Day 2: Death By a Thousand Frustrations

Good news: Day 2 was action-packed! Unfortunately, it was not picture-packed… I think I have one shot (although Wendy was able to help out with an Adventurer’s Club picture). I’ve tried to fill in with nominally related images where I can.

We spent the day doing all those things I read about in trips reports and vowed never to do – namely, driving off property on a million boring errands. OK, one boring errand, but it took FOREVER! We got our marriage license by mail so we wouldn’t have to go find a courthouse, and I shipped a drugstore’s worth of sunscreen, blister block, etc. so we wouldn’t need one of those. But the forgotten Gorillapod put a crimp in our plans…

I slept great on the ugly Sheraton bed and woke up with about two hours before everyone was to descend on the room for the tux fitting. I opened the ginormous box we shipped and sorted the reception items from the ceremony items while nibbling on (OK, scarfing down) the Sheraton’s Kids’ Safari Breakfast – a steal at only $4.99!

This is what breakfast looks like!

We only had two things for the ceremony – the programs and the CD of our soundtrack – and minus the 34 sets of mouse ears, not much more for the reception: cake knife, guest book, pens, cake topper.

At 10:30 the fellow from Carolyn Allen’s arrived with tuxes for Patrick and the BM (Best Man – does anybody else giggle when they type that abbreviation?). The tuxes had turned out to be a big logistical hassle during the wedding-planning process because our wedding was early on a Monday and the tux warehouse is closed on the weekend – our only chance to try them on. When I first called Carolyn Allen, they said that if we had the fitting before noon on Saturday (the earliest we could all be in town to do it), they would still be able to exchange any wrong sizes at the warehouse before it closed on Saturday.

Based on this info, my dad and brother (the Man of Honor, henceforth known as Mo’H) decided to rent their tuxes at home and schlep them on the plane so they wouldn’t have to spend Friday night in Orlando.

Well when I called Carolyn Allen back a few months later, they had switched their affiliation to the Jim’s Formalwear network, and the new warehouse is in Georgia and closed all weekend – GRRRR! So no matter when we tried on the tuxes – and it could have been on Sunday at that point – there was nothing we could do but change sleeve and pants hems if CA brought the wrong pieces or our fellas were measured wrong. CA does keep a few tuxedo pieces in stock, but ours were peak-lapel jackets, and they only stock notch lapels. Can you imagine the horror if two of our guys had peak and two had notch?!!

Rare, elusive Peak-lapel Tuxedo in its natural habitat

Common Notch-lapel Tuxedo

I thought about using another vendor, but I’d heard recent horror stories about After Hours (things got screwed up in the changeover to MW Tux), and the only other provider who delivered couldn’t exchange tux pieces over the weekend either. Which is all to say that you can imagine my horror when BM tried on his tux and it looked like he was playing dress-up in his dad’s clothes. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

A tux that fits

A tux that doesn’t fit

Actually, I didn’t freak out too much, because at least Patrick’s tux fit great. Apparently the person who measured BM didn’t know that you can get jackets in different lengths – in this case we needed “short”… The size problem wasn’t Carolyn Allen’s fault – it just would have been nice to be able to exchange for the correct jacket. The only changes we made were to lengthen all the sleeves and swap out Patrick’s bowtie for a fuller, more James Bond-like model.

After we sent the tuxes off, we sat around for what seemed like an eternity talking about transportation logistics with BM. Everything had been perfectly worked out the week before when we thought he would have a car. But when he decided he and his wife could get around Orlando just fine in taxis, it threw a monkey wrench in all the plans. For one thing, he had asked me to help him plan a surprise bachelor party for Patrick that night that involved BM driving Patrick back to their family’s condo in the boonies. I wasn’t sure how that was going to work with no car… So BM spoiled the surprise and we all tried to figure it out. Boooooooooriiiiiiing!!!!

When that was finally resolved to no one’s satisfaction except BM’s, Patrick and I finally left the hotel to run errands before my 1pm spa appointment. (Holy crap – I’ve written this much and I’m only at 11am?!). We decided that we really wanted a Gorillapod, despite the cuteness of the table-top tripod our photographers found. So we set off in search of Best Buy, discovering along the way that taking a wrong exit from I-4 can send you miles out of your way. And also that Best Buy is not technically in the Florida Mall. Patrick did a lot of running in to restaurants/gas stations/etc. to ask for directions while I did a lot of sitting in the car and stewing that it was getting later and later and we were MILES from the spa. At least I remembered to take a picture!

Can you feel my frustration?

Finally we found Best Buy, which was out of Gorillapods except for the display model. Patrick asked to buy it, which set in motion a series of walkie-talkie calls and negotiations worthy of a hostage situation. FINALLY we were allowed to buy it, jumped into the O Mobile, and went fwapping off to the Dolphin for my spa appointment. No lunch makes Lurkyloo cranky!

