CHAN CHAN!

I last left you on Thursday afternoon just before my bestie Lisa and friends were arriving from Calgary. I felt like I was on pins and needles all day waiting for them, and finally I heard Lisa and Heather’s (not quiet) voices drift over from the lobby so I ran over there and practically tackled them. They made it!

Now we were just missing my pal Joanna, my brother Eric, his girlfriend Kenya and their best friend Dixon, who were all arriving on Friday.

To celebrate the Calgarians arrival and also Hannah’s birthday, 20 of us had dinner reservations on the patio of the restaurant next door to our resort, Barbacoa.

I wanted to make sure I got a good group photo of everyone, so I took several. That dinner was so much fun and probably one of my very favourite memories from the entire trip.

It was my first time seeing Lisa and Scott since their big engagement!!!

Lovers! I’m so excited for them. Scott is a thoughtful cat like Evan. When we came back to Lisa’s place after our great western road trip in September, Scott had cleaned her entire apartment (we had tornado’d through there and totally trashed it) and left her a vase of flowers on her kitchen counter. He had also packed the car for us before we left and let us borrow all his camping gear. Smooth moves all over the place. I already can’t wait for their wedding.

We are definitely each other’s first loves, however.

Sherrie and Will were looking quite lovery as well.

And so were Corey and Emily…and Sherrie…

I was loving Emily’s green number.

Lovers all around.

I ordered the chicken supreme and it was pretty delicious. I also hear the steak there is very good. But the biggest treat is the live band that plays there!

Cheryl got her hands on some maracas…

And then we passed them around so we could all pretend to be in the band.

I really, really wanted them to play my favourite Cuban song, Chan Chan. I love it so much and I hear it every time I’m in Cuba so it just reminds me of fun Cuba times. So I requested it (probably obnoxiously) a million times and they finally played it. And they even let me come up there and play it with them!

I think that is my mom’s “I am so proud of my wonderful daughter” face.

I was trying to sing Chan Chan along with them but I don’t know Spanish so I was mostly just making the sounds. I’m sure it was awful, and when I looked over at our table most of our friends were crying with laughter.

This is Evan’s favourite picture:

And this is mine, mostly because of the guy’s face beside me.

He likes. CHAN CHAN!!!!

They even played it a second time…possibly a third? It was amazing. Scott said I looked like I was enjoying it so much he bought me their CD! Now I can listen to Chan Chan all the time! I’m gonna listen to it right now!

It was Hannah’s birthday and we told our servers in advance that we wanted to have a surprise celebration for her. All of a sudden the lights started flickering in the entire restaurant and we were all like “OMG the power’s going out!” but no no, our servers were just creating some birthday drama.

I thought it was so sweet that they brought her a dessert. We all sang happy birthday, our servers in Spanish, which none of us knew, so we all yelled it in French. I bet the rest of the people on the patio really enjoyed us.

Notice Hannah’s Blue Jay hat, Cuba edition! Evan and I picked it up at the market that morning when we were there with our mom’s. She loves the Jays so it was a perfect find.

After dinner we headed back to our home base, the lobby bar, for a few drinks.

And piano playing.

That green dress, I tell ya.

And then we walked over to our favourite spot, the Beatles Bar! I think we went there almost every night. But when you can walk for two minutes and see this happening, how can you say no?

Again about 20 of us made it so we got a big section at the back. The new guy was redeeming himself.

I still don’t think he’s quite as big of a character as the guy last year, but the leather pants were definitely stepping up his act.

We had a special surprise for the very last song of the night. Cheryl made an appearance on stage.

Girl SLAYED that song!

Just so into it. Evan calls me The Jambon (The Ham) but I think I may have some competition in Cheryl. I was dying laughing when I saw her up there.

Since the outdoor bar Calle 62 is right across from our resort we dropped by there on our way home. This picture is from last year but it looks like this every single night, so just to give you an idea of what it’s like over there.

Just a total street party.

They have a charcoal grill where you can buy half a grilled chicken for 2CUC. It is DELICIOUS and the most wonderful thing at midnight.

My first picture of Heather, and some bearded man who we did not particularly enjoy. Though Dawn enjoyed his glasses.

And Sarah makes an appearance!

I feel like a broken record saying “it was a good time, it was such a good time” about everything, but seriously, it was a good time.

The next morning after breakfast we headed back to, where else? The beach.

