I feel like I have to start out with, "Sorry I didn't tell you I was getting married," but let's face it, I'm not. I mean, I wanted to tell everybody (because who wouldn't be so grateful to get to share their life forever with their bestie that they'd want to tell the world?), but we knew that surprising everybody would be way more fun.
I have no idea where to start.
Let's see. I fell in love with Paul around July of 2013 during a poorly executed fireworks show in Waco. Meh, I probably fell in love with him before that, but I distinctly remember laying on a blanket and looking over while he was making some sort of witty comment about the bad show, and just knowing that I was so thankful he was in my life. Err, then I moved to San Antonio and he moved to Washington and life got in the way. Luckily, life brought us back together (okay, so we texted everyday regardless) and in June, we decided to elope.
Well, kind of? We decided we should spend the rest of our lives together. I was dead-set on getting married in Hawaii since my parents got married there (also an elopement!), and Paul was alright with just walking into a courthouse in downtown Seattle. I convinced him it'd be more fun to make a vacation out of it, and he shrugged and said okay. You can see how well this partnership is working thus far. ;)
We first got plane tickets, then hired a wedding planner to take care of everything. We chose Maui because there's a direct flight from Seattle, plus it's a little less touristy than Honolulu. Our wedding planner took care of the beach permits (you have to obtain permission from the government to perform any event on the beach; permits because she had a backup one in case weather on our side of the island wasn't great), the wedding license application, leis, and hooking us up with an officiant (more on him later). She also recommended the hotel we ended up booking, a Marriott that had an infinity pool we went in only twice. Besides a Hawaiian wedding, my other only stipulation was that we hired an amazing photographer, and with a little Googling, happened upon Naomi Levit. More on her when we actually have our wedding photos, but let's just say nobody else could have made Mr. I Hate Photos as comfortable and willing to smile.
All of these were booked in late June or early July, so all of July, August, and September were anxiously awaiting our trip and keeping the secret (My parents knew for logistical reasons; my mom actually went wedding dress shopping with me but didn't see me in the dress I ended up wearing. Oops). It was the longest 70-odd days ever.
And then we got married.
This photo is from before the wedding, and I can tell because you can see my right hand: I'm wearing my mom's engagement/wedding rings (ring finger) and my grandmother on my mom's side's ring (pinky) to have a little bit of my family with me for the ceremony. If I had a bouquet, I probably would have tied them to the ribbon, but we ended up going super simple and just held each other throughout the ceremony.
And, also before the ceremony, with palm trees in the background.
Our ceremony was beautiful (see the recap video below if you want a description), and we exchanged leis (a Hawaiian tradition). Our wedding was right on the beach (we were barefoot in the sand!) and got to feel the sun on our faces while exchanging rings and vows. It was perfect.
After the ceremony, we took what Paul considered "18 hours of photos" (more like 45 minutes' worth) and then walked back to our hotel (all of a 6 minute walk) where we passed two other couples getting married and a bunch of other people who told us congratulations. It was getting dark and we weren't hungry so we went up to our room to call my sister-in-love, who I had told I needed to "talk some things through" with her so that she would be available for my call. I'm giggling just thinking about it.
We called my Sandra (with Scott in the background, who mostly hid off camera) and had a hilarious FaceTime conversation in which Sandra thought 1) Paul was in Texas on vacation to visit me, and 2) we were going to announce a pregnancy (no, we're not pregnant). Once we announced that we got married, Sandra started at us with an open mouth and my brother was less than excited ("But we don't get to dance at your reception?!" Don't worry, that didn't last long.). We waited to call Paul's sister, father, and mom Wednesday morning (since Texas is 5 hours ahead of Hawaii time and we kept waking up at 4am) who were all super supportive (although I've never met any of them!), and then decided to grab some breakfast and break it to people.
We talked a lot about how we wanted to share the news, and came up with a few plans. Paul's genius idea was to make an Instagram account of our trip and then share it with people after the fact. We kind of did that, although we shared it almost immediately once we announced that we got married.
The announcement was supposed to be sly--I changed my twitter name to @thesarahhagan and tweeted this photo with the caption "My view this week. Life is good, y'all."
And it erupted.
Insert A TON of our friends immediately text messaged or tweeted us, and we kept sharing our marriage Instagram (which then got similar comments, the most often was, "WAIT, WHAT?! Congratulations!" or something similar). We sat at breakfast and wore down our phone batteries reading tweets and comments to each other mid-bite, or predicting reactions out of certain friends/family members. It was so much fun to continue receiving phone calls, emails, texts, and tweets throughout the week when someone new realized we got married, and I imagine it's going to continue being fun when I introduce Paul to my very large extended family (luckily he's already wooed the matriarch of my mom's family, my Aunt Heide, so I'm not worried about him).
If you missed our FAQ video that we made during our honeymoon, here it is. We both answered a few questions that our friends kept asking, then mashed up our answers together in this 17-minute clip (ugh, sorry it's so long guys, I tried to cut it down shorter). We're going to be making a recap video of our trip and some fun times we had together soon (long story, but my iPhone won't connect to my computer and a trip to the Apple Store is in order), so be on the lookout for that. I'm also sure that my blogger husband will at some point grace us with his side of the story, so be ready for that too!
Thanks for loving us and being so interested in our story, y'all. We're so lucky to you a friend, and so grateful to have you in our lives.