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Jennifer

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This is a wedding report I did for another forum. It starts at the airport on the way there.

 

Happy reading - and if anyone wants to ask me any questions feel free.

 

SUNDAY

Our flight was brilliant. We flew with Virgin and upgraded to premium economy.

My wedding dress, which was draped over my arm in a big garment bag, was whisked away from me the second I stepped onto the plane and taken off to Upper Class to be hung up nicely.
We were directed up the stars to the bubble. I must admit I was VERY giddy at this point. I now LOVE upgrading. This could be a very expensive habit.
On arriving at the airport we were ushered into a minibus with another family and taken off to the resort. It was actually a lot nicer than being in a huge coach. We got chatting to the others and discovered that they had flown out for their daughters wedding, which was taking place on the resort the day before ours. The resort we had chosen was Almond Morgan Bay - we had 15 guests joining us and I really wanted to keep the costs down for them. AMB is an All Inclusive resort. 
There were a lot of strange sights as we drove the 90mins up the island.
Firstly was the livestock. It was common to see goats, cows and horses just tethered on verges at the side of the road.
Secondly was the BBQs. In what looked like bus stops people were gathered over a huge BBQ. From what we can make out, you just rock on up with your meat and cook your dinner.
Thirdly was the amount of Bars. Every third building had a bar sign, but some of them were literally just a worktop with 3 stools. I must admit, I see no problem with copious amounts of bars!
We got to the resort and were greeted with a rum punch and a hot towel, Nice and refreshing. Once we got our room numbers we were whisked off in a golf cart to our room, and assured our luggage would be joining us shortly.
What I havenâ€t mentioned yet, is the rain. It hadnâ€t stopped raining since we landed, and it was torrential. The kind of rain you only step out into for a second and you are soaked through. We hoped this wouldnâ€t be the case all week. Despite the rain though it was absolutely baking. 28 degrees! My hair suffered somewhat with the humidity, exploding into a ball of frizz from the sleek straightened look I was previously sporting. The “Frizz Ease†I had bought had better work otherwise I was destined to look a mess the whole holiday! 
We were a little disappointed with our room. We had paid a shitload to upgrade from a standard room to a superior deluxe on the beach front as these were supposed to be little bigger, which would be good for getting ready in on Wedding day. There was nothing really wrong with the room, but we had expected more. We toyed with the idea of upgrading again to the 1 bedroom apartments, but decided to stick it out. 
The food was gorgeous. Really good. We planned to stay up as late as possible to try to acclimatise to the time zone, but by 8pm we were so knackered we gave up and went to bed. 

 

Monday
Yep, going to bed early was a mistake. We were up at 4am, starving hungry. Breakfast wasnâ€t until 7.30, and we had devoured the plate of fruit they left us last night as soon as we arrived in the room. Making do with Werthers, Haribo and Cherry Drops (All left over from the flight) we waited until it was light, and then armed with the resort map we set out for a recon mission. On our wanderings we came across the security guard. He instantly guessed it was our first morning. Not sure if it was the pasty skins that gave it away, the dark circles under our eyes, or the fact that no-one else would be wandering around at 6am with a map!
He pointed out a lot of things, and chatted about the island, and assured us the weather was getting better. We assumed it was because he had been working on his own all night and was glad of someone to talk to, but we soon learnt – all St Lucians love to chat. You canâ€t get away from them once they get started! 

After breakfast the hotel ran an orientation meeting, telling you about how to book for dinner and about the resort, then it was time to go to the Virgin meeting. 
The rep, Natascha is really nice. She didnâ€t bother with the usual selling of the trips, but gave loads of really good information instead. As there was only a couple of groups she came and sat with us individually. We chatted about the wedding a bit and she advised us to move the time forwards in case we had a rain shower, and then we could still proceed. I asked her about the rooms, and the sizes and she said that all the rooms were the same, but it was only the views that were different. I wasnâ€t very impressed and she said that all Wedding/honeymoon couples get an upgrade to the very rooms we had paid extra for. Mentally composing the complaint letter I was sending to the agent that booked our trip allowing us to pay for a room we were entitled to anyway, I asked if there was any way we could upgrade to a 1 bedroom. I pointed out that 15 others were coming in 2 days and that we had bought them there, and off she went to reception to see what she could do. 
Hurrah – success! Also the block with the 1 bedroom appts in was only built 4 years ago, so was a lot plusher. Result.

 

Old Room

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View from Balcony

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New Room

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As we couldnâ€t change rooms til 3pm we decided to leave the resort and look for a supermarket. It was a bit of a hairy scary walk. Pavements apparently donâ€t exist. You just have to walk down the verge of the road, trying to alternate not being hit by the speeding traffic, and not falling down a storm drain that. At one point we were opposite a bull. “Its ok†I said, “Look itâ€s tethered†As the bull walks off down the verge itâ€s rope doesnâ€t get tighter….in fact,….â€Oh, there is the end of itâ€s rope. Not tethered anymore†Hmm. Speeding up, and hoping there wasnâ€t going to be a lull in the traffic that could allow it to cross the road, we instead found ourselves in a cash and carry. Deciding that whilst we wanted to buy snackettes for the room, the boxes of 64 packs of crisps perhaps werenâ€t what we were after and gave up. 
The weather was a lot better, so we spent the afternoon sat on the edge of the pool just dipping our feet drinking cocktails. 

