The Guilty Bride Syndrome

I’m a guilty person by nature. I feel bad about everything!! Bump into me with your shopping trolley, and I will apologise profusely. Look at me and whisper to your companion and I assume you are judging my entire being. (Back fat, food in teeth and split ends included). Last week my car was keyed for no reason and I berated myself for days, wondering what I could have done to deserve it. Turns out it was a common occurrence in that specific parking lot, and I happened to be an unfortunate target. I had done nothing wrong, yet I assumed I had. I’m that person who smiles sheepishly at a waiter when the table next to me shouts from bad service, and then tips them extra when the payer isn’t watching

In November I got engaged. Cue happy tears, laughter, too many Facebook congratulations to count and a general feeling of euphoria. Which lasted for 48 hours. Within days of bouncing back to reality I had been told how awful wedding planning was by friends and acquaintances, told to keep everything wedding related to my private life by certain work people and treated like yet another cash injection by everyone ranging from venues to photographers and in everyone inbetween.

Because of this, 3 months later I have been too afraid to even start getting excited about my big day. When people kindly mention it I joke how I would rather elope. When someone shows an interest, I brush them off and say ‘oh gosh, it’s ages away, lets talk about you’ and when I realise that weddings are indeed a business and things get booked, fast, I tell myself there are a hundred other more imprtant things to focus on than A WEDDING.

Just yesterday I was talking to colleagues, (indulging in a few minutes respite from my desk during their smoke break. Amongst these trusted colleagues I brought up the taboo issue of my nuptials, mentioning the exorbitant price of the venue and all the homemade and DIY things I wanted to do to offset that. One of them (colleagues) mentioned – but that’s what your bridesmaids are for! Never! I exclaimed, having been a bridesmaid more times than I can recall – I would never ask them to get involved this early on. Then I clicked – why is it that I would put more hours and effort into my friends wedding than my own? Why do I feel guilty about wanting to plan a day which is all about me? I feel guilty about the attention, I feel guilty about people making me feel special for a change and I feel guilty that this event has sucked me in, and captured my attention.

I shouldn’t feel bad about wanting a beautiful day, a day filled with things I have planned, created and imagined. A day when Barry and I are surrounded by the best people in our lives. I’m a smart, grownup woman, capable of many things, multi tasking included. I can manage time better than Big Ben and even the ‘W’ word won’t turn me into a dithering wreck. This will be my day, and going forward I vow (pun intended) to ensure that when I smile at an idea or spot a dress I love, I won’t hate myself for not focusing on what other people want me to, but rather enjoy the experience. I mean, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, right?

Brides, fiancées and just those dreaming of your big day – I would love to hear your feedback on your experiences and emotions during this time of your lives.

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The Proposal

This is our story – and sure to go down in the books as one with many laughs and comedy of errors!

A few months ago Barry – the then boyfriend – ‘won’ a sales award at work. Yay for us we thought as he claimed a free weekend away at a venue of his choice. In true Barry style he kept the destination a surprise, only mentioning it would be in The Kruger Park area. (I of course used every available opportunity to remind him that he couldn’t claim this as a romantic gesture, as it was a free holiday…Barry just nodded and smiled). We booked the dates, I took leave and we carried on as normal. A few weeks later I happened to be planning one of my besties bachelorette parties, and while liaising with the other Bridesmaids we decided on a date, booked the venue and bought the theatre tickets. Cock Up #1 – I had now double booked the bachelorette and our weekend away.

I first became suspicious when Barry reacted in a not-so-calm manner, and was seen sighing and huffing and puffing on the phone and email to his ‘boss’ to try reschedule. Panic calmed down to relief when the holiday was pushed out by a week (Shame, I had now added on an extra 7 days of panic for the poor boy)

The night before we were due to leave I booked a spray tan to test out before the above-mentioned Bride-to be’s wedding, thinking that should it go orange (it did), tan my hands and feet an obscure shade of tangerine (it did) and make me look like Snooki (you guessed it) at least there would be no-one to see me on our weekend away. Haha, jokes on me. Cock-up #2.

Friday morning we leave for the destination – incident free apart from me whining like a baby about my post spray tan catastrophe tequila induced hangover – and arrive at a rather larny Rose farm/Spa/Slice of Heaven – Summerfields Estate. Ooh I say to Barry, this is quite nice hey – Your company has really spoilt us. Barry just nodded and smiled.(Disclaimer, all his work had to do with the engagement weekend was give him leave -the rest was up to him, and his 3 months of planing really paid off!)

Post (mouthgasm) lunch and quick nap we decide to go to The Kruger Park for a late afternoon game drive. It was fairly chilly and drizzly at this point so I pop on my comfy hoodie and granny loafers. As my dad would say – nothing brings the man out in me like the bush. Poor Barry (isn’t he lovely for loving me?)

We arrive in the Kruger Park after several confusing who-is-our-driver-what-the-hell-is-going-on-moments and finally hop on our game vehicle. Sans any other guests… Ding dong Kearney! After half an hour of driving and chatting to our wonderful ranger Pat, we pull up infront of a massive koppie and get told we can go up it to have a sundowner (we had a trusty 6 pack of Castle Lite with us).

I walk up this bloody hill to find a tatty old blanket and a bunch of daisies in a broken vase, knocked down from the wind. Panic stricken I point an accusatory finger at Barry and to the offering in front of me and say ‘What The F*ck Is This!?’. Barry looks back at me with such confusion on his face that any inkling of a proposal evaporated. (Turns out the folk at the Kruger Park had added the ‘rock picnic’ in – much to even Barrys surprise.)

So, Cock-up up #3 is now the ring is in the backpack in the game vehicle, and we are standing on top of said hill like awkward fairies. ‘Let me go get your phone’ says Barry. ‘No babe, we dont need it’ I say. This goes on for a few seconds until he shouts in satisfaction ‘Instagram, you need to Instagram!’ and promptly runs back to the vehicle. All the while our game ranger is animal spotting with his rifle and pretending to ignore us’

I wont go into the whole proposal part, just to say that despite the sweet but slightly tacky efforts from the Park (they even threw in a bottle of JC Le Roux, despite requests from my now fiance to send ANYTHING but JC) it was a proposal that couldn’t have suited me better. The bush, my love and some wonderful stories to tell for many years to come!

PS – Glad to report that while I still looked like an Oros man, the rest of the weekend went off as smoothly as could be and I managed to drink my body weight (a skill!) in delicious bubbly and tequila.

Happy days!

The Rock On The Rock
The Rock On The Rock



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