My Power Pose

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We Eloped! Getting Married at Turtle Bay on Oahu’s North Shore

The Stable Beach, Turtule Bay Resort, Oahu

Spoiler alert: we eloped! On November 22, 2017, Crosby and I tied the knot at Stables Beach of the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore with two of our best friends.

So how did we arrive on that? Did we expect to elope?

Pre-ceremony photograph by Absolutely Loved, flowers by Watanabe Floral, dress from Revolve Clothing, veil from David’s Bridal.

Let me tell you, we did not expect to elope. Crosby and I are both quite social people and our family and friends mean so much to both of us. Since the second he proposed to me (ok ok, so it might have crossed my mind before that a time or two) I was dreaming of the celebration we would have with loved ones who have played a special role in our lives. But we just had the hardest time pulling things together in a way that felt good to us. Financially, timing wise, location…we struggled with each of those things.

We originally booked the Hawaii trip to just be a getaway. People started to assume we were eloping and I started joking that I should bring my white dress because, knowing my love, he’d decide he would like to marry me when we got there. Soon the jokes turned into actual planning. Ethan and Amanda agreed to join us and serve as our officiants – yay!! – which made it all that much more real.

In just under 2 weeks I secured a florist, photographer, hair & makeup and a location. Phew!

From top left: shenanigans before the flight; landing in Honolulu; palm tree fever hitting hard; securing our marriage license!

Upon landing in Honolulu, we drove over to the Marriage License Office and got our license. It was actually incredibly simple – we were in and out in about 15 minutes, much to my relief (I was convinced I would forget something critical and not be able to go through with everything).

Unexpected delights: the drive up the East side of Oahu to the North Shore, stopping for fruity treats.

We meandered north to Turtle Bay – one of the most unexpectedly enjoyable parts of the trip. We cruised past the dramatic mountains and beautiful shoreline, stopping for fruit and garlic shrimp.

From top left: Ethan, Amanda, me & Crosby; sunset views from Turtle Bay Resort; sunset kisses.

We met up with Ethan and Amanda for sunset and over dinner, we had a heartfelt discussion about our respective relationships – what brought us together, biggest strengths as couples, etc. It meant a great deal to be there with a couple that we both admire and respect. Marriage will be hard at times and we loved hearing Ethan and Amanda’s perspective from their 10 years together.

From top left: the couple that sweats together; ocean views from the gym; Amanda, our most dedicated & amazing photographer; post workout glow in my all-white/monogrammed apparel.

The next morning, Wedding Wednesday, we woke up bright and early for a workout in the beautiful Turtle Bay gym. I did Tracy Anderson and Crosby did plyometric exercises while Amanda ran and took pics of us. : ) I was proudly wearing all white with my monogrammed t-shirt – a gift from Crosby right after our engagement. I’d planned things so I’d almost always be wearing some monogrammed item.

From top left: wearing another monogrammed shirt from JCrew; Crosby taking in the view; Ethan opening his wedding day shirt from Reyn Spooner, monogrammed for the occasion (Crosby had his initials and the date – thank you Patty!!); Crosby stealing my Loco Moco.

We filled up on coffee and Loco Moco – a Hawaiian specialty of beef, gravy and onions served over rice with an egg on top. Growing up, my dad made it for us regularly, so it was a sentimental breakfast.

Then we headed out for a surfing lesson! Another nod to the past, my dad tells the story of how he went body boarding on the day of his wedding to my mother, 52 years ago. He said it was the best day of waves he’d ever had. Not sure our experience that day matched that level, but we did each get up at least once and it was a fantastic way to enjoy the water together.

After surfing, we parted ways: me and Amanda for hair and makeup and Crosby and Ethan for massages. Wait a minute – they got the better end of that deal!

Our last kiss before the ceremony.

From top left: post-surfing face mask from La Mer; stocking up on Thai food from Elephant Shack; Kaitlyn at work making magic; Amanda and me, ready to go!

Time started to fly from that point on – Kaitlin at North Shore Salon did a spectacular job on my hair and makeup. I’d originally wanted to wear my hair down, but after seeing the wind on the North Shore, we decided to go with a side bun. I loved it. She made magic.

Then it was “go” time. Amanda and I rushed back (well, it’s Hawaii so the rushing was all very slow) to the hotel and got changed into our dresses and headed down to the beach…

From top left: ready to walk down to the beach & get married; Crosby & Ethan waiting for my arrival; champagne toast at the ready along with our music player; final moments at the hotel.

Then it hit me: I was about to walk down onto the beautiful beach and marry Crosby. We’ve both been married before. Two years ago when my first marriage (15 1/2 years together) ended, I believed I wouldn’t marry again. But then I met Crosby. He is my person – my partner in all things. The song I chose to have playing while I walked up to him was “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” because it’s true – I couldn’t help falling in love with him.

Before heading to the beach, I took a moment to power pose, breathe and prepare myself to be present for this tremendous time.

Walking next to Big Foot : ) Photo by Absolutely Loved

And I was present – that’s a benefit of having a very very small wedding. It felt a lot less like a performance and very much like a conversation between me, Crosby, Ethan & Amanda. Don’t get me wrong – the big wedding thing is very very fun & special in it’s own way, but I was delighted at how ‘there’ we both said we felt.

After celebrating on the beach with champagne & picture taking, we walked back to the resort for dinner at Pa’Akai  – departing ‘our’ beach right as it grew dark & started to rain. Dinner was wonderful – I like to think we were all feeling the love from the special day.

I’ll be posting more from our time on Oahu – it was a spectacular trip. I want to give a huge thank you to Amanda and Ethan for making the effort to be there with us. Truly eloping alone might have been great as well, but having you two with us made it really feel like a celebration. Also, Amanda took most of the pictures here using her considerable talents and her iPhone 8 plus. Portrait mode is incredible folks!

Please let me know if you have any questions about eloping or Turtle Bay or Oahu…will do my best to answer based on our experience!


Catherine Grant