Our Disneymoon PTR + Wedding TR w/ pics - I'm back! (TR link and POP review 9/7)

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by ronnmel, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. ronnmel

    ronnmel DIS Veteran

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    I'm back! :cool1:

    This weekend has been kinda bitter-sweet.

    On one hand, we had an AMAZING week, with perfect weather, great people to hang out with, and an awesome wedding. We were all very sad to have to come back to reality.:cloud9:

    On the other hand, my mom (who stayed here) got VERY sick on Friday and had to be rushed to the hospital. She actually got very close to dying. I didn't know the extent of what was happening while I was still in Cuba (I guess my step-dad didn't want us to get too stressed for the end of our vacation), but on Saturday after we arrived back home we went to see her and she looked so frail. :sad1: Fortunately, I saw her today and she seems MUCH better and is completely out of danger.

    I will be back soon to start posting my report with TONS of pictures (we took close to 700 pictures with our two cameras, plus everybody else is supposed to give us their pictures of the week). :bride:
     
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  3. inkedupmomma

    inkedupmomma If you live to be a 100, I hope to live to be 100

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    I'm so sorry I missed you before you left! I am so glad to hear that you had a wonderful time! Sorry to hear about your mom, but glad she looks much better! So excited to see pics! Congrats again!
     
  4. ronnmel

    ronnmel DIS Veteran

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    Thanks.

    Unfortunately, though my mom is better than she was a week ago, she is still very weak and tired. The doctors think that IF she gets over this, it will take a very long time. Until then, they can't treat her cancer, which means that though it has shrunk in half, it will most probably come back strong again. :sad1:


    Ok, enough sadness. I've had a super crappy week since my return (not only because of my mom, but also several things breaking down such as the toilet, the garage door and my car). But today I'm trying to focus on the positive, which is to relive my wedding week memories. I have about 700 pictures, so no way will I post them all, but I'll be starting a trip report in the next post. :)
     
  5. ronnmel

    ronnmel DIS Veteran

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    Paradise does exist, I got married there!

    Leaving for Cuba


    Day 1 - Saturday April 30

    We had a late afternoon flight, so we spent the morning finishing packing our luggage.
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    We got to the airport super early (almost 4 hours before our flight!) so we would be the first ones there and could welcome all our guests. I had a lot of "bookkeeping" to do, asking our guests their choices of meal for the Welcome dinner (beef or fish) and the Wedding dinner (steak or lobster), as well as giving them their little gifts : a beach bag, a drinking cup with our logo on it, and a welcome booklet full of information.
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    Even though we got there super early, we ended going through security because we were waiting for ALL our guests to show up. So we had to eat a very quick lunch and soon were boarding our plane.

    One of the reasons we chose to fly with Air Canada is because they have a little screen behind each of their seat on which you can watch movies and tv shows.
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    We were all excited to finally be leaving for what promised to be a fun and relaxing week.
    My brother and his girlfriend.
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    Ron and his brother.
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    Ron & I.
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    I spent most of the flight watching a movie (No Strings Attached, I liked it). Once that was over, I decided to look at the little map to see where we were at. We were now flying over Florida, and the little plane on the map seemed to be directly above Orlando. So I decided to look outside to see if I recognized anything. That's when I saw it. We were flying directly over WALT DISNEY WORLD!!!!! :cool1: First the Contemporary, then Space Mountain, the Poly, Spaceship Earth, Caribbean Beach, POP Century, and the hidden mickey in the middle of the race track. :cloud9: Ron and I were so happy, getting to experience a little taste of our honeymoon on our wedding trip. :lovestruc Unfortunately, we didn't take pictures. We were way too busy pointing out all the little things we recognized.

