Katrina & Jason's "planned in four days" wedding in Alaska

April 19 |
Life's An Adventure!
Photos by Eric Bryant

The offbeat bride: Katrina, Student

Her offbeat partner: Jason, Nonprofit development officer

Date and location of wedding: Juneau, Alaska — August 9, 2010

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Jason and I had been dating for about six and a half years, and living together for four. We had talked about getting married for several years, but it never seemed like the right time. I never wanted to be a "bride," just a wife, and the idea of organizing a wedding gave me hives. But as the oldest grandchild on both sides of my family, I knew I couldn't get away with eloping. So on the night before a family reunion cruise around Alaska, I turned to my family and asked, "What would you think if Jason and I got married on this trip?" Aside from a conversation with Jason two weeks earlier, this was pretty much spur of the moment. They thought it was a great idea and my sister and mother planned a ceremony in less than four days.

_DSC5051I found my dress the next day in Vancouver in the hour and a half before the boat took off. My mother gave me her wedding band, and on a whim (like the rest of the wedding) we bought a traditional "engagement" ring the day before the wedding while we were finding Jason a band. Luckily, he had already packed his best suit for one of the black tie evenings on the cruise! It all worked out, and even landed us the wedding date 8/9/10.

The ceremony took place in the Glacier Gardens in Juneau, Alaska. The garden is filled with trees that have been knocked over and replanted upside-down with flowers in their roots. Later we took pictures at Mendenhall Glacier.

The ceremony was short, then some picture-taking, and an hour for lunch — it all went by quickly. Getting married so quickly meant there was no time to worry about insignificant details like how long my hair was. I didn't have to pick colors, invitations, or seating arrangements either.

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Tell us about the ceremony: We had considered writing our own vows, but decided to stick with traditional ones instead. We replaced "man and wife" with "husband and wife," and nixed the whole part about "obeying" (all of these were suggestions from my feminist mother). My aunt insisted that we get married while the hands of the clock were going up, so the ceremony was from about 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

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Our biggest challenge: Time, obviously, was the biggest concern. The offshore manager on the boat happened to be getting married the next week, so he knew of a photographer, someone to officiate, and a location, and helped everything come together quickly. The dress had so many fast alterations that, on the night of the wedding, I had to cut myself out of it as the zipper wouldn't budge. We were also worried about getting Jason's mother there on time, but managed to fly her and her boyfriend into Juneau.

I am expected to have a vow renewal or a "they said it wouldn't last" party for all of my friends at some point — I'm thinking maybe for our fifth anniversary.

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They look like they are singing here!

My favorite moment: I assumed that with such short notice I would have a sheet cake at the reception and maybe a flower or two to hold during the ceremony. When my sister handed me a traditional bouquet with lovely pink and white flowers to match my dress, we both started to cry. The cake was a wedding cake too, with two small tiers topped with roses. Our reception was at a busy restaurant at lunchtime, and after cutting the cake, all these strangers burst into applause.

Check Me Out

My funniest moment: One set of photographs was taken at the garden where we were married, and the other set was taken by a glacier. The photographer brought his dog, we were all tired, and as you can see in the pictures, things started to devolve quickly. I took my heels off and needed mittens, and my sister and I were only interested in playing with the dog. Things got very goofy, very fast.

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My advice for Offbeat Brides: Sometimes you just have to go with the flow, and know that although it is one important day in your life, it is not THE important day of your life. It's all the days that come after the wedding that are really the good part. The party.

Serious Falls Apart Quickly

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? It doesn't matter how long you spend planning your wedding, at the end of the day you'll always be thinking "wow, that went by FAST!"

Saying Goodbye

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Photography: Eric Bryant

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. LOVE IT! I love the fact the splendor of nature did most of the decorating. The pictures are completely stunning.

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  2. My husband and I took an Alaskan cruise for our honeymoon, and one of our stops was the Mendenhall glacier. It's so fun to see you walking the trail we did and taking pics in the same places we did. Congrats on your wedding and wishes for a wonderful marriage!

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  3. this is beautiful and there is something super romantic about a quick wedding like this. Well done!

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  4. How exciting to open up offbeat bride and see my home town on the main website. Wooot Juneau!

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    • Not my hometown but its awesome to see the state I live in featured on Offbeat Bride! More Alaskan weddings please!!!

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    • Our champagne glasses said "Married in Juneau"! Unfortunately it was such a quick wedding and such a wild rush we lost them somewhere along the way :(

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  5. Gorgeous! The photos are really wonderful…they really show personality! I, too, would have been way more interested in playing with the pup than anything else. =) Congratulations!

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  6. This might be my favorite Offbeat wedding of all time. You look so relaxed and in love in your photos. It is obvious you and your husband are made for each other. I love that it was about you and your families. Everything the perfect wedding is suppose to be. Internet high five!

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    • I may look relaxed because I was SUPER hungover! My cousins know great drinking games :x

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      • This is one of my favorites, definitely. I rarely read the entire thing. It reminds me so much of the feel of my wedding, although I had four months and a lot of worry, things were very goofy and we didnt do a lot of posed photos because I got tired of posing and wanted to enjoy the party!

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  7. You could not have had a more beautiful wedding if you'd planned for years and spent a million.

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    • I know a lot of people who are, so I knew thats JUST what I didn't want to do! Thank you so much this means the world to me.

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  8. You look beautiful and the whole thing looks like it was a blast! And yes, I would also want to play with that dog! Well done!

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  9. You are so lucky to have found such an amazing photographer on such short notice! This is one of my favorite weddings I've seen, and you got it all with no stress! Incredible.

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    • And the best part was the photographer has the disks to us before we got back on the boat two hours later, no waiting weeks or picking out prints!

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  10. Absolutely stunning wedding and you both make a lovely couple! I am 100% in loveeeee with your dress! The ruching and gathering is gorgeous. Would you mind sharing who the maker is? With gratitude and blessings…

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    • Thank you so much! We were hurrying through the mall in Vancouver and spotted a sign with Ru Paul that said "Gurl, you better WORK IT!" and my sister said "lets go this way…"

      We turned a corner and the dress was in the front window of the Prada store. My mother said "Well, expensive for a dress, cheap for a wedding dress" so we just went for it. Some alterations were done in the store, some were done by family members on the boat.

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  11. Ahhh! You are a beautiful couple, your sister is beautiful, your wedding was beautiful… hell, even the dog was beautiful! What a wonderful wedding to see.

    I am curious if there's a reason your aunt suggested getting married as the hands of the clock go up? I love old wive's tails, superstitions, etc… so I'm interested to see if there's on here!

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    • She just said it was good luck, and she was pretty serious about it, said I could NOT get married when the hands of the clock were on the way down.

      She was also pretty upset that I hadn't given the family warning, because they had all brought "black tie" attire so everyone was wearing black, and "that is just NOT done." That side of the family is southern :P

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  12. That is totally the way to go!! Such a natural beauty backdrop! :D

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