October 22nd has come and gone. For us, it will be an unforgettable day, because on this day, our Godson, Nick wed his beautiful bride, Dale at Kirstenbosch Gardens. The only slight blot on the landscape was the weather, which forced us to go inside. But this too turned into a blessing because, we were up close to the bride and groom, and could hear everything. Nick has know Dale for some eight years and it is wonderful to see them starting a new life together.
The sculpture garden had been chosen as the venue, but in the end, the rows of chairs were brought into the Silvertree Restaurant at Kirstenbosch Gardens, the plush red carpet spread between the rows and the magnificent king protea strewn casually on the floor. The theme was vintage, and the flowers were mainly indigenous protea with antique coloured roses and carnations in between. Each rose had a tiny seed pearl in its centre. These floral gems were conjured up by Marcelle from our beautiful floral bounty here in the Cape. Their natural beauty had been cleverly enhanced in ways one would not have though possible. The staff could not have been more helpful, going, as Nick said in his speech later, beyond the call of duty. Hats off to the staff of Silvertree Restaurant at Kirstenbosch Gardens.
Poor Nick, who despite being in great pain, as a result of a back injury bravely managed to choreograph proceedings, and charming folk into doing all manner of tasks. Luckily the bride was fashionably late, because the scene had only just been set (for the umpteenth time) when she arrived, resplendent in creamy lace and satin, poised and glowing as all brides should be, her natural beauty shining through.
Dale’s little flower girls, Abby and Ava, almost stole the show, as they marched ahead of the bride clinging to the hands of the two bridesmaids, Erin and Chelsea. Escorted down the aisle by her two ‘Dads’, Alan and Alan yes – there were two of them – Dale held a single king protea, surrounded by roses and pearls to where an emotional Nick waited for her. Presiding over the order of service was Alllistair, Nick’s elder brother. The service was intimate and personal, having been drawn up by the happy couple who exchanged their personal vows to each other. Mum Debbie nearly stole the show from her daughter, and looked on proudly, whilst Viv and William, Nick’s parents, were justly proud of their son.
Then it was time for the photographs. By now the clouds had rolled in, the wind was icy and it was threatening to rain. Even the string quartet had to be brought in under cover,. However the air was festive as photograph after photograph was taken, poor Dale freezing in her flimsy but ethereal dress. Some brave souls stood outside, but the rest gathered within to partake in champagne or orange juice or both whilst we waited for the party to commence.
Ava and Abby, both delightful two-year-olds, carried out their duties with aplomb. They handed out confetti very ably, although Ava was most annoyed as she was happily transferring the tiny dried fynbos blossoms from one basket to another but people kept on taking it out of the baskets! Abby however, just watched on, and grew steadily annoyed by the numerous cameras pushed in her face. She kept her composure throughout the afternoon though. However on the way home she apparently gave vent to her feelings, pulling the rose from her dress, flinging off her Alice band and finally her shoes with one word “Enough!” She had said her piece.
The tables were so pretty with yet more protea, and each guest was given a personalised key ring which Nick had made himself. The cake stand with its tiers of chocolate cup cakes, topped with a single chocolate cake was also made by Nick. He made the table numbers and personally supervised numerous little surprises for Dale, each unfolding at an appropriate moment during the day. One such surprise was the pretty pearl and diamond earrings he had made for her from pearls that had belonged to his grandmother. In fact the pearl necklace too was a gift from her future in-laws, and had originally belonged to Nick’s grandmother. Her borrowed item was a pretty little lace handkerchief which had belonged to my grandmother and is probably a hundred years old by now, although totally ineffectual in mopping up the joyful tears that occasionally rose to Dale’s eyes.
And on to the reception. Bestman Jon, who said he had been told he had to do the job, no arguing about it, started of saying that it had been an emotional day so that even the cake was in ‘tears’ (tiers), setting the scene for a witty and punchy speech. Dale’s uncle Douglas who was Master of Ceremonies told of the time when someone had complemented Dale on being a very pretty little girl with Shirley Temple curls, and she had retaliated “I am not a girl, I am a boy!” Luckily for NIck the feminine side could not be denied and she grew into a beautiful princess. Guests were from among others, Australia and Moçambique and good wishes travelled from as far as New Zealand, where Nick and Dale had spent a year together.
Gloria, who had seen Dale grow up and who had been her nanny, was there resplendent in a traditional Xhosa costume. Emma, was the keeper of the ‘postbox’ containing cards and gifts. Emma was at school with Dale form Sub A and they are still friends.
In the background the band Fully Covered played vintage music, charging a modest fee to cover their expenses and donating the rest to their charity “Arise” which aids children in need. A collection box at their feet soon filled up. They did a magnificent job and the music kept people dancing all night.
Nick paid tribute to his bride and even Dale had a few words to say to her handsome groom. Then Silvertree Restaurant at Kirstenbosch Gardens presented the crowd with a wonderful meal, catering for every finicky appetite and dietary need, ranging from the freshest green salad, with croutons and feta cheese, patés , rolls and melba toast, followed by crunchy vegetables, jacket baby potatoes, chicken with cheese and tomato, fish and chips, a spicy beef with noodles, and much more. What a feast!
We had cake and delicious vanilla ice cream for dessert and this after copious amounts of sparkling wine and bottle after bottle of cape wines, both red and white.
Just before midnight the ‘fairy godmother’s coach’ in the form of a top of the range Mercedes, arrived to whisk the happy bridal couple away to their honeymoon destination for the night.
What a magical occasion and we wish Dale and Nick a wonderful future together and may it last forever. Bless them both.