Hoopfulbride's Blog

Planning a wedding in a place called The Hope

Is Boney M the new ABBA? 31 July 2009

Filed under: music,Uncategorized — hoopfulbride @ 7:36 am

I heart this song. A lot! It’s sure to get plenty of airtime at our nuptial celebrations…


I’m the Hoopful Bride, and this is my story… 29 July 2009

Filed under: Engagement story,Things I love — hoopfulbride @ 11:31 am

(anyone who read that title in an Australian accent and remembered the opening line to one of my favourite movies of all time, The Castle, deserves a big sloppy kiss!)

Sometime ago these questions were doing the rounds in wedding-blog-land and I loved reading the questions and the answers enormously! I realise I have jumped on the band-wagon a tad late, but the other day I was back-reading on one of my new fav blogs (wild rumpus) and it struck me that I was quite jealous that I hadn’t sent a mail asking for questions myself… I mailed the erudite and astute A at Accordions and Lace, did a little last minute begging, and she complied (despite having entered the final stretch of wedding planning – thank you very much).

Herewith The Rules for this exchange (the lawyer in me loves The Rules):

  • leave me a comment with your email address saying: “interview me”
  • I will e-mail you five questions of my choice
  • you can answer the questions on your blog (with a link back to my blog)
  • you should also post these rules, along with an offer to interview anyone else who emails you wanting to be interviewed (feel free darlings)
  • it would be nice if the questions were individualised for each blogger

How did you and your mister meet, and how did you know you wanted to marry him?

(A sneaky double question – nice)

The short answer: Rooster and I met when I gate-crashed a party at his house.

The long answer: 2003 had been an incredibly tough year for me. It was the year I was in final year at law school and besides not knowing what I wanted to do after graduation and the academic stress of final year, I had an awful lot of social upheaval. I had become embroiled in a ridiculous tiff between classmates (by virtue of standing by a gay friend who had come under attack from 2 rather popular girls in the class (yes, final year law – not pre-school. Amazing, huh?)). I also fell pregnant from a silly one-night stand and knew immediately that I needed to terminate. The entire episode nevertheless knocked me horribly: not least because I’d thought it would never happen to me… And while 3 out of my 4 housemates were AMAZING, the fourth drove me nuts with her self-involvement (although I love her dearly).

So at the end of this year of turmoil I was experiencing one of the biggest periods of joy I had ever experienced: the joy of getting through it! I described it to a friend as truly understanding relief. The Afrikaans (and dutch, I guess) word for love is “lief” and towards the end of 2003 I found myself overwhelmed by the experience of being able to re-love: myself, friends, family, life.

So one Friday night the aforementioned frustrating house-mate (H) insisted we accompany her to a house-party while a bunch of us were on the prowl one night. We (uniformly) declined: we had had enough of her wants dictating our actions. H, however, somehow managed to persuade one of our number to swing by the party so she could “pop in and say hi”. And T spent enough time waiting for her to see that there were some very cool people at this little festa… and specially some very interesting-looking and hot boys. She quickly passed on the news (hey, we were on the prowl!) and the rest of us turned up!

On my arrival, the first person i laid eyes on was this tall, side-burned, afro-haired boy with soft light brown eyes (olhos castanhos claros – as I think about them in Portugues). For me that night is a whirl of dancing to old jazz records in Rooster’s arms and laughing and talking vociferously with him and his mates (who are now my mateys). We shared some sneaky sneaky smooches and (not wanting to drive drunk) exchanged numbers when we left in the morning…

But it was the summer of re-lief and I was in love with life and partying and summer and friends. So I didn’t dwell on Rooster. Nor did he dwell on me – his family spent Christmas and New Years on the slopes of a french ski resort.

And then it was January and my birthday so I sent out a hundred (or so) smses to new and old friends to meet for sundowners at one of my favourite boulders overlooking the beautiful Atlantic. And Rooster arrived. And we chatted and flirted. And the party moved on to dinner in Camps Bay where we chatted and flirted. And when we all got into our cars to leave, he smsed me an sms we still giggle about : “Do you really want to wake up alone in bed at your parent’s house on the morning of your 24th birthday?”

I didn’t want to. And neither did I do so… nor have I woken up anywhere other than in Rooster’s arms on the morning of my birthday ever since. That first birthday night with him was not as exciting as he’d expected: we spent hours talking about our secrets (necessitated by my reluctance to hop in the sack with someone after having had to terminate a pregnancy post my previous sexual experience).

