Wednesday January 3rd, 2018 no sleep again for me, up at 3:30am to catch the shuttle to the airport. We load onto the plane to Orlando without issue, we even left on time. Arrive in Orlando, the rain is somewhat heavy but nothing too worrisome. We eat breakfast then wait to board our flight to Jamaica. Boarding time, no one is at the terminal to board us. Ten minutes later still no one. I'm trying to stay calm and remain positive. Everything's ok I tell myself and more importantly Jess, it could be any number of things causing the delay. Fifteen minutes past boarding time they finally tell us there are life vests missing from under the seats from a previous flight. There are a number of things going through my head but most importantly this should be a somewhat quick easy fix and we should be on our way soon. Thirty minutes past our boarding time we finally start boarding the plane. Still don't know why there were life vests missing from the plane but whatever.
Everyone boards the plane until every seat is taken and we begin our trip to Jamaica. The flight was a bit rough but nothing too severe. We land in Jamaica to applause from the passengers on the flight (I guess everyone was happy to be in Jamaica). Ok, we're here, we're in Jamaica, now we just have a two hour drive to the resort. Everything is going well now and they even have beer waiting for us in the lounge. We wait about another fifteen minutes until they call our resort name. We load up in the van with eight other people for our trip across Jamaica. I must say the van ride was a very nice welcome to Jamaica and as they say in Jamaica we are now ire, which means everything's good.
When we landed in Jamaica the weather was quite nice with plenty of sunshine and warmth. When we entered the parish at the other end of the island, in which we were staying, the rain began falling. We arrived at the very wet resort with light rain coming down. They greeted us with wet towels that smelled like cucumber, not necessary since it was already raining. After getting our bags in order they escorted us to the concierge that would check us into our room for the stay. Lucky for us they just finished helping another couple when we entered. After entering all of our information into a tablet they escorted us to our room where we began to unpack before taking a shower. Our room was a lot smaller than expected but it did have a bar with the four cheapest liquors the resort had to offer as well as a mini fridge with a couple bottles of RedStripe stocked in it. I poured myself some scotch and then turned on the shower. The hot water was underwhelming and spotty but we managed to shower. I'm not being the best fiancé at this point as Jess can clearly tell that I'm upset and unhappy with our current arrangements. I had a certain expectation in mind that was obviously too high. I mean the room was smaller than the hotel room we stayed in the night before. I don't think it helped that I hadn't slept for two days at this point and the entire process of getting there was just exhausting emotionally and physically.
After getting ourselves put together and unpacking our bags we headed out to check out the property a bit, it was around this time that our friends arrived at the resort. We decided to go check out their room to see how it compared to ours. To our surprise their room was much bigger than our "upgraded" room but everything was the same except they didn't have a mini bar in their room. Did I mention they also got champagne when they arrived? Guess we got there at a bad time.
While they got ready for dinner we ran down to the front desk to see if my parents had arrived yet. They wouldn't tell us anything other than they had checked in. So we went back to the room and since we were trying not to use data while we were there I sent them a message through facebook with our room number so they could call us on the room phone. It was then that we realized the air conditioning in our room wasn't working. I ran back down to the front desk to see what they could do. To my surprise they told us to pack everything up as we would be moving rooms. After packing we called the front desk to tell them we were ready, then we waited for twenty minutes before someone arrived to take us to our new room. During this time we told our friends and my parents what was happening and told them to just get dinner without us. We ended up just down the hall from our friends in a regular room, which we were happy with.
Finally we could go eat dinner, we went to the first restaurant we seen, 45 minute wait. Normally I'd be ok with this but it was already 7:30pm and we hadn't eaten since 10am. We decided to just go meet my parents since the entertainment for the night was on the side of the resort they were staying on. No one was in the restaurant they were in so we just sat with them and had dinner, which was nice, and our friends ended up finding us there. Afterwards we all went to the chocolate party, which is exactly what you think it is, lots of chocolate treats, the edible kind and the kind for the eyes. It was a good night.
Thursday January 4th, 2018 the day we were supposed to be married. We had a 10am appointment with our wedding planner on the resort to make a decision on where we would be married, what cake and frosting we wanted, and to finalize all the paperwork. We finished around 12:30 and met up with everyone for lunch. Afterwards we changed into our swim suits and headed to the pool. It wasn't the warmest day as it was only 73 degrees Fahrenheit which is pretty cool for Jamaica. The pool was too cold for us so we got drinks and hung out in the hot tub for a bit.