This is what lunch might have looked like

OK, the Mandara Spa. I was not impressed. The prices are higher than at an L.A. spa, the facility is tiny, the amenities ho-hum, and the services I got were lackluster. When I checked in, they told me I could only get the leg wax because the bikini waxer didn’t work Saturdays. If they had told me that when I booked, I would have had everything done at Bliss in L.A. before I left. The last thing I wanted was a painful bikini wax the day before my wedding! But there was nothing I could do, so I had to squeeze it in between the rehearsal brunch and my manicure the next day. The girl who did my legs was friendly and chatty, but I discovered afterward that she had missed big patches on my legs and left hard, sticky wax clumps all over. Those took about two days to wash off. Definitely not worth the $100 price tag. I cycled through every possible discount I could think of with the cashier – Annual Pass, Disney Visa Card, Automobile Association – and then hit on Starwood Preferred Guest for 20% off. She seemed annoyed that I’d actually succeeded in getting a discount!

Meanwhile, Patrick had dropped our ceremony and reception items off at Franck’s and gone to the barber shop at the Contemporary to get a haircut (which was another so-so job). He got lost coming to pick me up at the Dolphin, so I sat there filling out the postcards we were sending to Disney’s Year of a Million Dreams giveaway every single day (we started in September ‘06 and scored a bazillion sets of mouse ears and some pins).

I also had a momentary freakout over a message from my aunt saying my dad’s flight had been delayed and he wouldn’t be there in time for our family dinner that night. A few minutes later she called back to say she’d been listening to an old voicemail and there was actually nothing wrong. Whew! And then I got hit on by one of the valets. It took me a while to figure out what was going on because it’d been so long since anyone had. I’m certain this was due entirely to the low-cut sundress I was wearing. He asked me if I was in town for the convention, so I sweetly explained that I was there to get married. You should have seen him hightail it back to the valet stand! (For the rest of the trip Patrick would jokingly ask me, “So… are you in town for the convention…?”)

So finally Patrick found his way back to the Dolphin and took me to Gooding’s for an overpriced sandwich (well, everyone says they have high prices, but I live in L.A. so I couldn’t tell…). At the Sheraton we discovered free cookies and lemonade next to the gator cage in the lobby (was it a trap? Perhaps…), so we took those and the overpriced sandwich back to my room and ate on the balcony. I had a tiny slice of time before I needed to start tarting up (as I call it) for our dinner with my side of the family at Olivia’s at Old Key West. I wanted to use this time for a nap, but Patrick made me use it to write my vows.

Yes, I am a bad bride. I left my vows until two days before the wedding. I was feeling pressured to come up with something earth-shatteringly unique and romantic because I knew it’d be captured on video, and the weeks leading up to the wedding were so busy that I never had time to get in the vow-writing mood. We tried to write them together a couple times and came up empty because we felt rushed and uninspired. Plus, I was worried about being original, and Patrick was worried about being grammatical…ly correct. Finally we decided to write them separately, and he got his done about a week before. Our pastor sternly told us that they had to be ready for the rehearsal, and here it was the night before with no vows for the bride. So Patrick took his book and went to read by the pool, and I somehow managed my way through it. I don’t think they were terribly original, but at least they came straight from the heart.

Say, I actually have a picture for this part of the story!

After that I started the lengthy tarting process for our dinner with my family. Patrick has a huge family – 7 aunts and uncles and 20 cousins on his mom’s side alone. The only family I had at the wedding was my dad, my brother and SIL, my two aunts, and my dad’s cousin. My other aunt and uncle had to cancel at the last minute, so it was a very small group who met at Olivia’s that night. A good time was had by most!

After dinner I took Patrick to Downtown Disney for his swinging bachelor party at… Rainforest Café?! This was his BM’s idea of a good time. I, on the other hand, got to go to the Adventurer’s Club to meet Wendy (a.k.a. the DIS’ Mistress of All Evil)! Whohoo! I used the Disney Dining Experience card to get half off admission – glad I read the list of benefits, cuz I didn’t know about that one. I’d never been to the AC before, so I was kind of overwhelmed, but I loved the theming. Wendy spotted me from downstairs and waved me over to where she was hanging out with her Glamorous Amazon Entourage. I am just under 6 feet tall, so I had never known what it was like to feel short til I met Wendy and her sister. I think we’re all the same height, but they wear HEELS! It was the weirdest feeling, but I also felt really comfortable because Wendy and I had the DIS Boards connection and knew so much about each other. Her fiance got dragged into a skit by the Maid, who had a field day with the jokes when she found out he was there with two brides (and my fiance was nowhere in sight). Good times!

Chuck’s Two Brides

I finally pooped out and went back to my room to pack for my move to Beach Club Villas. I listened to our samba-packed reception playlist as I worked, which was so romantic that I decided to write Patrick a wedding-eve-eve letter and give it to him during our Valentine’s Day dinner at Jiko the following week. And then I went to bed!

Day 3: Rehearsal, Brunch + Meet ‘n’ Greet!

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