Close family weddings are always something to look forward to. They don't happen often, but when they do, it turns out to be a wondrous and unforgettable event. This weekend, I attended the wedding of my dearest cousin, (who is more like a brother to me), in sunny KZN. We were more than happy to leave the bitterly cold weather behind and travel across the country to the warm and welcoming coast.

The wheel of festivities starting spinning on Thursday, with an intimate luncheon for 60 people; and it didn't stop from there. We held function upon function, all remarkably organized by my Aunt Nas, who is an events co-ordinator extraordinaire. She could easily take over from Colin Cowie. On Thursday night, the guests were all surprised by a show and dance, led by the groomsmen. We were in stitches when they showed up in wigs, dresses, stockings and stilettos. I must admit they dance better in heels than I do. It ended with the usual fun tradition where everyone was caught in storm of talcum powder. 

Friday had us scurrying around, as we had two pre-wedding events to set up. A huge lunch and later that evening, a braai bash for 400. It took a small, dedicated army three hours to transform an empty hall into an exquisitely decorated venue. Amidst all the chaos, my cousin Ray and I still had to write the wedding speech. We used the Bed & Breakfast as a boardroom and with the help of a few family members, the speech was drafted into quite an epic one.

The anticipation finally culminated on Saturday at a grand wedding reception for a thousand people. We all love an excuse to get dressed up in custom made gowns and have our make-up and hair done. Although, my curls fell apart even before I reached the venue. I think the stylist used water spritzer as hairspray. The vintage styled decor came together elegantly with ivory lace over lavender tablecloths, antique gold frames and mirrors, crystal candelabras and pink and lilac roses. The bride was gorgeous in a fully beaded fishtail gown with lace veil, and the groom handsome in a black tux. The smitten couple were unfazed by the large crowd and constant flash photography.

In a short five hours the beautiful ceremony was over and our lives had to sadly go back to normal. In an attempt to extend the weekend, we decided to throw an 'after-party', which didn't work out according to plan, as we couldn't find a venue open after 12:30am. Eventually, the beachfront Elangeni Hotel lent the thirty of us their second floor lounge and room service menu. It took one and a half hours to get our order - toasted cheese and coffee has never tasted as good as it did at 3 in the morning.

With the whirlwind of a weekend over, we returned home and back to the cold yesterday. I woke up this morning with a massive hangover, aching feet, a terrible migraine and a bronchitis. But it was all worth it. I had a chance to bond with my awe-inspiring family, spend time with my adorable little cousins, pose for dozens of portraits, mint our own money, share tears after a heartfelt speech, laugh till our sides hurt, and create wonderful memories that we'll talk about when we're all old and grey. 


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