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Aloha from Maui🌺


As I reminisce through the thousands of pictures and home videos of our trip to Maui, I still feel the love that was shared through those ten days. We had fit many adventures in, from paddle boarding to mountain climbing in the jungle to snorkeling to playing with dolphins and watching whales. Each adventure with a unique story, but every one ending with the biggest of smiles. Before I get to our "man vs. wild"- like escapades, I want to take you through a special day: the sole reason why we had all come together in the first place. The wedding day...from my perspective :)

The Wedding = The Best Day Ever.


Wedding Day Timeline


That's actually how I woke up. I think that every younger sister has a small breakdown when their older sibling gets married. It's a quick breakdown, but man is it real. Luckily this only lasted five minutes and I got back in touch with reality.


It was a beautiful day; one that was going to end with the best party that Maui locals had ever seen. I thought about my sister. I've never seen her as happy as she has been since meeting Fletcher, and that says a lot about Fletcher as a person. He has this aura that brings out the best in others. And we are lucky enough to have him as a part of our family. So thanks Lolo for bringing this incredible and positive being into our lives as well. To know that I am now gifted with a big brother and a sister who has found her true soul mate, man that is what life is all about. Love, and Family. The morning of the wedding surprisingly went by rather slowly.

My makeup in particular took the longest out of all the bridesmaids because they couldn't find my undertone skin color. I didn't even know that that was a thing for makeup! I guess that's what happens when you come from a Filipino mom and an Irish dad though, things get confusing.


The photographer was scheduled to arrive at 3:00pm to take the typical beauty pictures of the bridal party getting ready. I used to think it was rather funny that photographers choose to capture the lead up to the ceremony. I always thought that it was rather simple, you zip up your dress, slide into your sandals, grab your bouquet, bada bing bada boom and you're good.

But when this day came, I got it. It's more like a story. As a bride, you slide one foot after the other into your gown, carefully strap your sandals around your ankles and visualize the wedding background as you clip your bracelet around your wrist. As you grab your bouquet of fresh peonies, you look in the mirror and gaze at your dress, which becomes more than just a dress, but a reflection on every life event that has made you into the person that you are today. I look through the pictures of Lauryn getting into her dress, and Fletch putting on his suit, and I can still feel their excitement and happiness for this big day.

Yes, I am thankful that these moments were captured, simply so that we can relive them again and again.

Maid of Honor Duties

I remember looking at Lolo and thinking to myself, Wow, she is so calm. Then I got it, she was ready. She was ready not just to walk down the aisle, but to start this new chapter in her life with the man of her dreams. I could tell, this was everything she had wanted. She wanted my parents to be in this moment, she wanted Fletcher's parents to watch them officially become part of her family, she wanted every person that was a part of this wedding and sitting in those white chairs, to be present.

It's funny, I never quite understood how people can tell when a woman is "beaming." I think it's usually when they're pregnant or in the midst of getting married. With Lauryn, I guess I always saw her in that way. Ever since we were younger, I've seen her in a way that no person could ever match up to. Beaming with confidence, beaming with beauty, beaming with generosity and truth. But that day, she was Glowing. She exuded something so much more than a physical beauty, you could feel the warmth that she brought to the room on that special day.


A moment frozen in time that I will never forget.

One of the duties as the maid of honor is to assist the bride in getting into her dress. It was a lot harder than I had thought solely based off of emotions alone.

My cousin Natalie had come into the room with her ukulele. When she started to play, the mode of the room was suddenly overcome by a sense of calmness and serenity. It felt like every person had stopped their conversations and froze their thoughts. With no need of an announcement, all eyes landed on Lauryn.

It was at that moment, that everything became real. No one had to say anything, but you could feel the beauty, the love and Peace that lay within each person in that room.


I took a look at Lolo and you could just see that she was so so ready to get into that beautiful wedding dress.

"You ready?" - I said

And with the most innocent and almost surreal smile, she said "Yeah, yeah I am."


She took one step in, then another. As we started to zip her up, the tears came rolling in. As I started to link the buttons down the back of her dress, I immediately felt like there was not one person in that room except for my sister, me, and this beautiful white dress.


How not to Veil the Veil as a Maid of Honor

I did get slightly nervous when it was time to put her veil on. The makeup artist had given me a quick tutorial on how to place it in her hair. Under the ​​flower and into the crevice. I was so nervous when it was showtime though! I kept telling myself, "Don't mess this up, don't mess this up, do not mess this up Lindsay." It ended up going well but let me tell you, veil's are tricky. You really gotta push them in there!

There was a very specific moment where I thought I could be hurting Lauryn as I was struggling so much that I thought it would be a good idea to generate some leverage to get the veil to stick.

How to get leverage you ask? Easy,  simultaneously grabbed the veil in one hand, put the other hand on the opposing object...sooo the bride's chin...🤦🏽‍♀️
So there I was, in a room of peaceful ambiance with friends and family and a ukelele playing in the background, pushing my sister's chin up with one hand and the veil down on the other. Now that I think about it, I damn near choked Lauryn in what was one of the most serene moments of that morning!

Sorry sissy.

Probably not the best technique but I couldn't afford to have that bad boy slip out. The wind was crazy when we got outside and the last thing I wanted was for the veil to fall out knowing that it was my job to keep it secure. Lauryn ended up having to wrap her veil around her arm and little Taylor would hold the end to keep the wind from tugging on it. My eyes were glued on that veil for a good five minutes of the ceremony just saying "Please don't fly out please don't fly out."

