Posts Tagged With: wedding

Trash the dress? Nah, I honored it!

The week leading up to and the days following our wedding was just as fun and memorable as the actual event. Since we had about 25 guests that had flown in from all over the world, it was only appropriate to expand the celebrations and have a little more adventure!

If you’ve been with this blog for awhile you know Ryan, owner and operator of SUP Barbados. He was the very first Bajan I ever met and turned into one of my dearest island family members. Aside from Barbados, we had a mini adventure to Trinidad and Tobago and a random airport hug in Frankfurt, Germany! On this day, he took out a small group of us for a sunset paddle. Recognize the other girls? Bree, from travels in Chiang Mai, New York, and Barbados back in 2014. Then there’s Denise and Ioni, my amazing friends from The Netherlands! We’ve studied together in Buenos Aires, played with in Córdoba and definitely made a mark in Amsterdam. I actually met Denise back in Spain before herhappytrails even existed!

Now, we all gather under one sun and celebrate!

Ryan took the photo of me years ago and then one of Matt on this day… unplanned!

Such a fun day! Thank you Ryan for always providing a day of laughter, sunshine and paddle filled memories.

Post wedding day was spent on the beach with boats, rafts, drinks, snacks and music. In my opinion, perfection! Cameras weren’t brought out that day (at least ours weren’t) so you’ll just have to trust it was a bright day full of more smiles, sunkissed skin and friends as far as the beach could hold. Here is the only photo I was given from the day, thanks Dani!

The last day of the wedding celebrations was spent on my favorite catamaran Cool Runnings!

If you’re interested in booking your own excursion, visit their website by clicking here.

Again with the lack of photos, just know it was a fantastic day! We did get a few snap shots of me honoring my dress though!

As I wrap up the memories of this beautiful moment in time, I want to rewind and post the video of how it all started. I’ll end here with the recording of the engagement!

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Here comes the bride! 9-28-17

The term destination wedding refers to a location outside of your hometown that generally involves a gorgeous landscape in a distance place. Typically it lands at a snow capped mountain resort, inside a foreign castle or in my case, on a stunning tropical island. I called Barbados home for just long enough that it really wasn’t a “destination wedding”, however for a handful of our guests, it most certainly was!

If you’d rather just skip to the amazing Wedding video, click here!

Let’s begin with the landscape. Well, for starters it’s a beach!! We chose a quaint little surfers bar overlooking the southeast coast called Moonraker at Surfers Bay. It offered a partially covered outdoor seating area with a U shaped bar and an open section for my favorite part, the dancing! Our guests had the option of kicking their shoes off and walking in the sand, dancing on a wooden deck or socializing around an oversized bonfire. So we had love, earth, wood, fire, water, sun, stars, open air and an abundance of positive energy from all of the friends and family that gathered… a recipe for the perfect wedding.

Accommodations – Surfers Bay restaurant and bar was conveniently on the property of a colorful hotel called The Moonraker.

The wardrobe – Most of you have read a story or few that included my dear friend Bree. From our adventures in Chiang Mai, Thailand to her first visit to Barbados, she’s been a beautiful addition to my traveling adventures. What you may not of known is that when she isn’t backpacking, she’s an incredible fashion designer that has even worked in NYC for Ralph Lauren (friend bragging moment). As her gift to me, she designed and tailored my gown start to the very last pin before I walked the aisle. Matt wore a classic beige jacket that was once wore by his dad who was there with us in spirit.

The jewelry – I felt so honored to walk the aisle with an arm full of authentic bangles and an ankle decorated with jewel covered bands, all from India (another gift from Bree and her family). My wedding ring set is a combination of Matts opal birthstone and a diamond band given to me by his mother, a ring that was once given to her by his father…. again, I’m honored. The unique funky earrings? Those were $7.99 from Claire’s (a handy accessory boutique in the states).

The flowers – Instead of pre made bouquets or red roses, I went to a local florist (the day of the wedding) who so graciously allowed me to pick 12 flowers from a variety of local bundles in their back freezer. I don’t know too many businesses elsewhere that would of been so eager to help a last minute Gypsy bride.

