* O primeiro blog do Aaron.
Esse eh o post que eu pedi pra ele escrever falando sobre o casamento. Como ele nao sabe ser “direto ao ponto”, escreveu nada mais nada menos que 4 paginas!!! Mas ficou bem legal. Em vez de falar soh sobre o dia do casamento, ele falou um pouco sobre tudo, e as impressoes dele sobre toda a experiencia! Pro pessoal que nao le Ingles, mil desculpas, mas rolou uma preguica mor de traduzir… Um tradutor on line deve ficar meio tosco, mas melhor que nada, certo?
Adriana asked me to write a few words about the wedding and my personal experiences with it. Knowing me, this will be more than a few words but hey, it’s a big event, right?
Before we get to the wedding, let’s start with the flight there. We get to London City airport with all of our luggage and Adriana carrying her wedding dress high above her head. Not only was I never allowed to see the dress, but when I held it for her I wasn’t allowed to touch the outer covering (in case I found out what it was made of) and I also wasn’t allowed to look at it when she had bright light behind her, in case I could see the silhouette of the dress!!
We checked in, with a great deal of patience, with a girl from Air France that it must have been her first day on the job!! After arguments over us sitting together, and the amount of luggage we were allowed to take, we were on the flight.
The layover in Paris was about … 15 minutes!! We ran from the time we got off the plane until the time we get on the next plane, and never had time to go to customer service and fight with them about the two of us sitting together. Instead, we got on the plane and the stewardess helped us out by getting some guys to move so we could sit together on our flight to Rio.
Our last hour of the flight, I had concerns over my passport (what a great time to double-check your visa!) When I was in London last year, I had purchased a five year visa and yet the one on my passport looked like it was 90 days. We had researched it online but I never thought that the original issuer of my visa would have made a mistake. Well……
We arrive in Rio and go through passport control; we walked up together (thank god) and right away I knew we were screwed. The passport wasn’t up to date. So they asked me to step into the departures lounge of the airport. In hindsight, this was a good sign, because they had every right to immediately deport me, send me back to Paris, and we would have cancelled the wedding. A representative from Air France stepped in and helped us out – she essentially acknowledged that this was partly Air Frances fault because the clueless girl at our original check-in should have verified that the Visa on my passport was okay (for that matter, I should have verified it but let’s not blame the groom!)
Because of this, they gave us two options. If there was a flight to Buenos Aires that day that still had open seats, we were allowed to get on that plane, go the Brazilian consulate, and try to get a Visa there turned around quickly. So I sat in the departures lounge while Adriana was out in the airport essentially saving the wedding. She got our luggage off the belt, re-packed for my 3 day trip to BA (because we didn’t know how long I’d be there) and was able to successfully buy two tickets to BA on the 8:00 am flight (we landed early in Rio).
She came back to the departures lounge to find me with watery eyes. I couldn’t believe what was happening. It was, and still is obviously, without a doubt one of the worst events of my life. How I didn’t double check my visa 100 times before leaving is beyond me. I was so embarassed to have put Adriana and her family (and me!) through such stress and worry for something that I should have verified ages ago.
We landed together in BA, jumped in a cab and flew to the consulate. That taxi ride might have been the next worst experience of the trip – the guy was crazy!! We arrive at the consulate, and Adriana’s dad had sent an email to them stating the entire story, what happened, etc. But we found out that the consulate closed at 1:00 for Visas, and we arrived at 12:30! So we had to get busy.
Adriana talked to the representative behind the counter, and she was a HUGE HELP! She basically understood the situation and gave us a piece of paper with two requests – some passport sized photos and an up to date bank statement. Adriana and I rushed downstairs, I gave her my login details and we split up – she took care of the bank statement and I rushed around trying to get my photos taken. I remember running into a Kodak store with a wild look in my eye and saying “Yo tenho photo por favor!!” HAHAHA!!
We met back at the corner, and literally ran the whole way back to the consulate. Keep in mind I’m towing my luggage bag with me, which at this point is banging all over the place, knocking over old women, and has sparks flying from it.
We arrived back at the consulate, they took care of the passport, and we were on our way back to Rio – how’s that for a start to the wedding festivities!!
Once we were in Rio (and spent a night in the airport hotel because we didn’t get home in time to get into Adriana’s house), we had a great trip. Her sister had just graduated medical school, so on Saturday night we went to an incredible 1300 person party – it made me feel like I was at an MTV party or something similar. It started at 11:00 and ended with breakfast!! We ended up leaving around 4:00 in the morning – the jet lag was too much for us but it was a lot of fun.
