And here we are…the special Hawaiian wedding. (Sorry, Slackerdee, no one gets a case of the hulas! LOL) I hope that you enjoy it as much as Eric and Sookie. I tried to make it as authentic as I could, but having never been to Hawaii, I’m doin’ the best I can.
HUGE props to TVgirlSVM as usual for her helps with the local info. Big props to Google, too.*snort* I googled like a madwoman to write this chapter. HUGE thanks to my betas A Redhead Thing and Sapfirerose for making this readable. HUGE viking thanks to Lubadub for her fashion assistance with wedding attire –A Redhead Thing, Seastarr08, and I couldn’t have done it without her! P.S. CS – we all want that J Crew dress now.
(Why do I keep saying HUGE today? Hm. No idea.)
We are gathered here today for the wedding of our dear friends, Eric and Sookie. Who supports this couple in their marriage? WE DO!
Amelia and I made lunch, chicken Caesar salads and a sandwich for Tray, and Eric mixed up a batch of Mai Tai’s. We talked about our plans for the next two days, mapping out who wanted to do what and talking about our plans for the New Years Eve day before the wedding. I went over the timeline for the wedding and dinner, then Pam told us all that she’d gotten us tickets to a party at Mulligan’s on the Blue. I had no idea that she had done that, and Eric grinned at my reaction, saying that while he was glad our friends were willing to join us for our wedding, he knew that they would love to go out for the night as well, so he’d asked Pam to find us a party. Mulligans’ was an Irish bar and it sounded like a great time; she’d arranged for a car so no one had to drive.
We decided to head north to Maui Tropical Plantation, or MTP, for the afternoon since we already had tickets to hop over to Oahu the following morning, and that would take up the whole day. Pam and Phoebe wanted to check out a beach nearby in Makena that they’d heard was topless, so they decided not to come with us to the plantation. Eric threatened that he wouldn’t pay their bail if they got arrested, but they just laughed and headed off on their own, planning to meet us for dinner.
We loaded into the Jeep with Tray and Amelia, heading north on Piilani Highway. The drive was beautiful, and I was excited because MTP raised, among other things, pineapples and coffee, so it included two of the things I wanted to see. There was even a tram at MTP that took you on a forty-five minute tour of the sixty-acre plantation. Eric took some pictures with fans as we waited for the tour to start, and I stood off to the side chatting with Tray and Amelia. Eventually it was time to board the tram, and he extricated himself from the small group of fans to join us. As we rode around the farm, Amelia and I read each other silly facts from the brochure.
“Mango trees take five years to bear fruit but will produce for 100 years.”
“Guava juice has five times more vitamin C than orange juice.”
“Pineapples ripen from the bottom up.”
Eric looked over his shoulder at Tray. “Are they always like this?”
He smiled. “Yeah. Originally they did it to irritate Bill, now they think it’s fun.”
“It is fun.” I laughed.
“We like to learn.” Amelia tried to sound serious.
“They read billboards, too. Haven’t you noticed?” Tray asked.
“Oh man, Sookie does it when it’s just the two of us. I can only imagine what it’s like with both of them.”
Amelia and I smiled sweetly. “You love us,” I joked. Eric put his arm around me and pulled me close, rubbing his hand over my hair, laughing.
We finished the tour and bought some coffee and fruit before driving back to the house. Tray and Amelia went to their bungalow for a while, and we relaxed at our own place before dinner. Eric had made us reservations at Joe’s. It was in Wailea, and according to Eric was casual and served great fresh, local food. I knew that Bev Gannon was the chef there, and I was thrilled to try her food. Eric had done a great job choosing restaurants for us. I knew that he’d always been sort of a foodie, but I really appreciated that he put some thought into the restaurants we visited on our trip.
Eventually, we all met at the big house and headed for the restaurant. Phoebe was a little sunburned and pouty, and Pam teased her saying she would have been glad to put more sunscreen on her. She asked for an aloe rubdown later, and Pam just winked.
“Enough. Let’s go to dinner before you two decide you’re hungry for something else.” Eric laughed.
