The Speedbumps on the Way to the Altar - A Wedding Story

In a few short weeks, I will be taking one of the biggest steps in my life when I say "I do", and get married.  The wedding has been months in the making, and for the most part, things have gone pretty smoothly.  However, when you are planning for the happiest day of your life, the Speedbumps along the way can really get you down. I decided to write this little article to tell you about a few of our Speedbumps, how they affected us, and how we dealt with it. This is not only for newlyweds, or soon to be newlyweds, but for all of you people who ARE the potential Speedbumps, so you can see how your attitude and actions can affect others.

Speedbump #1: The insincere groom.  This would be me.  Yes men out there, we have been told by every other groom out there to just show up, look good, and say "Yes."  Along the way all you have to do is say, "Yes dear, whatever you want."  Well guys, just make sure you don't say "I don't care, whatever makes you happy," because all the bride hears is "I don't care.".  Men, make sure you watch what you say and play an active role in planning your wedding.  Make constructive suggestions and lend a hand when needed.  It's not that any of your ideas will come to fruition, but women like to think you are playing an active role.

Speedbump #2: The perfectionist bride.  This would not be my bride (because she is perfect - at least that's what she tells me), but some other brides that I have heard about.  This is the bride who has to have everything just this way or that way. The dress, the cake, the favors, the tux, the hair - the list can go on and on. Realize that the last "Perfect" person to walk the face of this Earth was crucified in public (no offense to the non-Christians out there). Just chill out and realize that nothing is ever perfect.  As long as you tried your best, be happy with that.  Realize too that everyone else is trying their best, even though it doesn't always seem that way.

Speedbump #3: Opinionated friends.  You've heard them - "You just have to do this!", or "So and so's wedding had a huge ice statue and it was so beautiful.", or "You mean you're not having a church wedding?"  Oh yeah, they can drive you crazy.  Just remember this is your wedding and they are just trying to help.  Let them say all they want, but know that it's your day, and (like Burger King says) you get to have it your way.

Speedbump #4: Everything else.  This just about covers everything.  Yes, from the altar to the zest on your wedding cake, something can go wrong.  There are some things in life that you just can't control, like the weather or having to actually pay to have a nice wedding (and I'll tell you, it's not cheap), so you're just gonna have to deal with it and try to smile.

Speedbump #5: Everyone else.  I guess #4 talked about things that can't be controlled.  Maybe you can't control other people, but they can and should control their actions.  I will give you two examples of what happened in our wedding experience and how we dealt with it.

Exhibit 5A: The Wedding Registry.  We went to Macy's to register and were given the best service in the world.  To the person who helped us a Macy's Ala Moana, "mahalo."  You made our experience wonderful.  To the guy at Williams & Sonoma, "auwe."  When we inquired about registering, we were told this; "If you want any kind of help while registering you need to have an appointment or you can try and register on the website."  If the store was busy, I would understand, but there were no more than 10 people in the store and at least four salespeople.  If I can do it by myself on the website, then why do I need help other than helping me fill out the papers?  He didn't offer to make an appointment for us either.  I was very upset by that kind of snobby attitude.  We went from the royal treatment at Macy's to feeling like we were unworthy at Williams & Sonoma.  How did I deal with it? They aren't going to get my business. Note: I did write to the website, and they returned my e-mail asking if I wanted a personal response. Upon request, I am still waiting for my personal response.

Exhibit 5B: The Wedding Cake.  We reserved a wedding cake from Chef Leigh at Tiers of Joy waaaay back in the summer.  My fiancée knew her and she graciously extended us a discount.  She gave us quotes for two types of cakes, with one being more expensive than the other one.  At the time, we chose the more expensive cake.  Our financial situation has since changed, so upon reconfirming our order, my fiancée inquired about the cheaper of the two cakes.  She was told that they were both the same price.  Confused, my fiancée tried to clarify that she thought one cake was less expensive than the other. If they were both the same price, we would go with our first choice.  Chef Leigh apparently did not remember quoting us two different prices and took this as an attempt to barter down an already discounted price.  Obviously there was a misunderstanding here. Chef Leigh decided not to make our cake with less than a month left until our wedding.  Misunderstanding aside, that left us in quite a bind and we are currently trying to find someone to make our cake on short notice. 

The two parties above are part of the wedding industry. Our day of wedding registry was tainted by a snobby store, and our dream cake is turning into a nightmare.  Those in the wedding industry have the ability to make a couple's wedding experience memorable. Unfortunately, the memories can be just as bad as they are good.

So how do we deal with the "Speedbumps" on the way to marriage?  First of all, I call them Speedbumps because they slow you down, but you should never allow them to stop you.  You need to go over it and move on.  I've given the following advice to many of my friends as they were about to get married, and I'd like to share it with you:

Everybody dreams of having the perfect wedding day. Often, things can go wrong.  Instead of focusing on all the bad, you need to step back and look at everything that's going good.  Even if all hell breaks loose, all that matters is that you and the love of your life are there.  That alone is the perfect wedding.

For a minute let me focus on all the good things that have happened - we got great rings from Al Kamm's Jewelers, again. Macy's was awesome, Donald Takeya of 'Creative I Video' and Lew Harrington of 'Love Story Weddings' have been more than helpful, Judge James Aiona Jr. has been fantastic, our florist has been a blessing, we know that our musicians (Kelly and Monika of Emerald House) will sing their hearts out, and we have the best friends and family in the world helping us out.  Sorry if I forgot anyone, but there have been so many wonderful people making those Speedbumps disappear.

By focusing on the positive aspects, Speedbumps can only slow you down for a bit.  Never let them stop you.  Before you know it, you'll be at the altar saying yes. Maybe by my mentioning a few of the potential land mines in this article, you won't have to over the Speedbumps. You can go around them.

Note from Hawaii411: Stay tuned for wedding photos and more commentary.  The photos here are all from my wedding photographer, Lewis Harrington.  His website is  Check him out, his photos are awesome and he has been a great help.