Friday was our only overcast day, but that didn’t stop us from beaching around. It was the day to bust out my mermaid suit, one of the best buys of my life, from Cupshe. That site does not have great reviews but Lisa ordered a bunch of bathing suits from there and they were all amazing so I gave it a try and was also impressed. When I was reading the reviews for that suit they were mostly like “the bottom half is great but the cups in the top are as big as my head!” so I knew it was the one for me. I have such a hard time finding bathing suits that the nungas don’t want to escape from. It’s a real problem.

Lisa and I used to play this game in the lake when we were younger where one of us is Forrest Gump and the other one is Bubba and whoever is Bubba has to be carried. You may remember…

Since we were there for my wedding I got to be Bubba.

Heather and Brent were doing life right with their floaties.

I had to get in on that leisure life.

Every Friday on the resort is Fiesta Cubana and it’s a Cuban themed day with flags and everywhere and live music all afternoon.

And a special lunch by the beach.

They have these grilled pork sandwiches which are THE BEST. The bread is so soft and fresh and the pork just melts in your mouth. So good.

Also coconuts filled with coconut water and rum.

I didn’t even try one. I don’t know what I was thinking.

And you know there’s dancing. Evan was down.

Actually I witnessed him literally get down.

There was also quite the party by the pool. You’ll notice our pal Randy on the right.

And that’s where we spent the rest of the day, by the pool. And that is a story for another post.

Follow

Beachy Keen

On Wednesday morning Evan and I met with our wedding coordinator on the resort, Elimay, to go over all our wedding details. That was interesting, mainly because she told us to forget everything that our Canadian wedding coordinator from Starfish resorts told us before we left and that now we’re going to start from scratch. Alright then. She said that because they were such a small resort, and weren’t a popular wedding spot, they couldn’t accommodate some of the things the Starfish chain had originally included in our package. This alarmed me at first, but the changes weren’t anything too crazy. The biggest was we had to change the wedding ceremony time to 4pm instead of 5pm, and because they only had one large speaker that they needed for the nightly entertainment, we had to end our reception at 9pm. I was hoping for 10 but I knew we were all going to go off the resort for an after-party anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal. However, any idea I had of a day-of timeline went completely out the window. I will probably do a post on what to expect (or how not to have any expectations) when planning a destination wedding, because it is very different.

Elimay also told us that the other wedding that was originally planned for Saturday, the one that bumped our date to Sunday, was cancelled and we could move our wedding back to Saturday if we wanted. Gah. After all that! We decided to keep it on Sunday to minimize confusion. We felt it was too late to go back at that point, and I’m actually glad that everything worked out the way it did. But more about the actual wedding later.

We felt a lot better about wedding stuff after meeting with her. They really did seem excited to be hosting us, and I was just glad to FINALLY be able to talk to someone about our Cuba wedding IN PERSON and get some details sorted.

After that it was back to that glorious beach. I took about four pictures all day so I don’t remember what went down, except I do know our favourite pineapple pina colada guy came by with his wares.

Yassssss.

I was hoping he would make an appearance. I have been craving that pineapple all year!

You don’t know what pineapple is until you’ve had fresh Cuban pineapple. We got one for our friends Kim and Dylan and as soon as Dylan tasted it he was like “what kind of pineapple have I been eating all my life?” It’s so good. I was excited to introduce my mom to it.

She liked.

We mentioned to Elimay that we got engaged at this resort on the beach last year and when we went back up to our room we found a bottle of wine and a little note from the staff welcoming us back, so that was nice. Our maid also left us this:

I did like her services and I love a good towel swan. It was cute that they incorporated our wedding flowers!

We made dinner reservations that night for a bunch of us at the Italian restaurant (also where our wedding reception was being held).

We tried to get more people in with us but the resort isn’t big on hosting large groups so 10 was all we could do. And then Joel didn’t show up so 9 it was. Our dinner was actually really good and my favourite thing about that restaurant is the view!

You can watch the sunset right from your table!

I don’t remember what we talked about aside from our celebrity crushes (I told them all that Evan’s celebrity crush is Judge Judy) but I do remember that we laughed pretty much the entire way through dinner.

Afterwards we headed back to the lobby bar to meet up with everyone, our nightly ritual.

We watched the nightly entertainment in there and Mark once again made friends.

I was still a bit tired from the day before and plus my bestie and friends were arriving on Thursday so I wanted to be fresh for them! So, I went to bed around 9:30. No regrets.