There was still some tension between Jess and I as the room fiasco was less than ideal after all of the other shit we dealt with to get there. I was stressed about the wedding and everything that has led up to this point. I knew it and I think everyone else knew it as well so after showering before dinner I sat alone in silent mediation to get my head right. It honestly change everything for me, it had been a while since I meditated and it made a world of difference. Check out headspace on your phone for some meditative help #notanadd.
That night we had our formal wedding night dinner that couldn't be moved to Friday night because of the reservations. It was a much better feel than the rest of the day had been and things were starting to really look good for us. After dinner we watched the talent show that the resort put on which was superb by all accounts. The biggest downfall was Jess was not feeling well after dinner and had to retreat to the room for most of the show. She did come back for the end and was feeling better before bed so everything was still ok.
Friday January 5th, 2018 our wedding day. It's finally here the day we've been waiting for, the day we've been planning for and the reason everyone came to Jamaica. I have a 10am foot massage on the other side of the resort so I skipped breakfast in favor of a morning shower. Jess has to be on the other side of the resort for hair and makeup at 11:15 am so she went for breakfast when I went for my massage. We would briefly cross paths again as I was leaving the spa and she was waiting to get her hair done. One last kiss before the one that binds us together for life. Now I head back to our room to write my vowels before the photographer arrives. As I sit down to start writing there's a knock on the door and wouldn't you know it, room service is there to clean the room. That's fine though, she can clean while I sit there and write, can't let that effect me now. Jess wrote her vowels weeks ago and was certain I was just going to make mine up on the spot, I had to prove her wrong.
The photographer was an off site photographer that we hired and had never shot on this resort before so I had to make sure he got into the property and we had time to figure out where we would shoot certain things. Jess sent me a message around 12:30 saying he was at the resort so I went to the lobby to wait for him. He was no where to be found so I asked the front desk to call me when he arrived and went back to my room to wait. A lot of miscommunication later and still no photographer. It was now approaching 1:00pm, we hired him to shoot from 1-5pm so I was now concerned we wouldn't be able to look at any of the sites together beforehand. I decided to go back to the lobby to wait for him. Luckily about five minutes later he showed up after having some difficulty getting onto the grounds. I immediately took him over to where Jess was so he could shoot some of her getting ready but as we got over there she was already finished and checking out.
I then returned to my room with the videographer to grab my suit as I would get ready in our friends room while she got ready in our room. The tricky part in all of this was the videographer and photographer wanted to shoot each of us getting ready so we couldn't get ready at the same time. They shot me first as I got ready then they went to shoot with her. While they shot her getting ready I went to the wedding lounge to meet with the officiant and confirm all the paperwork was correct. Everything was happening so fast now, there was barely time for a toast with the guys.
The videographer met me in the lounge where he wired me up with a mic and pulled me out into the rain. He handed me an umbrella and we walked to a circle area where four sidewalks met in the middle of the garden area. He had me stand there holding the umbrella and looking at him as Jess walked up behind me in the rain to meet me for first look. It was a beautiful moment that my words can't do justice for. She tapped me on the shoulder and I turned to see the most beautiful girl in the most beautiful dress and before I could even say anything she was telling me how handsome I looked. I'm just standing there like a dummy looking at her because I don't know how to tell her how beautiful she is. The words did eventually make it out of my mouth after she told me I looked so good five more times. Then she wrapped her arm around mine and we walked with umbrella in hand to the starting spot of the ceremony, which is where I left her as I went up to the "alter" with the officiant and our guests. A few hugs and instructions later and there I was waiting for my bride to walk down the aisle to me.
We chose our own music for the ceremony and since we're a pretty unconventional couple we didn't choose what you may consider "traditional" wedding music. The song she decided to walk down the aisle to was "Your Guardian Angel" from The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. I didn't realize how much the song effected me until it started playing and I found it hard to keep my head up because I could feel the tears pooling in my eyes. Maybe it would have happened with any song and it was just seeing her walk through the rain to me, or maybe I knew what the song meant to us. Either way there she was walking through the rain into the covered pavilion and all I could do was smile with tears in my eyes at the sight of this girl I was about to marry. She was smiling as she walked towards me but I knew she was fighting back tears as well.
