So, I am officially married! Can you believe it? It still doesn't feel real. In a way I expected to feel different, although I know this makes no sense, but I don't. I just feel like regular old me...not that that's a bad thing.
The wedding was perfect. I know that is a big claim to make but in my mind, it was everything I could have ever dreamed of. I went to bed on the 23rd and was feeling anxious and a little ill. Not nervous so much as emotionally drained. Buying a dress and getting ready for a wedding can be very tiring! As I lay in bed I kept trying to wrap my head around the idea that I was getting married and I really couldn't. I fell asleep to the sound of rain against the windows. I woke up to the sound of rain. Uh oh.
It rained all morning. The makeup artist, Leslie Gallagher, showed up at 8:00 and started working on Bobbi, Patt and my Mum. She was really great. I couldn't stop moving and pacing all morning...my stomach kept doing flip flops. The boys and girls had been separated, so the men were all getting ready upstairs and the women were downstairs. At one point I looked out my window and Brian was out snorkeling in the ocean! I was pacing and he was snorkeling. That's the difference between men and women!
At about 10:30, all of the "wedding people" started to arrive. The musicians (ukelele and guitar), the photographer, my wedding planner, Tammy, and the officiant, Kahu Silva. I started to get excited and nervous and happy all at the same time. It was a strange mix of emotions - my family was all there and excited, the sun was starting to shine and I was in my dress.
Brian and I decided early on that we wanted a traditional Hawaiian style wedding. Kahu Silva is a Hawaiian spiritual guide and master chanter and does a really neat wedding that combines Hawaiian and western traditions. About 20 minutes before the wedding started, the sun came out and lit up our beach. Kahu Silva, Brian and Craig started down by the ocean and Kahu Silva chanted them in from the beach and onto the grass. This symbolized the Hawaiian belief that all life began in the ocean. After they were positioned, the musicians began to play the Hawaiian wedding song which was my cue. My maid of honour, Bobbi, walked out first and my Dad and I followed. It was beautiful. The music was perfect, the sun was shining, our families were all there in a big welcoming circle and Brian was standing there waiting for me. He looked amazing.
My Dad gave me away to Brian and we stood and faced Kahu Silva. The ceremony was really beautiful but difficult to describe. A lot of it was in Hawaiian and then translated in English. Hearing the Hawaiian was really neat...it flows so softly off the tongue. Kahu Silva talked about "Aloha", the spirit of love, and how to incorporate it into our lives. We did a traditional ring exchange ("With this ring, I thee wed...) as well as a Hawaiian lei exchange, where the lei's represent unity and eternity. Finally we did a "hone hone", a Hawaiian version of the wedding kiss. We touched nose and inhaled slightly, which represented an exchange of our souls, or spirits. Then we kissed the good old fashioned way and were married!
After hours of getting our pictures taken, the limousine showed up and took us to the reception, which was onboard the Star of Honolulu. The ship was anchored at Waikiki Harbour and was absolutely beautiful. I couldn't believe how lucky I was! We boarded the ship and made our way to the third deck. Our table was on the sunset side of the boat and as we left the harbour, the food (wine, lobster, filet mignon...) started to arrive. It was so good! We watched the sun set over Diamond Head, danced to great music and had a fantastic time.
After the boat returned to shore, the limousine took us to our hotel and Brian and I bid farewell to our families. We walked into the hotel (still wearing gown and tux) and I was greeted with a single rose by the bellboy. The hotel was the nicest place I had ever been! We checked in and were promptly upgraded two scales to an oceanfront room. A perfect ending to a perfect day.
And the rest, as they say, is history. ;-)