We did make a brief trip to the wedding planners on site, having emailed them beforehand to get prices of bouquets we found they were cheaper than our planners. Technically, I did have a bouquet or two already. blush.gif 
I had ordered an artificial one of trailing orchids all bought with gold wire and brown, but 2 months before the wedding I decided I didnâ€t want a white bouquet, I wanted a purple one instead. I ordered one off Ebay, complete with buttonholes and hair flowers. I was pleased when it arrived but when it came to packing it, it did take up an awful lot of room. 
And I actually wanted a white one. 
But not the white one I had. 
Shoving them in the loft I had told the Mr they simply didnâ€t fit and we would get some out there.
In the hut that was their office I quickly saw a bouquet that I liked. That was me sorted. As for the button holes, the Mr was adamant that they should be purple. He hasnâ€t been adamant about too many of the finer details, so I wasnâ€t too bothered. I also though the deep purple would look nice against the white shirt. Except, they didnâ€t do a purple buttonhole. And going completely through the book it seemed like they didnâ€t do anything purple. We tried explaining it.
“Oh†she says “like your nail varnishâ€
“NO, that is pink. Fuchsia pink.â€
“Oh so more like your dress†
“Erm, no, that is navy blueâ€
“Oh. Like a lilac?â€
“No not lilac, just purple. A strong deep purple…..a regal purple†Ever heard of a regal purple before? Nope me either. I was just trying to describe what the colour would be like. I think I was thinking about the priests. Donâ€t they wear purple at some point?!?!
“ Do you have Cadburys chocolate over here?†
“Yes†Looking oddly at me
“The same colour as the wrapper – purpleâ€
I have no idea at this point what would turn up on Friday but fingers crossed they will be ok. They all looked nice so if the colour isnâ€t exactly right it wont be the end of the world – at this point I will take any shade of purple. 
One of our friends had let slip that we were going to be playing Mr and Mrs before the wedding. We decided to cheat, and had printed off a list of questions to swot up that evening. We actually did really well and so probably didnâ€t need to but it was nice sat out by the pool, chatting with our drinks, and feeling very pleased with ourselves, made it til 9.30 before heading back to the room. I know – rockâ€nâ€roll we arenâ€t.

 

TUESDAY

I woke up feeling quite excited. Not only was this the day the our friends and family were arriving, but it was also the day the planner was coming to pick us up to look at the wedding site, and the restaurant for our reception. Hoping and praying that everything would be what we expected we headed off to reception after breakfast. I spy someone waiting wearing a Dreamy Weddings Tshirt. I go over
“Tamara?â€
“Hi, Its Lucanda actually, Tamara has been called away to an urgent trade fayre in London†This instantly put me off. Who the hell has an URGENT trade fayre. And I am sure they knew before Tuesday. Trying not to let that bother me too much we got in the car and headed off to Pigeon Island. 
As we drove onto the causeway that let to the island I started to feel really excited. Pulled up at the gates to the National Park and after Lucanda explained why we were there he waved us in. 
We headed straight for the beach to see where we would be married. It didnâ€t disappoint.

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Check out those storm clouds!

The photographer was there to meet us also and he was busy working out where he wanted our gazebo. I started asking questions at this point
“So the aisle runner will lead from here?â€
“Oh are you having the aisle runner, thatâ€s a good choiceâ€
“We are meant to be.......it was discussed with Tamaraâ€
“Oh well if that is what your file says†Hmmm. I moved on
“And each chair will have a bottle of water, along with the favours I have in the car. And we have the marquee rightâ€
“Yes, if that is what your file saysâ€
I lost all confidence at this point. I was sure that all my emails over the last 2 years were on my file, as the accounts dept had listed everything I was having them when billing me, but since this girl hadnâ€t even read my file what chance was there that it would happen? Plus she seemed a bit like the office junior. Nice enough, but not very competent.

We left the beach and went off for a bit of an explore. There are 2 other locations where you can get married on the Island, the Gazebo and the Clifftop

I was pleased with the beach though, it was exactly as I had imagined it.
Back to our useless planner and I was trying to work out a seating plan with her. She told me what side the Mr would be standing and so I sat my Dad on the opposite side so it worked when we walked down the aisle. Everyone else was easy to work out and so happy with that we headed to the restaurant. Ti Banane in Rodney Bay
When we got there the manager and the chef came out to meet us. We sat with them just clarifying the menu and discussing the table plan. They were really helpful and so I started to feel a bit better about things – at least the meal looked like it would go to plan.
With that all sorted we made it back to the hotel in time for lunch.
The afternoon was spent by the pool with me constantly checking my phone. I couldnâ€t wait for everyone to arrive. I had told my Mum to text when they arrived at the gates of the hotel so I could go up to reception and meet them. On arriving they all looked as jaded as we had felt when we arrived! A 90 minute transfer is not to be taken lightly. 

