Navigating the Wedding World

31429615_10216670143173928_7583722362701348864_nA few short months ago, the love of my life got down on one knee. It was better than I could have dreamed; we went on a hike through the Hawaiian jungle, into a valley underneath weeping Koolau Mountains and surrounded by butterflies, silence, and greenery. Everything he said was beautiful and perfect, and I fell even deeper in love with this man that I would soon get to marry.

Our engagement was idyllic, but being engaged – not so much. Immediately, excited friends and family honed in. When is the wedding? Where will it be? What are your colors? Your theme? At my wedding, we….

I know they didn’t intend to swarm, but that’s what it felt like. I felt like I was already behind a mere day after we got engaged, since I had no clue how to plan a wedding. I’m a pretty simple, outdoorsy gal – I didn’t even have a pinterest board remotely close to weddings until the proposal. I felt like everyone was watching, and waiting, and wondering why it was taking us so long to figure it out.

Thankfully, my fiancée (I get to use that word now!) stepped in and saved the day. He set a date that we would begin planning, and kindly informed everyone in our lives that we wouldn’t be making any decisions until then. We had some time to think, and breathe, and discuss our future marriage and plans and kids. We had time to actually enjoy being engaged to one another.

I loved this magical time where I knew the wedding was coming, but there was no planning to do. No tasks, no checklists, no due dates. Just love, and joy, and incredible happiness.

Like most magical moments, though, our unhindered bliss couldn’t last forever. Our planning day came, and we bravely stepped into the wedding world. We researched venues, defined our style, made a budget. Since we own a business together, planning was no big deal for us. We knew we could do it.

Now that we’re ankles-deep in the planning process, we’re encountering a lot of the ‘swarm’. Friends and family we love and look up to want us to invite so-and-so, and include this and that, and we have to do this, and it’s not really a wedding if…

Not to mention all of the TERRIFYING articles online on what really ‘makes’ a wedding.

Honestly, though, we’re both taking a stand against it all.  We’re both outdoorsy, adventurous, simple people. We’re not into expensive wines, luxury fabrics, lush flowers, sparkles or events. We want to create a ceremony and reception that represents and compliments who we are, and that our closest friends and family can enjoy.

I’ve been to a lot of weddings, and I pretty much never recall what kind of flowers or centerpieces were there, or even the entrée selection or premium wine list. I remember the people that married, and the love they shared, and the fun I had.

That’s what I want my guests (and us) to remember.


Wedding Ring Shopping!


I found the perfect ring.
I don’t even know anything about rings.
All this wedding stuff is overwhelming. Probably because a lot of the time I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.
I’m a simple girl. I especially don’t know anything about rings.
My fiancé got me a cool, funky engagement ring from a silversmith shop in Indonesia. And I absolutely love it.


However, there are a few downfalls to donning some non traditional bling. For one people don’t even notice I’m engaged, since the tell-tale diamond adorning my ring finger is incognito. Second, a few people – please, never do this to anyone – have asked, “when are you going to get a real diamond?”
Anyways, my mother- and grandmother-in-law came out to visit us for about a week. I absolutely love them, and they spoiled both of us rotten. My fridge and cabinets are exploding with food & we finally have a real couch.
They also surprised me by offering to buy our wedding rings. Since I’m totally naive, having them with me was beyond helpful. I was in there for 15 minutes and completely fell in love!


I knew it was the one the second I saw it. I love that it has the wave-type design, since the ocean is such a central part of our lives. And the diamonds in the center form an adorable Hawaiian flower.
It’s unique, yet traditional. It reflects me and us so perfectly; the first thing rocky said when he saw it was that it looks like me. And it does. It found me as much as I found it.
It doesn’t hurt that it was 40% off and fit – I didn’t even need to get it sized!


The past few days I’ve been so overwhelmed by Rockys family’s’ generosity and how beautiful the rig is and the exciting, terrifying fact that I’m getting married. I’ve been bouncing off the walls, crying happy tears and generally been in a glass case of emotion.
I feel so blessed in this life – with rocky, the island, my family, his family & the love they share. And now, I get to spend it with my perfect ring sparkling on my finger.

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Weddings: What Really Matters

So far, the extent of my wedding planning has been watching every Bridezillas & Say Yes to the Dress episode in existence. And, of course, countless hours scouring Pinterest for my kick-ass vintage/beachy wedding theme. (Cute, right?)

While my wedding is over a year & a half away, a tough decision has come up over the past few days. Will we be having our wedding here in Hawaii, or back home in California?

I shouldn’t have to be making any crazy decisions (or any decisions, really) for a while. But we have to let our friends & family know pretty far ahead of time if they need to plan on shelling out $800 a person to watch us tie the knot.

The whole conundrum brings up a deeper, more involved question: for our wedding, what’s more important? Getting married in paradise or having our loved ones there?

I’d like to point out that while Hawaii is destination wedding central, ours doesn’t fall in that category. Hawaii is where we live, where we met, and where our love has truly grown. It’s our place and where it all began.

Getting married in Hawaii would be awesome, but both of us believe that family comes first. I’ve always been super close with all of my extended kin. It’s a big part of how I think and who I am.

Plus, I have a pretty huge family. Each of my aunts & uncles have at least three kids, and asking them to shell out a few g’s just to come to my wedding feels kind of unrealistic and unfair. And that’s before rental cars, hotels, and food – all of which are way more expensive on the island.

What makes the choice so tough is that me and Rocky are the oldest among the grandkids and will be the first big wedding in the family. And trust me, neither of our grandmas are women you wanna mess with.

So, we’re getting married on the mainland. As much as I adore Hawaii, having family there is what will make or break our wedding. They play such a significant role in our lives that it would be just plain weird not to have them all there. And I’d love to have my best friends, who I’m lucky enough to still be tight with, there for love and support.

Here’s to planning a big, beautiful beach wedding. California is far from ugly, and unlike the island, we have a zillion venues to choose from. We can still get married on the beach and party like rock stars after – with all the people we love.

Cheers to friends & family,