Living in an expat city such as Dubai often means travelling to all sorts of places for weddings… and this one was no exception.
Friends of mine who live in Dubai – she’s South African, he’s Australian – chose to get married in South Africa, in a small little town / wine estate region called Tulbagh… somewhere that I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting while I lived in SA 🙂
I was able to tie this wedding visit in with a sneaky trip up to Johannesburg to visit my family… but you can read about that here. This post is entirely dedicated to the beauty of Tulbagh and the wedding ❤
I arrived fairly late in the evening, after the sun was down, and then had an approximately 1.5 hour drive from Cape Town International Airport to Tulbagh. I zapped the directions into the GPS, put the radio on, had my dinner laid out on the seat next to me, and off I went.
The roads were absolutely pitch black except for the occasional car in front of me, or approaching me, which made for stunning views of the clear night sky… if only I’d been able to see enough on the sides of the roads to stop and marvel at the stars! They were gorgeous, but as the roads had ZERO street lights on, and there was barely a light anywhere in sight, I had no idea how safe the sides of the roads were and so I drove on, just having a quick gaze out the window every so often.
I eventually arrived at Saronsberg Wine Estate and after some confusion on getting in (entirely my fault!), I made it up to the cottage where I would spend the next 2 nights with other friends from Dubai. It was pretty much straight to bed as the next day was the wedding and was bound to be a busy one 🙂
The morning brought us absolutely perfect weather for a wedding – slightly overcast to keep the heat down, no rain in sight, and little specks of sun bursting through the clouds every now and then to make the scenery gorgeous. Buki and I headed off into Tulbagh for some breakfast, and then spent the rest of the morning lazing by the pool while we waited for our other Dubai friends to arrive.
Later that afternoon, after a bit of napping, lots of resting and some snacks to keep us going, we got ourselves ready for the wedding and headed off to the venue (onsite at Tulbagh Wine Estate) to wait out the arrival of the Bride!
The rest of the afternoon / evening / night was a great success; everyone looking fabulous in their outfits, lots of free-flowing drinks, delicious nibbles to tide us over until dinner and then an amazing dinner in itself, in a stunning setting like I’ve never seen before.
Not long after dinner and the speeches, the heavens decided to open – they say it’s lucky if it rains on your wedding day – so we all moved indoors for the rest of the night; cutting the cake, dessert, the first dance and lots and lots of dancing by the rest of us.
The next morning we all gathered around the pool area for a yummy breakfast and to enjoy some light banter with the newlyweds… and then it was time to pack up and head off to the airport for the flight back to Dubai!
When I received an invite to attend a friend’s wedding in South Africa in Cape Town, I knew that I had to combine it with a trip to Johannesburg to see my family…. and when I looked at the dates and how they all fell, I saw that the weekend immediately before the wedding fell just a few days after my mom’s birthday and I’d be able to tie the 2 in together really easily.
And so I decided to do something that I had not yet done (and will never do again – the stress!)… I decided to surprise my mom for her birthday ❤
Of course I had to get some people involved to ensure that she would be where she needed to on the day that I needed her to be there and so I got my sister and her fiancée involved. That was about 8 months ago, and eventually the day arrived on 16 March where I eventually flew home and surprised my mom on 17 March 🙂
Leading up to all of this was a plan to get my bridesmaid dress to me (for my sister’s wedding). My mom wanted to post it to me but because my sister knew that I was going to be in SA in March, she made up some story about how someone from work was travelling, and we managed to stick to that story right until the very end. And to make it even more believable, the day before I flew home I sent my mom a message telling her that I planned on meeting this lady and picking my dress up the next day 😉
I brought in the help of my best friend to pick me up from the airport and then since I had a few hours to kill in the morning, I managed to sneak in a breakfast with my 2 besties before heading off to Sun City where the plan would all fall into place.
We (sister, fiancée and I) arrived in Sun City on Friday afternoon and unpacked our stuff from the car and then waited for the arrival of the parents. When we knew that they were close, I went into the bedroom and put on my bridesmaid dress and then waited until the family had said their usual hello’s to one another…. and then I opened the door, got the nod from my sister and walked out.
It took my stepfather a couple of seconds to put things in place, and while he was doing so, my mother turned around to face me and managed to stammer out the words “What are you doing here?!”
I held out my helium balloon and little gift and said “Happy birthday, mommy!” which of course led to tears on all sides of the family ❤
That was Friday afternoon. We then spent the whole of Saturday and then Sunday morning together, catching up, drinking beer, playing cards games, lying in the sun and just having a brilliant, quality bit of family time!
Some random photos that I took while on the mini-holiday with the family: