Jul 10, 2010
We were in French Polynesia: Tahiti, Huahine & Bora-Bora for nearly 2 weeks! We went on our honeymoon a little over 3 months after the wedding, which was nice -- we got to settle into married life, unpack my boxes (I moved in with DH just 2 months before the wedding; can you say "stress"? plan a wedding, pack to move, etc....)
I was really glad that we didn't go crazy on the wedding itself (and it's so easy to go nuts & overspend). We also signed up for a honeymoon registry on Traveler's Joy, which was fantastic since we got to do a ton of excursions.
I also kept a blog since a lot of my friends & family seem to want to know about our trip and rather than me repeating the same story over & over again.... :)
Tahiti was ok; it was a bit disappointing since it wasn't quite what I imagined. It was crowded, lots of tall buildings (all hotels) and small shops (in the downtown area, Papeete). Huahine was the next island we went to, and stayed there for 4 days. It was wonderful -- idyllic, less touristy and felt like the "real" french polynesia. We ate at "roulottes", which is basically a food truck & where all the locals go to (that can afford it) and saw blue-eyed eels! Our last island was Bora-Bora: the most luxurious hotel we stayed at (and DH's favourite). We had the Mt. Otemanu Diamond Overwater Villa at the Intercontinental Bora-Bora & Thalasso Spa. It was INCREDIBLE!! Photos don't do it justice!! And we did so much on Bora-Bora, including a "swim/snorkel with sharks & stingray" excursion and a private dinner in our overwater villa (complete with our very own butler!)
Here are highlights from our honeymoon
It was so crazy & rushed the day of the wedding that our photog agreed to do a post-wedding photo shoot with us three weeks after the wedding. I hired Mina Tran of A-List Makeup for my hair & makeup (she did the airbrush foundation on me which last for the 5-hr photo shoot with no shine or touchups!)
Locations: Elizabeth Gamble Garden; some meadow off the 280 highway; and Sofitel Hotel.
Photos by: Scott Taylor of Taylor Wedding Photography -- he's an amazing, talented, and easy-going photographer! check out his website (we're featured :)
Even though we posed for a few photos at the church after the ceremony, we managed to join our guests for cocktail hour (briefly). It was such a wonderful feeling when Brian and I walked into the garden area of the Reception Room (which is what our ballroom was called; I wish they got more creative with the name!) and our guests started hooting and hollerin' and clapping!
Introduction of the Wedding Party
Our DoC Sophina played emcee for the entire reception. She's awesome & did such a good job!
"...and I now present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Adam!!"
It was so awesome that as we walked in everyone was cheering so loudly (our friends are a very rambunctious bunch!) and camera flashes were going off all over. We felt like celebrities!
After we finished our dinner (we did rush through it), we visited each and every table! Our DoC Sophina managed to move us smoothly from table to table. It was such a great idea to do this. We were able to spend a few moments with our guests (even ones we probably wouldn't have been able to talk to otherwise). Here are just a few photos...
just some of my friends...
Brian's fraternity brothers (and my official "welcome" to the Sigma Wives Club) - the "dropping trou" is apparently tradition...
And, of course, Brian's other friends had to do something too...
...and the party begins!
On our way to the church! We had Brian's parents & my mom in our stretch limo. It was their first time being in a stretch limo... so cute that they were oohing and aaahing about the mini bar inside! :) And this is when my mom "tattletaled" on me to Brian's mom that I had come back to the hotel very late the previous night (1:30am) telling her, "Mom, I am NOT drunk!" (I was majorly buzzed though, lol) and stumbling around. That coversation was caught on video too. So funny!
Very brief stop at the Elizabeth Gamble Garden for some photos
Our entire wedding party plus parents arrived at the church 20 minutes before it was to start. My plan was to take photos of the wedding party posing the by altar, maybe some creatively-posed shots before our guests arrived. Unfortunately we had some (very) early birds who were already there and more were arriving. We were only able to get a few shots before I had to run and hide in a little room at the back of the church. It was hot & stuffy. Our ring bearer & flower girl were getting bored. Of course I used that time to get more photos...
Arrival of Guests
And so it begins...
The Veil & Cord Sponsors (Filipino Wedding Tradition)
The Wedding Party
Readings & Prayers
It was a bit surreal that we exchanged vows & rings, yet we still had the rest of the wedding Mass to go through!
Filipino Wedding Ceremony Tradition: Filipino weddings reflect the strong traditions of family, extended family and symbolism. In our wedding, we have chosen to incorporate two rituals: the draping of the veil and the laying of the cord.
The Veil symbolizes the presence of the Lord in the couple’s married life. It is placed over the shoulders of the groom and over the head of the bride to symbolize living under God’s protection and being “clothed as one” in unity.
The Cord is a symbol of the couple’s bond. A knotted cord, tied in a figure-eight, is the symbol of infinity. It is placed over the heads of the couple, to lay on their shoulders. It represents the ties that bind the couple together, who will now walk through life as equals.
~From : The Cord and Veil Ceremony, Filipino Wedding Traditions.
Exchanging a "Sign of Peace" -- in our case, we decided to do hugs rather than the usual handshake.
Recessional: We walked down the aisle as Mr. & Mrs. Adam to our violin & cello duo playing "O Mio Caro Babbino" by Puccini. It was so beautiful!
I love this photo of my Mom walking out of the church with Brian's parents. For me, this was the defining moment -- seeing our parents together in unity. When I saw this photo, I started crying.
Nearly everyone was at the lobby waiting for us to do photos by 2:30pm. Again, it was a rush to get photos done.
Brian's childhood friend Mark worked at a tuxedo shop (long, long time ago!) and he helped everyone with the boutonnierers which were so difficult to put on!! (and they were bigger than what I expected). I really thought it was going to only be 1 flower & 1 peacock feather. All the photos I sent the florist only had 1 flower and I told her to keep it small. (arrgh).
My non-matching bridesmaids! I love how this "look" turned out (whew! I was worried)
Luckily it only took me 15 minutes to get into my dress (with help of course). As I walked through the hotel (past the pool & lobby), I had one group of people start clapping (I didn't know them) and another woman tell me as I was passing "You are so beautiful!" Brian was running late so we had a few minutes to do some bridal portraits. These really are the only shots we had -- I think I only had a total of 4 different poses
The First Look
Waiting for Brian for our "first look" was actually the most nervous I got the entire day! I had butterflies in my stomach and I got jittery. I'm not the most patient person but it felt like I was going to jump out of my own skin. I love love LOVE the First Look moments! It felt so intimate and special (even with 2 photogs & videographer) that we got to see each other for the first time not in front of a crowd (if that makes sense).
Formal Bride & Groom Portraits
We had less than 20 minutes to take any formal portraits since we were running late on everything!
My engagement ring & our wedding bands