It’s My Party…

For ProteaGroom, choosing his groomsmen was one of the easiest things in the world. I went out on a girls’ night and he invited his closest friends to a braai at our home. In between drinking their brandy and Coke, he asked them if they will be his ‘best men’ on his wedding day. To his best friend, he asked if he will be his ‘top best man’ and make a speech.

Seriously, that was it. Nevermind getting the terminology wrong, they all said yes.

For me, it was a bit more complicated (isn’t it always?). First of all, I was in a difficult situation with my friends. I waited a long time to choose my bridal party, even though my best friend kept prodding me gently to make it official. I waited more than a year to ask the girls, and this was absolutely the best idea ever.

When comparing the group I had originally considered at the beginning of the engagement, to the group I actually chose, only one person is still constant. However, I know the girls that I have in my bridal party now will be in my life for the long run and we will always support each other, no matter what.

So for popping the big question so to speak, I wanted to do something special to ask the girls.

I found my inspiration in Bethany’s (of rinse repeat blog) original bridesmaid boxes. These boxes are so sweet and I liked the idea that my ladies would be able to use them again after the wedding as a jewellery box of some sort.

Bridesmaid Boxes

Image via rinse repeat blog

I went off to the craft store and brought all the items I would need and merrily started working on them as soon as I got home. It turned out to be the biggest wedding DIY failure.

Actually now that I look at it, it doesn't look to horrible... Might re use them later on. Personal image.

Actually now that I look at it, it doesn’t look too horrible… Might re use them later on.
Personal image.

I didn’t like the way the crackle effect came out, or the way the green colour came out and my lofty plans for making liners for the inside of the box was a complete failure. Soon, I abandoned the project and didn’t think about it for a while.

Finally, it came down to crunch time for me to ask my girls, and by then I had purchased the awesome Silhouette Cameo machine (my other other right hand for anything wedding related).

I designed a little card personalised with their name and a little poem asking them if they would stand by my side on the wedding day.

This wasn’t enough, so I purchased a few ‘supplies’ they might need while serving as my maids.

These were:

–          Tissues – For tears of joy

–          Chocolate – To de-stress

–          Cape Velvet Liquer – For when they need liquid courage

Sorry to blur. MOH J holding the package because I forgot to take a picture earlier! Oops! Personal image.

Sorry to blur. MOH J holding the package because I forgot to take a picture earlier! Oops! Personal image.

ProteaGroom helped me to tie these items to the cards because I was going crazy trying to do it by myself. BM M’s package looked a bit different, because she is blind. I really wanted to personalise hers, so I sneakily stole her slate one day (we were working together at the time and she is teaching me Braille) and wrote the letter at home. I also didn’t include the alcohol in hers due to religious reasons, and rather included a pack of energy sweets for when she is in need of energy. I rolled the piece of paper up and tied everything together with the same ribbon.

Braille closeup. Personal image.

Braille closeup. Personal image.

I would have loved to ask all my ladies at the same time, but unfortunately at the time we lived in two different cities and our schedules were too hectic to coordinate.

I took MOH J and BM T for breakfast and coffee and asked them there. There were tears (MOH J) and they said yes.

BM M I took to lunch after work one day and there were also tears and she said yes.

Finally, I couldn’t meet up with BM A anytime soon, so I asked that BM T take hers (they are sisters and live in the same town!) and she called me up with a resounding yes.

So in the end, even though my ambitious plans for asking my ladies didn’t pan out, they still loved their little gifts and they all said yes.

How did you ask your wedding party to be involved in the wedding? Did you have any lofty ideas which turned into a DIY failure?

Advertisements

Finding the Right Venue – Part 2

Last time I spoke to you guys about finding a venue, I left you with a horrible cliffhanger. I’m sorry. Let’s forgive and forget and dive right back in, shall we?

After what felt like months of googling venues and checking out their websites, I was starting to lose hope. However, one Sunday night after we had just got from visiting my parents, I was back to googling like a fiend, and I stumbled onto a website for a wedding venue which I had never heard of. It was called Rosemary Hill and the pictures on their website were just beautiful.

