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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We Found a Wedding Venue!


We traveled all the way down to Mission Bay, Oceanside, San Diego. We drove up to the hills of San Pedro and strolled on the Redondo Beach boardwalk. My last trip home to California was more filled with duty than with fun, all on a single mission: find a damn wedding venue.

I’m slowly discovering the pro’s and con’s of planning a wedding from an ocean away. On the positive side, there’s enough geographical distance for me to not be able to really freak out. Secondly, I have a troop of loyal loved ones willing to help – a.k.a. my mom, sister, aunts, cousins, & friends – doing a lot of the dirty work. I would never ask or expect them to be as ridiculously helpful as they’ve been, but I definitely feel the love!

We’re also the first planned wedding in our close family & friends (for both me and rocky!) so we’re already being spoiled rotten. I’m figuring out that this is a pretty massive perk.

The pro/con of it, though, is that we have to plan everything way in advance. Which is how we found ourselves scrambling to look at wedding venues on a whim within a strict four-day window. Thankfully, though, it worked out.

We (or to be fair, my wonderful mom) found a place that both me and Rocky adore, is totally in our price range, and includes a two-hour open bar. Which, as a young couple, is crucial to supply for our fellow broke post-college friends.

The venue is a beautiful redwood boardwalk dotted with gazebos looking out over the ocean with the waves gently lapping underneath. It’s at the end of the San Diego peninsula in Point Loma, CA., with a generous view of the bay and not even another building in sight. The pillars just beg to be adorned with strings of white lights and paper lanterns. swoon.

Of course, I loved the place immediately – but what made me fall in love with it was Rocky. After the first picture (he hasn’t seen it in person) he said, “It looks just like Indonesia. It’s so us.”  

Rocky & I on our Bali Trip :)

Rocky & I on our Bali Trip 🙂

Our romantic rendevouzs/surf trip to Bali last year changed the course of our relationship. We were living in a house with 10 other people at the time (crazy, right?) and finally had some alone time. After a stressful year of school and graduation and work and jobs we finally came up for air and realized that everything was more right that we could have ever imagined. We decided then that we wanted to move out of the bro house, get our own place, and get married.

When we got back, we did move out. We got our own place. And right before we left, we traveled to a family-run silversmith shop in central Bali and bought a one-of-a-kind ring.

Now, we’re planning our wedding – and since our families made us swear we wouldn’t run off to Bali and elope, we’re getting the next best thing. Even better, our friends and family will all be there to see it 🙂


IMG_3943What do you think about outdoor weddings?