The Wedding & Honeymoon

So my wedding day and honeymoon have come and gone! It’s so crazy how many major life events are now behind me. Let’s see:
- Graduated from high school
- Graduated from college with a Bachelor’s in experimental psychology
- Graduated from graduate school with a Master’s and a Specialist degree in school psychology
- Got engaged
- Bought a house
- Got married
- Went on honeymoon

You know, it’s kind of scary when all of the major life start to be in the past…it means I’m getting OLD. At least the biggest life event, having kids, is still yet to come. That’ll sure be an adventure…I sometimes worry that I’m not cut out to be a mom. I definitely want kids, but I worry about having that “motherly instinct”. My younger sister, Amber, has it in spades. She used to work in the baby room at a daycare and LOVED to take care of 6 babies at once. LOVED. Umm, I would have had a mental breakdown. I’m sure I’ll be fine, but it’s a thought I have.

Anyway, the wedding. On the day of the wedding (4.9.17), I was surprisingly calm! I got up and showered, and then Amber and I sat in the floor with all of our makeup and started applying it. Then it was time for our hair appointment, so, my mom, and Amber and I went to the salon. Our photographer met us there and took some candid photos of us getting our hair done. I’m sure I’ll hate all of those photos…I don’t have the face for candid pics. Once our hair was done, we went back to the house to put the finishing touches on makeup and other stuff. We were able to be in the venue starting at noon (2 hours before the wedding), so it was pretty much a rush to get everything we needed together in order to be there on time. We loaded up and headed over to the venue, which was conveniently less than 10 minutes from my mom’s house. I immediately was locked away (not really) in the bridal suite where the bridesmaids and I could get ready. My best friend, whose daughter was one of my flower girls, was there and she drank mimosas with me while we got ready. I had driven separately from my mom to the venue and I got worried because she took ages to get herself ready and over to the venue! Time was ticking closer and closer to the time of the ceremony, but she hadn't gotten there yet! Yes, I was a grown woman about to be married but I needed my mom. I will always need my mom! Anyway, I was much more relaxed when she got there. I was helped into my dress and shoes and then it was just waiting time until everyone was seated and it was time for the ceremony.

I was not nervous as we lined up to go down the aisle. My cousin, JE, (who was going to be walking me down the aisle and performing the ceremony), and I were laughing and cutting up. He had forgotten to spit out his gum, so he quickly threw it and it landed on a tree branch. We had a good laugh about that before it was our turn to go down the aisle. I guess my first thought when we started walking down the aisle was how small our wedding really was! There were tons of chairs out, but there were several rows towards the back that were empty. It made me a lot less nervous to realize there weren’t really THAT many people looking at me, just closest family and friends. I saw my other best friend first – she was in the very back, recording me come down the aisle. Then, I finally saw Nick there at the end of the aisle, and man did he look amazing in that 3 piece black suit of his. Mmm! I really don’t remember looking at anyone else as I came down the aisle. I did stop and give my mom a hug before joining Nick at the altar.
JE, who is more like a brother than a cousin to me, performed the ceremony, and he did a wonderful job. He’s not a minister or anything, but he got ordained online just for me to do the wedding ceremony! I actually have another cousin who IS a minister for the Anglican Church and he’s a Chaplain for the Air Force, but he is a rotten person. He claims to be so religious, but I have seen him behave otherwise. I did not want any such person performing my ceremony! I’m sure he and his mom and dad (my aunt and uncle) were offended that I didn’t ask the family minister to perform the ceremony, but I’m not sorry! #1, he’s not a good person, and #2, I’m not even close to him! Until the wedding, I hadn’t talked to him or seen him in YEARS.

So anyway, JE made the ceremony lighthearted, funny, and heartfelt. He said some truly special things that meant a lot to me. The ceremony went well – no one stumbled over their words or said the wrong thing. It was short and sweet. Before I knew it, Nick and I were pronounced husband and wife and we were walking back down the aisle!
After the ceremony, the wedding party and family went back to the altar to take a bunch of pictures. That didn’t take long.

Then it was off to the reception, which was located just next door to where the ceremony took place. JE introduced Nick and me into the reception house and our family and friends gave us a round of applause. It was so nice! We mingled a good bit before getting some food. While mingling, Nick’s grandfather approached me with literal tears in his eyes, and he said something about the wedding ceremony being so special and sweet. That really meant a lot to me! Since I have no living grandparents, I really have come to see Nick’s grandparents as my own. We enjoy visiting them and spending time with them. They have treated me like family for a long time now. As I mingled, I was also forced to take a picture with my aunt, uncle, and Chaplain cousin that I don’t like. They wanted the photographer to take one professional picture of me with them. After that, they left!!! I don’t even know if they ate. They were probably still mad about the whole minister thing. Oh well! They’re weird anyway.

