one year ago…

I said, “I do!”

A reflection on my wedding:

holding up our wedding certificate, proving we were hitched in glorious paradise. what a beautiful day!

April 17, 2010 was such a beautiful, simple, happy, perfect day.  I’m pretty sure it was the best day of my life.  And I don’t mean that figuratively.  It really was the best.

i liked it so i put a ring on it

We got married on Kailua Beach – right on the sand!  It was a simple ceremony performed by a local pastor (not one I know now) and we had a small group of our friends standing around and watching.  All of the “guests,” lived out here in Hawaii; we didn’t invite anyone from the mainland because we were keeping things simple, and the wedding was planned in a very short period.

rev. kermit

We had a tiny wedding, without a reception, without family and friends from home, without any rigamarole or typical wedding traditions.   And it was perfect!

Why the tiny wedding?

I was in nursing school and I came out to Hawaii on my spring break.  When we got married, I was here for ten days: two days before the wedding and eight after.  It was a quick trip!  But it was all I could squeeze in because of my crazy (horrific) school schedule.

Matthew’s in the USMC: they could change his schedule, deny his leave, send him to the range, or do any number of things that could jeopardize having the wedding on a specific day (the literally own him), so we didn’t want to risk having people arrange travel to Hawaii and then things got all messed up with his schedule.

Furthermore, because of how long distance we were during our whole courtship we wanted and needed the time together without entertaining people. Without picking people up from the airport, or taking them out to dinner – we wanted/needed time just the two of us.   We also planned the wedding in a few months and we had a very tiny budget, so yeah – arranging cross-Pacific travel wasn’t happening.

The Dress

I wore a really pretty yellow dress (hand dyed, organic cotton from Gypsy 05);  Matthew asked me to wear yellow.  We were tossing out nearly every other tradition, so why wear white?  Yellow is his favorite color on me, and when he left for Afghan in ’09, I wore a yellow dress to his send off.  The whole time he was in Afghan, when he thought about me he imagined me in yellow.  So it was perfect, right?  (Isn’t that lil story soooo cute and sweet?  I’m so lucky to have such an awesome romantic story).  Also, the dress went great with his Blues.  Ahh, he looked so handsome in his Blues.  Marines have the best uniforms.

The Photos

We did hire a photographer.  We decided since we asked our families not to come out, that the least we could do would be to have a pro come make sure that all of the special moments were properly captured.

Check out the professional photos: http://www.redbirdphotography.com/wordpress-1/2010/05/kailua-beach-wedding/   (and truthfully, the first half of the sideshow is NOT as good as the second half, so I won’t get mad if you fast forward).

Our photog was great, loved her!  But she gave me a CD of all the pics on a kind of disc that my Mac can’t/won’t read.   So yeah, I don’t have any of the pro pics on my computer/posted online individually.  I’m able to order prints though, so I have plenty of framed prints all over our house.

The Day Itself

We got ready together, so taboo – I know!  I did my own hair and my own make-up, and we drove our rental car to the beach.  Our pals, the Rev, and the photog all met up with us and we did the durn thing.  It had been raining all morning.  Our wedding was at noon, and at about 11:45 the sun came out. All of the clouds cleared away.  By 1:00pm it was raining again.  AMAZING, right?  It was literally raining on our drive there, and I was worrying because we had no contingency plan, other than to just get wet and go with it.

We stood on the sand and Rev Kermit said some blessings, blessed the rings and we exchanged them.  We did both the traditional vows (I wanted them) and we wrote our own (Matthew wanted this), and we smooched as we were proclaimed husband and wife!   I loved our ceremony, it was so sweet.

reading my vows. of course i had this huge piece of paper with my vows.

Afterwards, we walked across the street to Buzz’s and had lunch with the friends who came.  I think I had a fish sandwich?  It was so good though, and I remember just sitting there reeling with happiness, and staring at the band on my finger.  What a happy day!

Our Honeymoon

Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore = the most amazing awesome place to go for a honeymoon.  Well, it’s the only honeymoon I’ve ever been on, but it was so perfect and great I can’t imagine a better place we could have gone.  The food at all of the restaurant was incredible, the pool had waterslides, the spa was wonderful (we got an oceanfront couples massage. umm, amazing!), just everything was perfect!

checkin' in at turtle bay

my first night as mrs. duggan - and we spent it ordering room service and watching movies. here i am all cozy in my jammies, crazy knee socks included!

carly gifted us these mugs; i use my "r" mug every single day

i was so skinny a year ago. so much can happen in a year, like twenty pounds of "so much." sheesh!!

i love my husband more and more every day

It’s been a year

I have NO regrets.  I’m actually beyond thankful for having the wedding we did.   I always thank Matthew for our wedding and that we did it exactly how we did it, it was just our perfect day.  And as time passes, I’m so grateful we don’t have wedding debt, or that no family drama occurred because of our wedding, etc.

