I am finally winding down from all the wedding craziness of last week. It’s hard to believe it all actually happened! Josh and I had been planning for soooooo long, but the day came… and went so quickly! Thank goodness we spread it out over five days otherwise I think I would have come down with a case of bride blues. Is that a thing? LOL! Here is a recap of our wedding holiday for you reading enjoyment!
As I said before Josh and I had been planning our wedding for a little over a year and a half. We decided to have the wedding at the Ke’iki Beach Bungalows. We wanted to rent the whole place so our friends and family could stay in one location, but the only date we could get (at the right time of year) was almost two years out! So we thought “eh, we’ve been together for so long anyway… what’s another year and change?” I am actually glad we waited! It gave all our guests time to save up for the trip to Hawaii and gave us a lot of time to plan. This made it much less stressful (so I hear from other brides!).
We all arrived at the Bungalows on Wednesday. People slowly trickled in from the airport and we greeted them at the gate as they came in. It was so exciting to see everyone! Josh and I got so wrapped up in the excitement that we completely dropped all of our plans to get organized for the week (we didn’t make it to our room until the evening… and we never unpacked!). We immediately began to eat, drink and visit with everyone. It was amazing. When we finally made it to our room we saw all our friends running towards the beach and jumping in the water… so of course we followed them in! It was so cool to see old friends reconnecting and people meeting each other for the first time. We have the coolest friends 🙂
The next day I woke up early and took the board out for a paddle down the beach. I love this time of year on the North Shore. The waves are calm, the water is crystal clear and the conditions are perfect for SUP! I could see fish swimming along with me as I could see all the way to the bottom. It was the perfect morning activity because the rest of the day was filled with some serious hustle!
I decided to make cheesecakes for the wedding, and thought I would use some help from my bridesmaids. I didn’t think about the fact that they would be coming that evening and probably didn’t want to spend their first evening at the Bungalows baking. Ellen, a super awesome family friend understood my predicament and offered to make ALL SIX cheesecakes for the wedding! We also had some help from my buddies Frank and Jared (guys who bake!) step in and help out as well. Did I already mention that I have the coolest friends?
The following day Josh and I organized an activity: A swim to Chinaman’s Hat at Kualoa Beach Park. It is an easy swim as the water is pretty shallow and the island is very close. Josh and I expected maybe 15 people would want to come… about 30 decided to take the plunge! Including two friends who took their 10 month old in an inflatable raft! Coolest. Friends. Ever. We guided everyone out to the island. I took half the people to the back side tide pools and “wave machine” and Josh took people in groups to climb to the top of the hat.
That evening Josh organized a “luau” rehearsal dinner for everyone. We wanted to show and tell to all our mainland friends what it means to live here in Hawaii. Josh ordered local food (lau lau, lomi salmon, poi etc.). I had learned at another friends wedding when I first moved to Hawaii how to make Ti Leaf Lei, and so before all the excitement happened I gave a lesson to anyone who wanted to learn. It was such a nice night and I think it helped our friends and family understand the islands a little better.
We have a friend who put us in contact with a few hula dancers who perform with a local Halau. She helped us organize a performance for that evening. It was beautiful!
They even taught us a step or two!
Another couple of friends organized an amazing fire dancing performance! It was epic!
Thanks to Frank Silva for all Luau photos!
The next day was the big event! I woke up early and took a walk to find some filler flowers for my bouquet. I wanted to make a cascading orchid bouquet, so I used fern and other interesting greenery to create the shape. It was a great way to relax before all the craziness of the day began.
As people woke up they began helping to get the place ready for the evenings festivities. Everyone chipped in! I had a stellar group of ladies (and some dudes!) helping to move tables to get ready for the reception. A couple of friends Steve and Schulyer, worked on the beach to make a bamboo chuppah, and Josh and his friends were working hard in the kitchen prepping all the food for that evening. We got it all done with a few hours to spare so I quickly jumped in the water for a few min and went back to the room to chill out for a few… and finish my vows! Eeek!
Soon my girls all came upstairs to the room to get ready, open presents and drink mimosas! Yay! My friend Anna did my makeup (amazing job!) and another friend Beth helped with my hair. I think I said something about cool friends? Then, in a flash (it seemed) the ceremony was starting…
And then it was time to party!
Wedding photography by Neil Chan
It was an amazing time. I was so glad I could share it with my closest pals and fam.