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Bahama Beach Wedding Diary


dcarter4
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I thought waiting for new episodes on TV to arrive we're hard, this is by far worse. I'm checking every ten minutes, like some sort of addict. Lol, thanks for giving me something to look forward too. I'm glad so far everything has gone well a little bumpy, but hey that's the norm.

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My fiance and I are planning something similar through WITB (May 16 2014). Which beach location did you choose and why? We are debating on a few different ones but cant seem too make our minds up. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks and Congratulations!

 

We went with Sandyport Beach (connected to the PoopDeck Restaurant.

 

Why?

 

Cost and recommendation. It worked our perfectly. We had a dumbA#@# parasailer behind us during our wedding...but oh well....

 

D &K

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Hey All!

 

Our story continues…Day 3 (Wedding Day!!)

 

“Goin’ to the Chapel and we’re gonna’ get Married….!!!”

 

Neither Kel nor I slept well….

 

Kel had decided against having someone in the Spa or Salon do her hair or makeup. Paying $100+ for someone to do your hair and another $ 100 for makeup (which she had to supply) seemed like a waste of money.

 

Unbeknownst to us; my niece does makeup jobs for side cash…and just happened to have her “Kit” with her!. Kel made plans the first night, for my niece to come over before the wedding…(but apparently forgot..she was a little tipsy the first night). She confirmed 11:45am or so.

 

That issue straightened out, we moved on to more important tasks…like COFFEE!! (I just gotta’ have my “joe” in the morning!)

 

We cleaned up a bit and headed for Café Al Bacio. Two barista’s were slaving over the machines, cranking out coffee’s and pastries. There were only 6 or so chairs, none of which were empty.

 

Two of the chairs were occupied by two kids, who were having a great time throwing sugar packets around…while their father played with his phone.

A few well placed “sighs” and an evil glare from yours truly…and he finally scooted them out of the way.

 

I’m sorry…but if you have kids…keep them under control!!! I do not find them as adorable as you do…especially in the morning…when they are blocking me from my coffee!!

 

I offer the barista my best morning greeting, “So how are you this morning….”

 

Only to be greeted with…”You know…livin’ the dream….”

 

Really? Ok…maybe he’s just having a bad day?

 

I get a Double Cappuccino and Kel orders a Latte. Two Seapass swipes later…and we sit down in some nearby chairs. Timmy, Kels sister and BIL join us a few min. later. Totally unarranged?! They just happened by. Nice. Looks like they are getting the lay of the land!

 

Kel finds her drink to be bitter and “disgusting”. I find my drink to be a little frothy and sweet?? Moments later…we switched drinks! DDuuuuhhhhh…..

 

Aahhh….much better!

p><p><img src=[/img]

 

...time for me to exit!

 

I find refuge in my BM’s room. His girlfriend is already dressed, and looking quite fetching!

 

I decided it’s the perfect time to ask her about her intentions with my best friend!! Needless to say…I am relaxed.

 

My best man (TIMMMAAA!!!!) is in FULL best man mode ! He grabs the only copy of the Contact Sheet (CS) and is going room to room…making sure everyone is headed to the pier by 1:30pm.

 

Me?

 

I’m looking for some Champagne. I TOTALLY forgot to have some chilled for us, while we dressed?!! Rookie mistake!!

 

I poke my head into our room, and can barely see my B2B. She is surrounded by my family, who is working on her hair and face.

The ladies have found some champagne somewhere, and quickly pour me a glass.

 

I have a bit of pride, watching my family take care of my B2B. Kel’s family is not very touchy feely…but mine are..and they are showing Kelly all their love.

 

My sister and niece have the situation totally in control, so I grab my shirt, tie and shoes..and exit.

 

It’s almost 12:30 and I need to finally start thinking about getting dressed…..when suddenly…..

 

….my Mom comes out of her room….in tears!!!

 

She is all dressed and looking nice…but is wearing tennis shoes? I ask her about the shoes….and it’s full blown sobbing…..something about Ray unpacking her suitcase before they left home…and now she doesn’t have any shoes…and blah blah blah….

 

I tell her that our room is filled with women, and that someone will have some shoes for her to wear….I continue towards my BM’s room.

 

Now friends…don’t think me heartless. The sight of my mother crying, would usually bring me to my knees….but this is one hour before MY wedding…and I don’t need this DRAMA…

 

besides…this isn’t even REAL drama…this is…

 

Mama Drama!!......If you do not know the difference…then I pity you.

