February 01, 2021

That Time I Got Married... Again...

You may recall from a previous post that I selected "Leap Day" for my wedding anniversary date, but got married on a non-leap year. With those decisions, Husband and I booked a vow renewal on the Carnival Pride for Leap Day 2020, at which time our anniversary date would officially not be March 1 and would instead be Feb 29. 

Unlike this post, we were very fortunate to not have our renewal canceled by COVID (my heart goes out to everyone who did in 2020)...

In case anyone reads this for info and tips and less for entertainment, I first want to talk about the hell inconvenience I went through to secure 2/29 for the day of our renewal. 

And this inconvenience was not for lack of research, planning, or communication. I knew that renewals are only done on Sea Days. I knew that renewals are subject to the Captain's schedule. I knew that, quote, the time, date, and location are to be scheduled on board. So before making any payments, I had an extensive conversation with Carnival's Wedding department to ensure that I could have my date, with the understanding that I might have to be flexible on the other components (having the Captain perform the ceremony, the location, and the time). The person on the phone assured me that with these concessions from me, I would be able to have my date. Oh. And I selected an itinerary for which the 29th fell on a sea day. 

Cut to 2 months before sailing (two years later) when the wedding dept called me to go over other details and when I brought up my required date needs, she told me "no." I'm remembering that I actually ended up emailing her back and that it was many emails later and some phone calls before she finally agreed to work with the on-board wedding people to schedule my event on the date that someone else at Carnival had promised me literal years ago. 

I had to agree to have the ceremony at 10:30 am. Ugh. Fine.

Moral of the story: I discourage anyone from trying the same method if the date of your ceremony is the most important part. 

I deduced that the actual issue with my wanting my event on the 29th was that they didn't want to do it on a Saturday. Not that the captain didn't have more availability. But that the staff photographer needed time to retouch the photos and edit his photos and video capture into a photo book and video that he would try to sell us for 1000s of dollars. 

Pro Tip: We bought a handful of photos, limiting ourselves to a $200 spend and had the forethought to have a friend take photos at the ceremony and with just the two of us in a nice spot on the ship while we were still dressed. (None of my friends are photographers so I picked the one with the fancy 3-camera iPhone).  

I bought this dress in 2017 for the purpose of wearing it either to this wedding or the first one. I really wanted to wear it at the first one, but decided I might regret not having the iconic photos with a white dress. 

Okay, boring part out of the way. And keep in mind that my experience was a Vow Renewal and I don't know how a legit wedding differs. 

So we board the ship. I brought my bouquet of paper flowers I made and used in our first wedding to use again. I was sad that I didn't have my flowers in basically any photos bc I'm dumb and didn't carry them around with me except down and up the aisle at the ceremony. Keeping them from getting beat up was no easy feat. I used a combo of styrofoam, a plastic pitcher, and a bag from flowers that Husband gave me earlier in the year (I knew it would be useful for SOMETHING) to hold/carry them. 

The only other extras were our wedding attire so the flowers were the biggest challenge. People on Facebook have said that they use fold-up carts for all their extra wedding stuff they can't check with the porters. 

And we started our cruise, which I might one day write about separately, but not in this post...

There was nothing special in our cabin from Carnival. 

Anniversary decorations set

Two of our friends/family sent us decorations and a cake which was really nice, but we only got them bc we had nice people cruising with us. 

"HA..." For "Happy Anniversary" smh. 

I feel like there could have been a little something from Carnival, but oh well. 

I think the next day (might have already been there day one) we got a letter from the onboard wedding person aka "Wedding Lady." It said to call to set up a meeting. It became clear that it was a standardized letter used fleet-wide because the phone number was for the Main Dining Room (where she works during the rest of the cruse). and when I said about scheduling a meeting, we confused each other because she said to just stop by the dining room during dinner to meet with her (which felt awkward since we'd be dining with friends and family every night), and I thought we were supposed to schedule a time and place (you know that was convenient for all three of us and quieter and not surrounded by hungry people). The question, "you want a private meeting?" was asked at me. Whatever. It just wasn't convenient to break off from our group on the way to meals to sort out details with her three times. 

Not required, but I brought Minifigures of Obi-Wan and Amy Pond for our cake toppers, which I just delivered to her one of the times we were at the dining room. (I had to Frankenstein Amy together out of a generic Minifigure and something specially selected. I forget what exactly. I could look it up if you really need to know). 

Our guests all got invitations to their cabins with the date, time, and location of the ceremony. Husband and I did not get a confirmation in our mailbox which was weird to me, but not actually a big deal except for not having the letter as a memento. 

What was odd about this was that Wedding Lady expected Husband to just know that he was supposed to be at the Piano Bar by a certain time (I think to take photos before I got there?). I wanted us to walk there together so this concept didn't occur to me, nor did it occur to me to inform her of. I got a phone call telling me he was missing which of course was comedically not actually true. So then she brought the photographer to our cabin to take photos of me "getting ready" (holding my eyeshadow brush and mascara brush up to my face) and then of us walking to the ceremony. I was happy with my choice to do this. 

