I had a very stressful week at work last week and was happy that I had a long weekend away planned. I was also very excited about the weekend of planned festivities. I finished work at 11am on Thursday and went home to pack. We were on the road by 1pm and had a slow and easy drive down the southern coast of Africa. Lily and Josh live very near Diaz Beach in Mossel Bay and it takes a good five hours to get there.
Caitlin and Wes were already at Lily and Josh’s house when we arrived. There was a lot of activity going on. Lily was still prepping the gifts for the bridesmaids and groomsmen and Josh was darting about so it seemed a bit chaotic.
Caitlin and Wes left to go to her Dad’s and Lily, Josh, Norm and I ordered food from Cattle Baron. Either the restaurant misunderstood my order or I misunderstood the description of the dish because my food was odd and not what I expected. Never mind. I ate enough to tide me over. We had a relaxed evening as Lily and Josh were tired from running around and we were tired from the long drive.
Caitlin collected Lily and I early on Friday morning as we had a 10am appointment to get a mani pedi. We met Juan-Leigh there. We had a gel manicure and a normal pedicure.
After we had our hands and feet done Juan met up with her family and went off on an adventure. Lily, Caitlin and I picked up a roast chicken, sliced meat, cheese, fresh ciabatta and a few other bits and pieces for lunch. After a quick bite Lily and I headed to George to pick up the macarons she ordered for party favors and to drop her kitty Toothless with the cat sitter. Caitlin had to find a tailor to do a bit of an adjustment to her bridesmaid dress. Josh had to collect the trousers for the groomsmen and other odds and ends.
After everyone finished their errands we all packed up and drove to Seeplaas, the venue for the wedding. We had rented the entire guesthouse for the wedding party and the rooms were exquisite.
The bathrooms were very modern.
As soon as we arrived at the guesthouse I received a phone call to say that I had a visitor. I went to reception and was shocked to see my friend Patricia and her partner John standing there! They are over from Scotland and knew where the wedding was to be held so they popped by to surprise us.
Lily promised Patricia and John that if anyone cancelled then they could attend in their place, but the venue was completely full. Trish and John headed off and we got ready for the wedding rehearsal. Once we were dressed we relaxed on our little patio by our room.
At 6pm we all met up in the area where the wedding was to be held the next day. We walked through the itinerary and then we noticed that there was a huge pod of dolphins out frolicking in the surf. Almost as if all of the sea creatures were bestowing their blessings on the union. It was so magical!
We all went out for dinner to Transkaroo Restaurant in Great Brak. We had booked for 16 people for dinner. Luckily it was only about 5 minutes drive from the hotel.
The style of the venue seemed pretty rustic and I had no idea what sort of food to expect but once we were seated we checked out the menu and it sounded interesting. I chose the fillet steak topped with camembert cheese and caramelised onions. It was exquisite and I really enjoyed it.
A few of us had dessert and when I saw that there was a milk tart creme brûlée on the menu I could not resist. My two favorite things mushed into one?
They had made an intricate nest of spun sugar and put it on the top. It was obscenely rich and delicious.
We had such a fun evening full of loud conversations, laughter and divine food. We then went back to the hotel and all chilled out together.
All of the rooms were near each other and mine and Lily’s were next door and opened onto a large shared sun deck.
It was wonderful to hear the waves crashing right next to us. I slept so well each night and enjoyed sitting on my little patio staring into the dark and listening to the sea.
On Saturday morning we all awoke so excited for the wedding. Norm and I had a wander through the gift shop and I bought a little notebook and some coasters.
We found a table in the shade overlooking the sea.
We ordered cappuccinos and had breakfast then went to see what was going on. Josh had joined the groomsmen in one of their rooms. The make up artist and the hairstylist had arrived and were set up in Lily’s room and were both busy working on the bridesmaids while they sipped champagne.
We took turns getting pampered and spoiled and once myself and the bridesmaids were finished they worked on making the already beautiful bride even more beautiful!
