Friday morning and the big day had finally arrived! Vino requested that all of us ladies arrive at her room around 10am with clean hair and faces to get pretty for the wedding. This was more than reasonable seeing as how I made poor Vino and Blondie show up at 5am to start hair and make-up for my wedding. I was mean. :P
Spurs dropped by shortly after we all arrived to say hi and grab a couple of things from the room. He even had time to get a quick clean-up from Vino's friend who was our hair/make-up artist for the day.
Once we got rid of Spurs, it was time for Vino to start getting ready!
I was honored that Vino asked to borrow the hairpins I wore at my wedding, the same pins that Blondie borrowed for her wedding. I think they were worn very well by all of us.
After Vino was all set, the bridesmaids were up.
Towards the end of our getting pretty session, the youngest bridesmaid, Spurs' sister, stopped by the room to get her hair done. She is a total crack-up and kept us all in stitches!
Dressing Queen had arranged for some bubbly to be delivered to the room so we could have a little toast before heading off to the ceremony site. I know she says she hates giving toasts, but frankly, she is really quite good at them.
And then it was time to head out! We grabbed all the dresses and after a 2 minute ride we arrived at Reflection Bay.
We all herded into the locker area that we were using as a bridal suite. Dressing Queen and Crafty helped Vino get her jewelry on.
Us bridesmaids then quickly got into our dresses to add some color to the pictures of all of us helping Vino into her gown.
Once we got Vino all dressed and purtty, she went off to have a "first look" session with Spurs, while the rest of us hung out and of course, took more pics.
The girls photo session (If these look this good with my little point and shoot, I can't wait to see what the professional ones look like):
After all the pictures were taken, we convened back in the locker area and hung out for a bit before the ceremony. Vino stayed cool as a cucumber the entire time, even after her dress got a bit dirty and some of the guests saw her before the ceremony started. Such the anti-bridezilla.
At this point, my camera was on its last leg, so I charged the battery and we let Jim use Dressing Queen's camera for ceremony pictures. From what I could see, the ceremony was so beautiful. But, even more beautiful were the vows shared between Spurs and Vino. Spurs insisted that they write their own and not share them with each other until the big day. He wrote such an amazing set of vows, which he memorized, that had many of the guests in tears. Even Spurs teared up. After the ceremony, Dressing Queen said that she couldn't look at him for fear she'd start really, really crying. Vino did not disappoint with her vows either and got through them without losing it. I mean, really though, it's got to be hard to hear something that sweet and wonderful from the man you love and have to keep it together enough to give your own vows. Props to both of them!
Once the ceremony was complete, the bridal party took a few fun pictures and then we were released to the cocktail hour. By the time we got there, Jim and Chaz were already double-fisting it. Oh boy!
Besides drinking, we also signed their incredibly cool guestbook. Any guesses on who they root for?
After cocktail hour, the bridal party along with the bride and groom made our grand entrance and then watched Vino and Spurs have their first dance as husband and wife. So sweet. Vino then dance with her dad, who had secretly been taking dance lessons for several weeks and asked her to accompany him a few weeks before the wedding. None of us could stop ahhing over how adorable it was that he did that. Spurs and his mom dance next and then we were all invited out to dance with our moms or dads. Since my dad wasn't there, Blondie's dad served as a wonderful replacement. Even Vino got in on the group dance.
And then, dinner was served! Since they are both foodies, they opted for a buffet that would have a variety of yummy options for everyone. This was some of the best wedding food I've ever had (my own wedding included!) Everything was delicious - fresh, well-prepared, just excellent.
One section of the buffet was a raw bar, including shrimp, crab and oysters. The oysters inspired a hilarious story about oysters putting "lead in your pencil" and then having another someone inform us all that in fact, it doesn't work. The guilty parties shall remain nameless, but know that it inspired side-splitting laughs from some of us and prompted a few to have to call their therapists. Upon hearing this story, Chaz, who doesn't eat seafood, thought he should try one. Um, needless to say, he didn't like it.
A round of toasts followed dinner given by Dressing Queen, the best man and Spurs' youngest brother and his sister. Everyone did a great job, but his sister's speech was particularly sweet. This is probably a good time to mention that Vino and Spurs had dated for 11 years before tying the knot. (I know, I know, I think they're rushing into things, too, but what can you do, right?) Spurs' sister is 11. So yeah, Vino has been in her life for as long as she can remember. Her speech was short, but she told Vino that she is so happy to finally have a sister and is so glad she is part of her life. How freaking awesome is she?!
And then it was time to dance. Good grief, do we love to dance! And like any good drunken dancing pictures, it's best to let them do the talking. Oh wait, maybe we should start with the nickname story first. Okay, so Blondie's husband Chaz is normally a quiet guy. Fun, but quiet. However, at Sporty's wedding, something happened to him and he became the effing life of the party. He danced with Sporty. He walked the catwalk with Vino. He twirled Crafty around the dance floor. All while Blondie stood their with her jaw on the floor and the rest of us continued to egg him on, all the way through the reception, into the afterparty at the hotel bar. We all paid for it the next morning with massive hangovers, but the stories from that night.... Hilarious. Well, we all wanted to see this alter-ego of his again, which was named "Chaz." Not only does it work for a crazy drunk dancer dude, but it's also what he keeps threatening to name their future sons, so Blondie figures if she uses the name in another manner before they have kids, it has to be off the table. Sneaky one, that Blondie chick.
So yeah, he's now Chaz. And you'll see from the pictures, he was out in full-force. Somehow, they started calling Jim "Gunner." I'm not exactly sure why, but it stuck. Sporty's husband became "Bif" after acting like a bouncer at the rehearsal dinner and helping to oust some party crashers the night before. And that just left Vino's husband. Next thing we knew he was "Spurs" after "Chaps" got thrown around, but was summarily dismissed by the groom. And there you have it. All the husbands have names. Not only is it funny, it's also quite convenient for the blog. :)
Now, back to those there dancing pictures!
Okay, so maybe they weren't all dancing pictures. Sometimes we even posed for cute candids.
Before we knew it the night was over. Sad! The boys were nice enough to hold our stuff while we ran back to gather up our things. Aren't they cute holding bouquets (and beer)?
Even though the reception was officially over, did that mean we all stopped partying? Um, NO! Back to the hotel bar it was for drinks and more chit chat. We left the boys to go grab the beverages and they also came back with cigars. Jim somehow convinced me it would be a good idea to try it. I was a nervous nellie about it, but Blondie said she would give it a go if I did. So yeah, peer pressure at its finest. ;)
What she forgot to mention was that it wasn't her first time trying a cigar. Hmph! Ah well, I quickly forgot about that after trying it -- while the smoke thing was a bit weird, the taste? It was really good! Vino and Spurs joined the party shortly thereafter. She came down the steps to the patio area, saw us girls smoking on cigars, shook her head and said "What in the world are you guys doing?" Yeah, this is the kind of stuff we get into now that we're all old and married. :P
The rest of the night passed too quickly and we soon started fading out and it was time to get some sleep. It was a wondeful wedding -- one that perfectly reflected the bride and groom and their love for one another. Vino and Spurs, we love you guys so much and are so happy for you both! Congratulations and here's to another amazing 11+ years!!