Last year, while Ricky and I were in London on vacation, he decided to surprise me one day with tickets to see my favorite DJ. Then we went to dinner, and that night he proposed on Tower Bridge. He blogged about it here. It was something he planned, an amazing surprise, and so it only makes sense that he wrote about it on his blog.

This year, after talking about it and deciding to go to Kauai on our vacation and for my 40th birthday, we decided to do something else there too. Rather than spend time, money, and energy planning even a small wedding with friends, we decided to just get married on the beach in Kauai. Just the two of us. And not tell anyone!

We started planning in June, and I actually did most of the planning, but I ran everything by Ricky too, of course. Since I planned it, I figured it was only fair that I write a blog about it this time. Especially since there are a few details that were carefully planned and had meaning to them that aren’t obvious just from knowing where and when we got married and seeing our pictures.

Once we decided to get married, I went to work figuring out an easy (and hopefully pretty inexpensive) way of getting it done in Kauai. That’s how I found Christine Kube. She ended up being our officiant (the person who married us). And honestly, I can’t recommend her enough to anyone looking to get married in Kauai. She was extremely sweet and very helpful every step of the way. She helped us figure out how to apply for our marriage license, got us a great photographer, and knew the perfect spot and time on the beach where we could get married. It was beautiful and perfect for us.

Now, I’ve had about all of the traditional female roles in a wedding (flower girl, bridesmaid twice, maid of honor, etc.) except for a bride up until this point, so I’ve seen how much money and time goes into planning them. That’s just not for me. But there are some things I care about, some traditions I wanted to follow, and some things I wanted to incorporate. So I thought I’d share a few of them.

Ring Holder NecklaceRing NecklaceMost of what I wore for the wedding was pretty simple. I ordered all of it online except for my shoes (sandals). Even though we got married in Hawaii, I didn’t want to go too over the top with making it a “Hawaiian” wedding. Our officiant included a lei exchange, which I loved, but I opted out of a “Hawaiian” ceremony and real Hawaiian flowers in exchange for a simple headband and paper bouquet (more about that in a minute). But there is one accessory I was very intentional about. See, if we had a wedding back on the mainland, there would have been one definite part of the wedding party–the ring bearer. It would have been our dog, Charlie. But, since it’s so hard to bring a dog with you on vacation to Hawaii, Charlie stayed at home, at least physically. But I wanted a way to include him in the ring bearer role somehow. So I found a necklace on Etsy that was specifically made to be a ring holder necklace. And… it had a dachshund on it. I wore it for our wedding, with both of our rings on it, up until the point that we exchanged them. So even though he wasn’t there physically, our adorable ring bearer accomplished his goal with a tiny little stand-in version of himself.

BouquetSomething else I knew that I did want as a bride was a wedding bouquet. Now, one of the things that Ricky and I love to do together is travel. We’ve been to something like twenty different countries together, and it’s a big passion of both of ours, seeing new places. So when I found some really cool bouquets (also on Etsy) that incorporated maps, I thought this was a perfect way to include this shared love of ours in our wedding ceremony. So I ordered one and worked with the lady that created it to get exactly what I wanted–something that included the maps and also looked Hawaiian enough to match the lei that I knew would be in our pictures as well. Bonus–since it’s paper and not real flowers, I can keep my bouquet forever.

Something OldRemember that old “something borrowed” poem/tradition for brides? Every bride is supposed to have something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Well, my something old was my grandmother’s wedding ring–my grandmother on my mom’s side who died when I was three. My mom had her wedding ring and she gave it to me some time ago. It’s very thin from wear, so normally I don’t wear it, but for our wedding ceremony I wore it on my right hand ring finger as my “something old”. My grandmother and grandfather’s wedding was in 1922, so I’d say it qualifies as old.

My “something new” was my wedding dress, of course. Now, “something borrowed”… this gets a bit interesting. Not long after we got engaged, I came across a wedding poem by my favorite author, Neil Gaiman. It’s a beautiful poem, and I loved it. So I actually asked him on Twitter if I could borrow it to be read at my wedding too. And he responded! He has said anyone can use it, but he personally approved it via my tweet. So I had the officiant read it, and it became my “something borrowed”. Ricky had never heard it until then, and he loved it too. Also, oddly enough, I went back to the blog post where Neil first wrote about the poem and realized that he actually wrote it exactly two years before, only a day off from the day we got married.

So all that leaves is “something blue”. And we won’t get into that. Some things need to stay between married couples. Suffice it to say that even though you can’t see it in the pictures… I was indeed wearing something blue!

Us_WeddingCakeWeddingCakeBreakOh, just one more thing–our wedding cake. I’ve gotten asked about that, and while we didn’t have a traditional wedding cake, not only did we get some cake for free at dinner at the restaurant we went to after the wedding, but we had our own very “us” version of a wedding cake… a wedding cake beer! We brought this can of Imperial Wedding Cake Break from Evil Twin Brewing with us and shared it that night. So there you have it. A very “us” way to end a very “us” day and wedding. Hope you enjoyed hearing more of the details!