Hoopfulbride's Blog

Planning a wedding in a place called The Hope

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.


What to wear, Daddy Dear? 19 August 2009

Filed under: family... — hoopfulbride @ 9:49 am
Internet: I’ve just dropped the e-mail below into Eastside Bride’s mailbox, ‘cos we have a fashion crisis mounting… Please read it and apply yourselves: any inspiration is welcome!
Dear Eastside
So they call you the Groom’s fashion guru, but I need you for that *other* special man in my life: The Father of The Bride.
We’re going to have a pretty snazzy bridal party. My groom is having a ridiculously sexy Italian suit made which he is pairing with a small spotty Paul Smith shirt (the spots, not the shirt… it’s Paul Smith: it works). The groomsmen are set: one is gay (saynomore), one is particularly fashion savvy (the other day he was overheard (in a non-wedding context) remarking “I’m feeling quite inspired by the French Riviera in my dress” – he’ll be ok…) and the third takes direction (and has a switched on girlfriend). The general vibe is dark gray suits with bright (but not too bright) candy-stripe on white shirts.
My father, on the other hand, is making some fairly panic-inducing comments. I’ll paint you a picture. He’s in his mid-sixties (so he’s graying and balding), blue-eyed, slim (an ardent tennis-player) and fairly tall: altogether not bad lookin. He was an accountant his whole life and has a lasting aversion to suits (especially grey ones). He does NOT want to wear a tie (which is lucky ‘cos there’s scant chance we’ll squeeze my groom Rooster into a “noose”). And Pops wants to avoid a suit, BUT he doesn’t mind wearing some kind of blazer-type jacket. Daddy has an idea that, in order to pull off not wearing a tie, he should wear a fairly loud shirt of some sort. Now, we don’t mind loud (polka dots and candy stripes are the order of the younger men, forcryinginabucket), but I’m not sure how to approach “loud” with an ex-accountant pensioner who is (with my mums) walking me down the aisle.
Panic!!!! We need inspiration, and if anyone can do it, I think you can. Please…
Saartjie H (aka The Hoopful Bride)

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!


Minor melt-down 5 August 2009

Filed under: fabulous friends,meltdown,Scissor — hoopfulbride @ 4:37 pm

I felt overwhelmed last night.

After trying to co-ordinate our next (and final prior to the wedding) weekend to De Hoop and finding out the weekend we’d arranged doesn’t suit our v. nb friends (the sweets have agreed to work around us and make a plan), I realised I’d been a bit of a clutz on another level.

As some of you may have picked up, I am less than enamoured with my job and have been trying to figure out the “next step”. The first major step I’d taken in this regard has been signing up for a course in mediation and alternate dispute resolution which I was really really excited about! And I was convinced (in my head) that it ran from 12-16 August.

So I gaily told my lovely scissor and best matey that the following weekend (21-23 August) was free. In turn, they have been scheming up a storm in the manner of organising a “hen’s weekend” (According to Scissor: Under ABSOLUTELY no circumstances may you make any plans on that weekend!!!)

Except I was wrong and had my weekends mixed up. So, to my horror, I realised I had a very significantly double-booked weekend. And as the realisation hit me, I just couldn’t deal with it and I sat on my bed and wept and wept.

Despite calling the Scissor in tears and gasping into the phone that she might have to undo all her hard work, I’ve subsequently come to terms with the dilemma. I have (begrudgingly) realised that I probably can’t afford to take myself out of office for three days in August as I have a big matter that is being heard on 3 Sept… and the harder I work on it the more I get paid (VVVVVVVVVVV NB) so being in my office means I can probably make money instead of spending it (on afore-mentioned course). And I can probably do the course next time they run it (prob in 6 months)… So all is ok despite the sobs I issued forth yesterday evening.

But it nevertheless is a small reminder of how much there is to deal with and how overwhelming it all can be.

Sigh. Minor melt-down behind me…


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…


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)