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!

Dress Success!

We are now just under 8 months away from the big day, so with that in mind one of the biggest decisions for me needs to be made relatively soon.  THE DRESS!

On Saturday I went out with my entourage (my Mom, Chris’s Mom, and Chris’s Sister who is my maid of honour).  We did quite the tour of the lower mainland, chasing different bridal gown designers.  Our first stop was the Bridal Gallery in New Westminster, I found a dress there that was beautiful, but the store is higher end, and we found them to be pretty snobby.  Next we were on our way out to Abbotsford to Champagne and Lace.  The experience there was so much better, the consultant was so knowledgeable and knew exactly what would look good on me.  We found a dress there that is pretty much exactly what I had in mind and it is absolutely stunning on me (if I do say so myself, though I think my entourage agreed as there were a few tears shed, and the woman trying dresses on next to me decided to try that dress on after seeing me in it, so I’d say that is a good indication it was a hit!)!  Though it was a little more expensive than I had in mind…  Next we were off to David’s Bridal in Langley, I had one dress in mind there that I found online fairly soon after I began looking after we’d picked the wedding date, and I keep coming back to it.  It is actually quite similar to the one we liked from Champagne & Lace (with a lower price tag, but probably a little lower in quality because of the price difference).  The experience at David’s Bridal was OK, but nothing like the service out at Champagne & Lace!  By the end I was getting pretty tired, I’m guessing I tried on at least 5 dresses at each bridal salon, probably more, and getting in and out of those dresses is not easy, especially on an already hot day!  Even though I’m not going for something too huge and bulky, since we’ll be in a hot location for the ceremony, they are still big and heavy!

The next step is looking into getting a similar dress made for me, my Mom knows a lady who makes wedding dresses, so we shall see what kind of a price it would be for her to make something similar for me.  Then make a decision whether to have it made or buy it from one of the bridal salons (and whether to pay more for quality and great service, or pay less and go easy on the budget).   Sorry no pictures with this post, as some things need to remain a surprise!

The Search for the Dress

Everything you read on searching for wedding dresses, says you should start looking for your dress 9 months out from the date, so with under 9 months to go (actually by the time I go shopping it will be 8 months to go), I’m ready to start the search.  While I probably won’t purchase a dress – my mom wants to have one made for me by a lady she knows, I do want to go try dresses on so I figure out what looks good and what doesn’t!  I have an idea of what I want in a wedding dress, but until you try something on, who knows how it will actually look on you!

So on Saturday, July 13, 2013 I will head out on an excursion with my mom, future mother-in-law, and maid of honour in search of the perfect dress for me!  I’ve already got the trip planned out and appointments booked at 3 bridal shops.  I’ve spent hours and hours looking online at dresses, so 2 of the bridal shops were decided based on wanting to try on specific designers that I like, and their dresses only being carried at certain stores.  I can’t wait to get out there looking, it should be fun, although a little stressful, as I’m sure I will have a hard time making a decision, as they are all so beautiful!  The picture below is a dress I love by Maggie Sottero, sadly it seems to have been discontinued as I can no longer find it on her website, so I feel pretty safe posting it, as I probably won’t be able to find it (although I guess if I’m having it made that really doesn’t matter)!  But that is essentially the style I hope to wear.

paigely

Another important consideration in my dress is that it must look good with my Grandma Angermeyer’s pearl necklace, as that will around my neck.  It was given to my Grandma by my Grandpa on their wedding day in 1941, and it was passed on to me by my Grandpa.  So it holds special meaning and not wearing it is not an option!  I’m also borrowing a little pearl charm from my Grandma Greenfield so will incorporate that in somehow, maybe as a pin on my bouquet?

In other news, we have our flights and condo booked for the trip!  We will be in Maui from March 8-25, 2014.  About 2 1/2 weeks away, a nice amount of time in my opinion.  That way we have almost a week before the wedding to finalize details and prepare for the wedding, and then still have 10 days to relax and unwind after all the festivities!