I was hopeful but unsure of how the food would turn out since we weren’t using our own caterer (the venue provided the food + cake), but I was so surprised! The food was AMAZING! We had BBQ pork sliders and seafood fettuccine as our “heavy hors d’oeuvres” and then we had things like vegetable pasta salad, smoked salmon dip, spinach and artichoke dip, fruit tray, and Italian pinwheel sandwiches as our “light hors d’oeuvres”. All dips were served with an assortment of crackers and breads. Such good food!

After we had time to eat, Nick’s best man, his brother L, gave a toast. He did a great job! His toast was heartfelt and funny. Then it was time to cut the cake! Our cake was soooo cute! I had given the venue a picture of a cake design I liked and they replicated it perfectly! We had chocolate and vanilla tiers and it was all delicious.

After cake, we all made our way outside into the tent for dancing. The tent was decorated with flowers, twinkle lights, and a chandelier. There were tables and chairs inside the tent, as well as cozy lounge chairs and couches all around the tent. Such a great venue. Nick was 100% responsible for the reception playlist, and he did a great job! He loves music and really took the task of creating our reception playlist seriously. I love his taste in music, so I didn’t feel the need to be involved in that. I did request a few songs to be included, which he did. Everyone was under the tent dancing and having a good time! It was so much fun that we didn’t want it to be over!

Our exit involved all of our guests lined up and holding sparklers. One of my coworkers volunteered to order the sparklers for us. She had them made with a note on them that said “Let love sparkle” and the matchbook that came with them said “Nick and Ashley, the perfect match. 4.9.17”. So sweet.

After the whole thing was over, Nick and I went back to my mom’s house, where we promptly devoured the leftovers the venue had given us to take home.

Then, Nick and I were off to our hotel room. We enjoyed having a king-sized bed and Jacuzzi tub all to ourselves.

The weekend after the wedding, Nick and I hopped on a cruise and went to the Bahamas for our honeymoon. I had never left the country before, so I was so excited. Our trip was amazing! I really enjoyed the cruise and would definitely do one again in the future. We pretty much just ate and drank as much as we wanted!

Our cruise sailed first to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. I wish we had purchased an on-shore excursion for Nassau because we were unsure of where to go and what to do once off the boat. The town itself really did not have much we wanted to see. We knew we wanted to go to a beach, so after a boat ride and a confusing walk through some ritzy hotels, we found it. Once we were close to the beach, there were Bahamians who kept trying to sell us stuff, like beach chairs, drinks, and oh, WEED. We couldn’t go 5 steps without someone else coming up to us. It was really annoying. Once on the beach, the same thing. Every 5 seconds, someone would walk by trying to sell drinks, chips, or souvenirs. I just wanted to sit on the beach and relax! The beach here, while pretty, had an incredibly rough ocean! I love the ocean and can handle some tough waves, but these were waves unlike any I had experienced. I ended up getting knocked down and washed ashore, with my bathing suit askew and probably revealing way too much to everyone on the beach. So embarrassing. We didn’t spend as long as we normally would at the beach – the rough ocean and the peddlers kind of ruined it for us. There was nowhere to rinse off or change, so I had to put my clothes back on over my damp, incredibly sandy bathing suit. I eventually found a bathroom where I dumped a pound of sand out of my suit into the toilet. It sounded like I was taking a sand dump. I’m not sure if you’re supposed to put sand in the toilet, but that’s where I put it. I wasn’t going to walk around all day with a sand pile in between my legs.

We eventually ate lunch at a very Americanized burger place and headed back to the ship. I must say I was very happy to be back on the ship. I really didn’t care for Nassau that much.

The next day, our ship arrived at a private island owned by the cruise line. This was hands down, my favorite part of the trip. This private island, Half Moon Cay, was exactly the tropical paradise I’ve always wanted to go to – it had a white sand beach with crystal clear, calm water. It was like we were swimming in a pool! Only members of our cruise were on the island, so there were no annoying peddlers to deal with. Instead, we had people bringing us drinks! We basically swam and drank all day, and there was free BBQ at lunchtime. I wish we could have spent more time there because it was just amazing. I would go back to that island for sure!

That pretty much sums up the wedding and the honeymoon! I feel so lucky because everything went so well at the wedding. They say usually SOMETHING goes wrong, but nothing did. Well, maybe there were minor things here and there, but nothing worth mentioning because it wasn’t a big deal. I can’t thank my mom enough for helping me put on a beautiful wedding. She paid for a lot – the dress and veil, the flowers, and the decorations. She enjoyed doing it and she did an amazing job! I don’t know what I’d do without my mom! She said she feels like she doesn’t have a job now that the wedding is over. My mom wondered what would be next: a baby shower (for me) or another wedding (my younger sister and her boyfriend have been together for 4 years and are both 26, so it could happen).

2:25 p.m. - Friday, Apr. 28, 2017


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