The Wedding and the Hurricane :: When the Storm Hit

If you're just catching up on our wedding story, you can start from the beginning here.

So by this point you will know that we had to move our wedding on the day to a different location because tropical storm Fay was heading our way. In the morning, before wedding party preparations got underway, our bridesmaids and groomsmen packed all the decorations into garbage bags and took them on the back of scooters to the Four Ways Inn, our new venue. When Adam and I arrived and walked into the reception, it was the first time that we had seen the tables and the venue decorated, and it looked so amazing! Everyone did such a wonderful job. No one told our wedding party what to do or where things should go, they just improvised and the result was a dream. My godmother had brought lots of decorations over from the US, our paper tassels were lovingly hand-made, my mum gold-leafed hundreds of shells, and our florist showed her amazing talent for making what I dreamed up, a reality.

Looking back, moving the venue was such a blessing. I mean, aside from the fact that we didn't have tents and tables blow through the windows of the house, it took a lot of pressure off Adam and I, as well as our family. It took the stress of hosting off our shoulders, we didn't have to worry about anything like cleaning up or the safety of our guests because it was all taken care of by our venue!

And how amazing is that wedding cake?!? My wonderfully talented brother made it himself. It took two days and several hours during the reception to pull it off. While everyone else was eating, he was in the kitchen slaving away with sponge and flowers and blueberry jam. You can't even imagine what a catastrophe the venue change could have been for the cake, but Dominic pulled it out of the bag by putting the cake and everything he needed to assemble it into a taxi and rushing it to the venue almost as soon as the ceremony was finished. And also, it was absolutely delicious. We served it for dessert after dinner and it was a hit! 

We had speeches during dinner, which was a random assortment of sushi, oysters, BBQ, pasta, and all sorts of things. The idea was that people would be able to eat what they wanted, whenever they wanted. A sit down dinner with table service is lovely, but we wanted something very informal and that's just the way it turned out. Speeches from family made us tear up with their kind words, while speeches from friends had us laughing from start to finish. If you haven't read Morgan's maid of honour speech you can see it here, and the groomsmen sang a wonderfully hilarious and humiliating song about Adam that had everyone in stitches. I think that's a groomsmen/best man speech that will be very hard to top.

That handsome photo of Scroggi up there serves to highlight our wedding favours! Adam dedicated about six weekends before our wedding to hand-making and painting sugar bowls for our guests. My uncle Julian designs ceramics for all sorts of fancy brands, but he has a small studio in south London where he and Adam slaved for weeks on end to make 70 miniature bowls. We put them in little hand-made cloth bags my mum designed herself and had made in India. Everyone put so much work into making this day special, I think we could have had to relocate to the moon and it wouldn't have mattered - it would have been just perfect either way because of all the effort that so may people put into it. 

Our first dance was to Everywhere I Go by Caitlin Rose. It's always been one of our favourite songs, and considering how much we jet around the world (together and apart), it seemed the perfect fit for our first dance. Also, you can see on the windows in the background that the rain was just beginning....

^^^^ That up there, is what I like to think of as Taylor Swift face - when people are mingling around and suddenly 'Shake it Off' comes on everyone loses their sh*t on the dance floor. We danced for hours as the rain came down and because we just had an ipod and speakers, people could play DJ and put on whatever they wanted. 

The only downside to having a wedding at a hired venue however, is the closing time. By 12:30 they were switching on the lights and we had to head home. But at that point, I don't know who made the decision, but somehow the pool party was back on! When we were planning on having the wedding at the house we asked guests to bring their swimming costumes and a towel so that we could all jump in the pool at the end of the night. Because the venue change was a day-of decision, many guests were still carrying their swimming stuff - so off we went back to the house to continue the party! By this point, the rain had stopped, and everyone was ready for a change of location...

When we got home people were more interested in swimming in the ocean than the pool because it was so much warmer. We swam, drank some more, ate leftover potato salad from the rehearsal dinner the night before, and kept the party going until the wee hours when the rain picked up again. We ordered another fleet of taxis and everyone headed home - by the time the last couple left it was absolutely chucking it down.

Adam and I fell into bed, absolutely exhausted but so happy with the way everything had turned out, but only a couple hours later we woke up to this and a waterfall running through the house.

As it happens, when tropical storm Fay hit Bermuda, it turned into a category two hurricane. The rain that caused everyone to get out of the water was the beginning of the storm hitting the island and escalating into a full blown hurricane. And as you can see from the photos below, it caused some pretty serious damage. 

When Adam and I went back to our venue the next day, roof was completely gone. All of our decorations had blown away and where we had been dancing only a few hours before was flooded. The fans had snapped off and flown away, and miraculously the only thing to survive were our mason jars!

The photo on the left is the areal view of the hurricane over Bermuda, the one on the top right and bottom left is our venue the day after. It's now being torn down and rebuilt!

