If you know Rick and me at all, you know we don’t spend a lot of time worrying about doing things the way everyone expects us to. Our big day wasn’t about bells and whistles at all, and that’s why we chose to have a casual destination wedding in The Bahamas instead of a huge shindig with hundreds back home.
What could be simpler than a beach wedding at a quiet island resort? We’d have a smaller crowd and fewer obligations. We’d need fewer decorations because the beach was the perfect backdrop. And we’d mellow everyone out during the week with a chill Bahamian vibe, so by the time we got to Oct. 23, everyone would be on island time. (And without a Hobby Lobby nearby during the wedding week, I wouldn’t be tempted to craft until the moment I walked down the aisle.)
The road to marriage was an arduous one at times for both of us, so having ample time during the week to reflect and pray and just spend time basking in our little miracle was a priority.
Well, we all know how that went.
(New to this saga? Take a dive down the rabbit hole…)
I certainly never imagined that only a year after the wedding I’d be walking down the aisle and saying “I do” again. Usually folks save the vow renewals for 5, 10 or 20 years down the road. But one year was a big milestone for us. I can’t understate the mental and physical effects that the cyber-stalking by our wedding hotel’s management caused me. You can surely see the physical change in my photos, and even on the best days of our first year of marriage, I was looking over my shoulder. Renewing our vows was about starting over in our hearts the way we always wanted to and making a memory we could smile about — without so much baggage.
When we decided to think about doing a symbolic reset, the only question was where. Obviously, a change of scenery was in order. We couldn’t go back to the scene of the crime. (You know, because of the death threats!)
Our only requirement: a peaceful spot that wasn’t under construction.
There was only one place I know magical enough to wipe the slate clean — Kauai!
I’d been wanting to take Rick to Kauai since the day I met him. He’s rugged, adventurous and loves the sea, and I knew he’d fall in love with the island just like I had so many years before. Hurricane Matthew forced us to postpone our dates by a few weeks, so we missed our actual anniversary.
BUT, it was a bit of a bonus because we had our special redo on my birthday. Huzzah!
More than anything else, we wanted our do-over to be easy, easy, easy. As we learned in Wedding No. 1, no matter how simple you want things, and even if you don’t run across Caribbean pirates like we did, stuff comes up. I was prepared for the worst, but hoping for the best.
Fortunately, this time was the polar opposite. There were no rings or relatives to keep track of, no decorations to sling up at the very last minute, no flower deliveries to chase down, no hissy fits, no jackhammers, no gaping holes in the ground, no updo debacles, nobody lying to us, no insidious hoteliers lurking in the sea grapes.
Just 50 acres of lush landscaping, the Pacific Ocean, the Grand Hyatt Kauai and this man I loooove.
We were totally hands-off with planning – we had the wedding team coordinate everything. All we had to do was show up on at 4 p.m. at Keoneloa Bay, dressed for a do-over.
We wandered down to the beach to find beautiful music, gorgeous fresh leis and of course, perfect Poipu weather. (How stunning is my flower crown? It’s called a lei po’o and was handmade!)
Wouldn’t you know it – our vow renewal was absolutely seamless. A dream! Literally everything went off without a hitch.
It was intimate and personal and perfect.
Our awesome, smiling kahu, Chucky Boy Chock, led us through the sweetest little commitment ceremony where we, without any distractions, pledged our undying love to each other again.
Everything went so smoothly, we almost couldn’t believe the difference from Wedding 1 to Wedding 2. Where our wedding day was rushed and frenzied and basically consisted of me putting out fire after fire, our vow renewal was light and breezy and happy.
And unlike our actual wedding day, I didn’t spend nearly as much time crying! (At least not from stress – there may have been a few tears of joy. Have you seen my husband? The man is fine!)
We couldn’t stop smiling – and BIG! I think this is how we were supposed to feel on Wedding Day 1.
From planning with the Grand Hyatt Kauai wedding team to coordinating the day of to the actual ceremony and photos, everything was just so easy. The staff were helpful, pleasant to work with and knowledgeable. You could feel the spirit of aloha in every conversation, and that was a welcome change from what we experienced before.
