We did an ‘elope on the beach’ package, which was perfect for our little family. My daughters and I were already up bright and early when the hair and make up artist came to the house, and the girls were so excited to see my curls, they wanted to do something with their hair, too (which was the sneaky, goal, lol). DD1 decided to have curls, and DD2 opted for two little french braids. Then, two hours later, we all loaded up into the limo, which the girls adored and couldn’t help climbing all over, and rode through the stormy rain (rain! Not on our wedding day, gasp!) from our house, until we left the clouds behind and arrived to the beach. The photographer and videographer were waiting for us just as we piled out of the “lo-o-o-o-ng” car, as DD2 called it, and which was perfect, because they were so excited about the limo, I was hoping they’d get a photo with the girls near it!
It turned out the reverend who met us at the drop off is married to our wedding coordinator, and they have grandchildren, so they knew exactly how to relate and hang with the girls. It just made my heart swoon to see they had mini bouquets ready for them, and haku leis (flowers made into a crown), and not only that, but they also gave them brightest and sweetest blue and pink bamboo umbrellas that the girls got to KEEP—this is how it works here, just lovely added bonuses that aren’t itemized on an invoice, include just because. The girls were thrilled and loving it all up, smiling and skipping along the wooded path for pictures, eventually leading us to our ceremony spot, which was nestled between the ironwood trees and a large, shady naupaka bush, right on the sand. The wedding planner had spread rose petals to make an aisle that led to a small heart for us to stand and say our vows—with two bamboo stanchions topped with orchids and ginger as a frame.
Of course when we got there, DD2 suddenly had a case of the grumpies, which was quickly remedied by a spam musubi, and with spirits restored, along with two giant baskets of flower petals, both girls led the procession down the aisle, and without further ado we were in front of the reverend, ready to say our vows. Which, I wish, I wish, I wish I could write down verbatim. I know we said we would love and cherish and honor each other, and so many other kind things. My now husband teared up as he said them, which made me tear up, and then the tears were just rolling down my face, I was bursting with so much happiness and emotion.
One of the phrases we said to each other that I do remember is: to never walk behind you or below you or above you, but to always walk beside you.
Our reverend said he would send the vows to us, but also some of the phrasing he simply “added” to the script because of how we interacted with one another. It makes me smile to think that we somehow inspired him to think of a few choice words for us—and yes he’s probably used them before in his years of experience, but for whatever reason he decided to use them in our ceremony. He mentioned that after all this time, he is still moved when he sees tears, because he knows it’s a sign of deep emotion. <3
After the ceremony, we did some romantic posed pictures, but also silly, fun ones, like everyone holding hands and jumping on the beach, how I hope that one turns out! The girls helped the coordinator set up and decorate our little cake with white orchids, and we cut it and fed it to each other—in fact the promise of cake inspired some of the smiles we captured on camera in the family photos, ha ha ha! DD1 had never had sparkling apple juice before and decided it is now her favorite. I think she has good taste, ha ha ha!
And when it was finally time to pack up and go, we just decided to pay an extra hour for the limo and jump in the water, play in the sand, ride our boogie board, hold hands and laugh and laugh, until it was time to shower and go home. It was really, just absolutely the perfect day. I will never forget how easy it felt, how full of love and laughter, and how with our two little girls, everything felt ‘in the moment’ and fun and easy and effortless. How lucky we are to have wed in our beautiful and lovely state, and how lucky we are to be a little family.