The Wedding of My Dreams

My favorite wedding picture. I actually cried the first time I saw it.

If you had it to do over again, would you do everything the same? Your wedding, that is. Some groom? Same dress? Same venue? Same chicken dinner?

When we got married back in 2002, it was the wedding of my dreams…second to the first wedding of my dreams! Let me explain…

We got married surrounded by family and friends on a beautiful September day. It was a perfect day, actually. And I loved my dress. I used to say that if it was socially acceptable, I would’ve wore that dress to work – I loved it that much! It’s now in a box in the closet; just in case one of the girls decides to get married in it. We got married at an amazing estate with amazing furnishings and landscapings. And a heart shaped pond…with swans! It was beautiful! But that wasn’t the original plan.

Hubby and I both love the ocean. We scuba dive, and both feel a connection to the ocean. We even were able to live a block from the beach for a few years (before kids). So, we wanted to get married near water. Preferably the ocean, which we couldn’t afford. We could afford a small ceremony, but no way were we willing to shell out 50 bucks a head for dinner, especially when we were in the process of buying our first house together.

Picture of us when we didn’t get married in Fiji. The white stuff on our faces is baby powder, and for some reason that slapped it on us every night and called it “party powder”. Yes, hubby is wearing a skirt…it’s formal Fijian wear.

So we decided to get married, just the two of us, in Fiji. On a white sand beach. Bare foot. In informal wedding garb. We were going to get married on one island in Fiji, and stay a couple of days. Then we were going to hop over to another island to an exclusive resort called Namale for three more days. It was going to be the wedding/honeymoon of our dreams!

And then we got a letter in the mail. Namale is owned by the self-help guru Tony Robbins. Once a year, he hosts a big conference there. For reasons not specified, it had to be moved to the few days we were supposed to be there! So they bumped us! But to make up for it, they told us we could come back within the next free year and stay five nights for free! We only planned to stay for three so we were making out on the deal.

Our honeymoon island bungalow…yep, you can see the water on the other side of the island – it was that small!

We cancelled our Fiji wedding plans and ended up getting married here in California so that our family and friends could attend. We honeymooned in Belize, on an island the size of two football fields. Three hours out from the main land in the middle of nowhere! And only two other couples were on the island with us. We spent seven days and six nights doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and diving! Heaven.

Our bungalow in Fiji – set on stilts above the beach. The walkway goes out to the deck
View from our deck

And two years later, we got our trip to Fiji, which was really a dream come true and we can’t wait to go back. When the kids get out of the house because we couldn’t afford and wouldn’t want to take them there!

So there you have it! The wedding of my dreams would be on a beach somewhere tropical, barefoot, with the ocean splashing our toes as we said “I Do”. Maybe we can get our dream wedding if we ever renew our vows.

And so it goes…
Mama's Losin' It

I wrote this post for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop in response to Prompt #2: If you could do your wedding over again, how would you do it?



  1. Allyson & Jere says:
    Ummmm, I giant sparkly heart that picture of you two on your wedding as well. It's beautiful and tells such a story of the day.

    Your honeymoon and post honeymoon trip to Fiji...gorgeous. You definitely made out on that little "fiasco."

    Fun post.
  2. Love it.

    I adore the black-and-white photo too. Stunning.

    A water-lovers wedding in Fiji sounds devine. I hope you get to renew your vows there or somewhere wet and tropical someday.

    Damn Tony Robbins!!
  3. Pumpkin and Piglet says:
    That's a beautiful photo of you two! I'm glad you got to go out to Fiji, it sounds glorious.
  4. The Empress says:
    Fantastic photo! Just incredible...
  5. Trench Mommy (Mandy) says:
    The first photo is a wonderful photo! Sounds like a wonderful wedding and honeymoon all around even if it wasn't your first choice.
  6. What a lovely wedding picture you posted!!! Beautiful and you both look so happy :)

    I've always wanted to go to Fiji - it's on my 'bucket list' :)
  7. Maureen says:
    The first photo is really really beautiful! You can just feel the love. How awesome that you guys went to Fiji :D
  8. Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip says:
    What a beautiful story and an amazingly gorgeous set of photos to accompany it. That first wedding photo is just incredible. I'm glad that you got to go to Fiji after all too. It sounds like an amazing experience!!!!
  9. I just love the picture of you two on your wedding day! So sweet. I have never been to fiji but would love to go...but when there are no kids!
    We got married by the bay here in annapolis and i totally would not change a thing..the weather was perfect and we were on the was perfect!
  10. The Mommyologist says:
    I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Fiji!! It's on the list for sure.

