Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wedding and Honeymoon Recap - Pics will be added ASAP!

Leading up to the Wedding...

Everything went fairly smoothly the week leading up to the wedding, Mark and I were both really busy with wedding stuff (obviously), but everything got done that needed to be (fulfilling my mantra for the weeks leading up to the wedding "everything WILL get finished"), and without any major drama. I kept waiting for the nervousness to incompaciate me, but it never happened!

The biggest project (by far) was the DIY flowers, but even that went pretty well, I think. The flowers were delivered by FedEx early Thursday morning, around 9 AM. Once I received them, I took all the flowers out, trimmed the stems a little, and put all 200 (!) of them into buckets of water. Later that day, I de-thorned, and de-leafed (is that even a word?) all 200 stems. That was fairly time consuming, and very monotonous, but still, it only took around 2 hours surprisingly enough.

On Friday morning, I put together the 5 centerpieces that we needed for the reception, for each one, I trimmed a dozen various color pink roses to make a little bouquet, and put the flowers into small square vases. They turned out very nicely, if I do say so myself. It was a big project, but I now feel very accomplished :)

Friday afternoon, we packed up all of the reception stuff and went to decorate the reception hall (Nicole came to help us - thank you Nicole!) it only took about an hour to do so, and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. Then, after the rehearsal dinner on Friday, Carrie came over and helped me make the bouquets (mine and 4 bridesmaid's), it didn't take too long - maybe and hour or so, and I'm very pleased with how they turned out. We got quite a few compliments!

Overall, I'm very glad that I decided to do the flowers, it saved A LOT of money, and I got exactly what I was envisioning without having to convey that vision to a florist!

In the days leading up to the wedding that Mark and I were off work we finished up all of the paper products including table numbers, cards for the wish bowl, a sign for the wish bowl, created a bar menu, painted and decorated the crystal tree, made a card box, and put together all of the favors. It was a very productive 48 hours!

The Rehearsal...

We had the rehearsal on Friday evening. It went pretty well, it was hot that evening, but we were only out there for half an hour. I think the rehearsal dinner turned out really well, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and the food was yummy. It was very nice to have the majority of the wedding stuff done at that point since we had completely set up the reception earlier that day, I only had the bouquets still to complete, so I was able to enjoy myself as well.

The Day of...

The morning of the wedding went well, I was actually really relaxed, which completely surprised me! We woke up and finished packing for our trip, I even finished reading a book that morning! The only thing that we were really concerned about that morning while getting ready was The Weather! We constantly had the radar on and we were both getting calls from our families trying to tell us that we might need to get a backup plan in case because it looked like it was going to storm all day! This was one of the only times that I felt nervous, but I tried to reassure myself that the Universe wouldn't do that to me on my wedding day!

Then, I went with my sister and Nicole to get our hair and makeup done and everything turned out really nicely. The appointment did run over though, we were about a half hour late getting to the park to take pictures, I ended up putting my dress on in the parking lot. It was super hot and muggy, but I'll take it considering that the radar looked like it was going to tornado on us that day, and somehow, the storms held off for us, and once the ceremony was over, the sky
actually started clearing up and the sun was peaking through. Someone out there heard all of my good weather vibes!

The ceremony was beautiful, it went absolutely perfectly, Carrie did a great job officiating and I was really excited to exchange vows with Mark, I didn't get nervous at all, just really happy, which again surprised me. After the ceremony, we left to go to the reception and stopped at Wendy's on the way to get giant drinks! We were both really hot, so we went through the drive thru in our wedding clothes, no one even mentioned it, it was pretty funny.

We got to the reception ahead of most people, so we hung out for a little while to let people get in, then Mark's brother gave us a big introduction and we went in to the reception hall. Everything looked beautiful, just the way I had always envisioned it! I had a great time at the reception, the food was good, I was happy with the decorations, the staff running the event was so wonderful, so it was a very, very enjoyable evening.

Overall, the day was wonderful, it went exactly how I pictured it, and I really had a lot of fun. I couldn't have asked for a better day. Mark and I went back home to our house that night to sleep, and we were both so tired! It was definitely a long day, and it was really nice to be able to go home to our own bed that night.

The Honeymoon...

The next morning my Dad came to pick us up and take us to the airport around 7.30AM. This was my first experience flying and oh, what an experience it was...

We got to the airport shortly after 7.30, it's only about a 5 minute drive from our house. We say our goodbyes and then go to get our boarding passes. The lady at the counter tells us that our flight has been delayed by around 30 minutes. Okay we should still be good Mark reassures me.

We go through security (an ordeal in itself!), check our bags, etc. etc., wait, wait, wait. Eventually, it ends up that our flight was delayed over an hour. We board the plane (an hour late) and at this point we still think we may have a chance to make our connection in Charlotte, NC but it will be really close.

