Tag Archives: wedding

#CatTravels: Wedding bells in London

Since many of you are having problems with my photo galleries — and I don’t blame you; scrolling down for every photo is mighty annoying — I’ve posted the gallery up top. Hopefully that will suffice until I get this all sorted out. Thanks for your patience!

Let's get there first!

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The first thing we needed to do was get from Paris to London in time for the afternoon wedding. So we caught a Eurostar train that took us through the Channel Tunnel, a 31.4-mile undersea rail tunnel.


After all, we were here for a wedding.

That was the whole purpose of this jaunt to Europe. Derek’s friend from his days living in Japan was getting married to a woman from a small island off Greece.

We had stayed with them three years ago when we first visited London — and when we got the invitation to their wedding earlier this year, we saw it as yet another excuse to fly halfway around the world.

Guy and Maro were getting hitched at Hackney Town Hall, in the borough of London where they both had lived. It was going to be a fairly simple ceremony, done in the courtroom with maybe a few dozen friends and families in attendance.

Then we were off to — where else? — a pub for drinks, food and festivities.

What could be better than that?

Follow my #CatTravels adventures in Europe and Japan on Twitter @thedailydish and on Instagram @catherinetoth.

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Your best advice for a happy marriage

Ever since getting married a month ago, people — even complete strangers — have offered their best advice for a happy marriage.

I’ve heard everything from keep separate bank accounts to keep your last name. The most frequently doled-out advice, of course, has been this: “Happy wife, happy life.” Hmm. I’d have to agree. (smile)

I browsed a few websites recently, looking for some interesting tips. One woman told her daughter to take golf lessons so she could hit the course with her husband. Another said plan “My Turn” nights with the remote control so both the husband and wife could watch what they wanted on TV. (I say get separate TVs!)

I like this one: “Before I said ‘I do,’ my mom (who’s been married to my dad for 55 years) told me to take out a piece of paper and write down the top three things that bugged me about my husband-to-be. Then she told me to forget the things on that list and forgive him for not being flawless. Once you make a commitment this big, she explained, you can’t let petty things get in the way. In our eight years of marriage, my husband and I have had two kids, tackled cross-country moves and started two businesses — and so far, so great.”

If only I could narrow that list down to three…

(Just kidding.)

What’s the best advice you’ve received?

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What is it about handwritten notes?

It’s been two weeks since I got married and I still haven’t sent out thank you notes.

In my defense, I just got the custom-made cards in the mail. But to be honest, I’m intimidated by the work.

I have to write more than 100 thank-you notes, all with personal messages and maybe a smiley face. And I have to get them done fast.

A friend of mine told me to get the cards printed with a message, something generic that could apply to everyone. I thought that was a good idea — but I couldn’t let that be the only writing in the card. It’d have to be personal — and it’d have to be handwritten.

There’s something about the handwritten note that makes a thank-you card seem that much more meaningful. Even in today’s tweet-me lifestyle, we still see the value in handwritten cards and letters, forgiving even the worst penmanship. (And, thanks to e-mail and Word, our penmanship is going the way of rotary phones.)

I’ve received dozens of cards and letters over the years, particularly with my involvement with the Cherry Blossom Festival. And while I can’t keep every single notecard, it still means a lot to me that people remember to say thanks. And in their own handwriting.

Sometimes I think I’m old-fashioned in feeling this way, that someone took the time to handwrite “thank you” on a card, seal it (with her own saliva, no less), and maybe even secure a Forever stamp on it and drop it in the mail. It means something. It means I was important enough for the effort.

Anyone else feel the same way? Or am I hanging around the Old Guys too much…?

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Yes, I’m still a Toth

It’s the first question most people have asked me since I tied the knot:

“What’s your last name now?”

Truth be told, I had no plans of changing my last name. And it’s not because of an identity issue or because I prefer my last name to my husband’s. (In fact, I actually dig the name Taira.)

I didn’t change my last name because I’m lazy.

Until you’re married, you don’t realize how humbug changing your last name can be. You have to change it on everything, from your Social Security card to your voter registration.

It’s not easy — and I didn’t feel like tracking down every bank account, every magazine subscription, every doctor’s office that needed my new name.

To put this into perspective, here are some of the things that need notification, some of which can take up to six weeks to process:

• Social Security card
• Driver’s license
• All bank accounts
• Documents at your job, including payroll
• Credit card companies
• Insurance companies (auto, home, life)
• Utility companies (such as electric, cable, Internet)
• Schools and alumni associations
• Doctors’ offices
• Post office box
• Voter registration office
• Investment account providers
• Attorney and accountants
• Passport office
• Email and social media accounts

The list goes on and on and on.

Sure, you don’t have to update everyone with your new last name. I mean, your hairstylist and massage therapist don’t need it. But you’d be surprised how tedious the process is to notify all the important ones — banks, credit cards companies, Social Security Administration — about the change.

Honestly, I’d rather spend my time surfing and walking my dogs than chasing after this. It’s all about perspective!

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#MerryMe: At last

We did it.

We got hitched.

And it’s rather appropriate that my blog — which was hacked and had been down for weeks — was finally revived (with the help of Brian Dote of Tapiki) the day after Independence Day and exactly two weeks after our wedding.


So here’s the deal: Derek and I tied the knot on June 21 — summer solstice — at a beach in Aina Haina. We celebrated with family and friends in a small reception — about 160 people — at the Waikiki Aquarium.

We ditched the formal wedding for a casual outdoor, pau hana-style event — with an outstanding live jazz band — under the stars in Waikiki. No dress code, no program. It was a very laid-back affair.

Instead of a buffet, we did food stations, with dishes from Tanioka’s Seafood & Catering, Rainbow Drive-In and Alicia’s Market. We had huli huli-style chicken, Ono Pops and a live sushi chef. And the cake — designed and baked by Aloha Cakery — was really a bunch of beautifully decorated cupcakes with an ocean theme.

Seriously, it was perfect.

Here’s what our wedding entailed — and what the Big Day looked like:

We love surfing

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First order of business: photos. We hired my pal Dave Miyamoto to shoot our photos — and he was stoked to find out we both surf. So he came out to Queen's — our spot — to catch us in action.

Thanks for sharing this special occasion with us!

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