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Going to the chapel – love and marriage in wine country.

Posted in Life & Love, and Relationships

After the storm - sunset
After the storm – sunset

Our friends got married in Tulbagh over the weekend. In a beautiful chapel, on a wine estate, in the pouring rain. We didn’t get to the church on time because the road from the farmhouse to the highway was under six inches of water. Two of our party, a married couple, had to travel separately because they had started fighting before we even left Cape Town.

Fehraad’s car got stuck in the mud. We all shouted advice from the dry of our own cars – and watched as Charl got his blue suede shoes muddied, and Fehraad made the mistake of opening his window as the wheels spun wildly looking for purchase. The resultant spatter was like a slasher movie.


My table at the reception was the hip crowd – all up from the mother city for the event. Of the ten of us – only four were single. I was one of them. Of the three remaining – two were in long-distance love. The other had been recently dumped – by note. And was still smarting: “I mean”, he said: “to be ditched by someone you were supporting is one thing – but by mispelt scratching on a bit of torn-out notepaper. That’s just pathetic.” We nodded sagely – we had all been there.

So we drank, and we ate and we laughed and we took the mickey out of each other. And we listened to speeches and we all thought they went on a bit too long. We mocked other people’s outfits and agreed the bridesmaids dresses were errm , unusual. When our pals came round we grabbed them and kissed them, wished them long lives and shed a few tears.

All in all – a regular wedding, right? Could any of you tell from the description that there were two grooms? That it was a ‘gay wedding’?

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The Chapel and our Grooms

I thought not. So why are we still battling to legalise same-sex unions? Surely it’s a no brainer?

Luke’s dad thought so. He gave my favourite speech of the night – talking about how much he loved ‘his boy’. How proud he was that Luke had found his niche in life, in work – that he had fallen in love. That he had chosen someone as wonderful as Ross.

Nicky talked about his wife and his other sons, too: with elegance and wit. About how the family had experienced hardship. And how Granny Mo (93 tomorrow) had instructed them to “rise above it”. At no point did he reference that his son was gay or marrying another man. Because that just wasn’t how he saw it. He saw his lovely child happy and glowing. And that’s all that mattered to him. I looked at my pals G+R sitting at the table. R was dragged up as Christina Sparkle (ok, so that would have given the game away had I mentioned it) and G was still a bit grumpy from earlier. “Are you listening?” I asked them … “Yes” they nodded – thinking “mind your own damn business”.

The rest of the wedding went as the rest of weddings do – some people overdid the alcohol, some people danced badly, some circled the room looking for eligible men. Some told inappropriate jokes and were gently booed. Then we all went home with cake to put under our pillows. (Well, apart from Charl and Fehraad who stayed late and had to walk from the river. Charl was still furious the next morning – Fehraad said he had just looked at the stars.) IMG_2133On Sunday the rain broke, arching a rainbow over the valley. And, as unromantic as I am – I thought it auspicious. This traditional wine-farming community had welcomed all of us. They had blessed the union and all who were there to celebrate it.

And that’s all it takes.

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7 Comments

  1. silvia
    silvia

    Perfect is a difficult word especially when we try to make it match with a sentimental relationship. But the closest thing to perfection I can think of is the 23 years old menage between two people belonging to the same sex who happen to be friends of mine

    June 19, 2013
    |Reply
  2. Loved this — am reading it in Colombo, Sri Lanka far removed from your wine country – scenarios might be different — the groom might arrive on an elephant here, I am yet to attend a wedding with two grooms but yes not much difference in the rest!!!

    June 15, 2013
    |Reply
  3. Beautiful wedding story. I loved their suits and the dresses. Your story illustrates why it is none of the government’s business on who is allowed to be married and enjoy the societal benefits that are offered to married couples. And the splatter comment was spot on, I also got married during a thunderstorm with flooded roads.

    June 13, 2013
    |Reply
  4. Richard
    Richard

    Well said Darling Sue… xxxx

    June 13, 2013
    |Reply
  5. Nice story made me smile – it is one uphill battle isn’t it this gay marriage and in a recent survey I saw it stated that 62% of South Africans were against gay marriage. So being one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, it makes one think doesn’t it.

    June 13, 2013
    |Reply
    • Long as it remains constitutionally guarded. The ANC has been chipping away at rights and freedoms … esp Freedom of Expression. So who knows what will be next. And cultural/religious prejudices put gay men and lesbians at risk of violence and isolation. We even have a charming culture of ‘corrective rape’ in some areas. I am always amazed that people who fought so long and hard for their freedom would then turn and deny someone else theirs. Nasty beasts, humans.

      June 13, 2013
      |Reply
  6. daldaeyes
    daldaeyes

    Love this!

    June 13, 2013
    |Reply

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