<— More pictures that-a-way!
Our wedding day was just like I’d hoped it would be. Generally stress-free, small, spiritual only in the sense of how we feel about each other. I kicked Chris out of our cabin on the cruise ship early that morning to get ready, and Christy came down to help me get in my dress. We met up again at 10am at a bar near the ship’s exit, and from the moment Chris saw me, for the rest of the day, he had a huge smile plastered on his face. We downed some mimosas to loosen up a bit, and made our way for the exit.
We met Rev. Scott, the owner of Chapel by the Sea and whom I’d coordinated everything with, at 10:30am outside the security checkpoint. I’m sure we looked pretty silly standing out next to a guard shack in our wedding attire waiting for our ride, but we got lots of hoots and hollers as the trolleys bused people back and forth from the cruise ship to Duval Street. By 11am, we were on Smathers Beach. Rev. Scott drew a circle in the sand, and spread the orange and pink flower petals (that I’d specifically requested) in the channel. He pinned some flowers to Chris’s shirt, handed me a bouquet, and looked at us with a wink and said, "Let’s do this."
The morning had seemed a little hectic between getting dressed and off the boat, through security and what not. But the moment we stepped in the middle of that circle and took each others hands, it was like time stopped. The only people in attendance were me and Chris, Christy, Rob and Evelyn, our officiant, and Rev. Scott. But honestly, it felt like Chris and I were the only ones there. I remember Chris squeezing my fingers so tightly, and grinning from ear to ear. I had thought that an 11am wedding would be a little strange, a bit too early, but it was perfect because there was no one on the beach that day but us. Besides the sound of us reciting our vows and saying "I do" (which actually, we said "Heck yeah!"), the only things I heard were the waves lapping at the beach and birds chirping above. It was so… peaceful. It was exactly what I had hoped for.
We spent a while on the beach after the ceremony taking pictures and drawing hearts in the sand. Once we wrapped up the photos, we headed to a little Cuban cafe that I’d visited many years before with Rob called El Meson de Pepe. Rev. Scott ordered us a bottle of champagne, delivered a small cake, and took some more photos before making his departure. We wined and dined for a bit before realizing that at the table behind us was none other than Geoff Tate from Queenryche, sharing a meal with his family. We made no mention of his musical accomplishments, but simply offered them all some cake, and they happily obliged. Of course, I was frantically posting on FaceBook, "Ehrmehgerd, Geoff Tate is eating my wedding cake like RIGHT NOW!!!1!!!" Okay, maybe not that obnoxiously, but I was pretty excited.
After we got back on the boat, we took a nap. No, really. I was exhausted. 8am is way too early to have to get up when you’re on vacation on a cruise ship.
That evening, I got back in my dress, because obviously, I had to galavant around the boat in it. We danced around on the pool deck for awhile to one of the bands, before deciding that I’d had enough. I was ready to get out of that dress and into some real clothes. We left our crew on the deck to head back to our cabin to change, but on the way bumped into the Sirius/XM producer on board. He looked us up and down, and said, "No way. You did NOT just get married on ShipRocked." We nodded our heads yes, and he continued, "Can we interview you? With Kayla? We’ve been interviewing lots of fans on this trip, but you two are definitely the most interesting people we’ve run into so far."
Um, hell yeah! Kayla interviewed us behind the stage while P.O.D. was playing, and given that Chris and I are both such hams, it was a pretty awesome clip. They played it on the ShipRocked TV channel on the boat the rest of the cruise. The best part, though, was immediately after. Chris said, "The only other thing we need to do is figure out how to get rid of this bouquet and her garter. Got any ideas?" And I’ll be damned if they didn’t get us on stage with P.O.D. for the garter and bouquet toss. It was the absolute most perfect ending to a most perfect wedding day. For us, anyway. 🙂
Oh! And get this. There wasa couple in line in front of us at embarkation, and it just so happened that she caught the garter! AND it just so happened that her boyfriend had an engagement ring in his pocket, as he was planning to propose to her on the cruise all along. So, they got pulled up on stage next, and he popped the question right then and there! In what alternate universe does something like happen?
Anyway, on to the photos!
Oh, and let me preface this. The photos that I received from Rev. Scott were awful. Like, really, really bad. I knew they weren’t going to be good because, let’s face it, he’s not a photographer and I paid a whopping $800 for the whole shebang — ceremony, champagne, flowers, cake, photos. But I honestly didn’t expect them to be as bad as they were. I spent many, many hours editing these photos. I had to remove a million dirt spots (I swear I think he spilled a soda on his lens before taking the pictures), repair blown out skies, remove power lines and trash from the beach, remove reflections from my sunglasses, and pop the faded out colors. Thank goodness I’ve got plenty of experience with Photoshop.
These are my favorites, edited beyond just color correction and what not. I added some color overlays and gradient mappings to get a particular look that I wanted for framing:
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Here are some of the others with just the corrections (color, spot removal, etc.) that I mentioned before:
Evelyn and Rob
I have no idea what I’m laughing about, but I giggled pretty much throughout the entire ceremony.
I love this picture so much.
Shhh… here’s a little secret. We’re drinking ginger ale in this photo.
Witnessing the marriage license.
I’m sure this is obvious, but this is my most favorite picture of all.
At the restaurant.
The next few photos are from a couple of photogs that were on the cruise ship. I’m trying to get my hands on the video of our interview, too:
That’s all for now, folks! I have some more photos of us prepping for and of the reception that happened a couple weeks later, but I’ll save that for a post tomorrow.