Our Wedding Photos: Before, During & After Our Destination Wedding

by Lynnette

beach wedding, cruises, destination weddings, honeymoon, love stories, wedding photos

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Jim and I got married in 1999.

We choose a destination wedding, or a weddingmoon — a.k.a. a wedding and a honeymoon all combined into one!

  • We got married barefoot on the beach in the Bahamas.
  • We boarded a Carnival cruise ship to get there.
  • We invited our friends and family — whoever could make it went.
  • We went on a lot of fun excursions as part of the cruise experience, and we also went to Disney World in Orlando right after our cruise.

These photos tell the story of all the fun that was had before, during and after our wedding…


We Almost Missed The Boat For Our Own Wedding!

We almost missed our own wedding, due to car troubles.
Car troubles on the 8-hour drive from Pensacola to Cape Canaveral (near Orlando) made us wonder if me might have to leave Jim’s Ford Explorer (with 100,000 miles) along the roadside and call a taxi to get us to the port on time. The engine kept losing power and we couldn’t get past 25 mph on the highway!!!



Our Fantasy Turned Reality

This was our first photo on board the ship. They take it right as you're walking on.
We boarded the S.S. Fantasy on the Carnival Cruise Lines on December 5, 1999. We had sent e-mails (or phone calls) to our closest friends and relatives inviting them to “join Lynnette & Jim for the ‘party of the century’ on a 4-day cruise to the Bahamas where we will exchange our wedding vows.”



On The Good Ship Lollipop

Cruise photo from the deck of the ship prior to setting sail for the Bahamas.
This was right before we set sail. It’s such an exciting moment when you’re finally on board the ship, your belongings are safely stowed in your room, and you’ve managed to leave all your cares on land. Everyone was in a state of “giddiness” in these last moments before the ship actually pushed away from the the shore.



Don’t Rock The Boat

Jim's first-ever cruise. Notice the gray wristbands...
This was Jim’s first cruise, and he took every precaution to make sure he wasn’t going to let motion sickness ruin it for him. Instead of taking Dramamine, he bought these (highly recommended!) gray sweater-like wristbands with a tiny button at the spot that rests on your pulse point. He doesn’t do well with roller coasters and other amusement park rides, but he did great on our cruise! (Some of our other guests didn’t fare so well though…)



With This Ring…

Lynnette posing for the traditional cruise photo. Notice what's on her left hand?
This was my second cruise. The first was less than a year earlier when I went on a cruise with my friend Suzie to the Western Caribbean aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship (highly recommended). Notice the ring on my left hand?… I had been wearing my wedding ring for many months before the wedding — which led to a very funny situation during the upcoming wedding ceremony!



Cheers To You

Jim and Lynnette's good friend, Suzie, have already found the ship's bar.
I was sooo glad that my good friend Suzie (from all the way back in grade school days) was able to go on the cruise with us. Here, Suzie and Jim had no problem locating the ship’s bar — just minutes after we boarded.



We’re All In The Same Boat…

Lynnette's hanging out with her mom and Jim in Kay's cabin.
When my mom signed on to go on the cruise with us, that meant the wedding was “on” in my mind. If she wouldn’t have been able to go, I’m not sure I could’ve gone through with it — it wouldn’t have seemed “official”. We were fortunate that so many friends and relatives were actually able to join us!



The (Other) Happy Couple

Dad and his bride of several years, Betty.
What a surprise when my dad agreed to go on the cruise with us! He was a trooper. This was the first cruise for both Dad and his wife Betty. He had a ball… spent most of his time in the casino, and sampling all the cuisine at the many restaurants open 24/7. She got bit by the motion-sickness bug, and spent much of the time in her cabin.



We’re Starting To Look Alike

Dad and Jim were the only two guys in our cruise party.
…your traditional “first night at dinner on the ship” photo.



Games People Play

Trying our hand at some blackjack before calling it a night.
Late one night, after dinner, we all headed to the casino to try our hand at blackjack. You win some, you lose some…



Something Old, New, Borrowed & Blue

Suzie surpised Lynnette with gifts!
Suzie surprised me with her very own version of something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. She had wrapped different items that signified each of the 4 categories. Better yet, each of the items had something to do with our many years of friendship together. For example, “something new” was a Scrabble board game (to replace mine that was decades old at this point).



Scrabble Anyone?

