Hoopfulbride's Blog

Planning a wedding in a place called The Hope

On choosing and promising 26 October 2009

Filed under: Engagement story,Things I love,traditions,Uncategorized — hoopfulbride @ 12:26 pm

The erudite A at Accordions and Lace has (yet again… jeepers that girl’s clever) sparked some internet conversations with her post on the power of choosing your spouse.

For Rooster and I the idea of choice was always at the heart of our marriage. It was reflected in the reading (by CS Lewis) that was read by my LongLostFriend ar our ceremony:

“The idea that “being in love” is the only reason for remaining married really leaves no room for marriage as a contract or promise at all. If love is the whole thing, then the promise can add nothing; and if it adds nothing, then it should not be made. The curious thing is that lovers themselves, while they remain really in love, know this better than those who talk about love. Those who are in love have a natural inclination to bind themselves by promises. Love songs all over the world are full of vows of eternal constancy. The Christian law is not forcing upon the passion of love something which is foreign to that passion’s own nature: it is demanding that lovers should take seriously something which their passion of itself impels them to do.
And, of course, the promise, made when I am in love and because I am in love, to be true to the beloved as long as I live, commits me to being true even if I cease to be in love. A promise must be about things that I can do, about actions: no one can promise to go on feeling in a certain way. He might as well promise never to have a headache or always to feel hungry.”

We loved this reading because it summed up our deeply held belief that a wedding is not about the way we feel right now – of course we are deeply in love, passionately entwined and so full of hope – but about how we choose to link ourselves. In my previous post on pre-nups and divorce, I postulated how I believe that one must enter into marriage (surely the most important contract ever) with the seriousness and knowledge of what might lie ahead. And then, despite having thought about the better and worse and sickness and health, to nevertheless voluntarily and in the fullness of knowledge bind yourselves to each other. That is where the power of marriage lies: in chosing the good and the bad… Of course our wish is that there will be more goodness than badness, that the laughter will outweigh the tears, that we will continue to gaze at each other though the “rose-tinted” glasses. But if those wishes don’t work out, we have still chosen to walk our path together.

Our pastor-officiant suggested an interesting addition to our service: he asked us three questions before we said our vows to which Rooster and I gave prepared, but not shared responses. I’ll write a full post on the questions later, but for now I must highlight that in response to the third question “What promise, over and above your vows, do you make to each other?” both Rooster and I (in our different ways) promised to continue to choose each other as each other’s partner. It is an enormously powerful promise…

Rooster and I compiled our vows from a variety of sources (mainly inspired by ThePilatesMentor’s vows at her wedding in Feb), but it was important that it was clear that our vows, and our ceremony as a whole, had “weight” because of the public choice we were making. As a friend commented to Rooster during the reception party (half-jokingly, but I love the truth in jest) “We’re so glad your ceremony was so original and heartfelt – it makes it so much easier for all of us to police!”

Herewith, our vows:

I, [Saartjie/Rooster] choose you, [Rooster/ Saartjie] before our community and before God, to be my [husband/wife]. 


I pledge to be your loving friend and committed partner: To talk and to listen; to trust and appreciate you; to respect and cherish your uniqueness; to laugh with you in good times and struggle with you in bad times.


I promise to share my hopes, thoughts and dreams with you as we build our lives together.


We will build a home that is compassionate to all, full of respect and honour for others and for each other.


May we have many adventures, experience joy, sorrow and grow old together.


Someone wrote us a poem! 23 October 2009

Filed under: De Hoop,fabulous friends,Things I love — hoopfulbride @ 2:38 pm

Jeepers Creepers. How flipping radical is that? Please see below, a poem for our wedding (punctuated with photos from our talented and wonderful friends, just incase you’re a “picture” kind of person)…

De Hoop, on the occasion of a wedding


We gathered beneath

The meeting tree, a

Great embracing ficus wide

And old. We gathered, born

By the ocean and the wind

To your betrothal, to your pledging

To the moment at which your lives

Were about to turn.


The wind drew breath

As it has done since our

Ancestors gathered shellfish

On the shores to the

South, perhaps marveled at the

Awesome shapes that rose against the swell

Dark and mysterious, or

Flushed a skulking heron to its

Laboured beat, tracking it across the

Vlei to its next rocky roost.


As dresses billowed and scarves took flight

Above us swirled a vortex of

Swifts and swallows and saw-wings, the gleaming

Perfect shapes banking, then

Cutting the wind as the first wild drops of rain

Brought a blessing to us all.

 Stof & sara


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?


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…


I’m the Hoopful Bride, and this is my story… 29 July 2009

Filed under: Engagement story,Things I love — hoopfulbride @ 11:31 am

(anyone who read that title in an Australian accent and remembered the opening line to one of my favourite movies of all time, The Castle, deserves a big sloppy kiss!)

Sometime ago these questions were doing the rounds in wedding-blog-land and I loved reading the questions and the answers enormously! I realise I have jumped on the band-wagon a tad late, but the other day I was back-reading on one of my new fav blogs (wild rumpus) and it struck me that I was quite jealous that I hadn’t sent a mail asking for questions myself… I mailed the erudite and astute A at Accordions and Lace, did a little last minute begging, and she complied (despite having entered the final stretch of wedding planning – thank you very much).

Herewith The Rules for this exchange (the lawyer in me loves The Rules):

  • leave me a comment with your email address saying: “interview me”
  • I will e-mail you five questions of my choice
  • you can answer the questions on your blog (with a link back to my blog)
  • you should also post these rules, along with an offer to interview anyone else who emails you wanting to be interviewed (feel free darlings)
  • it would be nice if the questions were individualised for each blogger

How did you and your mister meet, and how did you know you wanted to marry him?

(A sneaky double question – nice)

The short answer: Rooster and I met when I gate-crashed a party at his house.

