I’ve got a lot to recount, but I’ll try to keep it semi-organized. I think the best place to start is the couple of days leading up to the wedding … (I will finish my vendors write-up later!)
Jessie, my mother, Jim’s mom, and I spent the Thursday afternoon before the “big day” putting the wedding favors together. Jessie helped me stuff white Chinese-style take-out boxes with a bit of candy and a magnet and cut a slip of ribbon for each. Once our mothers had shown up, they helped us close and wrap each box with the ribbon and seal each with a small sticker which matched our wedding invitations and other wedding-related paraphernalia.
In hind-sight, we should have taped the boxes shut, thus sealing the ribbon and helping the stickers “stick” better. (Because they did a real shitty job sticking, I’ll tell you that!)
The moms helped me load up the car with the wedding favor boxes and Jess and I headed back to the house to prepare for the coming day. I had enough sense about me to take off Friday — Lord knows I would have NOT been able to work if I hadn’t! (working Thursday was hard enough!)
Friday morning I packed up most of everything that we needed. I met Jim for lunch in Hoover and we hit a few stores afterwards for supplies. Then back to the house to load up the car and head to the hotel to check in. The room we rented for the night was great, we’re seriously thinking of staying there again … the staff was very accommodating and it made everything a LOT easier because it was right down the hall from the banquet hall where the reception was to be held.
Friday afternoon I began decorating for the reception. I was supposed to have some help, but the party backed out at the last minute. Luckily, my maid of honor, Teresa, came to my rescue and helped me setup everything that I needed. Jim and I met with T and Jim’s best man, Jeremy (a mutual friend that we have both known for years), for an informal rehearsal then we all went out for dinner.
Had a great time! And it was exactly what I needed … to get out and unwind!
After Teresa and Jeremy left, I tidied up a bit in the banquet hall then joined Jim in our room sometime after midnight. I’ve always had a hard time sleeping in strange places (such as hotel rooms), but luckily my migraine meds knocked me out about 45 minutes later, so I was able to get a few hours of sleep.
I think I got up around 5 and by 6 was back in the banquet hall obsessing over every little detail (again!).
Now, I had set a schedule for myself and had reminded Jim of this several times. Around 6:30 he tells me that he wants me to come help him get the wedding cake. :shock:
I seriously could have slugged his ass right then and there. :lol:
I think he picked up on my “hostility” because he mentioned on the way back that I didn’t “look too happy” with him. I didn’t say anything and he laughed and kept patting my knee telling me it would “be OK”. I looked over at him and said “You DO realize that this puts me behind schedule? I have a schedule to keep today and I’m already behind. I’ve got a LOT of shit to do today!!”
God love him, he put up with my bitching and ranting and crying and pitching fits and STILL married me! :grin:
So anyways, we get back to the hotel. My aunt and one of my cousins showed up shortly after with food and more decorations in tow. Next, Teresa and Jim’s mother showed up with Jessie. By this point, I was running WAY late and had to frantically wolf down a couple pieces of toast so I wouldn’t starve (you guys should KNOW by now how bitchy I get if I don’t eat!!!!), then started on my make-up and hair … then realized that I had forgotten to pack my hair brush!
Jim’s mom and Jessie ran by the house to fetch it for me while I finished my makeup and told Jim where they had gone. Luckily my sister-in-law had done Jessie’s hair (REALLY PRETTY!) and this saved me a lot of time and headache. Of course, by this time my parents are in the banquet hall talking to Jim, my aunt, and everyone else there. Teresa was taking pictures and my father suggests to Teresa that she should get my picture because I’m running around with my hair up in curls and barefoot in a tshirt and shorts.
I could have slugged him too! :evil:
So Jim’s mom and Jess get back with my hair stuff and I get my hair finished and squeezed into my dress. I ranted about “how fat my ass is” while Teresa and Jim’s mother and everyone assures me that I looked great and stop worrying. Jim rushes in and gets his suit on just in time for us to leave and head for the gardens … and were pretty much the last ones to get there!
Yeah, yeah, I know … the bride and groom CAN be late and the wedding CAN’T start without us, but I’m obsessive and being late didn’t fit on my ‘schedule’! ;)
With a quick word with Brother Carl, we pretty much got under way right then. I was able to scan the crowd around us partially and saw a few faces who came for the ceremony but didn’t attend the reception (thank you for coming!). The ceremony seemed to fly by and I’m proud to say that I didn’t cry until after it was all over and had started hugging guests.
Our photographers, Samantha of His Hands Photography and her husband Corey, were wonderful and took plenty of pictures. Hopefully they’ll be done pretty soon and we can get some posted to share with you guys. Until then, I *do* have this to share with y’all … this was taken by my brother, Jeremy, and his gorgeous wife, Christy:
You can’t see a whole lot of me, but doesn’t Jim look handsome? :)
After the photos were done, we all headed over to the hotel for the reception.
We had a lot of food and fun. Our buddy, DJ Vez, worked the turntables and did a fabulous job keeping the mood light, making announcements, and keeping things moving along when needed. Jim’s best man, Jeremy, gave a very sweet toast. Before we knew it, it was after 2, and we needed to get packed, changed, and out of the hotel room — and not necessarily in that order!
