The 28th January 2017 marks our 3 year amazing Hawaiian Wedding Anniversary. We will always remember it not only as our wedding day, but also as a fantastic adventure spent hopping around the islands on our 4 week long Hawaiian Honeymoon.
Wedding preparations on Kauai Island
Our wedding, just like us, was very unconventional. We decided to run off to Hawaii and get married on the beach. Just the two of us. I’ll be honest, we did miss our friends and family during the ceremony and wished we could have hugged them all, but we also didn’t want to put them in a tricky situation.
Hawaii, after all, is a pricey destination from the UK. To make it up, we promised we will have a celebration, now known as the ‘Weddibration’ (wedding + celebration) later in the year for everyone.
Slightly recovered from the dreadful 10 hour time difference jetlag, we got up early for our wedding day. At 7 am we hopped into our beautiful white car rental (an unexpected upgrade from the car rental place) and set off on the road.
We had some errands to run and sign some papers at the ‘marriage office’ which doubled up as the hairdressers. After successfully spelling out my 13 letters long Lithuanian surname to the lovely lady and sorting all the paperwork out, we set of for breakfast. Fruit cup and coffee for me, waffles and tea for Charlie. The perfect start to the day.
Spontaneous wedding day trekking on the incredible Na Pali Coast
We stayed just outside Hanalei, a charming tiny town on the north shore of Kauai where we had a gorgeous room booked via airbnb for a premium price. However, we were right on the stunning Haena beach just round the corner from the Tunnels beach, where we originally planned to get married.
As we drove back to our lovely beach accommodation, we decided to stop at the end of the road just next to Tunnels beach and… do some trekking… The wedding wasn’t until sunset, so we had a little bit of time and also our trainers in the boot. So, instead of stressing about the wedding, we set off on the hike of our lives along the magnificent Na pali Coast trail.
We couldn’t believe the views as we were ascending and descending through the emerald green Jurassic Park setting. It was absolutely incredible.
Sadly, a mile or so later we had to turn back as we had to attend our own wedding. Boo! We really want to go back one day and trek the full 11 miles either way or even better take a helicopter ride high above the coast line.
We still giggle about that spontaneously awesome decision we made to have a muddy trek just before exchanging our vows. Who does that!
Change of plans at the last minute
We hired a lovely lady called Jessica to put together our wedding on Kauai, which made our lives easier in back in London. While we chose the location, the date, vows and the time of the ceremony, Jessica joined all the dots before we touched down in Honolulu a couple of days before.
Jessica arrived to meet us before the wedding and after investigating our location, suggested that we get married on the very same beach. Even though Tunnels beach (our original choice) was just round the corner, having the ceremony right outside our door was even more perfect.
And so we tied the knot under this beautiful palm tree on a deserted beach with only the sound of the waves for company.
The Haena beach is beautiful and the family who owns the property we stayed in, kindly agreed for us to hang around in their front garden.
Apart from being a lovely beach, it was also almost a private beach which meant more privacy for us, exactly what we wanted. The beach was peaceful and tucked enough from the curious visitors. We only saw one couple passing by with their dog in the distance.
It’s strange that for some reason, we moved our wedding back a day from 29th to 28th January, miraculously avoiding the ceremony taking place on the wettest day during our stay in Hawaii. It would have been very unfortunate for a sunset ceremony on the beach.
If there is the 6th sense, this was it, as we made the decision to change dates while still in London. We had no idea what the Hawaiian weather had planned for us until we arrived!
As I was directed by lovely Jessica to step outside the house, I could hear the waves and the humming sound of the conch. My bare feet were sinking into the sand as I slowly walked towards Charlie already waiting at the beach. It was truly magical.
The ceremony was so amazing. While the sun was setting into the Pacific Ocean, we exchanged our lei, a gorgeous fresh flower lei for me and a beautiful black bead one for Charlie. Sadly I couldn’t preserve mine, but luckily we could keep Charlie’s.
We couldn’t have asked for a better officiator, he was friendly and caring and made us laugh. He told us Hawaiian stories, sang for us as we looked toward the Makena Mountain and again, played the seashell to create the humming sound that merged with the ocean waves. A truly paradise wedding! We couldn’t have asked for a better day.
During our beautiful Hawaiian ceremony, our very lovely officiator faced us towards the Mount Makena pointing out that its name in Hawaiian can be translated as ‘the gift’. He said the dry day between the two wettest days on Kauai island was certainly our wedding gift from the mountain. It certainly felt very special to us.
After the ceremony we said goodbye to our lovely organisers and drove off to Hanalei town for a hearty Hawaiian feast in one of our favourite restaurants. Since Charlie was driving, I enjoyed double Mai Tai, but we also picked up some beers to have after we got back to our beach side paradise.
As promised, later in the year, we (correction: my mum & brother) organised a celebration for our friends and family which took place in Lithuania. We hired a big house in the countryside and invited our closest friends and family for a 2 day full on celebration, Lithuanian style!
It turned out as a traditional Lithuanian feast with live music, games, lots of food and even more drinks. It was awesome. I am sure our British friends enjoyed the humble, quirky and a little crazy Lithuanian party. It was so much fun!
We weren’t planning on wearing a suit and a traditional white dress, but then we thought we owed it to our parents. However, the guests were allowed to wear jeans and whatever they felt comfortable in. Everyone looked so lovely!
Arranging a wedding in Hawaii was very easy. There are many websites to choose from who offer wedding packages from basic to luxury. We chose the Ali’i Kauai Weddings because we wanted to get married on Kauai Island. Jessica was very helpful, responsive and professional and even though everything was put together while we were in London, we had no issues at all.
Most of the official paperwork and permits were dealt with by Jessica so we didn’t have to worry about anything. All we had to do before wedding was to show up at the ‘wedding office’ with our passports and fill out a simple form. At the end of our ceremony, we were presented with our marriage certificate.
Because it was just the two of us, we wanted to bring the ceremony back home to our friends and family. So we hired a videographer as well as photographer and showed the video during our ‘Weddibration’ in Lithuania.
It’s certainly something we will never forget for the rest of our lives and we don’t regret not going for the more traditional European wedding in a church with a reception afterwards. We feel we combined the best elements of the exotic and traditional to create a unique event that really reflected who we are and led on to our new travel lifestyle!
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