But we never imagined this was the beginning of our greatest love story: I was leaving to live in the rural Eastern Cape and work in a rural community in March and so we hung out and partied and adventured with the glorious relaxed casualness that comes with a relationship that must end: we referred to each other as “my current lover” (pronounced with Texan accent) (yes, we did work through that first sexual experience together, so perhaps I should have guessed something)…

And then I left for the Transkei (about a 14 hour drive from CT. There aren’t really any planes to that area). I had barely been there two days when Rooster called and suggested he visit. Over Easter. In ten days time. It was over that Easter holiday, as we explored the breath-taking beauty of my new surroundings, that we admitted being in love.

And so our story evolved: over monthly alternate visits up (for him) or down (for me). Over a three-month stint for me in NYC (I felt like I needed a contrast from rural Africa – a small mindfuck). Over deception and heartbreak (a whole ‘nother story). Over laying ourselves open and learning to trust and love. Over figuring out how to have conflict and how to build each other up despite being angry. Over breaking up again and yearning and yearning for each other. Over the joy of reuniting. Over supporting each other through bar exams (me) and a business break-up (him). Over moving into a home together and learning to live together (surprisingly easy). Over learning and loving and laughing…

And then it was clear: here is my partner. I wouldn’t want any other. Here is the person who fills my heart and my head and who slips into step beside me with such exciting ease. Here is my partner who i want to continue building my life with and never stop.

What scares you the most about getting married?

I’m afraid that it’s the control-freak in me that responds (I’m working on her): I’m scared of  the unknown.

I know that there are millions of challenges that will meet Rooster and me over the course of the rest of our lives. Millions. Some will be easy to meet on a daily basis and some will bring us together as we deal with them together. But some of them will rock our relationship to the core: it is inevitable. And those unnamed monsters petrify me…

All I can do is trust (which I do). I trust that we have a base that is strong enough. I trust that we respect each other deeply. I trust that we take the decision to love each other equally seriously. I trust that we hold similar principles dear and that these will guide us through the challenges. I trust that we have (and will continue to develop) the skills to deal with the unknown as individuals and as a unit.

Incidentally, Rooster is thrilled by the unknown – he is thrilled that our relationship will continue to excite and surprise us… aah, he is so good to have alongside me!

(and now i must work… I will continue the story tomorrow)


Preview walking tour 28 July 2009

Filed under: De Hoop,family...,Flower girls — hoopfulbride @ 5:04 pm

Darlings! Last weekend Rooster, his parentals and his niece (flower-tot #1) did a sneaky reconnaissance trip to De Hoop and I took photies so that YOU can have an idea of what we’re looking forward to…

We first fell in love with the big fig trees. In the Opstal area there are two GIANT fig wild trees that are just overwhelmingly Big and Lovely. It was in a post-engaged state of  bliss that we first laid eyes on the fig trees and I knew I could marry under their branches.

The view of the wedding tree through the old gates to the Opstal

The view of the wedding tree through the old gates to the Opstal

And, so it is that our lovely guests will enter through the gates (pictured above) and take a seat under one of the magnificent fig trees…

One of my favourite childrens’ stories was from Enid Blighton’s The Magic Faraway Tree. Below, a pic of  Bride-tot #1 climbing in the boughs of The Magic Wedding Tree:


And a close-up of the magical trunk:


(Sincere apologies for being such a technology-eejit that I can’t figure out how to spin that pic. Sorry. Really).

But, darling Internet, that tree just keeps getting better! There is a “HITCHING POST”!!! I kid you not… see below:


My Rooster and his parents will await me and mine at the hitching post as we walk towards where we’ll be wed…

And this will be my “aisle”:


After the ceremony, Roosterandme and our family will lead to the little “chapel” at De Hoop (off the side of the square) to sign the registry and become official. The Law says that we must sign in “a place of worship or private residence” and because I am a lawyer I’m funny about legal stuff like that. Ergo, the signing will happen in the chapel!

Our guests will proceed through the far gates of the vlei to a spot with a lovely view for canapes and lovely music.


(Please note Rooster’s wedding scouting outfit of lime green and black boardies and his springbok ugg boots… he’s a veritable trendsetter…)

After canapes we (the wedding party) will tootle down to the waters edge and boat across the vlei (lake) to the other side: the reception venue at the Melkkamer!


In the meanwhile, our guests will take a drive around the lake. This should give us a sneaky half hour to 45 minutes to take photos uninterrupted on the far side… and it will mean that we won’t have to miss out on any of the fun socialising time over cocktails.

On the way around, we won’t want our darling guests to feel at all parched, so we’ll set up a drinks refill station somewhere pretty… like here:


(‘cept it will be about 40 minutes lighter when our lovelies are refilling their beverages)

The rest of the evening’s festivities will take place in a beautiful 100 year old barn: please imagine it cleaned up a bit more and filled with soft light from dimmed paper lanterns and hundreds of candles in recycled glass jars and gorgeous crystal stands.