    Less than an hour after that we started our descent over Varadero Cuba.
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    Even got to see the sunset as it was now almost 8pm.
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    There wasn't too many planes landing at such a late hour, so we got through security pretty fast. The bus bringing us to our resort stopped at two other resorts before getting to ours, the Iberostar Laguna Azul. A lot of people were getting out there, so the line to check in was quite long and slow moving. A few of the older adults and those with kids took turns to go eat at the buffet before it closed. The rest of us waited it out and met up at the 24hours snack bar afterwards.
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    We weren't quite ready to call it a night yet, so we made our way to the hotel disco.
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    Ron did what he does best, dance:
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    It had been a very long day and I was tired, so I soon retreated back to our room. I took a few pictures along the way.
    Creepy looking bug on the ground.
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    Up Next : Our first full day, miscommunication with the wedding coordinator, and some fun in the pool.
     
  6. charming23

    charming23 DIS Veteran

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    I'm here :wave: Will be going back to catch-up but can't wait to hear more about your wedding.
     
  7. ronnmel

    ronnmel DIS Veteran

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    Glad to have you here Charming! :cheer2:

    Will be posting a new update in a few minutes.
     
  8. ronnmel

    ronnmel DIS Veteran

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    Paradise does exist, I got married there!

    A very busy morning, and finally some relaxation!


    Day 2 - Sunday May 1st

    We had to get up early as we were meeting with the vacations group representative at 9am to get some important information. Before we left the room though, we took lots of pictures of the room itself and the view out the window.
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    It seems that it had just rained hard before we got up, so we got treated to a beautiful rainbow on our way to the breakfast buffet.
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    I want to apologize, because we really did not take a lot of food porn pictures during the week. Instead, we took pictures of this:
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    After we met the representatives we all stood in a very long line to make our restaurant reservations for the week. After that it was soon time for Ron & I to meet the wedding coordinator so we made our way to the lobby.
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    We asked someone at the checkout counter if this is where we needed to wait for her (since there was a HUGE lineup at the check-in counter), and they said yes. So we waited, and waited, and waited some more. Finally, after 30 minutes, Ron thinks he sees her, going to meet another couple. He goes to ask her if she is the WC and to say who we are, and automatically she says we are late. He explains that we have been waiting for 30 minutes, but she says "well you never called me". We had no clue we needed to call, and the lady at the counter didn't seem to know either! Things were NOT starting on the right foot with the WC, with her already accusing us of being late. She told us to come back an hour later. We made our way back to our room, got changed to hit the beach later, and came back to meet her. This time we made sure to tell the check-in people to call her!

    We had the little meeting and were quite underwhelmed. She was ok, but seemed very disinterested. It's understandable though, as we know she has up to 3 wedding a day, 5 days a week, and is alone in charge of ALL of it. She quickly went through all the options (flowers, I chose lilies and pink; decorations we asked for blue and pink; we kept the small cake that was included and gave our Stitch & Angel cake topper), but not going into details for any of them. She showed us the spa terrace on the fifth floor and the beach as choices for our ceremony. We chose the beach as I had always dreamed of getting married with my feet in the sand.

    By the time the meeting was over it was close to 2pm and we had not had lunch yet. We made our way to the main buffet again, ate a quick lunch, and FINALLY hit the beach around 2:30pm. Phew, our vacation can start! I hit the water, but Ron is not a beach person so he soon left with his DD and cousin to go to the pool instead. The wind was very strong so my family soon decided that the pool might be a better option too. There were not many loungers in the shade, so we made our way to and island in the MIDDLE of the pool. Yep, we had to walk in waist deep water with our bags above our head, then climb a high ladder to get to those chairs!
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    After a while my family left. I was about to leave too when I ran into Ron, his cousin and DD. We had lots of fun playing in the main pool with our new supercool underwater camera!
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    After that we all went back to our rooms to relax and clean up a little before the welcome dinner. It was held at the Del Chef restaurant, which is next to the west quiet pool. I had beef tournedos, which was YUMMY and Ron had fish wish was quite good too.
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    After dinner the guys all went to the lobby to play poker while all the girls came to my room. Ron's friend and cousins were going to do my makeup and hair, and they wanted to do a dry run first.
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    It was close to 11pm when we were done, so we went back to the lobby to pick up the guys and head to the disco. We had an awesome time drinking and dancing until the wee hours of the morning (2am). Even my uncle and dad hung out with us! My dad got hit on by a 60 yo man, which was hilarious. :lmao: We didn't have our camera with us, but other people did so hopefully they'll give us their pictures soon. Oh, and we also hung out a little with a group of fun young people that called themselves the "NewFoundland Drinking Team".

