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A different kind of wedding
By Gillian P Stokes
Monday, April 14, 2003
A westernised wedding in Africa with distinct African overtones
Some of you may remember me sharing how lovely the wedding of a friend was that I went to in June last year. it had a very unique bush / African type feel.
Well my step niece got married this Saturday past, and I just want to share with you how incredible and unique a wedding it was even for those of us who live in Africa.
Ruth and Douglas although both from Africa, live in Wimbledon, so they came out especially to get married "back home". Together with some of their overseas friends and family. My two "step" nephews too came back from overseas. One is a botanist at Kew gardens and the other an engineer in Grenoble in France.
The theme was very African, the setting was at a private Estate called Falcon's crest out at Botha's Hill, which is in what we call the "Valley of a thousand Hills." A truly beautiful place and a must for any foreigners visiting Natal.
The place is on a plateau that overlooks the valley and was quite breathtaking that from the walls of the "Manor house" this cliff just dropped and swept down into the valley and one had these magnificent hills and mountains all around. The wedding was at 15h30, and afterwards we stood outside mingling on the lawns etc, so had this magnificent view of the sun setting and the clouds chasing each other over the tops of the hills.
The ceremony itself was quite informal, the wedding party stood in a gazebo, and the guests lolled around on chairs or on the grass. A friend played the guitar and sang a song to them, another friend read out W B Yeat's poem "two white birds". The music in the background was all Johnny Clegg and Juluka / Savuka (icons in SA but also have followings overseas)
Ruth wore her paternal grandmother's wedding dress very simple but with that lovely patina of age. The men in the bridal party wore "madiba" (Mandela) style shirts patterned in sand and black. The brides maids wore strappy slinky black dresses. They each held a strelitzia (crane flower - our national flower ) tied with a black bow, and Ruth had a bouquet of indigenous African daisies etc.
The guests were dressed very casually too! No ties and jackets for the men and the ladies did their thing . I plucked up my courage and wore a beautiful middle eastern / Arabian caftan affair in black with heavy beading and embroidery in all the exotic colours just around the sleeves and neck line. I was pleased to note that several other ladies had African print dresses and caftans on too.
The center pieces on the tables inside the reception hall were all indigenous South African flowers and greenery interwoven with faux snake skins. The serviettes were black , tied up with grasses and decorated with porcupine quills and guinea fowl feathers. There was a little hand made "zebra striped" candle pot in front of each setting and also little wire and bead insects (made the Zulu way) for each guest. I got a dragonfly and my Dad had a lovely "hornet."
The food too was African in theme with cold fresh and pickled vegetables and dips made in a very African way from tomatoes and butternut etc for starters. The main course was Spicy roasted chicken, ox tail stew with samp and beans and mutton stew with dumplings, served with roasted pumkin stuffed with roasted vegetables. Again all prepared the African way.
Dessert was fresh fruit slices (melons and papayas, and grape fruit and pineapple etc) served with cream along with the wedding cake.
This too was decorated with an African theme. Two simple square layers of the most delicious chocolate walnut mousse cake, covered with basic fondant icing and decorated around the sides with chocolate elephants and the scene on the top also out of molded chocolate was a typical little Zulu village scene with a bee hive hut and cooking pots etc.
Quite a unique theme, but in a very relaxed friendly atmosphere! had wondered how the oldies like my parents would enjoy the difference as they can be quite conservative about occasions like this, but everybody without exception just seemed to have a jolly good time!
I have to confess that all thoughts of dieting were put neatly to one side by me and I enjoyed the food on offer with great relish.
I just thought that especially for my overseas friends , this glimpse of a different kind of wedding would prove very interesting
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|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|neat story; enjoyed this very much! thanks so much for sharing this unique write! love, your texas friend, karen lynn. (((HUGS))) :)|