Party Time!

A few weeks ago we finished up the last of our wedding festivities with our home reception at Vines. We had such a great time partying it up with about 80 people who came out to celebrate. The food was a hit, although I literally got 2 toasted ravioli, 1 coconut shrimp, and zero cake. Everyone else got cake though. Lucky duckies.

It’s ok though, I found out that it’s hard to balance hunger with a dress you can’t breathe in and trying to have a decent conversation with that many people in 3 hours! We started out the evening hanging with Amy and her awesome cake creation…

The centerpieces were set up and although Vines’ presentation was a little lack luster, the centerpieces did the job and that’s all that mattered in the end. Insert silent grrr here.

My creation/Their, um, creation

Ah well, what can you do if you can’t do it yourself and make it perfecto? At least they made some of them look nice…

And 30 minutes into the party I realized they forgot to add the floating candles. Not a big deal in the long run, but I paid $40 for those babies, damn it, and they were going to be used!

Ok, enough of my centerpiece rant, back to happy thoughts. The most important thing is that we had a fantastic time with everyone. It was kind of surreal having everyone from all the different facets of our lives in one room…

(that’s Mrs. Deviled Egg’s clutch I’m holding)

(and Mrs. Tiramisu’s bracelet made another appearance, I was decked out in Bee goodness!)

And when it was getting close to 11pm, our event coordinator approached me and let me know that we were under the minimum $5,000 we would be paying no matter what. And the difference equaled a whopping 56 shots! I told her to bring them on out, we were paying for them anyway!

Cheers! Uh, that’s my boss below on the left, hehe – I love a good blackmail photo. I smell a day off coming soon…

11pm rolled around quickly and we were presented with the bill…

…and I almost had a heart attack – it was about $1,500 more than we were told it would be! I was ready to hurt someone until the coordinator came over and realized the bill was wrong. She gave us the correct check and we happily signed. The evening ended with a smile, and we headed back to our place with a few friends for some 4AM beer pong – the perfect end to the perfect party.

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Nachos Nuptials: The Honeymoon

Our families left on Saturday but our friends Blair and Giselle stayed for one more day and we had a blast with them! We hit the water to swim with the fishies (I highly recommend wearing an inflatable life vest if you’re going to be out for a long time, it’s much less exhausting!)….

That evening we decided to have a nice dinner at the Manor House, one of the nicer restaurants on the resort, but we made a bar stop first. One of my favorite pics of us oozing class – this one’s for you, Blair!

At dinner I tried escargot for the first time and absolutely loved it! We ate steak and shrimp like champs and had to call it a night.

The next morning, the last of our buddies left and we ended our week with them the same way we started…

We were sad to see them go, but them leaving meant our honeymoon beginning!

Our first afternoon alone, we realized just how relaxed we were when a woman came by with a tray of pineapple and the conversation went as follows:

Lady: “Would you like some pineapple?”

Me: “Oh yes, thank you! (turns to Scott) Scott?”

Lady: “Scott’s sleeping.”

Throughout the week, we enjoyed relaxing and playing at the resort.  

And inside the mini-golf building, I saw this on the wall and had to get a picture 🙂 It’s like they knew I was coming…

We met lots of friendly kitties throughout the week.

One morning we woke up at 6AM to watch the sunrise over the water which was just breathtaking, something we never get to see from our Chicago apartment. A girl could get used to views like this…

We went into town during Carnival and did some shopping and exploring. We stumbled upon a teeny tiny bar called Coconuts that we ducked in to get out of the heat for a bit.

We both agreed that if we lived here, this would be our watering hole. The place was a hoot and completely covered floor to ceiling with anything and everything. Case and point, this was just a small portion of the ceiling…

Every time we were in a taxi driving up and down the mountain, I was mesmerized by the fact that houses are literally built into the side of the mountain. I’ll take this one please…

And speaking of taxis, we read a lot about how the taxis in St Thomas are super expensive. We found out that yes, if you take a van or car, it usually costs $10 per person. BUT if you hop on an open-air taxi, it’s a whopping $2 🙂

Make sure you tell the driver where you’re going though or you may or may not end up at the cruise ship dock otherwise. Erm, cough, that’s what someone told me once.

