Tag Archives: Jungle Island

Weddapalooza: Saturday, August 20, Part III

19 Sep

The car was packed on the way to Jungle Island, but everyone was so excited that the tight quarters didn’t bother anyone.  As soon as we got there Addam and I headed up the to second floor for our cocktail hour, as it was already underway and we wanted the bridal party to enjoy the reception as much as possible.

Caterers were passing around nine appetizers, but since I’m vegan I could only enjoy the vegetable spring rolls with ginger plum sauce. I hadn’t eaten all day, so I scarfed down a few of them as soon as I got there. Just so everyone knows, our hor d’oeures included:

  • Large fried shrimp with apricot-horseradish sauce
  • Conch fritters with key lime mustard sauce
  • Brie and raspberry en croute
  • Lobster fritters with red pepper aioli
  • Beef empanadas
  • Assorted dim sum with ginger soy sauce
  • Vegetable spring rolls with plum sauce
  • Sesame chicken with oriental ginger sauce
  • Crabmeat turnovers

After welcoming everyone to the reception, Ana pulled Addam and I aside so we could check out the reception room before guests had a chance to make their way in. Everything looked absolutely perfect, and we were very pleased with how everything came together. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was completely blown away.

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Weddapalooza: Saturday, August 20, Part II

14 Sep

I could see droves of brightly colored bridemaids and groomsmen as JoAnn drove me up to Club Paradise in Crandon Park. We dropped Katie, Courtney and Emily off at the site’s entrance, and I tried to bury my head as much as I could to prevent Addam from seeing me before the ceremony. Once we were in the clear and Ana, my wedding planner, had handed me my bouquet, JoAnn drove me around the corner so I could enjoy some air conditioning while waiting for the ceremony to begin.

At that point I hadn’t had a chance to check out the set up, but Ana really did a great job. She tied bushels of baby’s breath around many of the palm trees and a few of the chairs. She added little touches of jade wherever she could and, since it was such a hot day, placed handheld wooden fans at every seat. With the ocean backdrop, I don’t think anyone who came could deny that it was a beautiful ceremony.

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Weddapalooza: Saturday, August 20, Part I (UPDATED!)

7 Sep

I was up late hanging with John and Krysti the night before, so the morning of my wedding came quickly. As soon as I got up and hopped in the shower I gave Emily a call, who arranged to have her Uncle Keith transport Heather and I to the Hilton. (Thank God for Uncle Keith. He was one of the only people who rented a car for the weekend, so he quickly became our personal taxi. All jokes aside, I really don’t know what we would have done without him.)

As soon as we got to the Hilton, the girls (Heather, Emily, Courtney and myself) hopped in JoAnn’s car and headed to a beauty school to get our hair did. Katie met us there shortly after, and by 10:30 or 11 a.m. we were seated and ready to go. JoAnn surprised us with manicure and pedicures, so we definitely got the star treatment.

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One week, seven days, half a fortnight

14 Aug

I just got back from a fabulous art exhibit curated by my bridesmaid Danae and decided that it was time to update you guys with a few more details about the wedding. I’m not going to give away any of the big stuff I have planned, but I thought that a little inside look would help everyone get as excited as I am. I can’t believe that in a week I’ll be a married woman!

The Ceremony

Our Arch

I’m not sure if this is the exact arch we’ll be using, but our’s should be very similar. Addam and I wanted something with lots of flowers, and this was just in our budget. I think it will give the ceremony that extra little pop that it needs to make things memorable. That being said — those are not our chairs. I would never pick baby blue. Our chairs will be wrapped in jade.

Our Bouquets

While I haven’t seen it yet, my bouquet is going to include a mixture of white roses and calla lillies, wrapped together by a bit of brown twine. My maids are going to have similar bouquets, only smaller and without the roses. Addam and his men will wear calla lillie boutonnieres, and our mom’s will both wear white orchid corsages.

