I might have had the most wonderful wedding ever. And it was just the two of us -- plus a God-sent preacher, two terrific wedding planners and a rockin' photographer on a gorgeous beach at Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica.
**[My review of our stay at the resort is here!]
We arrived a few days before the wedding so we were looking forward to it for days! On wedding morning, we woke up and went to breakfast, then hung out on the beach for a few hours. All rooms at Sandals Whitehouse are oceanside so it was a quick hop, skip and jump to reach the beach.
I'll get more into the details of the resort in my next post. At 1:30, I was scheduled for hair and make up -- a decision I'm really glad I made even though it was extra. The lady who did my makeup was amazing and I had no idea what she was going to do! She definitely made my fake eyelashes look REAL (wish I could do that!)
For hair, I had a photo of someone else's wedding hair and said, this is what I want. We had no trial do so I figured if it wasn't perfect, I'd be okay with whatever happened. Beach wedding people!
Luckily, she got it pretty perfect (though you can see parts falling out in the photos but whatever!). So they provided pink champagne as I got my hair done. The whole time, I was looking out a window and it had started raining. I was NOT happy and was so afraid the rain wouln't stop for the ceremony! I imagined having to take all the photos indoors!
I said a serious prayer that God would make the rain stop and soon noticed it was nearly 3:30 -- just 30 minutes from the ceremony! I had to go back and slip my dress and shoes on so it would only take a few minutes.
Until that moment I put the dress on, I hadn't been 100% sure about it. But, in that moment -- with my hair and make up done, my white heels on, about to walk down the aisle (THE aisle!) -- it was perfect. I mean, it was perfect. Michelle found the perfect dress (BCBG, $300!) for me and I am so thankful to her!
My stomach was feeling pretty nervous on the way to the aisle -- which was actually a long deck leading to a little beach hut. Rick was turned around facing the ocean talking to the pastor, an old Jamaican man who apparently bestowed a huge amount of wisdom on Rick as they waited an hour for me to arrive.
It felt so surreal being there, ready to walk. The photographer snapped some shots as the music started. We chose Elvis Presley's "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You" and it was perfect. I walked down on the second chorus. Couldn't tell you how fast, or what my face looked like but Rick turned around and was smiling at me. I could hardly believe this was the moment!
We joined hands and waited for the song to finish. We had no rehearsal so we weren't exactly sure the process of things! The wedding planner and the preacher did all the work for us though, really. Going with the flow was the theme :)
The preacher had a thick Jamaican accent so I couldn't understand everything he was saying -- ha ha -- but I got all the important stuff. We had a traditional, Christian ceremony, said our vows and he recited 1 Corinthians 13.
I really liked that we stopped to pray and commit our marriage to God. It was really meaningful to me. We had also prayed together that morning that God would go into this with us and I believe these prayers were both extremely important for us.
I loved that we were both smiling the whole time -- I couldn't stop! We exchanged rings and before we knew it, the preacher said "you can kiss your bride!" So we did!
Then, we signed all of our documents and had our little cake and champagne toast. We had gotten to taste cake samples the day before and chose vanilla on vanilla. Sadly, we couldn't take it home because it would have melted on the way to the airport :( But it was really good!
After all that, we had our "first dance" (only dance in this case!), which was to "our song," Uncle Kracker's "You Make Me Smile." It was out the summer we first got together and has always stuck with us. It was only then that a few tears slid out of my eyes...it was a really sweet moment.
Luckily, our wedding planner taped it on my iphone. I think we felt a little self-conscience because random beachgoers were just hanging out watching.
Then we sat back down to enjoy more cake and listened to the playlist I had made, including Eric Clapton's "You Look Wonderful Tonight" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (island style).
We then did a long photo shoot full of poses and fun shots in the sunset and different angles. I have a new appreciation for models...it gets hard posing and smiling after an hour! But I'm glad we did it because we obviously got some great shots. I'm going to do another post with my favorite posed shots -- don't want to overwhelm you now!
After the photo shoot, we were escorted to our private candlelight dinner by the beach -- literally a few feet from the shore. They set up this gorgeous tent-like thing and make it absolutely beautiful. Plus, you have personalized menus!
Obviously champagne and wine were in order and it was maybe the most important and special I've ever felt in my life! It was a truly unique and wonderful experience.
We got a complimentary bottle of champagne to take back to the room with us as well! And look how they had the room set up when we got back:
It was seriously a perfect day and though some have thought it odd that we did not have guests, I wouldn't change it. It felt right the way it was -- right for us. I'm so glad we did it :)
Want to see more photos? I put together this nice montage with the Elvis song I walked down the aisle to -- take a look:
I'll have some more personal feelings and thoughts about my new husband in a coming post but I wanted to share with you the details of the wedding day as a whole first. Thanks for sharing in my special day with me -- especially those of you that sent messages via social media while I was away!