Hoopfulbride's Blog

Planning a wedding in a place called The Hope

whether the weather… 11 November 2009

Filed under: De Hoop,fabulous photographers,rainy days,weekend away wedding (WAW) — hoopfulbride @ 4:43 pm

If I have one comment about preparing for a wedding day: there is NO point in worrying about things that you can’t change. Really. Don’t stress if it is seriously KAK weather on your wedding day. It’s not good luck, it’s not bad luck, it’s just the way the weather turned out that day (and bollocks to all those myths that make us feel like completely uncontrollable factors (like the bloody weather) are in some way a reflection of us, our wedding, or our marriages. B-O-L-L-O-C-K-S.).

I too spent every possible day prior to my nuptials pouring over every possible weather forecast trying to imagine what the day would be like.  One thing I am extremely grateful for in having my W-A-W is that the lack of signal and internet connection at De Hoop meant that I was simply incapable of checking the weather for the last three days. In any event, the little “me-time” I had was dedicated to speech reviewing and to soaking in the enormity and sheer wonderfulness of the whole experience. As soon as the ball started rolling I suddenly realised (like, it became FULLY real) that worrying over the weather was just a bloody waste of time…

On the Friday night (perhaps to loudly)  I proclaimed that the only aspect of all our outdoor-planned wedding activities I was fully emotionally invested in was getting married under the giant fig tree at the hitching post! And we could. The wind blew and gusted, but we were protected under the tree. The sky looked ominous throughout (adding to the sheer drama of the photos), but we were married in the dry.

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Sure enough, the minute Rooster and I stepped out of the chapel (where we had retreated with our families to sign the register) it started to drizzle. Not too hard, but enough to join the fynbos and lavender tossed in the air as confetti. It was really quite poetic!

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So plan B kicked in: canapes were not enjoyed overlooking the beautiful vei, but in a long, low barn, where the excited chatter and grins were amplified.

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Rooster and I did not attempt to cross the vlei on a boat (what awesome pics it would have made), but we were driven around in the gloriously adorned Snorkel (never has a wedding car looked so grand) and got to wave out the window at all our guests, stop for a cocktail from the refuel station gate-keeper and snap a couple of silly shots in the rain before hastily hopping back into the car to sip and enjoy champagne. I think that, more than any other time of the day, that drive around in the rain embodied the pure exhilaration we felt at being finally married!

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We could not take the amazing, dramatic shots with the spectacular De Hoop backdrop as we had hoped and imagined, but we took our family shots on the steps of the manor house in the fading carpuscular light… which gave them a kind of old-wordly quality.

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With my family…

I got my shot in my gumboots 🙂

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And the reception venue truly felt like a retreat from the storm: it was full of warmth and soft, beautiful light, and our friends commented that they felt like they had escaped into a different world.

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Sure, it might have been glorious if we’d been basked in sunlight. But rain did not ruin my wedding – it just made it more real… Really, don’t stress: Que sera, sera.

[Um, Photos are all by our fantastic photographer who is also a friend and who loved shooting our wedding, but doens’t want to shoot any more weddings… so I’m not going to credit him until I’ve spoken to him. Cos it’s a shame not to give credit where it is due!]


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?


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!




Bride-crush #3 6 July 2009

Filed under: bride-crush,fabulous photographers — hoopfulbride @ 11:10 am

Yes, Bridget, I have a bride-crush on you! Lucky for your husband Justin (um, the gorgeousness part, not the fact that i have a bride-crush…)

Bridget has been magically captured by Jose Villa.


I have a serious love for earrings. And those are just my cuppa tea: beaut!

And I love the tree she got married under:

Bridget tree

And the cuteness of the kiddies (the importance of which is eloquently explained by Ms A of Accordions and Lace):

bridget kids

And the loveliness of her bouquet (so wild and fresh):

Bridget bouquet

The vivid splashes of colour:

bridget colour

But, MOST of all, the buckets of stonking  fun it looks like her friends and family had:

bridget guests


bride-crush #2 29 June 2009

Filed under: bride-crush,fabulous photographers,fynbos — hoopfulbride @ 5:18 pm

Jani, you are exqusite…


At first I kept returning to this page because of the flowers and decor: the use of fynbos is SO inspiring for a gal whose wedding will revolve around fynbos (apparently decor is by “Chocolate Blossom” but, search as I might, I can’t find a link for them…). I adore her bouquet and the men’s buttonholes are cuteasabutton and the tables are too delightful…

bouquet and boutonnere

centre piece

But, actually, Jani just has fantastic style. How awesome are her earrings and ring??? I love them a million times over… Her dress is EXQUISITE (by Didi couture) and her husband is dreamy. She just looks so creative and fun and like the kind of girl you could spend a long holiday with!

