses and they looked so uber-stylish and drop dead gorgeous, every one of them, it was too exciting!

Arrangements have moved along steadily enough, hiccups and surprises galore but I've just been in the most zen-like state of calm, peace and pure joy, nothing gets me under.
I thank the wedding gods for this state of grace, I swear I'm not even on the Calmettes (yet!). I actually think it's from reading on so many blogs how important it is to maintain focus on the true priorities of the day and not sweat the small useless stuff you can't control anyway? Either way, it's working like a charm and I am an ecstatic bride-to-be!

Things that went wrong:
Darling photographer cancelled our venue recce, was not impressed but it will be fine, he'll come early and do it on the day.
Dear friend of BB's brought an extra guest to stay, unannounced... Long story but we're coping well.
Dear family member of BB's has to go in for a hip operation today and won't make it to the wedding. (Best of luck and strength to her!)
2 Good friends' parents home was flooded in storms last week and they missed the hen night :-(
Storms last week! Crazy, heavy rain and insane winds... If my wedding was last weekend I just can't imagine how it would've been!

Things that are going right:
Weather forecast for Saturday looks just perfectly balmy, slight breeze, bit of cloud... exactly what I ordered!
My dress fits like a comfortable glove. An unbelievably beautiful, glamorous, ethereal, feminine glove.
My bridesmaids look amazing and have been getting on great.
Our lovely guests are making it such a fun week for us.

I can not wait to marry my man.
My man, my man, my man.
What a good man.
I love him!
To pieces.

And here's just a sneak peek of some little sentimental pretties that might feature on Saturday!

I can't wait.



My childhood friend, Jewel, who became my high school friend, my varsity friend and then my friend for life, got married on 07/07/07 in a beautifully indescribable shade of pink.

It was the middle of the winter, she wore red feathers in her hair, her daisy-covered vintage Beetle served as the wedding car and the groom was in jeans. The strap of her dress snapped just after the ceremony, the itunes acted up for a little while, someone spilled a beer all over her somewhere during the crazy snake dance and we all got soaked to the bone while trying to find our overnight accommodation...

Regardless, it was the most fun wedding I've ever been to. A perfect celebration of love, joy and friendship. Just awesome.

Love you Jewel! x

Thursday, November 13, 2008

blonde bombshell

I have five bridesmaids. Four have (newly shortish!) dark hair and the fifth, well, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Bombshell came home from London to get married to her fabulous man in January 2007. I don't know how the poor dear planned such a glamorous, sumptuous party from afar, when all we did was have our bridesmaids dresses made! But it was a classy affair from start to finish, at a stunning hotel in Cape Town's famous Waterfront.

The day was filled with champagne (the real deal no less, it was that kind of party!) and giggles and ended in a truly gorgeous meal and hours of dancing. It's so hard to pick out my favourite pictures, sadly the inept photographer made the choices more obvious. I refuse to make a rant out of this post, so I'll leave it there.

The Choos darling, the Choos!

My favourite memory of the day is how Bombshell never, ever stopped smiling her infectious little-girl-in-a-candy-store smile. So, so beautiful.

Oh happy, happy day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

yesterday, today, tomorrow

Yesterday I wanted to cave under the pressure. I felt out of control, overwhelmed, unprepared and just swamped. I knew this was irrational and untrue, but I have a hard time managing my stress levels with cognitive reasoning. I'm working on it okay?

So I got a couple of things done, not the least of which was tasting and booking the fabulous cupcakes of Cape Town institution Charly's Bakery for our wedding cake. Their slogan is mucking afazing cakes. Nuff said.

Today I feel calm enough to think back nostalgically and reminisce over wonderful weddings gone by.

My dear friend Venus* from student days got married in April 2005 in her home town, a tiny little place in a vast semi-desert. The girl reflects the place she's from: warm, dramatic and uniquely beautiful with a heart as big as the wide African skies.

Venus and I had lost touch since studying together, living in different countries before everyone had Internet access at home. Finally we were both back home, she got engaged to her beautiful boyfriend of ten odd years and Nightingale (one of my best friends) was to be a bridesmaid. Venus was the first of my friends to get married in the big way; white dress, lots of bridesmaids, big reception. In the months leading up to her wedding, I was so excited to join in and help out in the search and planning efforts, she ended up asking me to be a bridesmaid too. I could also assist by doing her make-up for her, as there aren't too many professional make-up artists out in the Karoo desert!