Pam raised an eyebrow, and Phoebe giggled. We took two cars and drove to the restaurant. Eric checked us in, and I looked around in awe. The restaurant was on top of the Wailea Tennis Club and had an amazing view. One side of the restaurant looked out at the ocean, and the other side had a gorgeous view of Hale’akala, but I could hardly draw my eyes away from the interior. The restaurant was open-air and had plank floors, chunky mahogany tables and a giant copper bar. It was gorgeous and homey, and I was in heaven. If the restaurant looked this beautiful, I could only imagine how good the food was going to be.
We ended up ordering an assortment of appetizers and main courses, although Tray insisted on Joe’s meatloaf, and he wasn’t thrilled with sharing. Among our starters, the crab cakes were delicious, and I almost stole the plate of Ahi carpaccio for myself. When dinner arrived, the herb stuffed chicken breast and pumpkin crusted fresh catch were our favorites. Tray’s meatloaf was great too, but he only let me have a small taste.
The evening went by in a flash. We talked as we ate, and the addition of Phoebe to our group didn’t seem to make any impact on the way we joked and caught up, laughing and teasing each other relentlessly. It was just what I needed. I was glad that we had decided to have our friends join us for the wedding. All that really mattered to me was that Eric and I were getting married, but having them with us made everything feel so much more real. It was like if we had eloped and had no one there with us, I could have convinced myself that I’d imagined everything, but having them there, making fun of me for planning to change my name for the second time in less than a year, not even I could deny what was happening.
It wasn’t that I was denying it, or pretending that it wasn’t happening, but I still felt like I needed to pinch myself everyday to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Six months ago I’d been moving to Michigan, trying to get my head around being officially divorced, and now I was living in Los Angeles, going to Ben Affleck’s Christmas party, and marrying one of the hottest men on television. It boggled my mind.
In the morning, we all took a quick flight over to Oahu to check out Waikiki. Eric and I took a helicopter tour of the island as soon as we got there. He said that he heard if you waited until the afternoon you were more likely to have your trip cancelled because of the wind. The island was gorgeous, with an amazing variety of landscapes. We saw mountains and volcanoes, lush green forests, beautiful blue waterfalls, Pearl Harbor and the never ending ocean, and the modern cityscape of Honolulu.
Eventually, we met back up with our friends at the beach. Although the main drag was really no different than Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Waikiki was beautiful, and we enjoyed leisurely shopping and taking in the sun. There were a few people snapping pictures of us as we walked, but it was just American tourists and they were all respectfully keeping a distance. I was a little disappointed by how commercial Waikiki was, if I wanted to shop at Louis Vuitton or Jimmy Choo I only had to drive into Beverly Hills; in Hawaii I wanted to shop at locally owned stores and buy things native to the islands. It was nice though, spending time relaxing with friends.
We joked and talked, continuing the mood from dinner the night before. I was thoroughly enjoying myself, and I could tell Eric was too. We had really needed this trip. Even with Sophie Anne being committed somewhere, the stress of everything that had happened hadn’t really dissipated from our lives. We’d needed to get away and clear our heads, and so far, I felt like the trip had been a smashing success.
We’d been walking along the beach for a while when Tray turned around and gave me a silly smile.
“You know what I’m thinking?”
I smiled and laughed at him. “No idea.”
“Come on, Sookie! You know.”
I laughed, because really, I knew, and I’d been thinking about it since our helicopter pilot pointed down and said, “There’s Waikiki.” I grinned at Tray. “Are you thinking about hockey?”
He cracked up laughing and turned around to give me a high five, and then we both sang in our best Elvis voices, “”Mona luckahiki means hockey. Mona luckawiki means love.”
“Oh, god. Make them stop!” Amelia laughed, and I caught Eric looking at us strangely before he joined her, while Pam and Phoebe just looked at us like we were nuts.
Tray and I sang the chorus, because it was the catchiest part of the tune, “Kiki Hockey, Waikiki Hockey! Kiki Hockey, Waikiki Hockey!” When we all finished laughing, Tray explained that it was from a Saturday Night Live skit with Wayne Gretzky that he and I loved.
I’d wondered for a second about the look on Eric’s face before he laughed with Amelia, but later, after we’d all talked about some of our other favorite Saturday Night Live skits, it became clear. We were waiting for a table at The Beach Bar at the Westin for lunch, it had a giant Banyan tree in the middle of it that was absolutely gorgeous, and our friends had all drifted slightly away, unintentionally giving us a private moment.
