Hello Fine Person

This is a digital invitation for our marriage celebration. To start with, we'd like to quickly tell you our story. It's not the full story, just a back-of-a-book type account. The celebration details and RSVP form then follow our stories.

House of Alex

The Story

According to The House of Alex

"Stop being such a bunch of whiny brats" were the first words I ever heard her say. I fell in love immediately. Ok, not real love. Not yet. But I certainly knew I wanted to know this person more. She was addressing our journalism class. They were a bunch of whiny brats - yet again complaining about some deadline and their pathetic inability to meet it. I, in fact, had much harsher words on the tip of my tongue. But I didn't have the balls to speak up. Her no nonsense, and entirely accurate, remonstration was memorable. It spoke to everything I have come to adore about Laura. Her honesty, integrity, and point blank courage. I kept stealing glances across the large lecture hall in her direction for the rest of the period. She had a physical glow about her. But not having the courage she herself just demonstrated, I did nothing more than look - admiring an upright flower rising from a mound of apathy.

"Crikey! He's a big fella!" was the second thing I remember hearing her say. This time her words came out with a Steve Irwin accent. She was talking to me. We had been put in the same group for an inconsequential practical. Her presence had quickly made it much less inconsequential to me. We didn't know each other, but that sure as hell didn't stop her from firing off at me in a bad Steve Irwin accent. We laughed together as if old friends. Our first conversation spoken as if it we our hundredth. I may have fallen in love for real at this point. Maybe not. All I know for certain is that she had now firmly planted herself in my mind and my emotions, and wasn't about to budge anytime soon.

Not long after this Laura went overseas on exchange. Nothing had happened. Probably due to my cowardice. Upon her return I decided I had hung back long enough. So much so, that I decided, of all nights, to force the issue while she was dressed as the living dead. A zombie costume of some sorts, with fake blood all over her face. My signature uncool, fumbling demeanour didn't, luckily, completely scare her off, and we finally had our first kiss. Me trembling. Laura with her face covered in fake blood.

She lead me to the roof of the Eden Grove building, where we sat somewhat precariously staring out over Grahamstown. It was a warm evening. We spoke for hours on that roof. I have no recollection what about. The specific contents of the conversation didn't matter all that much.

We have since had many such conversations. Sitting close, facing outward, staring inward, side-by-side, in admiration of the world around us. We have enjoyed dusty road trips. Tiring hikes. Gentle strolls. Long paddles. None of which would hold much significance in my memory had I not shared them with Laura. I proposed to her while walking in our now familiar Cape Fynbos surrounds, offering her natural symbols of what she represents to me instead of a ring. A beautiful wild flower. A crystalline rock. A piece of life-giving grass.

Laura makes my world - the living earth around me - richer. She is my vibrancy filter.

— Read Laura's version

House of Laura

The Story

According to The House of Laura

A year after arriving in Grahamstown to study journalism, I started to get to know an interesting, tall, blonde-haired guy called Alex. We were on the same radio training programme. He wore his hair in a half-ponytail and used to cycle everywhere on his bike. He was funny, intelligent, intense and there were sparks from the start.

At the time, Alex used to work at one of the dodgiest - yet most popular - pubs in Grahamstown. What comes next has to be one of the more embarrassing moments of my varsity career - right up there with that time I split my pants on the dance floor. I saw Alex behind the bar and proceeded to make a complete fool of myself, flirting like only an overly confident inebriated 20 year old can. Turns out my timing was terrible. Alex had just started dating someone else and wasn't interested (or so I thought). I was mortified and vowed to avoid him at all costs.

We didn't see each other much for a long time after that. Particularly because for the first half of the following year I went to the Netherlands on exchange. Secondly because I had made such a spectacle of myself. For the time being, Alex was out of the picture.

Fast forward to the end of 2005 and I'm at a Halloween party, dressed like a zombie. Later that evening, I bump into Alex out in town. We start talking. And talking. We climb onto the roof of one of the lecture halls, looking at the lights of the town. We walk the streets, go from bar to bar until even they start closing. We have our first kiss. We talk through the night. And we haven't stopped talking since.