I don’t entertain many regrets in my life, but I sure regret not having our destination wedding in Kauai in the first place.
I’m beyond grateful that we had the chance to look each other in the eyes and say “I do” all over again. Not everyone has the chance to start over – in paradise, no less! – and I treasure the fact that we did.
Thinking of having your vow renewal or destination wedding in Kauai? Here are the fabulous folks & vendors who made ours happen:
Officiant/Kahu: Chucky Boy Chock
Flowers: Elvrine Chow, Heavenly Hakus
Photos: Ryan Metzger, Kilohana Photography
Guitar: Paul Togioka
Venue: Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa
Dress: Adrianna Papell, V-Neck Sleeveless Lace Dress with Mermaid Skirt
With extra special mahalo to: the inimitable Sue Kanoho and the Kauai Visitors Bureau
After our ceremony, we changed into comfier clothes and were whisked away to a romantic Share the Stars dinner in a private cabana on Shipwreck Beach. It was the night of the Super Moon, so we watched the sunset and the moonrise while eating surf and turf and drinking red wine.
The next morning, we woke up and went straight to the onsite Anara Spa for a couples massage. Sitting around in our robes and slippers, holding hands and relaxing in paradise – it’s exactly how we imagined our relaxing destination wedding week.
Thank you, Kauai, for helping us make new memories!
And we lived happily ever after!
This trip took place in partnership with the Kauai Visitors Bureau and the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Opinions, as always, are my own.
10 thoughts on “We do, Again. Our Wedding Do-Over in Kauai”
Dennis and I plan on doing a vow renewal since we didn’t have an actual wedding (we got married on our dining room by my best friend and I work jeans and was barefoot) and I’ve been thinking about Hawaii. Thank you for this! I will definitely check them out when the time is right. It’s either this or in the snow while it’s snowing but that’s a little harder to plan. 😉 lol
How absolutely wonderful…. Now on to LIFE, happy and healthy!!!
Love to you both….
I’m so glad you got your dream day!
I was at the wedding and what you went through was over-the-top. But, as a bride myself who experienced her on stress with things going wrong on the big day, I do think that anyone that says their wedding day was absolutely 100% perfect is lying.
We spend so much time thinking about that day that even things that seem like no big deal to anyone but the bride herself can put a damper on what we imaged our weddings to be like.
But I’ll tell you that as the years go on – almost 14 now for Tim and me – the little details that you stress over become distant memories. And that day becomes more and more about the commitment you made.
Your wedding was beyond stressful and was so much more than the bad weather and a cake so ugly I couldn’t even serve it to guests that I dealt with on my own wedding day. Or the torn dress. Or the spill that left a stain unnoticeable to anyone but the bride. Or the wrong flowers. Or…or…or…
There’s always something. Unless you’re Julia freakin’ Roberts and paying someone oodles of money to make sure you never know about all the little things that do wrong during every major event anyone’s ever planned.
When it’s just you two, you focus less on all those little details and it really is just about your commitment to each other. Now, on to many many more years of happiness together!
Great story Ang! I am still so upset about your terrible first experience. A wedding is supposed to be a new beginning and to have that taken away from you is heartbreaking! So glad you two turned it into a positive a redid the whole thing. Hope you can now look back on your REAL wedding day and smile…and never have to think about the stupid Bahama debacle again! Xx-cathy
I also regret not having our wedding in Kauai (our first thought, as well!). Though our actual day was great regardless =)
Thrilled you guys got the chance of a do-over, and now you have me planning my own trip to Hawaii this spring!
What a lovely day you had.
So happy for you <3
Best of luck in 2017
Oh golly I’m s happy to read about this after the first one, and what stunning photos! That crown! <3 Beautiful beautiful. Xx
Wedding at the beach,oh, such lovely!
Wedding at the beach , very beatiful !
I remember reading about your wedding debacle. Though debacle is actually too kind a word, right?
Reading this redo literally just made me feel warm and fuzzy on this cold dreary day. I know, weird random stranger here feeling giddy about your Kauai wedding. I’m genuinely happy for you. These pictures are gold and you’re a beautiful bride. 🙂