    Though the day took a long while to get started, we were now into full vacation mode and enjoying every minute of it!

    Up Next : Fun in the Ocean and a Cuban Dinner.
     
  9. NikkiLovesWDW!

    NikkiLovesWDW! "Are you seeing an increase in lateral forces?" "S

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    Yay Mel!!! I love your wedding TR so far! BEAUTIFUL resort!! I have never been to a place like that! Looks absolutely amazing! So excited to hear more!
     
  10. SOUTHERNtinkerBELLE

    SOUTHERNtinkerBELLE DIS Veteran

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    Welcome back Mel (sorry I'm so late in saying that) and congratulations! :woohoo: I am loving your wedding TR so far. What an absolutely beautiful setting for your wedding. It looks like everyone was having a blast!
     
  11. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    How cool was it that you got to see Walt Disney World from your plane?!?! The resort you stayed in looks gorgeous! I can see why you completely forgot to take pictures of your food.

    Too bad the wedding coordinator had an attitude with you. I understand that she's a busy woman but, come on, it's YOUR wedding.
     
  12. ronnmel

    ronnmel DIS Veteran

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    Thanks everyone. I have been super busy this week and did not even come on the Dis for several days, but we have a long weekend ahead so I'm sure I'll have time to do 1-2 updates. A few of our guests have been posting their pictures though, which means I have even more pictures to sort through before posting here. :rotfl:

    As for the wedding coordinator, while her disinterested attitude was a bit disappointing, we kinda knew to expect it. And in the end, our wedding was gorgeous and spectacular and everything we asked for, so there was no harm done.

    I also want to say sorry to everyone who's TR or PTR I follow. I haven't had time to reply to any of them, but I have been reading them, just very quickly.
     
  13. ronnmel

    ronnmel DIS Veteran

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    Paradise does exist, I got married there!

    More fun in the ocean, a Cuban dinner, and how NOT to smoke a cigar


    Day 3 - Monday May 2nd

    Monday was one of the only day we had completely free, so you would think we would take this opportunity to finally sleep in, right? WRONG! For some reason, seeing himself in a swimsuit has traumatized Ron and he is now back into working out mode. A few of the guys like getting up early to go jogging, so Ron asked them to call him. A first one called around 6am, but Ron said no, too early. Another one called about 30 minutes later, but Ron declined again. Finally his cousin called around 7:30am and he decided to join him. By then it was already too hot to jog on the beach, so they hit the gym.
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    I would have loved to stay in and sleep, but the phone was on my side of the bed and all those rings finally woke me up too much, so I got up too and just walked around to take a few pictures. It was cloudy that morning, but it cleared up pretty fast.
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    My family had staked out those chairs under the rock:
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    So I went there after breakfast. By then they had turned on the waterfall.
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    When Ron was done exercising, a few of us went down to the beach for some fun in the sun.
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    We stayed there a good part of the day. Then I think we may have hung out on that little island in the middle of the pool again, just with different people. Then we went back to the room to rest and change. That night we had dinner with his brother and cousins at the Cuban restaurant.
    Pictures taken on the way there:
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    And at the restaurant.
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    The brothers:
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    One thing I will say about Cuba, the red wine does NOT taste good. Usually those glasses stayed filled the entire meal.

    After dinner we went to the lobby bar and found some more guests hanging out there.
    Ron and his two best friends. They have known each other since, well, birth.
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    A few of them wanted to try smoking a Cuban cigar, so we made our way to the cigar lounge.
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    This is how NOT to smoke a cigar.
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    We also found out that Ron means rum in spanish.
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    Doing nothing in the sun all day will really tire you out, so we went to bed relatively early that night. We might have hit the disco, but didn't stay there long. Plus, we had an early morning and a filled day ahead.