The Night of the Bustle

Right as the ceremony had ended it was time for pictures, and with that came the most beautiful sunset. Both families and the bridal party rotated through to take their pictures with the bride and groom. When the newlyweds were then quickly stolen away to take their own photos in front of this uncanny sunset, the bridal party made our way up to the rooftop for the reception. I knew that we needed to bustle Lauryn's dress before the bridal party was announced into the area, but I soon realized that I'd forgotten the bustling tool in the room!

Boys, bustling a dress is where you lift the train of the dress up to a higher area to allow the bride dancing options with ease. (See Figure 1.1) I knew that I had a small, but doable cushion of time to grab the tool since Lauryn and Fletcher were taking pictures in front of the sunset, so I was off.

Flight of the Bustled Bumblebee


(Cue the song) So here I am dashing through the halls of the hotel holding my dress in one hand to prevent an unfortunate trip on the floor and my bouquet of flowers in the other. I throw my sandals off to the side near a flower pot because they were slowin me down. With every pocket of the building that showed the sunset, I'd stop for a second to take in the view. (pause song, read slowly) How symbolic it was to see this uncanny and natural piece of art forming after such a beautiful ceremony. (START SONG AGAIN, read fast) Quickly I realized I was under the clock so I sprint by a Hawaiian sculptor, fly past the hotel front desk, through a group of family photos and finally to the elevator where I'd push the button pointing up. I turn around to see a balcony with the sunset in the background. (pause song, slow down reading) I look at the colors of the sky with the palm trees in the foreground, man this place is magical...BING! (elevator rings, START SONG, read speedily) The doors whisk open, I press number 7 as I'm pacing back and forth in the elevator wondering if I was still good on time and gunna make it back before lauryn and fletcher got up to the reception. Doors open on floor 7 and I'm out faster than a race horse! My key card is ready to go and I'm pumping my arms like Marion Jones. Hands still busy with the bouquet and dress, I get into the room and grab the tool. Yes, right where I left it. I look up and see a lowered sunset from my balcony. (pause song) "Aww wow this is a great view, good job mama Dowd." Quickly I realize I've lost focus! Eye on the prize, there's no time for watching the sunset! (START SONG AGAIN, read faster) So I run back into the elevator back down the stairs through the family photo past the front desk in front of the Hawaiian sculptor, slide into the sandals where I strategically threw off my feet, and towards the hallway leading to the reception on the rooftop. I had a choice, the stairs or the elevator ...Elevator door Bings and opens, elevator it is. (INCREASE VOLUME FOR DRAMATIC EFFECT) Realize I'm only going up one floor so maybe the stairs were faster "I can't believe I'm late I'm going to ruin this wedding night why haven't the doors opened to the rooftop yet-" Doors open. I see a white dress, a big bouquet of flowers and Lauryn who turns around and calmly says, (pause) Hey! ...sweet man, you ready to do this!? FANFARE OF TRUMPETS BLAST! Success, I didn't ruin the wedding. Let's get this bad boy bustled up and start grooving on the dance floor.


Bustling a dress is a workout in itself. It involves holding the bottom of the dress, which mind you comes out to be at least ten pounds heavier than you would think, then you have to find buttons the size of tic tic tacs to loop through an even smaller circle of thread. But make sure you loop them with the correct part of the dress, or you will have offset the entire bustle and then forced to start over again. And these babies are hard to find. That's the point of the bustle, it's supposed to look like the train of the dress just naturally shrunk up into this beautiful waterfall- esc look. So god forbid they make these buttons bigger than a Polly Pocket toy! Accurately matching up these loops to their counterpart is like finding Waldo in a Candy Cain store. If only they were color coated or even numbered, then maybe it would have saved some time! And that was just the mental part of this task; once you've successfully matched up the loop with the button, you had to link the loop around the button. Remember, this loop was smaller than a barbie doll necklace. Because, you can't risk the people seeing anything bigger than a tiny 3 cm piece of thread on a dress made for a 5'11" woman!?? (detect the scarcasm) It was equivalent to threading a needle thirty separate times in a hot oven with a countdown of 2 minutes on the clock.


Steady hands steady hands. Talk about a stressful environment. My mom was trying to help me hold the dress up, but you then strategically needed to use the weight of the dress to catch the button on it's way down after placing the loop on the top of the button. Basic physics. So all that Lauryn would hear was, "Yeah mom, hold it up, okay no let it go, okay wait that's the wrong button, yeah grab that, no let it hang." Back and forth and back and forth. When we finally got all three sections done, I quickly realized that those sections were just for the back of the dress. We still had the left back and the right back of the dress to go! It was quite the process, but with some solid teamwork, we ended up getting everything pinned up and it looked flawless!

To be fair, my lovely sister did in fact warn me about the task beforehand, scarcastically saying, "Ha, yeah you're gonna have a fuuuun time with this tonight." ...It was not fun. I did giggle during the process, but even that was more of a nervous chuckle just to prevent Lauryn from knowing that her dress was being a 2 year old and resisting the bustle!!! By the end of it, I was in a full sweat, my dress pulled high above my knees which enabled a proper squatting position, and a feeling you get similar to finishing a gasser run. Highly accomplished, but never wanting to do it ever again.


For now I will leave you with this.

It's tradition that our family holds Wii "Just Dance" competitions during every major holiday and get together. The dance to Tina Turner's "Proud Mary" quickly became a fan favorite in our household. So as a little treat, Lisa taught the rest of the bridesmaids a shortened version of the dance and presented it to the Bride and Groom. Solely based off of Lauryn's shimmies and Fletcher's sideways head bobs, I think they enjoyed it.

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