(BTW…My mother was in the B2B’s room, laughing…. 5min later….so…..)

 

Regaining my relaxed mood, I knock on my BM’s stateroom door.

 

He opens the door, FULLY dressed in his Tux….and in a PANIC!!

 

BM: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??!! Why aren’t you dressed?! We’ve got to go?!!

Me: “What are YOU doin?” (in my best Joey from Friends tone)

BM: “Dude…it’s almost 1:30…we’ve got to go! Is Kelly dressed?!!

Me: “Timmy…relax….dude…it’s 12:30…we are fine!”

BM: “No…you are on SHIP time…NOT Bahamian or Island time?!!!

 

Hhmmm…my friend might have a point here….?

 

Not relishing the act of walking into the B2B’s room and telling her she has 5min to get dressed for her wedding….I go into full Project Manager Mode!!

 

I grab for my cellphone….it shows one time…his cellphone show a totally different time….useless!!!

 

I press the Concierge button on the stateroom phone…no one picks up!!!….(my pulse is quickening). I press the Guest Services button…again…no one picks up!!!!

 

I start trying to remember how much it cost, if we delay the limo….

 

Timmy wants to tell the B2B. I say flat out….”absolutely NOT…not until we can verify the actual time”!!

 

I ask the BIL to go to the B2B’s room and pull out the Matron of Honor (his wife, Kels sister). Take her somewhere and fill her in…just in case. She can be trusted not to tell the B2B….until we have to.

 

I remember that the onboard TV channel (the one with the camera images of the ship) always shows the right time…. It is reporting the time as 12:40.

 

WHeeewwww…..

 

Meanwhile, Timmy has charged all the way down to the Concierge desk. They confirm. The time in Nassau is 12:41.

 

We all let out a BIG sigh…….

 

I slump down on their bed and stare at the TV for a moment. As I am watching the screen (along with the BM’s GF)….the clock changes from 12:41 to 1:41pm!!!

 

I SWEAR TO GOD!!!! Right before our eyes!!!

 

Timmy returns to find us laughing on the bed…(I’m sure this must have looked a bit…odd……??)

 

He confirms that he actually spoke to Annmarie, from Weddings in the Bahamas…and that she confirmed the time…and that we are on schedule.

 

Whhhhhoooossssaaaaaaa…..

 

At 1:15pm, Timmy does a final room check, and takes “the Child” with him, to the bus. She is in charge of the music (ipod dock and speakers), so she needs to arrive before us. On his way out, he informs me, that the only people he can’t get a hold of…is the Montana Clan.

 

Naturally……

 

By 1:25…I am dressed and heading to the B2B’s room.

 

I open the door…and there she is…..my beautiful bride!!

p><p><img src=[/img]

 

I walked down the steps….over a steep wooden bridge….and BAMMMM!!!

 

There was our stunning wedding site….

<a href=IMG_1278.jpg' alt='IMG_1278.jpg'>

 

Hmmmm….I guess I’m gettin MARRIED today????!!!

 

Best Man pre-Wedding: A+

 

My Sister and my Niece (i.e. the Makeup Crew): A+

 

Fellow Cruisers, crew and strangers well wishes: B+

 

(Wedding Day part 2……continues….later….heheheheheheh)

 

D & K

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Edited by dcarter4
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My fiance and I are planning something similar through WITB (May 16 2014). Which beach location did you choose and why? We are debating on a few different ones but cant seem too make our minds up. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks and Congratulations!

 

We too are planning something similar in February 2015. Deciding is becoming extremely difficult. Im leaning towards Compass Point but comes with a hefty price tag for a 20 minute affair. Whichever you choose you should make a post.

 

***D&K loving this!!! Kelly looks beautiful!! Im so excited to see the rest! Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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Hey All!

(Our Wedding Day continues…part 2)

 

“Tell It To The Preacher…”

 

Our Destination Beach Wedding was right in front of my eyes!!!…my squinting, wind-blown eyes (did I mention the wind)?

 

It was just like the pictures…just smaller? No…Not the archway (which was very tall and nice), but the actual distance from the berm to the water. Let me try to explain, because it’s all about perception.

 

In my mind…25 people (well 22…actually…no Montana Clan) lined up in front of an archway…on a beach…would take up more space?!

