My Wedding Day Story

Each year as this day comes around, I’m reminded of how blessed I am to have the life that I have. I am so lucky to have an amazing, selfless, loving husband who gives so much to giving me the best life possible. Today is our wedding anniversary as we have been married for ELEVEN years. I still can’t believe how much time has passed and each day I’m more grateful for finding the one person in the world who is perfect for me. 

When working with my brides, the question of my wedding day will usually come up and although I don’t like to share it because of it’s bittersweet nature, I will share the most concise version to avoid any tears or sadness. I’m sure you’re wondering what happened to make a wedding day so eventful? I’m going to share my wedding story with you today and how much it has impacted my life and my passion for my work with my brides. 

It all began in 2005, when my husband and I after much courting by him decided to become a couple. We were 19 years old and were going to college together and were the best of friends. Our friends can tell you they never saw one of us without the other. My parents always required meeting anyone I was dating to meet them and both of my parents loved him, but my dad was on a whole different level. My husband had become the golden child and literally the son he never had (my parents had two daughters.) My husband and I spent long summers together and unofficially decided we were going to get married after college. My dad, who beamed at his daughter dating the goody two shoes football player who played the same position as him couldn’t have been happier. My husband mentioned one day they were driving in the car together and my dad proposed to him to marry me (if you can’t tell my dad was a character and I loved that about him.) 

My dad and I

My dad and I

In April of 2008, the day before spring break of my senior year, my parents told me my dad had stage 4 kidney cancer, which had also spread to his kidneys. It was a work-related cancer, which happened over 20 years ago and he only started to feel the effects in January. He was going to undergo surgery and an aggressive chemotherapy to try to fight it, but after all was said and done his body couldn’t take the chemo and he was to live the rest of his life as best as he could. When my parents broke the news I was completely shattered, luckily I was going home to be with him and support him through this tough time. Once we found out the chemo wasn’t going to work, I contemplated not going back to college to be there for my dad, but with the hard work I put into my four years, my dad refused to let me stop just short of walking across that stage. I also have to say how appreciative I was that my husband went back and talked with all of my professors who were willing to allow me to stay with my dad and finish college from home. Nonetheless, I went back for the final month of school and was able to walk across the stage as my parents proudly watched. I was so happy to be able to share that moment with them, especially my dad who was my biggest supporter my entire life. 

I had big plans after I graduated; I had a grand plan to open a high-end salon in San Francisco and live my best life in California. All of that was put on hold as my husband and I packed up our things, sold what we didn’t need and moved back home to Hawaii to be with my family and help take care of my dad. This time was so tough. My dad was not getting better, in fact what once was a healthy, strong 50 year old man, my dad had reduced to a frail, sickly man who had aged 30 years in months. The cancer had eaten away at him and it was not looking good. One day I received a call from my parents that my dad’s oncologist had given him two months to live. My heart completely broke and I was overcome with despair and so much sadness. I immediately went home to spend as much time as I could with him and bring whatever joy I could to him as he was as sad and discouraged as you could imagine anyone who was just told they had months to live would be. 

That night, I got on my digital knee and proposed to my husband through a not-so-romantic text saying “Do you want to get married?” We were planning on getting married the following year anyway, and it meant so much to my dad to be there so he answered back through text “yeah okay.”  After telling my dad we were going to get married, he started crying tears of joy and I was happy to give him that moment where he had lost all hope. We decided three weeks from then to have a small ceremony with our closest family and planning a reception at a later date. Let me tell you, from a professional in the wedding industry being fresh out of college, planning a ceremony in three weeks pre-Pinterest, pre-David’s Bridal (in Hawaii at that time, wedding resources were very limited) was tough. I bought a $300 dress off the rack and bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen shirts from an aloha shirt store and we found what seemed to be one of the last available photographers for our date. During this tough time, it was a nice way to give everyone something to look forward to. 

