Around the World in Three Weddings

Today is Efua’s Twirly Tuesday everyone!!  She’s a young, smart, vibrant student at the University of Ghana who went on exchange for a year abroad and took the opportunity to explore our little world and she came up with this for Purple Twirl’s Twirly Tuesday post! Exciting!  Plus! She’s and excellent writer and poet.  Follow her blog From a Beautiful Mind…..and she writes…

“What is it about marriage that gives a bride a heart-warming radiance; makes a groom beam with pride; coaxes the sun sparkle brighter than usual and presents every one of the guests a warm glow? Perhaps it is the fact that two people on entirely different paths found each other along the way and somehow managed to find common grounds enough to decide to spend the rest of their lives together, or maybe it’s just that the sun shone brighter during the weddings I’ve been to.

Every marriage bears a significant mark that sets it apart from others, a specific emblem that makes each one entirely different and places it on a pedestal completely different from one another.

One warm exceptionally beautiful day in Scotland, two people decided to get married; it was a simple wedding with family members and a few close-knit friends, and in its simplicity, one could have mistaken it to be a normal wedding, but just when the wedding vows were being exchanged and everyone was thinking: “what a simple nice wedding,” they heard the hoots of an owl and as everyone turned towards the sound, two great owls swooped down bearing the wedding rings and as these trained owls took their places and handed over the rings, this unique event caused an excited stir in all the guests.

In France, two lovely young people chose a cool spring morning to exchange their vows, and as everyone gazed at the couple with warm and gentle smiles, they remarked on the extraordinary details; particularly noting how the parents of the couple were adorned with the same colours and designs. Nothing about this seemed extraordinary until it was found out that the dressing was never planned, and they were at liberty to wear whatever colours or designs they wanted. And oh yes! It was it was a military wedding, and nothing quite beats a row of handsome young men dressed in military uniforms at a wedding.

Everything seemed quite ordinary at this Ghanaian wedding, after the blessing and the vows, the guests headed off to the reception but as I said, there is always that one thing. This time it wasn’t until after the church blessing that we realized that the reception was at the beach side, and when the bride decided to go barefooted on the cool grainy sand and the children run around without shoes on the sandy shores, photography time became a real treat. Let’s face it, when the bride decides to let go, everyone wants to go barefooted too. After all those wedding heels are murderous!

I have realized that even the colours of a wedding makes can make an impression, whether it’s fuchsia and orange or pink and white, or whether one decides to go with silver and green, each combination of colour creates an ambiance that is matchless. What makes Ghanaian weddings unique are colours and ambiance. As the Europeans go for a more laid back use of colour, Ghanaians pride themselves with exceptional combinations of colours to create a kaleidoscope of beauty and excitement. And of course there is the ambiance, each wedding, well almost, produces a joyful ambiance that radiates and causes smiles all around. However, with the excited chatter, questionable dance moves, cultural tones and the unmatched Ghanaian amazing sense of humour, and this is not biased, I have to say Ghanaian weddings make a mark that stay in your heart forever and leave you wanting for more.

But as Gene Perret put it: “We have the greatest pre-nuptial agreement in the world.  It’s called love.”  And so whether it is an owl swooping down with the wedding rings, or an uncanny coincidence at a military wedding, or an elaborate exciting wedding; whether in Africa, in Europe, in Australia, or even on the moon; it all comes down to the fact that two people who love each other have decided to commit their marriage to God and live together always. And in the end it’s never really about the wedding, but it is about how the marriage will survive and manage to find light even in the deepest obscurity. A wise man, that Perret, but of all the weddings I have been to, it is the occasion that makes lasting memories for everyone present. The thing is that, quietly lurking in the background as though not present but invisibly holding the threads of the wedding together is a wedding planner. Who is usually going through silent torture only to make sure that everything goes as planned and the couple has the perfect wedding they have always wanted.”