The make-up and veil trial. I was so nervous to be responsible for her wedding pictures, luckily she's a natural beauty... I never let anyone else talk me into that again!

I can assure you that zero Internet research or blogging inspiration was involved in her wedding, but thinking back to the details today, that girl had some great style and intuition. She bought a dress off the rail at a weddingy chain store and we altered it a little bit with hand made rose corsages and a feathery beaded brooch. She also designed and made her own birdcage veil, years before I would know that's the name for it! We sat down together for a couple of days to make a rose brooch for every female guest and wrote and decorated table numbers, lists and menus ourselves. Each bridesmaid picked her own dress in a similar dusty pink colour and we accessorised it with a vintage feel.

All the guests stayed over on her parents' farm or guest farms in the area for the whole weekend and it was a wonderfully intimate, sincere, no-fuss wedding. The entire ceremony and reception was planned for outside, under enormous trees in the desert sunshine. Everything went great throughout the ceremony (if you discount the fact that her veil blew off the second we got to the altar!) and off we went for pictures. The next minute a thunder storm drenched guests, tables, starters and bridal party to the bone. A nightmare in any bride-to-be's books, but somehow I don't remember Venus freaking out, not even just a little bit. I remember that it made for my favourite picture as we all ran into a little shed nearby, I remember us girls treating Venus to a luxurious bath and foot treatments the night before and I do remember dancing for hours after our little stint in the rain.

Years before the sexyredframe, there was the not-so-sexy black frame!

I absolutely love and adore this next picture. If you look closely you can see her darling father in tears at the big moment. Tears of happiness, I assure you as Venus, her boy and their angel son are a wonderful example of a beautiful family in love!

My favourite photographs follow. You can see how wet my arm is!

Killer legs, awesome photography.

All of which just reaffirms my current mission.

Tomorrow, I solemnly vow to stop feeling anxious, nervous or distressed about ANY of the silly party fluff surrounding our wedding next Saturday. I will truly stop and smell the rosy fragrance of this beautiful time in our lives and relish the thought of bringing all our favourite people together for one special day.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Right, I'm going to be a good girl and not spend so much time on here.
That should mean more time actually finishing up the wedding details?
Here's hoping!
So for today the spoilt princess that I am turning into thanks to my amazing fam & friends, will leave you with a collage of all the lovely little pressies she got for her Bday!

Lucky lucky lucky me.
Thank you lovelies!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

random things: a meme from being brazen & DT

Word for the week in my head is Party!
Wednesday lunch reunion party, Wednesday dinner family party, Friday night Birthday party, the bridal party, cupcakes and music and sparkling wine for the biggest party of my life.

Thought for the week in my head is
remember the wedding reception is just a big Party.

Thing for the week in my life is
bubbly and lots of it!

Song for the week in my head is RELAX: Frankie goes to Hollywood.

Food for the week in my belly is the usual mix of sushi, Indian, pizza plus incredible cuisine from Ginja… around the world in a meal or two.

Colour for the week in my life is multicoloured prints. Especially the burnt orange / mustard / lime green swirls of my second favourite dress in the entire world, a birthday gift from my Future Parents in Law. (DANKIE!)

Smile for the week on my face is due to excitement at impending parties and Bombshell arriving home from Denver!

Blessing for the week in my heart is the tangible love and good wishes from my wonderful family and friends.

Here are the rules:
1. Link back to the meme creator (cathjenkin)
2. Link back to person who tagged you (brazen) and (DT)
3. Share your random thoughts list.
4. Tag as many people as you like.

I'm making this a free tag... Do it if you want to!
(See, bad at delegating.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

the wedding: honeymoon

Here's a tip, free and for nothing. My favourite part of the wedding planning so far was researching, dreaming of and deciding on the honeymoon! It's my happy thought when I get down and the big pay off at the end of the year's work.