The next morning I met Casey at 6:30am in the lobby for a run along the streets of Varadero. I ran there last year as well and it’s a super fun place to run, but best in the early morning ’cause it is HAWT. Everyone is out going to work and school and sweeping the sidewalks in front of their businesses with palm leaves. It’s a cool place. Casey is a running superstar (I mentioned she ran a 50k trail run on Saturday) but I was glad she slowed her pace down for me. I was initially planning on only running for 5k but Casey distracted me and we didn’t turn around until after 3.5k so I ended up doing almost 7.5k. Whoops. The last few kilometres were a bit rough, the sun was in our face and I thought my clothes were just going to melt off my body, but we made it and I was feeling pret-ty good about myself.

After showering and breakfast Evan and I took our moms to the market for a little shopping. It’s about 3k from our resort (Casey and I actually ran by it that morning) so we took a horse and carriage on the way there and this sweet ride on the way back.

That gem is from 1927!

My mom talks to everyone, and you know that includes the cab drivers.

She likes to ask everyone about their lives. And they always tell her.

And then it was back to the beach.

Dawn got me a bride cup for the trip and I busted it out for the occasion!

We told Evan that his hat looked like a “Make America Great Again” hat, just missing the words.

I like that we could send the boys in to refill our drinks at the bar.

They liked.

Once again, a good ocean time.

And now I’m going to introduce Randy to you because he was a vacation staple.

Strategically placed sun glare.

Randy was one of the entertainment guys at the resort, and he was always coercing us into playing games and calling us ‘babies’. He was on the resort for about 12 hours a day so we would see him around the beach and pool all day, and then at night dancing it up in the lobby. He and quickly became one of our favourites!

And then my bestie Lisa, her fiance Scott, her sister Heather and Heather’s partner Brent arrived and things REALLY got fun!

Follow

Varadero Vixens

Hola muchachos!!! We are back from the best two weeks of our lives! We had an amazing time in Cuba and I don’t even know where to start with telling the tale. I guess from the beginning and I’ll see where that takes me.

Our flight was just after 6am on Tuesday, May 2, which means we had to be at the airport around 4am. Not wonderful but it’s a lot easier to get up early for a vacation than it is for work, so I didn’t mind. Leaving early just meant we got to the beach earlier! It’s also fun seeing 20 of your friends around the airport. Every time I ran into someone I perked up a little bit more.

Evan picked us up a couple of fitting passport holders for our trip.

Cuuuute.

We paid extra for everyone to sit together at the back of the plane, and I thought this included Evan and I, so I was surprised to find us upgraded at the front! On Sunwing flights you get complimentary champagne and they brought us all the leftover glasses so we were living large up there.

The trip was off to a good start for Evan Evanoff.

We had the speediest customs experience I’ve ever had at the Varadero airport. We were out of there quickly and on the bus to the resort. I was excited to find that we all had a bus to ourselves!

We were excited. The ride to our hotel was less than half an hour by bus but you know that’s enough time for a couple of bus cervezas!

We stayed at the Starfish Cuatro Palmas again, the same resort Evan and I got engaged at last year. I’ll save you another review of the actual hotel and the food, but I did that last year so you can check it out here. I actually didn’t take pictures of anything I ate this time and it was kind of refreshing!

Anyway, we arrived at our resort so early that our rooms weren’t ready yet, which I was prepared for so I told everyone in advance to make sure they had bathing suits easily accessible. We arrived and headed straight to the beach!

Casey, my Toronto blogger friend (who ran a freakin’ 50k on Saturday!!!), and I were twinning pretty hard. I had two of my other blogger friends in attendance as well, which was awesome, Shanondoah and Michelle!

They were known by everyone else all week as “the bloggers.” They needed a fourth member for an even number so they immediately adopted my friend Hannah into their group, or maybe she joined herself, I’m not sure which, but she became an honorary blogger for the week.

I loved all the co-mingling of the friend groups. It makes me happy.

The beach and the ocean there is AMAZING. One of the nicest beaches I’ve ever been on. Dawn’s mom Brennie (you may remember from her 60th birthday that we celebrated back in December) and Joel were definitely feeling that ocean hard.

We all were, it was a dream day. And I don’t know if it’s because we were tired or just because we couldn’t get into our rooms yet, but that day seemed to stretch on forever. We all said that day felt like the longest, but in a good way!

