05 December, 2008

Venue envy

Great. Now not only do I have dress envy, I have venue envy as well! Could I be any more shallow? And, considering the wedding is well and truly over, any more unable to LET GO?

Hmm. I wonder if I'll ever let go of the wedding stuff.

First off, I have to say that I really loved both my dress and my venue, The Moon & Sixpence. I've watched my wedding video a gazillion times, and my dress looks absolutely lovely, if I do say so myself. It flows, it sparkles, and, most importantly, it makes me look slim. :-) What's not to love? And yet I can't help hankering over something I didn't get the chance to choose. And now it's the same with the venue! I think that's the main problem, actually - it's not that I think I made the wrong choice or that I keep thinking about what might have been...it's that I can't stop myself from being annoyed about what never had the chance to be, because either I didn't know about it, or it was unobtainable in the country.

The venue issue falls into the first category.

When we got engaged in December last year, we knew that we wanted to get married towards the end of this year, in October or November preferably. Having done some sneaky research before the time, I knew that venues get booked up very quickly and very far in advance, and ten or eleven months was not a lot of time. Once I'd communicated this fact to a surprised Mr Ruby Slippers, we realised that we had to book a venue by the middle of January. Why? Because Mr RS's company was sending him to Cape Town then, and he wouldn't be back till early February, which would make it too late. Obviously we weren't going to rush into anything, and book somewhere we didn't like, but with so many beautiful venues listed on the net, I was confident we would easily find something we loved. Which we did. The Moon & Sixpence was beautiful, not too far from our house (around 27kms), had really helpful, organised staff, and (though we didn't know it then) delicious food. The price was frightening, but only in normal money terms - in wedding money it was really reasonable compared to some places. :-)

So we booked it. Then, a few months later, I saw a wedding on Andrea Carlyle's blog that began my trip down the slippery slope of venue envy. The venue was called Helderfontein, and it had actually been on my original list of possibilities; unfortunately, they were closed for the first two weeks of January, so we were never able to go and see it. We didn't want to wait till February and risk losing our tentative booking at the Moon & Sixpence for the only Friday they had in October (all Saturdays were gone, and three of four Fridays in November as well), which just happened to be the day we really wanted, Halloween. We loved M & S, so I gave up Helderfontein and forgot about it. Until I saw these pics:

(The above two are from the venue's website)

I looove the floor to ceiling windows, and the "old mansion covered in ivy" look, and the grounds, and the lake...it's all droolworthy.

So I wished, for a while, that I'd been able to go look at it, find out what it cost, and make an informed choice. Then I managed to convince myself that I was just being silly, and that The Moon & Sixpence was a gorgeous venue that both Mr Slippers and I loved, and that wondering was a waste of time. And we got married there, it went beautifully, and I never had a moment's complaint about the venue. (Except some stupid guy at the front desk showed my mom to the wrong room, so she left all the men's clothes in the wrong room till I told her there was definitely a mistake somewhere! Oops.)

So lately a lot more South African photographers have been starting blogs. Way to catch up with the rest of the world, guys. So I've been enjoying myself trying to find the good ones and follow their blogs, which is how I found this picture on Ryan Graham's blog:
I am in LOVE. This might be the best wedding chapel I have ever seen in my entire life. That open ceiling just makes me want to cry. (well, I assume it's glassed-in, but still, it's transparent!)

Now I just assumed that Ryan Graham was a Cape Town-based photographer because the first wedding I saw on his blog was in Cape Town, and therefore it followed that this venue must be in Cape Town too. Yeah...not so much. Turns out it's called Shepstone Gardens, and it's ten minutes from where I live. For crying out loud! So close, but because it's not listed on websites or in magazines, I had no idea it was even there. Even their website is sorely lacking in info or pictures.

I found another photo of the same chapel in an online magazine called Konfetti. It says this picture is by Shanna Jones, but she doesn't have a blog and there are no more photos of this venue on her website.

That could have been me kissing Mr Ruby slippers in front of those gorgeous windows...sigh.

Some more from Ryan's blog:

And from the venue's website:

Seriously, I can't believe I didn't know about this venue before! It's so incredibly gorgeous. And so convenient for everyone to travel to, unlike The Moon & Sixpence, which is very much on the outskirts of town. Grumble.

I can't believe how bummed out I am by this!


  1. omygawd that venue is amazing. I feel your envy fo sho! I've made most o my wedding decisions so I try very hard not to accidentally view any other dresses, photogs, venues etc or this very reason!

  2. I loved your venue darling! But believe me, I know what you're talking about. But with me it's "if i'd only had $x more to spend..."


  3. Paisley - that's very wise! Sigh. I can't help looking at the blogs, though. :-(

    Nala - I think I'm over the money thing. I do think about that occasionally, but I never let it get me down because I know we just DIDN'T have more money. But the venue miiiight have been possible, if I'd known about it! And then if it was too expensive I could have given it up!


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