It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting at Nate and Kayla's New Year's Eve party, wondering what the year would bring. Ryan had mentioned the possibility of a "secret vacation" and I was excited but trying to make sure I didn't expect him to propose on the trip. As I started thinking more about it, I decided to look back and appreciate all that has happened this year.
Thursday we actually got up a little earlier because a van was waiting to pick us up at 8am and take us to the Goldmine Ranch for a horseback ride. The ranch was on the opposite side of the island but it still only took around 20 minutes to get there because Aruba really is a tiny island! We got to the ranch and there were about 6 other people who were going on the same ride as us plus two guides. First they asked everyone how many times they had ridden so they could give the most gentle/calm horses to the least experienced riders. Ryan had ridden more than anyone else in the group so they gave him the "local" horse, LOL. When the guide was using that horse to show how to get up in the saddle, the horse kept walking away from him and moving right when or before he would step up. Then we found out Ryan's horse was blind in one eye so the whole ride he kind of ran with his head cocked so he could see more out of his one good eye. My horse was really good and pretty much did all the work for me, which was good since I haven't been on a horse in years.
So I forgot to tell you about our wedding crashers!! About 2/3 of the way through the reception, Ryan saw these four people dancing and he said "I have no idea who those people are, I think they might be wedding crashers. Do you know them?" I looked over and sure enough, neither of us knew them. Now I've been to some really big weddings where there were numerous people the bride and groom had never met but that wasn't the case at ours. There were a few people on my side Ryan had never met and a few people on his side I had never met - but no one was invited that neither of us knew. So then one of the groomsmen went and started messing with them. It turns out it was the lady's 50th birthday and her husband wanted to take her to Cobalt and was disappointed to find out it was closed for a private event. Pretty gutsy to just join the party though, LOL. If i see them in any of our reception pictures I will definitely point them out :)
After the ceremony, Ryan and I rushed off to take pics together on the beach before it got too dark. We were on the beach taking photos and the tide was slowly coming in. Ryan and I were facing away from the ocean and the photographer Rachel was looking a little nervous that a wave might surprise us. I half jokingly told her "well if you see a wave that's going to get us, just yell 'water!' ". A few shots later, she gets a panicked look on her face and yells "WATER WATER WATER WATER!!!!" so I instantly picked up my dress and ran forward. Ryan also jumped forward. I think the water missed us by only a few inches, LOL. I wasn't quite ready to do "trash the dress" photos BEFORE the reception so I was glad we didn't get all wet. I think she got some really creative shots and they should come out great. We took a few formal shots with the family but it was hard to squeeze them all in. I think we were hoping to get a few more with both Ryan and I with the family and also some fun ones with the bridal party but cocktail hour just went by way too fast and we didn't want to delay the start of the reception.
Any photo in this post is from a friend or family member - actual photographer photos to come later.
Friday morning I awoke in a beautiful hotel room listening to the sounds of the ocean. I rolled over to see the sun coming up and instantly smiled as I realized it was the day I had been waiting for forever: the day Ryan and I would finally get married. The best day ever. As the rest of the bridesmaids got up, we made ourselves breakfast and enjoyed some juice on the balcony in our fancy hotel robes.
I had a feeling I might not get another post in between my last post and the honeymoon...oh well, i was pretty busy. I guess I'll try to go day-by-day to keep everything straight. To answer your first question: no I do not have any of the wedding photos yet - those won't come for a few weeks or so but I promise to post them (along with more thorough wedding planning and info) as soon as I get them.
While Ryan's gone, I've been crafting away and avoiding distractions but I still don't feel like I am going to get everything done. I may have to take off work Tuesday and/or Monday to try and get the rest done. I made hotel welcome boxes for our out of town guests. Check out the cute bottle to take home some sand - like the label I made? I included 2 water bottles, some snacks, sunscreen, advil and a bunch of information about the weekend festivities, what to do in the area, etc.