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.


Being irresponsible 12 October 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — hoopfulbride @ 12:12 pm

This weekend we went to a music festival. At about midnight I became convinced that i needed my lip blam and i ran off by myself to fetch it from the car. The following conversation was heard about 45 minutes later in the “VIP Bar” (there was a rumour my group were hanging out there).

Random comedian: You look like you’ve lost something!

Saartjie: I’ve lost my husband…

RC: How do feel about that?

S: I’ve only had him for two weeks!

RC: That’s very irresponsible!

Despite being highly irresponsible, I had an awesome weekend (Rooster and I were reunited about 15 minutes later…) in the Daisies! Relished being described by the characters we met along the way as “the newlyweds”,  laughed til i cried and bopped til i dropped.


Musica, musica… 17 September 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — hoopfulbride @ 11:04 am

For some time Rooster and I have had a pretty good idea of what music we dig and what has played a special role in our lives… Last night we finally sat down to figure it out and we finally have it all sorted out such that everything can play its role. Yay!

For starters, I am walking down the aisle to Gabriel’s Oboe from the Mission. I love this music SO much and it is pretty sentimental for me. We studied The Mission as a film study in high school so that when I went to Brasil on exchange, I knew that movie fairly intimately. I think having seen The Mission so many times made the obligatory trip to the amamzing Iguacu Falls all the more poignant. So music from that movie reminds me of my youth… and lucky it’s one of Rooster’s all time favs as well!

And then the ceremony… (will upload the “script” in another post)

After the ceremony Rooster and I and our families will proceed into the tiny chapel (via the back door) to sign the registry, whereas our guests will move round through a gate to the front entrance to throw confetti when we emerge. Of course we need something suitably joyous to jive along to, so we have chosen Brenda Fassie’s “Vulindlela” (Open the gates). Ma Brrr (as she was known) is as close to SA has ever come to our own Madonna – talented, mesmerising and controversial. This song is one of her later hits and is one of our absolute favs!

Click on the link now – it is a fabulous song, even if the music video is pretty crap. I defy anyone not to feel celebratory on hearing it!

It’s got pretty hilarious lyrics for a wedding as well:

Vul’indlela wemamgobhozi — Open the gates, Miss Gossip
He unyana wam — My baby boy
Helele uyashada namhlanje — Is getting married today
Vul’indlela wela ma ngiyabuza — Open the gates please
Msuba nomona — Don’t be jealous
Unyana wami uthathile — My son has had a good catch
Bengingazi ngiyombon’umakoti — I never thought I’d see a daughter in law
Unyana wam eh ujongile this time — My son has been accepted (woman said yes)
Makgadi fele usenzo s’cede — Help us finish the ceremony (you are welcome)
Uzemshadweni ngiyashadisa namhlanje — Come to the wedding, I’m taking my son to the altar today
Bebesithi unyana wam lisoka — People said my son is (someone who doesnt get women)
Bebesithi angeke ashade vul’indlela — People said he would never get married but open the gates

 The next special song up is for our entry into the reception: Ndihamba nawe (I go with you) by Mafikizolo. This song was HUGE while I lived in  rural Transkei and Rooster and I used to blast it everywhere we went together! We still do when we want to have that unadulterated holiday feeling! And the excited and happy holiday feeling is just how we guess we’ll be feeling when we enter the Barn as a married couple!

Again, please click and listen if you don’t know it – you.will.not.be.sorry. Promise.

And it also has fabulous lyrics for a wedding:

Ndihamba Nawe literally means “I’m going with you”, but it has much greater significance in the Zulu culture. When you say Ndihamba nawe, you’re essentially telling someone that “I choose you”.At parties, if people are really feeling the DJ, they’ll say “DJ, Ndihamba nawe!” or if you’ve found that one boy/girl that just does it for you, you tell them “Eish, ndihamba nawe!”.

Girl’s verse
Ngithanda na le way — I love the way
Unguyo ngakhona — you just are
webhuti mina ndihamba nawe — Brother, I choose you
Ngithanda na le way — I also love the way
Ucula ngakhona — the way you sing
Webhuti mina ndihamba nawe — Brother, I choose you

Guy’s verse
Ndithanda na le way — I really love the way
Ujika ngakhona — You turn (walk/stride)
We sisi mina ndihamba nawe –Sister, I choose you
Ndithanda na le way — I also love the way
Ududla ngakhona — You gain weight just right
We sisi mina ndihamba nawe — Sister, I choose you

(“You gain weight just right”… gotta love Africa, right?!)

And finally, “The First Song” had to be Frank, Ella or Louis as that’s who we danced the whole night away to on the first night we met. In the end, Louis Armstrong’s beauty rendition of “Kiss to build a dream on” is the winner…


And so the excitement grows…


Managing “the Tide” 16 September 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — hoopfulbride @ 9:57 am

I’m really not sure how to title this post, cos it’s about planning The Bleed…

Let’s be honest, girls, no bride wants to deal with a bloated abdomen and the risk of a stray spot of crimson on her pristine white frock! NEITHER does anyone really want to deal with tampons (et al) on her honeymoon (ifyouknowwhatimean). I’m pretty sure most giddy engaged gals don’t consult their body calendar when setting a date for the Big Day: so when the thought hits that the two events might overlap, it can be a tad fretful!

