Here are a few of my favorite photos from our amazingly talented photographer, and my friend, Elizabeth Messina

You can see more details this afternoon over at Martha Stewart Weddings, and then I’ll be sharing even more right here, starting with our wedding film later today. I can’t wait!

 

See a list of all our wedding posts right here!

 

Elizabeth Messina’s blog, Kiss the Groom, is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink.

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It’s been nearly four months since Ryan and I got married, and I am so excited to finally share our wedding with you! There are so many things I want to share, about planning and the day and the details, but I couldn’t think of a better place to start than with my inspiration board…

Mood: classic, playful
Palette: Golden Gate red, charcoal gray, winter white


{click image to enlarge}

Top row from left: vintage framed chalkboard from Blue Bell Bazaar via This is Glamorous, Golden Gate Bridge photo (can someone please help with a credit for this beautiful photo?!), Grace Kelly, Presidio Social Club
Row 2: letterpress menus with tree motif by The Lettered Olive, classic wedding cake from Martha Stewart Weddings, photo of Mindy Rice bouquet by Jose Villa via Jill LaFleur, gray chiffon bridesmaid dress by Amsale
Row 3: topiaries from Martha Stewart Weddings, Presidio Social Club logo, photo of gray suits and ties by Jose Villa, eggnog cocktails with letterpress coasters from Martha Stewart Weddings
Row 4: red and white striped cupcake liners from Fancy Flours, photo of vintage photo booth by Jonathan Canlas, paper cracker from Present & Correct, vintage postcard of the Golden Gate Bridge


A couple things about my inspiration board. Our ceremony and reception were at two separate locations, and the church really needed such little decoration, so my inspiration board focused mostly on the reception site and details, as well as the overall style we wanted for our wedding. Also, this is probably the third or fourth version of my inspiration board, which I played around with and tweaked until it felt right. Once we chose a venue and a date, the colors and feeling stayed pretty much the same, but I refined details over time. And a confession: I never actually shared my inspiration board with my vendors. (I know!) But I did use it as a way to focus my own vision, and from there narrowed down the zillions of tear sheets and stationery samples and things, and brought my (very fat) binder of saved inspiration to vendor meetings.

Charcoal and red were the perfect accents for our December wedding – not only were they seasonal without being Christmas-y, they were also colors that appeared in our venue. The buildings in the San Francisco Presidio, where our reception took place, are this wonderful combination of cream and brick red, and the walls inside the Presidio Social Club are charcoal gray. We wanted our wedding to be timeless and elegant (Grace Kelly, a traditional wedding cake, stationery with edge painting), as well as festive and playful (eggnog cocktails, a vintage photo booth, Christmas crackers). And of course, it was only appropriate to include the Golden Gate Bridge.

So how did it all turn out? Thanks to our amazing vendors, and our incredible friends and family, our wedding day was a huge success – as I said after returning from our honeymoon, I’ve never felt more present, more loved, more beautiful or more joyful in my life than I did on our wedding day. I’ll be sharing lots more this week and next, so make sure to check back in!

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You might be thinking, “Why is Kathryn sharing her honeymoon with us before she shares her wedding?” And I would agree that it seems out of order. The thing is, our wedding photos are currently going through the submission/review process for print media, which means I can’t share with you them just yet. But I’ve been itching to share something of our nuptials with you, and our honeymoon counts, right? Plus it’s the middle of winter, so it seemed a good time for an island getaway, don’t you think?

Also, forgive me if this is the longest post ever – I haven’t written a travel post before, so I’m sort of figuring it out as I go along, and I’d love to hear your (nicely worded) feedback.

Since we were getting married in December, Ryan and I knew we wanted to go somewhere warm for our honeymoon, and since we had only five days to travel, we wanted something that wasn’t too far away. We enlisted the help of Katie at Ever After Honeymoons, we talked with some friends who had recently traveled to Hawaii, and after considering a few different options, Ryan and I decided to stay at the St. Regis Princeville Resort on the island of Kauai. Cue gorgeous photos, courtesy of the St. Regis.

I’ll tell you right now, the pool was my favorite part of our trip, second only to the helicopter ride. I could happily have stayed there, sipping chilled citrus water (or a mai tai) and reading my book, for the entire 5 days we were on the island. Right on the beach, with amazing views of Hanalei Bay, plus awesome poolside service, lounging with my new hubby. Really, does it get any better than that?

The overall feel of our room was a sort of refined contemporary Hawaiian – sophisticated, comfortable, elegant but not fussy. And yes, the view is pretty much unbeatable.

We luckily made our appointment at the resort’s Halele’a Spa for the day it poured buckets. Though my massage was not the best I’ve had, tea and cookies in the spa’s lounge, followed by the sauna and steam room, more than made up for it. Head’s up: the steam room is intense. I kind of loved it. Stepping out of it to an ice cold face towel felt amazing. (You can also book certain spa treatments in oceanside cabanas. Maybe next time if it’s not raining…)

Oh look, another picture of the pool. How did that get in there? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

End gorgeous photos. Begin sub-par photos taken by yours truly. (My disclaimer for the following photos is that Ryan and I, in our post-wedding haze, failed to pack his digital camera or enough film for my little 35mm, leaving us with one roll of film from our honeymoon, and about three decent shots. Let’s call it a learning experience.)