Making plans to meet for dinner we let them all get settled in. That night was spent with us telling them about the hotel and them catching us up with Xfactor!

 

Wednesday
We spent a day just chilling out at the hotel. We all booked up for a couple of trips around the island (Anyone staying here make sure you go and see Joy on the beach by the hut. He is in his 40â€s and wears and orange T shirt. He gives better prices than his son!) We had planned to do a tip on a speedboat, stopping off at various places to snorkel but our guests wanted to do the Virgin “land and sea†tour which was a half day tour of the island on land and then a catamaran back, so we did that instead. We also booked zip lining. That afternoon we played beach cricket which was really good fun. We all play stoolball back home so this was familiar territory for us. I havenâ€t played really this year, what with the jaw op, and then protecting my face before the wedding I have missed it. We had been playing cricket for about 45 mins before it was my turn to bat. I was doing really well and said my lack of playing hadnâ€t affected my batting skills when it hit me. The reason I hadnâ€t played was so I didnâ€t get injured before the wedding yet here I was, 2 days before the wedding merrily getting stuck in. After getting told off I skulked back to a sunbed and watched the rest of the game from relative safety.

Check out this guy, he was up by our room, quite far from the beach!

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THURSDAY

Thursday
I had the most horrific nightmares ( would love to blame the abundance of cocktails I had on Wednesday night but really it was just stress) I suddenly realised that the planners hadnâ€t confirmed the changes to the vows that I requested before we left. I lay there fretting for a couple of hours before giving up and heading to reception to email them. I just said I hadnâ€t had it confirmed, hoped there wasnâ€t a problem and said if there was could they call me.
The order of the service they sent over was this

Minister:
We are gathered here today to witness the coming together of two people, ------------ and ---------------------, whose hearts and spirits are entwined as one. They now desire to profess before all the world their intention henceforth to walk the road of life together.
To these two young people, this marriage signifies the birth of a new spirit, a spirit which is a part of each of us, yet not of any one of us alone. This "birth of spirit" reminds us of spring, the season when all life is reborn and looms again. It is appropriate, therefore, that this wedding of -------------- and -------------- be in the spring, and that it be under the open sky, where we are close to the earth and to the unity of life, the totality of living things of which we are part.
The beliefs and thoughts about love which motivate these two people are perhaps best expressed in the words of poet Kahlil Gibran:
"You were born to be together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in your silent memory.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heaven dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bondage of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not of the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone, though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping,
For only the hand of life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together,
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in shadow."
Minister to Bride:
Do you ----------, knowing this man's love for you and returning it, realizing his strengths and learning from them, recognizing his weaknesses and helping him to overcome them, take -------------- to be your lawfully wedded husband?
Bride:
I do.
Minister:
Place the ring on his finger.
Minister to Groom:
Do you ------------, knowing this woman's love for you and returning it, realizing her strengths and learning form them, recognizing her weaknesses and helping her to overcome them, take ----------- to be your lawfully wedded wife?
Groom:
I do.
Minister:
Place the ring on her finger. Let these rings serve as locks–not binding you together–but as keys, unlocking the secrets of your hearts for each other to know, and thus bringing you closer together forever.
And now ----------- and ----------------, seeking the fulfillment of love and marriage, find again that the poet Gibran speaks for them:
"Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks to another day of loving.
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home eventide with gratitude, and then sleep with a prayer
For the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips."
I now pronounce you husband and wife
.

Now  these vows were rather sparse I thought Where was the "in sickness and in health, forsaking all others til death do us part"?. So I had asked to add a little extra to them. I had also asked to substitute the readings for others we had chosen. 
Feeling a little better I headed to breakfast, only to be told that I did indeed look frazzled!

That was the day we had booked the land and sea tour, so off we all went.
The tour was quite good, very informative and interesting but some of the roads are a bit EEK. 

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As we were just driving through the rainforest my phone went off. My heart sank, as this obviously meant there was a problem. I didnâ€t have enough signal to be able to hear properly, so arranged to call back. As soon as I had signal I phoned back – no answer. We played phone tag for a good hour, me getting more and more wound up as time passed. In the end we managed to speak and Lucanda informed me that the minister has a set list of things to say and cannot deviate from it. Feeling very disappointed I explained all to the Mr. I was fighting tears the whole time. This was not the ceremony that I had wanted. sad.gif 
The Mr, I have to say was brilliant. 
He said all the right things, that the important thing was that we would be married, that we knew the vows we wanted to make to each other and that just because we didnâ€t say them out loud didnâ€t mean that we still werenâ€t making them in our hearts. I knew what he was saying made sense, but I was too upset to properly believe him. It took a good 2 hours and a Twix ice cream for me to rationalize in my own head that he was right. 
Once I had cheered up ( to the relief of all our friends and family) it was time for the boat section of out trip. We got on, and found ourselves seats/nets to sunbath on and we set out of the harbour.
Heave. Vom.
We were going really slowly against the swell of the waves. This is helpfully when they served lunch. Ever tried to put a fork in your mouth when everything is moving? It is not fun and leads to more feelings of sickness. Curling myself in a ball I managed to shade all of myself with my massive hat, I looked at the horizon and hoped not to vom.