Not too much else on the go with wedding planning right now.  Still waiting to hear back from the wedding planner on quotes for cakes, catering, and flowers.

March 2014 cannot come soon enough!  Not sure how I’m going to wait another 8 1/2 months, I’m ready to go now to enjoy sunsets such as this!  Let’s hope Maui pulls out a sunset like that on March 14, 2014 for my wedding pictures!

Maui Sunset

Officiant and Save the Dates

Well, guess we should probably post something, it has been more than a month since our last post!  I haven’t done that much planning in the last month, I took a bit of a break from it, but now need to get back at it.

Before my little break, we had decided on our officiant, and we are very excited to have him perform our ceremony!  Rev. Laki Kaahumanu is the great, great grandson of Queen Kaahumanu, so is Hawaiian royalty!  He also had a bit part as the wedding minister on an episode of “Modern Family” in their first season!  But it is his sense of humour that Chris fell for!  For awhile before we knew if Laki was available, Chris had decided that if we couldn’t get Laki to perform the ceremony, we’d either have to change the date or call the whole thing off!  Luckily for us he was available!

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Rev. Laki Kaahumanu, our wedding officiant!

 

We also had a photo viewing with our engagement photographer, Laura at Magnolia Photographic, to see the pictures taken mid-march at Steveston’s Britannia Heritage Shipyard in between rain storms (hence my slightly messy hair!).  Despite the messy hair (which is just a reflection of reality anyways!), we are incredibly happy with the results!  We picked our favorites to have made into Save the Date cards.  Start watching for yours in the mail soon!  They went into the mail yesterday!   Here’s some of our favorite photos:

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Well that is all for now, will try not to let another month go by without an update, so check back again soon!

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.

One Year To Go!

1 year

 

Well it’s officially one year to the day till our wedding!  At this time next year we’ll be almost ready to exchange our vows (Maui is 3 hours behind the west coast and I am planning on having the ceremony shortly before sunset).  I can’t wait!  It seems so far away, and yet I’m sure it will be here in what seems like no time!

Tomorrow (weather permitting) we will be having engagement photos taken.  I’m nervous about it, never really had professional pictures taken, other than those horrible school photos, where you’ve basically got one shot to get it right, and if it wasn’t good you didn’t find out till you got the pictures back in print anyways as that was in the days before digital cameras (yes I know I’m dating myself).  I’m sure we’ll be fine, as we have a fantastic photographer, Laura Stapleton at Magnolia Photographic!  Stay tuned, I’m sure we’ll post some once we get them!

Then on Saturday, hopefully we will finally get together with both sets of parents and really start to get some details and decisions sorted out.  So hopefully the ball will be really starting to roll soon, and then I’ll have more to post about!

 

400 Days To Go!

Well as per The Knot.com we only have 400 days to go before the big day!

400 Days

As of Sunday, I will be on vacation for 3 weeks, so hoping to get a bunch of research done during that time!  I will be in England for 2 weeks of that time mostly at my Grandma’s house, and she does not have an internet connection, so I’m trying to figure out how I will deal with that, since I’ve basically spent every free moment since we decided on a date looking up wedding ideas online.  Looking into getting a temporary wifi connection while there to keep my latest addiction going!

 

 

Marnie’s First Post – Wedding Visions

I guess I should probably try to figure this out, since I am the one who already has the entire wedding day planned out in my head!  Maybe this will help me get all my ideas down into words so that Chris can start to visualize what I see happening on that day.  And if our visions of the day are miles apart then we can start to work on blending our visions so that we are both happy!  Yes of course I am a woman who has been visualizing my wedding day since a young age, I was after all a bride for Halloween one year (maybe about 7 years of age?) , and I’m doubtful that Chris has thought about it nearly as much as I have.  I have now had almost 4 years of actually thinking about it as an actual event since Chris proposed on March 14, 2009.

