Hoopfulbride's Blog

Planning a wedding in a place called The Hope

Someone wrote us a poem! 23 October 2009

Filed under: De Hoop,fabulous friends,Things I love — hoopfulbride @ 2:38 pm

Jeepers Creepers. How flipping radical is that? Please see below, a poem for our wedding (punctuated with photos from our talented and wonderful friends, just incase you’re a “picture” kind of person)…

De Hoop, on the occasion of a wedding


We gathered beneath

The meeting tree, a

Great embracing ficus wide

And old. We gathered, born

By the ocean and the wind

To your betrothal, to your pledging

To the moment at which your lives

Were about to turn.


The wind drew breath

As it has done since our

Ancestors gathered shellfish

On the shores to the

South, perhaps marveled at the

Awesome shapes that rose against the swell

Dark and mysterious, or

Flushed a skulking heron to its

Laboured beat, tracking it across the

Vlei to its next rocky roost.


As dresses billowed and scarves took flight

Above us swirled a vortex of

Swifts and swallows and saw-wings, the gleaming

Perfect shapes banking, then

Cutting the wind as the first wild drops of rain

Brought a blessing to us all.

 Stof & sara


Corny, but…. 18 October 2009

Filed under: fabulous friends,fabulous photographers,SAfrican-love,Things I love — hoopfulbride @ 6:43 pm

I HEART kissing my husband.


(photo taken at by genius photographer friend Clarabelle at RockingTheDaisies…)


Ha Ha… The Wedding Reunion! 8 October 2009

I regard it as somewhat of a triumph that a mere week and a half after the nuptials our mateys and family have organised themselves enough to hold a wedding reunion!

Ok. I exaggerate: the primary instigation for the Wedding Reunion (it’s like Survivor… hilarious!) is one of The Things That Went Wrong: oysters.

Rooster and I had organised our canape menu with the more than able assistance of our beautiful friends The Cookies (#1 and #2). Due to their involvement in the industry (in fact, we met Cookie #1 when she did the subliminal catering for Rooster’s sister’s wedding), they had all manner of hot tips for fancy food we could get on the cheap… including oysters! Now, we knew that an oyster stand would impress the socks off our guests, and Wild Peacock would sell them to us for R4,50 an oyster (less than US.60c)… so we duly ordered 300 of the shuckers (sic). Except, to ensure maximum freshness, they would be shucked and ready for us on the Saturday for our trustyandtremendous driver to fetch from CT and bring through to De Hoop when he drove through for the nuptials on Saturday morning.

That’s where things went awry:

[Please bear in mind that there is no cellphone signal at De Hoop. There was also only generator power in the house I stayed in and no electricity in the house Rooster stayed in (the rest of the houses are fully powered, but they’re on the other side of a lake).]

Rooster forgot to give directions for the oyster pick-up to Trusty Driver before we arrived at De Hoop.

The only directions we therefore had at De Hoop were on my ancient laptop.

The only place where Trusty Driver’s details were stored was Rooster’s (powerless) cell phone.

Late Friday night (after the pub quiz.. AWESOME!), it fell on me to plug in ancient computer, charge Rooster’s cellphone, and send directions to Trusty Driver… All went according to plan: cellphone fired up, computer booted up, I located e-mail with directions, waited for cellphone to charge a little more when: WWIRRRRRRrrrrr: The generator switched off! The laptop switched off (crap battery)! The cellphone died! 

The end result was  that there were no oysters at our wedding. Wild Peacock, because my phone had no signal and went through to voicemail, thought the wedding had been cancelled (!!!), and froze the oysters…

So, this evening we are getting together with all the friends and mateys for an evening of oysters and bubbles and memories of the wedding: in other words, our wedding reunion! Our photographer mateys (who did an awesome job) have worked their arses off to get the pics ready and we will be projecting them for all to enjoy and appreciate. It will be grand!

But seriously, there were many things that went wrong at that wedding (besides not having our schmancy oyster stand):

  • the hot water didn’t work in the Bride’s house. So, after having a mini-facial in the morning, I washed my hair by sitting in about 7cm of lukewarm water in the only bath in the house that had warm running water and filling a cup to rinse the soap and conditioner out of my hair. My darling scissor, best friend and longlost friend followed suite…
  • it rained hard right after the ceremony such that we couldn’t take the amazing photos that should have been taken in De Hoop… That place is a photographers wet dream… except, of course, when it’s wet. Then the photographer can’t take very many pics at all…
  • because of the rain we had to move the canape time indoors to an area where there wasn’t very satisfactory acoustics. We’d hired a BRILLIANT and beautiful musician to play some Afro-Brazilian tunes, but these were lost on about half of the guests. At least there are some great pics of him!
  • the house we’d allocated for the babysitters was vetoed at the last minute by Rooster’s scissor who’d just had a baby (she wanted it only for her children and their cousins). Such that all the OTHER parents streamed into the main manor house where we were trying to have a couple of pics with family and wedding party… not highly successful and a bit stressful!
  • I had spent a good two days the week before preparing baby beetroot to serve as an additional salad on our buffet. The De Hoop chef forgot to put it on the buffet table. We might be eating beetroot for months to come…
  • the seating plan was a mess – we didn’t know the table configuration until it was all set up late afternoon before the wedding (the joys of being the first wedding in a venue)… subsequently we had some amazing wedding faeries busting their arses on the morning of the wedding to get everyone seated while I was preened (and Rooster ran around madly doing other chores). In the end, most people were seated, but i think some guests just sat where they wanted when they couldn’t find their names!