 

We continued our slow pace. Speedboat after speedboat whipped past. I knew we should have gone for that option – we have a speedboat so I knew I didnâ€t get seasick on that. We stopped in a cove for some snorkeling and although I didnâ€t fancy snorkeling I was desperate to get off the boat. I spent the hour we were there bobbing around in the sea and swallowing copious amounts of saltwater, the sea was really rough and kept crashing over my head. Despite this it was still better than the boat! I had asked the rep if I swam to the shore was there any way I could get back to the hotel, Apparently not. My brothers girlfriend had also been feeling queasy so we both sat in the centre on the boat on the way back. It was also a bit of a faster journey which helped with the rolling around. I ate an awful lot of crisps on the way back.
I cannot tell you how happy I was to arrive back at the harbour.

That night we had booked to go to the adult only restaurant. I felt so ill though that I couldnâ€t enjoy the meal. I donâ€t know if it was all the sea water, or the motion but I felt ever so dizzy. Just about managing to eat my food I went straight back to bed. Not how I envisaged spending the night before my wedding. I convinced the Mr to leave me alone as I was only going to sleep. No sense him being stuck with me, so he went back to the bar for a drink or 2. Once he had gone I took some Night Nurse. We had packed it as the Mr had a cold when we left but it came in very handy indeed.

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Friday – Wedding Day excited.gif 

I woke up feeling rather odd. Luckily I didnâ€t feel ill anymore. I wasnâ€t excited, or nervous, or worried but strangely empty. I couldnâ€t work it out. Wasnâ€t I supposed to be ultra hyper? Usually I am when ever I have been looking forward to something. 
The night nurse had worked, as it was gone 7. As I was lying there trying to work out how I felt, the Mr woke up and gave me a massive grin. No mistaking his feelings, so I grinned back. 

We thought we had better eat a decent breakfast so after making ourselves presentable we started to head to breakfast, only to meet my brother on the path, heading in our direction. He looked a bit embarrassed as he explained he had been sent to get us by our well meaning yet bossy friends. As we got into the restaurant we found they had a “boys table†and a “girls table†Taking our assigned seats I saw the girls were all wearing their Blackpool t shirts, with the Blackpool crossed out and St Lucia written in. 
I was told to get a good breakfast. As I wandered off, still feeling a little spaced one of the girls came bouncing over saying she was really excited. Just then a wave of butterflies hit and I almost vomited on her. 
Nice. 
I looked over at the Mr who was piling his plate high with fried foods. “Nice to see his appetite isnâ€t affected†I grumbled. They pushed a croissant and OJ down me and then we went for a walk on the beach. A couple stopped us and asked about the T shirts, saying they had seen “Mother Hen†at breakfast. After explaining, and them wishing me good luck we asked then to take out picture all together. It turned out the guy was a profession photographer. He took a couple of our pics and then decided that the camera just wasnâ€t good enough and so got his! Result.

 

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He gave us his business card and said if we emailed him, he would email them back. At that point the boys appeared, so he took their pics too.

 

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I had planned to stay out the sun, so got comfy on a sunlounger under a big parasol, watching the others kayaking.

As my Mum was helping me get ready, she and Nick did the big room swop at midday. I had a shower, and painted my nails. Again everyone had been on at me to eat something so I had pre-ordered a couple of chicken baguettes from room service.
I had booked into the resort spa for my hair and makeup, but hadnâ€t had a trial – I just figured if I didnâ€t like it I would re-do it. My appt was 1.40, but as it was the other side of the resort and I didnâ€t want to get all sweaty I called reception and ordered a buggy to take me. As that arrived, so did my lunch. I put it in the room and figured I would eat it when I got back.
The spa was lovely and cool. The person doing my hair wasnâ€t much of a chatter, but that suited me fine, I wasnâ€t really feeling up to chit chat. I couldnâ€t understand why I felt so nervous. I had no qualms about marrying the Mr, I was absolutely sure about him so feeling so sick seemed silly. Didnâ€t stop me though, no matter how much I tried to pull myself together.

I was really pleased with my hair, having decided on a side ponytail with curled ends. It suited the beach vibe perfectly. She also did a great job of my makeup, with it looking fairly natural. They called a buggy to take me back and I went to wait outside. It seemed to take ages for the buggy so I decided to walk as I didnâ€t want to waste time waiting. Good job I did too – by the time I got back to my room it was 5 to 3. I only had 20 mins until my Mum left! No time to eat, so I got to work.
I quickly lathered myself in the body lotion that accompanied my chosen wedding perfume “Vera Wang – Bouquet†and put on my jewellery. I also had an ankle bracelet that was pearl and blue that was a gift from a friend. As Mum zipped me into my dress as there was a knock on the door, my Dad had arrived. That was Mums cue to leave. 

