Before the wedding T could barely make it to her hotel because they were running errands all day as soon as they landed in Honolulu, and then all day the next day before heading to Laie. My parents had all kinds of wedding stuff to do too, and my mom traveled with an entire suitcase full of wedding gear. I'm on the hot mess express every time I travel, and I distinctly remember the day before our wedding when MJ wanted me to come out with him and his family to Julian and wouldn't go. I couldn't go. I didn't have anything I needed to do, but I was too anxious to leave my lists and spreadsheets. I would have been a mess, but not T. Nothing phases her. Not even a destination wedding during the first year of her child's life. She had all kinds of wedding accoutrements shipped to Oahu that she never even got to see until we checked in on Friday. There was all kinds of chaos as everyone arrived and started unloading cars. Before long, our house was full of boxes and the kitchen packed with food...most of which was not for us. When I asked my mom if they picked up any food that was not for the wedding, she looked around in confusion and said no...I guess not.
My favorite part about Tiki Moon Villas that weekend is that we were all together. The property has five bungalows and they were all occupied by friends and family of the wedding so we were neighbors all weekend long. My family had one place to ourselves and the bride and groom had their own place. Most of her friends were steps away. It was the ideal set up so we could spend more time together, and be available when my little sister needed help with baby M or anything else. She was too busy to do anything! She needed a lot of help, so I'm glad we were so close.
My second favorite part was the outdoor shower. Who knew how amazing it would feel to take a shower outside? I don't know what it is, but being outdoors while naked is great. I really enjoyed feeling the fresh air and seeing the sun while I scrubbed down. It just felt good, and it was convenient, because the house had one bathroom to share. I showered inside once, and then it was outdoors for the rest of the weekend. I loved it.
|Bride getting ready|
We waited too late to start getting ready. Or something. One minute we were tying tags to the never ending pile of wedding favors, and the next thing I knew it was a race against time to finish my make-up and finish curling my sister's hair. Meanwhile, MJ was chilling in the room catching up on TV shows. Sounds just like our wedding day when I didn't have time to eat, but he had time to forget his tux and have drinks with his groomsmen. The bride had a hair and make up artist come, so she was on schedule, but the rest of us were rushing. We ran over with the curling iron to finish hair, but none of us made it in time to be there when she put on her dress. The officiant was trying to get us together, but D was still in her robe, my mom was pinning my dress up in the back, and my dad was nowhere to be found.
How do you get that scene in the movies where the wedding party hangs out in their matching outfits laughing, drinking wine, and soaking in the enormity of what is about to happen? I may never know.
|My nephew the ring bearer|
There was no rehearsal. The bride was so laid back she didn't care where the boutineers were pinned, how we got out there, or how we came back. She didn't even care that much about what dresses we wore. The officiant asked us who the maid of honor was. The bride didn't know so my older sister was elected on the spot because she was born first. The officiant gave us a crash course on when we were supposed to start walking, and we sent my nephew down the aisle with the ring. "Walk to the front, find grammy, and sit down." I think we sent him out too soon because there was no music during the first half of his walk. He stopped and gave a deer in headlights look, but we told him to keep going, and the ring made it safely down the aisle.
|Bride and Groom|
|Mom, Dad, and baby M until she got fussy and got passed off to me|
The rest of the day went by just as fast as it started. We ate a delicious family style dinner. We ate cake. Then there were speeches, and I still can't believe I volunteered to speak. I do not do such things. I do not! Maybe it was the alcohol or the intoxicating humid Hawaiian air, but something prompted me to grab the mike to say a few words. I wasn't even nervous, and I don't think it was terrible. The night was warm, the drinks were flowing and we literally danced the rest of the night away. I didn't waste a minute. I was one of the first ones out there. We started out with 98% of guest butts in chairs, but by the end of the night I looked around and every single person was dancing.
|Cousin and Mom|
We checked out of the villas on Monday morning, and it was nice knowing that there was still more vacation to come. It was moving day, because we sure did make ourselves at home. I felt like we had been there much longer than one weekend based on all the food and boxes of stuff we had to pack up before we left. T and her new husband rented an SUV, but there was so much wedding stuff they still didn't have enough space to take all their luggage back to Waikiki. My parents trunk was packed too, so MJ and I took two suitcases with us for them to pick up later.
She pulled it off! My little sister who insisted on wearing a black leotard every day for months when she was 3 is a married woman and a Mom. Her family is complete, and I'm so happy for her.