Jani's jewellry

Jani 2

Thanks Jani and Marco for having such an inspiring wedding and to Nikki Meyer for capturing it!


3 months to go: woop! woop! 26 June 2009

Actually, that mark is more like a philosophical one: it elicits no more or less emotion than any day prior to it. Rooster and I are getting married and it’s bloody marvellous. And now we are one day closer. But in any event, I thought perhaps I’d share with you the things on my “checklist” that we’ve organised with the help of our friends:

  1. Food: While our venue is making our food, our briliant chef/explorer friend helped us formulate our dream menu for De Hoop to quote on. In the process, she has advised us on so many of the items we can source ourselves (and where), thus cutting the overall cost of food while keeping it pretty spectacular. J-May is also doing the catering for the Post We
  2. Frock: COMPLETELY lucky find with amazing friends from nyc who were visiting in December, but probably won’t be able to attend the wedding. More on my beautiful frock for another post!
  3. “Officiant”: Pastor from my parent’s church who i have a lot of respect for. Neither of us are church-goers, but DM is a good friend of my parents and will be clever and sensitive to our beliefs while staying christian (nb for my  parents).
  4. Ceremony musicians: One of my Best Friends is The Flautist who loves nothing more than to make her friend’s weddings beautiful by playing at them. Nuff said. Then, Scissor’s boyfriend has a beautiful voice and he will sing one special song. My cousin and wife ALSO have beautiful voices and are accomplished performers so they will sing another special song. Tra-la-la!
  5. dj (no band): BF married in March and her DJ had people crowing for more when the lights came on at midnight! Our venue has not time limit, so we hope he’ll have the peeps burning holes in the dance floor.
  6. Videographer: AWESOME story – I contacted our matey who makes documentaries to see if he could recommend someone who does not rip the ring out of it. He recommended his editing assistant and her boyfriend who had just won a national award for camera work. They charge HALF the price of the next quote we received… and the other day she dropped off some dvds of their work (beaut) and they filmed JACOB ZUMA’s (i.e. the SAfrican president!!!) daughter’s wedding (I think they know her through church or something). No shizzle. Hil-ar-ious…
  7. Photographer: Even though i am in love with Lizelle Lotter(actually, I am in love with a number of ct photographers, but i think i love her the most and she is the most reasonable out of my favs), she has another wedding on the day of our wedding. Bass-tards. So we have asked our friend-of-a-friend (Ro) to take snaps of the day. He is a really talented photographer and does a smattering of wedding stuff, but mostly focuses on other subjects. He will, however, be happy to take photies the WHOLE weekend and will be loads of fun to have a round for a whole weekend. Also a bonus, we have a number of amazing photographer friends (who we did not ask because we want them to concentrate on being wedding guests), and Ro says he will consult with their shots before compiling our album… Perf.
  8. Hairandmake-up: How lucky am I? I have TWO separate friends (i.e. they did not offer in unison) who have offered to do hair and make-up for free. Grand. Now my girls can also have theirs done and we will be so pretty people will weep from the prettiness!
  9. Cake: Another case of lucky me! Our excellent friend Kt makes the most delicious cakes so she offered to make a 3-tiered chocolate, lemon and carrot creation (each tier a different flavour). My mum also has a matey that wins prizes for her sugar icing and she specialises (i kid you not) in making fynbos flowers for cakes! Between the two of them m’thinks we will have a masterpiece…

Jeepers. I am more organised than i thought!

There is still loads to do (especially given that it’s a WAW (weekend away wedding)), but most of it has all just fallen into place. On the whole, I’ve had to “fight” very little to bring the party plans together. I LOVE that we can use our friends for so many aspects and that our wedding will be the product of so many special people.

In lieu of “payment” for our friends who are helping for free, we are paying for their accommodation at De Hoop for the full three days. We still score as the cost of 3 nights accommodation is a darnside cheaper than the cost of a cake (or a hairandmake-up artist, or a flautist, or a minister, or, or, or)!