The Reception

Our Tables

Addam and I have never been the typical couple, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we’re not going to have the average wedding. We decided to name our tables after tents at Bonnaroo. Upon arriving at Jungle Island, our guests will be escorted to What Table, Which Table, This Table, That Table, The Other Table or Table Where. Addam and I will sit at The Troo Music Table.

While it will probably become very confusing, I love the signs our planner has designed. She really understands our “hippie” nature and found some pieces of wood that she’s decorating with table names. I’m not sure how we’re working them into our table arrangements, but I’m confident that they’re going to look amazing. At the very least — I’m fairly sure it hasn’t been done before.

Our Cake

Like the arch, this is an example of what we will have at our reception and not the actual cake. Ours will include jade details instead of blue and calla lillies instead of whatever flowers were used in the photos. I haven’t discussed flavors, but Addam and I will probably go with a white layer and a chocolate layer so that everyone goes home satisfied.

The Bridesmaids

Our Hair

I hadn’t really thought about what I was going to do with my hair until Kim, Katie’s mom, sent me a fabulous style that I’ve become obsessed with. I always knew that I wanted to wear a big, white flower in my hair, but I hadn’t considered a braid until I saw the photo she sent. I’m arranging to have a stylist meet us at a hotel that Saturday, so I’m hoping everything goes off without a hitch.

While I don’t want any of my maids to have the exact same hairstyle as me, I do want all of us to look unified. For that reason, I’m hoping that all my maids will agree to wear some sort of braid in their hair. I don’t really care what they pick as long as it looks good, but I’ve included a few photos of the type of styles I’ve been considering. (And, since Heather and Emily have special roles and should stand out, I’m hoping that they’ll both agree to wear flowers in their hair as well.)

Even though there is a lot more I could post, it’s important to me that the wedding include a few hidden surprises. I hope that everyone has received their invitation and can join Addam and I we look out at our future together.

“There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.” — Martin Luther, German priest and professor (1483-1546).

Wedding update: 13 days and counting — UPDATED, again!!

7 Aug

I apologize folks! It’s been awhile since I’ve provided you guys with an update on my daily happenings, but I’ve been insanely busy trying to pull a wedding together in less than a month! After countless meetings with the wedding planner, constant texts from the bridesmaids and a photographer who decided to bail on me at the last minute — I’m finally ready to provide the latest news in the Hopkins/Evans wedding. First things first…

The Ceremony

As I’ve said before, the ceremony is going to be at Club Paradise in Crandon Park at Key Biscayne. Since it’s going to be extremely hot, and since no one really cares about the part where you actually get hitched, Addam and I have decided to push for a quick ceremony. (This is no royal wedding folks — so feel free to leave the hymns at home.)

There are, however, two aspects of the ceremony that I am particularly excited about. One is a little touch that I’m hoping will surprise Addam’s family. I’d say more, but I don’t want to ruin anything by giving it away. The other is the vows. Addam and I writing our own, and while I am not nearly finished, I’ve made pretty good progress this weekend. As much as I’m going to hate to ruin Emily and Judy’s makeup, I’m fairly confident that there won’t be a dry eye in the house.

The Reception

After a month of searching, our location is finally set. The event is taking place at Jungle Island, which is a big tourist attraction for those visiting Miami. Guests can enjoy jungle tours and parrot shows during our cocktail hour, which will feature an open bar and nine, NINE, IX, hor d’oeures, including:

  • Large fried shrimp with apricot-horseradish sauce
  • Conch fritters with key lime mustard sauce
  • Brie and raspberry en croute
  • Lobster fritters with red pepper aioli
  • Beef empanadas
  • Assorted dim sum with ginger soy sauce
  • Vegetable spring rolls with plum sauce
  • Sesame chicken with oriental ginger sauce
  • Crabmeat turnovers

