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.