S: James and Amanda . . . 15 September 2011 . . . Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa
BC: 15 September 2011, 5pm at the Pasque de Chavonnes room, Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town Followed by dinner at Buitenverwachting, Constantia, Cape Town
FC: James & Amanda 15 September 2011 Castle of Good Hope Cape Town, South Africa
1: Finally tying the knot, after 8 years
2: How we met | We met while Amanda was doing her B.Sc Hons in Pietermaritzburg, & James was home from teaching English in Taiwan for a “quick visit”. Amanda had joined the local role-playing/gaming club, & James, always a die-hard role-playing fan, had come along to play a few games & catch up with old friends. In a happy stroke of luck, a sudden SARS outbreak in China had the world in a panic & prevented James from returning to Taiwan for the near future, so he hung around ‘Maritzburg, visiting friends & getting moon-eyed over Amanda. It took some hard match-making by said friends, & about 3 months for Amanda to twig that James was trying to let her know that he liked her (subtlety not being Amanda’s strong suit, & wooing skills somewhat rusty on James’ part). She decided to take things into her own hands at his 25th birthday party, about a week before he was due to go back to Taiwan. Fortunately for her, he decided to stay.
3: A little role-reversal never hurts | Ah, look at the love in those eyes . . .
5: After a very wet start to the morning, the weather cleared up & was just perfect
6: The Proposal | James proposed by hacking* Google's search page & replacing the Google Doodle with his own . Amanda has a bit of a love affair with all things Google, & she is often called “Google Girl" (for her l33t search engine sk1llz as well as for being the first to jump on any new Google product bandwagon), so this was quite appropriate . After she clicked on "I'm feeling lucky”, a message popped up directing her to look for her ring hidden behind her monitor . | * actually, technically, he spoofed her DNS records on their home server
7: Roses are red Violets are blue All my base are belong to you
8: Technophilia - we have it
9: Can I update my Facebook status yet?
10: The List | Neither of us are "wedding people". We had a list of everything we detested about weddings, and we tried valiantly to avoid these : -- Drawn out, stuffy, religious ceremonies -- Uncomfortable suits & ties (for men), crippling “new” shoes (for women) -- Waiting around for hours while the bride & groom have photos taken . Generally without snacks or many drinks, because there is a full meal coming up later. We decided to have our "couple shots" before the guests arrived . -- Boring & clichéd wedding photos . . . with duck-faces -- Not enough free booze (definitely a big issue) -- Dancing – neither James nor Amanda like dancing -- Traditional weddings are all the same . No matter how much effort the bride puts into making “her day” special, they kind of all merge into one big amorphous wedding blob in people's memories . It's very seldom that you get a wedding that actually stands out in people's minds .
11: Relaxed & fun was our main goal
13: Duckface! Or is it Blue Steel? | We had fun taking these shots & just messing around
14: The Castle of Good Hope Cape Town South Africa | Our original plan had been to just go down to the Magistrate's court with our parents, but apparently you can't do that any more - you have to go to Home Affairs, which entails several months on a waiting list, and a horrible little "chapel room". Amanda didn't want to do that, so the next plan was to have it at home. But that was somewhat awkward, since this part was a family affair and we had guests staying at our house, and we felt it would be unforgivably rude to kick them out of the house for an hour or two. What to do? South African law requires marriages to take place in a place of worship, or a private residence, or a civic building, so we couldn't do it at our hotel, either. Fortunately, James' father, Graham, came up with the brilliant suggestion of the Castle of Good Hope (a civic building). Since he was the National Archivist, he knew who to contact to arrange it . They gave us the Pasque de Chavonnes room, free of charge! (But they wouldn't fire the cannons.)
18: It was a small, family affair - or it was meant to be, at any rate. Somehow, the planning snowballed from a quick trip to magistrate's court to a 3-day affair! But it was loads of fun in the end. James turned into Groomzilla each time the wedding plans were accidentally expanded by various well-meaning family members. Or by Amanda. The day of the event was somewhat chaotic. We had planned to have our couple photos taken in advance (no need to bore the guests by making them wait for the Bride and Groom to be done). And naturally, we were late. It wouldn't have been normal if we weren't. And Amanda forgot the ring at home - fortunately, we lived in Woodstock, a mere 3km from the Castle, and a quick dash back to the house by Amanda's mom fixed that little glitch. And champagne was opened before the ceremony started, while we all waited for the Groom's father to get back from collecting family at the airport.
19: The textures on the castle walls are just gorgeous | The dress was rented, but finding the jacket was total serendipity! Amanda found it a week before the wedding, and the colour matched perfectly.
20: Not colours I would ordinarily have considered, but they worked beautifully!
21: Love how my hair & makeup turned out.
22: We kept things as relaxed & casual as we could. There was no aisle-walking with big "bridal reveal"- Amanda felt that was far too much pressure on her, & much preferred chatting with the guests before the ceremony. Especially since we had cracked open the champagne in advance while we waited! "Enjoyable" for everyone was the key concept for us!
25: We had a simple civil ceremony, & wrote our own vows
26: The first time I realised I loved you was when I first saw you cry . At that moment I realised I couldn't bear to see you unhappy . Amanda, you hold my happiness in your hands. Which scares the bejeezus out out of me, because I know how clumsy you can be sometimes. There's a theory that some words have magic, or power, in their own right; Not because of some spell or ritual or religion, but because of the simple belief from which they stem. A simple quietly spoken "no" can start an act of defiance against something wrong. "If only I'd done it differently" can drain your spirit and fill you with despair and loneliness. And of course "I love you", three words that can change someone's life entirely, as they did mine when you first said them to me. | Say it, whisper it, breathe it, I will gladly be the magic in your words I will march against all the demons of hell At your quietest behest I Love You And this I swear, by everything I will ever hold precious | James' vows | Well, Amanda! I walk into this marriage with no "If only's". I can't promise there'll be no acts of defiance, I'm stubborn and belligerent, but you know this already. But when it counts, you know I've got your back, and to that end let me round off with a poem I wrote about someone I never thought I'd be lucky enough to meet, until I met you. . .
27: Amanda's vows | Just before we met, James, I had made a list of everything I was looking for in a partner ... and then along came you, scoring 46/50 on my list . You were kind and generous, and shared many of the same interests, but no so closely that we couldn't have a lively debate about the merits of this or that . Even the "must love dogs" requirement came eventually . You fit my list like you were made for me. James, I love you deeply, and I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and health, in good times and in bad, and in joy and in sorrow. I will support you in your goals, honour and respect you, encourage and inspire you, laugh with you and cry with you, and cherish you for as long as we both draw breath.
28: There was lots of joking and heckling from the peanut gallery!
29: Yes, we read our vows off our cellphones. Did you really expect otherwise?
30: Our first kiss as Mr &Mrs Dominy
31: Signing the Register | Cynthia Gillespie, Mother of the Bride. | Graham Dominy, Father of the Groom
32: Cynthia Gillespie Coral Banks Wendy Dagnin Kevin Dagnin Jennifer Dagnin David Dagnin Corné Cornelissen | Anne Murphy Graham Dominy Ticky Murphy Nodi Murphy Finbarr Murphy Máire Murphy Eileen Murphy | Bride's Family | Groom's Family | GUESTS | Louise Murphy Ronin Fitzgerald Lisa Fitzgerald Valentine Mogg Judy Mogg Caylee Mogg
36: The cake toppers were just fabulous! They were custom-made for us in New Zealand, courtesy of Joni Frederick's sister, Bonnie, and included our beloved dogs, Sausage and Weasel.