I also intended for us to walk down the aisle together. I know this was a second wedding, so it was a strange idea, but I'd gotten quite attached to him over the past two years. 

Wedding Lady didn't put together that this was part of the "we walk to walk there together" plan and she rushed him inside ahead of me. at 10:30am, I didn't have the energy to fight her on this one. 

She then told me when to enter the bar and I was glad that I hadn't fought her on that last bit. It was as exciting to see Husband at the front of the room with the Captain as it was the first time. Maybe more so since I wasn't expecting that to be the situation all along. IDK. 

To recap, I don't regret walking through the ship with Husband, but am happy he was in the room before I was. 

The print of this looks better than it looks here.

I'm sure I wouldn't have regretted the latter not happening, as I wouldn't have known the difference. But I wouldn't do it differently if I could do it again. Except that, for science, I probably would do it differently, but I wouldn't time travel so that I could do it differently the first time. Right.


The ceremony was short and sweet, but I do recommend reading over the vows (they'll send them to you, you don't have to ask) beforehand. Like, a couple lot of times. You see. The Captains are all Italian. From Italy. And you have to repeat some of the words they say which is hard if you have no idea what it was that he said. 

To be fair, there was only one phrase that was troublesome, but it was awkward for me to be like "wtf did you just say" and then he didn't know which words I didn't understand and he didn't even repeat the right word that I didn't understand, and this was AFTER he had said the phrase for Husband and after Husband repeated it. (Husband chose to repeat the syllables he heard rather than asking for clarification as to what said syllables actually were supposed to be). 

I forgot to steam out the wrinkles. Whoops.

I say syllables, plural, because the captain made the word "heart" a two-syllable word. "art-ah." The phrase was "...into my heart," which even, when prepared because I'd heard it once and couldn't figure it out that time, could not figure out on the second go of "...into my art-ah."  I thought Carnival was trying to sell cruises to Majorca. 

So, yeah, learning/practicing the vows beforehand might be worthwhile.

After the ceremony, there was a champagne toast and a cake for us and our guests. I picked the $800 Vow Renewal package, the $1400 one also includes some canapes and open bar for an hour. The cake is way bigger than it needs to be if you have a small group, and you have to pay more beyond a certain number of guests (differs by package) just for them to have one glass of champagne and be served cake. 

My and Husband's champagne was in pretty "Carnival" logoed glasses which, no, we didn't get to keep. A big yikes for the amount of money we paid for the event. I guess a lot of people wouldn't really want them? They could have offered to sell them to us for like $5 each. Oh well.

And then they wanted to send the remaining cake to our cabin or have it served to us at dinner. But it was the last night of the cruise and this was the one dinner that we were going to eat separately from our group. So we had the top sent to our cabin and the bottom sent to our group's table at dinner. Oh and we were able to select the cake flavor and filling ahead of time. 

The photographer then took us to a few spots on the ship to take photos.

I also requested to have a table ready for us all to have Seaday Brunch together after the ceremony. Almost all of our guests understood without specific explanation that this was part of the wedding experience for me and Husband - like a post-ceremony reception type deal. Wedding Lady made that happen with no issue.

Because it was our anniversary the last night, and I indicated it as such in my booking, we did get a tiny HA cake at dinner with a candle at dinner. It was a teenie version of the one that was in our cabin on day one (the one our friend bought us). 

And they sing "happy anniversary" to the tune of "Happy Birthday"

And that was it. As mentioned before, we had a friend do photos with us so we wouldn't get emotionally roped into buying a ton. 

(She had to hand her phone off to be in this one)

One last thing to mention is the certificate. It comes in a holder with a photo of the ship you're on (we replaced the ship photo with one of the photos we bought).

Earlier in the week when we met with Wedding Lady, we filled out a form with (I forget what) and how we wanted our names to appear on the certificate. I did not know that the ampersand was pre-printed, so I don't like how it looks. I think the default is "Mr Husband's full name & Mrs Lauren Last-Name." I specified: "Husband & Lauren Last-Name" which looks weird with the pre-printed ampersand - so I advise not making this choice. 

If we do a Carnival Vow Renewal again, I would have it read "Husband's Full Name & Lauren Last-Name" for balance. 

I do discourage anyone from having their ceremony in the Beauties Dance Club, or as my cruising group affectionately called it, the Nipple Room, on the Pride. 

Photo Credit

It is literally full of nipples. Naked busts are used as general decorations, as table supports, barstool supports, some are even on the ceiling. 

And who would want that in their photos? 

So that's it. Let me know if you have any questions. I might be able to answer them!

No comments :

Post a Comment