This weekend we had made a shortlists of venues and had siked ourselves to that ticked and sorted. The lack of venue was becoming a bit of an issue for me – I had a list and the first thing was “venue” on my list and I could not tick it off, so I was becoming very agitated.
There were a few clues that the weekend excursion might not go to plan.
A few of the key issues were that both Kennith and I had flu-like symptoms and were struggling to remain civil. Isabelle was teething, and when she was not throwing up, she was crying.
Connor and Georgia huddled in the backseat of the car, were fighting and we had not even reversed out of our driveway. The cards were stacked against us as we set off on our little adventure, but like pioneers off we went.
The plan was we were going to see three on Saturday. So off to Paarl we go. The first was not great. But in its defense was lovely as an outside venue with a lavender field – I love lavender, but that is pretty much where the love stopped. It had that “conference” centre feel to it, that no amount of alcohol would have been able to mask.
The proprietor’s repeated statement of “… then this is probably not the venue for you” when I asked if they could alter some of the rather “set” policies they had, did not really warm me to the place either.
We left that location as quickly as was polite to do so, with an effort not to kick up too much dust as we wheel skidded the hell out of there.
Off we go to Riebeek Kasteel – me in high-spirits – I really was sure that this venue was the one, was I was feeling rather smug about the whole thing as I think I have found the dream venue.
But there we were on our way to Riebeek Kasteel. We follow the map and it really is deliverance country. We were just looking for the kid on the banjo.
With 20/20 hindsight the place did refer to itself as a farm, not an estate, or a venue. It did call itself a farm. But you know how one is blind to these details as you stumble forward in the hope of finding the perfect venue.
We drove about 5km along a dust-road. Kennith and I kept thinking “where the hell are we….no really”
We saw a sign clearly marked Farm. Again the word did not really have much weight for me at the time. As I passed moo cows, sheep and emus I started to get a feeling that there was something just a little off about this.
We drove right to the back of the farm and there was the venue. We were surrounded by farm animals, but there was the venue.
It really was a really good illustration of why one should never believe photos – immediately I could see where the photos were taken from. The power of photo cropping and good camera positioning became apparent. (Note to self: Never buy a home from a photograph. Never marry a man based solely on his photograph on the internet.)
I was gutted – I really could not face having a wedding on a working farm, while I swatted the odd horse-fly away.
By the time Kennith and I got all our mucus-smeared, very techy children back in to the car, we were all feeling defeated, I think I might even have let out a little sob.
Because we are suckers for punishment we drove through Riebeek West and stopped at two other venues – on the outside chance I may just stumble on something.
The one was typically a venue built mid-1980. I really could not see myself getting married in a hall with half wine-barrels dotted along the walls. The final decision breaker, was where you had to step through one of the wine barrels to get into the bar area …. seriously who designed this? The same crew who did make-up for Knots Landing I’m guessing.
The last venue I saw in Riebeek West looked very promising – don’t they all. Glanced over the venue details – venue fee R5 000.00 – not the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. Draping and fairy lights – R2 500.00. So I look at the venue which seems to have said drapery and fairy lights as a fixture –
So I say: “But I want them, but I am not going to pay R2500.00 for them.”
He says: “Then we will take them down.”
Me says: “ But they are a fixture, the room is not worth the R5000.00 without them as the it is really big rectangular tiled room.”
He says: “Mmm, I see your point, but they do cost more.”
Me says: “You do understand how ridiculous this sounds. If I do not pay R2 500.00 then you will get a crew in and send a man up a ladder to get something down that is already there…”
He says: “ Mmmm, we might be negotiable on that…”
I swear, my humour had failed me – you know when you feel the overriding urge to say “Well, fek you and the horse you rode in on…” I also have no idea why that would feel appropriate at the time, it just did.
On Sunday we just stayed home – I was too angry to do anything other than wallow in misery.
On Sunday night, I googling a venue (for a change).
Monday morning after a hearty breakfast and several cups of tea set out to see said venue. I was pretty defeated, so I went along to this one sure that it would blow like the others – however on the upside it was not far from our home.
Initially our Gestapo-like co-ordinator put us off the venue – impressive to meet someone who struggles more with people skills than me, but there we were. Just as we were on the verge of killing ourselves, things started to turn as she listened to what we wanted – stopped trying to sell us the earth, and considered that we wanted something that she wasn’t selling as standard in her gold foil and embossed folder.
45 minutes later we had a venue. I wanted to hug Gestapo girl – I did squeeze her arm affectionately but she recoiled from my touch – ah, she will grow to like me, you will see.
Kennith and I skipped around the estate. We sat on a little wooden bench with lavender around us and held hands.
We however soon realized we were wasting valuable time and made our way to the wine tasting area. There we were quaffing wines at the wine estate we were going to get married at.
My fiance bought me three bottles of wine – I could not have been happier!
I feel like the world has lifted off my shoulders and I can stop tormenting myself with venues. I can tell all the venues sitting in my in-box to actually fek right off! I really do want to say that to them, but I might taper it down to “thanks, but no thanks…”
The birds are singing, I am all giddy with excitement. Folks, we may just have a wedding!