Tag Archives: wedding

Just Married :)

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Officially. The date… the 23rd of July 2011. I can now actually claim the redundant title of ‘MarriedWife’ 😉

The father officially handing over the daughter, most gratefully I'm sure 🙂

Many, if not all of the ‘brides’ I had spoken to [prior to MY big day], all had something or other they would have changed or done differently. I am fortunate to fall into that category of,  “I was happy with everything”, in hindsight that is.

The day was beautiful – not a breath of wind, the winter sun shining gently and instead of dowsing any nerves with champagne or sedatives, I spent it jovially having breakfast with a friend at the guesthouse I was booked into, then checking in on the venue and cake-assembly, followed by my hair appointment which was relaxing – drinking lattes and surrounded by my three best friends, two of whom had travelled from afar just to be there for the day and the other, my bridesmaid.

Once done, I sent my co-conspirators on a mission to obtain a banana, vanilla and almond smoothie while I popped into the bank to draw some money, after which I chauffered myself back to the guesthouse with my bridesmaid in tow, at which point we commenced to sit on the sundeck talking nonsense while I finished the smoothie. I was so calm infact, that when the photographer made an appearance, she queried whether I had moved the time of the wedding to a later slot?!?

After applying my make-up, getting dressed and posing for a few photos – the rest of my entourage arrived. Namely, my son [the pageboy or ‘ringmaster’ as he termed it], the flowergirls, my brother [the bestman – who needed the transport], my two friends, my mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and the maid, Beauty! After a few photos in the lush gardens, it was time to head forth. I had promised my ‘husband-to-be’ that this would be the one instance that I would most definitely be ON TIME. But alas, my mother who had fallen into position of ‘bride chauffer’ decided that it was unfashionable to arrive either early or on time – and that it was customary to arrive at least 5 minutes late!! After possibly the slowest drive of my entire life and my mother actually cursing the non-appearance of ‘red lights’ and then still choosing as a last ditched attempt to delay the inevitable – by going into an abandoned parking lot en-route…and doing donuts?!

We arrived at what must have been about 15H32, with the wedding having been scheduled to start at 15H30. Apparently I wasn’t the only one running “late”, as my Aunt and Uncle decided to show up after I had been met by my father, posed for photos and even after having given a strategic breakdown of the ‘grand entrance’ to the ‘mothers’, my sister-in-law with the two flowergirls and my bridesmaid. In their scurry past us in order to make it to their seats, they had still attempted a greeting, at which point I ‘shoed’ them off and cursed under breath at their being late!!! Once my Aunt and Uncle as well as the remainder of the bridal party had precursored my entrance, as I had envisioned this grand dramatic moment of silence at the back end of the aisle, followed by the start of the wedding march…but alas, I experienced what felt like an eternity of silence before my future husband began waving his arms frantically to cue the DJ to start the song.

It was possibly, if not definitely – the ‘fastest’ recorded marriage service in the history of the world, but beautiful and effective none-the-less. After which we signed the register and walked back down the aisle. Everyone however, remained seated. Awkwardly some of them turned their heads to view where we had exited to, at which point I simply flapped my arms about, gesturing them to stand and proceed with moving out of their seats, as the service had not been performed in a chapel, but out on a verandah overlooking the harbour, the overall tone was rather relaxed – so I don’t think they really took too much notice. I received what felt like 1 000 hugs and kisses, which was rather wonderful yet bizarre and left my lips feeling awfully numb 😛

After downing a cocktail, we briefly departed for the official photoshoot – which took place on an old railway bridge and railway tunnel, accompanied by my husband, brother [bestman] and my friend [bridesmaid]. After much posing, more kissing and some weird photo ops with random passing-by-ice-cream-vendors… my brother received a rather menacing phone call from my mother, who was expressing something or other rather loudly, but at my enquiry, my brother chose to tell me that the guests were impatient and that we were taking too long with the photos. After our entrance into the reception, I was accosted by my mother… at the bridal table, right up on the stage – albeit in a very quiet and underhanded manner, “about how my father was simply incapable of saying a speech and how dare I NOT have mentioned this to them well in advance so that she could have advised against it”.  I took a deep breath and momentarily excused myself from the table, escaped to the upstairs deck, had a cigarette and ordered both my mother and father a shot of tequila. Everything after that was just dandy 🙂

