The Offbeat Bride: Joanna, engineer of physical things
Her offbeat partner: Will, engineer of 1s and 0s
Date and location of wedding: Camp Zanika Lache on Lake Wenatchee, Leavenworth, WA — August 25, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: When deciding what type of wedding we wanted to have, it occurred to us that weddings are one of the best opportunities to get people to take a moment from their busy lives to come spend time with you all at the same time. Our friends and family live far and wide, so we wanted to make the travel worth their while by actually spending time with them and giving them the opportunity to make new friends out of each other. And thus the process of planning a four-day wedding that was everything we wanted it to be began.
Over the course of four days, we took some of our friends and family up to see their first glacier in The Enchantments while a big group tubed down the Wenatchee River. We had big campfires and made s'mores. Our guests also insisted that we show them how to contra dance.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our amazing friend worked with us to write a more personal ceremony than we could have hoped for, for which she then acted as officiant. She also was kind enough to indulge our desire to canoe in and out of our ceremony. We work hard to be equal partners in all ways, which our officiant did by mixing the order of our names and pointedly switching up about half of the typical gendered phrasing. We stated our legal availability for marriage (as is required in Washington) by agreeing together to forsake all traditional transactions of livestock for spouses, and played rock-paper-scissors for who got to kiss whom.
Prior to the wedding, we had polled some family members for advice on having a long, happy marriage, which two of our best friends compiled into a hilarious and heart-warming “reading,” of sorts, complete with their own interpretations. We were also able to use the beautiful language of Justice Margaret Marshall in Goodridge vs. the Dept. of Public Health to acknowledge the importance of marriage equality to the validity of all marriages.
Also, we made our own rings under the tutelage of a local artist, With These Rings Handmade, which was suuuper fun.
Our biggest challenge:
At some point along the way we realized that having a four-day-long party meant (light bulb!) planning for a four-day-long party. Due to the remote location, we effectively needed to provide food, shelter, and entertainment opportunities for approximately one hundred people for the full four days. With the exception of two fantastically-catered meals, all of the food was purchased in bulk for a serve yourself-style set-up.
Having one big ol' master document with the detailed schedule made a huge difference. This schedule described what would (ideally) happen when, where to find the “ingredients” for the wedding, and who was the “mastermind” for each activity. Handing copies of that document over to our spectacular friends (dubbed the “Chaos Control Committee”) turned it all into reality.
My favorite moment:
While it may have been a long string of moments, the most meaningful thing for both of us was simply being surrounded by such wonderful, hard-working, giving, and hilarious people. We had around 100 guests, and pretty much every person who came helped in some way to make the weekend super-fun. Whether it was making pancakes for the hordes, setting up the kid-run lemonade stand, organizing a hike, making sure cabins were stocked for those who flew in from afar, or simply being a new friend to those who knew few, everybody made the weekend as fantastic as it was.
My funniest moment:
After the ceremony, reception, campfire, campfire after-burners, and campfire after-after burners had ended, two friends stayed up very late having a good time catching up with each other by shouting loud stories and trying to kill the keg. That kept a few very tired people from their sleep, one of whom happens to be a professional bugler in the Marine Corp Drum & Bugle Corps for a living.
When the two late-night revelers weren't yet at breakfast the next morning, the bugler treated them to a round of Reveille… in their cabin. Sure enough, within five minutes, they arrived for pancakes with tired eyes but smiles on their faces. They were fantastic sports.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Venue: Camp Zanika Lache
- Rings: With These Rings Handmade
- Photographer: Stephanie Kaloi Photography
- Food: Ravenous Catering
- Dessert: Full Tilt Ice Cream
- Flowers: Roots Produce and Flower Farm
- A/V Equipment: American Music
- Dress: Miss Brache's
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!
dresses: Miss Brache's
photography: Stephanie Kaloi Photography
jewelry: With These Rings Handmade