Meikles Wedding

A View from the Window
- 7th July 2013 -

The most important things we seem to share the least, and one of these is the view we have of the world. When traveling the first thing I do after I arrive at the hotel is admire (or not) the view from my hotel. 

In comparison the view I had from the Meikles hotel window in Harare was not bad at all. We have all read about the political issues in Harare and the collapse of the Zimbabwe economy a couple of year back, so the general impression is that capital city is falling apart. 

My experience in Harare was totally different from what I expected as I was also one of those who thought the city would be disastrous. After being in Harare a few days I realized that the fall of the Zimbabwe Dollar and the heartache it had cause for so many is probably partly the reason the Harare city centre has survived. The Johannesburg city centre doesn't look nearly this good, and the South African economy hasn't been hit nearly as hard. So why does the Johannesburg city centre look so run down.... well because as money flowed-in, the investments moved more towards a newer city centre.... Sandton and various other locations, as a result slowly the tenants and inhabitants of the CBD moved towards the newer areas. This then left a bulk of city buildings with no occupants and therefore maintenance of these buildings stopped. Harare had a hard time during the past couple of years and the limits on investment in the capital has forced the owners and tenants of older buildings to cherish what they have and make the most of the it, so maintenance and upkeep had been constant... as a result..... a well looked after city centre.

While relaxing in my hotel room on Sunday waiting for Wimbledon mens final to begin, I heard some activity 8 stories below and peered out my window to what was going on. Someone was setting up a mobile gazebo in the hotel garden. It was clear that some event was being arranged. I decided to keep an eye out to see what was happening. Turns out the event was a wedding, this became evident as the stage was set. It wasn't long before people started arriving.

At this point I decided that this will be my first and last wedding photo event from a different perspective of course, they had their own professional photographer so I could do this just for fun.

The seats started to fill up and crowd seemed in good spirit for their special day. I then decided to order some room service to keep my mouth busy while I waited on the window sill.

The bridesmaids arrived with their shiny-head partners, and some other important people too!

It started to dawn on me that my room service might arrive just as the bride arrives.... Murphy's Law. I heard the knock at the door just as the wedding song started, so I scurried to the door, grabbed my food and quickly got rid of the waiter, but I hadn't missed it all.... as I returned to the window sill the bride was approaching her husband and her father was just about to give his daughter away.

I didn't have the ideal view of the service so I started on my lunch while the minister rambled on. I did get a photo or 2 in-between.

I finished my lunch just as the kiss-the-bride moment arrived and got a photo of that too.

The bride and groom were now officially husband and wife, and headed back down the carpet to get congratulated by their friends and family.

The service was done, so it was time for the celebration!

It was time to turn my focus to the Wimbledon finals, this is the closest you will ever find me doing a wedding photo shoot for strangers (I might help out a friend or 2 if they asked though).

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