Monday, 4 May 2009

Weddings & Whirl Wind Weekends

What a whirl-wind weekend. I know I sound like a broken record, but I’m still struggling to wrap my mind around the days that just happen to evaporate into minutes. Honestly, with Friday being a holiday, I expected some down time, even for a few hours…but alas, it wasn’t to be. I’ve been busy the entire weekend, this time with more *ahem* “recreational” activities.

My neighbour’s son is getting married in the next few weeks and they have decided that instead of hiring all the equipment, décor & embellishments, they are going to produce and manufacture every single item they need, down to the last chair-cover. So most of my weekend was spent in their grand dining room or should I say sweat-shop, in pure domesticated elegance…packing little gift boxes, gluing little flowers and crystals onto EVERYTHING including the menus and serviette holders, designing and deciding on flower arrangements, watching the ladies (Mother included) making the chair covers and chair tie-backs, laminating sheets, making little scroll-like thingies for the guests to take home, making key-chains and key-rings too for 600+ guests. It was actually quite fun, with all the ladies (and gents) that were helping out. Nothing like watching men try to fold satin table cloths, a couple hundred organza chair tie-backs, as well as tackle thousands of little flowers…it was hilarious.

So everything in my hectic schedule has been put on the backburner while I try to be as helpful as possible. I told Sofi recently, that these aren’t just any neighbours…they’re more like family. We know them for almost 20 years, grew up in front of them. They're the kind of neighbours that we sometimes go on holidays with...the kind of neighbours where we know their entire families on a personal basis because we're always invited to every single one of their functions...they're the kind of neighbours we can run to when we're out of eggs or need a cup of sugar and they'll often do the same. They're the kind of neighbours that listen for burglers and phone us in the middle of the night if they suspect anything wrong. They're the kind of neighbours that will cook for us when we're returning from abroad so that we can have a meal ready for us when we get home. They're the kind of neighbours that will even take us to the airport at 3am in the morning if we need them to...It is a blessing to have people like them in our lives and we’re truly grateful…so much so that when they need our help, we’ll drop everything and make time to help out.

We were invited to and attended another, much smaller wedding on Saturday afternoon for a couple of hours. It was definitely one of the most interesting soirées I’ve been to in a while. I met some fascinating people while brushing wedding prep glitter out of my hair and face and peeling dried glue from my fingertips. We were about 12 women in the dining room communicating in Arabic, Portuguese, English, Afrikaans and Memon…each of us translating in the language we knew. It reminded me of how much I love meeting new people.

All of this activity meant that my Ego and Financial Reporting suffered. There’s nothing worse than being told you’re gaining weight from an acquaintance while you’re at a wedding (with all that wedding food around) when in fact, you know you’ve actually lost some due to the hours invested at the gym resulting in buckets of sweat and the days spent eating rabbit food. On top of that, I have a huge group assignment due in 7 days and I’m still straining those last two brain cells trying to make sense of it all. The pressure mounts and it appears that I sit on the throne of procrastination. Anything to escape this nightmare…

Back to work.


  1. In the US, the bride's family pays for everything. As the father of four daughters - a wedding means grief - in terms of setting things up and paying for them.

    Daughter 1 - More or less had everything done professionally with the family of the groom staying out of it. The wedding went off without a hitch.

    Daughter 3 - Family of the groom wanted involvement in all details and I allowed them to spend "my" money in organizing things - including a lot of hands-on as opposed to professional wedding work.

    Lesson: We will NEVER do a Daughter 3 style wedding again. It cost me twice as much and was a huge amount of work that led to bad feelings between the family of the bride and groom that exist to some extent to the present.

    Daughters 2 & 4 are not married and when they decide they've found the man of their dreams, I will keep control of everything and will have all of the work done professionally. Azra is a sweetheart for helping and going through the insanity and confusion of pre-wedding preparation. But it's insanity and it makes everyone's nerves on edge without accomplishing much. For me it was a lesson learned.

  2. old school weddings rock :)

  3. LL - I can sympathise :D...Here the Brides family pays for the wedding, but the next day, they have another reception for the Grooms side of the family too. SO its like two weddings one after the other lol!

    All this has made me realise that even though I love the aesthetics, I still dont want a big wedding...

    Noojie - Its cool how it all comes together. I'd still prefer a braai though :D

  4. I know what you mean...I have two aunts and a sister who are all very creative, so all my things were done by hand (my mum even sewed all the runners for the tables!).
    We made invites, serviette rings, gel candles and arrangements ourselves. The only thing that was done by an outsider was the stage draping. It was hard work but very fulfilling :-)

    Good luck with the MBA assignment :-)

  5. braais are hard work man! bring on the weddings!

    good on you tho. wish i had a neighbour like you ;-)