Before my wedding, I had these carefully thought out plans for my wedding and days leading up to the big day involving my bridesmaids and my mom. In my head, there were going to be these picture-perfect wedding moments, the type that you see in movies. They are the moments we have been dreaming about since we were little girls, such as putting on our wedding dress or taking cute pictures with the whole crew wearing matching dressing gowns. Opening presents at your bridal shower or having one last wild night as a single lady.
I was lucky enough to have all of those amazing moments and they were certainly picture-perfect but, what I didn’t realise was that they would be completely overshadowed by moments that nobody planned. Moments not captured.
I had a specific expectation that my sister and I would have this private moment just before we both walked down the aisle but that didn’t happen because in those moments my heart was racing so fast I could barely catch my breath. Instead, we had our special moments in almost every moment inbetween.
The memories I will cherish for all my days were the private ones. The ones no one planned. The ones no photograph could capture. I can honestly say that in these moments I have never felt more loved by the amazing women in my life.
Now, I would like to share my five favourite moments with my bridal party in the days and hours leading up to my wedding. I hope that these will inspire future brides and their bridal party to not focus so much on the picture-perfect moments. Those moments will happen, they are inevitable. Focus on the incredibly special moments when you are all together, surrounded by your most favourite women. They are all there to shower you with love and support and that is so rare.
1. The night of my Bridal Shower when a snake appeared in my parents swimming pool.
Almost all of us didn’t know what to do! All the men had been at Adam’s bachelors and were therefore
drunk unable to help us. But, it turns out we did not need a man! My amazing friend Dee wrangled the snake out of the pool with nothing but a broomstick and a box and the rest of us spent the night in awe of her and the amazing warrior woman she truly is.
2. The night of my Bridal Shower when, despite consuming copious amounts of junk food all day, we still found ourselves hungry.
We heated up Woolies Mini Burgers (sorry for those of you who don’t know what these slices of heaven are) and we sat on a blowup mattress’ in my parent’s lounge in our PJ’s eating them. God, they were good. What was better was that moment of youthfulness. We weren’t in a club downing shots and pretending to have a good time, we were us, without makeup on, not counting calories.
3. The night before the wedding, eating Macaronie Cheese (yes, I ate carbs drenched in cheese sauce the night before my wedding and yes, it was totally worth it) on my parent’s patio.
I’ve eaten dinner on that patio over a thousand times in my life. That night, I was struck with a surreal feeling of doing something so ordinary on the eve of the most important day of my life. I will never forget that meal, the feeling of the warm South African night and the sound of laughter from the women I love most in this world.
4. The morning of my wedding, when my bridesmaids and mom jumped on my bed and we sat around chatting.
Again, I was struck with a surreal feeling. A feeling that we were doing something so normal on the most significant morning of my life. I don’t know who arrived first or how long we stayed like that. I don’t even remember what we spoke about but I remember sitting there and thinking, this, this right here, this is perfect.
5. The moment we arrived at the wedding venue in a cute Mini Limo.
We drove up to the Bridal Suite and I looked out the window and I saw my husband-to-be dutifully stringing up 1000 origami cranes. I looked at my best friend and bridesmaid and burst into tears. She, of course, welled up too and we sat there for a minute feeling like emotional fools. If just arriving at the venue was going to be emotional, we were in for a tearful day. Looking back on it now, it was such a big moment for me, more so than many others on that day. It was the realisation that 12 months of planning and a lifetime of dreaming was reaching fruition, all my dreams were about to come true.
The thing is, dear friends, we don’t have a single photograph of these moments. All we have is our memories but man, they are good. So, in the days leading up to your wedding, remember to take in all of the private moments you are bound to share with the most important people in your life. Soak them in. Take mental snapshots and store them in your mind and heart. You’ll carry them with you forever.
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