The realisation struck me about two months ago while lying awake in bed towards the end of my period. It was the deep of the night and my mind started to wonder… and then it hit me: was I going to be menstruating over my wedding??? Or honeymoon??? Shit. So I counted. And counted again. And in my midnight-groggy brain I was CONVINCED I’d be riding the red tide over the week of our wedding (or perhaps the week afterwards): PANIC!!!

First thing the next morning I snapped into action!  I am on the pill, so this does make management of these matters a whole lot easier. Except, I am on a tri-phase pill, so the hormones differ from week to week such that I couldn’t decide which one to “double up” (or miss… I was trying to figure some kind of strategy). I certainly did NOT want to mess with my hormones (unnecessarily) in the run up to the nuptials. Hence, in the midst of a week FULL of appointments I scheduled a meeting with my gynae to discuss the matter of timing…

Typical of Murphy, I missed the first appointment and had to schedule another for a few days later. I snuck out of work and hot-tailed it out to her offices to arrive and find out she was running late. Instead of idly leafing through magazines, I whipped out my diary to make sure of my dates to discover (in the clear light of day… not sure why i trusted my midnight brain in the first place) that I was on PERFECT timing: my uterus would shed itself not in the week of my wedding, or the week of my honeymoon, or the week thereafter, BUT in the week before. Bloody (‘scuse the pun)marvellous! I hadn’t need to see my gynae after all… so we had a small chat about the weather and I tootled back to work heaving a sigh of relief.

Where does this leave me now? For one, I’m bleeding (it’s the week before my wedding). And secondly, in this week where all manner of things have to be wrapped up and finalised, and all manner of unexpected stresses present themselves, I’m an emotional volcano! But a grateful volcano, nevertheless.


Irony 18 August 2009

Filed under: fabulous friends,Uncategorized — hoopfulbride @ 11:44 am

(OK I know I’ve been quiet, but there’s been a lot on my plate… exciting stuff, but a lot… I’ll get there!)

This morning I experienced two sides of the same coin: the legal effects of a marriage.

After pilates, followed by coffee and The Most Delicious Egg and Chorizo Tart (from Jardine – seriously, if you are in CT, you are doing yourself a disservice not to have tasted these beauties. If you are NOT in CT… think about planning a visit around them. Yum. Tuesday morning routine is grand…) Rooster and I had our appointment with an old classmate to draw up our ante-nuptial contract: the ANC (also called a pre-nup in other parts of the world, but one of the perks of being a previous colony is that we use cool words like “ante-” instead of “pre-“…).

It has never been an option for us not to have an ANC – the fact that we both run our own businesses is reason enough for us to have drawn up the contract as it allows our joint estate to be protected from the possibility of insolvency in either estate. 

The experience leading up to the consultation this morning has been fascinating as we have discussed and debated our philosophical attitude towards money, assets, debt and partnership in marriage. Luckily, we’re pretty much on the same page… and where we’ve differed we’ve been able to do so gracefully and with compromise and (often) learning. It is also very important to us that we incorporate accrual into our ANC such that we can share in the fruits of the marriage: the philosophy being that success for either one of us is most likely to come as a result of the other’s support.

It was also a very interesting experience for me being on the other side of the “lawyer’s table”. My classmate was pretty brilliant at striking the line between explaining the concepts clearly and not being too patronising. I won’t mention her name here, but she’s a director at McLoughlin Inc – if any CT brides are looking for an attorney to help out with their ANC.

From one meeting with an old classmate to another: I am helping co-ordinate the divorce proceedings of another old classmate as a professional favour (I try to avoid family law work on the whole). Their divorce is fairly amicable (largely due to her grace – I think she could have been a lot nastier, but she is wise enough to know that the heartache that comes with nastiness isn’t worth the fight) and clean, but is nevertheless a good reminder of the way things can go.

As bizarre as it might seem, I think that every marriage should start with a very good chat about what will happen in the event that it ends. And, of course, it will end in one of those nasty “D” words – divorce or death. It can only help to enter into marriage with your eyes wide open and with at least a plan for how to deal with the dissolution of your marriage. And somehow the superstitious and irrational Saartjie feels that if you have a plan, you might never need to use it…

Being aware of how finite something important (like marriage) is often reminds one of how precious it is. I jokingly encourage all my friends who are about to wed to spend a morning in divorce court just to see how EASY it is for it to end (at least it’s better than hanging out at a funeral parlour…)! But seriously, I believe that if you love someone and your relationship with them enough, you will fight to preserve what you have.

Which reminds me: time to update my will. You should too!


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…


The two month count-down 27 July 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — hoopfulbride @ 11:55 am

And now there are two months til we wed…

Tremendous: Rooster and I spent the sun-bathed glorious weekend

  • doing all manner of useful things: wedding (gift list finalising, ice-cream tasting, suit check, etc) and not (gardening, cleaning out our cellar, organising long-ignored cupboards)
  • socialising with friends and family (and receiving plently of compliments on our invitations… hurrah!)
  • and loving each other. We spoke about our future and kissed and cuddled and radiated in each other’s love.