For more pictures of De Hoop and the beautifulness that will be around us on our wedding weekend, please visit their site here!


The two month count-down 27 July 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — hoopfulbride @ 11:55 am

And now there are two months til we wed…

Tremendous: Rooster and I spent the sun-bathed glorious weekend

  • doing all manner of useful things: wedding (gift list finalising, ice-cream tasting, suit check, etc) and not (gardening, cleaning out our cellar, organising long-ignored cupboards)
  • socialising with friends and family (and receiving plently of compliments on our invitations… hurrah!)
  • and loving each other. We spoke about our future and kissed and cuddled and radiated in each other’s love.

The things I have to put up with…

Filed under: family... — hoopfulbride @ 11:18 am

I am, by no means, complaining: some of you brides have to put up with some serious crowd-pleasing shit to get your wedding into the kind of celebration you want to have, but I thought I’d share some of my pressures from Rooster’s family:


The Sisters

Have suggested that I wear a pouffy Cinderella-type gown, because none of them did! Ha!

Like these from here and here

They’re not genuine in this request, but they still delight in showing me examples of my “ideal” wedding gown!


The Father

bride on boat


Rooster’s dad has a favourite story he heard about a bride who arrived at a wedding via boat across a lake. Please bear in mind that we are getting married on one side of a lake (where most of our guests will be staying), but that we will be getting ready on the other side. Incidentally the party is also on the “far side”). The plan is to drive round the lake to the ceremony, but leaving via boat after the ceremony (this way we get there before our guests and we have some sneaky time for photies)!  

Back to the story: All the bride’s guests and family had gathered on the shore with the groom to greet her and when she was close (but not too close), she stood up and waved… of course the boat rocked and next thing she had landed in the water! *Shock* *Silence* Then various levels of hysteria erupted (largely from the mothers)… until the Bride appeared perfectly dry and beautiful behind: she had hired an actress to fall into the water as a stunt!

It’s a pretty hilarious story and I love that some bride out there pulled it off so darn well. Rooster’s father loves it even more and falls into fits of high-pitched giggles every time he thinks about it. He is practically BEGGING me to recreate the stunt somehow!

While I think it is hysterical, I just don’t think it will work given our logistics (and, importantly, the difficulty of getting an actress out to De Hoop just to fall into the water)… Rooster’s dad just can’t let it go, though!


The brother-in-law

Sister One and her fabulous hubby took a cruise in the Caribbean earlier this year and they heard this song at some Jamaican bar:

“Big Bamboo”. Seriously! The lyrics of the chorus read something along the lines of:

The Big Bamboo it grows good and long… the Big Bamboo it’s always strong … the Big Bamboo stands straight and tall… the Big Bamboo pleases one and all!

His (sincere) request is that we play this as our departure song as we jive out with big grins on our faces. It’s funny (yet subtle if you don’t actually listen to the lyrics too closely!) enough that I might concede on this one… I’m thinking a conga line: hi-la-rious!

I think I may be marrying into a family of fruitcakes: I love them!


bride-crush #4 24 July 2009

Filed under: bride-crush,fabulous photographers — hoopfulbride @ 11:49 am

While it’s been a while since I posted a bride-crush, I’ve been “crushing” on this bride for a while: Sophy! Sophy!

Firstly, the gal’s got to be fab cos she lucked out and my fav ct photographer, Lizelle Lotter, took her pics: beautifulness:


Then, she chose a pretty rocking venue: Matjiesfontein is an amazing relic of Victorian days in the middle of the Karoo (a South African desert-type area). It is a true oasis: in the middle of nowhere you come accross this little perfectly working hotel estate filled with the kind of people who know they’re creating magic!



And Ms Sophy is clearly a style-goddess: how amazing is her dress? I love that it speaks volumes about her personality while being so darn elegant!


 Her brides-girls are gorgeous: decked out in quirky matching but not-so-matching PRETTY pink frocks. And don’t they look ridiculously delighted for their friend?


I LOVE their table flowers…


But again it’s the intangible aspect that makes me love this wedding so: the sense of community that is evident from the getting-ready to the late night party!




These babies are MINE! 23 July 2009

Filed under: jewels,SAfrican-love,Things I love,Uncategorized — hoopfulbride @ 12:34 pm

I love a beautiful earring… Ida-Elsje – my favourite SAfrican jewellry designer – is having a sale at the moment (hurrah) so I stole off during lunch yesterday to have a look.

To my delight, I have found The Wedding Earrings. I love them… You too can gaze on their loveliness:


The stones are quartz and the metal is bronze, but they look gold and my shoes are gold, as is (most of ) my ring. I think those beauties will do wonders my frock and the rest of my vibe .

Oh! Joy…