Our Wedding

Our Wedding

Sharon Prior Getting Ready For Her Wedding

After months of planning the big day finally arrived. As is tradition the groom is not allowed to see the bride the day before the wedding and so I headed over to Nick’s house to spend the night. Sharon meanwhile stayed at our house with her two bridesmaids.

Donald joined Nick and I for my few last beers as a single man and we eventually climbed into bed at a very sensible midnight. Thankfully the few rums we’d had meant I had no problem sleeping and therefore got a good night’s sleep before my wedding.

The following morning Nick and I climbed lazily out of bed and relaxed on the couch playing Xbox. We then decided to play a little golf and headed for the mashie range where we met up with Briggsy, Johan and Robyn.

Robyn and Johan headed for breakfast at the local coffee shop while Graham, Nick and I got down to some serious mashie. By some random piece of luck there was a sponsored golf day on and we somehow got mistaken for participants and were soon being fed shots as well as various tasty snacks.

Mr And Mrs Prior Leaving The Church

After the mashie golf Johan joined us on the driving range to hit off a few balls. Somewhere along the line we ended up with a kiddies club and before we knew it we were hitting off balls on our knees and trying for the longest drive with the short club. Nick even managed to lose a few clubs down the range in the process.

When we eventually finished our tomfoolery and were walking off the range my dad walked up behind us and greeted me. It turned out he’d been watching us play silly buggers the entire time from the confines of the coffee shop.

We skulked off slightly embarrassed until we got wind of a mechanical bull at the local shopping centre. In retrospect this was not the smartest thing to try before a wedding. Thankfully there was a long queue and we never got the chance to ride the bull. Luck must’ve been on Sharon’s side.

Johan and Robyn left us at this point as the wedding was fast approaching. My two groomsmen and I made a quick stop at the local McDonalds to get a little food in our stomachs before heading for my house where we were getting ready.

Warren And Sharon Prior

We enjoyed a beer or two as we got ready and Jan, one of the photographers, joined us to snap off a few shots. He then headed over to Bhowani to finish off with Sharon and the bridesmaids while we did our last minute preparations, which involved dealing with a little sunburn I’d picked up on the golf course.

With the wedding scheduled to start at 2:30pm we headed for Highbury Chapel and arrived just before 2pm. We greeted the guests as they slowly arrived and then took our place in the front of the church.

It was at this point that I discovered that I’d put on the wrong suit pants and had a few small holes in the crotch area. FAIL! Being too late to worry about that we got down to waiting for Sharon, who was running later than expected.

As it turned out her sister had lost the car keys and they were stuck at Bhowani. Thankfully they finally found them and Sharon made her beautiful, and fashionably late, entry. She looked beautiful and, as all grooms will tell you, my heart stopped the moment she stepped through the door.

The chapel looked absolutely fantastic and I must congratulate Sharon for doing a fantastic job of organising the decor along with the florists. I had no idea what to expect and was hugely impressed.

The ceremony was fantastic and I cannot compliment our minister enough. We definitely made the right decision in choosing him. He kept it light hearted, involved the crowd who he had laughing with us, and didn’t make it too religious. We also had no hymns or readings which made it shorter than usual. Everyone loved it and we even received several compliments about it.

A small spanner was thrown in the works, by Nick of course, who passed the minister two key rings when he was asked for the rings. The minister was unsure as to how to react and as he was worried they were the real deal. Soon everyone realised what was happening and we all had a good chuckle.

Warren And Sharon Partying It Up At Their Wedding

The crowd left the chapel before us and we exited the church to the everyone throwing leaves and petals onto us. Sharon’s (and now my) 2 year old nephew came running over with a handful of leaves and, not quite understanding what to do, threw them straight into Sharon’s face and ran off. We had to laugh.

After the mandatory congratulations we cut the cake outside the chapel under a decorated tree. Although this was abnormal it meant that the guests could enjoy coffee and cake while the bridal party did the usual photos.

The cake cutting was followed by family photos in front of the chapel. The guests meanwhile made their way to Bhowani Game Lodge for coffee and cup cakes by the pool, overlooking Africa. The bridal party meanwhile headed for Inchanga for the creative photo shoot.

The shoot at Inchanga, with a backdrop of trains, was fantastic and I was hugely impressed by CJ Photography. The light was however fading quickly and we had to rush to get in all the shots. We enjoyed some champagne and laughter as the bridal party did their thing and ended off the photo shoot with a great shot of Sharon leaning against the Jeep’s bonnet while I stood on the roof.

We then followed the sun to Bhowani where Graham announced our arrival as Mr and Mrs. We had a quick drink by the pool while the sun set before heading into the venue for the reception. It had after all gotten rather chilly rather quickly.

The reception hall, as with the chapel, looked fantastic. I must once again congratulate Sharon and the florists for a job well done. The theme was orange, with the flower of choice being an orange Gerber Daisiy. The entrance was decorated with a small wooden bike complete with an orange flower arrangement. The tables then had a varnished banana leaf made into a small bowl as the centre piece, decorated with orange daisies. The tables were also each named (Love, Hope, Nest, Joy, etc) and the guests were placed accordingly. Finally the main table had orange petals and leaves lining the edge of it.

Nick Nortje Messing With My Car

In true Bhowani style the food was amazing. Of course it can’t all be listed here but there were prawns, fish, various roasts, chips, potatoes, currries, and much much more.

G did an incredible job MCing the evening and gave a fantastic mini speech. In the meantime I was well behaved as there were many things still to be done. My dad was given a small shock when Graham asked him to do grace. This was of course a joke since he’d specifically asked to be warned of anything he needed to do. Sharon’s mom stepped up to the plate well and said a good grace.

After mains it was time for the speeches. Sharon’s dad did a fantastic speech about his lovely daughter. This was followed by my short, seven minute, speech which was given adequate attention by the boys who all pulled their chairs across the floor to directly in front of me to put on the pressure. Thankfully I didn’t cave and managed to get through my speech with only the slightest hint of tears as I toasted my bride. This was of course amidst all the singing in both English and Afrikaans.

My speech was followed by Nick’s who took it very seriously and gave a fantastic speech, even including fly tying as the theme for his speech. Well done to Nick.

Speeches were proceeded by pudding which was great but apparently ran a little low towards the end tables.

After the pudding it was time for our first dance. Sharon and I opted for a rumba to an instrumental version of Fields of Gold. It was beautiful. Sharon did get a little nervous in the beginning and forgot a few of the steps. Thankfully we quickly recovered and finished the dance with style. Graham, Kerry, Nick and Sarah then joined us on the floor.

And then the party started!

Amidst all the dancing we stopped to do the throwing of the bouquet and garter toss. Nick helped Sharon onto a char and I headed under her dress to do my duty. Sneakily I hid a pair of panties in my hand and pulled them out much to the amusement of the crowd. In fact Nick almost broke down with laughter.

Brian caught the garter thanks to a good lift by the boys while Karen shot through the flock of ladies to grab the bouquet. Amazingly both of their weddings were already scheduled.

From then onwards the party raged. Sharon got in a dance with her father and father in law and I managed a few with my mom. Most of the people stayed to the end and had a great time. Things got slightly out of hand when Nick and Graham stole the local rhino head and used it to decorate my car with. Thankfully they got it back onto the wall before anything was broken.

Sharon and I were the last to leave the hall at 12am when the lights came on. The guests all left slowly and us family staying at the venue gathered outside for a single malt whisky. It had been a fantastic wedding and went off without a hitch…except of course for the unicorn (horse with a horn) above our bed.