“I love you,” he said quietly, pulling me into his arms for a gentle hug.
“Love you, too.” I stretched on my tip toes to kiss him. He smiled down at me and seemed thoughtful. “You okay?”
He nodded and tucked my hair behind my ears. “Yeah.”
“I’m sure.” He smiled. “Did you know that I have the DVD of that SNL special with Gretzky on it?”
I laughed. “No, but that’s classic. We’ll have to watch it.” His smile was still a little off, and I stopped laughing, lacing our fingers together. “What’s going on?”
He sighed. “It’s really ridiculous.”
I watched him try to shake if off, but I didn’t want to let it slide. I put my hand over his heart. “What?”
He searched my eyes for a second, and then he almost whispered, “Sometimes all the signs that we’re supposed to be together are a little overwhelming.”
I slid my arms around his waist and hugged him to me. I knew exactly what he meant. I’d felt the same way about him choosing Hawaii for our vacation, which had coincidentally become our wedding, but I’d tried not to let him see. It seemed silly, but it was something he didn’t know; that I’d always dreamed of a wedding in Hawaii. It was one of those unattainable things growing up, and it hadn’t been an option Bill was willing to entertain.
“I know,” I said quietly. “But it’s good overwhelming.” He had been right at the airport when he said the stars seemed to align for us.
He nodded and leaned down to kiss me again just as I saw Pam and Phoebe coming towards us.
“Gah, stop. I don’t need to see that,” she joked and interrupted our moment, which was probably for the best; my emotions were fairly close to the surface with the wedding right around the corner, and I didn’t really want to be a blubbering mess at the beach with our friends.
I raised an eyebrow at her pointedly. She’d seen a lot more than that.
Eric chuckled, and Phoebe looked between us and laughed. “I think there’s a story there.”
Of course, that’s when Tray and Amelia came back towards us, and I had to tell the story while Pam protested something about overhearing being different than listening. By the time I was finished we were all cracking up, me mostly from embarrassment, but even I could admit that it had been funny.
We eventually got a table and had a relaxing lunch. We were all tired and hot from being out at the beach all morning, so we just had sandwiches and cold drinks while Pam introduced Amelia and I to some fruity cocktails. When we finished, we headed to Honolulu to tour Pearl Harbor, the Arizona Memorial, and the USS Missouri until we needed to head back to the airport. It was a somber afternoon, and I found myself wiping away tears more than once.
We flew back to Maui and sent Pam and Phoebe to pick up sushi for everyone for dinner. We all changed into comfortable clothes and sat around the table in the big house, eating sushi, drinking wine and relaxing.
Isabel had sent over the clothing for the wedding and everyone except me was looking over what they were going to be wearing. Pam and Amelia had navy and white hibiscus print sun dresses, and Tray’s shirt would match them as well. There was a sundress in a complementing color and pattern for Phoebe, and Eric was wearing a gorgeous white on white Hawaiian shirt and baggy Hawaiian style white pants. My dress was hidden away in the guest room closet. It was a tea-length halter dress with a sweet-heart neck and an empire waist. It was white on white like Eric’s shirt, with a shadowed hibiscus print. I really liked how simple it was, yet with a lei, it would be a gorgeous wedding dress.
It began to get late, and as we cleaned up our dishes, Pam watched Eric with a mischievous smile.
“Mr. Northman, go pack your things,” she said in her bossiest tone.
“You’re not sleeping here tonight. Bad karma, whatever. Pack your shit. Let’s go.”
Eric looked at me, completely shocked. I hadn’t really thought about it, but Pam was right. If you were superstitious, the groom shouldn’t see the bride the day of the wedding, so we couldn’t wake up together.
“Are you kidding me?” he laughed.
She raised an eyebrow and looked at her watch.
Amelia laughed, and Pam turned on her. “What are you laughing at? Go get your shit to sleep up here with her.”
“Pam, I’ll be fine.”
“This isn’t for you; it’s for my own sanity. Someones staying up here with you to make sure you don’t get cold feet and bolt.”
The room went silent. I was shocked. Did she really think I was going to run off?
“Pamela,” Eric chastised her, and I was glad he did because I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe she would think that. Her stoic face lasted about three more seconds and then she threw her head back and cackled.
“Oh my god! I’ve always wanted to say that!”