The long answer: 2003 had been an incredibly tough year for me. It was the year I was in final year at law school and besides not knowing what I wanted to do after graduation and the academic stress of final year, I had an awful lot of social upheaval. I had become embroiled in a ridiculous tiff between classmates (by virtue of standing by a gay friend who had come under attack from 2 rather popular girls in the class (yes, final year law – not pre-school. Amazing, huh?)). I also fell pregnant from a silly one-night stand and knew immediately that I needed to terminate. The entire episode nevertheless knocked me horribly: not least because I’d thought it would never happen to me… And while 3 out of my 4 housemates were AMAZING, the fourth drove me nuts with her self-involvement (although I love her dearly).

So at the end of this year of turmoil I was experiencing one of the biggest periods of joy I had ever experienced: the joy of getting through it! I described it to a friend as truly understanding relief. The Afrikaans (and dutch, I guess) word for love is “lief” and towards the end of 2003 I found myself overwhelmed by the experience of being able to re-love: myself, friends, family, life.

So one Friday night the aforementioned frustrating house-mate (H) insisted we accompany her to a house-party while a bunch of us were on the prowl one night. We (uniformly) declined: we had had enough of her wants dictating our actions. H, however, somehow managed to persuade one of our number to swing by the party so she could “pop in and say hi”. And T spent enough time waiting for her to see that there were some very cool people at this little festa… and specially some very interesting-looking and hot boys. She quickly passed on the news (hey, we were on the prowl!) and the rest of us turned up!

On my arrival, the first person i laid eyes on was this tall, side-burned, afro-haired boy with soft light brown eyes (olhos castanhos claros – as I think about them in Portugues). For me that night is a whirl of dancing to old jazz records in Rooster’s arms and laughing and talking vociferously with him and his mates (who are now my mateys). We shared some sneaky sneaky smooches and (not wanting to drive drunk) exchanged numbers when we left in the morning…

But it was the summer of re-lief and I was in love with life and partying and summer and friends. So I didn’t dwell on Rooster. Nor did he dwell on me – his family spent Christmas and New Years on the slopes of a french ski resort.

And then it was January and my birthday so I sent out a hundred (or so) smses to new and old friends to meet for sundowners at one of my favourite boulders overlooking the beautiful Atlantic. And Rooster arrived. And we chatted and flirted. And the party moved on to dinner in Camps Bay where we chatted and flirted. And when we all got into our cars to leave, he smsed me an sms we still giggle about : “Do you really want to wake up alone in bed at your parent’s house on the morning of your 24th birthday?”

I didn’t want to. And neither did I do so… nor have I woken up anywhere other than in Rooster’s arms on the morning of my birthday ever since. That first birthday night with him was not as exciting as he’d expected: we spent hours talking about our secrets (necessitated by my reluctance to hop in the sack with someone after having had to terminate a pregnancy post my previous sexual experience).

But we never imagined this was the beginning of our greatest love story: I was leaving to live in the rural Eastern Cape and work in a rural community in March and so we hung out and partied and adventured with the glorious relaxed casualness that comes with a relationship that must end: we referred to each other as “my current lover” (pronounced with Texan accent) (yes, we did work through that first sexual experience together, so perhaps I should have guessed something)…

And then I left for the Transkei (about a 14 hour drive from CT. There aren’t really any planes to that area). I had barely been there two days when Rooster called and suggested he visit. Over Easter. In ten days time. It was over that Easter holiday, as we explored the breath-taking beauty of my new surroundings, that we admitted being in love.

And so our story evolved: over monthly alternate visits up (for him) or down (for me). Over a three-month stint for me in NYC (I felt like I needed a contrast from rural Africa – a small mindfuck). Over deception and heartbreak (a whole ‘nother story). Over laying ourselves open and learning to trust and love. Over figuring out how to have conflict and how to build each other up despite being angry. Over breaking up again and yearning and yearning for each other. Over the joy of reuniting. Over supporting each other through bar exams (me) and a business break-up (him). Over moving into a home together and learning to live together (surprisingly easy). Over learning and loving and laughing…

And then it was clear: here is my partner. I wouldn’t want any other. Here is the person who fills my heart and my head and who slips into step beside me with such exciting ease. Here is my partner who i want to continue building my life with and never stop.

What scares you the most about getting married?

I’m afraid that it’s the control-freak in me that responds (I’m working on her): I’m scared of  the unknown.

I know that there are millions of challenges that will meet Rooster and me over the course of the rest of our lives. Millions. Some will be easy to meet on a daily basis and some will bring us together as we deal with them together. But some of them will rock our relationship to the core: it is inevitable. And those unnamed monsters petrify me…

All I can do is trust (which I do). I trust that we have a base that is strong enough. I trust that we respect each other deeply. I trust that we take the decision to love each other equally seriously. I trust that we hold similar principles dear and that these will guide us through the challenges. I trust that we have (and will continue to develop) the skills to deal with the unknown as individuals and as a unit.

Incidentally, Rooster is thrilled by the unknown – he is thrilled that our relationship will continue to excite and surprise us… aah, he is so good to have alongside me!

(and now i must work… I will continue the story tomorrow)


These babies are MINE! 23 July 2009

Filed under: jewels,SAfrican-love,Things I love,Uncategorized — hoopfulbride @ 12:34 pm

I love a beautiful earring… Ida-Elsje – my favourite SAfrican jewellry designer – is having a sale at the moment (hurrah) so I stole off during lunch yesterday to have a look.

To my delight, I have found The Wedding Earrings. I love them… You too can gaze on their loveliness:


The stones are quartz and the metal is bronze, but they look gold and my shoes are gold, as is (most of ) my ring. I think those beauties will do wonders my frock and the rest of my vibe .

Oh! Joy…