After my seventeen year marriage ended in divorce, I thought I would never marry again. I never thought I’d laugh, trust, or love again. What I didn’t know then was that I hadn’t even met my true love yet. I didn’t know that he was out there going through the same sadness, and waiting without knowing that he would one day, too, cross paths with his true love. In the first five years of my divorce, I dated, and even kissed a few frogs, never did I think there would be a second chance at love. I was mostly over it, until one day when my daughter’s best friend was dropped off at the mall by her father who was also recently divorced. I thought nothing of it when he asked for my phone number so that he could have pizza delivered to the girls that night. After that pizza night, and many more of them, I had to ask what he was thinking – and that led to our first date. That was almost five years ago. About nine months into dating Scott, I remember thinking that THIS is what love is supposed to feel like. I feel whole, safe, and part of something awesome when I am with him. I thought it was dumb that I had imagined, or pretended, or did what everyone else thought I should do for so long; but that was until this man walked into my life with a pizza.
I thought then, and I still think now, that God, or Karma, or some crazy force of the Universe brought this man into my life to teach me so much about life and love. Life and love and forever for us now means sharing our lives, our business, our families and our hearts. It means dancing in the kitchen, fishing at the levy for “date night”, sticky notes in the most random of places, and words of love painted on our clients’ homes and photographed for posterity. It means lots of laughter and silliness, and it means loving unconditionally. From the beginning, Scott said he’d marry me on the beach on Hawaii one day, but being a bit pessimistic, I never dared to dream it could happen.
On Thanksgiving Day in 2014, Scott got down on one knee and asked me to marry him in front of our parents and my children, and of course I said YES! He reminded me that day that he had promised to marry me on the beach and told me that I should better get to stepping with some island planning. After some research, we chose the island of Maui and Kapalua Bay Beach, as our wedding destination. After a bit more thought, and with our children’s blessings, we decided that this week was going to be spent alone; just the two of us, celebrating the years it took us to get to this point and taking the time to indulge in the love we found in each other. We planned a week on island in which we’d make memories to last a lifetime – and it was amazing! We stayed at the Aston Mahana, in an amazing ocean-front condo that became a home away from home. From our lanai we watched the surfers, the snorkelers, the humpback whales and the sea turtles play. We did what we do on Sundays and cooked breakfast for dinner – and we danced in the kitchen. We pretended not to be afraid of sharks and enjoyed the most amazing snorkeling trip on the Pride of Maui!
There was great breakfast, awesome BBQ lunch, drinks, and the coolest snorkeling adventure (even for this first timer). We spent the evening before our wedding attending the Old Lahaina Luau where we were surrounded by the authenticity, history, and heartbeat of Hawaii. The dancing, our waiter Tim, and the food are all very special memories that traveled home with us. Our wedding day brought with it rain and wind (I called it a typhoon in my panic), but I was assured of a “plan B” and “possible clearing” by our wedding coordinator, Tara of Your Aloha Wedding Company. After a few pre-wedding tears and more panic, sure as promised the skies cleared in time for me to meet up with our Maui wedding photographer Nicole and her assistant Trevor at the beach. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful wedding! Reverend Kimo Kirkland, in all his Hawaiian glory, was hands-down the best man for the job! He understood our inability to be serious at all times and indulged our need to laugh and enjoy our special moment. His traditional Hawaiian ceremony was simply beautiful and its words and chants touched our hearts like nothing else could. Photos with Nicole and Trevor prior to, and following the ceremony, only made our ceremony that much more memorable. Finding it hard to pose as directed, Scott and I often took to kissing and laughing instead; likely making their job a difficult task, but they were definitely up for it! Encouraging us to just be who we are, they captured our special moments in photos that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. What made us really happy is that we left feeling less like we paid someone we didn’t know to take photos, and more like we had family doing it! Couples photos were followed by the BEST dinner at Merriman’s where we were treated like it was, in fact, our very own special day and then a walk along the ocean in the rain. Yes, I must say, I married my prince that December 8th, and it could not have been any better. Our first day as husband and wife was spent walking and shopping throughout Maui. At sunset we joined the exceptional crew of the Teralani for a sunset cocktail cruise. Beach boarding and rough waters only added to the fun that the crew was insistent that we have! We met other couples from all over the world and shared a toast with a couple who were onboard celebrating their twentieth anniversary. This trip was truly a highlight of our trip – the crew making it most memorable and fun. Lastly; before we sadly had to depart for home, we decided to spend our final day on a hike with a Hike Maui guide to see the rain forest and the East Maui waterfalls. Although I was not prepared for water crossings and the sea of mud I encountered (boy was I glad I made Scott stop for water shoes at Walmart!), it was one of the most spectacular hikes I have ever taken!
The beauty of Maui was ours to revel in for several hours, with plenty of photo-op stops and lessons on native plants and vegetation. Our guides were experts in navigating the trails (and the not-so-trails) and when it came time to jump into that BIG ole waterfall, THEY were the ones to show us how it was done! (No, I did not jump– I took pictures of Scott taking the plunge in the event that our insurance company questioned his death!). Hike Maui took us to, and from, its special entrance (via a van that picked us up) onto privately owned land and prepared quite the lunch for a bunch of hungry hikers. Had we not done this particular event, I think we would have missed experiencing another piece of the heart that is Maui.
Home now, I am feeling blessed to have met the amazing people we met on Maui: The people we hired to photograph us ( Behind The Lens Maui), coordinate us, and entertain us – who turned out to be the best of the best; the people we met and became friends with as we spent our nightly cocktail hour in the hot tub at the Aston – and for the same that actually took time out of their own vacation to show up on the beach, in the rain, to witness our marriage and support our union; the people that introduced us to the joy and the heart of the island of Maui, and for the friends we made and the ones we had to leave behind. Maui and its people will always hold a very special place in our hearts! I hope that anyone reading this long-winded letter of love will opt for Maui when searching for just that right spot. Love comes to Maui, I think, but it leaves Maui much bigger.