I always seem to have so much to say 🙂

The rest of what happened is nearly as long winded as this beginning bit, but to say that I was truly blessed, would be the understatement of the year… Without so many helpful and loving hands to hold, help with the hard work and heavy lifting and those very much needed hugs, it would not have been nearly as awesome. My two special friends who undertook a great trek of their own, just in order to be by my side on this day made the whole experience far better than it possibly would have been, without them there. The table arrangements came out perfectly, the evening was mild, the food divine, the cake heavenly and the company even better than all of that combined, what with these ingredients forming part of the perfect recipe for joy, love, happiness, fun and sheer enjoyment 🙂 Plus, I’m married now.

A series of pictures taken throughout the evening by one of my best friends, I don't think he even realises his hidden potential and ability in capturing true moments

And guess what, so far… it’s been everything the ‘happy wives’ have said it would be 🙂 Now wait until you hear about the honeymoon!

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The Grand Wedding Event ~ Invites & Table Seating Plan

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The Grand Wedding Event  ~ Invites & Table Seating Plan

With everything coming together slowly but very surely, I thought I would share a few of the many things I’ve been up to. Lucky, if you catch sight of this before the 23rd of July, you’ll be seeing it all (besides the invites and RSVP slips that is…), before any of my guests!

My handmade invitations and RSVP slips ;)
My handmade invitations and RSVP slips 😉

When I started out on the whole ‘Planning A Wedding’ thing, I had originally envisioned a colour scheme of lilac and bronze and possibly ‘champagne’ hues – and then bizarrely it drifted into something a little more dramatic. The organisation, congruency and theme of all printed items/materials is pretty consistent. I drew a vector of a damask pattern I really liked, then redrew certain elements I liked and had gathered from other invitations/programmes/wedding paraphernalia that inspired me. Unfortunately being on a tight budget, I tried to save costs – and being a designer makes that bit easy 🙂 So kudos to the original artists and original invitation makers and thank you for being my inspiration! (as much as I wish I could take full credit) NOTE: Talent is a gift – and with it being so I also don’t expect to be extorted by other individuals and ‘their talents’, thank you very much!! Which leaves me saying to you – should you have any ideas for invitations, but with no idea how to execute them, drop me a line 🙂 I’ll help you out if I can, FREE of charge!

My Table Programme incorporating the Menu. Each back has a section of song lyrics from the likes of 'Danny Kaye', 'The Ink Spots', 'Dean Martin', 'Frank Sinatra' and 'Ella Fitzgerald 🙂

The table programmes and ‘order-of-service’ slips were conceived entirely by myself, using ‘Gold Leaf 250gsm’, I had printed ‘bookmark’ size strips of my damask pattern in the ‘almost veridian’ green colour and coupled it with a rich brown. With the golden glow from the paper, it has a very old feel (look) to it.

The table seating arrangement, made-up of driftwood found on the beach, names and table numbers printed on 'Gold Leaf' 250gsm card then cut into heart shapes and craft wire! All wrangled together with a little imagination, patience and two pairs of pliers is something completely unique to me (due to the fact that it was an idea I came up without any inspiration from anywhere or from seeing any pictures)

The table seating arrangement, made-up of driftwood found on the beach, names and table numbers printed on 'Gold Leaf' 250gsm card then cut into heart shapes with self-made little wire 'hooks'! All wrangled together with a little imagination, patience and two pairs of pliers is something completely unique to me (due to the fact that it was an idea I came up without any inspiration from anywhere or from seeing any pictures)

As much as I can’t take entire credit for the Invitations, I can however state that the table seating arrangement concept was entirely my idea and I believe that it gives an accurate glimpse into my twisted, anxious, yet structured mind, as well as my own eccentricity. I knew I didn’t want an easel, or any other table seating plans that I had seen used at other weddings. Chances are that if I do a thorough enough ‘Google’ search, I’m/You’re bound to find something similar 🙂 Maybe I’ll do that quick – just to check that I haven’t stuck my foot in my mouth! (Score – just did a search on ‘Table seating arrangements and bizarre/different/unique table seating arrangements and I’m safe “Phew” – but there are some really ‘different’ ones out there)

I can safely say however, that as much inspiration as I’ve taken, the bulk of it came from ‘self’. Like my dress for instance. Which I’ll post pictures of, but only once I’ve officially had my wedding and the whole ‘shebang’ is done and dusted 🙂 It incorporates my love of polka dots, long streamlined dresses, halternecks and statuesque collars – plus, a little bolero jacket to match! Instead of having a rigid colour theme, I’ve played with multiple shades of brown, thrown in some bronze and brushed gold and pretty much utilise the entire spectrum of colour from lime green to turquoise in one form or other.