“Not funny,” Eric growled, and I rolled my eyes.
“Oh come on!” she laughed, and Phoebe gave her a look telling her to shut up.
Amelia was trying not to laugh, and Tray was looking at all of us like we were crazy. Finally I laughed, breaking the tension. “Meels, looks like we’re having a slumber party.”
Pam whooped in victory, and Eric laughed as he gave me a hug. “Help me pack, Lover?”
Before I could decline, knowing we’d never get out of the bedroom, Pam chimed in, “Of course, darling.”
He laughed at her and then went down the hall to the bedroom. Amelia and Tray headed to the smaller house for her to get some of her things. Then Eric was kissing me goodbye, and I stood in the doorway, realizing the next time I saw him would be at our wedding. I started to feel a little overcome with emotion as he hugged me, and when he stepped back he saw the tears brimming in my eyes.
He shook his head. “Don’t, Sookie. I won’t be able to walk away if you’re crying.”
“I’m happy!” I laughed.
He cupped my face and kissed each of my eyelids. “Get some sleep. I love you.”
“I love you, too. Goodnight.”
I watched Eric join Phoebe and Pam, and waited until they started off towards the other house before shutting the door. I headed to the master suite to get ready for bed, and I heard Amelia in the bedroom before I finished in the bathroom. We switched places, and she went to brush her teeth while I changed into pajamas. We finished getting ready and crawled into bed, laughing and talking.
“Sook, you’re marrying a movie star tomorrow.”
“He’s not a movie star. TV star, maybe.” I giggled and then yawned.
She snorted. “A fuckhot TV star.”
“Yeah, he is.” I laughed some more.
“Sook, now you’re supposed to say how great Tray is.”
“Your husband is a hottie. If I wasn’t marrying Eric…” Then we both giggled. “I love you, Amelia. I’m so glad you’re here.”
“Love you too, Sookie. I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”
We smiled at each other for a second but could hardly keep our eyes open. “Good night, Sookie.”
I woke up before Amelia in the morning, which wasn’t a big surprise, headed to the kitchen and made coffee, excited to start the day. When I looked at the clock, I had to laugh. It was only 8:30 a.m. and there were nine hours until the wedding. What the hell was I going to do all day, and how the hell were Eric and I going to manage to not see each other for that entire time?
Amelia staggered out to join me about thirty minutes later with a sleepy grin. “Morning.”
“Morning.” I handed her a mug.
She checked her phone and laughed. “Tray took Eric to the driving range because he was pacing.”
“Well that’s good. I was worried I’d have to hide out in the house all day.”
“Nah. I say we catch some sun and then have lunch before we start getting ready for the big event.”
I’d been thinking the same thing. “Sounds good.”
And so we did, and I forced myself not to run to the door when I heard a car in the driveway to catch a glimpse of Eric. We made lunch after awhile, and Amelia called Tray to find out if Eric needed anything before she ran over to the other house. I showered and blow dried my hair before I heard people in the kitchen, and Isabel knocked on the door to tell me that she and her staff were bringing the food and other supplies in. Amelia came back, reporting that Eric was excited but anxious and that the first thing he’d asked was how I was. I wanted to call him, but I knew he was so close that if I called I would find myself walking down to see him, so I resisted.
Amelia and I took our time and finished getting ready. I left my hair down, letting it fall in long waves around my face the way Eric liked, and I put on minimal make-up, just highlighting my lips and eyes. We were dressed and ready about forty-five minutes before the wedding was set to start, and we made our way into the main area of the house where everyone but Pam and Eric had seemed to congregate. Tray and Phoebe were drinking iced tea with Isabel, two of her assistants, the photographer, and the Kahu, or minister.
Isabel pulled me aside and had the photographer take some pictures of me by myself around the house and garden. Eventually, we all met in the kitchen again and she showed us the flowers and lei, explaining how I should present Eric’s to him, kissing his cheek and bowing slightly before raising it above my heart for him to take, and that he would do the same with mine when it was time. She also told all of us that we should not throw away our lei, but instead hang them in a tree or bury them in the sand.
“A lei,” she said, “Represents love, and to throw one away represents throwing away the love of the giver.”
