Friday, December 28, 2007

all dressed up...

I found my wedding dress!!!! 
I went to visit my friend Kimmy at her new place of work- Foley + Corinna on Melrose Ave.

Kimmy (on the left) and me

Foley + Corinna is a really cool boutique-y type place with original clothing designs by the Foley part and handbags by the Corinna part, mixed up with refashioned vintage stuff.
My mom and I went crazy in the store. We bought a bunch of fabulous stuff...

this is me in the dress- Kimmy is showing me all the different ways I can wear it.
It's a silk wrap dress that can be worn like a sarong. And the top layer of sheer fabric is slightly longer in the back so there's a little hint of a train! It's perfect for a small wedding on the beach. This dress can be worn so many different ways- I'm going to wear it the way it look sin the picture for the ceremony and then another way (maybe like a halter) for the reception. And the best part is that it was around $300! Waaaaaay cheaper than most of the wedding dresses I was looking at online.

While I was in the store I noticed a dress that the dress my friend wore for her wedding reception was from Foley + Corrina too!

I bought another dress for my rehearsal dinner that I absolutely love. I couldn't find any pictures of it online. I guess you'll just have to wait for the rehearsal dinner blog!

My cousin bought this top...

Her last name is Foley so she just had to get something. No seriously- my mom MADE her.

And my mom bought some vintage dresses that I'm planning on stealing.

and now for fun picture time:

typical Laura
Mom on Melrose Ave- a blackberry in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other. Typical.

Calla Lillies and glass

this dress was ridiculous. It was like an ice skating outfit with sequins all the way down one arm. yikes.

So now I'm all dressed up with no where to go!

Monday, December 24, 2007

my sister ruined my wedding

Well so much for my fabulously even 6-2-08 date. My sister ruined that with her stupid graduation. boooo. How selfish of her to graduate 2 days before I want to get married in Maui. (sigh.)
So I guess I'll have to wait a year and a fucking HALF to get married in June. But I'm sorta bummed because I really wanted to get married in 2008, since 8 is my lucky number.
Stupid graduating sister.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

"taking the plunge"

Oooh I'm getting excited. It looks like early June is a really affordable time to fly to Maui on Aloha airlines. And I've admittedly (read: embarrassingly) always wanted to be a June bride. And i like the even-ness of a date like 6-2-08. I've decided that this is my ideal date.
I even have a GREAT idea for "Save The Date" cards. I want to make a Maui postcard using one of my own photos I took on the island and a cheesy announcement on the back, like "Megan and Aaron are taking the plunge!"

"taking the plunge" hee  hee... get it? ocean --> water --> plunge! oh man I'm a genius.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

planning update

Well... the wedding plans are taking a back seat to Aaron's rehabilitation plans. I want to make sure that Aaron can comfortably walk again before I set an exact date. 

Aaron and I are talking about having the wedding in Maui some time in 2008. I just talked to my cousin Jane who lives in Maui and she suggested that May would be a good time to have the wedding. So I'm going to do a little research as see what the 'ol Internet says about that!

Oh! And I've made the initial guest list. Just the immediate family count is close to 70 people and that's without babies!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

getting maui'd...

So I- WE- have decided the wedding is going to be in Maui. The immediate family is excited, the rest of the family says they'll be unable to attend (added bonus), our friends act happy about it but I bet they won't come, and I just can't wait!

Maui is the perfect place. We both feel completely happy and at home there, Aaron's forever connected to maui because of the whole shark thing.

I'd love to have it at the Olowalu Plantation House.

the Olowalu Plantation House during the day

and at night.

My cousin Jane says she's friends with the guy who owns the place! She's going to look into it for us.

If not then a simple beach wedding is fine, I'll figure out a place for the reception later.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I got engaged!!

How can we possibly top "Aaron got attacked by a shark" as our best vacation story? How about "and then we got engaged?" Here is our engagement story...

Aaron never intended to propose to me on our Maui vacation, but he did go with the intention of asking my father for his permission to propose at a later date. The cosmic irony of the engagement story is that Aaron was going to propose once he had paid off his credit cards. And he was so close too! Right before we left he excitedly informed me that he had almost reached his goal of being out of debt and then, once out of debt, he would put himself right back in that same debt with the purchase of my engagement ring! But that was not what the world had in store for us, or for Aaron in particular.

After Aaron was attacked by a shark my whole family ended up at the hospital where they asked us how we were related to the victim. My mother, thinking ahead and not missing a beat, told them that I was his fiance and the rest of my family where to be his future in-laws. She told them this so that we would be regarded as family and allowed to have total access to both Aaron and his medical records which really came in handy. Of course mere seconds after Aaron arrived at the hospital, calls started coming in from the local media wanting details about the shark attack victim. So the hospital relayed what they had been told- A 32-year-old California man who was vacationing with his fiance and her family. And, of course, the next logical step was that the media printed this information in the newspapers. So there it was, in black and white, Aaron Finley and Megan Tharpe were reportedly afianced, as they say.

And there we were, Aaron Finley and Megan Tharpe in the hospital together, fielding calls from curious friends and shocked family members not knowing what our official status was at that point. i mean, we were planning on getting married eventually, and Aaron was already planning on buying a ring some time soon, just not exactly at that moment.

It soon became clear that this thing was bigger than us at this point.

the first night
this is a picture of Aaron and me during our first few moments alone on our first night in the hospital. 
We both look awful because we were exhausted after the day we had but we were too freaked out fall asleep.