    We did a destination wedding and it was absolutely incredible. I would love to go back to that night just for the party!!!
  11. My wedding was wonderful...and I'd only change my procrastination in the plans so that perhaps more things would have actually happened like they were supposed to (balloon launch, photo video, photo booth, ect)

    I still had the most incredible day ever.
  12. Funky Mama Bird says:
    Love that first photo. Gorgeous!
  13. The Sharp's says:
    I love this post and I love that first photo too. I would have cried as well. It says so much!
  14. Ah, fellow ocean lovers! I should have known we had that in common! We got married on a beach in Fl. because a beach is the most perfect place in the world for us. Our dream would be living beachfront...someday...We took a cruise that stopped in Belize. It was a big draw for us. Magnificent. Your wedding with swans??? Dreamy. Totally romantic and dreamy. Clearly I loved your post.
  15. Courtney says:
    GORGEOUS! You've got ME wanting to go to Fiji. Maybe we should all just meet in Fiji when our kids are grown. Have one big party.

    I think I would do everything the same. Mike and I got engaged on a Monday and got married the following Saturday. We had only our parents there in a small little wedding chapel in Nashville, TN. I loved that man so much, I just wanted to marry him as soon as possible. And I feel the same way 7 years later.
  16. That is all kinds of happy right there. Love that picture and I love that you DON'T want to share your special spot with your kids. Even though yoru kids are the center of your everything right now, someday it will just be the two of you again.
  17. that may be the best wedding photo i've ever seen! it says it all, you two look so happy, like you're meant for each other :) love the island pics too - now i want a second honeymoon!
  18. Joann Mannix says:
    That has me swooning, it was such a romantic story! And I love the looks of both of those places. I am sooo googling that Tony Robbins place because it looks like a writer's paradise, to just sit there in the solitude and write.

    Beautiful post.
  19. Paul and Kerry says:
    I learn something new about you everyday! First the tattoos and now a diver? What an amazingly beautiful wedding picture! love it!
  20. Both weddings sound so perfect. And I adore that your guy is comfortable in a skirt. What a man!
  21. Heather says:
    Beautiful Pic!!!! I would love to renew our vows some time by ourselves....lets just say our wedding was not the one of my dreams!
  22. Ms. Understood says:
    My husband wanted to get married on the beach or on a bluff overlooking the ocean with just the two of us. I really wanted to get married with family and friends. He gave in to me, but for our renewal at maybe our 5th or 10th anniversary, I hope to give him the wedding of his dreams. Your trips looked so awesome. And I love the joy on your faces in your wedding pic.
  23. Sippy Cup Mom says:
    I love that wedding picture of you. You're beautiful.
  24. I LOVE that photo, too! You were beautiful! I see why you cried when you saw it! And it kinda sounds like things worked out better than you had planned.
  25. I there, just found your blog and wanted to say hello. I am now officially a new follower and tweeter! :) Such a beautiful bride you were, both weddings looked amazing!

  26. that photo is beautiful! it was able to capture that moment :)

    a beach wedding would be fun. maybe you can do it someday for an anniversary or renewal of vows? :)

    visiting from mama kat's :)
  27. panamamama says:
    Great pics! I have always wanted to go to Fiji. Makes me want to more! My oldest kiddo is taking dive lessons this next month, so 3 of us could dive!
  28. Shelley says:
    Wow, you are so lucky! Those pictures look drool worthy.
  29. Great black and white photo-- really captures the moment.

    Never been to Fiji (then again, I've never been out of the US either). Sounds like a great wedding and honeymoon.

    Thanks for sharing,
  30. Theta Mom says:
    Fiji - how awesome and love the photos!

    Ok, how the hell is it possible I was not following you???

    Just fixed that!
  31. Katie's Dailies says:
    This has been so much fun, reading about everyone's weddings! It's like a communal wedding anniversary!

