Miranda & Josh’s river running wedding & rainy day reception

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100_1209The Offbeat Bride: Miranda, Juvenile Court Employee

Her Offbeat Partner: Josh, Web Developer

Location & date of wedding: Wedding: Lochsa Lodge in Northern Idaho; Reception: Miranda's Parents' Backyard in Boise, Idaho — Wedding, June 11, 2009; Reception, June 13, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: One of our favorite places on earth is the Lochsa River in Northern Idaho and we really wanted to have our wedding at Lochsa Lodge. We had beautiful ceremony on a Thursday morning with our families present.

Josh's daughter and I got ready together in our cabin, and Josh joined us just before 9:30 so we could all walk to the ceremony spot together. We asked our family members to participate by reading a poem, quote, or something special about love. Mimosas and brunch followed the ceremony, and then we hit the river that afternoon! I even made a veil out of tulle from the fabric store and taped it to my helmet!

The reception was just one big party for everyone to celebrate with us. Josh and I don't dance, so we bought a bunch of board games and wrapped them up for the centerpieces with a note with instructions to “Sit, Open, Play, Laugh.” We didn't have a wedding party, so our sisters acted as our witnesses and were required to make a toast. I used the returned RSVP cards to make the guest book sign. Josh created two playlists — my folky loving songs for dinner and his party music for everything else. We used the whole buy-plates-at-the-thrift-store approach for tableware. We had dutch oven catering (amazing!) and the world's greatest dessert buffet (compliments of our friends and family) with cataraft cake toppers for each dessert!

The tables with board game centerpieces.

Our biggest challenge: The week before the celebrations started, the weather in Boise was rainy and pretty gross, but the weather forecast changed daily. Since the reception was to be held in my parents' backyard, we ended up having to rent a HUGE tent for the backyard. Even though it was pretty spendy, it was the best decision. The adults hung out under the tent and the random kids ran around in the rain all afternoon. The rain didn't stop anyone from having a good time.

Other than the rain, we were extremely lucky. Everything seemed to fall into place, but that could be because we were really laid back about everything and if it didn't turn out perfectly, we didn't care so long as everyone had fun.

Post-ceremony rafting - June 11, 2009

Ha! "Miranda Rights." I get it.

My favorite moment: My favorite moment, by a landslide, was when my dad stood up to give a toast only to run to the back of the yard to greet the police officer who was standing near the gate. The officer came up to the tent, greeted/harrassed Josh, and continued to read him his “Miranda Rights.”
Turns out my parents and several friends came up with the entire script for what the Officer should tell Josh, including the fact that he “has the right to wear the pants in the family, as long as they are his own pants.” The entire crowd was doubled over in laughter, including us.

Since I like to break the rules with things like this, I refuse to give you just that one favorite moment. There was also taking a self-portrait with Josh, Brooklyn, and myself before we walked to the ceremony. Running my own cataraft on some of the best whitewater in the State on my wedding day. Hearing that my grandparents were playing “Don't Break the Ice” at their table after dinner. Josh's sister giving a toast and stating, “Josh doesn't deserve any better than Miranda!” rather than the fact that I'm the best and Josh deserves the best, ha! (Again, the tears from laughter were pouring down my face!) And forgetting my backpack of extra clothes at my parents' house on Saturday night when leaving the reception. I woke up at the hotel and had to put my wedding dress back on to go down and eat breakfast!

My advice for other offbeat brides: Have fun and don't freak out about something that isn't going to matter in the long run (the rain wasn't THAT bad.. in fact, it made it rather memorable for everyone).

Obviously, make it your own and do something that fits exactly who you are. I'm not sure that many couples would want to go rafting on their wedding day or have catarafts for their cake toppers, but that's what WE love to do, and everyone knows it.

Don't spend money on stuff you don't care that much about — flowers were not really the most important thing, so I used fake, plastic ones from Pier One (and they were still awesome). We didn't care a whole lot about fancy photos, so we invited my friend from junior high and high school to come take candid shots, and it turned out just fine. Encourage your family and/or friends to participate and have fun with it!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

  • Dress – Bridal Couture (It was a bridesmaid's dress that I ordered in ivory)
  • Shoes – Payless & Converse
  • Flowers – Pier One (arrangement by my friend, Jamie)
  • Jewelry – marniekat.etsy.com
  • Catering – Dutch Oven Den
  • Desserts – Our friends and family
  • Cataraft Cake Toppers – my amazingly talented friend, Vanessa
  • Photos – Jeny Marshall

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Comments on Miranda & Josh’s river running wedding & rainy day reception

  1. I've been told that rain on your wedding day is lucky. Congratulations and well done on making your wedding what you wanted it to be.

    • It was! I am the sister of the bride. Miranda told me how they had picked the date for the wedding and found the perfect day–because it hadn't rained on that day in something like 20 years! In my toast I mentioned that it was so special to have the rain because it historically hadn't rained for so long!

  2. Beautiful! I love the game idea…might steal it! I'm curious, because I'm having a similar "private ceremony a few days before the party" thing, how did you word your party invitations….we keep getting stuck there!

    • Our invites read: "Through marriage we are given the gift of a new beginning, a new family, and a new life… Miranda (middle and last name) and Joshua (middle and last name), along with Brooklyn (middle and last name) will become a new family during a private wedding ceremony on June 11, 2009. (Parents) invite you to celebrate this new beginning at a backyard reception with dinner, drinks, and laughter. Saturday, June 13, 2009 beginning at 4:00pm at the home of (Bride's parents…and address). It looked much better than how I'm describing it!

  3. What beautiful pictures! I LOVE how you incorporated your daughter into the wedding, holding the book for the minister, and doing a reading. Everyone looks so happy and relaxed at the reception! Well done!

    • Thanks, Andrea! The wedding itself was more than just being married, it was about all of us becoming a family! And yes, "happy and relaxed" is EXACTLY what we were going for 🙂

  4. HA! My husband had basically the same shoes for our wedding with the colors reversed. Bright green canvas with brown stitching. His have the date stitched on the back too. Now he calls them his "anniversary shoes."

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