The funny thing about the hurricane is that it kind of made our wedding more special. The night before we had arranged to meet everyone for brunch, and miraculously it was the only place open and able to serve food the day after the storm - until the roof caved in and flooded the place. But when Adam and I first arrived expecting the restaurant to be empty, everyone was already there, chatting away about how amazing the storm was. Despite the fact that most people were without power, mobile reception and any news on their canceled flights (there was a hole in the roof of the airport) - the storm had brought people together in a way that nothing else could. None of us could believe that, only a few hours before, we had been swimming in the ocean as a hurricane was moving in! Some peoples doors blew off, others had trees in their swimming pool, but everyone had a story to tell.

Adam and I spent the rest of the day driving around the island checking on people and trying to locate others, which was made all the more difficult because all the traffic lights were down and many of the roads were blocked. It all felt a bit post-apocalyptic. That night we met up at The Pickled Onion on Front Street for one last drink with friends and family. It was the only place we could find wifi and it was so wonderful to see all of our friends form different countries adding each other on facebook, promising to keep in touch and swapping hurricane stories.

Hurricane Fay made our wedding special in a way that nothing else could, it changed our plans and made the whole day so much better than it would have been if we'd planned it ourselves. I think Adam and I are living proof that it really doesn't matter how much you stress over the planning and the little things, what will happen is going to happen and on the day you just have to let it all go and lean into all the fun that's happening around you. 

 

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The Wedding and the Hurricane :: Portraits and Cocktails

Have you read part two of our wedding story? Now let's get on with part three.

After the ceremony was complete, we invited guests out onto the balcony for some cocktails and a chance to mingle. The sky was getting darker and we knew we wouldn't have much time, but thankfully luck was on our side in so many ways. Especially when I had the foresight to make a bestie out of someone who has built a career around the theater - so when I said to Morgan the day before the wedding, "hey, would you mind being MC? I don't really know what to tell you to say. You don't mind, do you?". Whether she minded or not, she totally nailed it! She's such a pro.

I feel like we only chatted to guests for about three minutes before I felt a little drop of rain. We had such grand plans for our reception, there was even a snowcone machine where people could make their own boozy snowcones! But I knew that if we didn't get our pictures done and capture the memories around my grandparents property, I would never forgive myself. 

I asked Olivia what she thought and she reckoned it was a good idea to get going, so though I never got to finish my bubbly I think the pictures we got were totally worth it. And really, stormy skies are way better for photos than brilliant sunshine any day - yet another reason that the approaching storm was actually a blessing. 

Let's face it, taking our wedding photos was always going to be a bit of a silly affair, wasn't it?

See that photo up there, the one of Adam and I dancing on the lawn? Only a few hours before that lawn was set up for a dinner for 68 people. Tents, lights, a dance floor, the tables and chairs were up... everything was ready. But tropical storm Fay had other ideas. 

Ok, I know this is super embarrassing, but I used to sit on this dock when I was little, blasting Backstreet Boys "The One" and dreaming of the man I would one day marry. I think I'm a lot more sentimental than I would like to admit sometimes.

By the time we got back up to the house, most of our guests were gone. Many of them said if they hadn't known we had planned on a different sort of wedding day, they would have assumed it was always meant to be like this - but many of them were still carrying bathing suits, as we were meant to have a post-wedding midnight pool party. But instead of ushering guests down to the lawn, they all had to hop into taxis and drive across the island to a new venue. 

Tomorrow is the final part of the story. There's lots of dancing to Taylor Swift, midnight adventures and all the destruction that occurs when an island prepares for a tropical storm when what is actually heading their way is a hurricane. 

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The Wedding and the Hurricane :: the Ceremony

Did you read part one of this story? You did? Ok good. On to the rest...

By the time the actual ceremony came around, Adam and I had already been through the most stressful part of the day. With a last minute venue change and all the organisation that required, getting married seemed like kind of no big deal. 

We were so lucky in that the storm stayed off the island long enough for Adam and I to actually get married at my grandfathers house - the whole reason why we wanted to get married in Bermuda in the first place! The area we had chosen for our ceremony is a little outdoor courtyard, and if it had started raining we all would have been soaked. I didn't think about the fact that it could start pouring at any minute, I just kind of went with it.

I was pretty nervous walking down the aisle. Months of work and preparation, the events of the day, everyone's hard work - all of it was going into this one moment and while I wasn't freaking out, my mind was buzzing.

But I had to concentrate on not falling down the stairs, and by the time I got to Adam and saw how nervous he was, I calmed down. I made sure I took time to look at everyone who was there, and really remember the moment. Sylvia, a family friend from when we lived in Bermuda all those years ago, married Adam and I and it was such a comfort to have someone there who we were comfortable with and who knew us. 

I love that last photo of Eve, Sara Jane and Katie looking all emotional! The skies continued to darken all day, but I'm happy to say that our ceremony and cocktails afterwards weren't rained out. And we managed to have our wedding photos taken before the storm came through! They're the best part too, and I can't wait to share them tomorrow!

Oh and also, my mum did this reading, and Sara Jane read a passage from Lemony Snicket :)

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Keeping My Head

I arrived a few days ago in Bermuda and have slowly been adjusting to the heat and the time difference. It's been lovely so far and it's always nice to be back on the island, and to finally be getting ready for the wedding. It feels like we've been waiting for this forever!

