OUR LOVE STORY

It’s been a challenging few weeks. We’ve lost some dear friends and family but we still have so much to be grateful for. Ricardo and I celebrated nine years of marriage this past Thursday (May 14, 2020). I know right I can hardly believe it, time sure does fly. Before I get into that I’m going to share a little about our wedding story. We were married on the beautiful island of St. Thomas, May 14, 2011.

I picked the location, the idea grew on Ricardo as the plans started to come together. Honestly, I felt like it was the most diplomatic thing we could do as far as our families were concerned. I’m originally from NY and his people are from the south (MD, NC, TX), so someone one was going to have to travel. So I picked a neutral territory, St. Thomas. Yes of course I could have picked a state side location, but how much fun would that really have been?!

OUR LOVE STORY

Our wedding day. OUR LOVE STORY
Man, was I skinny geesh…

In all seriousness we met a number of objectives with that location- neutral ground as far as family travel was concerned, built-in honeymoon, and an amazing location for our guest to wine down after the wedding; it was at an all-inclusive resort. What I didn’t anticipate was just how inept the US Postal Service is/was. Let me explain. I’m a planner and in my planning I thought I could offset some of the shipping cost (which start to add up with a destination wedding) by shipping a few key items for the wedding in advance. Proactive, forward-thinking right, hold your applause I’m not finished.

One of the key items I shipped was my wedding dress and my daughters flower girl dresses. Before you question my intellect regarding not holding on to one THEE most important dress I’d ever wear, let me explain. I’ll be doing a lot of explaining. My dress was very heavy and long. I didn’t want to risk it getting damaged in anyway, not in anyone’s’ overhead bin, captain’s closet, nada. I didn’t have time for anyone mistakenly ripping it or TSA saying something stupid like I couldn’t carry it on, so I decided to ship it, well in advance.

Also, I had a one-year-old at the time.

So flying with her a huge dress, baby bag and some more stuff wasn’t my idea of a good time. Of course Ricardo was with me but traveling with a toddler is just stressful for everybody. Peace of mind was priceless to me at that point, so off the dress went. I did not ship the dress a week or two ahead of the wedding I shipped it off at the end of February, let’s say the beginning of March just to be fair. Several ahead weeks should get anything within the US and it’s respective territories to it’s respective destination in time right?! Wrong!!

My dress arrived at the resort 3 weeks after my wedding. I learned it would not arrive after talking to my wedding planner the day before we were suppose to fly out. No she  didn’t advise me not to ship anything in bulk (I shipped a large box) to the island because it takes a minimum of 12 weeks to arrive no matter what the post office advertises or claims.

She was great in every other respect, she pivoted when the rain begin to fall, upgraded us to better location, found flowers at the last minute, but never mentioned don’t ship anything important down especially bulk items. No one ever mentioned, suggested, implied, inferred, or insinuated the dress would not arrive in a timely fashion contrary. I looked into suing the post office I was so upset. Suing the US postal service is a futile endeavor, many have tried, many have failed.

Why did I use the post office you ask?!

I was balling on a budget and they were the most cost-effective. I asked the obvious question(s), will this get there in time? Are you sure? I was assured it would arrive in time by the post office staff and when I called the customer service line. I did my due diligence. However, it did not arrive in time. Nothing I researched indicated my parcel wouldn’t arrive in time. I was in tears, completely inconsolable, for the entire flight down and most of the day before the wedding.

But as I said I’m a planner. During the early stages of wedding planning, I ordered a dupe (aka knock-off) of my actual dress hoping it would look like the real thing but it didn’t quite measure up to my standards. We purchased the authentic version but I still kept the dupe.

In my grief and anguish I forgot all about the back-up dress. I was a mess when I realized my dress wasn’t going to be there; an absolute mess!!! I just knew I had to get there so I packed everything else we had to bring with us and we flew out. So what did I get married in? The back-up dress. But how? My dear sweet, bestie, Amanda brought the back-up dress and the dresses for my girls (their dress were also in the box).

She flew down later than us and thank God she did, otherwise it would have been a true disaster.

Hind insight is always 20/20 when you look back at it, but of all the things that went wrong and quite a few things went wrong the day of the wedding as well, the one thing I got right was me marrying my very best friend on a beautiful island, in front of my family and friends. My granny even made it. At the end of the day that’s all that really mattered. Not the dress, not the flowers, not the cake. All that mattered was us.