 

Annmarie sent me a graphic/diagram layout, showing me, four rows of 5 seats…so I KNOW what I was supposed to see…I just perceived it would be…well larger?

 

No matter….it looked GREAT!!! Everything looked perfect!

 

Our music was playing (but “the Child” wasn’t manning the controls..one of the Nerd Crew [Renzy] was……

 

The Archway was flowing and adorned with flowers (with some AS@#@#@ para-sailing behind during the entire event)….

 

Our guests were happy and milling around (some apparently had too much to drink…already)…

 

The dress code (which we did not specify) ranging from a White Tux (my mom’s husband…he got confused..) to flip flops and shorts. Interesting pictures these will make….

 

The time is 2:15pm. Time to get married.

 

Let’s do this!!

 

I walk down the aisle (fabric runner….surprisingly sand free…at this point) and greet my best man. He is scanning the scene, like a general. He informs me, that Renzy is controlling the iPod docking station…because the “iPod docking station” is actually a DJ’s mixing board!!

p><p><img src=[/img]

 

Finally, my B2B starts to move. She just reaches the steep bridge…when the track ends!

 

Thankfully, Renzy has mastered the system now, and expertly drops the volume, resets the track and the processional song begins again!

 

Kel can finally hear the music and walks the short distance to the archway.

p><p><img src=[/img]

 

Just that quickly, the preacher asked for the rings, and Timmy, (nervously) handed them over. (I guess Timmy was worried about what would happen if he had dropped the rings in the sand?!) [Note: That would have been bad, Bro….]

 

When it came time to put her ring on…I was having a bit of a hard time!

 

Very lady-like, Kel said….“Just shove it on!”

 

God…I love it when she talks dirty….

 

Then all too quickly…..

 

“I am pleased to introduce to you, for the first time….Mr. & Mrs. Dwayne and Kelly Carter!!”

 

On cue…Renzy started our recessional….

 

“Somebody to Love” by Queen.[Extended mix]….

 

….What?!! What were you expecting?!!

 

Can we take a moment to discuss the wedding music?

 

Folks….play what YOU want! Yes…a second wedding and/or a Destination Wedding lends itself to a more casual atmosphere. But these are YOUR memories of YOUR wedding. What do you want to remember about this moment?!

 

Thankfully, Kel and I have the same taste and appreciation for music. We were both musicians, and it was music (marching band, actually) that brought us together…oh so many years ago.

 

I spent a few agonizing hours, pouring over the several (but short) playlist we would need for this day…and fighting off some demons of the past (remember…wedding # 2 for both of us). I didn’t want to hear ANY music from…well…THAT past wedding.

 

Luckily, Kel and I both agreed on fun and memorable song selections. The First Dance song proved to be a bit of a struggle…but that turned out to be a non-starter, anyway (more on that, later).

 

OK…on with the Beach Wedding!......

 

Shortly after walking down the runner (I mean VERY shortly after…as in 15 feet), Annmarie directs us to the side, where the photographer instructs us on what will happen, now.

 

Any group shots we’d like…followed by just the photographer, his assistant….and us…walking down the beach.

p><p><img src=[/img]

 

We both briefly stop at the bathrooms to freshen up. It’s 30min limo ride back to the boat!

 

While in the bathroom, I notice myself in the mirror…

 

..and am taken-aback by how handsome I am in this Tux!?!!!

 

Upon leaving the bathroom, I make sure to tell my new bride...just how handsome I find myself to be!

 

As customary….she just rolls her eyes and shakes her head……(Yep…she knows….she knows how lucky she is…..)

 

We pull “the Child” off the bus and into the limo. She is more than thrilled. TWO limo rides in ONE trip?! She is the envy of all her classmates…..

 

We have a bottle of champagne to share in the limo, so the bumper to bumper traffic is barely noticeable.

 

What I AM noticing though…is the time!!

 

It is now 3:30pm.

 

Our Reception starts at 4:00pm…on the Celebrity Constellation…in the Reflection Lounge.

 

…..I don’t think we’re gonna make it…??!!!

 

Weddings In The Bahamas (Annmarie): A

The Photographer and Crew: B+

The Poop Deck and SandyPort Beach: B

 

Stay tuned……(The Reception….part 3)

 

D & K

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Welcome back D&K!!!!!!!!

 

Congratulations again! Thanks so much for giving us so much detail about your wedding adventure!!!

 

You guys look great! Kel looks beautiful and you do look good in that tux! haha

 

Can't wait to read the next installment!

