Thinking back, the ocean was a witness to our engagement and ultimately our wedding. The excitement began one unsuspecting evening during our first visit to Maui. Uncharacteristically insistent, Mike led me down the beach in search of a spot to watch the sunset. We found a gnarled tree, just off the sand with welcoming, bench-like branches. Taking a seat in the tree, our ears buzzed with the sounds you associate with Hawaii: ukuleles and the ocean’s waves. Needless to say, the scene was almost too surreal. Then I felt Mike’s weight leave the tree branch and looked down to see him dropped to one knee, with a ring I recognized and had coveted months before, and a proposal equally as personal.
We had immediately decided that we wanted to have a beach wedding and soon thereafter decided on Anna Maria Island, Florida. I had grown up there until I was seven and this little barrier island in the Gulf was forever present in my memory. The color palette and sea life represented such a period of beauty in my young life that I knew it would be the ideal location to gather our friends and family while also providing the perfect backdrop to our wedding. Anna Maria invokes an old-Florida feel with its single-story skyline and its quiet, calm avenues. And once the long anticipated wedding week arrived, these same streets were being navigated by those closest to us as we rode beach cruisers from house to house.
Mike and I spent the days ironing out the details of the big day and the nights enjoying the time with our friends and family who had come from all over the country to celebrate with us. What I loved most about the planning process are all of the creative possibilities a wedding inspires. For my own wedding, I saw the potential of each detail to become an elaborate art project (and many of them did!) but truthfully, I found this the most overwhelming aspect of the process…the endlesspossibilities! Ultimately, what ended up making every detail possible was the contribution from everyone in our lives. Each guest and even those that couldn’t physically make the trip to Florida, lent Mike and I their numerous talents and shaped our wedding into the magical day it was. I get instantly choked up thinking back on the endless phone calls with my closest friends as they listened to my ideas for all the months leading up to the wedding, or thinking about my brother who selflessly intercepted all potential concerns during my wedding week. And what chokes me up perhaps most of all is the unwavering love and support of my Mom and Dad every single step of the way.
I think it was walking down the rickety wooden walkway that was my aisle that I realized all of these things. Linked to my father’s arm and seeing my handsome soon-to-be husband with the vast ocean behind him, I nearly turned into a puddle of tears. I cannot think of a day more swelled with love and am so grateful to have the opportunity to share these moments on this beautiful blog.