The Wedding


We woke up Friday morning early after a too-little sleep, but how could we sleep with such an exciting day ahead!? The neat thing about arriving in the middle of the night is that waking up is a big surprise! Where are we? What does it look like? What color blue is the ocean? What kind of view do we have?! The answer to all these questions is GORGEOUS. We had been upgraded by the wedding coordinator to a Luxury Suite for our wedding! More surprises! Our balcony gave us sweeping views of the beach, the dock, the harbor of Christiansted, and endless views of the Caribbean.

We quickly unpacked and headed up to the main hotel for breakfast. We were instantly reminded of just how hot and humid the islands are and just how tough Sunday's race would be with little acclimation. We ate a simple breakfast and headed to the courthouse in Christiansted to handle the legal end of getting married. The front desk warned us that we had to have our shoulders covered (no tank tops) and had to have full shoes on (uh oh! no flip flops). We dashed back to the room and put on the only real shoes we had - our running shoes for the race! Kind of fitting, as running has become a huge part of our lives. We were both surprised by how easy the courthouse process was and within the hour we were in the taxi on the way back to the resort....LEGALLY MARRIED!

The rest of the day went by at light speed. Adam went swimming out to the reef and saw a sea turtle and I tried (unsuccessfully) to rest before my hair and makeup appointments. Before we knew it, 2:00 had arrived and the wedding coordinator knocked on the door, delivering my bouquet and Adam's boutineer and take me to the spa for my bridification! I was a bit nervous to get my hair done, (as it's usually a hot curly mess) but she fixed it in a beautiful, natural up-do and pinned in fresh flowers from the bush in front of the spa. I was even more nervous to have my makeup done! I wear very little and had visions of over-made up brides in my head! I saw the makeup artist reach for a teal-emerald green and cringed, but somehow (magic, I'm convinced) it worked. It was a lot more makeup than I'm used to, but it looked great and I knew I needed a bit more for the wedding photos!

I got back to our suite in time to take some deep breaths, relax on the balcony, and share a cool glass of champagne with Adam. We spent some time decompressing, not rushing. Just enjoying ourselves, the view, and our final moments as a non-married couple. I wanted to take dress pics, but we lost track of time and suddenly the wedding planner was at the door to pick us up! I quickly shimmied into my slip and dress, tossed on a necklace Adam recently bought me on one of our weekly lunch dates and grabbed my bouquet. Adam looked handsome in his white linen shirt and lightweight khaki jeans, his sleeves rolled up casually. Pleased that the looming threat of rain had passed (for the moment, this is the tropics), we headed down to the private beach for our ceremony.

Everything was absolutely perfect! We arrived at the beach entrance and and met our photographer who snapped a few quick shots of us getting ready. Our wedding planner advised us to take a few deep breaths and walk down the palm-and-flower-lined aisle to the beach in our own time. I think we clasped hands then decided that was too hot and linked arms... In either case, we were laughing, as always. As we came to a stop in front of the officiant, Louise, she invited us to relax and take in the surrounding beauty. It truly was a perfect place to celebrate our love. She began the ceremony without much circumstance, as suits us both. She spoke of our lives and our commitment to each other, of how this day was an affirmation and a declaration of our love. She read this passage from The Ramayana that we both cherish:

“Yet, she and the man to her immediate right bore a striking resemblance. Not a similarity of feature, as he did with Lakshman [his brother], but a sameness of mettle. They had both been through much the same experiences these past thirteen years, and those shared experiences had left similar scars within and without.  Like two rocks on a wild seashore, they had been battered by the same waves of time and circumstance.  And now, in their ruggedness of aspect and their mature, weathered beauty of mind and spirit, as well as face and body, they were alike.  It was a beauty chiseled out of the stony harshness of jungle living, hammered out of bone wearying work, and the constant effort to survive impossible odds, carved by thirteen long relentless years, with only their wits and survival skills left to sustain them, hardened by the constant waging of a seemingly endless war.  The watcher gazed upon her and approved yet again of Rama’s choice of mate.”


Excerpt from Book Four of The Ramayana
Louise stepped back to let us read our marriage vows to each other in relative privacy. We each wrote our vows the previous evening, and being a total spaz, I forgot my piece of paper! Fortunately had a copy on my iPhone (technology for the win)! It wouldn't have been a real Adam/Rose wedding without some form of technology present... I used Adam's paper vows to hide my iPhone and read them as best I could. I had no idea how emotional and difficult it would be to read such simple words to Adam. After slowly wading my way through the tears, Adam read his vows to me, with the same difficulty (Yay, it wasn't just me!). The experience was intense, emotionally charged, and surreal. To add to the magnified volume of emotion, the sun came out and shone brightly upon us. It was hot, the wind was still, and hordes of no-see-ums came out in force to dine on us as we went through this incredibly vivid experience. We were laughing, crying, being bitten, sweating - it was all overwhelming. Isn't that just how life is?! With a handful of words, Louise pronounced us husband and wife and we walked down to the water to regroup for some photos.

We celebrated our nuptials with a champagne toast and a delicious slice of coconut and chocolate ganache cake as the photographer snapped off more photos. When the photographer had had her fill of us, we were whisked off to a dinner that featured fresh local seafood, a jaw-dropping sunset view, and a table set with candles and flowers. The day was absolutely perfect, stress-free, and the ideal reflection of our relationship.




2 comments:

  1. Congratulations! I stumbed across your blog when googling your opening wedding passage and realized you were married on the island I grew up on! What a beautiful place for a ceremony (and vacation!)

    I get married in 3 weeks and although not on STX, am thinking of that place as one of driving forces that shaped me into who I am today. Best wishes on your life ahead!

    Lauren

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  2. PS - your officiant is mentoring OUR officiant! Marty is an old friend from St Croix that knew her! Small, small world!

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