C & JW 2

I watched one video under their ‘weddings’ section and viewed some pictures, and I was in love. Everything looked absolutely exquisite, and I thought they would definitely be outside our budget (I use the term ‘budget’ very loosely, we had never actually sat down and had a conversation about it). Holding thumbs, however, I sent an email to them to enquire about prices and packages.

rustic-vintage-farm-wedding-pretoria-142

Rosemary Hill responded the next morning while I was at work and I opened the email with trepidation… and I was so pleasantly surprised! Their prices were basically all inclusive (I hate the idea of having to hire cutlery and crockery and linens) and very much within our budget. They also attached a copy of their menu and I was salivating. I forwarded their packages to ProteaGroom for approval and then we scheduled a meeting with the venue.

Pierre+Ingrid-112

We went on a Saturday, and met up with their wedding coordinator at the time, Theresa. We had coffee together, she showed us some photos and then she took us around the property. All I can say is… WOW. This venue was exactly what we had in mind, and they were very flexible when it came to weddings. By having only one wedding per week, they made sure that they could give their undivided attention to each event and ensure that it is special and unique to each couple!

rustic-vintage-farm-wedding-pretoria-141

The biggest problem was that we wanted an engagement less than a year, but the venue was already fully booked until July 2013 at that point.

We didn’t want to get married in winter, so September 2013 was our next option, but Theresa cautioned that it might not be the best time as we were looking to get married in the flower maze and by September the flowers would not have started to bloom yet. She recommended later on in the year, around October or November.1_1358

We decided to mull it over a bit before making a final decision so we went home. I was conflicted. I loved everything about the venue and I felt that it would be the perfect place to get married, but I also felt like we needed to look around a bit more (how could I possibly only have ONE viewing of a venue. I felt cheated out of the true bridal experience!)

Finally, ProteaGroom talked some sense into me. In reality, we lucked out by not having to go round and round looking at venues and finding the perfect one on our first go. We decided to go for it, and before I knew it, our wedding was booked for November 2013.

Were you indecisive when choosing a wedding venue?

** All photos found on the Rosemary Hill website! **

Finding the Right Venue – Part 1

For me, the logical first step of wedding planning was to find a venue. All those wedding websites and magazines that give you those handy dandy timelines (I’m being sarcastic here – I hate those timelines) say that the first step is picking a date and then finding a venue and other suppliers, but for me it just makes sense to pick a venue and have everything else flow from there.

So a few weeks after getting engaged, we set off to find the perfect wedding venue. We had a few non-negotiable points:

  • The venue should have facilities for the ceremony and reception. Neither ProteaGroom nor I was fond of the idea of travelling to another location after a church ceremony.
  • Either the ceremony or reception (or both!) should take place outside.
  • The venue should be within a 50km radius from where we live.

ProteaGroom suggested the perfect venue for our wedding. One of his uncles owns a beautiful farm, with stunning views and lots of open space to host a wedding. It is literally a blank canvas. The bride part of my brain started practically salivating at the idea of all the amazing decor we could implement.

farm_inspiration_1

Image source (clockwise): 1 2 3 4

We started to research this idea, but soon realized that in order to execute this successfully; it would take a lot of planning, effort and money. I also realized that the stress related to planning a wedding completely from scratch would cause me to go absolutely crazy a few days before the big day. So, the idea of a DIY farm wedding was nixed fairly quickly.

We looked around at other popular venues in our area. They were beautiful, but the atmosphere and set-up was so far removed from what we were looking for, that none of them sold us.

We’ve been to many weddings held at these venues, and we were looking for something a bit more unique than the typically cookie-cutter South African wedding.

I was beginning to think we would have to settle on something that just didn’t represent us as a couple.

Did you find your dream venue easily? Do you hate cliffhangers as much as I do?

Let’s Jump Right In…

After taking a few days to adjust to the beautiful sparkly that now adorned my ring finger, we jumped right into wedding planning. We discussed the vision each of us had for our perfect day, and we set off to combine those ideas.

