Day 5: Wedding Day

On Wednesday (Dec 15), we docked at 7 am in Half Moon Cay (the Cay is pronounced KEY). Since we docked early, that meant we were up early. Looking out our window, we could see the tenders already coming and going to shuttle people to the beach. It looked amazing even from the distance.

Even though we’d ordered a very light breakfast of toast, yogurt and coffee, Man went up to the Lido deck to get something a little more substantial while I showered. He came back with eggs, bacon and potatoes and more coffee. My hero!

I was asked by someone if he was going to see me in the dress before the wedding. It seemed like a silly question at the time since we were already living together and sharing the same stateroom for the cruise. 🙂 Of course he would see me in the dress. In fact, he’d have to help me get into the thing.

But I digress… while he showered and got ready I started putting on my face. The lighting in the room wasn’t all that good, so it was difficult at best. Plus, my right eye decided to water and thus ruined the outside of my eyelid which I had to reapply numerous times. Grr.

We took our time getting dressed. It was actually nice to be leisurely about it. We didn’t have to meet in the lobby until 10:15. So by 9:45, I was ready to get into the dress. Since it’s a strapless gown, there are make-shift stapes safety-pinned to the sides so it can hang on a hanger. Naturally I didn’t realize I wanted these off until I was already zipped up. I tried to remove them but was having a time of it and then I realized I was bleeding! I had this cuticle messed up on my middle finger and it decided to open up and bleed. Thankfully, it didn’t get on the dress, just on the strap, which was immediately removed.

But because my fingernail was now outlined in fresh blood, I had to cover it up with a Band-Aid. Luckily, I came prepared but I hate I had to have a Band-Aid on my hand for the wedding (and my left hand, too!). I made sure it didn’t really show up in the pictures but there are a few where you can see it.

We gathered up the paperwork we needed plus camera and other miscellaneous items to take with us and were ready to go when our stateroom phone rang. The hostess/wedding contact, Senti, was waiting in the lobby for us. I told her we were getting ready to make our way there.

Walking out of the stateroom, we immediately garnered looks. One lady even took my picture from way down the hallway. A couple walking by smiled and congratulated us. People are funny about weddings. I think deep down, they secretly love them and they love seeing them.

We had to wait for the elevator to go up one level because I didn’t want to fight with the dress going up the stairs. Of course the elevator was already somewhat full and the people inside were dressed for the beach – sun hats, bathing suits, shorts, beach bags. And here I am in this giant pewter dress with a bustle and he in his tux. We looked out of place but gorgeous. 😀

In the elevator, Man says, with a smirk, “You’re taking up more than your share, you know.” I giggled and those folks on the elevator laughed. A guy in the back says, “Yeah, you’d think it was your day or something.” Which made everyone laugh again. It was a good light-hearted moment that sort of broke up the tension. Because, let’s face it, no matter how much you don’t want to be nervous or THINK you’re nervous, you are. Wedding jitters never go away.

Out the elevator, we have to round a corner and pass Guest Services where there’s a long line… and a lot of people turning to stare. They can’t help it. There were “awws” in the crowd and lots of congrats shouted our way. Senti and Reymond (the photographer) were waiting for us and when she saw me, she gushed about how beautiful the dress was.

I have to admit, it IS a beautiful dress. I’m trying to come up with another occasion to wear it. 🙂

He snapped a few photos on the grand staircase in the ship’s lobby while Senti radioed down that we were on our way. Make way for the wedding couple! So we go down to the gangway where more people are staring and offering their congratulations. We bypassed the long line to get on the tender (hehe) and where the first ones on. What can I say? I love special treatment. And, really, they treated us like royalty. It was awesome.

People are so funny to me. They can’t help but look. Some asked to take a picture.

The tender was a twenty-minute ride to the dock. We let everyone else get off the tender first but even so, there were a few who were behind us and one guy almost stepped on my dress. I think Man nearly shoved him out of the way, though.

We met up with a couple of the locals who would drive us out to the wedding spot. So it was onto a big truck then. Reymond snapped a few photos here and there while we went. When we got there, they offered to drive us up one at a time in a golf cart, but we decided we’d walk it. I mean, that was the point of getting married in a beach, right? I started off wearing shoes, but the shoes I had were not beach-friendly, so I immediately kicked them off.

Seeing the beach and the wedding spot was breathtaking. These pictures don’t even do it justice. The place is just THAT beautiful. And the weather was awesome! There was a bit of a breeze which was cool but not uncomfortable. It was actually nice and warm in the sun and the sand was cool and felt really good on my feet. Not hot and grainy like the beaches in Texas I’m used to. But smooth and soft. Like standing on a giant pillow. I loved digging my toes into it.

We met up with the officient who was a native to the island (one of the 30 inhabitants). She was awesome. Very funny lady who joked that most brides were late but not THIS bride. Senti told her I was the first bride she knew that already had all the paperwork ready to go. I guess this isn’t the norm for most of their wedding couples but you know me…my analness shone through. I can’t help that I’m organized. *grin*

There were some forms that had to be filled out and some paperwork to be signed before we could get going. Witnesses were procured: Senti and Reymond from the ship. Then, I picked out the music to walk down to the alter to – Canon in D. Seemed appropriate. And so, we were off!

Our officient was wonderful. The vows were beautiful. And in the background the surf crashing onto shore. Heaven! We had a few spectators, too, on the beach, watching the ceremony. Funny to have a bunch of people we didn’t know there but at the same time it didn’t seem strange at all. Like it was meant to be that way.

And when we were pronounced Mr. and Mrs., there was lots of applause from those who came from the ship and those who were spectators. We had our champagne toast, snapped lots of pictures, and signed the marriage certificate to make it all official.

In case you’re wondering, YES, the marriage ceremony is quite legal in the Bahamas. We are most certainly married. And no, we don’t have to get married again in the States. As soon as I can, I’ll be ordered a certified copy of the marriage certificate just in case we ever need one for whatever reason.

The entire ceremony took approximately 30 minutes but it was great fun and I’ll never forget how beautiful it was there and what an awesome wedding we had. Afterward, we decided to run back to the ship, change, and then come back to the beach to enjoy what was left of the day. So it was back on the truck to get to the dock to catch the tender.

(If you’ve been following along all week, you know all the modes of transportation we’ve taken. It became a joke with us by the middle of the week. I hope you’re paying attention because there will be a pop quiz later. *grin*)

On the boat back to the ship, a couple sat down in front of us and told us they watched our wedding from the water. Another girl who boarded the ship, stopped to talk to me in her perfect British accent. Asked if she could have a picture and then later asked if I was going to “toss the bouquet”. To which I replied no, since I wanted to keep it. 🙂 Throughout the next days on the ship, we had several people come and tell us they saw our wedding and offered their congratulations. It’s amazing how people can recognize you when you least expect it.

We spent what was left of the afternoon on the beach, enjoying the nice weather in the afternoon. Then it was back to the ship by 3 and, eventually, dinner where we were surprised with a complimentary bottle of champagne – a gift from my sister and brother-in-law!

When we got back to our stateroom later that night, a knock on the door from room service. Yet another bottle of champagne (our third!) and chocolate covered strawberries. All complimentary! 

All in all, it was a wonderful day.

And…I’m going on break until Monday. Next week, I’ll finish up with stories about the cruise. Until then, I hope everyone has a VERY merry Christmas!

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.