Lovely piece isn’t it?! Send your blog post in.  It could be about aaaaaanything, as long as you want to share with us.  We’re waiting to read from you 🙂  Send in your blogs to info@thepurpletwirl.com and thank you for reading once again.  xo

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Twirly Tuesday: My Day as a Wedding Planner(part 1)

Good morning beautiful people! As promised, this is our first post for Twirly Tuesday! Whoop whoop! As I mentioned, it is written by Aba, a friend and HR Professional who had to work on site with me as a PA in order to design an interviewing structure and assessment centre for that position. Happy reading 😊

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MY DAY AS A WEDDING PLANNER
“I groaned as I heard Abok’s phone ring. I had only managed to sleep after midnight and I was not looking forward to my sleep being interrupted. I heard Abok’s groggy voice transform into a gentle, clear soothing voice as she spoke to the caller. I peeked at the time through my eyes, which were determined to only stay open at a centimeter-wide, and realized it was 4am. I did not have to wonder too long about who was calling. It was the bride. I had no idea what she could possibly want when we had just left her four hours ago and she had specifically told us she was very comfortable. I only heard half the conversation which seemed to focus on a missing item which could range from the groom to the wedding veil. After two slips into sleep and several “relax, I am here for you’s”, I finally heard Abok cheerfully assure the bride that everything was in the hotel room where we left them. I mentally shook my head in exasperation and slipped into a near coma only to be prodded awake at 6am. I am not a morning person and today was no different…I was murderous.
That was only the beginning to my day as a wedding planner and I was still clueless about how it was going to end.
At 6.40, we walked into the venue for the wedding and my lessons began:

Do not panic; ever! When we got to the entrance of the venue, I saw Abok’s eyes taking in the scene and she was not happy. The lawns were scattered with cut pieces of cut ribbons and the tables were not set up. My eyes widened in panic as I realized the amount of cleaning up the decorators had left behind and the fact that the waiters scheduled to arrive at 6am were no where to be found. I looked at Abok in confusion as she seemed to be very calm. She told me panic would not help anything; we needed a solution.

Initiative: Without words we both started setting up the tables and furiously picking up the trash as we went along.

Firmness: Abok paused at interim to call the waiters and decorators to find out how close they were to the venue. Firmly explaining to them, any mess that came from their end would be to their detriment. This calm and cheerful boss of mine was dead serious and I worked faster without being told twice. I had a glimpse of the future at that point and realized fun was definitely over.

Leadership and team work: Within an hour everyone had arrived and I had to apportion duties to everyone while Abok scrutinized the final details of the décor. My patience was tested when I had to deal with a headwaiter adept at his job and did not want to be told how to do it. However, at that point, experience was irrelevant; prioritizing reigned. I decided to use my best strategy for getting work done: listen attentively and commend the suggestions but still tell the person to do what to be done now-suggestions could be used later. Fortunately it worked! As I walked away from glares digging into my back, I mentally sank to my knees in relief because any resistance at that point could waste the time we did not have.

Attention to detail: I had taken a break from what I as doing to ask Abok a question when I spotted her bent over some chairs with determination written all over her features. As I approached her, I noticed she was slanting all the wedding programmes which had already been placed on the chairs. I teased her that she may have some perfectionist issues but as I stood back and looked at her efforts I was astounded. She had been aligning the programmes with the direction of the chairs and that little extra detail added to the professionalism of the décor. Abok laughed at my astonishment and shouted across the lawn, “Isn’t it amazing how little touches can transform the décor?!” I could only nod in agreement.

Time consciousness: At 12noon when the guests started arriving, everything was set up, the waiters were dressing up and Abok was already on the phone checking how close the priest was to the venue. At 12: 45 the guests were seated and the bride was waiting outside in the car. I remember the priest suggesting the wedding started earlier as everyone was ready. That seemed like a good suggestion till I saw the groom at the bar. The poor guy was panicking and needed a drink. His best man was failing miserably at reassuring him and was eagerly looking forward to a drink too.”

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Okeydoks twirtly birdies. It’s quite a long post so I put it in two parts. If you enjoyed reading this, look out for the second part on the next edition ooooooffff….TWIRLY TUESDAAAAY!!😃 Have a fab rest of week everyone!!