I certainly hope that you find your inspiration if that’s what you’re looking for 😉

Marriage…A lot like having children [Part II] – “Who Would Have Guessed…”

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I had heard somewhere, that there are specific events in ones life which age you up to ’10 years’ a time. They are listed as deaths, births, moving house and getting married. Well having suffered several losses, one childbirth and roughly 24 house moves, mostly with much household contents, I could never understand how marriage factored into that little ‘saying’.

That is however, until now.

I’ve also heard many a time that having children is not for the faint-hearted. Well, neither is marriage and by comparison, having children is a walk in the park. Having made the decision in January to set the date for July and with what I thought to be ample time for planning and preparation, nothing could have prepared me for myself.

Everything is set and ready to go, in 10 days that is. My second dress fitting is on friday afternoon and it is simply beautiful, my bridesmaid is at my side after her tragic ordeal, all attending friends are excited and waiting anxiously for the big day. The table seating plan, table arrangements and service are all organised and the flowers are ordered and should be ready for collection on friday the 22nd. So what seems to be the problem?

I think the thing about marriage is that we as the human race have decided that everything is disposable and most things in our lives are contract driven – and usually lasting no longer than 24-36 months. Everything is in the “here and now” and if you don’t like, you can always get another one, regardless of whether it’s a car, a cellphone or a hobby. But marriage, as the institution would have it, is supposed to be permanent. Forever. Until death you do part. People don’t like being told what to do… so rebellion dictates that as soon as you’ve signed your life to someone, you’re not going to like it.

That’s stupid. Because parents don’t have children on a short-term loan basis, it’s also a life sentence, and somehow they cope. I’ve been with the man for 5 years and never questioned my love or devotion until I decided to set a wedding date! This whole thought process has had me turn from butterlies-in-my-stomach-bride-to-be into the dragon lady and then back again, at least 32 times – to the point where He asked me if I had remembered to take my medication!?! Then I threw a shoe at him. He still loves me [apparently] and hasn’t called the wedding off…

It’s scary to take the big step to make the whole thing ‘official’. Taking on a new surname, making decisions about things -TOGETHER and doing so for the rest of your natural life… My parents have been together for 30 years. Awesome. Has it been easy? NO. I have learnt from them however, that if you have certain fundamental principles in place, then you’re on a good inning. Namely to have trust and respect for one another, to remain honest and open at all times, to communicate effectively and to love unconditionally. When I think of these things, my nerves calm and I stop fretting over having the wrong flowers or not having lost enough weight to look like a skeletal bride.

The question I pose though, is with it being such a very huge decision and ‘lifelong’ undertaking. Why do it if you’re not in it for good? Why are divorce rates so high? Because people treat people & marriage like they treat ‘things’ and ironically treat ‘things’ how they should be treating people. I may have thrown a shoe, but at least we spoke face to face – and when we were done, I hugged him and kissed him all over the face and told him how sorry I was… as he simply shook his head and mumbled something like, “Until your next tantrum”.

Marriage…A lot like having children

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When you’re a young girl, your world is abuzz with fantasies of being a princess, living in a castle and marrying the knight or prince and living happily ever after. You also spend a great deal playing with dolls. The only difference being, that when you have real children – you can’t simply put them away when you’re done ‘playing’ (since that’s deemed as abuse in most countries), besides you can still hear them scream from behind closed cupboard doors. The reality of changing diapers, colic, cleaning up vomit, infinite loads of laundry and sleepless nights are not something you get told about until you’re actually pregnant and start feeling excited about the notion of bringing a part of yourself into the world and the stories are confirmed once the little ‘spawn of self’ arrives and you turn from an excited mother-to-be, into some grey-in-colour, bewildered, crazy person, with a strand of patience the length of a matchstick.