Of course I'm looking forward to the actual day and to marrying my wonderful man and I absolutely expect to have a brilliant wedding filled with meaning and love and all the things a wedding should be, but come on. Don't tell me two weeks in Bali is not something entirely different to look forward to? Yep, two weeks in Bali baby.

BB and I went through a whole virtual trip around the world together to get to Bali, and it was fantastic. I know a lot of grooms organise it all on their own and it's meant to remain their secret, but this was just too much fun for me not to participate.
Confession, when BB started muttering phrases including "hiking trips through the Amazon" and "climbing expeditions in Machu Picchu", I also felt compelled to intervene! I'd love to do something really adventurous, challenging and character forming like that one day, but not straight after the busiest year of my life, please?

In order to find a happy medium, we then investigated medium-adventure destinations like Costa Rica, Belize, Guatamala, Madagascar and such, but nothing seemed a perfect fit. We were also super keen to see Brazil but the travel agents we approached didn't seem very interested in helping us find anything out of the ordinary. No, they just kept pushing the same big resort, all-inclusive package deals to Mauritius, Seychelles and Thailand onto us... Fabulous vacations, I’m sure, but not what we were looking for.

So what were we looking for? We can be quite the picky couple let me tell you. I wanted: warm sun, mild sea, sandy beach, nice pool, a little luxury, some privacy, good food, shopping and the option to explore some night life. BB wanted mild weather, good swimming, tropical scenery, exotic culture, exploration, fab food and no anonymously huge hotels.

I spent days on tripadvisor and eventually we found the concept of Private Villas in Bali. You can get your own little one bedroom villa, with your own little pool in your own little backyard for the same price or less than the big resorts charge for just another room like any other. (You have to contact the villas though and check their package rates. Their advertised rates are much higher than what we paid!) My own pool? I don’t care if it’s the size of my living room rug, I like quaint and cosy, it’s my pool! I can lie around in tiny bikinis and roll into the pool and splash and play and do handstands and no one’s there to appreciate it except my new hubby? I was sold.

There are many different villa developments and each one is more luxurious than the next. When we contacted a few of them they offered us honeymoon packages and stay-longer specials and threw in massages and meals and day-trips and in the end we feel we got a fantastic deal on the perfect place for us.
It’s in Seminyak, the allegedly trendy, smart shopping/eating suburb neighbouring touristy Kuta and while it’s not on the beach, they do offer free transport around the area. We can go out to shop, eat, lie on the beach, sip cocktails and if the crowds get too much we can just retreat to our private haven. Sounds like heaven to me.

To satisfy BB’s more adventurous needs we’ll visit the markets, go snorkelling and parasailing, take a surfing lesson or two and maybe rent a moped to drive around the island. The last couple of nights aren’t booked yet, so we’ll pack up and try somewhere different then. Go inland to seek out more culture around Ubud in the rice paddies, or take a boat over to the pristine, car-free little island of Nusa Lembongan.

Oh goodness, can we get there already?

Oh, I nearly forgot. The catch.

Apart from the very reasonably priced accommodation, we also found fantastically cheap flights on Qatar Airways. I’ve flown with them before and they are a perfectly good airline. The only little niggle is that their flights are so cheap because they want to lure you into Doha, their capital. So all flights on Qatar Airways go through Doha, and the layover there is usually at least eight hours. When we first considered Qatar Airways, it was widely publicised that the airline will provide travellers on a long layover with a visa and hotel voucher. Perfect! We could spend the first day on honeymoon shopping in their humongous malls or chilling by a nice hotel pool!

We booked our flights. All was set. Then I discovered a few more recent posts on tripadvisor forums describing how only certain passport holders are now allowed to obtain visas to enter Qatar and as usual, South Africans are not on this lucky list. When I phoned Qatar Airways to get confirmation, they told me that we could only obtain Qatar visas by booking accommodation at a four or five star hotel in Doha. Our layover is actually during the daytime, so we just don’t feel it’s worth spending the money on an expensive room in Doha, when we’d be out and about anyway. Not to mention that those Riyals will be worth a fortune in Balinese Rupiahs!

So our first day on honeymoon will look something like this:

Except we can't leave the airport, so really more like this:

Which is not the end of the world, as we’ll finally get to this:

Oh, I feel so much better already.