The week was so so so great and writing this post for you makes me want to be back in a place where there’s nothing to do but wake up and melt into the sand.

But after 2 of the best weeks of my life, we sadly had to pack up our room and find somewhere to put my dress. Hmmm, carry on anyone?

Goodbye room 150, I’ll miss you tons.

And in case you missed it…

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Nachos Nuptials: Last Days With the Family

After we had our fun jumping in the water in our wedding duds, we had a few more days to enjoy with the families before the honeymoon began. We played life-sized Jenga in the grotto…

We built sand castles with the kiddies. Yes, that is supposed to be a castle, don’t judge. I’m apparently much better with rhinestones and a glue gun than I am with sand…

We had fun-time at the pool with our tropical swirls – think orange dreamsicle meets blue curacao. Mmmmm…

We all hung out in the bar. A lot. If you hadn’t noticed, we did a lot of drinking in St. Thomas – it’s hard not to when the drinks are included!

We also greatly enjoyed eating basket after basket of fried pickles. Seriously, those things are like crack.

We covered everyone with After Bite and I think I had a little too much fun doing so, hee hee.

Oh the bug bites! That one will get its own post all unto itself. After a few days of our combined family vacation, it was time to say goodbye to everyone.

They took off in the open-air taxi and had a long day of traveling, delays and bad weather back home, but luckily no one lost their luggage this time around!

Up next: one more day with some friends, then the honeymoon begins!

And in case you missed it…

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Nachos Nuptials: TTD (pt 2)

Ok everyone, I had been waiting for this moment for a while, pretty much ever since you all asked me if I was planning on jumping in the pool way back when. I present to you our trash the dress photos part 2 – my favorite pictures from the whole trip. All photos courtesy of Blair’s Eye View Photography… 

 

 

 

 

 

After the ocean, we made our way to the pool… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh yeah, we did! 

And for the animated version click here 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course Mr. N couldn’t resist dunking me… 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t tell you how much fun I had during this photo shoot. If you’re throwing around the idea of a TTD session, I say without any hesitation to DO IT! 

And in case you missed it… 

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Nachos Nuptials: TTD (pt 1)

The morning after the wedding, Scott and I got all dressed up again (luckily my hair stayed in place overnight) and met up with Blair for our trash the dress photo shoot. I have to tell you, for me this was by far one of the most fun things we did on our trip. All photos courtesy of Blair’s Eye View Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned, I’m saving the best for tomorrow! 

And in case you missed it… 

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Nachos Nuptials: Wedding Day – Winging It (pt 2)

As we made our way down to the pool area, we had no idea what was in store for us (and nothing screams class like a bride and groom with beer cans).  

 

We met up with our families who had grabbed a few tables for some food…  

 

We ordered some food and while we waited for it to come (island time can be slooooooooow) we headed over to the pool…with it being Carnival time in St. Thomas, the hotel just so happened to be having a Carnival night of their own! We honestly did not know this would be going on, and how lucky for us that it was on our wedding night! Seriously, we could not have planned a better reception if we had tried. We did a lot of dancing with the little ones…  

 

And then the real festivities began! We sat back and watched…  

 

Out came a dancer that lit the ground and ate fire. Seriously, a fire-eater at our wedding party!!…  

 

 

 

It was really amazing! Then our food arrived and we stuffed each other’s faces.  

 

 

Once we were full, we went back over to the pool where the festivities were in full force. A woman went out into the crowd and had everyone gather around.  