Well, we sit on this tiny Express plane (the flight is only an hour long), in the second seats (only two seats in a row), this is my very first flight, and because we are up front I can see everything that's going on. This causes immense nervousness on my part. People from the crew keep getting on and off the plane, messing with paperwork, and eventually after sitting on the plane for another 20 minutes, we take off! Come to find out, there were some mechanical issues and then problem with paperwork, which is what held us up even longer. At this point, we realize, we aren't making our connection in Charlotte unless our connection has also been delayed.

When we finally arrive in Charlotte (an hour and a half, or so, late!) we get to the ticket counter and they have new boarding passes for us... for the next day. We ended up staying the night (and afternoon) in Charlotte. It was okay though, we were really tired from the day before, so we stayed in the Airport Sheraton, which was really nice. They put us on the Club Level (read - VIP!) since it was our Honeymoon, the room was really nice. They have The. Most. Awesome. Beds. Ever! I want one, they were so fluffy and the pillows were great. Sleepy-fluff as I say.

We spent that afternoon and evening watching a marathon of Dirty Jobs and taking a nap, catching up on sleep, and eating pizza. Not a very glamorous start to the Honeymoon, but it was still fun.

The next morning, we go to the airport, get on the plane and all that stuff, finally made it to Punta Cana okay (although 24 hours late), their airport down there is... interesting. It has a thatched roof, it's very small, and has no air conditioning. Obviously very different than here. They let you off the plane onto the runway, then you walk forever to get to the airport. Very interesting experience.

We eventually got a ride to the hotel, after having to arrange it through the service we used to book our trip. The driving is insane down there! No lines on the road, no speed limits, no signs of any kind, it was a scary ride, let me tell you, but once we made it to the resort it was wonderful!

We ate, and slept, swam, and lounged by the pool reading (I got through 4 whole books in 6 days). The food was decent, the staff at the resort was super friendly, the resort was beautiful, they had perfectly manicured grounds, the beach was gorgeous, the pool was awesome! It was huge! The room was also very nice. We were very pleased with the resort overall.

When we left on Sunday to come back to Columbus (and the U.S. thank goodness!), we got picked up around 12.30 at our resort to go to the airport. Our flight was supposed to be around 4.00PM. We to the airport. It is a MADHOUSE! People everywhere, chaos ensues, all that. We waited in a long line so that they can go through the luggage that you are going to check in front of everyone. We finally get up to the ticket counter to get our boarding passes and the lady tells us that our flight has been delayed by 2 hours. 2 hours! Not again!

After that lovely tidbit of news, we get into this huge, long line, that took forever, so that they can check your passport and stamp it. Did I previously mention the airport has no airconditioning! Yeah, it's hot! Once we got through that (finally!), we wait in another really long line (where everyone was standing right up against each other - back off people!) to go through a metal detector. They only had 2 going for the entire airport, keep in mind there is hundreds of people in this little snaking line, and we are literally under a thatched roof with half open walls, and no air conditioning, only fans. Needless to say, that part was not fun.

Once we FINALLY got through all that, we went to get something to eat from the Wendy's that they had in the airport, it was one of 3 restaurants in the food court, and we paid $20 for two meals, craziness. Then we went in search of a book store, or newspaper stand so that Mark could buy something to read for the next 3 hours that we were there, we never found one. I can't believe they didn't have anywhere that you could buy reading material in that airport, they did however have a random Lacoste store? Yeah, it was very strange.

Our flight out of Punta Cana ended up finally getting there around 7PM (it was originally supposed to be there a little before 4.30PM), we spent a total of about 6 hours in that crazy airport. Not fun at all.

We finally got back to the US (thank goodness! I thought we were going to have to live in the Punta Cana airport from now on!) around 10.30. By the time we got through Customs and Immigration it was nearly midnight, and we were really tired. They wanted everyone to wait in line for new boarding passes, but we had already gotten a call on our cell phones that we had been scheduled on a flight into Columbus booked for the next day, so we skipped the lines and went back to stay at our favorite Airport Sheraton, back into the comfy bed (for a few hours anyway).

We ended up showering (we felt gross after being in that airport all day) and eating pizza around 1AM, going to sleep shortly there after, then we had to wake up again around 5.30AM to get to the airport to catch our flight to Columbus. That flight actually ended up being on time and we finally made it back to Columbus around 8.30AM Monday morning. We were so happy to be home, however our house was a disaster area from the week leading up to the wedding, so we spent the next two days cleaning.

Overall, the travel was crazy, I don't know that I will be flying again any time soon, and I'm certainly not up for any international travel for a little bit, but the resort was awesome! It was exactly what a honeymoon should be like in my opinion.

The whole wedding thing was wonderful, but it's actually nice getting back to real life and a normal schedule. I can't wait for pictures!

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