I am now at the age where either all my friends are in the process of getting married or are already married and are having children. My husband and I were married quite young but we were ready and although it was arranged on the spur of the moment, I knew I wanted to marry him very early on in our relationship.
One morning we were driving to Dubai JBR area and we were discussing Julian’s trip back to South Africa to have his visa renewed. I would be staying in Dubai because I had to work, I had been at my job for less than 2 months and I was trying to prove myself.
In these earlier years in Dubai it was still frowned upon to have two single people (male and female) living together, now days it is more of a common thing.
Julian got a funny look on his face and turned to me and said, “hey, why don’t we just get married while I am in South Africa? It saves us from planning another trip back in December.” (When we wanted to have the ceremony) I was immediately excited and said yes! This was the 1st of February and we decided to have the wedding on the 14th, valentines day! How naïve we were! 🙂
We started calling the parents to let them know our plans, naturally they were all pretty shocked and the age old question was ask, “Is Nicky pregnant” which of course I wasn’t but our family was absolutely amazing! Once the shock wore off they kicked into high gear. We are very lucky that we have a small chapel on the farm which was built by Julian’s grandfather and the gardens on the farm are prefect for events. Julian’s dad called us a few hours later with some bad news, there were bees in the ceiling of the chapel and the ceiling needed to be replaced, no problem we said, and we pushed the wedding to the next weekend of the 21st of February. Invites were sent out via email and facebook because in all honesty there was no time for mailing them!
My MIL was awesome and took over the décor and although I wanted Arum lilies because they were Julian’s favourite, they were out of season but we got St. Joseph lilies instead and because of the over supply of red roses after Valentines Day we got them for cheap! The next day I went down to Satwa (one of the oldest parts of Dubai) picked out the raw silk material for my wedding dress and had a local tailor to make it for me and it cost less than AED 500
One of Julian’s dad’s best friends was the manager of Southern Sun Hotel in Lesotho and as a wedding present he lent us the Hotel chef who prepared all the meat for the reception. All we did was supply a few sheep! Our DJ cost a bottle of Red Heart Rum and the NG Kerk (looong story) lent us the tables and chairs of the reception as a wedding present as long as we made a donation to the church! We hired a tent and set it up on the lower terrace of the garden. Julian’s dad managed to pull some string to ensure that the Monsignor who had been present at my In Laws wedding and baptized all three of their children would perform the wedding ceremony.
In a space of 3 weeks our families rallied around us and we had just under 100 guests at our wedding. I arrived in South Africa the Wednesday before our wedding on Saturday, although Emirates lost my luggage I had the foresight to check my wedding dress and all required accessories in as hand luggage. And for three days it poured with rain! And for three days I thought Oh my Goodness, no one was going to be able to get to the farm due to the slippery gravel roads but the morning of the wedding the sun was out and the family were all there from the different corners of South Africa!
All in all our wedding cost us very little and it was the most amazing day of my life! We partied until the sun came up the next morning and then by 9 am half the guests where back for breakfast!
Lately, perhaps it has been around for a long time, there is a new craze in weddings, the Pinterst Wedding! Where young couples are starting their married lives in debt because they are pressured to throw lavish weddings that are over in a blink of an eye but, due to the stress of it all, barely remember their special day. Don’t get me wrong, we had plenty of drama at the wedding itself but we didn’t break the bank and nor did we have the luxury or the displeasure of have months of stress and worry about who was going to pay for what and who sat next to who.
Our wedding days are meant to be the start of our lives together as a married couple and newly weds already have enough obstacles ahead of them without having to then stress about debt. It should be the happiest time of their lives!