Let’s get these recaps going!!!
The Squirrel clan is made up of a bunch of huge Harry Potter fans. My sisters would be at the bookstore for every midnight release. They would stay up all night reading their books. When I woke up at 8:00 or 9:00am, my sisters would be on the final chapters. I was ready to grab their book as soon as they went to pass out.
The day before the day before our wedding (aka…Thursday) we invited our wedding guests to join us at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. It only takes a little over an hour to get there from Tampa and I figured if my family and friends were going to shell out the big bucks to fly to Florida, they should get the most out of their trip. We included information about this pre-wedding activity in our invitation and ultimately had about 25 people go (1/4 of all the wedding guests).
MOH K and I were literally on cloud nine as we walked into the Harry Potter section of the park. I waited in line with all the children so we could get a pic with the conductor of the Hogwarts Express.
He’s so jolly! Perhaps the best. job. ever.
Side note: In the weeks leading up to the wedding, I had worked hard to perfect my tan. I was terrified that spending the entire day in the hot Orlando sun would give me tragic tan lines and/or turn me into a tomato. With my wedding two days later, I had no wiggle room. Therefore, I planned my HP outfit with great care. Tube dress? Check. SPF 50? Check.
As I woke up I realized it was a rainy, dreary Thursday. The dark clouds were out to play and the forecast was dismal. In spite of the 80% chance of rain all day, my sisters and I refused to risk getting tan lines! While all the other visitors were warm in their sweatshirts and raincoats, we were those obnoxious girls in the strapless dresses….
Clearly my brothers were not concerned about farmer’s tans and my dad was the only truly smart one in the group.
The morning was dark and misty, but by the afternoon it was actually raining buckets. My dress was drenched and I thanked myself for not being the bride who feels the need to wear white to every bridal event. Nobody wants to see that. (White dresses are nice, but not the soaking wet see-through variety.)
The weather became the least of our worries once we entered the the park. We were so excited to explore Hogwarts. We spent the day speaking in the worst British accents and just enjoying the magic.
Universal Orlando did a fantastic job. This is the first non-Disney park where I felt like I received a full experience, not just thrill rides.
We loved strolling through the shops in Hogsmeade…
feasting with our friends in the Three Broomsticks…
Don’t forget the butterbeer!
My awesome cousin waited a long time for this moment!
My new favorite ride is officially Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. It uses a new technology that allows the rider to feel like they really are flying on a broomstick around Hogwarts. As you wait for the ride, the line itself takes riders on a tour through Hogwarts, entering the different rooms and seeing all the quirky details that make Hogwarts so mysterious and lovable.
Perhaps the best part of this “pre-wedding activity” is that it had NOTHING to do with our wedding. We did not talk about place settings or hair styles. It was such a fun relaxing day and it gave us the chance to actually visit with our friends and family. This was a huge priority for us because we so rarely get this opportunity.
**As I reread this post, I realize Mr. Squirrel is not in a single picture! We both kept bouncing between the different groups and I guess we didn’t have a chance to spend much time together. It’s OK, we have the rest of our lives!
- Tampa, FL
- Genetic Counselor
- Wedding Date:
- May 2013
- Davis Island Garden Club