Thursday, April 19, 2012

Beachy Catholic Wedding

Last week went by in a bit of a blur. Two our our friends got married to over the weekend, and the hubby and I were both in the wedding party. We (and our wedding) are actually the ones responsible for introducing the two of them. You might remember them from our wedding (which you can read more about here).

Aren't they gorgeous?! They even let me test out my photography skills (more like lack of photography skills) and take their engagement photos. This was their favorite photo from the day, and I think I'd have to agree.

But back to this past week... even though their wedding was on Saturday, all the festivities started Thursday evening. After work Thursday I headed to Orlando for the bachelorette party. First we hit up the Bead Lounge in Winter Park and all tried our hand at jewelry making. This is what I ended up with...

Ignore the fact that the picture is sideways... I made a simple necklace and matching earrings. I'm thrilled with how they turned out. The place was really cool - we got the entire shop to ourselves by booking the party after hours. And the people who worked there were really helpful. The only thing I would caution you about is the fact that you should expect to pay at least $10 more than you're anticipating. Even though the prices are marked on all the beads that you pick out for your jewelry, they don't tell you the price of the chains, hooks, clasp, etc. that are used to create the finished piece. Still, I ended up with pieces that I love for around $25. Not too bad if you ask me.

After that we went out to Smokey Bones for some food. It turned out to be trivia night, which is always more hilarious when you're out with a bunch of people who have been drinking. And then we went to a place called Cowboys, which is a country style bar/club. Even though drinking and dancing are not my idea of a good time, the bride definitely enjoyed it, which in my opinion means it was a success.

The hubby and I stayed at his parents house Thursday night and then drove down to Tampa later the next day. Stayed at Wyndham Westshore in Tampa. Definitely a bit on the pricey side compared to where we would normally stay, but we were able to use my teacher discount to get some money knocked off the room rate and we scored two free breakfasts. Being up on the 7th floor offered up some pretty cool views of the city and the airport.

Later that night we had rehearsal at the church. There was a definite learning curve for me. Sure, I've already gotten married and been a bridesmaid in one other wedding, but I've never been in or to a Catholic wedding. The only catholic service I had ever attended was a funeral, which is a totally different  ball game (for the obvious reasons). Although I didn't know all of the protocols of a Catholic ceremony, I think I winged it pretty well. The rehearsal dinner afterwards was at CBD's Southside Italian Restaurant. Let me tell you, the food was amazing!

Next morning we met at the bride's hotel. Most of the ladies got ready in the room. And the bride's friend from college played photographer for the day. These are some of the photos I snapped on my phone and camera, as well as stole off of Facebook.

Again, isn't the bride stunning?

After we got a couple of photos around the hotel, we all piled up into the cars and headed to the church. But not until we stopped at McDonald's right before the ceremony. The bride had to have an ice coffee before walking down the aisle. Let's just say, that was probably the most interesting trip through the drive-thru I've had.

These are the only photos from inside the church that I've found. I guess the catholic church frowns on photography during the ceremony? The photographer wasn't allowed to get close to the action up front - she had to stay back behind all of the guests in the pews. Maybe someone could shed some light as to the reason why? I'm definitely curious.

After the ceremony we headed back across the bridge to St. Pete to the Postcard Inn. The place was nice, but insanely crowded. I think there were three separate events being held there at the same time, not to mention the crazy amount of drunk spring breakers that were everywhere. Even though there were three separate events, it didn't seem to bother anyone.

I think the biggest complaint we had that night was the parking situation. With all those people coming, you think they would have been prepared for the amount of cars that were coming. We were initially told that if we didn't have a room at the hotel, we'd have to pay $20 for parking, even though we were guests of an event at that hotel. Many of us chose to park in neighboring parking lots, but it still was a pain to deal with.

Overall, it went well though. Minus an initial run-in with drunk spring breakers messing up some portraits on the beach, everything went really smooth. The food was really good - buffet with your classic barbeque foods. The couple managed to get photos taken of them for a full half hour on the beach while the sun was setting, and I can't wait to see how they all turned out.

But now that I've rambled on, let me share some of the other photos from that evening.

K & K, we wish you two nothing but the best! We have never seen the two of you more happy than when you're with each other. Although we're sad that you'll be moving further away from us, it just means more road trips and excuses to hit the beach.

Anyone else been to any weddings this spring? It seems like a popular time of the year for couples to get married. Luckily, neither one of us has to be in a wedding for at least another year (the hubby was asked to be in a hockey friend's wedding in 2013).

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