Let me start off a bit with Michael and Amanda...
Michael is Jordan's cousin (or 2nd cousin.) Their Abuelita's (grandmothers) are sisters.
Michael grew up in Miami, Florida whereas Jordan grew up around Boston, Massachusetts, yet they remained very close.
Michael’s little sister, Bianca danced with Amanda’s little sister, Melissa. They were BFFs and they always wanted to be sisters, so they came up with a scheme to get their older brother and sister together so they could be sisters. One day when they were hanging out at Bianca’s house, Melissa had Amanda pick her up and hence introducing the two… and so it began! That was 10 years ago.
A couple years ago, Jordan and I went on a trip to Florida for a vacation and to spend sometime with his family, this was my first time meeting them. We stayed with Michael and Amanda and their two dogs. They were so inviting and fabulous! All of Jordan’s family members down in Miami were like instant friends and family, they all welcome you with a hug and a kiss and invite you a long for everything.
I was, and still am, somewhat jealous and completely inspired by Amanda. She is gorgeous, super positive, and when I first met her she had just started working as a personal trainer. The jealously part comes in where she was out of the blue asked to become a trainer, whereas I up in Boston was certified and couldn’t find a job to save my life! Overall, her attitude is just amazing. Where other people would complain and whine she counts her blessings, which is always something I strive to do, but often come up short.
After Jordan and I got engaged, Michael was like "now the pressure is really on!" since his cousin of the same age was getting married the family started giving him more pressure (But um, really... after 10 years I think the pressure was really already there.)
Amanda's mother, who passed away 2 years ago, was Mexican, so they decided to have their wedding in Mexico in Playa del Carmen.
The wedding was beautiful, and the location was amazing, but I will say the planning and communication left a bit to be desired. Especially since I was like the crazy wedding scheduler with everything for about 3 days surrounding the wedding broken down into roughly 15 minute intervals, so being there and having NO IDEA what was going on was a bit nerve racking. For instance, the meeting place described on Day 5 had not been decided until day 4 of our Mexico trip so I could not really plan or prepare.
|Parents of the groom and my in-laws pre-wedding|
Jordan was a groomsman in the wedding, and even he had no idea what time the actual wedding was at. We were told that a shuttle bus was leaving their hotel at 4:30 and another at 5:00 pm. We both managed to get on the 4:30 shuttle, which was good, because the 5:00 one never came and people had to find taxis and did not entirely know where they were going.
The wedding took place at Xcaret, the ceremony was at St Francis of Assisi chapel, which was an open chapel without walls on top of a hill at Xcaret, which had a gorgeous view of the park. Getting there was a bit of a challenge, especially for older relatives and girls in high heals as it was a rocky, steep journey up to the chapel.
The ceremony was beautiful, they did the traditional Mexican lasso ceremony where both Amanda and Michael's grandmothers roped a lasso around them to signify thier coming together as one. The lasso had been threaded with flowers from Amanda's mothers wedding dress which was a very special touch. Michael and Amanda had written their own vows, which was terrible in the sense that I cried the whole time. I always find the personal vows to be so beautiful and heart wrenching. They were a combination of sentimental, loving and funny.
For the wedding reception, we walked across the park to "La Isla" Restaurant. Along the route were men dressed in traditional Mayan attire with face paint and blowing through conch shells as may have occured during Mayan celebrations.
La Isla restaurant is set in a natural cave that involves walking down a spiral path down into the cave, which is surrounded by waterfalls and has an impressive fire in the middle. We were greeted by ornately garbed waiters who provided guests with cucumber or mango margaritas with a chili pepper rim (which was unexpected but delicious!).
The whole restaurant set up was surreal. They had a harp player suspended over the cave, the roof was an intricate thatched spiral roof, lights were reflected off of the water and the caves crevices.
Speeches were given by the father of the bride, best man (Michael's older brother Alex), maid of honor (Amanda's little sister Melissa) and a few other friends. Most of the speeches were in Spanish so I understood about a quarter of them. Amanda's sisters was given in English, in which she described how she and Bianca had wanted to be sisters, and about how their mother couldn't be there, it was a very touching speech which clearly lead to water works.
|Alex, the best man, toasting his brother|
|Melissa, the Maid of Honor, promising that she would not make today all about her, as she likes to do|
|Amanda laughing at a speech|
|First Dance as newly weds! |