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Hey All! (The Reception……)

 

“We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat…”

 

It is now 3:30pm.

 

Our Reception starts at 4:00pm…on the Celebrity Constellation…in the Reflection Lounge.

 

…..I don’t think we’re gonna make it…??!!!

 

Our Limo weaves its way to the pier. And by pier, I mean to the front of the Straw Market (many, many vendors). I know that it’s a good, 15min walk from here.

 

I also know, that it would be bad for me…to drag my lovely new Bride….

 

p><p><img src=[/img]

 

Amusingly, in front of us, walks (or stumbles) what I will call “The New X Generation” or the new generation of Celebrity Demographics they are hoping to attract (re: a conversation that fills our Cruise Critic Forum pages).

 

These late twenty-something’s are stumbling in front of us…headed for the ship. At first, I assume they are heading for the Carni ship (a Carnival Cruiseline ship). They are about the right age…but dressed a lot better.

 

Two couples…The men (boys) are both wearing “captains” hats, muscle shirts and dress shorts. Both girls are wearing tank tops, and half a pair of shorts…each. I have a clear view of both of their buttocks.

 

A clear view…

 

I swing my trusty HD Camcorder in to action…

 

Disappointingly…..neither twenty-something ladies, have taken very good care of themselves.

 

If this is the clientele that Celebrity is hoping to attract…then I might have to look around for a new Cruiseline….eventually.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I am ALL for scantily clad ladies. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to wear it….and this was just…wrong.

 

[Note: We continued to see these four “guests” through-out the rest of the cruise. Yes…the guys wore the “captains” hats EVERYWHERE…and yes…the ladies continued to dress in little or no clothing…and NO…their appearance (or attitudes) never improved.]

 

My new bride gives me her best “..you’re so sad” look…then a big smile…and we continue towards the ship.

 

Now ladies…I know what you’re thinking.

 

“Is he looking at other women, just 30min after his wedding?!”

 

Umm..yes…yes I was.

 

They were right in front of me. Correction…stumbling right in front of me!

For you “soon to be married” B2B’s….this is a clear example, of the difference between a first and second marriage…or….the difference between marrying the right person or not.

 

Age also gives you some perspective…..

 

This scenario, much like a destination cruise wedding….teaches you to focus on what’s important…and what is not. To accept things that you can’t change…(you know the quote).

 

I’m a flirt. Always have been..always will be. My bride is well aware of this fact. She is also comfortable and has high self-esteem. She is also very comfortable, with the fact, (that she thinks); I am too old to land a twenty-something.

 

I am comfortable in the fact…that I think… I can.

 

The detente works for us….

 

Anyway….watch out for “The New X Generation” cruisers…..

 

We board the Constellation and make a bee-line for the stateroom. We need to freshen up and grab the cake topper!! Our Reception has already started!

 

The time…4:10pm.

 

We head to the top and across the pool deck. It is surprisingly crowded for an in-port day?

 

Again, we are greeted with round after round of applause. Even cruisers laid out in their best tanning poses, stop and applaud. It is a wonderful, fleeting moment.

 

As the wind tosses us left and right, we finally make it to the doors…..

..and into the Reflections Lounge!

 

We immediately make eye contact with a rare site…the Montana Clan is here!! We give them a good and deserved ribbing!!

 

You see…they were at the famous Atlantis Water Park and they decided to make one more run down the slide and…..

 

They missed the wedding.

 

They are truly some of the nicest people you could ever meet…and the most fun. So we forgave them….naturally. They are the life of the party, the entire cruise.

 

We wind our way deeper into the lounge.

 

Everyone is just sitting around. Quiet. Just talking….

 

In my mind, this was supposed to be a bit of a party!

 

Suddenly, the Constellation Event Planner pulled me to the side. She explained, that they are hosting a private party in the room at 5:00pm ( I knew this…).

 

It is now, 4:25pm.

 

She stated, that she would be willing to let us stay a bit longer…but would have to turn off our music (another iPod station!!) promptly at 5:00pm…because we were starting late.

 

I agreed…and the music started!!

 

Unknown to everyone (except “the Child”), Kel and I had prepared a special “First Dance” to the tune, “ Lego House” by Ed Sheeran. Not wanting to just do the side-to-side slow dance, I had imagined us doing a modified Viennese Waltz.

