Bret and Connie's big day a triumph of careful planning
Since March, 'Ohana section readers have been following the wedding-planning adventures of Nu'uanu residents Connie Soga and Bret Moore via a column they wrote periodically. The pair graciously allowed readers to learn from their stories, in which they revealed many of their problems, triumphs, and suggestions for saving money and reducing stress. In this last column, they reflect on their Nov. 3 wedding day.
By Connie Soga and Bret Moore
|Bret and Connie Moore have their picture taken on Waikiki Beach after their wedding.
Jeff Widener The Honolulu Advertiser
Before the wedding: The wedding day started out rough. The bridesmaid who was making the wedding florals was running late. My matron of honor and I started the day at 6 a.m., cutting flowers to help her. I'd already had a hard time sleeping the night before because I was worried that everything wouldn't be done in time. But after my hair and makeup appointment, I came back looking like a princess.
One thing that made the ceremony easier on me was that we shot all our photos before the ceremony. Although there is that tradition that says the groom shouldn't see the bride before the wedding, we didn't care. This way, we had plenty of time to shoot the photos without making our guests wait for us. In addition, everyone in the photos were tear-free, and there was time to freshen up. Also, when I walked down the aisle, I didn't have feel overwhelmed at seeing everyone there for the first time, because I had just been with them.
The ceremony: There are things about the ceremony that I remember well and other things that are just a blur. Getting good photos and video are so important for this reason. One big thing I remember was being off to the side and watching all the guests come through the hotel for the ceremony. Seeing them gave me strength and happiness before my entrance. And it didn't rain. During the ceremony we had a few funny ice breakers from the family members that I enjoyed too.
I was holding up pretty well until it was time to repeat the vows after the pastor. The moment I had to speak, I lost it. That was the only portion of the ceremony that I cried a little.
Our flower girl, who did not understand the concept of budgeting her flower petals, emptied the entire supply with three big handfuls. By the time she reached the area where the guests were sitting, her basket was empty.
Another funny part was my father concentrating so hard on saying "her mother and I do" at the part where the pastor asks "Who gives this woman?" He said about three different things before the right sentence came out.
Another funny thing was the pastor saying that today is the cleanest you will ever see Bret.
The reception: We ditched our dinners and spent the meal time talking to our guests. It's more personal when you can talk to people at your own wedding instead of sitting up at the front.
When people clinked their glasses, Bret and I refused to kiss each other and instead went down the head table and kissed the people in our bridal party (it was fun kissing the groomsmen!).
We did hire the best people in the wedding business, and they proved it that night. Everything was done with quality and flowed with precision. That is an event-planner's dream come true.
After the wedding: Our wedding ended pretty early, around 9 p.m. The entire thing was over in an hour and a half. We wanted a reception that was short, sweet and to the point.
Our coordinators broke down everything, sent the presents up to our room and cleaned everything up. There was nothing for us to do but go up to our room. Our feet hurt. The bottom of my dress was filthy. Bret's tux was so funky that it could have walked back to the tux store by itself!
We stayed in the Sheraton Waikiki's executive suite, and it's really nice! It was the perfect ending to the perfect day.
Bret thinks back to...
Before the wedding: I had my "breakdown" the day of the rehearsal dinner, two days before the wedding. My family got the brunt end of all my stress, and I have to take this moment to truly apologize for my behavior. The best advice I can give anyone before the wedding day comes is to control your negative emotions.
It was a very hectic week. My whole family arrived in a 24-hour period. I only have one car, so coordinating and planning was tough. But it all turned out A-OK.
I really did not start to feel the nerves working until about 20 to 30 minutes prior to the ceremony, when all the guests started coming in, and I was, like, "Wow... They are all here for us!"
The ceremony and reception: The truth is, I don't really remember a whole lot. I remember me and the pastor watching Connie come down the aisle.I remember her crying when we were holding hands. But most of it is a blur.
At the ceremony, we had the bridal party introductions done the same time as their entrance instead of later in the reception. This was nice because it didn't draw out the program.
My biggest concern had been that the wedding needed to be smooth and effortless. We scored a direct hit on that. Everything flowed so smooth between events that there was very little down time with the guests. I was very pleased.
Connie and I tried to talk to all our guests while they were eating. We wanted to thank all that came out and meet some of the new people we did not know.
After the wedding: I am not a huge fan of dressing up. So when the reception ended, the first order of business was to get out of my tux. I was so hot and sweaty, it was not too fun.
The actual "feeling" of getting married still has not sunk in yet. Connie and I have been together for so long that it seems like this is just a formality.
The men in my bridal party helped me out more than they can even know. The ushers were outstanding. I couldn't have asked for a more professional, kind, and genuine officiant than our pastor. Our wedding coordinators were so organized and professional so Connie and I could focus on all the other aspects of the wedding... and I had to rehearse for the "I do" line about a million times prior.
I thought our wedding was a complete success. I only hope all our guests had a great time. From that day on, I have known I am the luckiest man in Hawai'i.