A good friend of mine called a few days ago to tell me she was newly engaged, and ever since, I’ve been walking around just bursting with happiness for her! With my own 3 year anniversary just a few weeks away, I’ve got wedding bells on the brain. I realize that I’ve never shared the details about our big day, so I thought it was high time to fill you in on our destination wedding in Jamaica.
Almost 4 years ago, Floyd proposed, and I of course shrieked, “Yes!” However, the idea of planning a wedding quickly became overwhelming. Back then, I was working full time, pursuing an MBA at night, and oh, have I mentioned that we had just bought a condo that we were renovating on our own (you can see the ol’ condo before and after’s here). Just a small amount of stress, ha! Every second was precious and planning a big city wedding in Washington, DC was mind boggling, not to mention really expensive. Travel is a passion both Floyd and I share, so after some careful consideration, we decided that a small destination wedding would be the perfect way to say “I do.”
Deciding to have a destination wedding was the easy part. Now we just had to figure out where. I knew I wanted the location to be a private sanctuary with only my friends and family near. I scoured the internet, books and magazines, but when friend sent me a link to the Rockhouse Hotel in Negril, Jamaica, I just knew I had found my wedding location. With 34 rooms, the Rockhouse was small enough to let my guests have the run of the place, but still provide some essential accommodations including a pool, spa and hotel bar. Not to mention it is breathtakingly beautiful with villas clinging gracefully onto cliffs on top of the turquoise water just a plunge below.
A quick 10 months later, guests were greeted with gift packages of sinamay pouches that contained snacks, a candle and even a cosmo cocktail mix for their room (you can take the girl out of Sex And They City but….). Custom printed note cards tied in the pink and tropical theme and contained a personal message.
Over the next few days we dined by the ocean, snorkeled, and relaxed taking in the beauty of the Caribbean. Having a destination wedding was so laid back that Floyd and I were even able to hop out of the pool, throw on shorts, and meet our coordinator back by the pool to walk through the rehearsal.
The morning of the wedding I decided to relax and took an ocean side yoga class with my childhood girlfriends, followed by a leisurely breakfast and a long swim with the ladies, while the men went off to try their hand at deep sea fishing. It was the perfect way to enjoy the day with all the women who have been so instrumental in my life.
I walked down the aisle of rose petals to the sounds of a steel drum band where I met Floyd on the edge of the cliff. Of course Kristin was there too rocking a very cute J Crew bridesmaids dress! It was so warm that all our guests were putting the straw fans left for them on their chairs to good use. And while the preacher may have improvised a little from the vows we worked on, in that moment all that mattered was that I was marrying my best friend with all my friends and family nearby.
Afterward it was a feast under the stars. The tables had dozens of pink and cream roses surrounds by lit votive candles and strands of lights twinkling over us. I always envisioned a long lazy dinner filled with lots of wine, toasts and laughter and that’s exactly what we got. Late into the night we danced, and then when things just got too hot jumped in the pool for a late night swim. It couldn’t have been more perfect.
When it was time to go, I was so sad that I cried. It hit me that this was the last time that all of our friends and family would ever be gathered together as a group in one place. I would never again be on vacation like this with everyone we love. I guess that’s what makes all weddings special. Its not the dinner or the flowers, but having everyone gathered together. It almost makes me want to have a vow renewal. Well almost, but not quite, ha!