The Wedding Post   1 comment


        I wish I could think of a clever, cute title for this post. It deserves a better title but I can’t think of a way to sum up the past week’s events in a few words.

Transformative would be a good word.
Exhausting is also very descriptive.
Things were chaotic at times.
Overall, the mood was festive and happiness prevailed.
I was occasionally frantic but Lee was very supportive.
Our families and friends were very generous and we are so thankful that so many of then came.

St. John was beautiful, frustrating, and inspirational.
Taxi’s were (not so) wonderful.
Concordia was amazing and sometimes irritating.
We ate our fill of delicious food every day.

        Okay, enough of that. I won’t go into detail about every day on the island. Lee and I have been here since last Monday. Guests started to trickle in shortly after we arrived and then a whole mob of people arrived a couple of days before the wedding. Rather than messing with a welcome letter and other, more conventional destination wedding flourishes, I attempted to greet every single guest in person when they arrived. For the most part, I was successful. Lee and I met my mom and Doug at the Cruz Bay ferry on Tuesday and intercepted my aunt’s taxi at the resort when she arrived late that night.
        Our tent was often full of friends. My mom’s was just across the way but the amount of steps up and down it took to get there made my calves sore for the first few days. I spotted many new arrivals from my mom’s balcony above the main walkway


Our friend Becky, me, and Lee.

        We didn’t do much in the way of organized activities. I quickly realized that rounding everyone up was as futile as herding cats. On most days, some people stuck close to the resort, snorkeling and relaxing at nearby Salt Pond Beach. Others hiked nearby trails in the coolish mornings and a few groups explored the island by car, bus, or taxi. Waterlemon, Honeymoon, Cinnamon, and Maho Bays were popular destinations for snorkeling and general beach enjoyment.


One table of the rehearsal dinner.

        We ate some fabulous meals, both at Concordia and at restaurants in Coral Bay. The rehearsal dinner at Shipwreck Landing was the first wonderful occasion that brought everyone together. Then, of course, there was the wedding itself!
        All day long on the wedding day people commented on how relaxed I was. Lee and I chose to divide and conquer that day – him with his family and me with mine. We both enjoyed some good beach time and returned to the resort in time to get ready for the big night.
        For me, getting ready meant a solar heated shower from the hose nozzle eco-tent shower. My cousins did my hair and helped me apply the absolute minimum amount of makeup. All my primping and dressing preparations took place in the air-conditioned office/pantry near the pavilion. There was no mirror and a tablecloth on the floor protected my dress from the dusty floor.
        Of course, our time to proceed out for the ceremony snuck up on my dad and me despite rehearsing it earlier that day. He and Peggy had put together a beautiful selection of music, some of which was meaningful and some just nice to listen to. Lee’s brother and my friend Lindsay, the best man and maid of honor, walked out. Lee’s parents followed and my brother walked my mom down the aisle. Lee was waiting for me next to the officiant when my dad walked me out. There were lots of faces watching, cameras flashing, and sun in my eyes.
        The ceremony is kind of a blur. I remember watching Lee’s mouth and seeing my reflection in his sunglasses. The officiant made proclamations in the booming voice I imagine a female deity might have. Lee and I looked out at the island and the ocean. The wind wrapped around us and blew my hair in my face for all of the pictures I’m sure. Lee’s ring was too small (which we’d known since he’d tried it on earlier in the week). I could barely get it on his finger. Mine slid on perfectly. It sparkles and I love it.
        Kissing in front of a crowd was strange. Eventually we got more comfortable with it, as all the post-ceremony photography took place in full view of our appetizer munching guests. Lee and I stumbled around in a daze. Did we feel different? Is married a feeling? I think yes.
        The reception progressed. Appetizers gave way to dinner, which was fresh, simple, and good. The band had arrived and begun playing during the appetizers but we had to wait till after dinner and dessert to really get things started musically. The dad’s and Lee’s brother, Matt, gave wonderful, thoughtful toasts.
        I chose the time for the cake cutting. It was a bit awkward at first. Lee and I had never cut a wedding cake before (of course) and we didn’t really know what to do. The photographer gave us some pointers and we sliced a HUGE piece of the enormous, round, one-level cake. Lee wanted to slice another but I insisted that we share the first piece. We tasted the sweet banana custard, rich yellow cake, and buttery, coconut-flecked icing simultaneously. There really is something beautiful about that.
        We almost finished our gargantuan slice but had to remain lively enough for dancing, which followed soon after cake. I think we were both nervous about the first dance but it went off without a stumble and I took a few turns around the dance floor with my dad next. The band was awesome. Their happy Caribbean music was perfect for our crowd and there was quite a bit of dancing despite the heat.
        Still, the party didn’t last all night long. It lasted just as long as Lee and I typically last with things like that. The band cleaned up by 9. Stragglers danced while I threw the bouquet straight into my cousin Jenna’s arms. I’m sure Lee and I were back at our tent around 10. He carried me across the doorstep. Awww…
        Everything about that evening is hazy and wonderful in my mind now. It was so much fun to have everyone there and truly enjoying themselves, I think. I know I felt special (and I’ll admit it – I like to feel special). Being a bride for a day has to be one of the most fabulous feelings on the planet.

        The wedding faded slowly, letting Lee and I down gently. We all had brunch at Concordia the morning after the ceremony and then continued our St. John frolicking. I’m so glad I got to spend some time with everyone who came. It wasn’t nearly enough time but I tried to give myself a good-sized serving of each guest.

        Ahhh, I fell behind before I even posted this. Now we’re back in mainland USA, more specifically California. All I can say is Lee and I need some serious down time and we’re going to get it here over the next week. I’ll catch up on the post-wedding events and everything else in my next post. Now I’m going to go fix dinner in a real kitchen!

Posted March 30, 2011 by Rachel in Uncategorized

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