Wedding Reflections

Chris and I have now been husband and wife for over 2 days now, and so far so good!  So guess this is a good time to reflect back and give a recap for those of you who couldn’t make it (and also for those of you who were able to share the day with us).

Our wedding day was one of the most wonderful days of my life!  I can’t believe how smooth everything went!  We have our wonderful wedding planner Lori Lawrence of Tropical Maui Weddings to thank for that!  If anyone ever decides to get married in Maui, we would recommend her 100%!

Chris had moved over to his parents condo the night before our wedding, so we kept with the tradition of not seeing each other on our wedding day.  I spent the night in our condo, and had trouble sleeping.  Not because I was nervous about marrying the love of my life, but just in anticipation of the upcoming day, and nervous about if the day would go according to plan.  The next morning I was awake early, even before the alarm I had set just in case.  I got up and was not feeling particularly hungry, so just had a couple of cups of coffee out on the Lanai.  My parents came up and we called my Grandma in England, as she was not able to make the trip to be with us.  That was certainly an emotional phone call!  Then I just tried to relax for a bit before I had to start getting ready.  Easier said than done!

I had Andrea of A Pampered Bride Maui coming to do my hair and makeup right at our condo.  While she was here I had my Maid of Honour (and now my sister-in-law) Meaghan, as well as my Mom, and my doting aunts here with me (including my talented photographer aunt Nancy Angermeyer who was the official wedding photographer).  With hair and makeup done (and looking and feeling great!) it was time to start heading out to the wedding venue Kukahiko Estate in Makena, HI.  It is only about a 10 minute drive from where we are staying in Kihei out there.  Once on the road we did encounter a few showers and it certainly did look like there had been rain in the area quite recently.  So we hoped that it was just a short little shower and that we had received our “good luck wedding day rain” and that it would clear up and that would be the end of it.  We then got a little lost and drove past the turn off to Kukahiko Estate.  After driving for a while, I started to have this feeling we had gone too far.  Finally I was positive we were too far, so we turned back, and I turned the GPS on my phone on.  Soon we were back on course, and made it to the venue just a few minutes late.  The girls were supposed to have a run through first, but our wedding planner informed us we would do that a little later, as they had been in full preparation for rain, so the chairs had not been set up down on the lawn yet.  It had been pouring rain just an hour before.  The decision was finally made that it seemed the rain had now passed, and the chairs were quickly put in place where we had originally planned for it.  The girls did our run through quickly and then we were ushered back to the “bridal cottage” to make our final preparations like getting the dress on!  While we did that the boys did their run through.  Before we knew it, it was go time!

The flower arrangements and leis we had arranged were fantastic!  These were provided by Lois Hiranaga Floral Design.  Though I didn’t get to have my plumeria flower arrangements (as the pink ones aren’t in season right now) the orchid arrangements were so beautiful!  My bouquet is still holding up relatively well!

The dress was custom-made for me by an acquaintance of my mom’s Joanne Chaisson of Angelic Vision in Langley.  It turned out beautifully, despite some it coming down to the last-minute, due to some unforeseen events.  She also made my veil for me out of the same lace as my dress.  The veil is exactly what I had envisioned.

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Mom & Dad walk Marnie down the aisle