What follows is a seven-year love affair that has seen the roots of our love grow deeper as we've travelled the country, growing up, getting real jobs and figuring out how to navigate this complex and surprising planet together. Since those early days, which are still so clear in my mind, we've done all sorts of things together and moved... a lot. We've lived in Johannesburg, Pretoria (what was that about?), Paarl (again, what were we thinking?), Tamboerskloof and currently, Sea Point.

We've stayed in haunted houses with rooms full of dead bees. We've sat on hilltops and spent many hours locked deep in conversation. We've paddled up rivers and relaxed on the beaches of Thailand and Transkei. There've been bee-stings on the nose (Alex), walking into plate-glass windows (me). There've been cold nights and red wine. There's been a constantly evolving sound track.

And in April 2012, during a morning stroll in the mountains near Robertson, Alex popped the question with an eloquent and incredibly beautiful proposal. And I said yes.

What continues to amaze me is that, even after all these years, the best part of my day is knowing that when I get home either Alex will be there to welcome me or that shortly he will arrive, open the door and I know we will be spending another evening together.

— Read Alex's version

The Celebration

We'll be getting hitched at Old Mac Daddy (5th - 7th April 2013)

General information

We will have exclusive use of the venue from Friday 14:00 until Sunday 11:00. We'd like to welcome all our guests to enjoy this beautiful and quirky space. View the map here.

Even if you're not staying at the venue, please do come over at any time during the weekend and lounge by the pool, take a look around and get a glimpse inside the fun trailer designs (see Old Mac Daddy's website for information).

The wedding is going to be a relaxed afternoon affair with a funky-formal flair. Remember to bring clothes for both warm and cold weather - the Cape autumn is beautiful but unpredictable. It's not, strictly speaking, going to be a traditional ceremony - it is just one part of a weekend celebration that we hope everyone enjoys.

Accommodation

Unfortunately we could not accommodate all guests at Old Mac Daddy. Here are a few nearby options:

Tri Active Lodge: 021 844 0975 info@triactive.co.za
Glen Stuart Cottages: 021 844 0197 info@rossgowerwines.co.za
Oak Lane cottages: www.oaklane.co.za

For more accommodation options, please visit www.elginvalley.co.za

Please take note that the school holidays end on the weekend of the wedding, so it's a good idea to book early. We didn't realise this when booking the date, promise.

Things to do in the area

There is good mountain biking and walking in the area. You can also go wine-tasting or enjoy a spa treatment at Old Mac Daddy.

Friday

We're going to be having a pizza night at the on-site restaurant on Friday evening from 18:30 onwards. It will be R90 per head, and even if you're not staying at Old Mac Daddy, we'd love it if you joined.

Saturday

The wedding ceremony will take place on Saturday at 15:00 on the deck overlooking the dam (unless it rains, in which case it will move indoors). Afterwards we'll be having some cocktails, snacks and acoustic music on the lawn.

Musical friends, please feel free to bring your guitars, drums etc and join in. Bring your swimming gear if you feel like a dip in the pool. We'll then be moving up to the restaurant to enjoy the sunset and an evening of good food and great company.

There will be some wine and beer, but if there's anything else you desire, there is a fully-stocked cash bar.

Sunday

If you're not sick of us yet, join us for breakfast on Sunday. For those not staying at the venue, it will be R45 per head for the continental buffet, and R55 for a full English breakfast.

Gifts

Corny as it sounds, having your presence is present enough - especially considering that many of you are travelling long distances to join us for the weekend.

If you really would like to bring a gift, you are more than welcome to, but we are not creating a registry. Contributions to our honeymoon fund are preferable.

The RSVP Form

Got an invitation? Enter your RSVP code below to get started.

Yeehaaa partner! That's a yes.

Nope. Can't make it.

Yes, that is correct.

No, it is for (enter number):

Note: if you want to RSVP for more people than allocated, go ahead, but we can't promise we'll agree to the larger number. Also, unless your baby and/or small toddler eats and drinks more than Godzilla, please don't worry about counting him/her.

Yessir. Pizza be mighty fine.

Nope.

of us will be joining

Vegetarian option

Fish option

x Vegetarian option(s)

x Fish option(s)

We will send out confirmation notices once all the guests have been finalised. Made a mistake & want to resubmit your RSVP?

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Old Mac Daddy fell off his tractor.

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