I wish I brought a tube for leisuring a la Sherrie.

We broke for lunch for a bit and then just got back into that ocean for the rest of the day.

Dawnald!

Bubbas up!

Evan can nap anywhere.

I have like 30 pictures of Emily trying to piggyback Joel.

It was not going well until they switched it up.

Man, it was a good ocean time.

We got into our rooms around 4pm and I was excited about our ocean view.

We had a street view last year and I also really enjoyed that because you could see all the old cars drive by and it was good for people-watching, but you can’t beat the ocean!

I also don’t think you can beat the sunset at this resort.

We hit the buffet for dinner and then all met up in the lobby bar for drinks. They had live music with dancers in the lobby bar every evening so that was a good time. Mark made new friends.

We would usually all hang out in the lobby bar after dinner until we headed out on the town, which we almost did every night. Our resort is across the street from the three best bars in Varadero so it was very convenient. On our first night we went to the Beatles Bar, an outdoor bar with live rock music every night, which you may remember me absolutely raving about last year.

Unfortunately our favourite rock star doesn’t work there anymore, which is sad. Evan and I were looking forward to introducing him to everyone. We like to think he got discovered and is now living it up in Havana. The new guys weren’t quite the same (their pants weren’t as tight, they didn’t light a smoke in the middle of their song, and they had their shirts on), but they were still quite entertaining.

It was a great night.

And a great day, and that’s only the first one! It was so nice the entire trip to look around and see all our friends having such a fabulous time. I don’t know how we’re ever going to be able to go on a trip without most of the people we know again.

I have so much more to come so hang tight.

Follow

WE’RE MARRIED!!!

We are mawwwwwwwied!!!!

Yep, married!

Sunday went absolutely perfectly!!! I could not be happier. It did feel weird not having certain people with us when we officially tied the knot, like my brother, bestie and the bridal party, so I’m so excited to do it all again in Cuba with most of our best pals! But even if that wedding is a total disaster, I feel like we at least got one right! I’m sure it will be wonderful though because everyone will be there.

I don’t have many pictures yet so I’ll do a more detailed post once I have all those back…but I do have a few so I can give you a little sneak peek!

On Saturday afternoon Evan and I dropped by Globe Bistro (where the ceremony and reception were taking place) so we could drop off some stuff, like our cake!!!

I was SO HAPPY about our cake! My friend Cathy who I worked with at Girl Guides made it (CakesbyNACJ) and it was so much better than I even pictured. I showed her a picture of my bouquet and she matched the flowers so well. I loved it, and it was so delicious! The top was vanilla coconut and the bottom was vanilla with lemon.

It was so nice to go to the venue with Evan and scope out the setup just the two of us.

Isn’t that sign amazing? My friend Melissa made it for us.

It was really coming together in the reception room.

Just missing the centrepieces. Seeing everything set up just made all my nervousness go away and I felt ready to get married!

My mom has been staying with us since Tuesday (she lives in BC) so on Sunday morning we got up at 4am so we could pick up Evan’s mom and head to his cousin Barb’s house to get ready. Apparently when you have a brunch wedding you have to get up super early — our hair and makeup artist Natalie was arriving at 6am to make us presentable!

Getting ready together at Barb’s was awesome — she and her husband were such great hosts and made us smoked salmon and cream cheese on bagels, coffee, and mimosas (it’s never too early for a mimosa!). I was so thankful to them for having us. It was the best place to get ready. My morning was leisurely and stress-free.

Natalie absolutely SLAYED my face and hair, and I was ready to get married before 9am.

Gahh, I looked so good. The best I’ve ever looked (and probably will ever look) for sure. And I could not get over how beautiful my mom looked!!!

She was just glowing. So beautiful. I can’t wait to see the pictures of her helping me into my dress!

I left Barb’s just before 10am, our wedding planner Tracey (one of the best things about our day, seriously) drove me over to Brickworks to meet Evan for a first look and pictures together. I was so glad we did that, even though it was FREEZING. The pics will be worth it. I can’t wait for those. In the meantime, our photographer Nicole got a quick photo of us on my phone that I can share with ya!

Aww. All ready for wedding things. Evan is so damn handsome. My heart skipped a beat when I saw him waiting for me. What a groom I have!

Once we arrived at the restaurant I got a pic of Evan pinning the boutonniere on his brother, aka Brotherman, aka the Best Man.