 

She taught us all a dance that we were supposed to follow and I’m really happy there are no pictures of me trying to keep up! The dance got really fast and my lack of coordination skills should still be fresh on your minds from the steel pan lesson. We did get this great shot of Sharon’s husband shaking his thang, though…  

 

Mmmm, I loves me a good blackmail photo. The kids also got in on the action and made a friend in the process…    

 

After a bit of dancing, we headed back to the table and were greeted by the sweetest couple that we had met the day before when they got married.    

 

And guess what? They brought us their cake topper because they knew we hadn’t gotten one!    

 

 

It was so sweet of them!!! And although we hadn’t planned anything, especially anything resembling a traditional reception, I am very happy to have these pictures…    

 

 

After cake, we hit the pool again for some more entertainment.    

 

The dance crew had the crowd form a conga line around us which was just too much fun…    

 

 

And along came a Mocko Jumbie that we got to walk under…    

 

 

I was then singled out with a few other onlookers and told to sit in a chair…    

 

I had no idea what was going to happen next, and then this guy snuck up behind me…    

 

 

I had so much fun! We took a few pics with the crew…    

 

 

When the excitement died down, those of us donning Cubs gear took a picture. Hey, you can take the fans out of Chicago, but you can’t take the Chicago out of the fans…    

 

And since I had a garter, we decided to do one thing the traditional way…    

 

We all stayed well into the night and lived it up by dancing, laughing and celebrating.    

 

Our fellow wedding buddy and her family stuck around to celebrate with us…    

 

And more than once, random people asked to take pictures with me. We’ll just say these people are my super distant aunt and uncle twice removed (though I honestly I have no idea who they are)…    

 

All photos courtesy of Blair’s Eye View Photography    

We ended up having the best wedding reception I could have ever imagined, all without planning a thing. I can honestly say I had never been to a reception with fire eaters, stilt walkers, and free cake! How’s that for spontaneity?    

Up next: trash the dress!    

And in case you missed it…    

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Nachos Nuptials: Wedding Day – Winging It

After I walked back up the aisle with my shiny new hubby, we had a nice short receiving line. The steel pan player had moved into the little alcove where my dad and I had made our grand entrance 15 minutes earlier. Everyone gathered around for some hugs and kisses, and we stood and listened to Bob Marley being played right next to us. And then, the unexpected happened. The player looked at me and said, “first lesson is free!” Hey, I’m always up for a challenge! 

 

It went on a little longer, but it’s just too painful, I can’t put you through all 5 minutes. I do think our faces say it all though… 

 

(Blair’s Eye View Photography

After realizing just how uncoordinated I really am, we were summoned back to the terrace for some more pictures. These are a few of my faves… 

 

(Blair’s Eye View Photography

 

(Blair’s Eye View Photography

 

(Blair’s Eye View Photography

 

(Bill Payne Photography

 

(Bill Payne Photography

 

(Bill Payne Photography

 

(Bill Payne Photography

Sorry, it’s so hard to pick just one or two! And one of my all-time favorites with everyone… 

 

(Bill Payne Photography

After the pictures had all been taken, it was time to head back to the room. I had some help carrying my dress… 

 

(Blair’s Eye View Photography

These two insisted on being my little helpers all the way down the stairs! We made it to the room and there was a bottle of champagne waiting for us there. 

 

(Blair’s Eye View Photography

After relaxing for a little bit, Sharon tackled my bustle. Even though a lot of you suggested we practice beforehand, we did not. But I have to say, once she figured out which button went in the first loop, it didn’t take long to get my train up into a bubble skirt. 

 

(Blair’s Eye View Photography

And although my flip-flops and dress were comfy, I was all about taking comfort to a whole new level so I left my bra on the bathroom floor and slipped on these beauties… 

 

(Blair’s Eye View Photography

Best. Decision. Ever. The plan was to meet the family downstairs at the restaurant by the pool and see what was happening. If you remember, we didn’t plan anything and decided to see where the night would take us. I took one last quick pose on the stairs on the way down to the pool area, excited to see how our evening would play out… 

 

(Blair’s Eye View Photography

Up next: the best unplanned wedding reception ever! 

And in case you missed it… 

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