The lei that I was to give to Eric was a green maile-style Ti leaf lei, while he was giving me a traditional white fragrant tuberose double strand lei. Pam, Amelia and Phoebe would wear white orchid lei, while Tray would wear a different type of Ti leaf lei. As Isabel went over everything, I began to think that we really needed to have done a rehearsal, but I would do the best I could.
She explained to Amelia and Phoebe the plans were for dinner after the ceremony, because I wasn’t really absorbing much information anymore. Eric had taken care of everything with emailing his parents, his brothers, Jason, and Martini the information for the webcam, but honestly if there were any problems with that, I wouldn’t know until the wedding was finished. He’d also been in charge of telling everyone that we wouldn’t be calling any of them until the following day, but I had a feeling I’d be speaking to his mother before 2011 rolled around, regardless.
The time went by in the blink of an eye, and suddenly, everyone had gone down to the beach, and I was alone in the house with Isabel, waiting for Eric to take his place. She grinned and led me outside where I could see everyone getting ready, but they were all facing away so they couldn’t see me.
Eric and the Kahu walked down the path to the beach, and we followed a ways behind, waiting out of sight at the head of the path. After a few minutes, I heard the conch shell blow, and I smiled, remembering what Isabel had explained to Eric and me, that it was calling the land, air, earth and fire to witness our marriage. When he finished, Eric turned to face us, and I walked onto the sand and out to meet him. Eric stood with the Kahu, with Pam and Phoebe to his right, while Amelia and Tray were on the left. He looked amazing, his white outfit was gorgeous, and his smile lit his entire face. The sun shined upon all of them, and I felt myself starting to cry.
Everything about this wedding was so much more me than anything I had ever done with Bill, but I pushed those thoughts out of my head as I came to stand next to Eric. He was nothing like Bill, there was no comparison. Amelia took my bouquet of white and pink roses, and Eric and I joined hands. We smiled at the Kahu, who reminded me of someone’s grandfather, and he nodded back and began to speak.
“Aloha, Eric and Sookie, welcome to Maui. You have chosen one of the most beautiful places in the world to get married, but we are celebrating a different kind of beauty today, your love. It is an honor to be here to witness and celebrate your marriage.
“We are joined today by your close friends, but you both have family members who are not here, for many reasons. In Hawaii, we say that when the wind stirs at a wedding, it is the presence of your Ohana, or family, who could not join you today. As we stand here and you feel the sun on your face and the wind in your hair, know that your Ohana is here; they surround you at this moment with their love, support and blessing.”
I kept my eyes on Eric as I listened, focusing on the lines of his face and the steady rise and fall of his chest. I knew that the Kahu was going to talk about our families, but it was still difficult standing there, thinking about my parents, and what I would have given for them to be there. And suddenly I felt like a complete bitch because Eric’s family wasn’t here when they could have been, and as if he sensed it, he squeezed my hands, drawing my attention back to him, and letting me know everything was fine, he mouthed, “I love you.” I relaxed again as much as I could, keeping my eyes on him.
Eric and I exchanged lei as the Kahu talked about what they stood for and explained that as we gave them to each other, it was the beginning of weaving our lives together with love. He smiled at us again, and asked for the rings so they could be blessed. He handed me a damp Koa wood bowl from a small table that was set up behind him and gave Eric a conch shell filled with sea water. He placed our rings in the bowl and took a Ti leaf and dipped it into the conch, sprinkling sea water over the rings three times while chanting in Hawaiian, then he nodded and spoke again in English.
“May peace from above rest upon you and remain with you now and forever. Your rings by their very shape are symbols of eternal unity without beginning or end. They are a symbol of the love that exists between you and characterize your devotion to one another. Let them always remind you of the commitments you make today.” He paused and looked over at our friends before looking back at the two of us with a grin. “Are you ready to speak your vows?”
“Yes,” we said at the same time, and everyone laughed.
“Eric, repeat after me.” And so he did, grinning like a fool as his eyes stayed locked on mine, full of love and joy.
“Sookie, with this ring I promise to grow with you, to build our love, to speak openly and honestly to listen to you, to love and cherish you for all the days ahead. From this day forward, you shall not walk alone. My heart will be your shelter, and my arms will be your home. With this ring, I thee wed.”
