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!]


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?


gumboots 23 June 2009

Filed under: De Hoop,fabulous photographers,rainy days,Things I love — hoopfulbride @ 11:05 am

Ok. So I really don’t want to tempt fate – mostly I want a wedding where the girls can all wear fabulous frocks and feel comfortable not cold. BUT, I am getting married in the western cape in springtime and the weather is a tad unpredictable. And even though September is the “driest month of the year” in the region, it has rained in De Hoop in September before…

SO, if it does rain, I really love a gumboot pic. These shots from the marvellous cape town photographers Christine Meintjes and Lizelle Lotter make me soooo happy!

Christine Meintjes

Christine Meintjes

Christine Meintjes

Christine Meintjes

gumboot 4

Lizelle Lotter

Lizelle Lotter

gumboot 5

And on the topic of bad-weather weddings, WHEN else can you get light like this???

Lizelle Lotter

Lizelle Lotter

I mean, how perfectly perfectly dreamy!

Christine Meintjes’ site is www.christinemeintjes.co.za

Lizelle Lotter’s breath-taking work is at www.lizellelotter.co.za