Gamecocks Renew Wedding Vows on Beach in Mahahual

Since I have been in Mahahual, I have gotten some unusual requests over the years, but last Thursday definitely was a unique request and experience for me.  I officiated a renewing of wedding vows on the beach here at the Tropicante for some folks from back home in South Carolina.

Let me give a little back drop to the story.  About a year ago I met Dwayne and Lynia Ard, from Columbia, South Carolina(where I went to college), here in Mahahual.  They were here on a cruise for the day, and I met them at the Tropicante here on the beach.  Dwayne is a big University of South Carolina Gamecock fan like me, so we hit it off.

I kind of hung around with them while they were here on the beach, and we talked some Gamecock sports.  They had a good time at the Tropicante with me, and they told me they would come back one day, and bring me some Gamecock hats, tshirts, and whatever they could find for me to wear here.  (On cruise ship day here, I am always wearing a USC hat and shirt, it started when I was working at the port, and I still continue to do so.  I meet a lot of people that way, and I am still surprised at how many people from South Carolina I meet that way).  So I took their photo and  posted their photo and story here on this blog last year, as an example of people I meet from my home state.

Since then, I have met a ton of more people from South Carolina, so I kind of put them in the back of my mind, that maybe one day they might return on a cruise ship in the future, they were nice people.

Well about a couple of months ago, they contacted Steve at the Tropicante, and wanted to know if they could renew their wedding vows on his beach here when they were on a cruise ship for the day.  Here is the kicker, they wanted me to officiate their wedding vows, and be a part of the ceremony.

They contacted me, and I said sure, no problem, I would be glad to help out.  They also were bringing family with them from South Carolina, so the Tropicante set them up with a nice place for the ceremony right on the beach.

They were on April 28, on the  Norwegian Getaway, which was here for the whole day.  They brought family members with them, Roy and JoAnn Watts, father and mother of the bride, Buddy and Annette Brasington, uncle of the bride, and son and his wife Chris and Patty Bridges, all from Columbia, South Carolina.

They arrived, and I got to meet the whole family, nice people, and the ceremony started about 11:30 am on the beach.  The ceremony took place, and what was interesting, there were a number of tourists walking by on the malecon who stopped and watched.  I did my thing, they exchanged vows, and everything went fine, and there were a lot of photos taken.  After the ceremony, there was cake, and everybody had a good time.

Lynia Ard, bride.

Lynia Ard, bride.

Getting ready for ceremony.

Getting ready for ceremony.

Bride and groom.

Bride and groom.

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The ceremony as nice, and went off without a hitch.  The staff at the Tropicante did an excellent job, and they even provided a cake, flowers, and a beautiful atmosphere.

Cake made by Tropicante.

Cake made by Tropicante.

Wedding cake and tequila.

Wedding cake and tequila.

Cutting the cake.

Cutting the cake.

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Pinky, a local, doing a tradition here, sprinkling seawater on the bride and groom.

Pinky, a local, doing a tradition here, sprinkling seawater on the bride and groom.

After the ceremony, I sat around with the folks from South Carolina, and answered a lot of their questions about living here.  I told them my story about how a country boy from South Carolina ended up here in Mahahual, and they loved it.  They all had a great time, and want to come back in the near future and spend some time here in Mahahual, and I am sure they will be back.  They said they love it here, and can understand why I live here.

I can honestly say, officiating a renewing of wedding vows here for some people from South Carolina, is one of the most unique things I have done since I have been here.  What I loved about the ceremony was, at the end of the vows, everybody gave a “Go Cocks” cheer, you got to give it to Gamecock fans, they are very loyal.

Me, with Dwayne and Lynia, doing the "Go Cocks" sign.

Me, with Dwayne and Lynia, doing the “Go Cocks” sign.

My stash of Gamecock stuff they brought me.  hats, socks, tshirts, and even a 2016 football schedule.

My stash of Gamecock stuff they brought me. hats, socks, tshirts, and even a 2016 football schedule.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

 

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