Contrary to my previous post on this subject, it turned out to be probably the best wedding I have ever attended (apart from my own)! To say it was fantastic just does not do it justice! It was magnificent!
So, we left Friday morning (late) probably around 11 am. We were driving about 400 / 450 km, and it's all national road, with some tolls, so no problem with the distance or time required to arrive before dark. The Princess, as per usual, drove the fist part of the way, but then she needs to snooze, and I drove the rest of the way down. We got there in good time, and found out lodgings, and booked in.
The Coach house is, well, just OK. Rooms are nice, clean, but small things that matter are always what gets you. Like the shower. Great shower area, newly tiled. But don't expect anything more than a dribble from the hot water tap, and if you just open the clod tap, it blows ice cold. No planning, or proper plumbing there for sure! And then the mattrass. Why is it that these places can't, at some stage, replace the damn mattresses. When you lie on this one, and your feet meet your forehead due to the collapse in the middle, surely you must know that your guests will wake up with serious back problems?
Anyway, apart from that, the lodgings were acceptable, or, as per the Princess, nice and "Cottage"!
We had, on the way down, made contact with the groom. They were staying at a place not too far from where we were, and we had agreed to join them for a braai for the Friday night. So, once we had unpacked, and I had a crap, etc, we set off to a) find the wedding venue, and b) find the braai venue.
The wedding venue, Providence was a short drive (6.4km) from where we were staying, so that was easy, and on the same road. Turns out the braai was at a venue right next door to this, which was great too. No more driving around to find anyone / thing. We found the couple, and their family, and settled in for what would turn out to be a great pre-wedding evening!
This was a great venue. Some chalets arranged down one side of a trout stocked lake / dam. Great facilities, and a lapa for the braai function. Nice fire pit for cold night fires.....
Anyway, we left JHB in great temperatures, and expected the same here. However, once the sun went down, the temperature dropped significantly, and the pit fire became a must have rather than a nice to have.
The braai was great. People we met were great. Bride and groom - great! Their family, well, some nice, some strange, some... well, let's just say they are mostly normal family, and all made us feel welcome. Had a good time, but it got damn cold, so we didn't stay too late. Got back to the chalet smelling like firemen!!! Ah well, such is life in Africa.
Saturday morning, I was up quite early, after a very bad night, mostly due to the bad bed. Once the Princess was up, we decided to take a drive to the town nearby, known as Nottingham Road. Everyone always says it's a sweet town, a must see, with all these great places for breakfasts, and shopping and home made goodies and stuff. Well methinks they been smoking some really good shit out there!!!
It's a village, and a lazy one at that. Saturday morning, with visitors and cyclists and wedding guests all over the place and nothing opens before 9am! WTF! In JHB by 9am they have done 50% of the days takings! We drove around for a while, stopped at the only place that was "open", had a bad cup of coffee and decided not to stay for breakfast - and finally landed up at a shoe factory / outlet. Although the sign said they only open from 9am, we rang the bell at the gate (it was 8.45), and they let us in. And, as it turns out, the Princess found a pair of boots she's been wanting for the longest time there. So it was a good stop after all.
From there we made our way back into the village, and into a "shopping hub". The places were staring to open, and we had a good breakfast at one of the little restaurants there. Was a bit cold sitting in the open, still a chill on the breeze from the night before, so I bought a cheapish sweat jacket to cover up. Cheap enough.
The spend a while walking through brick-a-brack stores, a fly fishing / hunting shop, a general dealer type store where we got some stuff, a chocolate shop
that had more to offer on it's outer walls than in the store...... and a boutique, where the Princess didn't see even one thing she liked. And then we drove back to the chalet. Decided we might as well get some rest before the wedding, which was due to start at 2.30... Sharp! Got back to the chalet, and we lay down for a while, but didn't get any sleep - just read the newspaper and some other useless stuff found in the room.
Off to the wedding then. it's a great location, cute chapel.
By 2.20 we are seated - and so are most of the other guests. By 2.40 I'm beginning to think the groom has run off, never mind the bride. He gets there at 2.45. Oh, as an aside, he had brought his bicycle with for the weekend, and had done a 10km ride that morning! Anyway, he's there, so are the best man, and his son done up to the nines!
At about 3.00 the bride arrive, preceded by a bevy of lovey ladies,
including the grooms two daughters, and two of her friends. They all looked great. See pics...... The ceremony was nice, easy, casual, the preacher was great. Young guy, with a sense of humor, and an I Pod which he uses to refer to for his sermon! Afterward we all met with the couple outside, and did the wishes and hugs, and congrats and stuff.....
Then down to the gardens. This is where you start to realise that Dave, the groom, has the benefit of having attended probably more than a 1000 weddings over the years as one of the countries top DJ's. (See Top Jock). This was different, and everyone hung out, eating snacks, taking in drinks, mixing with whomever. Photos with the friends, family, others..... Even the cutting of the cake was done here at this time. Now that's different.
Later we filed into the reception hall. Once again, stunning layout, and great color scheme. Works for me anyway.
The MC was a scream. he's a wine maker, and a close friend of Dave's. He also did a Karaoke for the deaf. You WANT TO SEE THIS!!!! The toasts were great - mostly touching stuff. And then Dave's speech, which had nearly everyone in tears. The opening dance, then meals, great selection, more than enough, open bar..... Oh, they had a mobile photo booth there. With a box of dress up stuff, so you could dress up, and sit inside the booth, have 4 different photos taken, of which you cot a print out, and then all the photos were cut to a disc and given to the couple. great idea, and I'm sure there will be some good laughs when they go through that lot.
Also, outside, a video camera was set up, and one by one the couples were asked to go there and give an impromptu message to the bridal couple.
Anyway, we had a great time. Everyone was great - no overboard drunkenness, and, along with the bridal couple, we were amongst the last to leave. Slept like dead that night, after an exhausting day. next morning we were up bright and early for the drive home. On the way down the road we met with the newly weds, and said a last bye and thanks and enjoy you honeymoon - and then we were off.
Not a bad drive home. Average fuel consumption was 9 Lt / 100km...... and that was the wedding. Done.
Thanx Dave and Alexis for a fantastic day - event - wedding - function. Thanx for the invite - and for making us part of the family. Have fun guys - here's to a never ending partnership!!!!!