At first we were planning a wedding in the Richmond/Vancouver area, with the ceremony at the Minoru Chapel in Richmond, and an undecided location for the reception.  Then over the last 3 years we’ve made an annual trip to Maui and have fallen in love with the place, and so our vision changed and we have now decided on Maui on March 14, 2014 – 5 years to the day of our engagement as the time and place for our big day!

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I’ve had to make some changes from my original vision and transplant it into a tropical setting.  Things I never thought I’d go for at my wedding are now OK – such as allowing Chris to wear a Hawaiian shirt and possibly shorts (still thinking about this!) to our ceremony.  After all he is pretty susceptible to heat stroke and I don’t want my groom to be grumpy, or to pass out during the ceremony, or to be sweating profusely in all our photos!  Me on the other hand was worried about wearing the kind of gown I wanted in Vancouver, as I am always freezing cold (yes sometimes even in the summer), so now in the heat I don’t have to worry about freezing if I decide on a strapless gown!

My colour scheme has just undergone a change too.  I always envisioned my wedding as being red and white, but I was having trouble finding the tropical flowers I want in my bouquet in red, and red just didn’t really seem to fit with the tropical destination – so now am thinking of going for a bright pink and white.  I know I want a bright colour in my bouquet for that striking contrast from a white dress.  I know Chris doesn’t mind wearing bright colours, including pink, so I don’t think he’ll care.

pink and white tropical flowers

For the ceremony I like the idea of a beach wedding, but I have never enjoyed being dirty, so the thought of being covered in sand all day doesn’t really appeal to me.  So I’m trying to find a location that is on the water and has a beach in the background, but has a nice green grassy area where we can actually have the ceremony.  My first thought was Maluaka Beach Park, it looks like a beautiful spot, but it is a public park, so while it would be cheap (likely under $50 to the State of Hawaii for an event licence), we would risk other weddings being there at the same time and fighting over locations, and random people walking around and getting in the way of pictures.    There are some fabulous private estates on Maui that rent out for weddings and of course so many gorgeous resorts, so those options are definitely in the mix.  I still haven’t ruled out the public beach though, as to have it in a private estate or at a resort starts getting pretty pricey, so we’ll  have to see how things work out with the budget!  And if we do the public beach, we still have to find somewhere to have the reception, whereas an estate or resort we can have the reception right there.

The first order of business will be to hire a wedding planner – being so far away, a wedding planner is basically a necessity, and it will make life so much easier, plus they will know the best places, vendors, etc. to make my dreams a reality.  I’ve done some research and have a list of ones that seem like they have good reviews.  Next step will be to actually call these people up and have a chat with them to make sure our personalities mesh reasonably well and make sure they seem to understand my vision.  I don’t want to end up with a wedding planner that can’t make my vision come to life, or that I dislike.

Well I guess this has become a pretty long post, so I will sign off for now.  I hope you’ll keep checking back and follow our progress as we navigate the adventures of planning a destination wedding.  If you have any ideas or words of wisdom please let us know.  I may not  use them, but ideas and advice are always welcome!

Maui. March 2014. Wedding.

It’s official.  Having been engaged for nearly four years, Marnie and I are finally tying the knot.  Not only that, we’ve also settled on a destination wedding in our favourite vacation spot – Maui.

Kamaole Beach III

Kamaole Beach III

We first visited Maui with my parents in 2010 and our love for the island made it easy for us to decide on it being the perfect locale for our wedding. But that’s the only real decision we’ve made so far.

Well, maybe not the only one.

I also took the lead from my friends Nicole & Richard, who are currently planning their very own wedding (or #Twedding as the online vernacular goes), and decided that Marnie & I should also have a blog.

So with the domain name registered (on the cheap of course, we have a wedding to save for) and the site relatively setup, hopefully we can keep you all up-to-date on our happenings. Sure I have to convince Marnie to contribute once in a while, but at least you know that I’ll be here regularly.

And please feel free to drop us a line or leave us comments on ideas and such. We’re both new at the wedding thing so all the sage words of advice we can get will be appreciated.