This morning the Mr and I had a little fight. I had to take my car for a service – something that in my horror, totally feels like a dentist’s visit what with the information asymmetry, pain (actual and to the wallet) and the fact that there is a specialist whom you trust but then again, information asymmetry. At the root of the fight though is that ugly word: Expectations.
Any one about to be married, or married for a day and an hour will long have heard the mantra that expectations kill a marriage and that the counter is communicate, communicate, communicate. Our little fight had me reassessing all the different expectations that I had regarding marriage and an assessment of all other expectations I have held since our marriage started.
- I expected a partner that would take charge of cars and who would directly engage with mechanics and basically inform me when I needed to do any car-related changes.
- Ergo, any fixing of stuff around the house. I would highlight any issues and he would oversee to the fixing – whether directly or outsourced, I am ambivalent. To be honest, a lot of the technical stuff I was happy to delegate away.
- All newly weds are told that they need to set time for date night or else … Consequently, I too came into marriage with this (fear-driven) expectation and very early on we both figured out that given the pace of our lives it would be infeasible to designate a specific evening to always hang out. Having said that, when one of us is hectic, there is no expectation to do stuff but when things simmer down, we often hang out.
- My family has a habit of starting to plan for Christmas from as early as August/September. His family? Not so much. Initially this made me feel slightly helpless. Besides the family tradition, my personality is such that, you can never be too prepared OR start preparing too early. What we now try and do to incorporate both our idiosyncrasies is to have a lose discussion in September and refine it in the following months. This is certainly imperfect (according to me) but it definitely helps somewhat.
- I thought that I would hate meal planning. Turns out, I love it.
- Sometimes as wives we expect that our husbands will become our best (female) buddy. That’s not the case and surely it’s not the reason that we fell in love to begin with. So keep your buddies and work on building a friendship with your husband too.
- Before the wedding I had heard of brides that often felt a bit sad after the wedding because things had gone back to “normal”. Did I feel the same way? Emphatically, NO!! After the energy and time spent planning the wedding, I was only too happy to settle for normal.
I must say these lessons are over and above learning how selfish I am, how much space and time alone I require. All of that. Marriage is certainly not the penultimate goal, neither is it my most defining relationship but I must say I have learnt a lot and it has been very fulfilling for me.
Posted in Heart matters, marriage
Tagged about me, about us, conflict, date night, friendship, in-laws, love, marriage, meal planning, planning, relationships, Wedding
This is the last of the post where I shall be reviewing different aspects of the wedding. Please let me know your thoughts.
PS: I deliberately avoided rating the suppliers because I appreciate that experiences will differ one markedly according to the individual. However, vendors marked recommend, I would readily use, time and again.
Cake: Mel from Luvvies Bakery in Cresta.
Dress: Great Weddings in Melville
Stationery: Angelique from Everything I Do (More here) RECOMMEND
Caterer: Candice from Maple Drive Catering RECOMMEND
Decor: Thato of Camelot Hotel RECOMMEND
Photography: Kagiso Legotlo RECOMMEND
DJ: Mpho from Ipheladi
Makeup: Katlego from Lashed Make up RECOMMEND
Over the next few days, I shall be reviewing different aspects of the wedding. Please stick around and let me know your thoughts.
So you know how you meet a boy at school, think his difference is fascinating, get to know him a bit and then you say yes when he asks you to marry him and the difference in culture suddenly becomes stark? No? Well, this is what I learnt from planning the wedding about the difference between a wedding in the East (of Africa) and those in the South.
- Something as simple as how does the bridal party make their entrance into the reception. In EA, the guests come and join in a single dance with the bridal party and they all dance in together. In SA, the bridal party has to perform a routine that they rehearse and all the guests look forward to. In hindsight, it wasn’t too bad but as I don’t really like to dance, it was a bit of a bummer in the period leading up to it.
- Dowry. Obviously both communities pay dowry and I am actually not opposed to it’s payment in case someone wants to comment about how backward/ sexist or whatever else. In Teso, the girls family will usually pick 100% of the dowry from the boys home and that’s the traditional ceremony. Only men are involved and particularly from the paternal side. In SA, the malumes (maternal uncles) can and often get involved, there are quite a few stages to it, gifts are given to the girls and boys family and part of the dowry is paid. This was a very contentious issue and I shall not say anything further about how it was resolved.
