Aug 25, 2009
Here is the book I made our moms on blurb.
Here are some of my favorite pro pics... (all taken by Stacey Clarke www.staceyclarkephotograpy.com).
Getting ready/prior to the ceremony:
The boy pics prior to the ceremony:
Down the aisle!
Signing the license:
We traveled to Couples San Souci on Aug 22-29, 2009. We were traveling there to get married and to honeymoon. The wedding was scheduled on Aug 25. Overall, the experience was excellent, and we would love to go back again! Because we were getting married/on our honeymoon, we had champagne and fruit/cheese in our room when we arrived. We also had a 30-min complementary massage and complementary “just married” t-shirts. We also received another complementary bottle of champagne along with the top layer of our wedding cake, and the flowers from the wedding arch in our room the day of the wedding. The wedding went smoothly and the wedding coordinator was very sweet and helpful. We purchased the wedding DVD from the resort and it was great! Now here are some pros and cons from our stay.
· From the minute you get off the plane, you are a Couples guest. You get beer in the couples lounge and are taken in a Couples shuttle to the resort. Only Couples resorts guests are on the shuttle, so you don’t have to make several stops before arriving at the resort.
· The property is beautiful! Although the beach is somewhat smaller, it is more than adequate for the resort and it is private (in a cove). The property is covered in tropical foliage, and has the most beautiful flowers. Also, the staff is constantly maintaining the property, so it looks perfect all the time.
· There are only 150 rooms, and the property is very large, so you have a sense of privacy. If you didn’t take the time to go exploring, it would be very easy to miss many of the beautiful places on the resort. I think while exploring, we found about a dozen or so hammocks around the property…all roomy enough for 2, of course...perfect for that afternoon nap or late night snuggle.
· The staff was super friendly, and no one ever expected a tip. What do you want? No problem! I even had one server at breakfast go to another restaurant on the property to get me ketchup for my potatoes because they didn’t keep any in that restaurant. You want to make up your own drink? Just tell them what’s in it.
· It was so hot and humid there, so we sometimes showered more than once a day. They would change out our dirty towels when they cleaned our room during the day, and if we had used them to shower before dinner, then they would change them out again when they did turn-down service. The staff also did a great job cleaning. I took pictures in my wedding dress in the ocean, and was covered in sand. I don’t know how they got all the sand up out of the bathroom, but somehow they did!
· We were in the base class of rooms, but it was still a very large room with a king-sized bed, a sitting area with a loveseat, a small balcony with a table and chairs, and a large bathroom with a walk-in shower. We also had a great view. Also, the safe was a combination that you selected yourself, so no key to keep up with.
· We never had problems booking reservations for dinner or excursions. Sometimes we would have to take the early/late (630/830) seating for dinner because we booked the same afternoon, but we were always accommodated. Also, the excursion to Dunns River Falls was included and so was the shopping trip, so that saved us a little.
· The food. Buffets and sit-down meals. Soups. Salads. Breads. Desserts. Coffee. Fish. Jerk. Seafood. Burgers. Pizza. Nachos. And these little pieces of heaven they call Jamaican patties. My biggest problem was not being able to eat enough. I would have something so good, and want to eat it again, but also want to try something different. I don’t think I had anything bad the whole week. And I’m a super-picky eater, so for me to love the food…that’s huge.
Cons (I had to work really hard to think of these!)
· The room was really nothing special. It was a nice large size, but all of the furniture and bedding was very simple. There were a couple of tiles missing in the shower (this is being very picky, I know).
· Some of the food was not labeled on the buffets. This is a little scary to me. You never know what it is… Also, some of the jerk food was too spicy for me to eat it. This makes me sad because it tasted so good; it just burned my mouth off!
· Some of the people we went with said the Rum was not very strong. They drank it all day and felt nothing. I drank mostly Vodka and didn’t have that problem. They didn’t have any top shelf, so if you want a specific drink that requires a top-shelf (like a White Russian) you might be disappointed.
· Everything is either up/down stairs or up/down hill. Like 100 stairs. This might be a problem for some. I think it’s why I didn’t gain any weight.
The wedding day finally arrived: Aug 25, 2009. We were married at Couples San Souci Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The resort is beautiful, the food there is excellent, the staff is super, it was an awesome place for a wedding/HM. The weather cooperated all week, as well! My MIL, FIL, and a couple that DH and I are close friends with went with us. The friends stayed 1/2 the week, and the ILs stayed the whole week. So the big day... I had an appt at the salon at 8 am for hair and make-up, and the ceremony started at 10 am. The girls met me in the salon to hang out, while the guys met in the ILs room until DH had to meet the wedding coordinator at 9:30. I finished up at the salon about 9:30 and went back to the room to get dressed (with MIL and Beth's, my friend, help. This is when I met my photog. I should mention that about a week before the wedding my photog went MIA...no response to email/VM, nothing. Since this was the biggie for me (I could've used a resort photog, but didn't want to), I was freaking out, but she got in touch with me two days before the wedding to let me know she had been having service troubles and wasn't able to contact me. So she showed, so I am anxiously awaiting what I think will be awesome pics from her! MIL and Beth, and the photog went down to the beach at about 9:50, when the wedding coordinator came up to the room to get me for the ceremony.