Eric slid the ring onto my finger, squeezing my hand and his smile grew even larger. The Kahu asked if I was ready, and I repeated the same vows back to Eric, managing to only shed a couple of tears, and I slid my fathers’ ring onto Eric’s’ finger. I stood there for a moment, looking at our hands in amazement. We had really done it. Eric reached up and wiped a tear from my cheek, and I smiled, hoping he knew how happy I was.
“Before we’re finished, Eric and Sookie, there’s one more Hawaiian tradition for you to complete.” He held up a lava rock that was wrapped in a Ti leave. “This rock represents the moment in time that you committed your lives to each other. Please place it here on the ground as an offering, that it will remain steadfast in the location of your marriage, marking the birth of your union, while you carry with you your rings as a reminder of your commitment that will forever be with you.”
We took the rock from him and set it on the ground at our feet. When we stood, the Kahu raised his eyebrows at us, and I wanted to laugh. “Ready?” We nodded. “It is an honor and a privilege for me to have been a part of your marriage celebration. By the powers vested in me by the State of Hawaii, I pronounce you husband and wife. Mr. Northman, you may kiss your bride.”
Eric winked at me and pulled me into his arms for a kiss. It was soft and wonderful, and full of all the emotions that I was feeling. He pulled back, gently giving me a little kiss with his hands cupping my cheeks. “Mrs. Northman, you look amazing.”
“Mr. Northman,” I whispered back. “You look good enough to eat.”
He groaned and gave me a tight hug, and I heard our friends laughing and clapping in the background. We turned and smiled, and then Amelia was squealing and hugging me. Eric and I were passed around, hugging everyone and shaking hands with the Kahu again before signing the marriage license and posing for pictures for the photographer. The sun was sinking fast, so we took as many pictures as we could and then moved inside.
We stepped into the house and Pam handed each of us a glass of wine. “Your mother has left me six voice mails.”
Amelia laughed, “I have two from Jason, and there were three from Martini.”
I bit my lip. “Were they upset?”
Pam smiled, “Elsa was upset in the first message, but by the end she was blubbering about how she didn’t forgive you, but you looked beautiful and she was very happy for you.”
Amelia laughed, “Jason just says call him, but Martini…she needs to know who did your hair and if you kept it a secret from her because you were afraid she’d steal your man.”
We all laughed, and I felt Eric’s arms come around me from behind. “See, Lover, everything is fine.”
I snorted. “You can’t call me that anymore. It makes it sound like we’re having an affair.”
He shook his head, “Oh, I intend to do much more than call you my lover, Lover.”
“Ew. Stop. You’re ruining my appetite,” Pam joked. “But seriously, dinner is in the dining room if everyone is ready.”
We made our way into the other room and took our places around the table. It was beautifully set and covered in trays of delicious looking Hawaiian style food. Champagne was already poured at each setting, and Pam raised her glass to give a toast.
“To Eric and Sookie, whose schmoopsy love story disgusts me almost daily, but also proves that true love finds us when we least expect it. The two of you are perfect together. I can only hope to someday be as happy as the two of you are.” She winked at Phoebe as we all raised our glasses. “Cheers.”
There was a chorus of cheers and here, here’s around the room. We all reached around the table clinking glasses and when I sat back down, I caught Eric looking at me and realized that we hadn’t yet clinked glasses.
“Mr. Northman,” I laughed.
He raised an eyebrow at me. “Mrs. Northman.”
We clinked glasses, grinning at each other, and I heard someone beginning to tap a piece of silverware on their wine glass. I leaned over and kissed Eric, my husband, and I grinned; I liked the sound of that.
He was my husband, and I was Mrs. Eric Northman. Yeah, I really liked that sound of that.
Oh man, I hope you guys liked that. FF weddings are almost as hard to plan as your own, and somehow I’ve written two in the last six months. What was I thinking? LOL
I freakin’ love Pam! She is the best friend Eric could have had there!
Thanks so much for reading and taking time to drop me a line or tweet me. You guys are what makes this so fun and makes late night gchat conversations about Hawaiian wedding attire so much fun.
Waikiki Hockey – I don’t agree with the review on this blog. This is one of the greatest sports skits SNL has EVER done. However, to appreciate it you have to realize that it is purposely cheesy and some of the audio/video tracks don’t match. It’s mimicking the Elvis movies that were cheese laden and often poorly spliced together. Comedic genius + Gretzky? = WIN