The ceremony – my walk down the grassy aisle lead me to a dozen of my dearest girlfriends from around the world, each holding a single tropical flower. As I hugged and thanked them for their friendship, attendance and love, I collected each flower leaving me with a bouquet tied up by a strip of lace that was left over from my dress. This was all being serenaded by Matt on the guitar before he passed it along to come and greet me for the rest of my walk. The service was guided by our dear friend Derek who peacefully spoke about higher connection and divine love. We said our own vows, exchanged rings and sealed it with a kiss.

Drinking and dining – The Bajans and their heartfelt gifts. Instead of presents we asked each local guest to bring a dish to share. (If you’re wondering what the island cuisine consists of, take a moment to check out the posts Welcome to Barbados, let’s eat! and Mr.Delicious doesn’t serve pig tail . Our wedding spread ranged from traditional recipes to creative desserts and most definitely extended beyond what any catering company could of offered. Drinks? Not a dry mouth in the place, if a guests didn’t bring food we invited them to bring a beverage to place on the open bar. Wine, champagne, cases of local beer, liquor, juice, soda and what Barbados festivity would be complete without rum punch! Música! Personally speaking, I can survive any party regardless of food, drink or decorations as long as I have happy people and good music. As if our plans couldn’t of gone any smoother, in walks Dj Trev! He perfectly mixed every genre we wanted to hear, left out all of the songs we didn’t want and had a dance floor that never went empty. He was the icing on our wedding cake!…and the party kept going… and going! I’m so grateful for the experience and love we were able to capture, I’ll hold it dearly forever!

…to be continued.

Categories: Accommodations, Edibles!, Fashion from a backpack, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Did the bride just arrive in a Uhaul?

World meet Katie, one of my dearest of friends who started this wonderful journey of traveling with me many years ago. Our bus catching, airport sleeping, scary flight surviving, foreign language cherades playing was all prior to this blog. I will say however, it was a huge reason of why it all started. Here’s a fun collage to show you some of our smiles from Vegas to New York, Belize, Mexico and Costa Rica. Although I didn’t think it possible due to her stunning looks and hilarious sense of humor, this incredible woman has found her match. I’m sure Austin, the groom to be, would agree that none hold a candle to Katie’s unconditional way of nurturing those around her and her unstoppable ability to brighten every room. On this day they gathered with family and friends to share their new path as a married couple and I’m so grateful I was there to be a part of it! 

6:00am- Three of us girls arrived to the park with a Uhaul to start the set up. 


A motherly smile is always welcome. Thanks for helping Momma Cathy!

7:30a- I left and returned with a proper coffee for Ms.Katie (Despite the horns, she was one the most angelic Brides I’ve ever worked with). Her wishes: everyone has a good time, there’s enough champagne to go around and to jump in a bounce house with her gown on. 

I asked, “You ordered a bounce house?!” Her reply, “Nope, just something I’d like to do”.

8:15a- The rest of the female crew arrived to help prep the venue. Did I mention that Katie designed and produced her entire wedding from handmade crafts to personalized center pieces? She was so organized that she even drew out diagrams for each tables layout. No stress, just clear instructions made with love. Way to designate girl!

Fun proud fact- Katie asked me to draw her seat holder for the adorable wooden swing. Small job, but I was honored.  

9:20a- Decision was made…what pre-wedding moments would be complete without the offering of bubbles!?

11:15a- All done and heading back to the house for hair, makeup and possibly (most likely) another glass of bubbly.
Noon thirty- Just a quick hour later we returned to the park for all final touches before our bride took the stage. This tent was the official bridal headquarters as well as the starting point for sweet Katie to walk the isle.
  

1:30p- I’m left speechless as I watch this beautifully strong woman walk to expand her well deserved happiness. 


In most weddings, what follows is much rejoicing with food, drinks and (let’s admit) a little awkward socializing with semi-strangers. On this day, I looked around and noticed that all were laughing, smiling and for what I could see, truly enjoying one and another’s company… and the cupcakes.

Pssst (to be said in a whisper) notice that’s Hayden? He’s the one you’ll find in several posts around the world with me and that rugged ol’ blue backpack! 

