Where do I begin??? The wedding weekend was great and everything worked out perfectly. I flew in on Wednesday morning and promptly took a nap that afternoon. Hung out with the folks on Thursday and then Thursday afternoon we left Port Charlotte for Tampa. Only an hour and a half drive, but it was better than driving back and forth between the two for all the events. Sadly though, I walked out of my parent’s house and left my camera sitting on my bedroom floor. GREAT! So the pictures you see on my picture blog are from my dad’s camera. I’ll be forking out a pretty penny for some of the professional shots (more on the photographer later). Friday we went to get manicures and pedicures and have lunch with most of the girls from the bridal party. That was a lot of fun. We saw the funniest thing when we were out. In the same strip mall as the nail place, there was this place called Sugar Rae’s Sweet Shop (homemade chocolates and ice cream…YUM). Two doors down from that was a Weight Watchers office. If I’d had my camera I would have taken a picture and sent it to Leno.
Friday night was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal at the Rusty Pelican is where we met Hitler (known to most people as the wedding coordinator for the Rusty Pelican). She had this thing about watching her eyes and moving only on her cues. She said she doesn’t speak on the wedding day…that it’s all motion driven. But oh my goodness was she annoying. I felt like we couldn’t make one move without her direction. Then…onto the rehearsal dinner at Castaways. They did a phenomenal job and even surprised Janet with a chocolate fountain. Oh it was so good. We had breakfast for dinner because Castaways is well known for their Sunday brunch and that’s what Andy and Janet wanted. There was an omelet station, a ham carving station, eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, shrimp, cheese, fruit, bread, chicken, and rice. Then there was the dessert. A red velvet cake and a bon bon cake from Kalupa’s bakery in Tampa. One of these days I’m going to get a bon bon cake up here in Virginia to share with my friends. It’s amazing and you’ll never want any other cake as long as you live. Oh yeah…and the continually running chocolate fountain. Dad gave his toast, Mike gave a toast on behalf of the Charlotte High folks, Malinda gave her toast, and then I got up. I think my brother was scared to death, but he had nothing to worry about.
Friday night I stayed with Janet because she didn’t want to be alone on the night before her wedding. Saturday morning we were up and getting ready to head to the hotel to start hair and makeup at 11am. That was one long day, but we had a great time. Janet was so relaxed and doing really well until Hitler called about 10 minutes before we left for the Rusty Pelican to say that it was too windy for the aisle runner. Something about tripping and liability. Regardless, it was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back and Janet let Hitler have it. YAHOO!!! Hitler didn’t handle it very well…or at least not the way people in the type of business she’s in should handle it. Especially if she handles 500 brides a year…wow she needs to work on her people skills…Hitler not Janet. In any case, we got to the Rusty Pelican and snuck into the ballroom before the guys got there to check out the cakes. Janet’s cake was the 4 tiered chocolate one. Andy’s was the Buccaneers sheet cake, and if that was Kalupa’s first shot at doing a Buccaneers logo, that was amazing and had a strawberry layer in the middle…tasted just like strawberry shortcake. The 3rd cake in the pictures is from the bakery that Rusty Pelican uses. When Andy and Janet first started planning the wedding almost a year ago, they were told that it was no problem for them to use an outside bakery yada, yada, yada. Then they get to the final bill the week before the wedding and there is a $2.75 a head cake cutting fee on the bill because they didn’t use Rusty Pelican’s bakery. However, the cost of a cake from that bakery was already built in to the cost per head for the reception itself. Therefore, by getting the 3rd cake, it eliminated the cake cutting fee. (ROLLS EYES)
After a little while of waiting, we all walked down to the gazebo and down the aisle. I thought Andy would lose it when he saw Janet for the first time, but he kept his composure. I could tell he was fighting it off. He had this smile on his face the whole time and never took his eyes off of her. Everything was beautiful as they were announced husband and wife just as the sun finished its decent into the horizon. It was dusk as we took pictures with Tony, the Englishman photographer. He kept saying things like blimey, smashing, and I’ve lost my camera. It was a hoot, but he got some great shots. I can’t wait to see the final product. I bustled Janet’s dress (the easiest one I’ve ever done) and we headed towards the building. Andy and Janet were supposed to stay a moment in the business office to give their guests time to get into the ballroom from the cocktail hour. One of the reasons was so that Hitler could bustle Janet’s dress. At which point, I said I’ve already done it. And I’m thinking lady after all they’ve been through with you, Janet was not going to let you touch her butt. Fat chance!
Then we were announced into the ballroom myself on my groomsmen Lloydell’s arm. I personally picked Lloydell to be my partner when Andy told me who his groomsmen were. Lloydell lived in the same complex that Andy and Janet lived in when they met at FSU. He and Harry (Andy’s best man) are probably my favorites of Andy’s friends (don’t tell the others I said that!). In any case, I knew he’d keep me laughing and would make the day even more fun. Andy and Janet danced to “God Bless the Broken Road,” an absolutely perfect song for their journey thus far. We sat down and Harry gave his toast. He made me laugh and cry; therefore, he is never allowed to give a toast again…Kidding!! I can’t remember now if they danced with the parents after the toast or after the salads, but in any case there was food and dancing. They danced with the parents to “You Raise Me Up.” We had chicken, steak, potatoes, vegetables, and CAKE!!! Lots of Cake. I’m still wanting some more cake.
At some point we did the bouquet and garter toss. I was forced to stand out there for the bouquet toss, but I stood in the back. Mike (one of Andy’s groomsmen) and his girlfriend caught them, but the look on my brother’s face when he saw the Buccaneers garter my mom made for Janet was priceless. He was so excited. It’s definitely the little things that make him happy. The night was perfect and I personally think that a couple of the groomsmen had a little more fun than the rest of us. In fact, the Rusty Pelican had to tell them that the reception was over so they’d leave. LOL…but that’s what a reception is for…having fun. 🙂
The next morning, we packed them into the car and took them to the airport for their honeymoon in Washington State. They had a great time there and even bought me the Seattle skyline mug from the original Starbucks. YEA!!!
Well folks…that’s it. That’s what you’ve waited a month and a half to read. Sorry it took so long, but that darn job got in the way. 🙂