After the ceremony, Dawn and Cody headed off to have their photos done. Suzanne, David and I were told that we were heading into the piano bar for their reception. My heart dropped into my stomach. The piano bar??? Um, no. We had arranged for the San Gennaro Pier. Dawn and Cody and not high maintenance people in the least, but I knew that they wouldn’t want their reception in the bar-- Especially since we arranged for it on one of the prettiest settings at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios. Arla, Wendy and the rest or the wedding team scrambled to move everything from the piano bar to the pier. Suzanne, David, Ian and I went to retrieve Suzanne’s belongings.
It was a fast transition. We walked down to the pier, where they were setting everything up already. It was done in about five minutes. Suzanne, David, Wendy, Ian, Arla and I sat together and chatted for quite a while. After about 30 minutes, we started to wonder where Dawn and Cody were. Arla called Delsena (I think) and told them that they should head over to the pier. As they were walking down the pier, I saw Dawn’s face. Let’s just say she looked a little less than happy. (Which is weird for Dawn, by the way. She is virtually always upbeat, if not happy.) I asked her what was wrong. She told me that she and Cody had been sitting in a bar for about 20 minutes, waiting for us to set up. I nearly dropped dead. The last thing I wanted to do was to intrude on Dawn and Cody’s wedding day!!! We made sure not to make them wait or anything. I don’t know how the wires got crossed, but they did. I apologized profusely, and they shrugged off the mistake. A day later, I still don’t know how it got screwed up.
To make light of it, I grabbed their hands and skipped down the pier. Cody started singing, “Skipping down Wedding Lane with Candy Cain!” I’m sure we all felt like a bunch of silly idiots, but it was fun to just let some of that energy loose. The San Gennaro Pier was set up perfectly. It was really pretty, and Dawn and Cody were really happy.
Arla instructed Dawn and Cody how to toast the Jamaican way, which gave us all a good laugh. Then, I made the toast. Tryg had written something for me to say, but I honestly couldn’t remember it-- Something about Jimmy Stewart. (It was, by the way, a great toast.) I’ve only given one wedding toast before, when I was Maid of Honor at Charles and Rona’s wedding back in 1999-- And I had known Rona since grade school. I had only known Dawn and Cody for three months. So, I did what I do best: I spoke from the heart. I truly don’t remember what I said-- Something about love knowing no age or number, and that I wished them a lifetime and happiness. Like I said, I spoke from the heart.
Dawn and Cody danced their first dance to Brad Paisley’s song Then, which was totally perfect. There was no CD player on the pier, so Arla had it piped through the entire resort. I must say, it was incredibly romantic-- Dawn and Cody dancing their first dance over the Caribbean Sea as the sun set in the background. I bet they didn’t notice anyone else. At that moment, I knew it was time to go. I collected my things, signaled to the camera crew, and turned to go.
As soon as I turned, Dawn and Cody’s butler’s cell phone popped out of my purse, hit the pier, split in two and bounced into the ocean. There was a collective gasp from everyone around me. I thought Ian was going to jump in after it. Everyone thought it was my camera, rather than the resort’s cell phone. So, when you are walking on the San Gennaro Pier, take a look over the left side where the coral reef is. If you see a cell phone, it’s my fault that it is there. So, I had to wait for Dawn and Cody to sit down for their cake, then explained to them what I did. Dawn cracked up.
Speaking of my own goofs, I kept forgetting about the ring for Cody, which Dawn asked me to hang on to. I must have left it in the room about 4 times. Then, right when I was about to walk to the gazebo for the ceremony, Dawn asked me if I had the ring. It was in my purse. I retrieved the ring and stuck it on my pinky finger so I wouldn’t get. Fortunately, the minister asked me for the ring right before the ceremony started. Thank goodness.
So, after I apologized profusely for the phone, I called Nadine (Dawn and Cody’s butler) to let her know what I did. I really hope that they got their phone replaced. I’m sure that they did. Then, I met Brian Roper, the General Manager of Sandals Grande Ocho Rios, who is an absolute doll. I wish I could have spent more time with him-- Maybe on my next trip there (which will hopefully be the first week of October). After our brief meeting, I headed over to the bar with Wendy, Ian and Arla. A few people recognized me from filming and asked for some photos, which was a lot of fun. Wendy insisted that I try a drink called a hummingbird. Honestly, I really haven’t had a drink since my babies were born last year. Regardless, I agreed. And, boy, am I glad I did! I don’t know what was in it, except for a fresh banana, but it was fabulous. I only had one, though. I was a good girl.
After about an hour, I headed up to Dawn and Cody’s room to see how beautiful everything was set up before they got back from dinner. It was set up beautifully. The room smelled so nice, from the scented candles. There were rose petals everywhere and a bath was drawn. It was so romantic. I know that Dawn and Cody just loved it.