we drove to suikerbossie, the weather was beautiful aside from a bit of wind which would die down after the ceremony. my niece looked amazing, as did her mother and siblings, and everything seemed grand!
the ceremony itself was nice, and we made it almost to the end without a hitch! it would have been nice if my idiot ex-brother-in-law hadn't argued with the rabbi over whether the wine was kosher and it would have been much nicer if he hadn't bumped my niece out from under the canopy and started a men's-only dance after the glass was broken. usually, even at religious weddings in israel, the newly-weds stay under the canopy and all the guests have an opportunity to come and congratulate them.
next on the piss-off-everyone list was the divider on the dance floor. there was lots of traditional dancing - not my thing but my ex-brother-in-law dragged me into it anyway - but after ten frustrating minutes the divider came down and the band showed that they could play really good music too. much better!
their rendition of smokie - living next door to alice saw all of the groom's relatives on the dance floor singing along loudly, i don't know what that was about but it was most amusing. on a related note, i'm not 100% sure how i feel about him (did he really not recognize me without the beard?!) but his sisters are very cool and we got along well.
nobody knows who the bright spark is who invited my ex-brother-in-law to make a speech, but i'm pretty sure that they're sorry they did. the man got up and spent a long time slurring stupid and stupidly inappropriate things. he managed to properly offend a lot of people. that was followed by a speech by the groom's uncle which consisted of family in-jokes and non-sequiturs, none of which seemed to have anything to do with the bride or groom.
my sister's speech was good, though she did a substantial amount of shaming and i was horrified when she told a story of me and my niece that i felt wholly out-of-place:
my brother is three years older than his niece, and when we returned to live in south africa he obviously felt a bit displaced by her. one day we were in the kitchen and the two of them were in the lounge, and he jumped on the opportunity afforded him, chucking a pillow on her head and sitting on it. when we heard the commotion we rushed in on the scene... our father immediately rescued her, put the pillow on his head and promptly sat on it himself.
i was upset partially because introducing one's baby brother as an attempted murderer isn't cool and partially because the details were fudged to make a good story - i remember the incident well and i'm absolutely certain that i never intended to actually hurt her. make her suffer a little, sure, but not actually cause any harm.
the best part of her speech was her warning to the groom to treat his bride right: "if you don't, i'm going to hop on my broomstick and fly right over there..."
nice one, sis, nice one :)
there was no rum, but the food was excellent and the decidedly talented band managed to cover songs i don't like in a way that got me on the dance floor anyway. we all had fun, a little too much sun, and my (relatively) new brother-in-law and i entertained ourselves and others with general silliness until suddenly it was 4pm and everyone realized that it was time to begin the new year's celebrations.