Natalie & Iliana's laid-back bounce house wedding

By on Oct. 5th
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Photos by Franky Lopez

The offbeat bride: Natalie

Her offbeat partner: Iliana

Date and location of wedding: Barrier Free Lodge at Beach Lake, Chugiak, AK — August 10, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Since we wanted to maintain a low budget, we were very flexible with our plans and ideas, allowing things to evolve in their own way. We wanted to be outside (which can be a gamble with summer weddings in Alaska), and we knew we wanted to write our own vows.

Our friends and family really outdid themselves. Iliana's mother and sister flew in from NYC, and made all our food (and there were no leftovers)! You can't beat authentic Latin food. My sister flew in from California, and I don't know what I would have done without her.

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Our amazing friend Jill (who was also the officiant), runs her own photo booth business, AK Mojo Photo Booth, and provided her services to us free of charge. She also rented us a bounce house, that our two-year-old daughter and all the other kids (and our wedding party) couldn't get enough of. Our best man Mike brewed some beer for the occasion, and a lovely group of volunteers helped us whip up some mojitos before the festivities began.

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We had hula hoops, bubbles, a fire pit, and a s'mores station. We also had s'mores favors for our guests, and treat bags for the treat table.

IMG_3610Tell us about the ceremony: Being a same sex couple, we didn't have any specific traditions we wanted to adhere to. We just wanted it to be heartfelt. We kept it short since were very aware that the children wouldn't want to sit long, and we didn't want the adults to feel stressed in any way. We provided little puzzles and crayons to keep them occupied. We also set up the bounce house out of sight of the ceremony so that the children wouldn't be distracted and ansty.

Our biggest challenge: We did everything ourselves, so even though we rented the lodge for three days, we were still running around like crazy trying to get things done (with a toddler no less). It all ended up being completely worth it though.

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My favorite moment: Everyone got a laugh out of our daughter, who was placing rocks under my dress throughout a good portion of the ceremony. My most cherished moment of the evening was the couple of minutes Iliana and I had alone on the dock to just look out on the water and take it all in.

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My funniest moment: When the wedding party were all jumping in the bounce house. Our best man is 6'4", and anytime he jumped near one of the girls, they would go flying. My bustle tore in the bounce house, and I didn't even care because I couldn't stop laughing at everyone.

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We were really concerned that it might rain. Rain in August in Alaska is a pretty safe bet. We took a big gamble on the small lodge, but we knew it had to be the place. Between the amazing scenery, the fire pit, and the over all rustic feel of it… we just couldn't say no. We rented it for three nights just so we could stay and not feel rushed on anything. As it turned out, it ended up being a gorgeous sunny day!

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

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Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!