Marrying Prince Charming
6 April 2013
On the 6th of April 1996, I married Prince Charming. Really, I did. Sure he goes by the name Grant, but that is merely to hide his true identity. 'Cause if everyone knew he was Prince Charming, he'd be swamped.
But our journey together started long before this date. On the 23rd of January 1990 to be exact.
And truth be told, for the first few weeks I didn't even know he was Prince Charming. It was his disguise that confused me and had me fooled. You see, I think I had my head wrapped up in the conventional physical attributes and traits of Prince Charming. You know the type. Quite buffed. Very, very handsome. Possibly tanned. Thick flowing hair. Perhaps even a tad too long. Very tall. Son of a king and queen. Heir to an empire and a kingdom no less. Exceptionally wealthy. Charming - well it's part of the name, so he'd have to be.
Is it any wonder I was confused? When I met him, Grant was the skinniest guy I had ever seen. He was all knobly and boney (not that one). Not a spare ounce of flesh. The blond, possibly long, thick hair thing was a problem too. He was clearly a brunette and the severe hair thinning was blatantly obvious. Even then. He wasn’t buffed. He was not the son of a king and a queen. Rather, the much loved son of Mr and Mrs Cloete (I called them that for years). There was no empire. No kingdom. No wealth. Never mind of the exceptional type. He was in the navy, earning a pittance. He wasn't tanned. But tall and handsome? That he had down pat.
So at first I read the signs wrong. The lavishing of expensive gifts didn't follow either. Nor the whisking off to exclusive balls.
In fact for the first few weeks I wasn't even convinced that he had a voice. He never said a word. All I got were goofy smiles. But speech? Syllables? Even sound? Not so much.
So how did it all come to pass?
Well, it’s all Stu’s fault. He’s the one to blame. Grant lived up the road from my High School, and unbeknownst to me, he had his eye on me. I was blissfully unaware.
Grant was friends with a school buddy of mine. I guy I had known for ages. We’d even been in Primary School together. And all it took, was for Grant to say to Stu, “There’s this girl in your school. She cycles to school every day and she has nice brown legs and she wears glasses”. Which was apparently all it took for Stu to connect the dots and say, “Aaahhh, that must be Linky (my nickname at school)”. I mean seriously! What are the odds?
And that’s where it all began. Stu started telling me about this lovesick friend of his, Grant. Personally I wasn’t interested at all. Really, I wasn’t. I had just recently broken up with a boyfriend and had decided that they simply weren’t worth the effort. Not at all. But Stu kept on pestering me. In fact, he was quite relentless. And perhaps due to Stu’s persistence, he slowly started chipping away at me. Tweaking my interest. In the end I was rather interested to meet this Grant guy after all. By now I knew that he was in the Navy. Was twenty one years old. And he liked me. A lot. So, clearly he had good taste. Which was an awesome place to start from.
And so the meet up was arranged. At the school swimming gala, no less. Stu and a bunch of other friends were there, and all of a sudden the skinniest, tallest guy I had ever seen in my whole life pitched up there as well. He didn’t say a single word. He just stood there awkwardly the whole time. It was not the most auspicious of beginnings.
Still, the bunch of friends were very forceful in trying to get us together. They kept on arranging for us to be in the same company. And they did all of Grant’s courting for him. Perhaps it is partly due to their excellent wooing skills that we’re a couple even now. Still Grant remained silent. I remember thanking him for a beautiful bunch of flowers which Stu gave to me from him. And upon receiving his blank look, it became evident, that said buddies had helped themselves to money from his wallet in order to buy the flowers for me. Grant was none the wiser about his gift to me. And big up to them. Because they never lied to me. The flowers were bought for me with Grant’s money. Perhaps if they hadn’t taken that initiative, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
But, eventually, he found his voice. Which was just as well. I love it till today. We waited six years before we got married. We had lots of growing up to do. Grant had to finish his military service. I had to finish first school. Then varsity. Find a job, settle a bit, etc.
Our wedding will forever more remain a highlight in my life. A beautiful, beautiful day. It was a true family affair. I got married in a great aunt’s dress, in my grandparents’ garden. Barefoot, own make-up, own hair do in which my mom pinned Ivy from our garden. All very natural. Not much faffing and fussing. My little girlie cousins were my flower fairies and Grant’s nieces were little attendants too. Our friends and family played an important role in our day. As they do in our lives even now.
Seventeen years ago, I married Prince Charming. And what an amazing stroke of luck it’s been.
And even more precious than any gift he could have bestowed on me, are the three beautiful children which we have together. More precious than the jewels in any crown.
My Prince Charming did good. And I’m so glad I didn’t hold out for that namby sounding buffed, blonde dude, throwing gifts around.
Mine is waaayyy better.
Protecting my vanity
My mom simply pinned Ivy from our garden in my hair - loved it!
Posing on my mom and dad's bed with the beautiful quilt my mom made on the bed
Pics in the garden - my bestie from school, Maryke also along
It all looked so beautiful on the checkered stoep in the back garden with greenery all around
My gorgeous Marmie and I
My dress was a beauty!
Loved every minute!
My most magnificent sister, Katrine - she was sixteen at the time
Albert serenading us in the garden
The Loubser kids
The Loubser Five
Love this pic of the three of us
One of my favourite family pics
Grant anxiously waiting - marquee tent in the garden, with Persian carpets dotted around
Walking down the aisle and the goodbye kiss from my dad
My dad hands me over to Grant and shakes his hand to seal the deal - and so the service began
Most beautiful view from the back over the mountains and most glorious setting
Kissing the bride and walking down the aisle as Mr and Mrs Cloete
Mass Lombards - including Oupa's beloved dog, Bonnie
Signed and sealed - it's a done deal
My most magical Flower Fairies - my little cousins, from l.t.r. Elaine, Maria and little Roxy
With our flower fairies on the stoep outside Cloetenberg
Most immediate Cloete family
Grant's extended family
Our attendants - bridesmaids, groomsman and best man - Katrine, Maryke, Marc and Jacques
Our helpers, good friends and family too
My Loubser family
Grant and I with my folks
So, so, so happy!
Random photo's on my sidewalk
I love this piccie!
We simply walked unannounced and uninvited into the neighbour's garden for some photos there too
So in love!
Cloetenberg garden at night - magnificent!
Grant's gorgeous nieces were little flower girls too - dispensing petals to all
Cutting our cake
Throwing my bouquet
The garter, ended up being a G-string - though there was actually a garter thrown in there too
Relaxing upstairs in Oupa and Ouma's bedroom on their bed - a few casual pics taken upstairs
The most beautiful oval mirror in Oupa and Ouma's bedroom. Everyone in the family has photos taken with it on their wedding day.
My car got killed. They put an entire branch on the inside. We got home from our honeymoon and only after being back at work for an entire week, and seeing clients in between, did I discover a lonesome condom still wrapped around a side mirror. Thanx guys!