 

We worked on it for a few hours….in the garage…a few days before this. It wasn’t going to look like Dancing With The Stars…but I think we could have pulled off a few moves.

 

Fortunately (or unfortunately) Kel’s dress wasn’t having any of it!!

 

After Kels final dress fitting, she told me that she would be unable to move the way we rehearsed. Half of the dance would have required her to dance backwards, matching me stride for stride.

 

I am 6’.1”. She is 5’.4”.

 

Not gonna happen……

 

I was a bit disappointed…but I understood. With us being 20min late to our own Reception….our “First Dance” fate was sealed.

 

Ladies…if you are thinking about dancing in that dress….try busting your moves, during the fittings…

 

Being serious music people we had crafted a fun playlist, complete with dance hits, R&B, old school funk and some slow grooves. I had timed the playlist for 50min (plus the “First dance”).

 

Needless to say, we only got as far as the old school rap…before they shutoff our playlist (at about 5:05pm). I wasn’t upset. Celebrity allowed us to stay til about 5:20pm!

 

That was cool of them…

 

They really had to shut our party down, though!!. The private party was starting to come in (a bunch of stiff shirts if I ever saw any)…and we were starting to rock out!!!

 

Friends…I will never forget the look on this older couples face (part of the private party), when they walked into the Reflections Lounge…and we were cranking “O.P.P” by Naughty By Nature”!!

 

“You down with OPP (Yeah you know me)

Who's down with OPP (Every last homie)

You down with OPP (Yeah you know me)

Who's down with OPP (All the homies)”

 

The look on their faces…priceless!!

 

But music alone, does not a reception make!!

 

Part of our group perks included an open bar (up to Classic Package) and Canapés.

 

If you are a follower of this diary; you recall I was working with our Celebrity Group consultant, Rob, trying to get the classic drink menu, upgraded to the premium menu.

 

Try as they might, they were never able to do this. I was willing to pay the difference, but in the end…we had to let this request go….

 

..and that was FINE!

 

NO ONE complained or requested a drink that they couldn’t get.

And the Canapés……?

 

FORGETABOUT IT!!!! They were fantastic!!

 

They started out very simple, and became more unique and delicious as the (short) reception went along! Kudos to the chef!!

 

And the cake…..

 

Ah…the Wedding Cake....

 

Can you think of one wedding icon, that has caused more fear, more stress, more money, than any other?!

 

The Wedding Cake.

 

I know of some weddings, that were almost ruined, by a bad wedding cake….

 

…but not for us. Nope…not the second time around!!

 

A brief recap. Early on, in the diary; I mention contacting Celebrity’s Wedding Department.

 

It was a brief but informative conversation. Not to slight them in any way….but it was made very clear, very quickly…that to involve Celebrity’s Wedding Department…we were going to have to pony up some serious cash.

 

We already knew that we were going to have a beach wedding…so all we really needed help for, was the reception and the cake.

 

They wanted $ 1,750….just to get started!!!

 

Ahhh…no.

 

I called Rob (our Celebrity Group Consultant) and asked what he could do for us. He said that the ships kitchen could “whip something up”, if we could just send him a few pictures??

 

I asked if it could be round….he said “Sure…” I asked what flavors we could have….he sent me a little list (we picked cheesecake). I asked the cost..and he said, “about $ 100 for twenty-five people”.

 

I said sure.

 

We were expecting and round sheet cake. We sent them some pictures…

 

p><p><img src=[/img]

 

Final cost….$ 75.00…..and it was DELICIOUS!!!

 

p><p><img src=[/img]

 

We had an excellent, non-rushed meal. HIGHLY recommended. All I can remember, is that I had a Veal Chop..and apparently, “the Child” had the best steak of her life…..WITH asparagus !!??

 

Obviously…she is “sick” of steak at home, when I try to serve it…oh…and the asparagus had a “sauce” on it…and mine doesn’t.

 

A lesson for you parents. To get your kid to eat vegetables…all you need to do is, pay $ 1,200 for a cruise…THEN they will find them delicious!!

 

After the meal…our wedding cake was served for dessert. It was awesome…again!

 

By 7:30pm everyone was clearing out for Karaoke night at Michelaels….including my Bride!

 

I found myself by the elevators, with my Best Man and crew. Suddenly, the head waiter ran up me..!!

 

“Sir…I need the cards for 8 people!!”

 

Yep….8 people left the dining room….without giving them their cards….and the groom was standing there….

