Chad and Lina's Wedding

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Riu Bambu, Punta Cana

Flag of Dominican Republic  ,
Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hello all, this is a little recap of Chad and Lina's wedding -- for all of you that would have wished to be there but were not able to make it.

Our trip started out on Monday the 1st of March. After articles of clothing were quickly thrown together and jammed into our luggage, we were at the airport. We flew with Sunwing, for those of you who had never traveled with Sunwing, I strongly recommend it. And here is why, we had only just taken off into the air and prepared for our summer vacation as the stewardesses began showering us with complementary champagne, warm meals, wine and sweet desserts. None of us even expected that our vacation would start in the airplane! After only 3 hours we landed in Camaguay, Cuba. It was delightful to be in the warm sun and have the warm wind engulf us as we disembarked our airplane. We had a stop over of about an hour in Cuba. It was enough time to buy something, walk through almost the entire airport, and to be scammed by Cubans. We again boarded the airplane and one hour later landed in Punta Cana, DR. It felt like a big accomplishment to discover that it was a lot hotter in Punta Cana, than it was in Camaguay. Although our "accomplishment" had very little to do with us, it was a soothing thought: the grass was greener on our side.

We arrived at our hotel a little past 10pm, we dropped off our luggage, change into some summer clothes and ran for the beach. The night beach was stunning, but it could not compare to the sights that can be seen during the day. The sun warms the white coral sand, turquoise ocean, and the slender long palms, making it a breath taking sight. The rest of our time before the wedding was spent in casual manner: we entertained ourselves with the ocean, long walks on the beach, pools, cocktails/ mock tails, sun bathing, dancing, good food and good company.

Wedding attendees arrived between the 1st and the 5th. Every night our dinner party seemed to enlarge, making reservations tricky but joyous.

The weather was a little cranky, it rained for three days before the wedding, no need to say the bride was cranky about that. Chad was composed as ever, always wearing a smile from cheek to cheek, no need to say he was in complete bliss.

To everyone's surprise and happiness, the day of the wedding proved rainless. The sun showered all attendees for a few moments, but hid behind clouds for the most of the day. We discerned this as no lost, for as it turned out, trying to keep your eyes open for a million pictures is quite difficult with blazing sun. The wedding was to begin at 1pm, the bride was late, as brides usually are. She was absolutely gorgeous when she did come, again as brides usually are. The wedding was held in a gazebo. By Dominican Law, a judge has to legally marry the bride and groom. Also by law, this ceremony has to be in Spanish. So the legal aspects of the wedding and the vows were in Spanish, translated into English, translated into Russian. I was entrusted to translate into Russian, however, I only found out about this when we got to the gazebo. My Russian helps me to get by, but it is by no means good enough to translate legal marriage transcripts. Somehow I survived, with a little embarrassment. It turned out to be quite the ordeal to say something in Spanish, then broken English, then broken Russian. The clipboard travel in all directions. To make this process simpler in some cases the judge would nudge me to say something both in English and Russian. So in the end I pronounced Chad and Lina - man and wife. It felt like I married them! After that there was a wedding talk.

The photo session then began, traveling between hotels and the beach. After which the bride and groom took off for private pictures and everyone departed to their business. The bridesmaids had taken off all of their bling and had an hour nap before the reception. Bridesmainding is quite the tiring business.

The reception was in a restaurant at the nearby hotel, it was rented out for a private dinner for all those attending the wedding. The first dance was a bachata, a traditional Spanish dance, which fit in quite nicely into the Dominican theme. Speeches were made, tears and laugher was shared, good food enjoyed and all danced their hearts out until the last song.

Then the bride and the groom lived happily ever after. :)
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