They gave each other a smile with a future in it. Ring Lardner

I have now entered a new stage in my life. I am a mother in law. Big changes are ahead as I see my daughter take her place and build her own family.

The wedding at Iberostar Jamaica was fabulous. The day started out with a light rain in the morning. So happy my daughter got her shower of blessings but it did not impact the ceremony on the beach.

We started getting ready early with hair and makeup. I wore false eyelashes for the first time. My daughter had eye lash extensions so the makeup artist said the false eyelashes could go on someone else. We had all day to get ready and we still seemed rushed at the end.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures but a lot of pictures were taken I will have access to. The dress was a challenge to take to Jamaica. We finally decided to vacuum seal it and stuff it in a carryon bag. With baited breath I asked my daughter how the dress fared when we arrived at the hotel at 11:00 pm which should have been about 6:00 but our flight was delayed. “I haven’t opened it yet,” she says.

We were starving so although I didn’t want to, we left the dress for the morning. We went to eat at the midnight buffet. By the time we got there it was just scraps left. The Chef came over to us and said, “I’m going to cook up some lobster for you guys.” In about 20 minutes he cooked up lobster in a teriyaki sauce.

The next morning with fear and trepidation we opened the carry on case and released the dress. It needed steaming but that was the way to carry it down. I thought the seamstress that did the alterations had done this before but she had seen the dresses released from vacuum packing not vacuum packed one herself. I recommend it, if you have a “big” dress to carry to a destination wedding, vacuum pack it. The plane was full and “the dress” had to be carryon.

If nothing else arrived in Jamaica “the dress” needed to. No luggage was lost from any of the guests. Everyone arrived safe and sound and had a lovely time.

Happiness [is] only real when shared Jon Krakauer

A shout out to Iberostar Jamaica. We stayed at The Rose Hall Beach the lowest level of the three. Some say this is the fun level and we had fun, especially the young folk who regularly got about three hours of sleep per night. The staff was fabulous, friendly and accommodating. The beach was great. We all ate too much food. Lighter fare at home and the gym will take care of the pounds I put on. The laundry steamed my daughters dress and brought it to the room she was dressing in the morning of the wedding. I carried a steamer just to be safe but we didn’t need it.

The bridesmaids in coral dresses against the beach were beautiful. I haven’t seen the pictures the photographer took but I expect them to be great. The Groom and groomsmen were handsome in grey pants and grey shirts with turquoise bow ties. We wrapped the bridesmaid’s bouquets in turquoise ribbon to match the bow ties.

Are there a few things we would do different? Of course, we left the flowers to the last minute and we didn’t need to. There is something about the last minute flurry I must like. I always seem to have last minute things to do and maybe I would feel lost if that wasn’t the case.

Two of the charger plates we used for the centre pieces broke but we carried super glue and the wedding department glues them together. They set up everything according to my daughter’s vision. We had a private reception for three hours with a DJ and then changed and went to the disco till 3:00am.

I recommend a destination wedding, it was so much fun. Wedding and vacation all in one. No wonder destination weddings are on the rise. For parents of the bride and groom it was less stressful than it would have been if we had to accommodate our guests with food and transportation etc at home.

Did I cry at the wedding? I thought I would, but I didn’t. I thought I would cry when I gave my speech. When I was speaking to random people telling them we were in Jamaica for my daughter’s wedding I would feel a tear in my eye and a catch in my voice. Weird isn’t it, it’s always the little things that get me. The big things I’m ready for. Putting the veil on my daughter was emotional, we kept it together. We couldn’t ruin her makeup that early.

They are off to a great start. The support from friends and family has been amazing. The rest is up to them. The memories we all made this week are priceless. So blessed!

Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that’s a real treat.

Joanne Woodward