And after nine years of marriage I’d do it all over again. No, I would not ship the dress.  I’d probably wear the dress on the plane if I had to do it over again. I’d marry my husband again for sure. No marriage is perfect, we fuss and fight, which is totally normally in any truly healthy relationship. You’re not always going to agree that’s just a fact. If the thought of divorcing your spouse doesn’t cross your mind at least once during your entire marriage, it ain’t real. For us, the good times most certainly out number the bad times, by a long shot. We genuinely enjoy each others company. We have a legit friendship. He’s my buddy and I’m his.

Being friends first is what helps our marriage thrive. We look out for each others best interest, PERIOD. If you’re always looking out for one another, you can’t loose. If I ever had to give any unsolicited marital advice that would be at the core of it; develop a friendship.  If you don’t already have one, develop one. If you have one maintain it, nourish, and cherish it.

I’d also suggest the following:

  1. Get a hobby, you need something of your own so you don’t get lost in your spouse or children.
  2. Have your own set of friends, a shared group is cool, but get your own friends.
  3. Don’t have your family/friends all up in your business. Counsel is essential at times. Just make sure you’re getting it from a reliable, objective, and wise source.
  4. Keep the romance a live, get pretty for each other. Do your hair, shave your beard, put on pants.
  5. Have a date night once a month (at a minimum), pick her up, bring her flowers, open the door for her. Be the desert after the date. Remind him who he married.
  6. Kick them kids to the curb  often if you have them. One or ten evenings away from them at any age ain’t gonna hurt nobody.
  7. Last but certainly not least keep God in your marriage. A three fold cord is far harder to break than two. I’m a believer sorry, not sorry.

Us Now-The photo shoot and dinner

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I couldn’t let a little pandemic stop us from celebrating.

Watch the video above for a recap of the days events. Of course I had to “make it fashion” for our anniversary shoot. I found the cutest slip-on sneakers for us to wear. What you see before you is a special edition Magnum PI inspired Hawaiian print slip-on by Seavees.

Seavees is a California based casual sneaker company. I’m an 80’s baby so these sneakers spoke to my little soul. The customer service at Seavees is impeccable. I initially ordered the wrong size so I attempted to make a change but couldn’t because my shoes already shipped. They didn’t see my email attempting to change the order before shipping the sneakers so they graciously refunded the shipping. Now that’s good customer service.

My blazer is from Zara. I love me a statement blazer and nobody does affordable statement pieces like Zara. This blazer had a matching pair of shorts but they sold out before I could purchase a pair. This blazer is no longer available but Asos and Zara are always a good place to start for something this edgy. My jeans are from AFRM. I love me a good pair of distressed jeans. I caught these on SALE, SALE. AFRM is another California based company, what is it with me and Cali??? They have the cutest bodysuits and dresses. They have their own stand alone site but you can find their pieces at Nordstrom’s as well.

I decided to cook dinner because it’s not something I do often.

Ricardo is the chef around these parts. To be clear I can cook, I just don’t like doing it. He seems to enjoy it, who am I to deny him his black boy joy. Although I’m sure he’d like a little less joy at times. I most certainly could have ordered a meal but I thought he’d really appreciate a home cooked meal by his wife. The girls helped me decorate and prepare the meal. Sanaa even made crab cakes, they were pretty good for her first try. She was also the photographer for our photo shoot.

OUR LOVE STORY
He likes seafood I cooked seafood

Our beautiful signage was custom made by the talented folks at KobasicCreations. They are a great family owned business with Etsy shop as well a stand alone website. The can make just about any kind of sign you want. Great customer service and my sign was well packaged so there was no chance it would be damaged in transit.

We ended the evening the same way we started it nine years ago in a battle, an air hockey battle to be exact. On our first date we played a round of air hockey, I won. He’s beaten me several times since but I will have the first victory forever!!! I was so fortunate to find a table air hockey table at Nordstrom Rack, go figure right. The things they have at Nordstrom Rack. We had an amazing evening. I think I did good this year. Hopefully we can do something really nice like go outside for our ten year anniversary, what a thrill that will be.

Love ya… Mean it…

-Andrea

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One thought on “OUR LOVE STORY

  1. Anything for my two dear friends! It was my pleasure to be able to help make your day memorable!

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