Hoopfulbride's Blog

Planning a wedding in a place called The Hope

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?


What to wear, Daddy Dear? 19 August 2009

Filed under: family... — hoopfulbride @ 9:49 am
Internet: I’ve just dropped the e-mail below into Eastside Bride’s mailbox, ‘cos we have a fashion crisis mounting… Please read it and apply yourselves: any inspiration is welcome!
Dear Eastside
So they call you the Groom’s fashion guru, but I need you for that *other* special man in my life: The Father of The Bride.
We’re going to have a pretty snazzy bridal party. My groom is having a ridiculously sexy Italian suit made which he is pairing with a small spotty Paul Smith shirt (the spots, not the shirt… it’s Paul Smith: it works). The groomsmen are set: one is gay (saynomore), one is particularly fashion savvy (the other day he was overheard (in a non-wedding context) remarking “I’m feeling quite inspired by the French Riviera in my dress” – he’ll be ok…) and the third takes direction (and has a switched on girlfriend). The general vibe is dark gray suits with bright (but not too bright) candy-stripe on white shirts.
My father, on the other hand, is making some fairly panic-inducing comments. I’ll paint you a picture. He’s in his mid-sixties (so he’s graying and balding), blue-eyed, slim (an ardent tennis-player) and fairly tall: altogether not bad lookin. He was an accountant his whole life and has a lasting aversion to suits (especially grey ones). He does NOT want to wear a tie (which is lucky ‘cos there’s scant chance we’ll squeeze my groom Rooster into a “noose”). And Pops wants to avoid a suit, BUT he doesn’t mind wearing some kind of blazer-type jacket. Daddy has an idea that, in order to pull off not wearing a tie, he should wear a fairly loud shirt of some sort. Now, we don’t mind loud (polka dots and candy stripes are the order of the younger men, forcryinginabucket), but I’m not sure how to approach “loud” with an ex-accountant pensioner who is (with my mums) walking me down the aisle.
Panic!!!! We need inspiration, and if anyone can do it, I think you can. Please…
Saartjie H (aka The Hoopful Bride)

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 things I have to put up with… 27 July 2009

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!