Who’s afraid of a big bad Hawaiian hurricane? What about two?? Jess and George’s outdoor wedding in Hawaii may have been right in the middle of a pair of storms, but nothing was going to stand in the way of this couple’s beautifully personalized vows, special literary and musical wedding ideas, or devoted love from family and friends!
We knew everyone would be blown away by our wedding – I mean, Hawaii is the most beautiful place in the world – it was going to be glorious. But five days ahead of our shindig the Weather Channel was forecasting *two hurricanes* bearing down on us, threatening to literally blow us all away! As the duo of hurricanes marched towards us, we went through the stages of grieving as we worried that people from the mainland wouldn’t be able to make it, or that it would be so rainy that we’d have to scrub the outdoor portions of the event and somehow do everything under the tent that had been designated just for dinner and dancing. The hurricanes huffed and puffed, but in the end we had a sunny day with just a gasp of drizzle.
We did have guests with travel snafus, and several disappointing cancellations, but the weather never actually affected us directly on the Kona side of the Big Island. In the end, about 70 guests made it to our wedding, so we count ourselves very, very lucky that we made it through the great hurricane scare of 2014 relatively unscathed.
We had our ceremony outside under the palm trees. My dad played music for the guests as they came in, and my friend Hazen opened coconuts for them with a machete. My dear friend, Kira, kept me company before the wedding started, keeping me calm and composed. I don’t remember much about getting down the aisle, except that I was preceded by three wonderful children, and that my dad acoustically played me down the aisle to a version of “Green Sleeves.” I remember beaming at George, I remember his delighted expression, and I recall thinking to myself, “yay, he loves the dress! And… I get to marry this man, I am so freaking lucky!”
Our officiant was masterful, expressive and he led us through a ceremony that was incredibly meaningful to me. We wrote our own vows and exchanged leis. We had an emotional and beautiful musical interlude by my aunt and my dad. My brother read an excerpt from a Douglas Adams novel that was perfectly pitched optimism without being too cheesy for us. George had a ceremony that reflected both of us, and in the end I got to kiss my man, and then shazam, we were married!
We had Manhattans and Jameson Gingers for cocktail hour. We hugged, chatted, and drank with our amazing guests. We had a yummy Hawaiian meal, copious amounts of dessert, and then we danced! It was a magical day, completely perfect for George and I.