Opening one of the gifts Suzie had wrapped as something old, new, borrowed, and blue.
Suzie and I have a long-standing tradition of playing Scrabble. For a few years in college, we even played Scrabble on New Year’s Eves… and at bars! Seriously, there was a bar in Bloomington (where we went to college – IU) whose table tops featured different full-sized games that you could play while you drank. We even invented our own versions of Scrabble, like: “Only use words that pertain to IU.” or “Only use words that pertain to our friendship.” It was fun!





A Celebration Of Love

Surprise wedding shower that took place on the cruise ship.
We were both completely surprised to find a surprise wedding shower had been planned by my mom on board the cruise ship. In my mom’s cabin, she had decorated it all with pink and white crepe paper ribbons, along with drinks, snacks, and plenty of presents! Everyone who had come along on the cruise with us crammed into that tiny little cabin to watch us open our gifts.



Mom’s Seeing Stars

Lynnette's mom wearing the cheap sunglasses we gave everyone on the cruise.
My mom was a sport. She played along and wore the cheap sunglasses that we gave everyone to wear on the cruise.



Silliness Runs In The Family

Lynnette's aunt Emily and cousin Kristina.
My aunt Emily (left) and cousin Kristina (right) were acting crazy on the cruise ship.



Sisters, Kay and Carolyn

Lynnette's mom, Kay, and her sister, Carolyn on our wedding cruise.
We were thrilled that my mom’s sister, my aunt Carolyn was able to join us on the cruise!



Like Salt & Pepper…

Lynnette's dad and Jane a long-time family friend at dinner aboard the cruise ship.
These 2 were as different as night and day, but they always seemed to get along. Jane is a good friend of my mom, and she did a fine job of keeping up her end of the conversation around my dad — despite the fact that he was difficult to “read” sometimes!



Snorkeling In The Bahamas

Jim and Lynnette posing for a snorkeling photo.
I  had seen a photo similar to this in a cruise catalog, so we tried it ourselves. Not bad…



Water Logged

Jim and Lynnette after a full day of snorkeling in the Bahamas.
After a full day of snorkeling in the Bahamas. We took a break and rested on this log. By now, we were also freezing! The temps weren’t all that warm in the Bahamas in December (especially if the wind was blowing, and especially if you went in the water).



…a Spinster?!?!

Lynnette had to verify in the Bahemian Courts that she was a spinster.
The morning of our wedding, I had to visit the Bahamian government to sign papers stating that I was legally still a spinster (a.k.a. never been married). Our wedding planner (who lived in the Bahamas and was sub-contracted by the company in the States that we used to prepare all the details of our wedding and cruise) picked us up in her car at the ship’s port in Nassau. She drove us downtown Nassau to a couple different offices where we had to pay our fees and sign some papers. The most embarrassing was this one… the form literally said “spinster”!



I’m Too Sexy For My Glasses

Lynnette's dad trading one pair of sunglasses for another.
I can’t believe my dad agreed to wear these fun shades in place of his standard sunglasses on the beach for our wedding.



Proud Parents

Lynnette's mom and dad exploring the hotel lobby while waiting for us to arrive at the beach.
The proud parents of the bride posed for some photographs while waiting for us to arrive on the beach for the wedding ceremony.



Live, Love, and Laugh

Dad and Betty inside the Radisson Cable Beach Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
Dad and his wife, Betty, had fun on the cruise. Here, they’re waiting for us to arrive at the beach.



I Think I Need A Drink!

Lynnette getting ready in our cabin on board the ship.
Despite the fact that we were both relatively carefree and laid back before, during, and after the wedding, as our last minutes inside the cabin ticked away, we became a little anxious and just wanted to be on the beach already! Jim spent the time looking out the window of our cabin at all the people getting on and off our boat. I spent the time deciding whether or not I should have a drink. Even though we had brought our own beer on board (to save on cruise expenses), in the end, we didn’t even open one of them! We had a few happy hour specials out on the ship’s deck, but we really didn’t drink much on our wedding cruise.



Everyone Needs A Hand To Hold On To

Bride and groom walking hand-in-hand down the 'aisle' to the beach.
We skipped down the brick walkway like characters from “The Wizard of Oz”. Our aisle was more of an “isle”. And our church was more of a “beach”. But we were in heaven on our wedding day!



Your Love’s So Bright, We Gotta Wear Shades

Our wedding guests waiting for us to arrive on the beach.
Here’s what greeted us at the end of that brick road on the beach: our friends all decked out in cheap sunglasses! While we spent extra time getting ready in our cabin, our wedding guests rented a limo and explored Paradise Island a bit. Then, they donned their cheap sunglasses and waited for the bride & groom to arrive on Cable Beach in the Bahamas.