 

Lucky for me….TIMMMAAA jumped back into Best Man mode, and made a dash to Michaels.

 

He quickly returned with cards for 4 people. “My Boys” (and I split) the remaining cards (cost).

 

OK…paying the $ 35 for someone else on my wedding night, was not cool…but it was no biggie, either.

 

Besides…I had some GOOD wine in me, by this point!!

 

As we saunter down to Michaels…I am hit by a twinge of sadness. My wedding day is almost over. Our beach wedding, just a few hours old…was already a past memory….

 

I brush it aside. I am fully relaxed now! Time to do a little partying!!

 

We find almost the entire group packed into Michele’s. Karaoke is in full sing. We have secured a few tables in the back (by the bar), and I pull up a seat. I order one of my favorite Belgian beer (Chimay….made by Trappist monks….seriously…what else do they have to do?).

 

This wonderful elixir has provided me with some wonderful nights…and some crazy stories in the past. Mixing this with a martini and wine…probably not the best thing to do…but my mother didn’t raise a quitter!!

 

I down the whole 750ml bottle by myself...

 

Later that night, one of the Nerd Crew (Neal) mentions to the performer…that it was our wedding day (no duh….there’s a woman in the crowd wearing a wedding dress). Naturally, we get called up on the stage. I have to sing some Elvis….I think I did ok.

 

I was feeling no pain….at this point.

 

An hour later…and it was time to take my bride away.

 

I am a gentleman, so I will let you finish the story from here….

 

I will just say, we had a wonderful night…and I was EXCELLENT!!! (Seriously ladies…you should be very upset that I’m off the market…really…your loss).

 

Well….I think I will do a final wrap up. A summary of some sort.

 

One more post for my fans…..

 

Constellation Event Planner: B

Constellation Group Consultant (Rob): B+

The bakers who made our cake?: A

The Tuscan Grille Staff: A

 

Stay tuned for……(The Final Thoughts….)

 

D & K

Edited by dcarter4
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Hey All!

 

“It's something unpredictable, but in the end that's right,

I hope you had the time of your life…..”

 

Well friends….like the end of every great cruise…it’s time to disembark. I have truly enjoyed this ride.

 

This Bahama Wedding Diary started Oct 17, 2013…in response to….well…the forums lack of responses to my query. I simply asked….

 

”Does anyone know about getting married on a beach, in the Bahamas”?...

 

…..the response….silence. Zero replies.

 

Now…that question (and many others) have been answered.

 

To date, my Bahama Wedding Diary has had over 15,459 views!!

 

I wanted to “pay it forward” to this wonderful forum…but I never expected such a response! I am truly humbled.

 

I had been reading the forum for a while…but rarely responded. I thought…If no one can answer me…then I will do it myself!! (…and post my thoughts for all to view).

 

And so I have.

 

Just two weeks after proposing to my (now) wife…I started posting this diary about the difficulties of throwing a destination wedding, (in the Bahamas) in just 5 months (from a Grooms perspective).

 

In reading my post (from the first to the last), I am amazed at the transformation; from my original idea…..to the final event?!

 

I debated continuing the diary, outlining the rest of our trip…but I have decided to end on a high note. I was looking for a sign..and today…I received one.

 

Our wedding photographer posted our pictures, today. Our final contact with the Bahamas is now complete. There’s my sign…..

 

Besides….if you are on this forum…you have probably cruised before…so…you know how your typical cruise works?!

 

So I will leave you with some words of wisdom…from a guy who just went through it all…

 

“Closing Time….”

 

If you are reading this diary….you are debating a Destination Wedding of some sort. The obvious question(s) you are asking…..are???

 

1) Should we do a Destination Wedding?

 

My answer is…YES!!….and NO!!!

 

Are you ok with relinquishing a bit of control..to someone who is (possibly) 2,000 miles away?

 

Are you ok with sending them thousands of dollars….sight unseen?

 

Are you willing to say “WWhhhooosssaaaaaaa..” and let some things go?

 

If so…then you are probably in the right frame of mind, for a Destination Wedding. If this is your second wedding, or a vow renewal?...then it’s the PERFECT choice!!

 

If you are a control freak…a Bridezilla or (if) this is your first wedding…then…probably not. First weddings tend to be very traditional and very structured. Destination weddings are (generally) not.

 

 

2) Who will come? Should we invite our family?