The day after my sister’s highschool graduation party, as we were checking items off of our wedding to do list, we got a call that my dad had stopped breathing and we rushed over to the hospital. I can still remember that night so vividly. Family came to say their final goodbyes, sang songs, and lifted up their prayers to send my dad back home. I remember those final moments of silence as we said goodbye, the shock and disbelief that this was real and just like that he had drifted off and was gone. I remember waking up the next morning and felt the most peaceful, calm feeling. The sun was shining through the windows and birds outside were softly chirping. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, but at that time I knew he was at peace. The question we were asking now was do we continue with the wedding? The one person who we wanted to be there the most was no longer here, but because we were only two weeks away we decided to continue with the wedding as planned. 

The next two weeks were very hard on our family. We had planned a funeral for my dad just one week before our wedding and I didn’t know what emotions to feel. On my wedding day, as excited as I was, it was most definitely a bittersweet moment as my dad and I always talked about this day. He knew what he wanted to wear, looked forward to walking me down the aisle, and already picked out the song for the father-daughter dance. I will always look back and treasure those conversations and memories of him. 

As I was walking down the aisle, my mother-in-law and a few other people said they had seen a bright light following me. It was something that wasn’t just the sun peeking through the church it was something different. We got through the ceremony, thanked everyone for coming and went to the beach to take photos. When we got our photos back from our photographer, we were shocked to see a ray of light shining down on me in several photos. Once we saw this we knew he was there with us and was watching from above. I still get goosebumps when I look at our photos as I know he wouldn’t have missed it no matter what. 

That night, our parents and family had given us the sweetest dinner and honeymoon that one could have on such short notice and I cherish every second of that day. 

Although we were two 22 year olds with no money to have the beautiful, grand wedding we wanted, I wouldn’t change our wedding day for anything (well, maybe the only thing I would change is to have my dad there.) Having the love and support of our family and friends made a hard situation into such a beautiful, love-filled day. 

Every second of that day felt so special and magical, which is where my passion for what I do stems from. My wedding day was one of the best, most beautiful days of my life, despite the circumstances, and I want to give that experience to my clients. When I think of weddings my heart radiates with so much love and passion because of the love and joy I felt on my wedding day and the love I share with my husband. I’m so blessed to have found my soulmate and share so much of my life with him. We have experienced and achieved so much together in life and I can’t wait to see what life has in store for us. This is exactly what I hope for all of my clients; a long, happy, fulfilling relationship with someone they absolutely adore and we are so honored to be a part of their story. 

I hope you enjoyed reading my wedding story. I can tell you I was in tears while I was writing most of this, but I wanted to share with you how my wedding day has shaped me into being so passionate about being a Bridal Beauty Stylist. It was most definitely not the ideal fairytale wedding, but there is most definitely a happily ever after. 

This is dedicated to my best friend, my rock and soulmate, Sterling and my angel in heaven.

What’s your wedding story? I’d love to hear them, please share yours below. 

Intimate, Sophisticated Destination Wedding

This fun, fashionable couple travelled from Colorado with a small group of close friends and family. We were lucky enough to work with the bride and create two beautiful, timeless makeup and hair looks for both her ceremony and reception. For the couple’s intimate wedding reception, they travelled out to a sandbar where they joined in marriage with their closest family.  We went for a beachy, bronzy eye and natural, glowing skin to go with her two piece wedding dress. After the bride and groom tied the knot on this beautiful, warm day, they decided to jump in the water, which for every bride is the ultimate test of the Makeup Artist’s work and as expected for us, but to the bride’s surprise, her makeup was fully in tact.

After their intimate ceremony, we went back to the hotel to create her second look of the day for her reception, which was a soft classic eye, and soft natural makeup to subtly enhance her beautiful evening dress as they were wisked away to their reception venue.

We love a trendy, sophisticated couple who has impeccable style and they were just that. We are so thankful for our clients who put their trust in us to deliver an extraordinary experience on their wedding day.                         

Makeup and Hair: Alex and Mary
Photos: Crystal Chanel Photo
Venue: Four Seasons Ko Olina, Kualoa Ranch

It’s Been Great, 2018.

I can’t believe another year has come and gone and I have so much to be grateful for. I still pinch myself sometimes when I reflect on the fact that I’m able to do what I love and get paid for my time. It’s something I’ve always dreamed of to be a Makeup Artist I’m so thankful for my team and all of the brides, planners, photographers, and venues that allow this to be possible.