I see so many of my friends going into debt, getting ulcers from the stress of planning, getting into fights with loved ones over small wedding-related details.  I cannot imagine making a seating chart or a registry (I could write an entire blog post about how weird I think registries are and how we have everything we need and I feel so weird telling people what to buy me).  The American industrial-wedding complex is just insane.  The money and craziness, how elaborate weddings are – it drives me nutty.  People spend more money on their wedding than they do on their cars!

I wonder what would happen if every dollar spent on weddings was spent to fight world hunger.

Now, don’t get me wrong: saying our vows in front of our families and friends would have been amazing.   I certainly understand why that’s important and I value that.  But I just believe there’s a way to celebrate reasonably and a way that’s too over the top (in my opinion).

I wish there was a way to un-plant the seed that gets into the noggins of little girls and makes them fantasize about their dream wedding from the time they’re talking.  So many girls grow into women thinking that they must have this giant spectacle for a wedding.  But the real important part is finding someone you love and want to spend the rest of your life with.  The marriage, the vows, the love – that’s what really matters.

Anyways… I didn’t really have any intention of going off on a rant about my disdain for ridiculous weddings, but it is what it is.  Oh, to clarify, if you’re a super rich multi-millionaire type and you have a wedding that costs $100,000, that makes sense.  But if you’re living like me and you have a super pricey wedding that sends you into serious debt, it just doesn’t seem worth it to me.

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12 responses

  1. I don’t know if I’m just overly emotional, but I just cried while watching the slide show of your wedding pictures. ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! ❤

  2. i love it when people make their wedding fit them as a couple instead of trying to fit some kind of mold . . . i’ve had friends who regret doing their wedding the way their family or whomever wanted them to do it instead of just saying, “no, this is our day and we’re going to make it our own.” you guys’s wedding seems like it was completely perfect for you and that is completely awesome. 🙂

    • YES! That’s the perfect way to word it, our wedding fit us. It represented our personalities, our beliefs (on many levels), and our LOVE! Thanks for reading my blog and thanks for totally hitting the nail on the head!

      The pressure of family can be really hard, and when Matthew and I were first engaged I was so focused on pleasing my family/loved ones, and thus I was really stressed on how to make everything fit together. Then when I finally talked to everyone and told them what we had in mind – they were all so supportive and okay with it. Of course people were sad that they didn’t get be with us for such a joyous and significant occasion, but they still love us and are so happy that we’ve found each other and decided to spend the rest of our lives together! We’re so lucky to experience unconditional love from so many sources.

  3. I’m kinda jealous of your wedding. We did the big, expensive thing with the fighting families. I’d take it back in a second to have a courthouse wedding and a family bbq.

    • I hear ya. I can’t even count how many huge-wedding-veterans who’ve told me the same thing. It’s sad and frustrating. The important part is the marriage though. The day is the day, and it’s great and significant… but even if you (or anyone) regrets the details of the ceremony – the big picture of the marriage is what counts!!

  4. Yellow Energy:
    Dawn’s spectacular yellow rays provide the light and warmth we need for this lavish gift called life. Yellow lights our existence. It illuminates, clearing the shadows of uncertainty. It breathes a warm promise of new beginnings and hope.
    A sun color, exuberantly cheerful, yellow lifts our spirits, it makes us feel happy, optimistic, expressive, friendly, creative and experimental.

    Yellow symbolizes: wisdom, joy, happiness, intellectual energy, success
    The color Yellow has stood for wisdom and intellect throughout the ages. It is full of creative and intellectual energy.

    Helps overcome obstacles, gather self-confidence, and stimulates our mind to focus and think more clearly; awareness of self and the power to be an individual

    also the color of the 3rd Chakra (Solar Plexus Chakra): connects us to our personal power, will and autonomy

    Just thought you should now how awesome the color yellow is 😀

  5. Your wedding looks beautiful and wonderful and full of love, as it should be. There’s so much judgment from all sides when it comes to weddings and planning, and you’re so right when you say that what’s important is that you are married. Kudos for having the perfect wedding for you and Duggs. 🙂

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