I had both my parents walk me down the aisle.  The above picture luckily was captured either before I lost it, or after I got myself back in check, so it looks like I was smiling, though I was actually crying happy tears as I looked down the aisle at Chris.  There was apparently a bit of a last-minute adjustment when our wedding officiant Laki Kaahumanu (see previous post about him) saw which direction my veil was blowing he decided to switch which side Chris and I were standing on.  Everything was a bit of a blur to me, so I didn’t even notice the change until I was told about it afterwards.  All I remember is looking at Chris and being so happy, yet trying so hard not to cry.  And then after Chris started reciting his vows, I had a moment of panic where I realized I would actually have to repeat after him, so I had better start concentrating on what Laki was saying!  And also about the fact that I do not have a big booming voice, and I would have to try to be heard over the crashing waves in the background.  Little did I know, that Chris was actually wearing a microphone, which also was picking up my voice.  Lori had warned us that Laki was a little unpredictable and unconventional (which is partly what drew us to him when we saw a video of a wedding he had done when we were trying to pick our officiant), Chris did everything with enough enthusiasm for Laki, but he made me repeat one section because he thought I could do better.  We also had to kiss throughout the ceremony in the Hawaiian tradition, and then one big long kiss at the end, which we weren’t allowed to break from until he stopped blowing the conch shell.  He also made us have our “first dance” on the sacred ground that we had just made our vows on, much to Chris’s dismay (he does not dance!), this did involve everyone else getting up and dancing as well, so not all the attention was on us.

After the ceremony was over, our caterer had drinks waiting for the wedding party off to the side.  I had my favourite drink waiting for me (a lava flow!).  After a few sips we had another formality to take care of, signing the marriage license.  I had to sign with my new name Marnie Golden for the first time!  At that moment I had another moment of panic, as I realized that I had not practiced signing that beforehand, so I had to do it very carefully, and it will probably look nothing like my new signature will actually end up looking like.  Oh well…  After a little time to finish our drinks, the photo shoot began.  Nancy took tons of pictures, some of just us, us and the bridal party,  with all our guests, and then back to just the two of us with the fantastic Maui sunset in the background.  Next to Kukahiko Estate there is a dramatic lava outcropping, so we spent the time leading up to sunset out on the outcropping.  Hopefully there will be some amazing pictures from that set of pictures!  Though while out there Chris lost his footing in his sandals and tweaked his bad knee, so was in some pain for the remainder.  Luckily the sun was almost setting at that point, so he was able to go and sit down shortly after.  And I was worried I would be the one to go and do something like that, since I was wearing shoes with little heels, and normally I wear nothing but flats!  In between pictures we did sneak in a few of the appetizers that were being handed out to our guests.  Chris at one point managed to sneak back to the house to get his cell phone, as he was intent on getting a selfie of us, so he could post it out in the Twittersphere and to Facebook for those of you who could not be there with us.  After a few attempts we managed to get a decent one.

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Marnie & Chris post wedding selfie

Then all of a sudden it was dinner time.  Our food was done by the fabulous Stella Blues Cafe.  We came up with our own menu, seeing as Chris and I are both picky eaters.  The food was absolutely amazing, especially the pineapple teriyaki chicken!  The service staff that Stella Blues provided were also top-notch!  I couldn’t have asked for anything more!

Throughout our cocktail time and dinner we had Lori’s husband Jamie Lawrence providing the musical entertainment.  He is so talented!  You can listen to some samples of his music on the Tropical Maui Wedding website.  He also plays at Stella Blues Cafe for happy hour every Sunday if you are ever in Maui and looking for a good place to go on a Sunday afternoon (we have now been there two Sundays in a row to listen to him!).

After dinner we had our cake cutting and speeches.  My Dad and Mom both did speeches as did Chris’s Best Man Mike and Groomsman Chris.  Jamie also helped my Mom with a performance of “Come Fare Away With Me” by Jean Ritchie (or the “Marnie Song” as I grew up knowing it as).  We thank all four of you for your beautiful, heartfelt, and sometimes humorous speeches!  We are so blessed to have you all in our lives!  Then Chris gave a sweet Thank You speech (so glad he did it and not me!).  We then finally got to eat our delicious cake!  It was made by Cakes by Joann.  It was a 3 tier masterpiece, decorated with orchids.  Each tier was a different flavour (Kona Coffee Creme Brulee, Passion Fruit, and Chocolate).  It was delicious!  We also had mini-desserts made by Joann (mini lemon meringue and apple pies, and chocolate dipped strawberries.  It was all so good, I ate way too much!