The primary reason I truly love what I do is the amazing women I get to work with. These beautiful women are intelligent and powerful, yet so gentle and compassionate. One of the indicators of this was our first bride of the year in Hawaii. It was January 13 around 8 am and I was on my way to stop and grab breakfast before heading over to start our day when my phone went off with a loud alarm. Confused, I looked down and saw a text saying “Nuclear Threat Imminent, Find Shelter Immediately.” At this moment, my heart sank and my life literally flashed before my eyes (I know it sounds cliche’ but it really does happen.) After I came to terms with the fact this will probably be the last day of my life, I decided I may as well go to work and die doing what I love. I headed over to the hotel to meet the bride and I was so thankful to find my team still came despite the fact we may not be going home. When we got up to the room, the bride was calm and happy despite what is going on, which I really admired. A few minutes later, the government sent notice it was a false alarm and we continued on with our day. The rest of the time we were with the bride, she was as calm and elated about her wedding day as if we didn’t just get notified of a nuclear bomb. The day ended up being a perfect Hawaii day and they ended up having a beautiful wedding day. This will definitely be one I’ll remember, not just because of the bomb threat, but because it was also one of the most amazing group of women we worked with. They definitely knew how to keep things fun. Photography by Keoni Michael

Throughout the year we’ve been featured in Style Me Pretty twice, Pacific Weddings, and Trendy Bride for two of our beautiful brides and a bright and stylish bridal shoot we did with the most amazing vendors. Click each photo below to feature. (Photos by Indu Hyunh, Sylvie Gil, Trynh Phto)

The remainder of the year was filled with the most beautiful and kind brides of 2018. Each and every one of our brides were extremely sweet, easy-going, and were truly inspiring to work with as a makeup artist. I loved working with every single one of them on creating makeup and hair that reflected their personal style and who they are.

I can’t even begin to thank each and every person we were able to work with this year and to the Blush Stylists who create an unbelievable experience for our brides, I am so grateful and blessed to work alongside these amazing, talented women.

I know with a year like 2018, this year will be more positive, more inspiring, and our best year to date. Wishing all of you a successful and happy 2019!

FEATURED on Style Me Pretty and Pacific Weddings: Sophisticated Tropical Wedding

We’re always so humbled when our “friendors” consider us to be a part of their wedding day; they know how things work and how the chaos of weddings can be, and we are so honored when they respect our talent and expertise. It’s even more exciting when the bride is someone whose work we love and admire and we know because of her impeccable style, her wedding will be absolutely gorgeous.

Before I moved to the Bay Area, I did some thorough research of who’s who in the wedding market and Jenny’s work wooed me immediately. Her soft, romantic style of photography is what brides’ dreams are made of when they envision their wedding photos, so you can imagine how giddy I was that she had our team be a part of her wedding day.

Jenny is a perfect reflection of a Blush bride and when the photos by the amazing Trynh Photo came back I was blown away, yet expected how beautiful they were at the same time. We did a soft natural look for Jenny and a loosely swept chignon, which we adore and know she will still love when she looks at her photos in 20 years. Her classic bridal beauty paired with her sophisticated tropical style perfectly paired for a stunning destination wedding. So much so, Pacific Weddings, the authority in luxury destination weddings featured Jenny’s wedding on their blog. With a top tier team of vendors, we knew her wedding would be featured on a luxury destination blog at some point.

As always, the Hawaii team did a beautiful job with Lead Stylists Alex and Mary creating Jenny’s signature style. You can see more on the Style Me Pretty blog and Pacific Weddings blog

Photographer Trynh Photography | Planner Natalie Ly | Venue Hale Koa Phineas Estate | Invitation Acetate La Boîte by Andree-Anne Dionne | Calligraphy Dawn Naomi | Music Island Kings Band | Catering Kenui Kitchen | Florist Design by Hemingway | Cake A Cake Life | Dress boutique Kinsley James | Assistant photographer Lucy Munoz | Bridesmaid dresses Jenny Yoo | Dress designer Idan Cohen