Recently, a close friend (Alida) secured her court wedding date for Tuesday, 24 August 2010. She was planning to sign the forms, peck her new husband (Roy) and carry on as usual. I was not having any of it. They have been together for 11 years. I have been waiting for this day for far too long not be able to don a pair of heels and dance to Billy Joel.
My mind was decided. Fortunately, I have obedient friends and she agreed to let me plan something for the two of them. However, there was one small issue – I had the grand total of four days to do it in.
I learnt that life really is about who you know. I am a member of a local club and got the venue for free as a result. It was an old converted house with faded curtains and dark, heavy wood, but it was free and available.
Next, I called a friend who so generously and graciously lent me her wedding dress for the bride-to-be. The same friend, we’ll call her Brigitte, also revealed her hidden talents in the way of hair and make-up and lo! We had a bride!
I designed a (beautiful, in my opinion) invitation on my computer, converted it to a PDF and emailed it off to as many people as we knew. I texted the rest. There was an open bar, and guests were asked to bring a plate of snacks. It helps that I also know a chef / baker, who surprised us with the most awesome culinary creations (thanks Michael!).
Two friends of ours love singing and have the equipment, so they agreed to cart their keyboard and guitar to the venue and belt out a few soulful tunes.
Next, we called a local receptionist that makes stylish cupcakes in her spare time and told her our dilemma. Not only did she bake and decorate them all beautifully, but she even decorated and donated a gorgeous cake stand for the display at no extra charge.
On the morning, Alida and I made our way to the Department of Home Affairs to meet Roy there and get the admin out of the way. We were met with bolted gates and hapless security staff informing us that the department was closed due to the labour strike. What? I did not plan a reception in four days to celebrate a couple that were no more married than they were 10 years ago.
I called a friend, who called a friend, who knew a marriage officiant. He agreed to meet us in one of the most intricately designed suburbs in Port Elizabeth at 16h00. This meant getting Alida ready three hours sooner than expected, but it had to be done.
With the help of road maps and a sense of humour, we found our officiant (who referred to the marriage certificate, vows and institution of marriage as a “dinges”, the Afrikaans word for “thing”). By 16h30, she and Roy were married and giggling like coy little children.
The reception was more fun than I could have planned had I been given six months. Our friends all helped so much in getting together and spoiling Roy and Alida with beautiful presents and making them feel every bit as special as they are, even with only a few days’ notice. This experience has shown me that the magic of a wedding truly lies in the love, fun and romance of the day, and not in the details that so often cost us unnecessary time and energy.
Submitted by: Amelia du Plessis courtesy of Celebration