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Marnie & Chris cutting the cake

We then had our second “first dance”.  We danced to Marry Me (by Train), sung by Jamie.  It was lovely!  I then danced with my Dad to Somewhere Over The Rainbow (also sung by Jamie).  And then we were being told by Lori that it was time for the first guests to start loading the shuttle back so that we could be out of the venue by our 10pm deadline!  We never even had a chance to set up our iPod for dancing music!  Guess the speeches went a little long!  Oh well, a great time was had by all from what I’ve been hearing!

The pictures provided here were candid ones taken by us and by family and friends.  The official ones are currently being sorted and scrutinized by Nancy.  We will share some of those once they are ready!

I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better day!  The rain held off (except for a minor misting during the ceremony, but that actually felt kind of good and helped keep us cool!), it wasn’t too hot or too cold, and there were no major mishaps all day!  It all happened so fast, it is still a bit of a blur.  I also did get my wish (see earlier post) and turtles and Humpback whales did make appearances in the water during the afternoon/evening.  I saw the turtles many times, they were right up close to the shoreline.  I myself never did see the whales, but everyone else did apparently, so I guess I was just too distracted to notice! And while this all will not really change much in our lives, since we’ve already lived together so long, we really wanted to make it official in front of our family and friends.  And best of all, I am finally married to the love of my life and best friend!  I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life with my husband!

Decisions, Decisions!

Well, we are several months into planning this wedding now (or should I say thinking and talking about this wedding up till now).  But now we’ve finally got some official things decided.

The first thing was to get the wedding planner hired, since they would be instrumental in getting everything else in order.  We have decided to go with Lori Lawrence of Tropical Maui Weddings, and I’m excited to work with her!  Her talented musical husband Jamie will do some of the music for the ceremony and reception as well.  The pictures of the weddings she’s done look amazing, and there are plenty of good reviews out there for her.

I already had a pretty good idea of the venues available on Maui since I’ve done a lot of internet research on the subject, but once we had Lori on board she did inquiries for us at the 3 private estates I was considering.  2 of them had openings and the other was already booked.  So we have now decided on Kukahiko Estate in Makena, Hawaii.  It is a smaller venue, which will be fine for us and looks absolutely stunning in all the photos (but then all 3 locations looked stunning, so I’m sure we would have been happy with any of them).  We will have both the ceremony and reception at Kukahiko.  It has the nice green lawn I wanted for the ceremony, and yet is right on the ocean, so we can still feel like we are at the beach (and it does have a little beach there to use for photos, etc.) and I love the dramatic black lava rock in front!  And it is close to “Turtle Town” so there’s a possibility that some of the Green Sea Turtles may show up.  Plus they say that during Humpback whale season (December – April) the whales are often right out in front of the estate.  Those turtles and whales had better make an appearance on March 14, 2014!

Kukahiko Estate

Kukahiko Estate

We’ve also got our photographer booked already, though that was an easy decision, my talented aunt NancyAngermeyer, who just so happens to be a wedding photographer offered to do it for us!   I know she will do a fantastic job and can’t wait to see the images she captures of our special day!  She took this great shot of Chris and I the last time we visited her on Saturna Island, BC.

Chris and Marnie on Saturna Island.  Photo credit Nancy Angermeyer.

Chris and Marnie on Saturna Island. Photo credit Nancy Angermeyer.

Next up in the decision making timeline will be the caterer, officiant, cake baker, florist, hair and makeup person.  And then I guess it will start to be the more detailed decisions for everything.

We’ve also booked a condo at Kamaole Sands, which is the same complex we’ve stayed at during all of our 3 trips there.  Unfortunately when we picked the date, we weren’t exactly thinking about the fact that it is smack in the middle of spring break, so it is a very busy time on Maui (or at least I wasn’t thinking about it, I was just thinking that it was a special date since it was our engagement anniversary).  We’ll post more on accommodation recommendations in the near future for those of you who are planning on attending and want to get a jump on getting organized.