After cocktails guests can head into our main reception hall, which should be perfectly suited for the 50-60 guests we’re expecting. Even though I’m sure everyone will be pretty full on appetizers, dinner will include a wild mixed green salad with tomatoes, cucumber and a citrus vinaigrette dressing, a sauteed breast of chicken piccata with lemon-caper sauce, a vegetable medley, and garlic and shallot mashed potatoes. Since I can’t eat anything other than the salad, the wonderful crew at Jungle Island are designing me a meal of my choosing. Any guests looking for a torture-free option can chow down on potato gnocci with marinara, wild rice and steamed veggies. The open bar continues through the entire four-hour reception and includes:

  • Jim Beam
  • Smirnoff
  • Jose Cuervo
  • Beefeater gin
  • Bacardi Silver and Parrot Bay rum
  • Canadian Club rye
  • Dewar’s White Label scotch
  • Budweister
  • Bud Light
  • California red and white wine.

The reception should be pretty fun. Addam and I love a good party, so we’ve put the majority of our effort into making sure that it is the highlight of the night. Our soundtrack is set and, while I’m not going to give anything away, I have to say that we’ve picked the PERFECT song for our first dance. After eight years together Addam and I will finally have a song to call our own, and I can’t think of anything that’s a better fit. It’s modern, it’s old fashioned, it’s sweet and it’s fun. More than anything — it fits us and our relationship. I’m very excited to see everyone’s reaction.

The Bridesmaids

It’s been an effort, but the majority of my maids are finally in dresses. After struggling to get everyone set, I decided to allow each maid to pick their own cut and color — as long as it was bright and vibrant. While I thought that would be original and make everything easier, it’s actually complicated the entire process. If I ever do this again, (and I’m not), I’m picking one dress and forcing my girls into them, like it or not, for better or worse.

That said, I’ve been pretty happy with most of the choices.

As I have it set right now, (and this could definitely change in upcoming weeks, given how things have been working out):

  1. Emily will wear jade and walk with Ben.
  2. Heather will wear coral and walk with Chris.
  3. Katie will wear yellow and walk with James.
  4. Courtney will wear blue and walk with Andrew.
  5. Tati will wear fushia and walk with John.
  6. Stephanie will wear purple and walk with Mike.
  7. Danae will wear jade and walk with Ryan.
Emily (Maid of Honor)

Heather (Matron of Honor)

Katie (In yellow — This is NOT her in the pic.)





The Invites

In another big feat, Addam and I finally got our invites out this week and have even started hearing back from people who are coming. While I know that not many people are going to be able to make it, I sent invites out to anyone and everyone we knew in the hopes that someone might surprise us. In case you haven’t gotten your’s yet, I’m including photos:

While I know it’s short notice, if you’re planning on coming, please RSVP to hopkinar@gmail.com by the end of the week, as we need a final head count for caterers.

Bachelorette Party/Bridal Shower

Thanks to my very fabulous bridesmaids, I’m all set to enjoy a bachelorette party and bridal shower in the days leading up to the wedding.

The bacelorette party will start around 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 18, which should leave us with some time to recuperate! Katie and Emily have been planning a pre-game “Liquor & Lace” party, after which we’ll head out for a pub-crawl before meeting the boys at a strip club. As of right now most of Addam’s men won’t be getting in until Friday night, but he has plenty of friends around here to keep him entertained, I’m sure. 🙂

The bridal shower will be the following afternoon. Addam and I registered at Target, so we’ll hopefully get a few of the things that we need to start our lives together. We only need each other, but anything helps.

And that’s really it folks! I’m sure I’ll have some time between now and the wedding to update, but feel free to email me if you have any questions in the meantime. Addam and I cannot wait to share our big day with all of you.


“You’ll probably say I’m silly to think childish thoughts like these, but I’m so tired of acting tough and I’m gonna do as I please. Let’s get married in a big cathedral by a priest, ’cause if I’m the man you love the most you can say ‘I do’ at least.” — The White Stripes, Hotel Yorba, 2007.