Also on Saturday, my first guest showed up – my sister! She was there with a friend, so I picked them up at the airport, and used my perfect portuguese (yeah right!) to get a taxi to Rio and show them around. She loved it – they got into a hostel and were on their way.
On Sunday, we waited at Adriana’s house for my best man to show up, Rich. He arrived with gifts for everyone (and a case of Blue Moon Beer for me!) and then we picked up some of our friends and went down to Barra, to a friends house and had an excellent old school churrasco!! It was absolutely amazing, we had a great time and it was a great way to get some of my friends (and Adriana’s friends from the UK, who also went) to meet Adriana’s friends from Rio. Everyone got along great. It just goes to show you that if you surround yourself with good people throughout your life, then all of your friends everywhere will get along!
The next couple days were spent preparing for more of the wedding festivities, running countless errands, and taking care of my mom when she landed and my dad and his wife when they landed a few days later. We went to dinners every night, and were generally busy. But it was always busy in a good way. Nothing was too crazy for us until we got to Thursday night.
On Thursday, I met the groomsmen at a tux place in central Rio – that was quite an experience! Everyone tried on their tux with no problem, but the place was a little hard to find and there were some funny stories about my friends (and my dad!) trying to find the place. But all worked out well!
Then, for the evening, we had planned a “club night” out with our friends at an area called Lapa in Rio, at a bar called Rio Scenarium. This was a great place, but both Adriana and I were simply up to our eyeballs with stuff to do. There was too much work, we were getting stressed about getting everything done, and it was one of those things where we initially wished we hadn’t organized this because we just didn’t feel like we had time to go. But of course we got there and had a great time! Everyone showed up – I was absolutely amazed. In grand total we had a total of about 55 people fly in for the wedding, people from both the US and the UK. I’d say about 40 people (at least) showed up for the event in Lapa. It was fabulous – a super cool bar, great music, and again just a great group of people having fun and enjoying themselves in Rio.
Adriana and I had a lot of work to do when we got home, helping her parents finalize last minute seating charts, etc. but we were both happy in the end that we planned the evening in Lapa.
Friday – my last day of being “single!” In the morning, we met the group down at Villa Riso and ran through the rehearsal. Everything went well, but we started on carioca time – about 2 hours late! We returned and worked on some more seating plans and last minute things, then it was time for the rehearsal dinner!
We went to Porcao Rio’s, the first restaurant that Adriana’s family took me to on my first trip to Rio. It’s a huge Rodizio restaurant in Flamenco with a great view of the Sugar Loaf. Of course, on Friday night it was raining but not the end of the world – as long as it didn’t rain on our wedding day!
The rehearsal dinner was amazing – about 65 people were there and my Mom paid for the whole thing – it was her gift to everyone for making the trip down to the wedding, plus it really was a great intro to Brazilian churrasco for those that hadn’t tried it before. We had an absolutely wonderful time – without a doubt it was one of the high points of the weekend. Everyone had a great time, people stayed late and talked and drank beer, and for me at least, most of the stress of the last few days evaporated away a bit and it let me really think about the big day tomorrow!
I spent Friday night in my Mom’s hotel, woke up on Saturday and was so nervous I could hardly eat. I wasn’t even sure what I was nervous about – I certainly wasn’t having second thoughts, that’s for sure! My mom, sister and I went to one of my favorite restaurants – McDonalds! It was about the only thing I could even think of eating. Later I spent some time on the beach, thinking about things and ran into one of my friends. After a discussion of how nervous I was and I couldn’t understand why I was so nervous, he stated it pretty clearly – it’s because it’s the biggest day of your life so far! Thanks, that really calmed me down…
I went to my hotel room and just sat there for an hour, really thinking about things and I wrote a letter to Adriana, something that I hope she’ll keep for many years. When the time came, I showered and met my friends out front, and then took a taxi to Villa Riso. There, our tuxes were waiting and we all got ready for the big day. It was fun – we had a few beers (I only had two little beers!) and played cards, then the bridesmaids and parents started showing up, which led to some more pictures.
Then Adriana gave me an amazing gift – a photo book of our two years together thus far! It documented everything we’d done in the last two years, all of the great trips we’d taken, even some pictures of our first couple dates in London. It was great, and it was all I needed to bring the tears back!! (I think that was her game plan all along!!)
