Holy moley. More chaos. Never having helped a bride prepare herself the day of a wedding, I simply had no idea. No idea whatsoever. Madness. Because the bride wanted to honor the tradition of her husband not seeing her before the wedding, she and A switched rooms for the night. She brought her things down the night before and stayed with me. Her best friend planned to join us in the morning, but that hamburger illness prevented her from joining us until much later. The breakfast I ordered got cold, the bag I packed with the wedding critical items was unpacked, her hair wouldn't do what we needed it to do, I didn't know how to do x, y or even simple z, why is that person in our room - get out of here, it's time to leave, oh shit.
Dressed in a simple white halter top bathing suit with a white sarong around her waste and a pashmina over her shoulders, the bride was beautiful as all brides are. We kept her surrounded so that her groom wouldn't see her despite being only 20 feet apart, we seated her at the back of the bus that ferried our large and noisy group to a private beach where chairs and a huppah were set up for the wedding. The huppah was simply bamboo stakes with some tulle thrown over it and flowers tied to the corners. Simple, elegant, the stuff of wedding fantasies. The Portuguese-Jamaican rabbi performed a beautiful ceremony and the two were wed.
After the ceremony, delicious eats, photos and a little play in the sand. Then it was back to the ship to change clothes. Most of the group proceeded to Dunn's Falls, while A and I headed into Ocho Rios for a little look-see. We ended up at Margaritaville, where it was the woman's fault - specifically, my fault that A got more than a little tipsy - because in addition to the free shot he got for showing up and his very strong mojito, I made him drink the test tube of rum that came with my daiquiri. What I didn't know was that was the rum meant to go in my drink! So, while I enjoyed my virgin lime daiquiri, A got silly on more rum than he had intended to drink. We had to stop at Margaritaville in honor of my mom, but what I didn't realize is that they are all over the Caribbean - we saw one at each of our later stops as well. It was fun, though.
That evening was fun, fun, fun on the ship, too with an ice show and Love and Marriage Game Show (basically, the newlywed game). Unfortunately, our bride and groom were not there to participate, but it's probably better off for them, as there were snickers and cheers every time we came across one the couples from the game for the rest of the cruise.
What I Learned:
- Destination weddings are a LOT of work.
- Destination weddings are worth the work.
- There is a reason people wed and honeymoon on Jamaica.
- Some places serve the alcohol for your mixed drink separately.
- If you break your leg walking over Dunn's Falls while on a cruise, you'll be treated at a local hospital and put back on the boat. (Yes, this really happened, though not to a member of my party.)
My Favorite Part: The wedding.