We both love nature and being outdoors, so one of our requirements was that all or part of the wedding needed to take place outdoors. In the same vein, we love summer and hate winter, so we wanted our wedding to take place under the warm summer sun.

outdoorsummerwedding

Image source (L-R): 1 2 3

Drawing our inspiration again from nature (and my favourite colour) we decided on a rough colour scheme of khaki, cream, light green and dark green.

1 colourscheme

We decided that we wanted to incorporate lots of handmade touches to make our day special and reflect us as a couple, so we compiled a list of projects we wanted to do ourselves.

handmadeinspiration

Image source (L-R): 1 2 3 4

And then, I took to Pinterest and started pinning like a beast.

inspirationboard

Image source (L-R): 1 2 3 4 5 6

Even though our wedding was nowhere near ‘planned’ at this point, at least we had a vision to guide us as we set off to start booking vendors and tackle DIY projects.

Did you sit down with your fiancé and decide on the look and feel of your wedding before starting to plan?

The Proposal

I love surprises. Like, irrationally love surprises. If every meal I eat could be a surprise, I would be in heaven. 🙂

Naturally, my biggest requirement for the proposal was that it be a complete surprise. I have a way of sniffing out waiting surprises, and this posed ProteaGroom with some challenges. I must say, he handled it all like a trooper, and (spoiler alert) I was VERY surprised at the proposal! 🙂

We had talked at length about getting married at some point in the future, and it was something that both of us were very excited about, but ultimately, we decided that we weren’t financially ready at the time. We both had many things we wanted to accomplish, and we knew there would always be time to get married. What’s the rush? (Incidentally, we used the same argument when we were first deciding to start dating or not. That didn’t last!)

The day ProteaGroom proposed was a typical Saturday for us. We slept in a bit, had coffee and snacks in bed and browsed the internet. We visited a mall and had lunch outside.

At one point, he even asked me what I wanted for my upcoming birthday, and I said ‘a ring’. As soon as I said the words, I felt so bad at pressurising him to do something we had decided we would wait for, that I swore to myself I wouldn’t mention getting engaged again and give it time. Hah!

We then had a lovely lunch and headed home. On the way home, he told me that his best friend (also known as Best Man C) wanted to go have a few drinks, and asked if I would be fine with it. Usually when ProteaGroom and BM C gets together for a ‘few’ drinks, it ends up being a late night, but he swore they would only have one and he would be back. I said that was fine and decided I would just relax at home. So as things go, I ended up napping on the couch.

In the mean time, he had rushed to the jeweller to pick up my custom engagement ring that he commissioned a few weeks before and to my parents’ house to ask for their blessing. He had to wait until the last possible minute to ask them, because they are incapable of keeping secrets!

When he got home, he woke me up by calling me outside to have a look at the plants BM C gave him for our garden. When I got outside, he was holding a huge bunch of flowers and I was surprised but still did not expect anything. I took the flowers and was marvelling at how beautiful they were, and the next moment he was on one knee and holding a ring box. I was completely surprised and floored and immediately I started crying. I absolutely couldn’t believe it!

I looked into his eyes while he said the most beautiful words about how much he loved me and wanted to spend his life with me. There was a slight pause in which he looked at me expectantly, and I knew he wanted me to say ‘yes!’… But, he hadn’t yet asked the question to which I would have to reply yes. So through my tears, I started laughing, and I told him: “You have to ask the question!” He also laughed and said “Will you marry me?” and I, of course, replied “YES!!!”

I then noticed that he had set up a blanket with champagne and glasses on our lawn. We popped the champagne and cuddled on the blanket while we both admired the beautifully sparkly ring on my finger. It suited my personality and style perfectly and I couldn’t have picked something better by myself!

After a while of cuddling, we started to call all our friends and family to share the big news. Everyone was very happy for us, and it was a special moment to be able to announce it to them.

That evening, we went out to dinner and I refused to take my ring off. I even kept waking up at night and looking at the ring on my bedside table. 😉

For me, the fact that I was completely surprised made our proposal extra special. What made your proposal extra special? Am I the only one who loves surprises?

Our Love Story

In February of 2008, I had just started with university, and I was enjoying every moment of it. I was meeting new friends, having fun experiences and learning a lot.