When the time finally came to walk down the aisle, I was ready. My mom and I walked down first – I remember thinking that I should be smiling more, but I was so nervous and thinking about so many things that I probably look like a robot – those are some pictures that I’m not looking forward to seeing! Once we were up there, the rest of the bridal party came down with the escorts, etc. I liked the fact that my mom and dad both stood beside me on the altar – I thought that was pretty cool.
I remember feeling queasy as the music changed before Adriana came down – I almost felt like I was going to pass out!! But a few deep breaths and some knee bends made that go away, and then she came down – she looked absolutely beautiful. Even more beautiful than I thought she would. Her dress was amazing, she had her hair up so I could see her beautiful neck, and she just looked incredible. When she arrived I had tears in my eyes, but she seemed completely frozen in a smile!! We went through the ceremony, and I remember at the end I could barely wait until he said you may now kiss the bride!! Sheesh, get on with it!!
Walking back down the aisle together was one of the happiest times in my life – with the woman I love for the rest of my life, while my best friends are pelting us with rice!! After that we had a few glasses of champagne and started taking photos – lots of photos, but I was ready for that and definitely wanted to do it. We’ll only do this once and those photos will last a lifetime. I only hope that I look half as good as I know she will!!
One of my other favorite moments of the wedding was the entrance – we came down to the Rolling Stones “She’s like a Rainbow” and everyone loved it. We said a few words, then everyone ate and during dinner Rich gave his best man speech, which was great. Then we did our dance, to the song “I’ll be there” by the Jackson 5, which became way more significant to me after our problems with the Visa in Rio! Then they played “Beyond the Sea” and the parents and bridal party came out to dance, and then after that they played Kung Foo Fighting and from there on out it was absolutely insane!! It was non-stop dancing for the rest of the night, with everyone having an absolute blast!
Aside from the dancing, there were tons of other great events – we had an amazing bartender who was throwing bottles around, breathing fire – all kinds of crazy stuff that was just amazing. We also had a photo booth, where people could put on some funny clothes, etc. and get a printed picture to take home with them. It was all great! My friends simply couldn’t believe what a great wedding it was – over the top all the way, which is the way it should be for the biggest party of your life!
When the samba school came in, people’s jaws dropped – they were absolutely unreal, and the music was just amazing. The samba dancers were great, and I never saw my dad have a look of pure joy and pure terror at the same time when they pulled him out to dance!!
All in all, the night (and the day for that matter) couldn’t have gone better. It was absolutely the best day of my life. And of course the best party I’ve ever been to. Adriana and I stayed at the Intercontinental hotel that night and the next, just recovering from such a great party!
On Sunday we had a small get together at her aunt’s place in Barra – my mom came down for that and it was a lot of fun as well. They did some slideshows of the family and even a video of Adriana when she was a little girl. Surprise surprise – she was adorable!!
On Monday, we took our trip to Angra. This is a large private beachhouse owned by her aunt and uncle. The place is absolutely amazing, and it was a great way for us all to wind down after such an incredible weekend of partying. I told everyone I only wanted to sit, drink beer, and not have to make a single decision!! And that’s pretty much what I did! We played cards, talked, drank beer, took a boat to an island, ate churrasco, told stories, and laughed – tough life, huh?
We left Angra on Tuesday, after a fantastic two days there. We got back late Tuesday night and then on Wednesday Adriana and I flew to Buenos Aires for our mini honeymoon. Let me just say, BA was a lot better the second time around!! We got off at the airport, and we were supposed to be picked up by a service. So we show up and we’re looking at the names and we see “Miller, Adson” Adson? Hmm…..if you changed two letters it would say “Aaron”. Sure enough it was us!! We laughed forever about it, and of course for the rest of the trip I became known as Adson!!
Our hotel was great, and we enjoyed BA a great deal. The restaurants were great and affordable (lots of meat!) and we walked around a lot – got to see Evitas grave, did some shopping, and really enjoyed the city. On the last day, we even got to see a Tango show – it was pretty cool, but I don’t see myself taking any lessons anytime soon!
All in all, it was an absolutely fantastic two weeks. The Visa experience was a complete disaster, but if anything it made me feel even more strongly about how I feel about Adriana. I think a lot of women in her position would simply have yelled at me and not helped resolve the situation, but together we were able to deal with it and get everything taken care of together. She’s perfect! And I’m so happy that the wedding was as perfect as her!!