 

My answer (again) is…YES!!….and NO!

 

Invite EVERYBODY you want to, and give them as much time as possible (We only had 5 months) to decide. Send out the Save The Date cards are soon as possible! If you use the right website…it will set you up for the entire wedding (see my Resources, below)!

 

Invite everyone….because you have NO IDEA who will actually come!!

 

People who you never thought would actually come…do. People who you thought, “ wouldn’t miss it for the world”….don’t.

 

In our case….Kel’s mom…decided…”she just couldn’t do it” (travel). Yep…the mother of the bride was a no-show.

 

If you throw a wedding 2,000 miles away from home…be prepared for some odd responses to your Destination Wedding Invite….which brings me to FAMILY.

 

 

3) Should I invite my Family? How do I handle them?

 

AAhhh…..Family. Like with every family gathering….If you have family members, all in one place.…you’re gonna have problems.

 

You just are. As with any wedding, your family issues will not, miraculously disappear, because you are on a boat…or a tropical island.

 

They are still there…just maybe liquored up and overly tanned. When it comes to family…you need to decide early on…what you will put up with…and what you won’t.

 

Weddings are very socio-economic beasts. Money and social status/position play a key role in a wedding.

 

What I’m saying is….if this is your first marriage, and Mommy and Daddy are paying for the whole thing?

 

….Then you better believe that they will have final say on what your wedding will be like, and where your wedding will be!! Which brings us to…..

 

 

4) MONEY (i.e. your BUDGET)

 

Money, as in life (for most of us) is THE controlling factor in your wedding. Virtually every post in my diary, mentioned money. Because we only had 5 months to pull off our wedding

 

…every dollar counted.

 

In the end…my wedding came down to my last paycheck.

 

Talk about cutting it close….

 

Obviously, a wedding (like a car), is something you can spend as much (or as little) as you want. My advice….

 

Create a Budget and a Priority List…and stick to it!!!

 

Start with the hard numbers (numbers you have little control over), like the cruise cost, airline tickets, rental spaces.

 

Then, start plugging in the soft numbers, like flowers, food, booze, DJ’s, and photographers.

 

Cost isn’t directly tied to quality. Shop around. Get referrals.

 

If you dealing with a Cruiseline….call back once or twice and ask about the same item. You’d be surprised by how many different answers and prices you will get??!!!

 

And by all means…if you can help it….DON’T skimp on items YOU think are important. It will bug you forever. USE your priority list to decide where to put your funds.

 

Our list was simple. Since this was the second wedding for the both of us….we didn’t feel the need to do a lot of the First Wedding staples.

 

For example:

 

NO DRAMA!! Sounds simple...but it's not. We probably pissed off some people...but oh well....no drama wedding. It can happen! You and your partner must be in sync!

 

Jewelry: Kel’s ring was important..mine..not so much (this is typical for any wedding, right?)

 

Wedding Dress: Totally Kel’s decision…but she bought it online and had it modified. Cost $ 200 plus modification.

 

Wedding Cake: As you’ve read in earlier posts…$ 75.00 and it was awesome.

 

Reception: Included with the cruise….but would have spent more (see below).

 

Wedding on the Beach: Topped-out at about $ 5k. Perfect.

 

If possible…try not to walk away from your wedding in debt…..

 

 

5) Regrets…(ah yes…I have a few…)

 

I hate regrets. I have too many in my life….and I don’t want any more. Luckily, our wedding was near perfect. And for a Destination Wedding…that means it was perfect!

 

Looking back…there are a few…

 

The Reception. Celebrity provided us with a free one hour reception, with free drinks and canapés.

As you have probably read….we were late for our own reception…so we missed most of it.

 

If I had to do it all over again….I would have paid for a 2+ hour reception.

 

A late afternoon wedding. The actual time of the wedding wasn’t the problem…

We changed our wedding time, to allow people the morning…to go on some Shore Excursions.

THIS caused a bit of stress with our guest (who scrambled to make it back in time…some didn’t make the wedding at all).

 

If I had to do it all over again….I would have made the whole day about the wedding. Perhaps throw a small reception on the beach, then a formal dinner back on the ship??

 

Presents…or lack thereof... You probably shouldn’t expect too many presents.

 

To date…we’ve received five (5) presents.

 

Two (2) of which, were from people who didn’t go?!

 

Now….I’m not that type of person. I didn’t get married for the presents. As a matter of fact…I’m not sure what the protocol is, for a second wedding?