In most South African universities we have a student-run committee called Reach Out and Give (RAG) that raises money and distributes it to charitable causes. One of the ways in which the RAG Committee raises funds is by hosting various fun events for students and young people all through the year.

Image

Image via this website

At my university, the biggest event is RAG weekend, which is held at the beginning of the year. RAG weekend kicks off with a big concert at the RAG farm, with loads of South African and sometimes international bands and performances.

On Saturday, there is a big parade where the different residences create huge floats and walk through the streets asking for money from the crowds. This is loads of fun and it draws a huge crowd.

Following the parade on Saturday, an after-party is held at the square (literally a bunch of bars built in a square formation – party central) just off campus, with more music and good times.

Well, being a first year university student, I had decided that I absolutely had to go to RAG farm on Friday to enjoy the party. Unfortunately, while I was waiting for my friend to come pick me up at my home, she informed me that she couldn’t go anymore. I was bummed out and didn’t want to miss the fun, so I asked my older brother to take me and he agreed. So I joined him for a pregame session with some of his friends at one of their apartments. I remember while we were sitting in the traffic behind another car, he said, “Mmm… ProteaGroom has a new car.” I didn’t recognize the name, so he explained that it was a friend of a friend who lived outside our town.

We got to the friend’s apartment, I drank wine while the others drank beer and we had some fun conversations. We decided to walk to RAG farm as it is close to the apartment and it would be better not to drive later that night after drinking. While we were walking, ProteaGroom came up next to me and tried to talk to me, but my protective brother called me up to walk with him instead.

We got to the RAG farm and I met up with my other friends and once again my protective brother was being, well, protective. He questioned my male friends and tried to scare them off (though of course he won’t admit to that now).

After a while I spotted my brother and his friends and went back up to them, where I got to talking with ProteaGroom. He liked what he heard, and asked if he could have my number, so of course I said “sure,” but he never made any move to take out his phone or even a piece of paper to write it down, so I figured, well I’m not going to do all the work.

We spent some more time together, and then I drifted off to meet other friends and before I knew it the night was over. And that cute mystery guy hadn’t gotten my number.

The next day I went to the parade and the after-party with other friends, hoping I would ‘accidentally’ bump into my brother again and see ProteaGroom. Well, the accidental part wasn’t happening, so I called up my brother to meet him. Unfortunately, ProteaGroom wasn’t there and I was informed by the guys that he had gone home to his town that morning.  I didn’t let it get me down, and I spent the evening partying with my friends and having a good time.

On Sunday evening, I was sitting watching TV with my family, when my very protective brother got a text message. “ProteaGroom wants your number. Can I give it to him?” he grunted, clearly annoyed. I decided to play it cool and said, “Sure, why not.”

That was the end of that and we started talking back and forth over text message. He took me on a few dates, I made fun of his choice in music, he made fun of mine, and eventually his visits became more often until we reached the point where we decided that we wanted to be in a relationship with each other.

He lived in another city, about an hour’s drive from where I lived. I realize now that it isn’t a big distance, but at that time it seemed so far. Neither of us enjoyed the distance, but he said that he could only move later that year. Well, that didn’t last long, because a month after we had officially become a couple, he moved to live in the same city as I did. We’ve been going strong for more than five years.

How did you and your partner meet? Do you think you were destined to meet each other?

Hello!

Why hello there! I thought I would start this blog off with an introduction of who we are and why we are awesome. 🙂

We are two 20-somethings living in the beautiful country of South Africa. We are both addicted to caffeine and love having a glass (or two) of wine with dinner. Speaking of dinner, we love to cook and obviously we love to eat.

I am completing my master’s degree in child therapy and ProteaGroom is a consultant for a gold mine. I enjoy reading, doing anything crafty and anything to do with paper and typography! ProteaGroom really likes motorcycles and anything with an engine that he can take apart, really!

We had been dating for four years when ProteaGroom asked me to marry him. So now we are planning a beautiful wedding to celebrate our love for each other in the presence of all our loved ones! We are planning a traditional South African wedding interspersed with a few modern and unconventional touches.

I am sharing my inspiration, plans and plenty of DIY projects with you in the hopes that it can inspire you for your own big day!

I am looking forward to sharing this special planning journey with you.