    My husband and I were so eager to stay and visit with everyone after our wedding, that we never went on a honeymoon, but throughout our years, we've taken little impromptu trips, sans kids, so I guess we've had "mini honeymoons". Would LOVE to go to Figi one day and just float on that water and not think for awhile. Ahhhh....
  32. Wow..what a story. Looks like you had a gorgeous wedding inspite of Tony's dumb plan!

    I tried to follow you again, just to get you to 200 followers..but it wouldn't work! ha ha
  33. Aging Mommy says:
    What a story - I agree, looks like you ended up with a gorgeous wedding.

    My husband and I were living in England when we got married, but took a vacation to Florida to visit a couple who had worked with us in Ireland and moved to the US. He is American and his wife German, so when they moved to the US they had to get married pretty fast, so did it on their own in the Fort Lauderdale County Courthouse. Well, we did not want a big wedding, so we decided we would just get married without telling anyone while on vacation in Florida. The only people who knew were our two friends, who were the only wedding guests and yes, we got married in the Fort Lauderdale Court House too, in our shorts, with just our two friends there. Then we took a cruise as our honeymoon and they were in the next cabin. Somehow us doing that made them both feel a lot better about their own wedding, and they finally got a honeymoon too. I will just say though that when we got home my new MIL was not quite so happy about having missed out on her only son's wedding :-)
  34. Sounds AND looks like paradise. Lucky you. You are both gorgeous!
  35. Great post. And I agree- if I could do it over it'd be at a beach. Great pic. I hope you blew that one up.
  36. Ours? Was a crazy family-filled back yard affair. I was wearing a dress I didn't love, our parents did not really care for each other, and more than a few people got way too drunk.

    But when all was said and done? I was surrounded by friends and loved ones (even if they didn't all love one another). And I was married to my best friend, who is here beside me more than 20 years later.

    So it was my dream wedding. Because it was our wedding.

    And your photo? To die for.
  37. One Love Mama says:
    Natalie, that wedding photo is stunning! It truly captures the love and happiness of your wedding day!
    AS you know my Husband and I eloped, I wouldn't change a thing... except.. I wish I wore a wedding dress and had photos.
  38. I wanted a small wedding barefoot on the beach somewhere. But dh wanted more traditional- so he planned our wedding.

    I love the pics of the places that you stayed. They look so peaceful!
  39. Beautiful first photo...that would have made me cry favorites are the candids that really capture the moment!
    The other photos are amazing and it looks amazing and I want to go play there!!!
  40. Cuz I'm the mama! says:
    Your wedding photo is beautiful!! Love it. Such a fun story to tell. Thanks for sharing!
  41. Mama (Heidi) says:
    You can truly see the love and happiness in the first picture.
    Score on the free stay in Fiji, it looks absolutely spectacular. The island bungalow picture looks like it could be a postcard.
  42. Alex@LateEnough says:
    We honeymooned in Belize as well. The only thing that I would change is having all our stuff stolen from the church while we got married. So we couldn't go on our honeymoon for a few month. But it was still fabulous. And the coolest part? I didn't even care that our STUFF got stolen. Because I married the man of my dreams surrounded by people who loved us. WHO CARES ABOUT STUFF? So maybe I wouldn't even change that.
  43. Clueless_Mama says:
    Beautiful wedding and you got Fiji too! Hope you also get that vow renewal in Fiji...hope I ever make it to Fiji for the first time!!
  44. Ahhh...the photos make me want to go to Fiji, too! Or anywhere with a beach, for that matter.

    What a beautiful place. Maybe a 10 or 15 year anniversary trip will find you back there!

    We honeymooned in the British Virgin Islands, and I'm hoping we'll go back someday. Our seventh anniversary is coming up this year. Time flies!
  45. Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year says:
    OMG. I Love that black & white picture. Gorgeous.
  46. Mr Monkey says:
    that really looks great. So beautiful...
    Mr Monkey
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  1. [...] and I were lucky enough to take a trip to Fiji before we had the kids? It was in a post called The Wedding of My Dreams. What I didn’t tell you was how I freaked out in Fiji because Jason deleted all of our [...]