 

We did hear comments, that some weren’t giving presents…because their present to us…was coming on the cruise!!

 

I will point out…that WE PAID for the cruise for some of these folks!! (yep…you heard right)!

 

In any event…because people typically don’t want to drag presents with them on a cruise….you probably shouldn’t be expecting many.

 

To make it easy on people, we only registered at one place. An online Honeymoon site.

 

If guests wanted to send you a gift..they just log on or call an 800 and donate to your honeymoon.

 

In our case, out of 40 invited guests (25 who actually came on the cruise), only 5 gave gifts (two on the website….two sent cards with cash).

 

It bugs me a little…..but Kel is pissed!!!!

 

Oh well……I guess some people weren’t raised right!!

 

Post-Wedding Depression... You may laugh…but this is real. My new Bride has it bad!!

True…it’s usually the bride…but I ‘m the one who did most of the planning!! It stands to reason….that the person who is dealing with the majority of the preparation and planning for (usually) a year or more

 

….feels a little let down….when it’s over...

 

Now…in my case….I’m sure Kel has been fantasizing about marrying me, from the moment she first met me. That kind of build-up would send anyone reeling…..

 

(..Ahem….)

 

But, yes….you might experience a bit of the blahs, when you return home.

 

We didn’t go on a Honeymoon (it’s planned for June 2015…Celebrity Cruise to Italy and Greece)…so we slipped right back into our normal work routine pretty quickly.

 

We are planning a mini-honeymoon in Vegas next month…but she’s already complaining that it’s too short.?!

 

Women….

 

6) Resources:

 

There is SO much info out there….it’s hard to know where to turn! The best thing you can do, is ask for recommendations.

 

If you are reading this post….you have started in the best spot. CruiseCruitic.com.

 

From here, I needed to send out a Save The Date. I went with Paperlesspost.com.

I then setup a wedding website at TheKnot.com. Did I mention this was all FREE?!

 

If you are going by cruise ship…connect with your Group Rep and ONLY talk to this person. After 6 months or a year…you will become pals….

 

If you are doing it in the Bahamas…we honestly recommend Weddings In the Bahamas.

 

Future Cruises. Our frequent cruiser friends always book their next cruise…ON the cruise…and they are RIGHT!!

 

BIG discounts and LOW deposits!! We booked our Honeymoon cruise…while we were onboard…..just don’t wait til the last moment…BIG lines!!!

 

And by all means….ASK questions….believe me…somebody will know the answer.

 

 

Fine’…….

 

Final words of wisdom……

 

Try to remember what this is all about…….

 

It’s about a wedding…in that perfect place…

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..and the bestman (or maid of honor) who’s got your back for the day..…..

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..and YOUR wedding day!

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Yours……

 

Dwayne & Kel

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This has been the most fun blog i have ever seen on Cruise critic. When all the kitties have homes you should try writing...you have such a great sense of humor..and attitude. I can't wait for you to take me along again. Best wishes for a wonderful life together.

 

Next time charge your friends for all you hard work... they had it easy!

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Dwayne, I cannot thank you enough. I have followed your diary the whole way to the point where I began to feel as though I was part of the family. Your posts have helped many in more ways then one. I truly wish you both a happy blessed life.

 

All the best and more

Crystal

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Dwayne (if you're still out there) THANK YOU so much for posting this journey! We are planning a cruise wedding and still unsure about which port we will have the wedding in. The Bahamas is on our list and I was, like you, in search of some information; particularly about the 24 hour residency rule. So, again, thank you for taking the time to post all of this great information!

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  • 1 month later...
Dwayne (if you're still out there) THANK YOU so much for posting this journey! We are planning a cruise wedding and still unsure about which port we will have the wedding in. The Bahamas is on our list and I was, like you, in search of some information; particularly about the 24 hour residency rule. So, again, thank you for taking the time to post all of this great information!

 

I'm still here!!

 

Congrats on your upcoming wedding!! Try to enjoy it...it will go by SOO fast!!

 

Good luck on the residency rule. We just couldn't make it work..and to tell you the truth...I'm glad we didn't. It would have added too much stress on that day.

We got married a week before the cruise..and to tell you the truth..we hardly even think about that moment. Our REAL wedding day, is the bahama Beach Wedding day!

 

Good luck...and let me know if you need any help!

 

Dwayne & Kel:D

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