Hibiscus flower at the St. Regis.

Palm trees near Kapa’a, on the drive from the airport in Lihue to our hotel in Princeville.

We had originally booked an economy rental car with Alamo, figuring we’d rather spend our money somewhere else, but when we got there they were really friendly and gave us a special honeymoon deal so we could upgrade to a convertible for not much more per day (less than if we’d booked a convertible from the start). Kauai’s not a big island, but I promise, if you plan on leaving your hotel at all, a convertible is totally worth it – it made all of our sightseeing infinitely more fun. (Believe it or not, this is one of the better photos we ended up with. Somehow I managed to blink in a photo that I was taking of myself. Ryan is sporting a Tommy Bahama shirt on loan from my dad. And no, he did not shave once on our honeymoon.)

This is the view from our hotel room. Stunning is the only word for it, even with the shoddy photography. We were pretty lucky with the weather on our trip, and only had one day of rain the whole time. The next morning, we counted at least 15 waterfalls that had appeared on the cliffs outside our window.

This may or may not be my husband blow drying his hair.

(Excellent example of our major photo fail: No photos from our helicopter trip. Ryan thought this bobble-head look was a hilarious alternative.) One of the coolest parts of our trip, and something I encourage for anyone who travels to Kauai, was a helicopter tour of the island. There are several companies to choose from, and we opted for Jack Harter‘s doors-off tour, recommended to us by the St. Regis concierge who was super helpful with setting everything up. Doors-off literally means there are no doors on the helicopter, which makes an already indescribable experience even more breathtaking. We saw parts of the island you can’t see any other way, dipping into canyons, getting up close to waterfalls, flying along sea cliffs of the Na’Pali Coast. Kauai might not offer the nightlife or shopping scene of other Hawaiian islands, but its beauty is unparalleled and a helicopter tour is totally worth it.

Good thing we got a photo of one of Kauai’s wild chickens. These things are all over the island – a wild rooster actually gave us a wake up call two of the mornings we were there (sort of funny, mostly not).

Despite the fact that it was raining, and that he was wearing totally inappropriate footwear, Ryan insisted on trekking down the trail to Queen’s Bath (a swimming “pool” carved into a lava shelf). See those steps he’s on? I made it to the bottom of those in my sandals, until they turned into a slick downhill mud slide and I turned around. Ryan made it to these waterfalls and took photos to show me what I missed. (Queen’s Bath is supposed to be amazing, so if you’re in Kauai when the weather is good and the surf isn’t dangerous, check it out and let me know how it is.)

I think this is my favorite picture of the two of us from our trip, on our last night in Kauai. Most of the time, both for the sake of variation and our wallets, Ryan and I opted to eat somewhere other than the hotel. But cocktails and small plates at the St. Regis Bar were delish and the setting was brilliant, so four out of the five nights, we watched the sunset there. The view is spectacular and the vibe is elegant yet totally relaxed. For food and drinks, we especially liked the Dark & Stormy cocktail, the chicken samosas, and beef satay. After dark, we moved into the lounge for traditional Hawaiian music, which was a nice treat for our last night on the island.

I would be remiss if I didn’t make a point to note how near perfect the service was at St. Regis Princeville. From the valet to the pool service to the concierge, every single staff member we came into contact with was friendly and helpful, without being overbearing. Exactly what you’d expect and want from such a beautiful hotel.

So that’s it for the photos! But in case you’re inspired to take your own Kauai honeymoon, and you want a couple more suggestions, read on. Otherwise, I appreciate you making it this far – this was a long post! Probably another good reason to post our honeymoon before our wedding, so I can practice my editing skills.

This isn’t everything, but it’s what we might highlight if we were to loan you our Kauai travel books.

 

Travel Tips
Ryan and I were in serious need of new luggage, so we bought a Briggs & Riley carry-on for each of us. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been using terrible luggage for the past ten years, but I freaking love my new suitcase. I’ve used it three times in the last month and the thing holds a ton of stuff, it doesn’t fall over or give me problems when I wheel it around, and best of all, it fits in the overhead compartment. Not the sexiest suitcase of them all, but the best purchase I’ve made in awhile.

We took three travel books with us, as well as a list of recommendations from friends. The books we found most helpful were The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook: Kauai Revealed by Andrew Doughty and Kauai Restaurants And Dining With Princeville And Poipu Beach by Robert Carpenter. And then of course I had to bring some Stieg Larsson for poolside entertainment.

If you forget anything (like extra film, cough cough) or need to pick up things you couldn’t carry-on, like sunscreen, there’s a Long’s Drugs in Kapa’a, between the Lihue airport and the St. Regis Princeville.

