Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Lombard Wedding Flash Mob


The Lombard Wedding Flash Mob
31 December 2013

So when an awesome cousin decides to marry an absolutely amazing woman, there’s only one logical thing to do.  If you’re a Lombard.  Come from a large and eccentric, musically gifted family.  Have the wedding at a family home.  Have a flair for the dramatic.  And a romantic heart at your core.

You have a flash mob.  Lombard style.

I had this crazy idea of doing a flash mob, for my cousin Gareth and Nicole’s wedding.  Yes, I’m an absolutely romantic at heart.  And weddings are simply my best.

I gave it a wee bit of thought and decided to ask my aunt, Bettie (she’s my mom’s fabulous sister, and the groom, Gareth’s mom – confused yet?), for her opinion.

Luckily she’s a Lombard too.  And thus also has both a flair for the dramatic and a romantic heart as well.  She immediately said, “Hell, yes!”.

And thus my plan was hatched. 

It was made simple by a few things.  Number one – for a successful flash mob, you need numbers.  And if numbers are the game, then the Lombards are sooo the right family.  Secondly, seeing as dancing was not the forte of the majority of people (myself included), a musical flash mob would be the order of the day.  And if musicality is the game, then the Lombards are sooo the right family.  Thirdly, you’d need people who are game and eager to do something fun.  Yet again, the Lombards are sooo the right family.

But here’s the thing – Gareth and Nicole, actually live in Joburg.  This is where they grew up.  Where they went to school.  Where they study and work.  Where their nuclear families (my uncle, aunt, etc.) lives.  As well as Nicole’s family.  However, the majority of the Lombard family lives in the Cape.  A Joburg wedding, made sense.  But a Cape Town wedding made sense too.  And thus, on the 13th of December, to great pomp and ceremony, Gareth and Nicole were married in Joburg – in a fancy, special, awesome wedding celebration.  Attended by those in Joburg, as well as a few Cape clan members.

There was always going to be a double celebration though.  And the Cape wedding was scheduled for the 21st of December.  A Bedouin tent was hired, the food was catered, tables and chairs were hired, bunting was strung, and the bride and groom, including their little Cape family flower girls, would be decked in full wedding regalia.  As they would already be technically married, there was no need for a full ceremony.  Yet a few words would have to be said.  The bride would walk down the make-shift aisle in the garden of my grandparents’ home, with her attendants on tow.  On the arm of my grandfather.  Speeches would be made.  Toasts would be said.  Champagne would be drunk.

This provided a perfect opportunity for a flash mob.  The idea was further shared with a select few chicks in the family.  All were on board.  My aunt asked me what song I had in mind.  And truly, there was only one option.  The Beatles music, had always had special significance for Gareth and Nicole.  In fact, the song, “Something” was the song played as Nicole walked down the aisle – at both weddings.  And thus, “All you need is love”, by The Beatles, was the perfect choice.  It is also one of the most used songs at wedding flash mobs.  In addition, chances were, every single person, including my grandparents, would know the song.

I started a WhatsApp group called, “NOT Gareth and Nicole”.  The first rule of “NOT Gareth and Nicole”, was to not tell Gareth and Nicole.  The second rule of “NOT Gareth and Nicole” was to not tell Gareth and Nicole.  Every single family member was invited.  And all were thrilled.  The best singer of the lot, my cousin Roxy Lombard, was unanimously chosen as the chosen one, for singing the main lyrics.  My cousin, Jacques Lombard, would play the acoustic guitar.  And the rest of us?  Well, we’d do the chorus line, and finger click for percussion.  As one can imagine, the WhatsApp conversations, flew back and forth.  With many debates – do we use the PA system or not, do we use the backing track, do we use more than one guitar, etc. etc. etc.  In the end, we decided with simplest is best.

For those family members at Kleinbaai (the family holiday house), we did a quick dry run, three days before the wedding.  Just to try it out.  This done without Roxy and Jacques.  It sounded magnificent.  Acoustic and slightly acapella was clearly the way to go.  The night before the wedding, I quickly printed out word sheets for everyone and we set up a rehearsal time for 3pm, on the day of the wedding.  A mere hour and a half before the start of the wedding. 

As the wedding was being hosted at my grandparents’ home and most of us would be there from early morning already, to help get everything ready, the biggest challenge, was attempting to surreptitiously sneak off about twenty of us for a quick rehearsal.  This done, without arousing the suspicions of the bride and groom.  Obviously, not everyone could rehearse, as it would appear really odd if simply all of us waltzed off at the same time.  We met at my aunt Trish and Roxy’s house and did a few run-through’s in the garden.  It sounded amazing!  I did a video clip of our rehearsal.  The link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvU0pSLvTrQ.

Eventually, it was wedding-o’clock!  And it truly was magnificent.  I can promise that there will be a proper wedding blog, in the not too distant future.  Including loads of stunning pics.  However, this is just a quickie about the flash mob, itself.

When it comes to any large Lombard gathering, I am one of the chosen ones – elected to say a speech.  This holds true for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  And thus Gareth and Nicole’s wedding was no different.  The bonus being that on this occasion, it provided us with a starting point and entry into the flash mob singing.  With regards to the speech thing, I must warn all – I’m not particularly good at it.  Public speaking is not my thing.  The writing the words for the speech thing is easy, yet it is the saying bit that I’m really awful at.  And therefore, I read what I have written.  It helps me a lot.  And also provides me with a place to look (on my piece of paper), and avoid the people staring at me.  My advice to you therefore, is to skip the speech bit of the flash mob – and just get to the rest of it.  If I was any better at the whole Youtube uploading thing from my video camera, I would edit the speech out.  Furthermore, the quality on my camera was awesome, yet during the upload, it has deteriorated quite a bit.  I suggest, you jiggle and adjust the quality setting to the highest maximum.  The quality is not the best, but you will get the vibe and the sentiment.  Simply love the fact, that most were singing along, finger clicking and swaying too.  And as a measure of exactly how spot on we were?  We brought the lovely bride, Nicole, to tears.  A feat not accomplished at the Joburg shindig.

And so, without much further ado, I present to you – The Lombard Wedding Flash Mob.  Enjoy!

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Me doing my speech - about to launch into the Flash Mob
Rehearsals in the garden at Trish and Roxy's place

Such fun!


  1. What fun it was. Thanks for posting such a lovely blog on the flash mob cousin. Xxx

  2. You have the best ideas Helene! A LOT of fun was had by all!

  3. I guess I will always cry when I watch this!! It is quite simply love made visible! Thanks Helene , not only for this FABULOUS blog on the flashmob, but also for being the brainchild and director! The flashmob was just the cherry on top of the Cape wedding, NEVER to be forgotten!! Such wonderful cousins and family!! Thank you!