    Up Next : A Catamaran trip and swimming with a dolphin
     
  14. lizzyb

    lizzyb DIS Veteran

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    Congrats on your wedding! Great pics!
     
  15. ronnmel

    ronnmel DIS Veteran

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    Thanks, and :welcome: to my PTR!
     
  16. ronnmel

    ronnmel DIS Veteran

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    Paradise does exist, I got married there!

    A day on a Catamaran - part 1


    Day 4 - Tuesday May 3rd

    We got up early today because we were taking the Seafari tour, which is a day spent on a catamaran.

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    It includes three different stops, then slowly sailing back. I had done it about 8 years before and absolutely loved it. I was very excited to try it again, especially with my then soon-to-be-husband. 8 of our guests joined us.
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    First thing we did was settle down on the nets to nap and read our books. I just love the breeze of being on the ocean, so relaxing. Look how turquoise the water was under the net:
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    Our first stop was snorkeling. I was looking forward to this as I remembered how pretty it was when I had last done it. Unfortunately, the spot they took us was not that great. Everything was brown, there were no colorful fish or corals.
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    Plus, the tuba thingie was not working very well and I kept swallowing water. I decided to stop using it and just hold my breath instead.
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    Ron also had a lot of trouble with the snorkeling gear, so he just gave up and went back on the boat. He was tired and it was starting to affect his mood...
    The spot where we snorkeled was really close to our next stop, lunch on Cayo Blanco.
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    Remember what I said about Ron being tired?
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    After lunch, which was a choice between lobster and chicken, we had close to two hours of relaxing on the island.
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    We read a little.
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    Ron was still grumpy.
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    All this grumpiness was starting to affect MY mood, so I asked him to take a walk with me.
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    We had a not-so-great moment and I did cry a little, but we quickly made up.
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    I convinced him to come swim in the water with me, and his DD joined us. They had some fun playing with the super soft white sand, so his mood improved a little.
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    Soon after we got back out, it was time to get back on the catamaran.
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    Continued in Next Post
     
  17. ronnmel

    ronnmel DIS Veteran

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    A day on a Catamaran - part 2


    Some shots taken on the way to the third stop:
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    And finally, time to play with some DOLPHINS!
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    You don't actually swim with the dolphins. You stand on a platform in about waist-high water. Algea has grown on the platform, so it's absolutely slippery and disgusting. I tried very hard to forget about it and just focus my mind on the dolphins.
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    Our dolphin was named Mara and she was 3 years old. It was only her second day "on the job". She did a great job!
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    Mara swam in front of us while we petted her back, then her stomach.
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    She also performed a few tricks. Click on the image, it's a video.
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    After that we all got to hug her and she kissed our cheeks.
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    And now, here's where things got really interesting. Lots of catamarans stop here everyday to have this interaction with the dolphins. Most catamarans have between 50 and 60 people on them. Ours only had around 20-25, and not all of them went in the water. So we got done with the interaction pretty fast and had some time to kill. The dolphin trainer decided to give us a treat. A few of us would get to swim with Mara! DD was the first one to get that chance, as she was the only kid (well, there were two others, but they were too small). She was a bit hesitant and scared at first, but when thought it was awesome. He asked for three more woman volunteers, so of course I raised my hand!

    Here's a video of me swimming with Mara. You can tell she is getting tired though. Click on it to watch.
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    When we got back on the catamaran they got the sail up and turned the motor off and we slowly made our way back. It was a few more hours of just relaxing and enjoying the scenery.
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    We eventually made our way back to the marina.
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    We were all tired and ready to get back to the resort, so we quickly got back on the bus. It had to wait for other catamarans to come back though. While waiting, we witness an hilarious scene. See, on our catamaran with us was also a group of early 20s who were partying it up and enjoying the free drinks. :dance3: A few were enjoying it too much though and one girl was sick just before we arrived at the dolphins. She stopped drinking and seemed better by the end of the day. The others did NOT stop drinking though, and one guy was passed out on the boat. And I do mean PASSED OUT. :eek: After we had docked at the marina his friends tried to wake him up, but it was NOT working. They tried several ways of carrying him or dragging him off the boat. After several failed attempts and some help from the boat crew, they managed to get him on shore. :lmao: He was still not cooperating at all and would not stand on his feet, so they dragged him to the bus. Our bus. We were all praying he wouldn't puke on any of us. Somehow he managed to walk by himself to a seat on the back of the bus and fell back asleep. Phew.

