Prickly Pear LogoThe weekend was actually pretty good in terms of wedding matters. I finally got to meet the lady from Prickly Pear who is handling our decor for the event, and I was happy to find that I instantly liked her and feel comfortable with her managing the whole venue decoration and styling process. Of course, it helps that Chantelle too is absolutely crazy over the lady’s style and suggestions and together the two have whipped up some really nifty ideas, including a gorgeously elegant table layout that I had the pleasure of witnessing on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday we joined up with the two sets of parents and made a trip through to Meerendal in Durbanville, our ceremony and reception venue for the upcoming wedding in November, in order to partake in their buffet lunch and so get a good feel for the type of and quality of food that we can expect on the big day, especially now that we have finalised and sent through the menu for the event. One thing that does irk me a little is how horribly these service providers rip the general populace off when the word ‘wedding is involved’ though – where as a very similar amount of the same type of food set us back R120 a head on Sunday, come wedding day and we’re being charged a whopping R290 a head – does this mean our three canapes that weren’t on the lunch menu are costing us R180 then!?! Needless to say, I don’t think so.

As expected, the food and the wine were an absolute treat, with an excellent array of starters and mains to choose from, including an absolutely FANTASTIC beef pie! (Are you listening honey bunch?) Dessert however was simply put, not that great. I’m afraid that the pastry chef has some sort of obscene love affair with gelatine it would seem and the end result was a rather bland, jelly-tasting array of desserts that looked a whole lot better than what they tasted – and admittedly some of them don’t even look that great either!

Thankfully though, we already had an inkling of their rather poor dessert ability thanks to Gary and Michelle who also hosted their wedding there last year, meaning we’ve already made some rather clever and simple choices to minimise the chef’s chance of employing gelatine, and apart from the baked cheesecake which he may possibly be able to stuff up just a little, the rest we should get away with just fine! :) (And yes, our wedding cake is also an integral part of our dessert mission plan if you really need to know.)

One last positive to take away from the day was that we got to meet Johan, Meerendal’s man that will be in charge of running the show on the big day, and once again Chantelle and I find ourselves in the enviable position of instantly liking our service provider and feeling rather cosy and comfy in their capable hands. Now how often can a person say that about the service that they receive?

Oh, and just in case you were wondering about that as well, the reception area is going to look absolutely fantastic as well! The fresh coat of paint, beautiful fireplace, chandeliers, ornate candle holders wriggling their way up the roof columns… it’s all going to come together just beautifully I tell you! :)

Now for the bad news though.

I got a simple email from Chantelle yesterday afternoon bearing the single sentence, “Just to let you know – we are not going oversees any more”, needless to say, piquing my curiosity to absolutely no end. So after a good karate session and a nice hot shower to get into the right frame of mind, I sat down to the delicious meal that she had prepared for us and asked the question, “What do you mean?”

Well as it turns out, Whammy’s kind offer of giving us his RCI points and in so doing paying for our accommodation, thus making an oversea trip possible, is not such a boon after all. Thanks to the way RCI works it is almost impossible for us to secure any kind of accommodation in the cities that we actually do want to visit, despite the fact that November is essentially in their off-peak season! Shame, Chantelle was absolutely devastated with the news, spent a lot of time on the phone trying to get the whole picture, but as it stands now, the trip that we had so much fun planning out is just simply not viable any more. In other words, not good news at all.

So where do we stand? Well, we now have an absolutely wonderful travel agent contacting all her service providers to try and come up with an alternative plan and see if there is something there that might tickle our fancy, and if nothing comes from that, well then I’m glad to report that Chantelle immediately perked up and got all excited again when I laid out a new plan that included words such as “road trip”, “game reserves”, and “Sun City”.

No perhaps not quite as exciting, but I guess we’ll just see how things pan out first. It is a pretty bad and unexpected blow (particularly after we’ve already told everyone about our wonderful trip), but like I told Chantelle – at least she’s already got a nifty new ski jacket out of the whole deal! :)