 

My Dad took one look at me and said “I think you need this†handing me a drink. I took a sip, and was pleased to find out it was a double Archers and Lemonade. “I got something clear in case you spilt it†It did the job and by the time I had finished my drink it was time to leave. He slipped a sixpence into my shoe, and we left the room to walk to the lobby. I didnâ€t want to risk ordering a buggy but as luck would have it there was one outside. Just clambering in was the groom from the wedding that was taking place at the gazebo at the hotel. I asked if we could hop on too, and we got a lift. We quickly explained to the driver that if we yelled, he would need to stop quickly to make sure I stayed hidden, just as we werenâ€t sure if the Mr had left yet.
The coast was clear, and our car was waiting. The aircon was blasting which was a relief as we started the 15 minute drive to Pigeon Island. Well, I say 15 mins, but it seemed we had hit rush hour. I began to get edgy, but my Dad reminded me that they would also be stuck in the same traffic. We filled the journey with chitchat and I began to calm down. Excitement was beginning to take over the nerves.

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As we waited at the gate to the National park, someone tapped on the drivers window. As he lowered it the guy asked “Are you here for the wedding?†The driver replied “Yes, I have the bride†The guy nodded and walked away. I just figured it was someone from the park clearing us to drive in (since you arenâ€t usually allowed).
The car drove in, and then rather than heading for the little drive he abruptly turned left and drove straight onto the beach. I opened my mouth to say “No, Not here†when I actually looked at the beach and saw…………………………………No-one.
The beach was deserted. 
No Nick. 
No Guests. 
No Wedding planner. 
No photographer.
ohmy.gif

 

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I mean, it was decorated. It looked lovely but was completely devoid of anyone.
This. Was. Not. Right.
A million thoughts began running through my head. Had there been an accident?
Oh God, he has left me. (Bizarrely the next thought after this was not “Donâ€t be silly he loves you, but donâ€t be silly he is on a bus with 14 of your friends and family – they would NEVER let him jilt you)
“Where the f*** IS everyone†I demanded from my driver. 
My poor Dad – he has never heard me swear before. Just as I had worked myself into fever pitch the wedding planner threw herself at my door and yelled “DONâ€T GET OUTâ€
“Erm, ok.†I said. Just then my Mum came sprinting onto the beach looking for me. “Is she still in the car†I heard her say. The wedding planner told her I was and that she was taking me away. She directed the driver back off the beach and to the parking area that we should have been originally headed to at the top of the steps to the beach. As we drove off, we saw the minibus with everyone else was stopped just inside the gates.
It turned out, that the minibus driver had taken them to the public beach. the Mr hadnâ€t really paid any attention to where they were going, and when he noticed that the route was unfamiliar he just put it down to the fact we had only been there once and he must not have remembered the route correctly. It was only when the first person got out of the minibus and said “I donâ€t think Rach would have picked here to get married†did he realise there was an issue. They piled back onto the bus and as they waited to turn back onto the right road they saw my car go sailing past. Apparently he said “ Oh God, if Rach gets there first she will completely freak out.†How well he knows me! The bloke that had knocked on our window was their driver. He was meant to say that they were behind us, but didnâ€t. That would have saved a mini breakdown on my part if he had!

Once I was satisfied that there was still a wedding going on we waited patiently for everyone to take their seats. Thanks to the trees I couldnâ€t quite see properly, but I did see the Mr be taken to the top of the aisle and walk down it. Assuming the videographer had asked him to I giggled a little. He hates having his picture taken and so I bet he was hating it. I also had one eye on the clock. Our service was meant to start at 4pm. It was now gone 4.30 and I was worried about losing the light.

The planner arrived along with the photographer and videographer. It was time.
I got put the car and just as I did it started to rain. Squeaking, I dived back in the car as fast as I could. As I did, I heard a snapping sound behind me. I prayed it was just my poppers bursting open, and not my dress ripping. Anyone that has worn a wedding dress knows they are not garments you can really rush anywhere in, and so launching myself into the car was bound to take its toll. As we took sheter I watched the action on the beach. Several pain of legs ran back and forwards carrying chairs (well I am sure there was more to them than that but all I could see was the legs)
After a few minutes the rain stopped and brilliant sunshine appeared. I watched as the legs laid the chairs out again, and once more it was time to get out the car.
I explained my wardrobe malfunction to my Dad, who after a few attempts managed to do my poppers back up. Roger helpfully captured this all on camera. I told him to stop taking pics but he just grinned at me and said he was getting an accurate picture of the day. 

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My Dad came round the car and said “lets get you marriedâ€

I walked to the top of the steps and said let me know when the music starts. “Its playing†said the planner. “Oh crap, we had best hurry up then†I couldnâ€t hear it at all!
I made my way down the steps as gingerly as possible, praying I didnâ€t fall, and then slipped my arm through my Dads. 

 

As we got nearer towards the aisle and chairs I could hear the words of my entrance song “Feeling Good†It seemed apt – “itâ€s a new dawn, itâ€s a new day, itâ€s a new life for me. And Iâ€m feeling goodâ€
Listen here

 

My eyes met the Mr's and he, safe in the knowledge all eyes and cameras were on me, poked his tongue out. My nerves floated away as my mouth curled into the biggest smile possible back at him. My Dad took his seat, and we held hands as the Minister welcomed us. 

