When I look at the images from today’s real wedding, shot by Maui, Hawaii destination wedding photographer Aric Becker Photography, I feel like I’m watching high definition TV. The bright blues, greens and pinks of this lovely outdoor occasions are so vivid and alive! There is a sweet simplicity to this couple’s big day. Married at bride Melissa’s childhood home, this DIY-heavy day was thoughtful and perfectly befitting of the bride and groom.
Can you give us an overview of the event?: Our event was an outdoor summer wedding, hosting 175 guests.
What inspired the theme or style?: Ever since I was a little girl there was only one thing I was decided on for my wedding- and that was where I would say “I do”! I was blessed enough to grow up in the most beautiful place, our family homestead. Once a working farm, it now hosts three campgrounds, a cabin, the old farmhouse and my parent’s home where I grew up. It is a peaceful spot along the river, surrounded by mountains, tucked away from the rest of the world.
This amazing place, combined with my love of throwing fancy dinner parties, inspired our wedding.
What were your playful twists that made the event unique?: We did little things to make our wedding unique and reflect who Matt and I are, and what we love. We picked lavender from my yard and bundled a few pieces with raffia for each table setting. We hired a few local guys to play blue grass music for us as our guests ate hor d’ oeuvres and mingled. Because we both love bar-b-que sauce we served homemade beef briquette. Matt’s favorite drink is rootbeer, so we served a local brewery’s fantastic root beer and my favorite hard cider to our guests.
Did you DIY any of the details?: Oh my, did we! Being on a budget means every detail took thought and creativity. It was important to me that our wedding day reflect who we are and that our guests would feel welcome. My parents did gorgeous pink and white hanging baskets to hang along the deck where the wedding ceremony was held. I had my girlfriends over for a wine and cheese party and we made all of my thank you cards by hand. (300!) The next week they came over and assembled the programs I had made and we added embellishments that matched the thank you cards. Family stepped in and made almost all the food for our wedding day. We had delicious jicama slaw, potato salad and grilled salmon. We bought the flowers at Pike Place market and dear friends helped assemble the bridal party bouquets (including mine!) and dozens of boutonnieres and bouquets for table vases. It took a village to give us the wedding of our dreams!
What was the most memorable moment?: Our wedding day was HOT-92 degrees hot. Matt was in a Tux and I was in a beautiful, heavy, layered wedding dress. Mid-way through the ceremony, Matt and I were facing each other holding hands. It was such an emotional day, this moment was the culmination of so many things, emotions, joy and grace, that the tears were about to break through. I look up to Matt and I see a sweat bead start from his forehead and make its way to hanging off the end of his nose. He couldn’t wipe it away because I was holding his hands. It was all I could do to keep from laughing out loud!
Tell us about the food and desserts.: The food was great. We had someone make over 200 pounds of beef brisquet, we had fresh grilled salmon, pototo salad, jicama slaw and rolls. Everything we served was handmade and represented some of our favorite foods. My Aunt made a beautiful wedding cake for us and a cousin made these delicious wedding mints that are a tradition in our family. We also served a Norwegian wedding cake called Kransekake (ring cake), which is a family tradition on my side of the family. It is a tall cone of rings that are wider on the bottom and small on the top. In our family it is tradition for the bride and groom to take the top ring, each person holding onto one side, and they break it- whoever gets the bigger piece will be the one in charge!
What kind of energy did your entertainment give the event?: During the ceremony we had violins play our music, which gave the ceremony the elegancy I had imagined. After the ceremony guests moved up to the side lawn for hor d’ oeuvres and a blue grass band playing, to give homage to the country in this country wedding and after dinner we had a dancing mix to get everyone dancing!
If there was one thing you could change, what would it be?: We didn’t know it was going to be so hot, it had really been a cold summer. Had I known it was going to be freakishly hot we would have had way more beverages on hand for our guests. The local root beer was a HUGE hit, we had no idea so many people liked root beer! My parents ended up emptying out their back stock of soda and beer to keep up with our thirsty guests!
Tell us how you met. Was it love at first sight, blind date, friends forever? We want to know the particular!: Our story is one that spands a decade! We met briefly at a party in 2000. Back then not all people had cell phones, and Matt lived in a house of 10 guys, and they shared a house phone. My cousin was one of the guys, so I called and left him a message with my new cell number. Matt heard the message and thought to himself, ‘she sounds cute’, so he called and asked me to a hockey game. It was fun, but neither of us felt any chemistry. However, we became friends, and Matt and I and a group of us became really close over the years. We took ski trips together, road trips, hiking trips, cabin trips, boat trips, the list goes on. We all went to the same church and our friends were very much like family. There wasn’t any romantic feelings over those years, we were really just friends. In June of 2009 I (Melissa) felt something change in my heart. I freaked out! I called a good friend and shared what was on my heart and how I didn’t really want it there! I didn’t want feelings for Matt, he had always been like a brother. However, I spent the next few weeks praying for peace and trying not to be “different” when I was around Matt. Of course he noticed the change in me, and had his own moment of panic! But then a strange thing happened as he prayed through his feelings, God gave him a sense of peace too, and made him realize he had a great women in front of him and he would be an idiot to pass her up! ( I love that part of the story!) On August 9th we went out on our second date in 10 years, and didn’t look back! Six months later we were engaged and we got married that July.
What was the best wedding advice you received?: Remember your wedding is for a day and your marriage for a lifetime. Spend as much time on that as you do planning your wedding, and make sure that the love you have for the person you are marrying isn’t based on how they will change, but if that person you never changes, you will still love them 20 years from now.