We hurried and luckily, our folks and Teresa chipped in and helped us get organized and loaded. Unfortunately our gamer buddies decided to “decorate” the car in shaving cream and toilet paper. Samantha, our photographer, cheerily told me, “I have photographic evidence. I’ll email you!” The hotel staff also had a good chuckle about it … apparently they all watched via the security cameras and were waiting for me to beat the tar out of each and every culprit.
I think I handled it pretty well … I ranted, fumed, and stormed back to the hotel room furiously slinging my dress and several curses (in 3 different languages!) in my wake.
Yes — for me, that is “taking it well”!
And yes, I am still mad at you assholes for covering my car in shaving cream! (Just you wait until I see you lot at the next LAN party!)
Moving right along … did you know that most car washes will not let you use their service if your car is covered in shaving cream? Neither did I. So we drove down the interstate with the car covered in … you get the idea. Around Alabaster, we pulled off to pick up a quick snack and to hose off the car at one of those “do it yourself” places. It was pretty much the only place that let us use their stuff.
We drove down to Jacksonville and pulled off at a Super-8 for the night. (I’ll spare you what I really thought of the place … this post is getting long enough and I still have a whole week to cover!) Sunday morning we checked out early and headed to see Jim’s Aunt Dorie. She was a really sweet lady and it was good to get to meet some more of Jim’s family and see where he spent his first few years (before they moved to New Orleans).
The Disney Experience
At this point, we had originally planned to drive to Orlando and stay at another hotel. Our reservations were with Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and we weren’t due to arrive until Monday. Because we had made great time, we decided to drop by to check everything out and see what our chances were of checking in early. It turns out that we had come at a good time, and were able to get the extension and even get the room that we had wanted.
I will say this: staying at a Disney resort is nice! You have shuttles that run to all the parks every 20 minutes from the time they open until well after closing (to ensure all visitors have been collected). There’s no “continental breakfast”, but the cafeteria in the resort was open before dawn and closed well after midnight.
The only gripe I have is that they did not have any sweet tea. :cry:
Other than that, it was FABULOUS! When we checked in, Jim mentioned that we were on our honeymoon and that it was Jessie’s first visit. Jim and I were given “Just Married” Disney buttons to wear, and Jess was given a “First Visit” Disney button and a ton of stickers. We were also encouraged to get the “bride and groom” Mickey ears (this was also suggested by a friend of ours). We eventually found these in Downtown Disney shops and saw them around the Magic Kingdom and MGM shops as well.
The bridal ears are white, with a long white veil attached. The groom ears set is actually a tophat with Mickey ears attached. They are ADORABLE! I hope to have pics of us wearing ours soon. :mrgreen:
We wore these practically everywhere and just about every Disney employee, from the resort workers to security and Disney police, to shop workers congratulated us everywhere we went. We even saw several other couples wearing the ears and would congratulate them in passing. I was totally loving it! :grin:
We spent most of Sunday and Monday shopping at Downtown Disney and playing around the hotel. Jessie instantly fell in love with their pool, and pretty much every day she would ask when we’d go swimming again. LOL! That girl loves the water, and they DID have a very cool pool!
Tuesday we spent in the Magic Kingdom, rode a few rides, and saw a lot of cool stuff. Wednesday was MGM Studios, and pretty much the same thing followed then. Thursday we took it easy — we went back to Downtown Disney for more shopping, then chilled out in the pool. Friday we checked out. Jessie did NOT want to leave, LOL!
We had originally planned to spend a couple of days more in Jacksonville and see more sights and come back Sunday, but we decided to cut it short because Jim and I knew that it would be best to have a couple of “recovery” days before heading back to work and school tomorrow.
And me getting sick Friday pretty much sealed that deal.
Luckily, I’m feeling MUCH better today, but may have to work from home tomorrow. I still have a low-grade fever, and besides, I’ll need to take some time to finish up a few wedding-related things that I still haven’t finished (paperwork — oh joy!).
Our wedding announcement was in the paper this weekend — I have half a mind to call our folks asking them to save copies of today’s paper for me.
I had originally meant this post to be shorter, and I left out a LOT. You know me — once I get going, I can type on and on for hours! I hope to have pictures posted soon. I ended up forgetting my camera for most of the trip, but got some great shots on my Helio Ocean. Jim took his camera everywhere and took several hundred pics … hopefully I can sweet talk him into allowing me to share on here. ;)
I would like to personally thank everyone who has contributed, attended the wedding ceremony and/or reception, called and emailed sending thanks and well wishes, and helped out in any way. Jim and I deeply appreciate it. Hopefully soon I can do a full write up of all the vendors and resources used in planning the wedding, reception, and honeymoon. We were lucky to have such a beautiful ceremony and I don’t think the reception and honeymoon could have been any more fun. To those who couldn’t make it: we missed you and hope to see you again soon.
Thank you for being there for us,
Nicki, Jim, and Jessie