 

Minister; N and R, do you come here freely, without reservations to yourselves freely in marriage?
Us; Yes
Minister; Do you promise to love, honour and respect each other as husband an wife for the rest of your lives?
Us; Yes
Minister; Do you promise to cherish each other as long as you both shall live?
Us; Yes
Minister; And do you declare that there is no legal impediment to this marriage?
Us; Yes, um no, um Yes? (Giggles as we werenâ€t sure what the correct answer should be)
The minister then ignored all our giggling and went straight into our first reading which was Union by Robert Fulghum

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, you have been making commitments in an informal way.

All those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks. All those conversations that began with, “When weâ€re marriedâ€, and continued with “I will†and “you will†and “we willâ€. All those late night talks that included “someday†and “somehow†and “maybe†- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. 

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that weâ€ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.†Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years.

Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same. For after today you shall say to the world: This is my husband. This is my wife.




As we started on the declarations, the rain started again. Not enough to stop anything, but enough to make me worry for my hair! I looked out on our guests who were all hiding under umberellas, or fans. 

The videographer had an umbrella, but me, Nick and the minister were all getting wet. It didnâ€t occur to me until afterwards that I could have stepped back 2 paces and been sheltered by the canopy- Dâ€oh. In the video you can see me roll my eyes as the rain starts and proper frown at the sky in disgust. It did stop by the time we finished the ceremony with the only damage being to my fringe. 

Minister; Do you R, knowing this man's love for you and returning it, realizing his strengths and learning from them, recognizing his weaknesses and helping him to overcome them, to respect him, care for him and be faithful always take N to be your lawfully wedded husband?
Me; I will. (the nerves had returned. On the film I have got a proper chest heave going on)
Minister; Do you N knowing this woman's love for you and returning it, realizing her strengths and learning form them, recognizing her weaknesses and helping her to overcome them, to respect him, care for him and be faithful always, take R to be your lawfully wedded wife?
Nick; I will

Minister; I want you to now repeat after me. I, N , take you R to be my lawful wedded wife. To live together in matrimony from this day forwards I promise to love, comfort, honor and keep you for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and joy, forsaking all others, be faithful to you as long as we both shall live. 

(I was actually a bit annoyed at this point. As I said earlier we had asked the planners for a detailed running order of the ceremony so we knew what to expect. It now seems like we didnâ€t need to make any changes, and actually would be repeating ourselves somewhat. The whole point of asking was so we knew what would happen at the ceremony and not feel like we didnâ€t know what was going to happen next but here we were, caught completely off guard, being asked to say who knows what. I was really cross with the planners and as they have asked for feedback – well they are going to get it! It would also have saved all that upset the day before)

My turn. I got a bit teary and my voice wobbled a bit but I managed to keep it under control. N said he didnâ€t notice at the time but watching the dvd he said he can see how close I was to crumbling.

 

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Minister; Can I have the rings now?
Us both together; Just the one ring. (Again I had told the planners this on more than one occasion, so rolled my eyes again. Everyone caught this unfortunately and they all laughed at me) 
N placed the ring on my finger easily. 

 

Minister; Let this ring serve as a lock, not binding you together but as keys unlocking the secrets of your hearts for each other, and bringing you closer together forever.
And now, R and N, seeking the fulfilment of love and marriage find that an excert from “Captain Corellis Mandarin speaks for you.
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes then subsides.
And when it subsides you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together
That it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because that is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement,
It is not the proclamation of promises of eternal passion….
That is just being “in loveâ€, which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
And this is both an art and a fortunate accident…..
To have roots that grow towards each other underground,
So that when all the pretty blossom has fallen from your branches.
You find that you are one tree and not two.

 

And now, by the powers vested in me by the state of St Lucia, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride.

 

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Our Crowd cheered, And then they threw petals at us.

 

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We then moved over to the signing table to sign the paperwork. Although we had given the names of the witnesses in advance, they asked the Mr when he arrived. We had decided on my now ex stepdad, as he raised me from the age of 2 til I was 16 and we are still very close now (In fact, he incurred the wrath of his new partner by coming out to our wedding flat out refusing to miss it. I was really touched by this and wanted to reflect that). We also planned to have my Mum, but to keep it as a surprise until it was time. As Mum was stood next to the Mr when they asked him he panicked and said the name of one of our friends instead. 
So when asked to bring the witnesses over I asked my Mum and D to come over. Mum looked confused, which I expected but then Nick said “Not your Mum – Landy instead†I looked at him and he explained what had happened (another black mark for the planners – they should have got the paperwork in order first) So then I said to Mum “Surprise! You were a witness, but now you arenâ€t. Sorry†She was ok with it, she knew she had meant to be and was pleased. I also had to thank Landy for stepping up!
Our music started playing again. First off we had Bellaâ€s Lullaby from Twilight.
Listen here
(I know, it seems very teen, but it is such a beautiful piece of music. Plus, I reckon I can play it, the piano part anyway, with enough practice and so plan to learn it properly.)

