Hoopfulbride's Blog

Planning a wedding in a place called The Hope

Don’t worry, I’m back! 6 October 2009

Filed under: frock,fynbos,honeymoon,Things I love,weekend away wedding (WAW) — hoopfulbride @ 12:03 pm



And married… how blissful!

To answer the Two Burning Questions:

Question One: Was it the best day of my life?

For starters, I think that makes life pretty restricted. I’ve had some incredible days to date and hope to have many more.

One thing is for sure, though, I will always think back to our wedding weekend with a glow and a grin. It was a time full of love and laughter and beauty. There were numerous times Rooster and I looked at each other and laughed a disbelieving guffaw at just how perfectly fabulous everything had turned out (and when I say “perfect”, I don’t mean “soperfectthatnothingwentwrongever”… I just mean that it was so joyful we couldn’t believe it was happeneing to us!).

Question Two: Where was the honeymoon?

Romantic, mystical, gorgeous (and there are a lot of gorges around as well) Victoria Falls.

We spent 4 nights in the bush at Matetsi Private Game concession on the Zimbabwian side of the magestic Zambezi, where we were treated like royalty! We slept and ate and went on game drives and unsuccessfully fished for tiger fish and wallowed in our memories of the WAW.

And we finished the week off in the marvellous and ridicuously colonial Victoria Falls Hotel… in the honeymoon suite (of course), which prompted many knowing smiles from the staff.

This time too is amongst the happiest times of my life…


Suppressing the (sometimesnotsoinner) control freak 8 July 2009

Filed under: being thrifty,De Hoop,fynbos,honeymoon,weekend away wedding (WAW) — hoopfulbride @ 2:52 pm

Two things have happened recently in my personal wedding land that require the Type A in Saartjie to take a forced breather

Firstly, Rooster has been discussing changing our honeymoon plans along the lines of having a mini-moon in the week after our nuptials (to a surprise, African location) and then taking a bit of a longer break at the end of the year and exploring somewhere a little further afield: India, China, Argentina, Ethiopia (some examples)…

Now while I am not averse to changing my plans, once I’ve made a plan I generally like to stick to it. Rooster, on the other hand, likes to chop and change quite a lot. He is a Libra and I am reliably informed that this is a typical Libran quality – although I am generally disinclined to throw my lot in with astronomy, I think the characteristic fits like a glove in this case! So reassessing the whole honeymoon vibe does come as a bit of a major readjustment for me as that box had been ticked. I am convinced, however, that the most marvellous thing about a partnership (as I constantly learn from mine) is that our perspective is continually challenged. So, while he helps me to see new angles when I think a decision has been all tied up, I help him committ to the best possible outcome (all things considered, of course).

I’m beginning to like the idea of mini-moon plus extended december/january holiday more and more! I like the idea of planning a trip together and of exploring a new place together. I like that we take less time off work in September/October (while we both work for ourselves, it is a bit bad from a PR p.o.v. to be absent for too long in the middle of the year). I like that we get to have two fantastic holidays.

Letting go of the control freak…

On the other hand, The Second Issue is not so easy for me to suppress my anal retentive tendencies: The florist is driving me nuts.

To put this in perspective, De Hoop is pretty far from any major metropolis and therefor pretty far from quality vendors. The person we will most probably use to decorate our venue is RIDICULOUSLY reasonable and local and, um, not too “country” (as in unsophisticated, but unsophisticated is too strong a word…). Also, because our venue is in the back-o-beyond, it’s not so easy to pop down to the flower market: blossoms must be ordered well in advance. I have not yet met the actual florist, but i have had several dealings with her daughter-in-law (the person tasked with “communication”) and she seems like a really lovely person in person.