So cute. I should mention that all our flowers (including my bouquet) were fake flowers (but not silk, almost like a rubber so they even feel real!) and they were done by Ashley at From The Stem Up. She did a great job. I love my bouquet so much.

I’ll share more about the ceremony and reception when I get pictures back but here’s a few guests photos I’ve been able to snag. My handsome and proud dad walking me down the aisle!

Our ceremony was PERFECTION.

I forgot to pass off my bouquet, whoops.

Our Reverend Heather Power was so great. She helped us put together the most perfect ceremony that felt really personal to us. People were raving to us afterwards about how amazing our ceremony was, and maybe they always say that but it did feel really good. I couldn’t keep myself together. Evan’s cousin Barb did a reading during the ceremony and that made me lose it as well. It was so sweet. First kiss as husband and wife!

We’re official! I was very determined to sign those documents. We did a candle lighting for our grandparents and family members who were no longer with us, which was really sweet and also brought some tears to my eyes when I thought of my and Evan’s Nana’s.

Unfortunately my MOH Lisa couldn’t make it to the Toronto wedding (she will be in Cuba!) but I had a fabulous stand-in MOH as my witness, my friend Beth who I met on the very first day of Grade 9.

She brought a great friend of mine from elementary school, Allison, as her date and I was so glad to have them both there.

After the ceremony we ate delicious brunch food and drank mimosas and wine and mingled with our guests. It was wonderful. My cousin Allie and her daughter Nora made it all the way from BC! Actually, her wedding is one of my favourites of all time. This is her and my auntie Nancy.

Evan and I cutting that delicious cake!

It was the perfect day. It was small, intimate and personal and we really felt the love of our families. And I can’t think of one thing that went wrong, which is mostly due to our wedding planner Tracey! I will talk more about her in my official recap but we were SO GLAD to have her help. She was invaluable and I felt like neither of us had to worry about a single thing the entire day. She was always there taking care of things and she even packed up all our stuff at the end of the day! I don’t know what we’re going to do without her in Cuba.

Evan’s grandma unfortunately couldn’t make it so we dropped by her apartment in our wedding attire on our way home. She was so happy to see her grandson on his wedding day. She was so cute.

So, I guess that’s it for now! I’ll be instagramming from Cuba for sure, possibly Snapchat if I can get it to work, their internet is weird so we shall see. Have a great week and a half! Wish us luck on wedding #2.

Follow

Spring Flings

This week has somehow flown by but also dragged on and on. I don’t know how that’s possible but I guess I’m super anxious to get this wedding show on the road and I’ve also been really busy tying up loose ends for the weddings and work. I feel pretty set now and generally less stressed about things, so that’s good! My skin has been having a bit of a freak out though. It’s like it knows the wedding’s coming so it’s rebelling. I have a giant zit on my chin that has been lurking under the surface since MONDAY. Gah. Just friggin’ do your thing and get it over with, zit! Either come to the surface already or get outta here, why are you dragging it out?! I bet it’s just going to turn my entire chin into a zit come Sunday, you just wait.

As of noon today I am officially on vacation! Our family wedding here is on Sunday and then we are off to Cuba for 9 days to do it all again! I’m so excited. I’m going to try to pop in on Monday for a quick update on the Toronto wedding and then I’m probably not going to be blogging for a couple of weeks — Cuban internet is a sketch fest and I’ll be hanging out on the beach with 34 of our friends!!! HEYO!

Anyway, it’s been really wedding heavy around here lately, so let’s talk about other things that have been going on.

A few weekends ago we hit up a Jays game with a bunch of our pals to celebrate my friend Joanna’s birthday. We got a sweet suite, same as last year!

The Jays actually won, which is a rare occurrence for them lately. I don’t know what’s going on with them but they need to step it up. Get it together, boys!

We still love them though.

Joanna had a really great cake at her Jays birthday last year and I didn’t think anything would be able to top it but then I saw this:

And that cake takes the cake. It’s probably one of the greatest cakes I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen some good cakes!).

It was really delicious, too. Even the fondant was good, and that is rare!

Our Cuba wedding emcee stole my phone and took a bunch of selfies, here is a beautiful sample.

It was a really good time. I love going to games and it’s even better with a group.

Last Monday after work I headed to Hamilton to see the Dixie Chicks with my pals Dawn and Emily, and Emily’s coworker (now our friend) Heather.

Someone missed the plaid memo. But I guess I missed the boot memo.

