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?


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…


On chosing how to spend money for the biggest party of our lives… 30 June 2009

Yes eastsidebride! Yes Meg! Yes Accordions and Lace!  How clever and articulate you ladies are. I have been mulling over your posts on wedding budget and this is my take on how we’re spending money:

Rooster and I consider ourselves extremely lucky to have a decent budget to play around with for our wedding because, simply put, we love to throw a party… and we are, for 200 people! All things considered, we probably have exactly the right amount. If we have more, we’d probably bank the cash (and buy a new car  or travel or a little holiday nest in the mountains or something) and if we’d had less, we’d just be a little less hospitable (as explained below).

We’ve approached our spending with a tight-fisted “spiral” philosophy: the smaller or closer it is to us or our wedding venue, the happier we are to spend money one it. The further away or bigger, the more we try to avoid it. In other words, we have tried our darndest to spend small and close with those in our immediate community. For example:

  • What we or our families can make or collect ourselves (without inflicint any kind of pain), we have: invites and other paperwork, “favours” (welcome pack on arrival with note and little bottle of liqueur and rusks to take home to enjoy with coffee in the morning), vases (all old silver and bronze from our family and friends), candle holders (recycled jars) and pickled beetroot as salad.
  • We have used and will use friends and family (or friends of friends) for our cake, beauty, hair, make-up, ceremony music, rings, dog collar for cowboy, photographer and videographer.
  • Our wines, florist, hire of equipment (most of it) and food (including fish and lamb for the braai/bbq which is the main mean) are from businesses or farms or fishermen in the area around De Hoop.
  • Where we have not been able to find a personal contact or someone near De Hoop, we’ve tried to support South African micro-businesses or crafts people in cape town: bridesmaids dresses are from a local SA designer, as is my dress (although she has imported the silk from London to ensure it is made under fair conditions), flower girl dresses will be made by an INCREDIBLY talented refugee woman (from Somalia) who makes her living by sewing, bridal party shoes are from a Pakistani street vendor who brings in leather and beaded shoes made in his village (ok, not southafrican, but still micro), the bulk of our guest registry will be with small bespoke stores we adore in ct (only some stuff from the online giants for guests from further away), dj (a young guy starting out) and cocktail hour musician (an Angolan singer-guitarist who plays beautiful afro-brazilian music), south african recycled paper to print invites from our local paper store etc…
  • Only for VERY few items have we resorted to splashing out or buying in bulk from big stores (sorry chinese children…). I have insisted we pay a slightly ridiculous amount on hiring chrystal candle holders because i am in love with them SO much. We will also probably buy stuff like candles, etc, en masse because I’m cheap like that. Rooster is buying his suit from a local boutique that imports suits from Italy (although the guy is himself going to source a suit that fits him perfectly!) – tad more expensive than local, but not ridiculous and the suit is BEAUTIFUL.

As a result of this philosophy, a few very awesome things have happened: friends have offered to do things for free or have offered us amazing discounts. Locally sourced products and vendors (already cheaper) have offered to let us use their products at a discounted rate. And for the bulk-buys, we’ve been able to hunt for bargains (because I love a bargain…). So, we’ve saved LOADS of cash compared to the same wedding if our philosophy was any different. Yay…

For the most fleeting of moments, we thought about holding onto the cash: perhaps even being “responsible” and investing, but it occurred to us that we could share the love a little more! So we subsidised accommodation at De Hoop for all our guests. We’re paying for accommodation for our close family, the wedding party and their partners! We’re also paying for the accommodation for the wedding fairies who are helping us for free! And my aunt (my dad’s only sister) and uncle who were recently laid off and have both had to settle major medical bills recently: we can pay for their accommodation too!

We’re still trying our hardest in these times to scrimp and save wherever possible and we do have moments of unease where we worry about how much cash we’re spending on just one party (at least it’s a WAW so it’s a whole 4-day vibe…). But actually, what good does it help to splurge on the silly things at our wedding, then pass the cost of travelling and accommodation onto our guests?  Times are tight for everybody and it is a real privilege to be able to treat our guests, even if only a little bit.


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)!