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My surprise wedding!

There’s lots to celebrate in democratic South Africa, not least of all the right to love and live with your partner of choice. There are still many countries where it would not be possible for men to appear too friendly towards one another, let alone tie the knot – and then talk about it in the public domain. In this heart-warming blog about family love, and love in general, Jeremy Quickfall discusses how he got married in a surprise wedding planned by those closest to him. His blog has reached the finals of a blogging award on Change Exchange. We’re sure you’ll agree that its place among the Top 10 entries is well-deserved, after you’ve read his story. – JC

By Jeremy Quickfall*

On Saturday 5th July, my brother Lester celebrated his 40th birthday in heaven – his ninth one without us. I wanted to do something special on the day, so I took a few minutes at my gig to play a tribute to him. I made sure Mamma and Pappa were there: I was going to ensure that we did not forget. But little did I know…..

It all started six weeks earlier, when Mamma was admitted to hospital. That night I couldn’t stop thinking about how helpless Mamma looked. I told Shaun that I wanted us to move our wedding forward. We had spoken about the possibility of December 2015. I said that if something happened to Mamma before the wedding, I would never forgive myself.

Shaun phoned Mammie (his mom) and they started planning immediately. First thing was to ask my parents’ permission. He got their blessing, and Pappa (a retired priest) agreed to preside. They all agreed that getting married on Lester’s 40th birthday (I’m in tears again) was an excellent idea.

picture: wedding dresses

Over the next six weeks, rings were made, restaurants and hotels were visited, a guesthouse function venue was booked, our brothers and their families were invited, decor was planned, co-conspirators were found….

The story (according to Shaun) was that his mom had booked dinner at a fancy restaurant for us. He bought me shoes and a jacket, because I ‘needed new clothes’. We showered at the guesthouse and got dressed – both of us in new clothes. I wore the jacket and shoes, and Shaun wore a new waistcoat I had bought him for his birthday. His parents were picking us up.

When I was ready, I wanted to go to Mamma’s room because Shaun was taking forever to get done. He begged me not to go and said he wanted to ask me something. Eventually he put on his shirt and waistcoat, went down on one knee, produced a ring, and asked me to marry him…

I didn’t say yes, I just (stubbornly) held back the tears and hugged him. He asked again, and I answered. He said ‘come with me’.

As we walked up the stairs Shaun stamped his feet LOUDLY! “They heard you Shaun,” I said.

Shaun opened the doors and ‘So Close’ from the movie ‘Enchanted’ played softly. I entered a candlelit room. Pappa and Tamlyn (Shaun’s best friend) were there.

There was a 40th birthday cake for Lester as I entered the room. I was in tears and walked out, but Shaun dragged me back inside.

We stood close to Pappa. Our families entered the room in procession: Each member with a small bunch of flowers that they presented to us. The flowers were bound to create two beautiful bouquets that were placed on each side of our altar.

Shaun sang ‘God Bless the Broken Road’. Pappa did the ceremony beautifully and reverently. A traditional Christian wedding – including the exchanging of the rings ceremony and ending with the lighting of our unity candle (and of course a kiss).

We had our first dance in the chapel: ‘I Finally Found Someone’, followed by cupcakes and champagne, pics with the family, and then pics in the exquisite garden.

Dinner was an intimate affair with 16 guests at an award-winning restaurant on the beachfront. Mammie (Shaun’s mom) saw to the decor. Shaun told our guests that we would do it all on a larger scale again, but Our day was perfect and neither of us want to do it again.

A surprise wedding?

Do you love someone enough to give them a surprise wedding?

Shaun loves me so much that he always saves his last Rolo for me – even if he has the Rolos somewhere else, he brings the last one home for me!

I only one more thing left to say: If I had known I was getting married, I would have worn a shirt…

read more: bridesmaid dresses

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