    I don't remember much of what we did once we got back to the resort. Judging from the pictures, I'm guessing we ate at the buffet, then walked around the resort to take a few pictures.
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    Ron's mood had not improved much,
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    so I'm pretty sure I convinced him to turn in early. We DID have a big day ahead of us the next day, what with getting married and all... :rolleyes1

    Up Next : Wedding Day!!!:bride:
     
  18. SOUTHERNtinkerBELLE

    SOUTHERNtinkerBELLE DIS Veteran

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    The beach looks absolutely beautiful! The pictures with Mara are adorable - I just want to reach into the computer and hug her! :lmao: I'm so glad wedding day is next! I can't wait to hear all about it! :goodvibes
     
  19. ronnmel

    ronnmel DIS Veteran

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    Oh yes, Mara really was the cutest thing! :cutie:

    I'm just about to start posting a first update of the wedding day. :thumbsup2
     
  20. ronnmel

    ronnmel DIS Veteran

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    Paradise does exist, I got married there!

    Wedding Day - Getting ready (part 1)


    Day 5 - Wednesday May 4th

    Another early morning. We got up around 8am and made our way to breakfast. I'm not a morning person and all week it was hard to eat breakfast. But that morning was particularly hard. I was very stressed (good stress) and excited, so I barely got anything in me. We got back to the room a little before 9am. The wedding coordinator called and asked us if we still wanted to have the wedding on the beach, or move it to the spa terrace on the fifth floor due to the heavy winds we had had all week. It was actually not windy at all that day, but we knew it could change anytime so we decided to switch. Ron gathered his things and left to his cousin's room. The plan for him was to try and take a nap, but I think that never happened.

    Soon my "beauty team" started arriving. Ron's cousin (DCous, right) was going to do my hair, Ron's friend (DFriend, middle) was responsible for makeup, and my MOH (left) was there to help. DD also came to the room to get ready with us, as she was the junior bridesmaid.
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    I had wanted to start getting ready at 9am, but we were all a bit slow and disorganized this morning doing little things so we only got started on my hair around 10am.
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    At some point MOH and DD went out to get us all something to eat. My stomach was still all in knots so all I had a couple of french fries.
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    Even though we started early, we ended up running a bit late so DFriend started working on my makeup while DCous continued with my hair. MOH helped too, so at some point I had all three of them working on me at the same time!
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    My aunt came by so she could film a little to show my mom. Finally, my hair and makeup were done. As you can tell from my clenched hands, my nerves were high!
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    It was already past 1pm by then (we were getting married at 2pm!) so the other girls quickly got ready while DCous did her hair and DD's hair. I put on my dress and DD helped me zip it. She was so cute, saying how she had to help "her mom". It sure feels nice that she accepts me so easily into hers and her dad's life. :love:
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    My brother showed up (he was my bridesmen).
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    The wedding coordinator delivered the flowers and we took a few pictures.
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    The wedding coordinator had asked Ron and all the guests to be in the lobby by 1:30 so they could go up to the spa terrace 15 minutes later. Ron's family and friends (and Filipino people in general) are notorious for not being on time (every time there is an event schedule people say "4pm Filipino time, 7pm real time.:rotfl:), so we had told everyone to show up at 1:15pm.;)

    Here are a few pictures they took in the lobby:
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    And up on the terrace:
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    Up Next : The wedding ceremony
     
  21. NikkiLovesWDW!

    NikkiLovesWDW! "Are you seeing an increase in lateral forces?" "S

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    Oh wow, Mel! Everything was so beautiful the morning of the wedding! Your hair and makeup, your dress, the friends and family you had with you....just so magical!
     

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