When you’re driving along the northern part of the island, be aware of one-lane bridges, which require you to yield to oncoming traffic. One of the quirkiest things about Kauai, they make you feel a little like you’re in another country.

 

Things to Do and See
A helicopter trip is worth the splurge. Jack Harter‘s doors-off tour was jaw-dropping and exciting, and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I don’t remember who gave me this tip, but make your reservation for the beginning of your trip so that you can re-schedule in case it’s cancelled on account of the weather. If you’re staying at the St. Regis, the concierge can set everything up for you. Also, if you’re doing the doors-off tour, you’ll probably want to wear jeans and a sweatshirt, or something that will keep you warm when you’re up in the air.

Visit the historic Kilauea Lighthouse, which is now part of a wildlife refuge. This is where we had our single whale spotting!

Stop by the Waipa Farmers Market, at 2:00 on Tuesday. We picked up some exotic fruit (rambutan and longan, which are also called dragon eyes, and which you need to eat while on the island since you won’t be able to take them home with you), and a slice of chocolate coconut macaroon pie. We also bought some lilikoi and banana jams to give as Christmas presents (just make sure to put them in your checked luggage so they don’t get confiscated by airport security… ahem).

 

Places to Eat
As I said just above, the St. Regis Bar was one of our very favorite spots, with great drinks, delicious small plates, and an ambience that can’t be beat (especially at sunset).

Another place we patronized more than once was the Kilauea Bakery. All your favorite breakfast pastries, with ingredients like lilikoi (passion fruit), coconut, papaya and macadamia nuts. Ryan also really liked their garlic bagel toasted with cream cheese. (Off Highway 56, on the way to the Kilauea Lighthouse.)

We had excellent grilled catch-of-the-day sandwiches at Hanalei Gourmet. Nothing fancy about this place, but that was some really good fish. For dessert, stop at Wishing Well Shave Ice and order your sno-cone “Hawaiian-style” with mac nut ice cream (a scoop of ice cream underneath your sno-cone; if you’ve ever had a sno-cone in Texas or New Orleans with cream on top, you’ll understand this right away).

The day we went on our helicopter tour, we did a little exploring around the southern part of the island, including a stop at Poipu Beach. If you find yourself in this area around lunch time, try a Hawaiian-style hot dog at Puka Dog. What they call “mustard” was more like flavored mayonnaise. Still good, but definitely not mustard.

 

Shopping
For all the kitschy souvenirs and gift items you could possibly want, go to Hilo Hattie in Lihue. We left there with a hula doll Christmas ornament, three ukuleles for three of our nephews, two hula skirt sets for our two nieces, and boxes of chocolate covered macadamia nuts and white chocolate macadamia nut pineapple crunch, which Ryan declared the most delicious thing he’s ever tasted.

If for any reason you need an outfit, Cake Nouveau is a cute (and teeny) boutique near Kilauea Bakery. I found a beautiful black and white silk chiffon wrap dress that was made by a local Kauai designer, and didn’t break the bank (you can see the very top of it in that last photo).

Yellowfish Trading Co. has a unique (albeit pricey) collection of vintage and new Hawaiiana. Lots of kitschy, cool items like vintage hula dollas, as well as more unusual items like an old Bible in Hawaiian. (Hanalei Center)

 

A big thanks to St. Regis Princeville Resort for the media rate for our room. And for the impeccable service and gorgeous setting, of course!

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Sponsored Post



I love my wedding planner. No, really, I love her. Because of her, not only did our wedding go off without a hitch, but I was actually able to relax and enjoy it – what a gift! You’ve heard me talk about Laurie Arons Special Events before, but today I’m excited to introduce you to their newest project, Boutique Events.


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Laurie Arons Special Events is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink.

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Even though it’s been just over two weeks since our wedding, I’ve been sitting here for half an hour trying to figure out how to talk about it all, and I can’t even think where to begin – it was beyond words in every way. I’ve never felt more present, more loved, more beautiful or more joyful in my life than I did on our wedding day.

Thank you so much to all of you who sent well wishes, and of course a big thank all of the wonderful guest bloggers who helped out with posts while I was away. Weren’t they fun?!

So, since our wedding photos aren’t ready to share, and since lots of folks are already off celebrating the holidays, I’ll hold off on a full re-cap until the new year. But until then, I thought I’d bring you this poem by Walt Whitman that I’ve been hanging on to for awhile. It feels like just the perfect love letter to my husband (my husband!) at this beginning of our journey together.

 

from Song of the Open Road
by Walt Whitman

9

Allons! we must not stop here,
However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient this dwelling
we cannot remain here,
However shelter’d this port and however calm these waters we must
not anchor here,
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us we are permitted
to receive it but a little while.

11

Listen! I will be honest with you,
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes,
These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is call’d riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve…

15

Allons! the road is before us!
Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

 

 

(If you’ve done any digging for wedding ceremony readings, you may have come across this one already, but either way I hope you love it as much as I do. If you want to read the whole thing, you can find it right here.)

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