It’s almost been a month since my wedding, and a day hasn’t gone by where I don’t relive it. October 7th, 2017 was the best day of my life.
Rewind a bit–back to November 6th, 2016–A.J. got down on one knee and proposed at Crater Lake. It was absolutely beautiful. Crater Lake was one of the first places we visited together since we moved to Oregon back in late 2014. It’s literally one of my favorite places; the beauty is so surreal, it actually takes my breath away. Now, that national park will always hold a place in both of our hearts–for more than just it’s natural beauty.
After a lot of thinking and calling around, we decided to do a destination wedding. Best idea ever. Because we live in a different state than my family and all of our friends, we knew someone would be traveling regardless. We decided on Hawaii, Alligator Rock Beach in the north shore on Oahu; A.J. had never been, and what’s better than getting married on the beach, next to the crashing waves with sand in between your toes? It also made it easy for everyone to do their own thing; we got to spend time with everyone without it feeling like people were just waiting on us. Everyone was able to vacation and enjoy their time on the island.
Everything was planned well in advance; the cake had been ordered, the photographer had been paid, I had my dress, etc. What wasn’t planned–all of the things outside of my control. It was high tide–where we wanted to become husband and wife was now covered with ocean water. We had to figure out a new, safe spot on the beach for everyone to get to. Plus–the most nerve-racking–the makeup/hairstylist was an hour and a half late, so the wedding got pushed back because of it.
Despite almost having a breakdown, everything worked out just the way it was supposed to. A.J. looked handsome as ever with the biggest smile on his face, the makeup/hairstylist exceeded my expectations, and there wasn’t a dry eye on the beach. It was absolutely perfect.
Since it’s been about a month, there’s been quite a learning experience from this–some tips I have mentally logged for when my future children walk down the aisle.
One–it’s just one day, one day out of so many you live in your life. What do you really need to make it the best day? We didn’t have a DJ or a band; A.J. and I made a playlist. Not only was it so fun putting it together, but it was exactly what we wanted–a simple backyard style wedding with our closest family and friends. We didn’t even have a bridal party or groomsmen. Are people going to look back and remember that there wasn’t an official dance floor or that there wasn’t a DJ getting everyone excited? No. They are going to look back and remember the love and how much fun it was, and that’s what mattered most to us.
Two, something will go wrong–maybe even everything. There are so many things outside of your control–which sucks for me because I may be a control freak. When the makeup/hairstylist was 30 minutes late and not answering my calls, I had a mimosa in hand, plugged in my curling iron and started applying my own makeup. Of course, I wanted someone else to do all of that for me, but you sometimes just have to roll with the punches. *Quick tip: waterproof makeup is absolutely necessary for a wedding!
Three, it all happens so fast! Make sure to be in the moment, hear what your loved one is saying when they commit to life with you. That moment, hearing A.J. read his vows to me, was so special and a moment I have on repeat in my head. Hearing my uncle share his words of love and marriage, and then uniting us as husband and wife, was so endearing and lovely. It’s just what we wanted and more.
Looking back, would I have done anything differently? Not at all. It all happened the way it was supposed to, and it couldn’t have been a more beautiful and special day.
*In case you were wondering, my dress was Wtoo by Watters from Pearl and Penna Bridal Boutique in Central Point, Oregon. The boutique had the dress on sale; it was originally for $1,800, and I scored it for $600! It was exactly the type of dress I was looking for; who knew simple, elegant dresses were so hard to find?! My earrings are from Blue Nile; A.J. got them for me as a Christmas gift last year! I wear them all the time; they are so beautiful, and it doesn’t even feel like I’m wearing jewelry! Finally, my pearl choker was from BHLDN. I can’t find it anymore on their site, but it was originally $120, and I was able to get it for half off. If you’re a bride-to-be, I definitely recommend looking at that site regularly for great deals! Lastly, I borrowed the shoes from my mom!