Wednesday, April 10, 2013
So...after booking flights and hotels for our upcoming two week trip to Hawaii, we decided we should tie the knot while we were in paradise.
It was February 13th - 19 days before the date we thought would be a good day to get married: Monday, March 4th. However, it was only ten days before our flight and we wanted to have all the details worked out before we got on the plane. I didn't want the stress of doing any last minute wedding planning on the island, and Larry would be in meetings the first week we were in Oahu, so we wouldn't have a lot of free time. So we had ten days to plan a wedding AND do all the regular stuff that is required before going on vacation: packing, stopping the mail, taking the dogs to the sitter, researching activities and places to eat, last minute shopping for toiletries and beach wear, paying bills ahead of time, etc. (I had TWO dentist appointments during that time span, too.) Could we pack for a two week trip and plan a wedding in ten days? Was it even possible to get an officiant and a photographer on such short notice? What about a dress? And rings?
Ten days, LET'S GO:
On February 13th, I contacted officiants and e-mailed a photographer, who I knew didn't photograph weddings anymore, but I hoped she'd consider shooting an elopement. She responded right away and said yes! (I may have done a happy dance!)
On February 14th, I ordered four cheap wedding dresses online, a pair of wedding flip flops (something blue), and ahem, some undergarments. I had them all overnighted - a last minute wedding is definitely an occasion to pony up for next day shipping.
On February 15th, the first two wedding dresses arrived. One was fugly and one was way too big. FAIL. That evening, Larry surprised me with an engagement ring and a proposal on our front porch. WIN. (I said yes.)
On February 16th, we went downtown to our favorite jewelers (and the shop where Larry bought my engagement ring and several other gifts for me over the past ten years) to look for wedding bands. They asked if I'd like to have my engagement ring cleaned while we shopped. I told them I didn't think it needed to be cleaned since we'd just gotten engaged the night before! The bad news was that the wedding rings would take several weeks to arrive. They offered to let us use "loaner rings" for the ceremony. That was discouraging and it seemed kind of lame to take vows using fake rings. We went to celebrate our engagement over drinks and dinner at Rasika West End, researched other options that evening, and seriously considered ordering rings online. But before we took the huge risk of buying rings on the internet, we decided we'd spend the next day looking at other local jewelry stores to see if by chance they had something we liked in stock...
On February 17th, we went to jewelry store #2. They had rings in the case that we liked and that fit us both! We bought them. Whew - what a relief that we wouldn't have to get married using fake wedding rings! We also bought Larry a wedding shirt. Things were falling into place. Since we were already spending a ridiculous amount of money that day, I bought myself an iPhone 5, too. (My 3GS was nearly dead, so it was a necessary expense.) Rings? Check!
On February 18th, I started getting worried because the remaining two dresses still hadn't arrived.
On February 19th, the third wedding dress arrived. It was snug, but it zipped. It met my criteria for a wedding dress (it fit and it's white), so I'm going with it. Dress? Check!
On February 20th, I contacted a hair/make-up artist.
On February 21st, we decided on a beach venue and booked our photographer. I stopped by a friend's house to borrow jewelry and a clutch for my wedding day (something borrowed) and drink a celebratory glass of wine. She was the only person I told of our secret plan. I also learned that the fourth dress was on backorder and cancelled the order.
On February 22nd, I booked a hair/make-up artist and we decided on an officiant. I mailed the two loser wedding dresses back for a refund. Also, day before our departure = frantic all night packing.
On February 23rd, we took our bags to Dulles Airport (including a carry-on full of wedding attire and my purse that had a little red jewelry box nestled in the bottom) and got on a plane headed to Honolulu via Los Angeles...
We had the rings and a dress. We had someone to marry us and someone to take pictures. I had something old, new, borrowed, and blue. And most importantly, I had a guy I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. But were we really flying to Hawaii to get married? Had we really just planned a wedding in ten days?! Every night during the week before our departure, I went to bed giddy with excitement and dreaming of getting married on the beach, but every morning I woke up to the stress of all the things that needed to be done and wondering if we were crazy to try and pull this off. While we had the details mostly arranged before we left, I don't think I was convinced we'd actually end up married until the night before the wedding.
But first we had to make it to Honolulu and spend a week in Waikiki...