The Dixie Chicks were FANTASTIC!!

Our seats weren’t wonderful, but we didn’t mind and I have to say that the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton (where we saw Garth Brooks last year too) is a much better venue than the ACC in Toronto. They also had screens, which was helpful.

I haven’t really listened to the Dixie Chicks lately but I looooove them and they played all their hits! It took me back to high school for sure. I do feel like the Ready To Run song would have been less poignant last year (when their tour started) before Donald Trump won the election. The screens had cartoons of Hillary and the Donald on them during that song, and I think it would have been funny back when there was still hope. But now it was more sad than anything. Goodbye Earl is still my fave and you know we screamed that song! Ah, they were great.

Last Sunday Evan and I went to our friends’ Renee and Dustin’s Jack & Jill (they are also getting married this year).

Pies in the face may have happened.

I’ve talked about Jack & Jill’s before (<- that links to Dawn and Mark’s tropical Jack & Jill which was a super fun time). They’re also known as a Stag & Doe and are basically a fundraiser for the wedding. They’re a ton of fun and pretty much my favourite kind of party. There’s a lot of booze and games and raffles, and it’s a good way to get to know a lot of the wedding guests before the actual wedding. Many of our friends were Renee and Dustin’s though so we knew a lot of the guests already. I took no pictures but luckily our friend Alicia had that covered.

And I don’t know what’s up with her camera but I feel like it was filtering my face and I liked it.

I also got my brows done on Friday for wedding things and I feel like for the first time in my life they’re on fleek.

Anyway, the Jack & Jill was a great time. It was a in a bar that Renee and Dustin had rented out for the occasion so it was just like going to a bar full of all people we knew and then some fun characters we didn’t. Evan and I decided not to have a Jack & Jill since we’re having a destination wedding and it’s not as expensive as your typical wedding, but you better believe if we were having a wedding here we would have had one. They’re always a good party. I love them. And it was fun to commiserate with Renee about the wedding planning process.

Speaking of Jack & Jill’s, one of the best ones I’ve ever been to was my friend Melissa’s up in Muskoka, and it was actually her baby shower the day after Renee and Dustin’s J&J!

I need a new pose for pictures. I should probably work on that before Sunday.

Melissa is one of my oldest friends and I’m so excited for her and her husband Will. You may remember me blogging about her amazing wedding also. The day of her baby shower was GORGEOUS and the shower took place at her dad’s cottage on Lake Simcoe so it could not have been a more perfect setting.

Summer’s comin!

I had a lot of fun celebrating her and her baby-to-be, I can’t wait to meet that little chicken nugget!

Have a great weekend! I KNOW I WILL!!!!!

Follow

The Home Stretch

Remember when I said a while ago that this wedding planning ain’t no thang and I almost didn’t want to say it because I didn’t want to jinx it but the process had been fairly simple? Yeah, I jinxed it. We’re 9 days out now and this week has been the most stressful yet. I think also because work has been really busy and I don’t really have time to think about anything but work at work, and then my evenings have been alllll wedding (okay well Monday I went to the Dixie Chicks concert in Hamilton and that was fantastic).

Anyway, VENTING AHEAD!

On Tuesday I heard from our Cuba wedding coordinator (who is in Canada, she’s the liaise between us and the resort until we actually get on the resort) that the resort had accidentally double-booked our wedding date with ANOTHER wedding. IDIOTS.

So, she asked if we could move our wedding from Saturday to Sunday. I was actually shocked that this happened because I was just going on about how I didn’t think this resort had ever hosted a wedding — and then they have two ON THE SAME DAY?! What are the chances??

Well, here’s what happened. We had to change our wedding date shortly after booking everything because the Sunwing flights from Calgary and Vancouver, that my MOH and brother (and others) were on got cancelled and pushed back two/three days. This had my brother Eric and friends arriving on the same day as the wedding, in the evening though, so they would miss it. Eric is walking me down the aisle at the Cuba wedding and he’s also a groomsman so…he’s a very important fixture and needs to be there. You may remember me going on about this a while ago. So we pushed our wedding date back a day, from the Friday to the Saturday. The resort (my Canadian contact) confirmed this was fine, we rebooked the photographer in Varadero, updated all our attendees, and all was well. Except it wasn’t because I guess somehow the resort’s main calendar did not get updated and they still had our wedding date on Friday, leaving the Saturday open which they then booked with another wedding. Ugh.

