* Stephanie, Jewelry Artist and Instructor & Brandt, Printer and Graphic Designer *
When Brandt and I decided to get married we knew that we had no interest in entering the world of wedding planning. Before I met Brandt I had no intention of ever even getting married, so when it came to a wedding there was no list of what I had always wanted or even a jumping off point. When we would start to come up with ideas together, the anxiety would always set in. We kind of thought that maybe we could just stay perpetually engaged. Everyone always tells you to, “Stay engaged for as long as you can, it’s such a special time.” But what they don’t tell you is that when you’re engaged all that anyone ever wants to talk about are your wedding plans, so for me this was a version of Hell.
It may sound like I hate all things wedding, but its actually just to opposite. I love all of the details that go into planning a wedding: flowers, cake, food, color palettes—you should see my Pinterest page—these are the things that truly inspire me. The main problem is that I am a super detail-oriented person and not good at delegating. So if I had wanted a big wedding I would have totally gone off the deep end and lost countless nights of sleep (most likely my mind, too). I wanted to enjoy this, I wanted it to be simple and meaningful. I wanted our wedding day to feel like something life changing had happened and not like we had just thrown the party of all parties. Soon we realized there would have to be some planning so we started with a list.
This was it:
- Write vows
- Ask Johnny to marry us
- Beautiful place in Washington (dogs allowed)
- Crabs and beer
- Champagne and cake
- NO STRESS!
Pretty simple, but it was a start. We told a few friends and that really helped set the plan in motion. My favorite part of getting ready for our wedding was our rings. I’m a jeweler so for me this was huge! Brandt suggested that we make each other’s rings. I am also a jewelry teacher so I was totally up for teaching him to make a ring and I have to say it was an amazing experience to work together in a new way. So much love went into our rings and I can’t look at my ring without feeling those same strong emotions from just before we got married. Brandt still refers to it as “the funnest day ever!”
The only thing that I can say was really hard for us during our short planning process was who to invite. We ended up with eight friends, four dogs, and us. I’ve heard a lot of people say that slashing the guest list was easy, but for us that was not the case. There are so many people that we wish could have been there, but anyone else would have opened the floodgates. And because our families are spread all over the country it would have turned into a lot of planning. In the end I am so glad that we did it just how we did and wouldn’t want it any other way. We are so thankful that our family and friends were supportive of our decision to have a small, spontaneous wedding, and also that our amazingly talented friend Melissa documented the day with beautiful photographs for everyone that wasn’t there.
Our ceremony was perfectly us and an awesome collaboration with of our friends. Everyone decorated, arranged flowers and cooked meals (including a wedding feast of oysters, steak, and Dungeness crabs). Our dogs were there to walk me down the aisle. Jeff played an acoustic processional, “It’s Just Wide-Open Field” by Cloudkicker. Johnny married us and wrote the most thoughtful ceremony. When we had our first kiss our friends popped bottles of champagne over our heads. Then we ate the delicious and beautiful cake that our friend Nicole made. We spent the rest of the weekend in a dreamy haze, everything was perfect. It all came together so quickly that I didn’t really have time to stress out. Looking back I decided that if we were to get married one year or five years later, all of the details would probably look different, but would still be equally perfect. Because when it comes down to it, your wedding day is so wonderfully perfect just because it’s the day that you get to marry your best friend.
The Info—Photographer: Melissa Jentzsch / Location: Baring, Washington / Venue: River View Cabin / Wedding Rings: Made by the couple at With These Rings / Rose Ring: Monika Krol / Stephanie’s Dress: BHLDN / Stephanie’s Headband: Brydferth via Etsy / Vintage Umbrellas: Bella Umbrella