The bridesmaids were given robes and slips to wear while getting ready. Once they all had their hair and makeup done they did a photo shoot.
They all look so gorgeous. These girls have been such good friends for so many years.
There was a lovely swinging chair outside my room which made a perfect setting for more pictures.
Then Lily and I went into my room to put on her dress while the girls stayed in Lily and Josh’s room to put on theirs. I’m blind as a bat and the dress had a gazillion and one buttons so I had to call Caitlin in to assist. Luckily Cait was dressed and she was looking so beautiful herself! I have such beautiful babies.
The next stage was to have the ‘reveal’ of Lily in her dress. The bridesmaids stood with their eyes covered while Lily came out then we did the big ‘surprise’ maneuver.
They went through the same process with Hugh, Lily’s father.
Norm was all dressed in his kilt and I was in my Mother of the Bride frock I bought in the states at Christmas.
I went through to the outside area and found Trish and John. I then found my handsome son Trevor. He is such a lovely young man.
We waited a while for everything and everyone involved to get sorted and the emcee asked us to take our seats. First the girls all walked out, then Lily came out on Norm’s arm. They looked so perfect, like a film set!
Norm walked Lily halfway and then handed her over to Hugh who walked her to the altar and handed her over to her new husband.
Josh is Jewish and they held the ceremony under a chuppah. The chuppah was held by four of the groomsmen. ‘The chuppah symbolizes the new home to which the bridegroom will take his bride. The appearance of the bride and groom together under a chuppah before an assembly who have come to witness the event is in itself a public proclamation by them that they are now bonded together as man and wife.’
We were thrilled to see the dolphins had returned once again just in time to bless the wedding, it was very special.
At the end of the wedding they asked us to all grab a handful of white rose petals from the bowls distributed around the garden and then stand in a circle with the newly wedded couple in the centre. Then we threw the petals.
It made a gorgeous photo!
We spent ages making photos of various combinations of family, step families, friends, groomsmen and bridesmaids and possibly even random passerbys. It certainly seemed like we photographed everyone within miles. The bridal party then hiked down to the beach where they spent about an hour leaping about and taking photos and videos.
There were lawn games and a bar to amuse the guests so everyone seemed relatively happy. Eventually they all made their way back to the guesthouse and we all found our seats in the hall. Lily and Josh were seated at the front of the venue.
The hall was very pretty. Fairy lights were strung up and the tables were decorated so stunningly with white flowers and all natural rustic charm.
The little macarons we had collected the previous day looked sweet and tasted even sweeter. The place settings were alternated with vanilla and caramel and both had ‘L’ and ‘J’ painted in gold.
The cake was donut themed, we love donuts!
By this time we were all very merry.
Bordering on silly.
The dinner was served and was very nice. I had the beef.
They kept speeches to a minimum. Josh’s head groomsman Dylan gave a moving speech. Lily had asked Juan-Leigh to speak and she was so nervous and sweet. She got emotional a few times which set me off too but she was also very funny.
Next was Talya who has known both Josh and Lily for many years. She was the only bridesmaid who knew Josh before she knew Lily. Like Juan, Talya now lives in the States and flew over specially to be bridesmaids. That is true friendship and it touched me so. Talya is so talented in so many ways and has a beautiful voice. She sang for the new couple.
After the speeches dessert was served, the cake was cut and the dancing started. We partied til well into the night. I crashed at 2am but the lads were just lighting a bonfire! It was a wonderful evening.
And just like that, I have a Son In Law!
The wedding ring was designed by Lily and was made by their childhood friend. The stones came from my mother’s wedding rings. It is a very special ring.
Josh was so sweet when he said that now he has 3 dads and two Moms. I could not ask for any man to love my Lily any more than Josh does. I feel like he is my son and part of our family.
Lily and Josh could not have asked for a better weekend and wedding, it was stunning from start to finish.
Our family is just so blessed. I am one Happy Kitten.
Hold your loved ones close. Until Next Time, Kisses From The Kitten. xoxoxoxox