Picking where to honeymoon was really tough. We were paying for it ourselves, so we wanted a beautiful tropical location on a budget. We considered French Polynesia but we couldn’t afford the amazing over-the-water bungalows. We would have to stay on the mainland rooms, which only look at the bungalows, not the ocean. We really wanted a beautiful view of the ocean while sitting on our patio. So, we decided on Fiji. We couldn’t afford the expensive private islands, but stayed at the Shangri-La Fijian on the main island of Viti Levu. Our resort had amazing views and great coral reefs for snorkeling right off the beach. This was a larger resort and very family friendly. We knew that going into it and didn’t mind. There was an adults-only pool but we actually found it rather boring. We aren’t a couple who likes to be away from the action, so it was nice that there was a lot going on at the resort.
One of the best things about Fiji is the numerous islands scattered throughout the waters, 300 + islands! The water in Fiji is crystal clear and you can swim pretty far out and still see everything around you. When we took boating excursions out to the islands, we kept passing island after island after island. It was an awesome site! Once you land on one of the little plots of land surrounded by water, you can literally walk the circumference in 5-10 minutes. We had never been on an island that small and loved every minute.
Your wedding is supposed to be a magical day that you will never forget. I think mine was so magical and filled with joy that I can barely remember it. We got married at Soka University of America in a beautiful Italian looking courtyard.
We wrote our wedding vows together that expressed the commitment we were making to each other. These were mine (Brandon’s were the exact same with obvious changes):
“Brandon, from this day forth I vow to love you as my best friend and my husband. I will continue to pursue my passions in life, challenge my personal human revolution all the while sharing in your hopes and dreams. I will encourage you in times of suffering. Celebrate with you in times of joy. Nurture you when you are sick and dialogue when we are struggling. I will be a source of inspiration and hope for your life and love you every day with my whole heart. I devote myself to our union and promise to always support you, our family, and our friends as your wife and the mother of our children. Together we will share all that life has to offer and overcome any obstacles that we encounter and create a supremely happy life together for the sake of others. Take this ring as a symbol of the vows we have made today.”
From there, we took the party to the Hyatt in Irvine for an amazing reception. We entered the reception hall to “When It’s Love” by Van Halen. Our first dance was to “We Belong” by Pat Benatar, which was the first song Brandon dedicated to me. We tried to get all the officail stuff out of the way so we could just dance all night. And we did!
Being a serious planner, I was very eager to find out when Brandon was going to propose. I had a feeling it was going to be around the time of our year anniversary but wasn’t absolutely sure. I’m very impatient! We looked at rings, spoke of wedding fantasies and our future together. However, I didn’t hear any hints or see any clues as to an upcoming proposal. Not until…
the day before our anniversary. I was at my parents house and my dad got a strange phone call and then asked me to leave. He never had a problem speaking on the phone with me in the room. The weird look on his face told me that something was going on. After his phone call, he left the room and being the impatient, eager and excited daughter that I am, I checked the call log to see Brandon’s number as the previous call. I knew he was going to propose on our anniversary. Now my curiosity turned to nervousness.
To date, this is the most awkward night of our relationship. I knew he was going to do it but wasn’t going to let on that I knew. I’m sure my jittery conversation wasn’t helping his nerves. The tension was so high between us. I guess it was the first time that we kept a secret from each other and weren’t dealing with it very well.
He drove us to the Burbank airport, a rather weird place to be. He told me we were having dinner at the airport, but a woman came out to greet us and told us that our helicopter would be ready soon. My mouth dropped open.
A little background on my husband would be helpful. He is a writer and camera guy for movies and commercials. I figured if he were to propose, it would be a huge undertaking or during the most mundane activity in our lives. Evidently, he took it to the extreme.
We got in the helicopter and flew towards the Pacific coast at sunset. We watched the sun slipping behind the ocean as we flew over the beach. The helicopter then turned inland and flew to downtown LA. It landed on the old courthouse and left us there. The nerves were as high as we were in the sky! He held my hand and got down on a knee, almost shaking as he handed me the ring and asked me to marry him. He put the ring on my finger as the city lights encircled us. It was magical. It was our love story.
The helicopter returned us to the airport. Afterwards, we had an amazing 7 course meal at Bastide in Hollywood. I don’t buy into fairytales, but somehow, I was living one.
We were friends for awhile before saying those 3 special words and realizing we should be together. Once they were said, I knew I would be with him forever. He was my perfect match.
To celebrate our new relationship, he invited me to join him on a Vegas adventure. I had only been to Vegas once and it wasn’t the best night. So, I was excited to visit again, this time with my honey. After years of relationships where I was always having to make plans (I am a planner) and figure out all the details of our activities, I finally found someone who just took charge and handled it. 1st Romantic point for planning the entire trip.
We stayed at the Monte Carlo and it was a beautiful hotel. We drank, he taught me craps, ate exquisite food and then went out to party. His friend worked in the Vegas club scene, so he took us to several clubs through the VIP lines, no waiting or paying. 2nd Romantic point for making me feel like I was the most special person in the world.
I cannot imagine a more romantic getaway. We were definitely in a honeymoon stage but couldn’t have felt more in love. I’m sure we were that annoying couple that is kissing and cuddling and acting like they are the only people in the world. 3rd Romantic point for starting our relationship off with a bang!
Check out this blog for more ideas on romantic travel.
I cannot blame the stars completely for my commonsensical outlook on romance. I was born a virgo and consistently maintain all stereotypes of a sensible, perfectionist virgo. If we get in a fight, I don’t want flowers, I want a heartfelt apology and a determination to not make the same mistake in the future. I hate forced romance and do not want to go to a crowded restaurant on Valentine’s Day. If you want to win my heart, do the dishes or surprise me with a clean house. It may not appear romantic to some, but it shows me that you love me. Little gestures of love are more meaningful that a grand gesture every few months or once a year. The little gestures keep the flame burning strong over the long haul.
With all that said, I cry at cheesy romantic movies. I love chocolate treats. I absolutely love fresh flowers in my house given to me by my loving husband. I enjoy being wined and dined. I love when my husband takes the time to plan an entire evening, get a babysitter and takes me out. It is such a relief to not have to plan something else. I love being in love and when I’m not feeling so in love, I love falling in love all over again.
My name is Michelle and I’m the practical romantic. I’ve been married for 6.5 years and have two children, 2 and 5. My husband works long hours and I work from home, have a kindergartener and stay home with my toddler, at the same time trying to take care of our home, cook healthy meals and raise happy children. As many parents know, romance is extremely difficult with children around. When you do get time away, it takes a couple of hours just to release the built up emotional neediness that naturally come with child raising.
At the same time, this is the most important time to keep the romance alive. More people divorce when their children are toddlers than at any other age. If you don’t make extra effort and spend the time to care, it is easy to feel unloved. I’m dedicating this blog to share my own experiences of romance or romantic ideas. I hope you enjoy being in love as much as I do!