This week we're letting our hair down and getting back to nature in the wild, wild outdoors! And this one is all about a nature-loving, cliff-hiking, wanderlusting couple in northern Idaho.
The Offbeat Bride: Audrey, Insurance Agent
Her offbeat partner: Hal, Aerospace Engineer
Date and location of wedding: Sundance Mt. Lodge, Coolin, ID — July 14, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Our wedding was a destination wedding for everyone but ourselves. Our entire guest list ended up being 12 people, and they all had to fly across the country to where we live, then drive over an hour to a small lodge on a private lake in northern Idaho.
Our first date was a flight around Atlanta, GA that Hal piloted. Our cake topper was painted in the same fashion as that little four-seater Cessna. We built the arbor for the ceremony from driftwood I picked up around the lakes in the area, and Hal's engineering skills.
Our ring “pillow” was actually a rock we picked up on one our hikes and polished smooth. Our cupcakes and cake were flavors from our life together: Coca-Cola cupcakes represented Atlanta, s'mores cupcakes for camping, huckleberry cupcakes from our new life in north Idaho, and Amarula icing on the cake, our favorite liqueur.
The flowers were made from old maps that would have been thrown away, reflecting our love of travel. Hal's boutonniere incorporated a gear from a 1966 motorcycle we're restoring together. Hal even wore his hiking boots for the ceremony.
The Monday after, we met with our photographer again to do a “picnic flight” photo shoot. We like to think of that flight as our getaway vehicle.
Tell us about the ceremony: Jill, our officiant, is a marriage counselor, and helped us create a secular ceremony that we loved. To inform the ceremony, we let her know that we are friends first, and wish to be partners for the rest of our lives. She really incorporated our sense of adventure, and our love of the journey. Here are some lines from our ceremony:
These rings, in their unbroken wholeness, are tokens of the continuity of your relationship. They mark the beginning of a long journey together, filled with wonder, surprises, laughter, tears, celebration, and, hopefully, much joy. May the shining substances of these two unique rings be a symbol of the enduring trust and affection that you bring to one another.
Audrey: We're continuing an already long journey today, and I look forward to it. I won't always follow you, but when I don't, it'll be when you ask me to lead. I'll always be thinking about flying, but I'll always save you the copilot's seat. I'll always offer you help, but let you decide to take it. I know you don't want me to always let you win, but the playing field will always be even. And no matter what happens, I will never let you forget that you aren't my whole world, but you are the most important person in it.
Hal: Today I begin a whole new adventure with you, and I hope it is not the last. I can't promise that our journey will be perfect and smooth, but I can promise to be your partner through all of the sunny days, and the stormy nights. I promise to plan our adventures, so you don't have to worry about them, but I will always be willing to change those plans when we see something shiny and want to explore instead. I promise to try to do things myself, but accept help from you when I know I need it. And, whether it be by plane, by horse, by bike, or by foot, I will always be by your side as your friend and partner in crime.
My favorite moment: Hal said his most meaningful moment was when we were changing plans on the fly. Our ceremony was supposed to be on the large lawn behind the lodge overlooking the lake, standing under the arbor we made together. Instead, the skies decided to open and release rain upon the area multiple times before the ceremony. Instead, we moved the arbor and the ceremony up to the back deck, moments before the ceremony was to start. It was just as beautiful, and the ease with which we were able to switch it up was amazing.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great?
Both my man of honor and one of my bridesmaids backed out, as they could not make the trip. Instead, Hal's high school friend Jenn stepped in as my maid of honor a few weeks before the wedding. And Hal's best man's girlfriend Marie stepped in as a bridesmaid. Both had become wonderful friends throughout my relationship with Hal, and ended up being wonderful help! Jenn was the mastermind behind the ribbons on the bouquets, and Marie was probably the best comic relief and stress reliever anyone could ever ask for. And by the end of the weekend, I can count them both as much closer friends than ever before.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: Remain calm. I heard about so many other weddings from the same weekend where it seemed everything went wrong. But at the end of the day, those brides were committed to the partner they love. That is how Hal and I treated our wedding: less about the party, the details, and making sure everything went exactly according to plan. For us, it was about our family and closest friends, our love for each other (and also a great meal and a beautiful view!).
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Ceremony/reception venue and catering: Sundance Mt. Lodge
- Photography: Haley Sierra Wedding Photography
- Cupcakes and cake: Sugar Girl Creations
- Dress: A David's Bridal piece found on RecycledBride
- Flowers: Based on a tutorial by Susie
- Hairpiece: Etsy seller BlackSatinShoes
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!