There was probably loads of other stuff that wasn’t right too, but I didn’t care a jot! We loved the chaotic, crazy, happy celebration that emerged despite the mini-disasters… If I would give some advice, I’d suggest having a wedding co-ordinator so that those kind of hiccoughs don’t happen. But really, they didn’t matter in the end.

Rooster and I were married and we celebrated with the most beautiful, colourful, fabulous souls, who cares about anything else?


Irony 18 August 2009

Filed under: fabulous friends,Uncategorized — hoopfulbride @ 11:44 am

(OK I know I’ve been quiet, but there’s been a lot on my plate… exciting stuff, but a lot… I’ll get there!)

This morning I experienced two sides of the same coin: the legal effects of a marriage.

After pilates, followed by coffee and The Most Delicious Egg and Chorizo Tart (from Jardine – seriously, if you are in CT, you are doing yourself a disservice not to have tasted these beauties. If you are NOT in CT… think about planning a visit around them. Yum. Tuesday morning routine is grand…) Rooster and I had our appointment with an old classmate to draw up our ante-nuptial contract: the ANC (also called a pre-nup in other parts of the world, but one of the perks of being a previous colony is that we use cool words like “ante-” instead of “pre-“…).

It has never been an option for us not to have an ANC – the fact that we both run our own businesses is reason enough for us to have drawn up the contract as it allows our joint estate to be protected from the possibility of insolvency in either estate. 

The experience leading up to the consultation this morning has been fascinating as we have discussed and debated our philosophical attitude towards money, assets, debt and partnership in marriage. Luckily, we’re pretty much on the same page… and where we’ve differed we’ve been able to do so gracefully and with compromise and (often) learning. It is also very important to us that we incorporate accrual into our ANC such that we can share in the fruits of the marriage: the philosophy being that success for either one of us is most likely to come as a result of the other’s support.

It was also a very interesting experience for me being on the other side of the “lawyer’s table”. My classmate was pretty brilliant at striking the line between explaining the concepts clearly and not being too patronising. I won’t mention her name here, but she’s a director at McLoughlin Inc – if any CT brides are looking for an attorney to help out with their ANC.

From one meeting with an old classmate to another: I am helping co-ordinate the divorce proceedings of another old classmate as a professional favour (I try to avoid family law work on the whole). Their divorce is fairly amicable (largely due to her grace – I think she could have been a lot nastier, but she is wise enough to know that the heartache that comes with nastiness isn’t worth the fight) and clean, but is nevertheless a good reminder of the way things can go.

As bizarre as it might seem, I think that every marriage should start with a very good chat about what will happen in the event that it ends. And, of course, it will end in one of those nasty “D” words – divorce or death. It can only help to enter into marriage with your eyes wide open and with at least a plan for how to deal with the dissolution of your marriage. And somehow the superstitious and irrational Saartjie feels that if you have a plan, you might never need to use it…

Being aware of how finite something important (like marriage) is often reminds one of how precious it is. I jokingly encourage all my friends who are about to wed to spend a morning in divorce court just to see how EASY it is for it to end (at least it’s better than hanging out at a funeral parlour…)! But seriously, I believe that if you love someone and your relationship with them enough, you will fight to preserve what you have.

Which reminds me: time to update my will. You should too!


Minor melt-down 5 August 2009

Filed under: fabulous friends,meltdown,Scissor — hoopfulbride @ 4:37 pm

I felt overwhelmed last night.

After trying to co-ordinate our next (and final prior to the wedding) weekend to De Hoop and finding out the weekend we’d arranged doesn’t suit our v. nb friends (the sweets have agreed to work around us and make a plan), I realised I’d been a bit of a clutz on another level.

As some of you may have picked up, I am less than enamoured with my job and have been trying to figure out the “next step”. The first major step I’d taken in this regard has been signing up for a course in mediation and alternate dispute resolution which I was really really excited about! And I was convinced (in my head) that it ran from 12-16 August.

So I gaily told my lovely scissor and best matey that the following weekend (21-23 August) was free. In turn, they have been scheming up a storm in the manner of organising a “hen’s weekend” (According to Scissor: Under ABSOLUTELY no circumstances may you make any plans on that weekend!!!)

Except I was wrong and had my weekends mixed up. So, to my horror, I realised I had a very significantly double-booked weekend. And as the realisation hit me, I just couldn’t deal with it and I sat on my bed and wept and wept.