The second song was Umbrella but the Mandy Moore version.
Listen here
As much as I love the original, it is a bit "street" for a beach wedding and you donâ€t really get to hear how moving the lyrics are. We both love this version and thought it would be perfect. Also since it rained, it was a little bit apt even if neither of us actually had an umbrella!

 

Paperwork complete, the minister just had one last thing to say 

As you stand bedside the ocean tide, may your love always be as constant as the ocean waves flowing endlessly from the depths of the sea upon the sand. My the love you share rest softly in your hearts just as the foam rests softly on the sand. As the sun reflects brightly off the crystal blue waters so may the love and promises you made be evident to all those who cross your path that this day on you walk forward as one. And as these waters nourish the earth, and sustain life, may your precious love for each other nourish and sustain you for all things to come. 
Congratulations. 

 

As we walked back down the aisle Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls began playing, listen here and our guests waited either side forming a line blowing bubbles at us.

Then we waited at the bottom to form a receiving line to thank our guests for coming and to receive their congratulations.

 

We then had champagne on the beach with everyone and chatted for a bit before being whisked off for some “coupley†shots in the ruins. Iâ€ll be honest, I felt a bit of a twot doing these. Everytime we were told to look into each others eyes lovingly we just couldnâ€t stop giggling, so there arenâ€t many romantic ones and lots with smiles.

 

72496_447930856805_731541805_5815045_5910008_n.jpg

 

73007_447932366805_731541805_5815097_5527192_n.jpg

 

We went back to the beach to grab some group shots and then as we were doing a couple more couples ones I looked up and our guests were off. “Where are they going†I asked only to be told it was time to go off to the restaurant. 

I felt a bit deflated at that – I hadnâ€t got all the pics I wanted and the time had gone so quickly. I was going to get them back but then realised it was almost dark (sunset does creep up on you rather) and the shots wouldnâ€t come out anyway.

 

I necked the rest of our champers, well it was a shame to waste it, and we got back into the car to go to Rodney Bay.

I was really pleased with how the table looked when we got there. I wasnâ€t that fussed about what the table looked like (bad bride!) so just gave them petals, candles, and purple crystals at our earlier meeting. They did a really nice job actually.
We had a rum punch as a welcome drink and just milled about til the food was ready.


I had wine glass charms acting as place settings (for the ladies – the men just had to sit next to their ladies) The girls were really pleased with these. I was also sporting a new apron 

The food was amazing – really out of this world. We got to choose from the main menu, but had to get our choices pre ordered.
We could have

Appetizers
Tamarind Chutney Glazed Conch Fritters with Dasheen Salad & Green Apple Relish
Seared Scallops with Grilled Bacon, Mango& Avocado Salsa
Tropical Tossed Salad with Marinated Feta Cheese (Lettuce, Tomato, Cucumber, Bell Pepper, Red Onion, Pineapple, with Passion fruit Dressing)
Cream of Pumpkin Soup with Sautéed Gingered Shrimp & Caramelized Almond
Caesar Salad with Sautéed Chicken Marsala & Parmesan Crisp
Mixed Green Salad with Creole Bruschetta & Citrus Vinaigrette

Main Course
Sautéed Shrimp with Garlic Butteror Curry Coconut Sauce
Chefâ€s Char–Grilled Baby Back Ribswith Guava Barbeque Sauce
Steamed Creole Style Grouper in Shadon-Bene & Tomato Broth
Ti Bananneâ€s Orange & Ginger Glazed Red Snapper
Pepper Jelly Glazed Chicken Breast with Tamarind jus
Braised lamb shanks à la Bourguignon with Grilled Merguez
Caramelized Pork Cutlet with Rum & Raisin Sauce
Asian Marinated Beef Tenderloin
Grill Rib eye Steak au Poivre
Chefâ€s Vegetarian Platter
Sautéed Beef Tenderloin Tips a la Marinara.
Seafood Fettuccine with Tomato & Basil Cream Sauce.
(Mussels, Shrimp, Scallop, Fish)
Penne with Sautéed Mushrooms, Mascarpone Cheese, Grilled Vegetables, Sun dried tomato & Pesto Sauce

Vegetable Dishes (we could choose any 2 of these)
Sautéed Steam Vegetables
Coconut Jasmine Rice
Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables (Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers, Zucchini, Egg Plant, Mushrooms & Fresh Herbs)
Fried Cinnamon Ripe Plantain
Baked or Sautéed potato with Herb Butter
Parmesan Mashed potato
Creamed Spinach with Goat Cheese
Cajun Steak Fries

Desserts
Fresh Fruit Salad with Mint Dressing & Lemon Sorbet
Chocolate fondant served with Chocolate Ice-cream and Caramel Sauce
Deep fried Banana Sandwich served with Chocolate Sauce, Vanilla Ice-cream
Trios Mousse aux Chocolat
Soursop & White Chocolate Cheese Cake
Ti Bananneâ€s Sea Moss & Coconut Crème Brulee
Mango & Coconut Gateau

I kid you not, each and every dish was A-Mezzin. We thought the food at the hotel was good but this was something else. I had the beef tenderloin and it just melted on the tongue. I was gutted I couldnâ€t finish it all but I had to save room for my Banana sandwich!

