Finally off the Market
While the rains were falling on Kipalala Hill on the 8th April, Phil and I shared the happiest day of our lives basking in sunny Wales. Yes, you read that right.
Normally we spend our long leave hopping from one town to the next during our annual visits. But this year, we were spoilt to have our loved ones come to us for a glorious weekend at Caer Llan in Monmothshire. Our family and friends travelled from Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, and Tampa in the US; from Hoedspruit in RSA; and from London, Glasgow, Farringdon, Southampton and Bristol in the UK.
After a lot of contemplation, Phil and I chose ‘our journey’ together as our wedding theme. With 8 places that had been pivotal moments leading up to our commitment to each other, each table bore the name on a pennant flag with photos from our time there. Each guest’s nameplate had a story from the 8 places so that our guests – who may only know us from one part of our lives – could share in the other stories. Although many tables had people from different stages of our lives, they could all share in the threads of our history together.
We decorated the rooms with bunting my mom made and old photos hung between the windows – documenting our lives and honouring those who couldn’t join us. Friday evening was spent introducing the two sides of our families and friends, telling stories, singing songs around the piano, and finishing the little details for the next day.
We tried to weave our life in Africa through various aspects of the wedding with Tanzanian fabrics and safari animals added to the Groomsmen buttonholes, and my mother’s corsage.
The morning light played on the misty Valley of Usk, as my make-up artist, Alex, arrived at 7:30am to make us photo ready for the day. By 8am we were breakfasting with our weekend guests, and by 9 Lisa had arrived to style our hair. Before I knew it the clock showed 12:30pm. Within 30 minutes our groomsmen were followed by our parents, step-parents and Grandma Jean, processing down the aisle to A Song of Ice and Fire – for all the Game of Thrones fans out there. Shirley and Dan, thanks for convincing us to find a space for it!
Our dear friend Nick officiated the ceremony for us finely balancing the reflective tones and communal spirit of a wedding with our quirky personalities. And after committing to my ‘trusted minion’, we recessed from the ceremony to Hopipolla – often heard at the end of the BBC wildlife documentaries.
The speeches were perfect. A tear-jerking reflection from my papa, words of gratitude and love from Phil, and a Best Man’s speech from Keir generously dabbled with humorous anecdotes from the past and hopeful insights for the future.
Having given up on any sort of formal dance lessons – not many dance instructors came to visit last year – we joked and avoided each other’s toes while lovingly swaying to Ellie Goulding’s ‘How Long Will I Love You’ before inviting everyone up with the Waterboys original.
The entire weekend perfectly encapsulated who we are individually and to each other. And although our Beho Beho family couldn’t join us in person, they made an integral cameo in our celebrations. Thank you to our Beho Beho family and to all of our guests who shared in this journey.
** All pictures courtesy of Clare Adams – LoveSeen Photography