A magical day

After a week of excitement and little sleep, both Lisa and I made our last vow as a non-married couple….We vowed to be in bed by 10:00pm the night before the wedding. Fortunately we were both successful and woke-up this morning well rested.

Lisa departed early for the hair and make-up salon and I stayed behind to ensure our transportation to the wedding venue was solidified.

At 11:00am, a massage therapist from our beach party came to my room and gave me a fantastic, hour-long, stress relieving session. Afterwards, I mentally organized my toast and sat alone in the room preparing myself for the upcoming activities.

At 2:00pm, the musicians (David, Louise, Janet and Eric), my wedding party (my brother John and friends Marshall and Will), the minister (Lisa’s uncle Ted) and my parents piled in a large van and I drove us one hour to Hacienda Siesta Alegre.

The venue was beautiful. The sprawling, open residence on a horse farm in the foothills of El Yunque was decorated wonderfully, exactly how we had pictured it one year ago upon our first visit.

Between 3:15 and 4:30, we rehearsed for the ceremony in the sweltering sun. We altered a few details set out ahead of time, but the practice session was fun with a jovial atmosphere.

Immediately after finishing the rehearsal, we all escaped to our air-conditioned changing rooms. Tom, my new father-in-law, Ted, the wedding party and I went to a medium-sized bedroom near the pool. Lisa and her group were on the opposite side of the house.

We had fun in the changing room and there were lots of jokes. I was the last to get dresses (because I wanted to cool down) and everyone made sure my tie was straight, the suit was not wrinkled and that I had used the bathroom. It was nice how well everyone was caring for me.

At 5:00pm, we left the room and walked toward the location of the wedding ceremony. From the rear of the house, we walked down the steps onto a sprawling lawn with views of the surrounding rainforest and mountains. There were 70 white chairs with smiling faces all turned in my direction.

Initially, Ted, John and I walked to the front of the group with little fanfare. After we assumed our positions, the musicians began playing. My parents entered, followed by Lisa’s mom and brother, and then the wedding parties. Moments later, I saw Lisa’s dad turn the corner with my beautiful bride. She looked absolutely stunning. I will never forget the moment I first saw her walking down the aisle and the ensuing flood of emotions.

The ceremony seemed fairly quick and I don’t remember much about what was said. I only remember staring directly into Lisa’s eyes and feeling as if we were the only ones on the planet. Before I knew it, we were kissing and walking away.

We spontaneously formed a receiving line and then took pictures while the guests drank sangria and ate appetizers.

Around 6:30, we were introduced as husband and wife to a standing crowd. We immediately began our dances. The first dance was to Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Somewhere over the Rainbow”. Lisa partnered with her dad and I was with my mom. The second dance was to Juan Luis Guerra’s “Estrellitas y Duendes”. For this one, Lisa was with my dad and I was with her mom.

Then it was time for our first dance! We came together gazing into each other’s eyes. As “Someday my Prince will come” began, possibly the cheesiest Disney song I have ever heard, we started to dance. However, after a few seconds there was a loud scratch and we were “flash mobbed.” The entire wedding party and our mothers ran to the floor and took positions. Soon after, we entered into an intricately choreographed dance to “Jai Ho”. The crowd erupted in excitement and laughter.

After the dances, we mingled for a few minutes and then migrated over to the dining area to start the toasts. My brother and Lisa’s friend Cristina both gave fantastic, eloquent, heartfelt toasts that brought many people to tears. I then thanked the many people making the wedding possible and read Lisa a poem I wrote about her in the DR Congo.

We then presented a slideshow with pictures beginning from our early childhood and taking everyone on a journey through our adulthood and our lives together. It ended with a montage of images from the week of activities preceding the ceremony.

It was then time to eat our idea of a perfect meal. For appetizers there were light pastries with cheese and either salmon or fruit, a small shot of an avocado gazpacho and a coconut crusted chicken. The first course was a hot pumpkins soup with a balsamic swirl. That was followed by a small fillet of salmon topped with asiago cheese and set over a light mushroom risotto. The third course was peppery arugula salad topped with watermelon, pineapple, blueberry and melon with a drizzle of vinaigrette. The main course was a steak cooked perfectly at medium rare wrapped in bacon with a taro mash and grilled asparagus. The meal was capped off with a heavenly cheese flan with a fresh raspberry sauce.

Moments after the last bite of dessert was eaten, our live 11 member band kicked off their first song. We all ran to the dance floor and boogied for the next three hours. Yes, some of us danced for three hours non-stop and were soaking wet with perspiration!

I was so happy with the band. They were beyond amazing. For the last song, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, it seemed like Freddie Mercury had come back to life just to play one last song at our wedding.

As the party was winding down, a few people had the great idea to go swimming. Most of the wedding party stripped down to their underwear and jumped in the pool. Just as we were getting in, many others took the plunge with all their clothes.

After we were all cooled down in the water, we loaded on the large bus for the ride home. I was surprised people were not more tired but the moment the engine roared, the champagne began to flow and many spontaneously erupted in song and dance.

When we arrived back at the hotel, some people retired for the evening but about twenty came with us to the beach and swam the night away.

This was the best day of my life. There is no word to describe it other than MAGICAL!

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One Response to “A magical day”

  1. sangita Says:

    What a Wedding!! Truly, magical. I would like to see the photographs

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