- Parental involvement. I thought this was more of a family than a South African thing. My parents weren’t super involved in the planning, they just asked about the highlights and the mega details, his parents and family were VERY involved. In EA, we plan weddings with peers who give time, money and their effort to make it a success, I can’t speak of what they do in SA as I never found out.
- I found out at the traditional wedding that in Tswana culture, the bride and groom have to spend some time at the boys home following the wedding. I have never heard of this practice back home ! It’s nice to know we can stay over but in reality, we will probably drive home in future rather than stay over at the in-laws just because home is not that far away off.
- I always knew that the groom kinda saunters down the aisle with his groomsmen, not so here where the mom/ a sister or special cousin gets to walk him down the aisle.
I am sure there were so many more lessons and I might update this list at a later stage/ as they occur.
Over the next few days, I shall be reviewing different aspects of the wedding. Please stick around and let me know your thoughts.
The Mr and I really love our music and it’s something we do separately and jointly. Below is music that means a lot to us and that will always remind us of our special day. Hope you enjoy!
Grooms and Best men entry song
Bridal party exit
Bridal party march into reception
Garter toss – the DJ played something here but this is the song I wish I had the nerve to play!
I LOVED all our songs and if I do say so myself, the first dance song(s) was epic!!
Posted in home
Tagged about me, about us, Davido, Diamond, home, Hugh Masekela, John Legend, marriage, music, Story of a wedding, Wedding, weddings. planning
This is a list of stuff I have read in the week that has made me think or just stayed with me for some time afterwards.
The one thing I was really, really looking forward to is developing the stationery. Like insanely excited about this aspect.
As I continued to look at different blogs and other online sites, I begun to pin or save images and details that appealed to me. I knew also right away that I wanted some detail of our relationship or our personalities to be on display. Therefore I decided to somehow merge a very classic and elegant card look with some playful elements like an illustration or some unexpected detail and with that I emailed various vendors.
So with that in mind I had the following thoughts for the card:
… and for the illustration:
AND FINALLY, this is what we went with!
I decided to do away with the illustration idea and adapted it rather to pairs of elements – tandem bikes, birds on a tree, balloons because I felt that it would be awkward just to have this one elaborate element and then not replicate it ad at the time I did not feel creative enough.
I initially wasn’t sure of the yellow and blue line on the programme (top right) but I now see that leaving them out would leave the programmes a bit plain looking.
I love how she incorporated the colours into the birds and tree and the little details on the leaves.
The table numbers will be done in a mixture of blue and yellow to complement the rest of the decor. We had initially planned to go with significant dates to us then changed tack to rather honour our parents and grandparents by using their names rather.
I LURVE how the cards turned out but let me know what you think?
Our cards were done by Angelique at Everything I do designs. I enjoyed the experience greatly with her and would certainly recommend her to anyone. I loved the fact that her pricing is quite reasonable and she always took the time to make suggestions and listen to any issues or reservations I had.
PS: These images are neither mine nor Angeliques, I saved them for so long that I did not keep their original source.
Posted in design, Heart matters, marriage
Tagged Angelique, birds, design, Everything I do, Heart matters, illustrations, marriage, stationery, Wedding, weddings. planning
Following the first update, I would like to pop in with some general advice and then another update of where things currently stand.
- Pick vendors you like and whose style you innately like or admire. You have to click on some level.
- Take the time to put in the ground work and compare as many quotes as possible. See how the prospective vendor deals with all the different questions you would have, do they respond readily and to all the questions you raised.
- Agree as a couple what’s the most important thing to the two of you and make sure to remember that always and ensure it shows through in your planning.
- Consult with the family but learn to place the boundaries on where their input is valid and where it is not. Support each other – publicly and privately.
- Take the time to enjoy the process of planning and this special season of your life. Work also on developing other segments of your relationship too.