But (m-therf-cker) it may just be the MOST difficult challenge I have ever encountered trying to communicate our vision and enlist their help in bringing it to fruition. This is not for lack of trying: I am a lawyer, I use words accurately for a living and I am used to being able to communicate effectively (if not well). Not with our florists. It has got to the point where the sight of an e-mail from them in my inbox raises my temperature a few degrees as it is certain to contain


a quote for something I have never asked for or will never (ever) want (gel candles – I do not want a gel candle within a 50km radius of my reception. No matter how many times I politely stress my dislike of gel candles, they somehow wind back on the following quote);


a quote for something which we are supplying ourselves (eg. old silver, bronze and copper vessels for flowers; recycled jars for candles (they want to rent these for R15 each!));


omit something important which we really would like a quote for for comparative reasons… followed by a LONG (up to a month) break in communication regarding this item while they “compile a quote”… in which time they forget. Again;


An utter miscommunication: we have asked them to quote on flowers and some minor decor items. De Hoop has asked them to quote on setting up the entire reception hall (which is an old barn) with tables, chairs, lighting, cutlery, crockery, etc. We continually are quoted items for De Hoop’s account (despite pointing this out to them) and then they insist they cannot remove the item until they have clearance from De Hoop. Never-mind-we-never-asked-for-the-bloody-item-in-the-first-bloody-place!!!!!!!

Jeepers Creepers.

It’s got to the point where I am ready to walk into their offices and construct my own quote so I do not have to deal with one more ridiculous exchange!

Also, I think I’m arriving at an important, control-freak, kind of decision: they can drop off the flowers and I will find some blessed souls amongst my friends or family to help me pop the stems into the awaiting vases: that way i can rest assured that i do not have to struggle to make myself understood to a person who clearly does not want to understand!


Disclaimer: we are travelling up to the region next weekend and we will meet with the actual lady responsible for the arranging. If I get a good feeling from her, I will desist with my plan to take over. Otherwise, I’m taking matters into my own hands!


Honeymoon surprise! 1 July 2009

Filed under: honeymoon — hoopfulbride @ 4:59 pm

I don’t know WHERE we’re going… 

It is tradition (here) that the Man takes his Woman on surprise honeymoon.* Some traditions are fun, and I was all too happy to be surprised by my Rooster as (honestly) it doesn’t happen too often! In our relationship, I am the grand planner and organiser: I am pretty much a type A all the way (and those bits of me that aren’t so type A were beaten into submission in law school). So that’s why I’m the main planner when it comes to wedding stuff too.

Except for honeymoon! All I’ve asked is that we go somewhere in Africa (preferably we haven’t been before) and Rooster is so excited, he doesn’t know what to do with himself! He has enlisted the help of his Sisters 1, 2 and 3 and they give me these cheeky excited smiles every time a honeymoon-type topic is raised.

And me? It is quite a grand concept of being whisked away on a romantic 10-day trip (or about that) when I don’t know where we are going at all! It is grandly romantic and I am happy to surrender my desperate planning urges for the sake of that wonderful free and excited feeling I get when thinking about the post-wedding week (or two).

HOWEVER, I am VERY bad at suspending my tendency to problem-solve. As much as I want a surprise, I also want to find out the surprise! Usually, Rooster would be really bad at keeping it under wraps (he is a shocking secret-keeper), but he is doing remarkably well with this one. Here’s what my “detective brain” has thought about thus far:

  1. I know we won’t have to apply for visas (the beauty of travel in Africa is that we can travel with our South African passports to most places, for a change) so I won’t find out that way.
  2. I have often spoken about how much I’d LOVE to visit the ngorongoro crater, so maybe that’s the mystery location?
  3. But, we both love the water and glorious beach-weather AND we’ll be emerging from winter, so maybe it’s  Zanzibar?
  4. I thought I had it when Rooster kept receiving letters from “Pezula Cruises” – Ha! A cruise in Mozam, I thought, lovely… But then he left a letter lying around and it’s just form the company who is processing his skippers licence.
  5. Maybe Ethiopia? We’ve always dreamed of visiting Ethiopia together?!

Really? I haven’t got a clue… but I’ll keep you posted if I discover anything revealing 🙂

*Um, some feedback, please, does this tradition of surprise honeymoons only happen here ? Or or this something that the a-merican brides once lived with but have since eschewed – in the manner of garter toss – because they love planning holidays too much to bear letting their fiance do it for them? Just interested…