We had nothing but time to talk the next few days and we decided that there was really nothing to decide! Fate had already taken the wheel and obviously this is what the world had in store for us. If we learned anything it was sometimes you're just a passenger along for the ride in this life and at those times you just have to throw up your hands and say, okay- let's just see where this takes us.

A couple days after Aaron got out of the hospital my mother and I made up an excuse to leave Aaron and my father alone together in the hotel room. Aaron was finally going to ask my father for his approval to marry his daughter. Is anyone surprised that he said yes? How can you say no to a shark attack victim!??

While mom and I were out we stopped by my favorite jewelry store in Maui and I found two rings that I liked that weren't very expensive (as you probably already know by now, Aaron didn't have any health insurance so at this point he was pretty much bankrupt) and were both unique and meaningful to our experience. And I figured we could still have some semblance of a proper proposal. So when we got back to the hotel room, and dad had already approved, I told Aaron that I had found a couple rings that I liked in his price range. His job, easy enough, was to choose one of the two and surprise me. He was more than happy to oblige, how much easier could it get for a guy? Now all he had to do was choose a time to propose. That was going to be the hard part because we rarely got a moment to ourselves.

The next day (November 5th) we took our family trip to the Maui Ocean Center (an amazing aquarium). We had planned this trip since Aaron was in the hospital because they have an 8ft tiger shark in captivity. And we were well into our obsession with tiger sharks.

This is my family and Aaron and me at lunch before we went to the aquarium
at lunch
My cousin Jane, my mother, my father, me and Aaron

Me w mr. sneaky smile
Check out the smirk on Aaron's face- he totally had a secret.

Next stop was the Maui Ocean Center! And it was amazing from the moment we walked in.

jane & me @ the aquarium
This is me and my cousin Jane in front of the brightly colored fish in a tank that you see from the top and then walk around it to see the fish from the bottom. It was filled with my favorite fish including the humuhumunukunukukapua'a- Hawaii's state fish.

at the Maui Ocean Center
Aaron and me moments after entering the inside of the aquarium. I was in heaven!

Here are some cool photos from the aquarium-

unicorn fish
unicorn fish

yellow seahorse
yellow sea horse

sea turtle
my buddy the green sea turtle

flying carpet fish
This is a sole, which is also called a flatfish, at the Maui Ocean Center. But we liked to call it the "flying carpet fish."

aquarium life
I don't know what these things are- but they're cool looking.

aquarium display
Again- don't know what this display is- but I think it's cool looking.

Tiger shark toothed club
another display- this is a A Tiger shark toothed club. An example of early Hawaiian Melee Weapons. These are the teeth that sliced into Aaron's leg.


I thought my family was taking a very long time in the darkened jellyfish room where the above picture was taken. My dad usually likes to speed through things like he's late for dinner but for the moment I thought we were all just happy to just sit there and watch these translucent beauties blubbering around in their tank. Little did I know that my family was just stalling. The aquarium was about to close in about 45 minutes and the very last section was the shark tank, complete with a tunnel that offers a 240-degree view of the sharks in a 750,000-gallon open ocean tank. So my family thought they'd drag ass until we could end up being alone together in the shark room.

here are some pictures of us enjoying the shark tank-

Shark Bait and the sharks
Aaron in front of the shark tank. The big blurry fish at the top left is the 8ft tiger shark. It's the kind of shark that bit Aaron, only waaaaay bigger.

manta ray
there were also these beautiful rays swimming with the sharks!

us and the sharks
pointing out the tiger shark.

So apparently Aaron had been trying to propose for the last HOUR we were at the aquarium but my mother wanted to make it perfect and went ahead and planned to have us wait until closing time. This meant that there was a lot of whispering and stressing and planning and poor Aaron just wanted to ask me when he felt the moment was right.

But mom got her way, and honestly, I'm glad she did because it was PERFECT!!!!

The last person left the shark enclosure and I followed the tiger shark out of the tube and back into the large tank room and Aaron wheeled after me. There we were- completely alone in this beautiful swirling underwater world and all I could think about was 'that thing is smaller than the shark that bit my boyfriend! Aaron could have been killed easily.' So I turned to him and said, "I have goosebumps, don't you?" Aaron said "Do you know why you have goosebumps?" And I said "No... why?" And he said "Because I'm asking you to marry me."

The best part is this- Aaron could only wear shorts at this point and the shorts we got him didn't have pockets. So as Aaron was asking me to marry him in this amazing romantic moment he also had his hands down his pants fiddling around, trying to untie the ring from his drawstring! It was rediculous and perfectly Aaron.

The ring finally came loose and he presented me with a ring from my favorite jewelry store Na Hoku.
nalani ring
The ring is from their Nalani collection. Nalani means "the heavens" in Hawaiian- as in "thank the heavens that Aaron is still alive."

Of course I cried and then jumped in his lap for a big kiss and an even bigger hug. I was thrilled. It was really the proposal of my dreams.

us joining my folks after Aaron proposed.

newly engaged!!
just engaged!
the engagement crew
everyone's happy!

engaged couple w the cohort
This is Steph, a Maui Ocean Center employee- she was in cahoots with my mom and Aaron. She locked the door to the shark room so that no one would come in when Aaron proposed.

we're excited.

And now on to the wedding planning...