I have since realised that marriage is somewhat shrouded in much the same way. You have these preconceived notions about how wonderous it will be to get married and that it should be ‘perfect’ – even though logic and common sense dictates that you already know, there’s ‘NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT’. But you strive for it nonetheless.  You think of it as a day of a beautiful bride who is simply glowing, a groom who sheds a tear at the sight, the happy guests, the stunning venue with the most quaint and unique table arrangements – that really capture the essence and eccentricity of the bride and groom and then after the most wonderous day, they float off on a dreamy honeymoon…

Bulldust.

The bride is simply glowing because she took an all too strong combination of the ‘calming medication’ her mother gave her, accompanied by the champagne the bride has had as an extension of her arm since 10am that morning when she realised the cake that was delivered wasn’t what she’d asked for and the flowers were the wrong darn colour.  The groom sheds a tear out of sheer jubilation at the fact that the crazy ‘bridezilla’ is finally walking down the aisle, and the terror and extremist demands should hopefully end within the next 6 hours or so and maybe he can actually ‘get some’, because the crazy woman has been about as loving as Hitler and as attentive as a child with ADHD with a generous dose of ‘ZERO’ rationale. The guests are all happy because it’s not everyday they get treated to a FREE 3 course meal and wine. The table arrangements should look unique and capture some essence, albeit an insight into the dissection of a womans derranged brain. The honeymoon probably won’t be dreamy either – as I for instance with all the stress and worry of everything I have already tried to plan, some things successfully and other not so much… my darling dearest said,

“…since I probably won’t find the right place or you’ll find something to complain about, why don’t I just give you my credit card and you organise it…”. 

To which I replied,

 “…NO, because through all of this, I think it’s only fair that you actually do something…”.

Strangely only about 3 or 4 months before the wedding, just as in my pregnancy – did all the horror stories from past brides begin to surface and seep through the cracks of my perfect vision. It was also at that stage where I noticed things were not quite as they should be. For instance the flowers I had planned on apparently would not be in season, much to the denial of the florist whom I had consulted. The dressmaker forgot to actually cut the pattern or make the dress for my first actual fitting (which is on monday) and certain delegated tasks, I’ve established have not been executed as other individuals don’t seem to have the same sense of urgency – I was also reprimanded by said individual for being crazy and acting stupid and that they can’t wait for the wedding to be over and done with.

In my defense… I have an idea for the table arrangements that apparently only I can see, a dress that I designed in photoshop by ‘cutting and pasting’ roughly bits from 4 or 5 other dresses, a bridesmaid who is MIA and boss who won’t sign my leave form due to the fact that I don’t have a replacement for all of a week. I was stressed last week, but once my stomach ulcer started to flare up and my head was met by a neverending migraine… I decided dying over it may not be an option – and that firstly, the universe has a mysterious way of sorting itself out and secondly, sometimes the harder you try to get things to go the way you want them to, the more they’ll tend to bug out. So, take a deep breath – approach a wedding like you would children. Know that no matter how much you expect them to behave and act like you know they should… they won’t – but as long as you came prepared for everything from chocolate milk spills to dirty diapers, it may not be as you’d imagined – but at least it’ll be funny.

So please as friends and family alike. As wrong as it is to scare someone into not having children or getting married, I do think it only fair that they be forwarned – that it WILL BE stressful, tiring and test all human levels of endurance, patience and the boundaries of love, as I’ve learnt with my child – it was all worth it in the end. As I’m sure what I’m feeling now will dissipate and my wedding day will be just as I’ve always imagined 🙂

…Bliss This $%@*#

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After being reminded for the ‘umpteenth’ time that the date for my wedding is rapidly approaching – and after much deliberation… I understand now why so many individuals make it as far as ‘just before the altar’ or to ‘just past the altar’ only to have the whole relationship fall apart.

