The Offbeat Bride: Alexis, Owner, creator at Squirrel Vs Coyote
Her offbeat partner: Johnny, Science Department Head at the Science & Math Institute (SAMI)
Date and location of wedding: Nature Bridge, Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park in Clallam County, Washington — July 4, 2015
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
We wanted a low-key rustic wedding that was focused on spending as much quality time with friends and family as possible. It was kind of like a grown-up slumber party with most of the attendees staying on-site in cabins for the weekend.
We chose the venue, not only for the beautiful location, Crescent Lake in the Olympic National Park, but also because they give back to the community. During the school year, Nature Bridge at Olympic National Park is an educational facility that provides hands-on environmental science programs for children and teens, fostering environmental literacy. Wanting to be in-line with the philosophy of Nature Bridge, we decided not to hire a florist. Instead, I folded hundreds of flowers out of blue and white paper, and for the bouquets and boutonnieres, I used maps of places that Johnny and I had adventured to make the flowers.
The dress I wore was purchased on Etsy from a designer who up-cycles vintage Amish tablecloths. The dress was unique, and the exact embodiment of my personal style.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our ceremony was short and sweet, under an arbor that my husband built, strung with 1000 paper cranes that I folded with the help of friends and family. A close friend played acoustic guitar as we were walked down the aisle by both our mothers and fathers. Johnny's cousin officiated, and we had taken the time to write our own vows, which made it that much sweeter.
Tell us about your reception:
The reception was a Nature Bridge. We ate, we drank, we danced. We had a signature cocktail, beer, wine, and sake. The year before, I had received my sake sommelier certification, and I was excited to be able to share some of my favorite beverage with my favorite people.
We hired one of our favorite DJs (DJ Shmeejay) who just happens to live in Port Angeles, about 30 minutes from the venue. He played a mix of disco funk and dance-y requests. Later in the night, a few people went swimming, while others sat around a bonfire on the beach and talked story. It was perfect.
What was your most important lesson learned?
As stressful as wedding planning has the potential to be, I feel like it really wasn't for us. Our friends and family rallied and helped set things up and decorate, giving us more time to spend, and laughs to share, and love to give. The biggest challenge was trying to connect with each and every person there, and simply not having enough time.
For us, the importance of hiring the right photographer cannot be understated. Sasha was not only our photographer, but also took on the roll of event coordinator, making sure that things happened at the right time, and keeping everyone calm and organized. We couldn't have done it without her, and the fact that she really cares, shows in the photos. If you are trying to go the low-budget route for your wedding, let one of your bigger expenditures be the photographer. It really was the most beautiful day, with the most beautiful people.
- Venue and catering: Nature Bridge
- Photographer: Sasha Reiko Photography
- Wedding Dress: Musey Clothing
- DJ: DJ Shmeejay