Despite calling the Scissor in tears and gasping into the phone that she might have to undo all her hard work, I’ve subsequently come to terms with the dilemma. I have (begrudgingly) realised that I probably can’t afford to take myself out of office for three days in August as I have a big matter that is being heard on 3 Sept… and the harder I work on it the more I get paid (VVVVVVVVVVV NB) so being in my office means I can probably make money instead of spending it (on afore-mentioned course). And I can probably do the course next time they run it (prob in 6 months)… So all is ok despite the sobs I issued forth yesterday evening.

But it nevertheless is a small reminder of how much there is to deal with and how overwhelming it all can be.

Sigh. Minor melt-down behind me…


Sweetness and Lard 7 July 2009

Filed under: fabulous friends — hoopfulbride @ 4:42 pm


Today I received an e-mail from a newish friend who has recently returned to CT with his (gorgeous – of course) Italian wife (who is an even newer friend). His e-mail is brimming with excitement and the best kind of advice:

(In response to my congratulations and a comment about our preparations)

“It really is the best day of your life – even if it rains, cake flops, looney grandma feels up the dj, etc (examples only!). Nothing can beat it. ENJOY!”

Lovely, lovely, happy groom!


This week, and last, all my good intentions have come to nought. I have generally been fairly good about attending 2 boxing classes a week as well as a pilates class, a yoga class and at least one walk on the mountain. This is important to me both as a normal person and a bride. But I have done very little of that recently – instead i have found all maner of good excuses to avoid most exercise. Bad. Leroy. Brown. Hoping to make it to boxing today, but I have quitealot of work to get through (yes, another excuse)…


Fabulous Frock! 30 June 2009

Filed under: fabulous friends,frock,fynbos,Uncategorized — hoopfulbride @ 3:56 pm

Firstly, I call it a frock because i like the word. Frock has attitude. Dress (unfortunately) is a tad dreary.

Secondly, an apology: I collected the pics of frocks I love and have re-posted below more than 6 months ago, so I’m afraid I can’t credit them. Will appreciate any help in this regard, but I’d rather share than not just because of my faulty memory. (This whole problem is partly because I’m from a place where most wedding dresses on the internet are either not available or become prohibitively expensive to ship. So when brides in the “north” see a dress on the internet they can actually track one down (most of the time). Us CT brides mainly look to the Internet for inspiration and then find a designer to make it. There are a FEW boutiques who import, but it costs about the same as having one made.)

Frock search started with The Green Dress: a seriously HOT frock from Marion and Lindie which i bought for a formal work dinner in 2007 that is (thus far) the most perfect dress for me. The Green Dress is so hot is defies dreariness, so I can happily eschew “frock” for “dress”. From the moment I clamped eyes on it, I felt like that dress had been made for Saartjie-Sar. So, I knew my wedding dress would take a LOT of inspiration from The Green Dress (who wouldn’t want EVEN more hotness?)…

These were also my inspiration:



dress 7

I particularly LOVED the one below – the pockets!

dress 2

dress 6

You’ll note my love of v-necklines and billowing skirts (a feature of The Green Dress): I am a pear, but i have great cleavage, so these styles show off the bust and flatter the hips/bottom…

So, a month into my engagement, I was happily collecting inspiration and asking around for talented designers/dressmakers when fate stepped in: (it was dramatic)

My nyc mateys (some I met here, some I met in nyc when i lived there for a few months in 2004) were in all town for a wedding in December last year. One Saturday morning we met for brunch at a good friend’s cafe and went for a wonder past the shops in the road after our harissa eggs (or whatever delicious concoction she fed us that morning).

I casually glanced into the window of a particular store (Lunar) and there she was: a raw silk frock with a giant blushing bride (type of fynbos) picture hand-painted onto the skirt! Now bear in mind that at this stage I had not been engaged long. And that Rooster and I had not formally discussed fynobos themed weddings at all: we were just enjoying being engaged and drinking all those bubbles. But that dress just cried out to be tried on: I knew it, my nyc mateys knew it and The Flautist (also at brunch) knew it.

Here she is (sorry for small pic):

The Dress

Huh? Jeepers, creepers it is beautiful. Here’s a pic of me looking suitably excited and amazed at my incredible luck in said frock:


But, Internet, you’ll notice one problem: the neckline – no sexy clevage in that frock. Or the one above… which turns out is not actually such bad news after all, because that flower is a print taken from a hand-painting and not the hand-painting itself! Which meant that the dress can be made to order to incorporate the little quirks that are perfect for me.

My fabulous frock is currently being constructed by the marvellous Karen (seriously marvellous.) from Lunar… with a v-neck and pockets!!! The process of having a dress made for me by an amazing designer is sublime – it is truly an amazing experience to have a dress made from scratch based on my body. She has taken no measurements, just pinned and tacked on my body: at each fitting that frock sits even more beautifully on my frame.

And that, is the story of my fabulous frock, which i love even more each time i see it…