I realise that putting two ‘individuals’ together is never an easy thing, since no two are alike. But that’s what brings you together in the first place, right?! I also don’t believe you ever know everything about your partner until you decide to get married, well, it’s either that or you simply notice it then for the first time. So many couples find themselves in a position where the pressure in the planning and then eventual expectation of what ‘married life’ should be about – simply kills the relationship. Because it’s all too hard or it’s all too complicated or it’s simply not as much fun! It’s a contract people. With a very expensive party, but granted, there are certain expectations surrounding it. And although I didn’t have these silly, fluttery sensations to begin with – I am still a girl at heart who very much wants it to be the most perfect day ever! *stargazed look and dramatic orchestral music cue*

My darling ‘husband-to-be’ has never been overly-ambitious, in that, he’s not the DIY or gardening type – however does have an extensive ‘chilli plant’ collection. Neither does he wish to travel or adventure and the thought of evening, beach side/sunset walks, weekends away and anything remotely romantic is so far over his head he has neck trouble because of it… So this is the situation – With the quite apparent ‘less than two months to fallout’ and the imminent ‘BOOM BOOM POW’ of the 23rd of July quite precociously lurking, I had a near emotional break-down on Friday. So I decided that we needed to get the ball rolling by getting some of the smaller, niggly-er thingys out of the way. I’m not in a position to complete the programmes, as my bridesmaid has been in another city for more than a month with her very sickly sister, neither can I decide on the song lyrics I wish to use to fill the back page and I am not certain how to term the Magistrate who will be marrying us, so the service slips are also incomplete. The items such as the wine for the tables, rings and anti-nuptial agreement (which still has to be drafted) – all of which being responsibilities designated to my fiancĂ©. A fluctuating guest list with far too many declines and simultaneously acceptances, what with certain individuals happily inviting other individuals NOT listed as their respective partner or ‘plus one’… Then the minor matter of me wanting to change everything I do already have… So this brings me to Sunday afternoon.

I decided that I would spray paint certain of the decor items so as to more fittingly comply with MY colour scheme – which for my own sanity, I had to tackle and simply get out of the way. My fiancĂ©, who by his friends, had been removed to a pre-bachelor party the night before, had been sleeping, an actual impossibility with two and at times three, noisy children causing chaos. He awoke and was pleasant, considering the headache and threat of retribution at my knowledge of the aforementioned ‘night out. The entire time I had been inwardly venting. Thinking how this…this… man, had gone out, and was sleeping, and once again was getting out of doing anything ‘wedding related’…and… to my surprise, firstly actually helped me and secondly without having to be asked! So there we stood, in the dining room – unwrapping the precious glass and metal holders, while he handled the removal of the actual ‘handle’ mechanisms, I clawed at the gooey price stickers. After which we braved the icy winter wind, stray leaves and mounds of mobile dust particles to get this finished. I felt better. Once completed and packed away to prevent further dust collection until their wondrous display in July, I thought how upset I would have been had he not helped. Thinking about why I would have been upset, actually makes no sense. How many Saturday and Sunday mornings does he not run off with the little munchkin, but only after bringing me breakfast in bed – and then departing to allow me to have my sleep in. How many thoughtful, yet practical gifts have I not received. How many other special ways does he surprise me and treat me like gold, or something precious.

After having experienced a few women on their final legs of unwed life and the months leading up to their ‘big day’ – and after having promised myself that I would not turn into or become one of those melodramatic, near-psychotic, moody and unreasonable females. It has already happened. The change has occurred. I can only think this is how werewolves must feel about their metamorphosing around the time of the full moon. On Friday, feeling this nearly suffocating pressure – I had shed more than a few tears, jostled with the notion of cancelling the wedding and wondered if I was marrying the right man, and all because I didn’t know whether my bridesmaid would be back here in time, if non-repliers would simply ‘pitch up’ on the day, if the flowers would arrive as planned, if my dress would be as I’d imagined and if I’d successfully manage to lose another 20 Kilograms in the next 6 weeks!! All of which had nothing to do with him actually.

So where am I going with all this? The fact is, “…You throw stones at those you love…” So now I know I love him. And I have established that although his powers of telepathy are a little lacklustre, his affinity for being able to tell when he should simply get up and do, without me having to ask – and having the compassion to know that my psychosis is not directly aimed at him, makes me sure of my decision. Yes, I am sure that between now and the wedding, I will undoubtedly question my decision to wed (this man specifically) and the want to abandon the false freedom associated with not being married. I have no false ideas that marriage is nothing but ‘sunshine and roses’ and that we will gallop off into the sunset. Am I scared and apprehensive, yes. But as much as I have mood swings, erratic behaviour, unreasonable outbursts and overtly irrational notions… he won’t win cabinet maker of the year. But based on what I’ve heard about most men during the planning stages of their weddings, things between the man and I are actually better than ever 🙂

 

It's All In The Details...

It's All In The Details...