- Schedule some pre-marital counselling with an impartial and trained third-party.
- Consult the budget and amend it as necessary.
- Include your fiancé as much as you can and let him really own a few things on the to-do list.
- Remember it’s just one day. It will all pass away – also ask for a lot of help, people are generally happy and willing to offer some support.
What advice did you live by during your own planning? Or what did you wish you knew then?
I have started to blog about the wedding preparations so many times and stopped because the process of it all is so exhausting, like even typing that sentence is enough of a killer.
In the last two weeks of Jan/early Feb we viewed a total of ten venues.
- Ingaadi – if I wanted to get married on the lawns, it would have been perfect. They don’t have a chapel!
- Chez Charlene – went to a wedding three years before and I wasn’t wowed – loved it so much this time round. I loved the attention to detail and the finishing,the chapel and the grounds and the little ritual that the coordinator spoke about.But it did not have on-site accomodation 😦
- Diamond 4 Venue – they had the best space for the bride to get married in and a beautiful reception venue. The chapel, just average. The outside area looks like a construction site and I felt that for how much I was paying, the outside should look good.
- Usambara – they had the best chapels of all the places I went to. Beautiful lawns and a place to have cocktails, BUT, the smaller venue was dark and the lady making the sell talked my year off, even I was exhausted!
- Everwood – have you ever felt nothing for a venue and then had to go through the motions of whatever you felt? This was that place – they call it country/rustic and in my head I kept thinking incomplete and underwhelmed.
- En-Gedi – I really loved this place. Loved the bridal suite, the chapel (before I saw the seats they use) and the grounds. I wasn’t sold on the reception venue though – it had these weird corners to take and it felt a bit dark. But I felt it could be redeemed.
- Oakfield – this was my number two venue by far. The venue had a horse and carriage, beautifully manicured lawns and grounds, they looked like THIS is what they do and it showed!!
- Tres Jolie – I initially really loved the venue because of the chapel. It totally rocked then we got to the venue and it looked so busy with so many little nooks and crannies and the venue just looked, OK at best.
- Hoyo Hoyo – So I thought Everwood underwhelmed me? Nah, not so for this place. I had no energy to even try or pretend to like the place. Thank God for the Mr who rose beautifully to the occasion and asked all that we needed to know. I definitely left the place knowing its a NO.
- Zulu Nyala – So beautiful place right in the heart of Joburg. I mean they even had a place with wild animals and stuff and the most beautiful lake and lighting fixtures in the chapel and reception. So beautiful white and red stuff all over. Loved it too.
Just before I went to view all these places, I read this article about questions to ask at your venue. A very nice read, basically, make sure to ask about:
- Decoration that are allowed and what’s not. For example certain places won’t allow Chinese lanterns, or certain types of candles ..
- How long have you got the venue for? How much does it cost after that stipulated time?
- Number of stalls in the gents and ladies – nothing like having so many guests wait in the toilet because there is only one.
- Might be obvious, but what is included in the venue hire and what is not, down to the number of drinks and the starter or not.
- Does the venue have an allocated wedding coordinator or will you need to hire another?
- Who are their approved vendors and what do they like about them?
- Any discounts or variable costs that the venue can give that point or at a particular season?
- Number of waiters and serving stations. Are the waiters included in the venue hire or are they an additional cost?
A big thing for us is the fact that the wedding will be in August and it might get cold, we wanted somewhere people could stay late at the wedding but be indoors. Particularly for the older folk.
We settled on Joburg because the next day we have a traditional ceremony at the Mr’s place in the East.
I wanted a beautiful chapel and the venue we selected definitely has. We also wanted a dance floor to boogie the evening away …
So what venue did we select? Number 2!! Close runner up was definitely Oakfield and at Number 3 was Zulu Nyala and En-Gedi.
What would you have selected? What questions did you ask your venue supplier?
Posted in marriage
Tagged Chez Charlene, Diamond 4 Venue, En-Gedi, Everwood, Hoyo Hoyo, Ingaadi, marriage, Oakfield, Tres Jolie, Usambara, Venues, Wedding, weddings. planning, Zulu Nyala Country Manor