The Captain Got Married

Four weeks ago today I woke up a married man.  I remember feeling an intense amount of happiness wash over me as I opened my eyes that morning.  I silently repeated the same three words over and over – We. Did. It.  I was amazed that we managed to pull the whole thing it off.  Considering the immense amount of planning that went into those 96 hours, it was incredible that we managed to make it through without any real problems.  But even more than that, I was astounded at how enjoyable the whole affair turned out.  Now that I’ve had a little time to reflect, I can honestly say that the wedding weekend was probably the most fun I’ve had in my entire life.

The four-day extravaganza started out with a bang.  Megan and I awoke on Thursday the 11th of October in our room at the Sanibel Harbour Resort.  The main hotel at the resort is located on Sanibel Bay and overlooks all the way out to the Gulf of Mexico.  The resort was the location of both the wedding and the reception.  We left the resort early and I met one my groomsmen Jamie at a boat dock.  I arranged ahead of time to check out a deck boat from my boat club for 72 hours and to keep the boat docked at the resort.

Jamie and I enjoyed a nice relaxing ride on the boat back to the resort before the day’s activities began.  At the resort we picked up groomsman Bill, the best man DJ, their girls, and a cooler full of Coronas.  We stayed out for several hours of drinking beers, driving the boat a top speed, and taking lots of dumb pictures like this

The highlight was when DJ jumped out of the boat at full speed and managed to land squarely on his man-parts.  Well done my friend.  When we returned to the resort, several friends and family members had checked into the resort and were there to greet us.  After socializing for a while, I went and changed for the evening’s activities.

I had arranged for a family dinner and portrait that nite while everyone was in town.  19 of us met for dinner at the always-reliable Red Lobster and then drove across the street for a never-ending series of family pictures.  The portraits turned out great, even though it is still a little strange to see Megan in a picture of my whole family.  There is a link on the side bar if you are interested.  Afterwards Megan and I returned to the resort and met several friends at the tiki bar for drinks.  A bar full of my friends on vacation was pretty friggin’ rad.

Friday was basically a non-stop barrage of friends and family.  Most of our guests arrived at some point during the day, and I managed to take most of them on a boat ride around the bay.  I’ve been taking boat rides by myself or with Megan for most of the year, so the chance to put my captaining skills to use with so many people that I love was quite a treat.  Since I had to steer the ship, I didn’t get a good chance to take any pictures.  My photographer friend Scotty managed to take some great shots, I will post them when he sends them to me.

After a day of boating, we set up for the ceremony rehearsal and then headed out for the rehearsal dinner.  The entire wedding party and our immediate family enjoyed a beachfront dinner right on the gulf.  30+ people were able to share a lovely gulf sunset with us.  When the sun started to set, the place turned into a Japanese press conference.  It was worth it, the pics turned out great.

That nite we enjoyed another go-round at the tiki bar.  I actually got to use one of my sister’s favorite phrases, “To the boat!” when the bar closed.  We packed about 20 people onto the docked boat and emptied the cooler.

I called it quits early that nite seeing as I would need all of my energy for the following day.  I woke up Saturday ready for a marathon.  I spent most of the morning and afternoon running around trying to finish all of the last minute things I could before the wedding.  In order to do so, I had to become a master of delegation.  As soon as a task would pop into my head, I would immediately think about whom I should ask to perform said task.  It felt strange behaving this way, but it was absolutely necessary given the amount of work that needed to be done.  I managed to get everything done and to get dolled up by three in time to meet my groomsmen.  We hung out for an hour in my uncle’s condo, and then headed over to the boat to take some pictures.  They turned out fantastic.

Once the pictures were done, I steered the boat towards the wedding beach and docked up for my wedding.  During the process of docking the boat came the weekend’s only casualty, Scotty’s camera.  He accidentally dropped it off the dock while disembarking the boat.  He managed to recover the camera from the water, but the prognosis did not look good.  We had a moment of silence for the camera, and then the groomsmen and I hightailed to the beach so I could get married.  The best way to sum up the wedding ceremony is to say that it was everything I hoped and more.  The location was beautiful, the weather was beautiful1, and my bride was drop-dead gorgeous.

When the ceremony was finished, we took the prerequisite family and bridal party photos while our friend enjoyed the drinks at the cocktail hour.  Some of my favorite pics:

With the bulk of the photos completed, it was time to party.  The reception was by far the most expensive party I will ever throw and by far the best as well.  It was held in a circular room that overlooked the bay, which made for some great photos.

The food was fantastic, the music was fantastic2, the drinks were fantastic, the sunset was fantastic, and having almost everyone I’ve ever been close with in the same room to share it with was the best of all.  I did not want the nite to end, but then again I didn’t want to leave my friends with an open bar for too long.  We called it quits around 10:30 and retired to our suite to enjoy being newlyweds.

Sunday was full of goodbyes.  We arranged a morning brunch at a pavilion by the beach so we could see everyone once more before they left.  After another round of pictures, we said our goodbyes and headed back to the resort.  I managed to hang out by the pool for a couple of hours before I recruited Scotty to help me return 13 tuxedos.

That evening we went to dinner with two couples that were still staying at the resort, DJ and his girl and Meg’s friend Marissa and her man.  We turned in early so we could open a few presents and get a little rest after 96 hours of running.

I have to take this moment to say thanks to Amir for officiating the ceremony, Eric for DJing the reception, Rob for designing our wedding logo, Julie for setting up the décor, my father for taking care of the rehearsal dinner, my mom for taking care of the Sunday brunch, and especially Paul and Trudy for making the whole weekend possible.

And that my friends, was my wedding.  Check out the link to my flickr account if you want to see all the pictures from the weeknd.  Speaking of pictures, if anyone has some pictures they would like to share, please drop me a line and let me know.  Also, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what your thoughts on our wonderful day.  Thanks to everyone who helped make October 13th the best day of my life.

Ciao,

Raoul

1 Well, it looked beautiful.  It was actually in the high 80’s, which made for lots of sweat.  I guess that’s the price you pay when you get married on the beach.

2 Of course I thought it was fantastic, I created the entire playlist.

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