Between the mains and the deserts we refreshed the drinks and then we had the speeches. Nothing about our wedding was very formal and I was keen that we didnâ€t go overboard on the speeches. My Dad spoke first. As I had asked him to keep it brief he just welcomed the Mr to the family, said I looked beautiful and that he was proud of me. Short and sweet! As we had received some cards prior to going away he opened those and read out the messages. It is now that I have to fess up to some first class idea nabbing. Until I joined these sites I had absolutely no idea that you could write off to TV shows or football clubs for congratulation messages. 
My Dad has put this envelope at the bottom of the pile to read out last. Nicks face was a picture as soon as he heard what it was. He was totally made up. We had agreed not to get each other gifts to save on the budget but this was free so I figured it was ok!

 

Between courses we snuck out to make a couple of phonecalls back to the UK. One was to the Mr's Dad who seemed most put out that we had woken him up (it was only 11pm UK time and we thought he would WANT to speak to his son on his wedding day) and one to my ex StepMum. My family is complicated – I have step and ex-step parents all over the shop, but I have remained really close to my StepMum and we often visit each other despite living 70 miles apart. I was really upset she couldnâ€t come but it just couldnâ€t be avoided.

 

All too quickly it was time to head back to the hotel. I was glad to be back in the air conditioned car, it had been 35 degrees that day and the evening was still 28, so I was struggling a little in my dress. When we got back to the hotel everyone was there waiting with the bubbles that had been on their chairs on the beach.

We headed off the to bar for a few more drinks. As we were there I noticed the 2 other brides from that day had both got changed into something else leaving me to feel like a bit of an attention seeker. Never mind I though, I am not changing now!
After a few more drinks the day had caught up with me, so we made our excuses and headed back to the room.

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Rest of the week
We had a great rest of the holiday. We visited the rainforest to do a bit of ziplining which was good fun and lazed around the hotel. We went to both Rodney Bay and to Castries for a bit of Tat shopping, and generally ate, drank and sunbathed.
The nights were filled with silly drinking games around the pool.
Most people left on the Tuesday with only my Dad, Stepmum and step sister remaining.
We chilled out a lot and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Our flight back was delayed which was a bummer, and we got VERY snappy with each other back at Gatwick Saturday morning but apart from that we had a great time.

 

 

So that is our St Lucia story. We did also have a reception back in the Uk, but I wont bore you with that - I know that before I went I was so hungry for St Lucia information, so I hope that I helped a bit, and that I haven't bored you or posted too many pics. 

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Hi, I'm pretty new to the site and had been inactive until right now.  So many of the posts here, sound like you girls are going to have and have had some pretty amazing weddings! So, I'm hoping you ladies can help me.

I'm getting married in St. Lucia on 11/11/11, and I although I love the idea (and end result) of a destination wedding, it has it's own set of stressors that are unique!  I have a wedding planner, but I've found now, that I want to hear from real brides and not just the people selling me stuff!

What are you all doing about flowers? Any excellent photographer recommendations?  My planner has us booked with Bill Mortley, who seems ok, but I have been wondering if there are others out there, who are great but less known. Have any of you stayed at Cap Maison?  We are staying there, and I wonder what others' experiences may be.

 

Thank you ladies in advance, and I SO look forward to hearing from you!

 

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I don't think there are any other Cap Maison brides on here, but welcome!  Is that where you are getting married, or just staying?  I am getting married at Sandals Grande in July.  Our photographer is traveling with us, and I am purchasing a simple white rose bouquet (provided by Sandals).  Sorry I can't help much with outside vendors, since Sandals provides everything.
 

Originally Posted by futuremrr View Post

Hi, I'm pretty new to the site and had been inactive until right now.  So many of the posts here, sound like you girls are going to have and have had some pretty amazing weddings! So, I'm hoping you ladies can help me.

I'm getting married in St. Lucia on 11/11/11, and I although I love the idea (and end result) of a destination wedding, it has it's own set of stressors that are unique!  I have a wedding planner, but I've found now, that I want to hear from real brides and not just the people selling me stuff!

What are you all doing about flowers? Any excellent photographer recommendations?  My planner has us booked with Bill Mortley, who seems ok, but I have been wondering if there are others out there, who are great but less known. Have any of you stayed at Cap Maison?  We are staying there, and I wonder what others' experiences may be.

 

Thank you ladies in advance, and I SO look forward to hearing from you!

 



 

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Thanks for the reply wilsonj2!  We are having a Catholic wedding, at the Benedictine Chapel in Castries.  I considered Sandals, but with a church wedding, their packages wouldn't have applied.  We will be staying at Windjammer most likely before the actual wedding, and moving to Cap for our actual wedding.

Originally Posted by wilsonj2 View Post

I don't think there are any other Cap Maison brides on here, but welcome!  Is that where you are getting married, or just staying?  I am getting married at Sandals Grande in July.  Our photographer is traveling with us, and I am purchasing a simple white rose bouquet (provided by Sandals).  Sorry I can't help much with outside vendors, since Sandals provides everything.
 



 



 

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