Getting married in paradise is wonderful, but a wedding is stressful no matter what the location. I'm trying to make sure I do a few things each day that are helping me keep my head.

My Grandparent's house has some pretty amazing views over the creek so I'm making sure to get in some yoga by the ocean whenever I can - followed by a swim in the creek to cool off. 

My mum also has me hooked on this smoothie she's been drinking lately, it's absolutely delicious:

- blueberries

- spinach

- greek yogurt

- flax seed

- a splash of water

- a splash of milk

It may not sound that exciting, but it sets you up for the day like nothing else. That, an apple and a couple of coffees and I've had enough energy for all the admin that needs doing.  

Daily trips to the beach! That's a must. Even if it's just a quick visit between appointments with the florists and the caterers, taking just a moment to play in the waves is wonderful. I swear the ocean had healing powers.  

Taking some time to get my camera out. I've figured out that the two things that make me happiest and keep me calm are yoga, and taking some photos. It seems like an odd combination even to me, but whatever works, right?

These are the thinks keeping me calm in the days running up to the wedding - I just hope I can keep making the time for them!  

Bermuda :: the Last Few Days

I wanted to pop the last few photos of our Bermuda trip up on here because they are so sunny and warm, and make me feel so happy. Sunshine and sand always makes me feel happy! I won't get into the details of what we got up to while we were there because it was mostly wedding planning, and no one likes a blog post about to-do lists.

But today it's sunny in London and I'm wearing a bodysuit from asos that is quite strappy and low-cut (it's this one) - I noticed as I was walking to work this morning that I felt a lot happier and a lot more free having a bit more of my skin exposed to the elements. Maybe it's because my vitamin D intake got a big boost or maybe it's because the sunshine is just a mood-boosting machine, but whatever the reason, it's an amazing feeling.

Wouldn't it be great to live somewhere where the sun shines a more often than not? For some of my favourite instagrammers it's already summer where they are (mostly in the US), and they often talk about going to the beach first thing in the morning for a swim, or walking around their back gardens bare-foot in the morning to make themselves feel a bit more grounded before they start their day. Wouldn't it be great if the UK was a bit more friendly for those of us who love the feel of the sun on our skin?

Don't get me wrong, I love the rain and London's moody, stormy, stay in doors wrapped in a blanket kind of weather. But I would love a bit more sun. And daily access to the beach? That's the dream.

Bermuda and the First Few Days

Bermuda is such a peaceful place, there's green everywhere and a constant breeze blowing across the island. At night there's a chorus of tree frogs that never stops and the humidity wraps itself around you like a thick blanket - some people hate that but I absolutely love it. When we first arrived on the island on a Friday night there wasn't much that we could do, things get pretty quiet on the Island over the Easter weekend. We mostly went to the beach, ate amazing fresh fish dinners and stuffed ourselves with easter eggs.

Adam had heard so much about my Grandparent's house over the years that he couldn't wait to see it. My Grandfather was an engineer and the house was a real project for him, it's a bit of a labyrinth of cupboards and strategically placed corridors. When I was younger I only saw the house as something to climb and be explored, it was my favourite place to be because I loved it, but walking around with Adam and seeing his amazement at the thought that went into building it really opened my eyes to what a brilliant man my Grandfather was. I mean, I always knew he was brilliant but I never really saw it from an outsider's perspective.

I made Adam promise that he wouldn't go exploring without me so on our first morning there he waited impatiently for me to wake up. While he was making me a coffee I hauled myself out of bed and we went down to the dock in our pyjamas. We watched some fish jumping in the creek and explored the different levels of the gardens that in themselves are a bit of a labyrinth too.

Being back was both really amazing and really difficult. Holding a wedding there is going to be the start of a new chapter and I am so excited for that, but I'm a creature of habit and part of me wants to stubbornly preserve the past. But no one can really do that, not unless they want to become a crazed Mrs Havisham kind of character, roaming the rooms at midnight in a tattered wedding dress.

So, if one day I change the name of my blog from Nishaantishu to The Mrs Havisham Diaries, please somebody, stage an intervention? Thanks. 

Bermuda in Numbers

adamandfreyaonthebeach

2 :: the amount of times I watched Frozen on the flight over.

2 :: the amount of times I watched Frozen on the flight home... I know, I know...

1 :: the amount of times I cried while eating a cheese sandwich and watching Saving Mr Banks. I'm all about the inflight entertainment.

4 :: caterers interviewed + 15 :: (roughly) heart palpitations when we received a quote from our favorite caterers. We have most definitely been naive about how much weddings cost. 

3 :: the amount of times we went swimming in the ocean. Which is pretty good for Bermuda in April, it can be chilly! 

47 :: sunset photos taken on my iPhone.  

9 :: different kinds of wines tasted for the wedding. For the recourd, an affordable American wine does not taste the same as an affordable European wine.  

16 :: (roughly) the amount of ice creams tasted to go with our wedding cake. Give me an ice cream tasting over a wine tasting any day of the week!

4 :: the amount of times my mum and I went into town to do chores and ended up stress eating frozen yoghurt or sushi.

1 :: evening spent in fits of laughter over dinner.  

110 :: new freckles gained in the Bermuda sunshine.