 3:45p- Magic happened! Call it a gift from the universe, perfect timing, coincidence, a blessing… Whatever you want to classify it as… It happened! After lunch a child’s party unloaded right next to us with none other than a bounce house! Our bride got her wish.

How else does a glamorous woman in a gown and tiara enter a bounce house? Only like my girl would… no shame and head first. Katie, you’re the best!


The walk back was a highlite for me as I got to carry “sis”.  This doll is Katie’s daughter that I’ve unofficially adopted into my future plans of travels. I even bought Ava her first passport as my gift at the baby shower. Diapers? Nah… We have priorities. 

Austin,  I’m so grateful that my amazing friend took that random drink of your beer and even more thankful that not only did you laugh, you welcomed her magnetic charm to capture you for a lifetime. Katie, thanks for allowing us to share this special day. You are both quality energy. Love always!


So here it is. I’ve never been married, but I love love…everything about it! I’ve done uncountable amount of wedding hair, attended a large portion of the ceremonies and cry at about every one whether I know them personally or not. I squeal when my friends get engaged and look forward to the joy found at the receptions. Will I ever be a bride? Who knows. All I know is that here in the now, today… I celebrate what is love and the people around me filled with it! Cheers to the open road, a pure heart and a free spirit.

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The Shinto Shrine of Meiji Jungu

Lets pause for a minute and (re)introduce you to my amazing cousin Brandon. We grew up seeing each other once every few years when our paths would cross at family gatherings. Our beautiful grandmothers are close sisters and have kept the connection tight. Describing him is simple, he’s patient and kind, yet assertive and witty…. trusting him is easy due to to his sincerity that matches his genuine personality. I know that sounds like a lot of “nice” words thrown into a sentence, but he truly is a quality individual. Here we are almost 20 years ago followed by a picture from last October.

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After enjoying a wonderful visit last year, I’ve returned to Japan to spend time with him and connect with his stunning girlfriend Jessica. She’s the gorgeous girl photoed below that naturally enhances everything around her with a vibrant smile and bright eyes. I would describe her as strong and sweet with just enough spice to keep him on his toes. Between the movie quotes, exaggerated imaginations and our compatible sense of humor, this is definitely a couple that I enjoy being around!

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Today we’re off to visit a sacred park in the city of Harajuku. Traveling throughout Japan is relatively basic due to the convenient train system. From our door step to the nearest station is a simple 5 minute walk and from there, we took a few transfers as we made our way towards Tokyo. Along with us is one of their friends Kennedy, he’s also in the Navy and has been stationed here for 2 years.

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Pit stop for two sweet treats! I feel like we should all live up to the “adult” status and have dessert first once in awhile. Mini cookies made with sweet Japanese potatoes and chocolate chips.

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Ice cream that comes in a handy pouch? Really think about this, no spoon or messy cone, just a perfect serving in a resealable container on the go. Brilliant!

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We’ve made it just in time for a short walk through the city (check out the size of the super crosswalk!) and an hour of exploring at the park. Note to future travelers, the inner park is generally open from 9am-4:30pm.

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Before entering the shrine it’s courteous to cleanse in respect for Meiji Jingu. The proper sequence is to rinse your left hand, followed by your right. Then pour water back into your left hand to rinse your mouth. Continue by rinsing your left hand again and finish by rinsing the dipper.

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Just before bowing through the entrance, I took a brief moment to capture a handstand shot and create a neat photo of this door that caught my eye.

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As you approach the center, you’ll find families, tourists, people dressed in authentic costumes and a variety of exhibits.

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On this day, we even got to witness a wedding!

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Brandon surprised me with a “safe travels” blessing trinket from the shrine. Thanks cousin!

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Leaving the location brought us through a forest that was created in honor of the Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken for their souls to dwell in. Each tree was placed and planted by hand!

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An upside-down handstand (in respect of the Shrine and to prevent the Japanese guard from blowing his whistle at me…again).

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After the visit, we took the long route back to the station through the popular Harajuku street. This ended up being so entertaining, that I’m going to save it for the next post! Here’s a sneak peek…

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