Barefootin It!

Barefoot on the beach in the bahamas!
One of the first things I wanted to do once I reached the beach was to kick off my shoes. Jim did too. There’s nothing like having a memory of the sand between your toes, the smell of sea air, the seagulls flying overhead, and the sun setting low — on your wedding day!



It’s The Little Things…

Saying 'I do' at our wedding in the Bahamas.
I believe in little things
Like you and me,
And just how big
Little things can be.



Signing Our Life Away

Signing all the official papers that signified we were now married.
There were so many forms to sign in front of our witnesses (my mom and dad) and the preacher.



Walkin On Sunshine

Our wedding party standing on the beach at sunset.
We timed everything just perfectly! Minutes after the wedding ceremony had ended, the sun had finally dipped below the sea. Here, we captured a few last-minute sunset pictures on the beach with the colorful skies in the background.



Here’s To You… And To Me

Toasting to our future together.
Much to my dismay, the professional photographer (that had been lined up by the wedding planner) insisted on taking primarily “traditional” wedding photos. I had asked him to concentrate on taking more candid shots than posed shots, but he didn’t seem too comfortable with that. Luckily, we had given each of our guests a disposable camera to take photos throughout the entire wedding, so we ended up with some really “fun” photos (in addition to the boring ones like this)!



A Mother And Daughter Reunion

Lynnette and Kay at the gazebo following the wedding ceremony.
My mom was the perfect mother of the bride! — not too pushy, but pushy enough. Not too involved, but involved enough. And relaxed enough to allow herself to have fun on this cruise vacation! (And, she was the perfect surprise party hostess too. Thanks, Mom!)



Toasting To A Future Of Sunsets

Toasting the bride and groom.
To the Bride and Groom:

May your voyage through life
be as happy and as free
as the dancing waves
on the deep blue sea

Our wish for you, Lynnette and Jim, is that your love endure beyond the last sunset.
Mom and Dad



Friends Are Our Chosen Family

Childhood friends, Lynnette and Suzie.
I was thrilled when Suzie said she was going on the cruise with us! She’s the one friend who’s been there through all the years, like family.



Barefoot On The Beach In The Bahamas

Walking on the beach after the wedding.
The perfect way to end the night… barefoot on the beach where we said, “I do.”



Wish You Were Here…

From Lynnette's scrapbook... a home-made postcard to Jim's parents, who couldn't make the cruise.
The only thing missing on our wedding cruise was: Jim’s parents. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get away at that time, and they were sorely missed by all.



They Made It All Possible

Our on-site wedding planner and photographer -- both residents of the Bahamas.
The company we worked with in the States (via e-mail), sub-contracted with these 2 Bahemian residents: our on-site wedding planner and professional photographer. They were great! We were really lucky to have such easy-going professionals to work with in the Bahamas.



Goodbye Singlehood, Hello Married Life

Leaving the ship at the end of our wedding cruise with Kay.
(We’re all squinting because it was sunny out there!) Now that the cruise has ended, the fairytale begins. After a goodbye hug from my mom, we were off to Disney World for the day. Not that we needed another honeymoon! But it just seemed like the right thing to do.



I’m Goin To Disney World!

At Disney World, where they were preparing for the year 2000.
We had a couple days to kill before we had to be back at work in Pensacola, so we drove 45 minutes from Cape Canaveral to Orlando — to visit some of our old stomping grounds. (I lived in Orlando for 6 years. Jim lived in Jacksonville for a few years.) We went to our favorite Orlando restaurants & bars, and then we went to Disney’s Magic Kingdom for the day.



Down On Main Street

Waiting for the Main Street Parade at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
All the times we’ve been to Disney World, we usually rush like crazy to do all the rides we want to do before they close. But this time, we had the luxury of spending a relaxing day at the Magic Kingdom. There weren’t a lot of people in the park either, so we got to ride everything we wanted without much wait. And, we even had time to sit down and enjoy the Main Street Parade.



Our Last Bit Of Cash

A twenty dollar bill. Photo by Lynnette at FunTimesGuide.com

We had spent all our money — down to our last $20 bill!



And They Lived Happily Ever After…

After our day at Disney World and on our way back to Pensacola.
In addition to running out of money, we were also anxious to see how Jim’s Ford Explorer was going to hold up on the 8 hour drive back to Pensacola. So we were off to start our life as husband and wife in Pensacola, Florida.