Before I knew it she was standing in front of me, then the officiant positioned us for the photos and video before he would read the script he brought. He did the traditional wedding script minus any mention of god. Then it was our turn to recite our vowels, I of course went first. I completely blanked, but luckily I had the vowels written on a piece of paper with me. Yes I did pull out the paper and read from it. Jess had hers memorized and made me look bad by reading hers straight from the heart with tears choking her up a bit towards the end. Then came the kiss that sealed the deal, we were officially married. It's hard to believe, nothing really changes for us other than her last name, but we're finally married and I'm actually kind of excited about it.
We walked arm in arm down the aisle to Tarrus Riley's "Stay With You". Since we were in Jamaica it only seemed right to include some reggae in our wedding, plus it's a great song that truly defines us. Now it was time to head back out into the rain to walk to the reception area, which was a covered pavilion on top of one of the pools. There they had a small round table for the six of us with covered h'ordourves and, on it's own little table was our cake.
Unfortunately almost as soon as we got up there we were cutting the cake and then having our first dance. This was all rushed of course because we only had the photographer and videographer for a limited time. So we cut the two tiered cake and fed each other then we did a champagne toast. Then we danced to Staind's "Tangled Up In You". The lyrics couldn't speak more true to us. After that was done we were off to take more photos since we had less than an hour of time left with our photographer. At this point Jess' dress was soaked and dirty and we were running up the beach in the rain for photos. It was wonderful really.
When we were done with photos we met the rest of our party at one of the many bars for a drink to wait for our dinner reservation at 6. After getting a drink and hanging out for a bit I decided I should take Jess' flowers back to the room so she didn't have to carry them around all night. As I returned to the room I sat the flowers down and heard something dripping. It was then that I looked up and realized our ceiling was cracked and leaking water onto our bed. I immediately called the front desk to tell them the situation. They called me back shortly after to let me know we would have to pack our things again and move to another room. I then decided to go break the news to my new wife, who was at the restaurant waiting for our table, that we would have to push dinner back and go pack up our room again and move. As you can imagine she was not happy and our guests couldn't believe that this was happening to us again, on our wedding night no less.
After packing up and getting ready to move we waited for someone to come lead us to our new room. We waited and waited, we called the front desk multiple times reiterating that it was our wedding night and we had dinner reservations that we were late for but still no one was showing up. Finally I had enough and went down to the front desk to get the key cards to our new room so we could let them move our stuff while we went to eat. Remember I haven't eaten anything all day, since everything happened so fast during the reception I didn't actually get to eat anything. The woman at the desk gave me the cards, told me the room and I was on my way.
When I got back to the room the concierge had just left with Jess to go to the new room. I could tell they had left because I could see the wet trail from Jess' dress dragging on the ground. I followed that trail to the new room where I exchanged keycards with the concierge and then Jess and I began walking towards the exit of the building. It was then that I tried to open the umbrella as it was pouring down rain and we had a bit of a walk to dinner. Wouldn't you know it, the umbrella wouldn't open. I stood there trying to get the damn thing to open for an unreasonable amount of time. At this point all I can do is laugh because there's nothing else to do. I just stood there and laughed at our luck. Jess decided she was going to see if there was anyone working close by that could exchange the umbrella. It just so happened right around the corner there were a couple people cleaning rooms and happened to see us struggling with the umbrella. They took the umbrella from Jess and gave her a working one. Now we could go to dinner.
We proceeded to the restaurant where everyone was waiting. The staff was very accommodating and had a table ready for us as soon as we got there. We sat down and had a very nice dinner with some wine and champagne. Thank god we had our really good friends and family there, I don't know if I could've done it without them. After dinner we were off to the speak easy for drinks and live music. I dragged Jess onto the tiny dance floor next to the singer and then a few other couples joined us. The singer gave us a special shout out and sang a song for us. The rest of the night was full of drinking, dancing, and singing. It was better than I could have hoped for under the circumstances. We met some great people and had some great conversation and drank a lot.
When the music ended there we went back to our side of the resort where the "night club" was at and drank and danced more. When the DJ played Jess' last request of the night it was time to return to our rooms. It was almost like a real reception. Even better was the fact that when we returned to our room our bed was dry.