Our room was up a flight of stairs from the beach, so I walked down the stairs and out onto the beach. As I was walking out onto the beach, one of my earrings fell out, and the wedding coordinator insisted I put them back in! lol She loaned me her earring backs, which ended up being my something borrowed. The ceremony was very brief, and had traditional vows (as required in Jamaica/by the resort). As soon as we were kissed, the videographer (from the resort) said that he needed us to do it again because the wind was making the mics cut out. In what was probably my most bridezilla moment, I refused. So we went and signed the license, and had a short reception with cake and champagne. After the reception, I gave in, and went back over to the arch and repeated the vows and ring exchange section so the videog could edit the video for us. I'm glad I did, because it turned out great. The songs I finally chose on were (down the aisle and video) To Make You Feel My Love by Kris Allen, (processional, reception, and video) Could Not Ask for More by Edwin McCain and Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World by Israel Kamakwiwo'ole.
After redoing the vows, we took pics. Here are a few of the non-pros that my MIL took.
We are getting married at the Couples San Souci Resort (www.couples.com) in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, at 10 am on August 25, 2009. Our guest list so far is short and includes FI's parents. We will be staying there the 22-29th.
We will pick the cake and flowers when we arrive at the resort. The resort will shoot the video.
I have booked Stacey Clarke as my photographer. http://www.staceyclarkephotography.com/
~my dress (Mori Lee 6106)~
I will most likely wear my hair up, so that it won't turn into a frizzy mess. I am not wearing a veil, but may add a flower. Here are some pics that I like, I'm not sure exactly how I want it yet...
And make-up something like this? Not sure about it either...
I'm having a big problem picking out jewelry for the day...I really like this set, but not sure about if the pearls will be white enough.
~Or maybe these~
~~OK, so I ordered these (from whiteaisle.com) and I LOVE the earrings! The bracelet is a little more bling that I thought, but I will still wear it, I guess, it was just a little much for what I had in mind (and they have a no return policy).~~
Songs: I'm really blank on this so far...I know I'll have to pick out a few, so at some point, I'll break down and do that. :)
Reception: We are undecided at this point on whether or not we are going to have any type of reception. If we do, it will be something small and casual.
I got divorced from my first husband in 2001 and during the divorce, I joined a gym. Also working out at this same gym was a guy named Ron, or as some people call him, Big Ron. Big Ron is a talker. Ron does more talking than working out on most days (which is one of the reasons he's Big Ron, lol). My work-out buddy/friend Lianna and I talked to him on a regular basis, and one day, Ron starts talking about his son, a guy about my age that is living in Virginia that is serving in the Navy. He says that he thinks that his son and I should meet the next time he's in town visiting on leave. Sure, ok, whatever, Big Ron. Well, November of 2002 rolls around, and Ron's son, Curt, makes his next visit home from the Navy. Since I have no interest in meeting Curt (and I later find out he has no interest in meeting me), we both try to weasel out of meeting, but Ron won't take no for an answer, and he brings Curt to the gym one night during his visit to meet me. After a couple minutes of chit-chat, Ron says, "Well are you going to ask her out or what?" Ummm, thanks Ron!! But apparently despite the gym clothes and smell I must have had going on, Curt thought I was cute, and he did ask me out. That Saturday night we went on our first date to dinner and for drinks. We saw each other that same Sunday, and he went back to Virginia on Monday. After just a short time in Virginia he left for a deployment overseas (after that deployment he got out of the Navy and moved back here).
Although we didn't see each other again for almost 6 months after we met, we talked everyday while he was in Virginia and emailed everyday we could while he was deployed (sometimes email would be restricted because he was deployed to Iraq when the war started) and talked on the phone about once every 2 or 3 weeks (it's very expensive to call from a carrier). That following Spring, Curt was discharged from the Navy, so I flew out to Virginia and drove with him back home stopping along the way for a little vacation in Saint Louis (one of our favorite vacay spots Go Cards!). We continued to date until May 2008, when I bought a house and we moved in together.
All along I haven't been in a hurry to get married or have children, but we've always talked about it, so I assumed it would happen eventually. I have thought a couple of times that a proposal was coming but one never did...until this March. FI had been acting a little funny for a couple of days, so I was thinking something was up, but I had thought that before, so I didn't want to get my hopes up. We had planned a trip out of town with friends for the weekend to watch the horse races and some spa treats to a town just a couple hours away, so I was thinking it might happen over the weekend. I got home on Friday, and we had plans to grill out, just FI and me. There were roses on the dinning table. This is a big deal. Flowers do not make an appearance at our house often. I thought maybe it was making up for the weird way he'd been acting, so I blew it off. Then I told him to fire up the grill because I was hungry. He said he wasn't hungry. Ok, so now I KNOW something is up. Only in the twilight zone are there roses and FI's not hungry. So I get some chips to eat as a snack. I'm sitting on the couch, eating chips, and watching TV. FI goes in the guest bath, and comes out with his hands behind his back, and he just stands there. And he just looks at me. So I'm like, "What?" And then I think to myself, "Holy sh*t, he's going to propose!" And he gets down on one knee, and he's getting all teary and he says, "Meany will you marry your Murty?" And I say, "Of course." Then he hands me the ring box...still closed, and I open it, and Stew, our boxer has to be nosey, and he jumps all up in the middle of us and knocks the box to the floor. Classic family moment for us! Then FI grilled steak while I made potatoes and called everyone to tell them that yes, he finally proposed after 6 1/2 years!