Pushing the wedding date back another day is not ideal. That will be five days after we arrive, when I initially wanted it three days after we arrived. I feel like we’re not going to be able to truly relax until the wedding happens, and the Toronto group is probably going to be bloated (alcohol and eating too much) and sunburnt AF by then.

But, what can ya do. It’s not really the same as moving a wedding date here because everyone’s already going to be in Cuba and it’s not like they have plans aside from leisuring on the beach for that day. It’s annoying but it is what it is.

Instead of fighting it I just agreed to the date change because I didn’t want the other group to refuse to move and then we have two weddings on the same day, which, the resort is so small they wouldn’t be able to accommodate that and it would be a total shirtshow. I also know it’s difficult for our wedding planner in Canada to communicate with the resort because you know they’re all on island time over there and probably not getting back to her. Moving seemed like the least disastrous option and our wedding is now on the Sunday.

I did express how disappointed I was about the entire thing, because this is the second time our wedding date has been changed due to external (SUNWING!!) factors and I’m generally feeling like we’re the second rate wedding. Which is sad to me because that resort means so much to us and we booked it almost immediately after returning from getting engaged there last year. I spoke with our wedding coordinator though and we’re not getting charged now for a few aspects of the wedding so I guess I’ll take that.

We also had an unexpected issue with family this weekend. I don’t want to get into it on here but it was really upsetting and isn’t resolved, and I’m not sure if it will be resolved before the wedding, so that sucks. And we had Evan’s family over for Easter brunch at the time so unfortunately I was a mess of tears in front of them (it had nothing to do with them and I was glad they were there, but I hate being upset in front of people). Before that happened I was nothing but excited but that has brought a slight damper. But as I’ve been hearing from many people who are already married, is a wedding really a wedding without a bit of family drama?

Apparently it’s not.

As my friend Sherrie helpfully pointed out, it comes in threes, so I’m bracing myself for something else to go wrong. I’m hoping that maybe the flights initially being changed can count as a thing, so then that’s three and we’re done. Oh! Our labels for the wine favours we’re doing for the Toronto wedding were kind of messed up. Vistaprint left a big white strip at the top when they printed them, so Evan had to cut them all with an exacto knofe. But I’m not sure if that’s a big enough problem to count as a thing. They still look great, I think.

I’ve noticed that as the day gets closer I’m more willing to throw money at problems to make them go away. I was super frugal in the beginning but now I ask myself if paying a bit more means I don’t have to do anything. Yes? Then take my money.

And speaking of money, we’ve heard some rumblings along the lines of “why are you having two weddings, that must be so expensive and you could be using that money for something else.” (you probably know if you’ve planned a wedding that everyone has an opinion about YOUR wedding.) So for anyone thinking about having a destination wedding but wanting to have a small family thing at home first, I’ll just say that having two small weddings like we’re doing is actually less than half the price of the average cost of one wedding. It’s budget-friendly!

We’re also keeping our Toronto wedding at around 30 people, which is very difficult to do. It’s nearly all family — I have one close friend who is coming and she is also my witness and will be standing up there with me. We couldn’t invite everyone who couldn’t make it to Cuba and we have some very close friends who unfortunately just won’t be at our wedding at all. But if you open it up at all, where do you draw the line? Family only (almost), this is the way we chose to do it.

As I said to Evan, we only get to get married twice once so we gotta do what feels right to us!!!

Anywhoozle, other than those things everything has been going pretty swimmingly. I’m so glad we have Tracey for the Toronto wedding because she’s definitely taken a lot of stress off us. I don’t know what I would do without her. I was reading the runsheet she put together for the family wedding and she has even scheduled in some alone time for Evan and I after the ceremony, AND she has scheduled for the restaurant to leave h’ors deouvres for us at our table because we’re going to miss them during cocktail hour when we’re getting pictures. I totally swooned when I read that. She is thinking of everything!

Oh and THANK YOU for all your comments about the name change dilemma! I haven’t had time to respond to them all, but I read them all and so appreciated reading about everyone’s stories and thoughts on the subject. I’m pretttttty sure I’m leaning towards changing it. When I think of us having the same family name it makes me feel safe and warm and fuzzy. I think I’m a little sentimental about it.

9 days out, and then 16 days out!!! It’s happening!

And at least if one wedding is a total disaster we have a second chance to get it right.

Follow