It was May 17, 2012 when my five best girlfriends and I would embark to the far reaches of South Africa as bridesmaids and bride, to rejoice in the celebration of something beautiful. The excitement that filled our hearts was beyond anything I’d ever felt. Three plane rides, twenty two hours of travel time and one misplaced suitcase later and we were finally on our way to the groom’s home. We were in a new world, refreshed by what met the eye.
During our stay we managed to get a hold of an economy van which we drove from Cape Town up to Port Shepstone, a ten day affair that opened our eyes to the vast, open wonders of South Africa. The waves we caught, the mountains we climbed, the game parks we roamed, and the South African hospitality we felt were all just a milestone leading up to one important moment in our lives, the union of two lovers whom had spent two years apart upon their meeting. It was on this trip that we would rejoice and unite.
Nearing the big day, the girls and I were scrambling to get everything together. From painting wooden signs and sewing fabric, to crafting bouquets and soothing the bride, we girls were on a mission to make this happen. Little did we know, we were getting ready to step into a fairy tale.
June 7, 2012, was the day when two lovers united. Aside from the bride, the girls, the groom’s mother and a few friends packed the car and we were off to a far away farm in Oribi Gorge. Driving down an isolated dusty, dirt road, we were greeted by endless, lush fields of green and the warm, golden sun. We had reached our destination, overlooking a river gorge somewhere in the South African bush. The morning was fresh and the air still. We spent hours setting up the wedding site, hoping we were recreating what the bride had envisioned. After a long morning and afternoon, everyone left to prepare for the ceremony.
I didn’t quite know what to expect for my first bridesmaid experience at my best friend’s wedding. What I did know is that this day we would become fictional characters in a fairy tale. The ceremony was filled with love and passion, surreal beauty and the heart of God. Every face, glassy eyed, every mind pacified. We were the witnesses of a moment in life when lovers unite.
It was after the ceremony that I found my way to the edge of the cliff. I sat alone and pondered the meaning of life and friendship, travel and the world’s splendor. I let my feet dangle freely below me, as the sound of the river down below washed me clean. The commotion behind me blurred, I was captivated. I was free. This moment took my breath away. There was not a single word that could creep from my lips. I was awe-inspired.
About the Author: My name is Stephanie Villavicencio and I’m 23 years old. I love writing because it’s a great outlet for me to share my experiences and in turn to hopefully inspire people! I believe that following my passions is the best way to live and I live to invoke those feelings in others. Find me on Facebook.