Stephanie & Brandt’s Washington Cabin Wedding

* 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

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 CabinWedding 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

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    Favorite wedding on APW so far. The passion in the first picture made my heart jump a little.

  • Kate

    “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.”

    Yes. Because even though I find wedding planning to actually be pretty fun, we have real lives we like to talk about with our friends/family. We’re planning other things too, we’re going to concerts, we’re riding our bikes. Please, for the love, someone ask me about riding our bikes rather than the flower choices.

    • Jessica B

      How’s the bike riding season going?

      I’ve found that my family (extroverted, a bit nosy) is much more interested in the wedding planning process, and will ask me about it 50% of the time–the other 50% is them talking about their own lives (which is great).

      Fiance’s family, however, asks about the wedding 0% of the time. They do not appear to be interested. When we ask them to help out, they are responsive, but they have no idea what is going on because we either don’t want to only talk about the wedding, I assume they know already (through fiance), or they just don’t have any sort of interest. It’s bizarre. My fiance is a little frustrated by this because he feels like our wedding is NBD for them since he is the 3rd kid to get married. He just wants to feel special!

      That said, this was a lovely wedding to read about. I’m glad it turned out like you guys wanted!

      • We’ve each biked over 500 miles since March; FH maybe even over 700. We love it. Thanks for asking! :)

    • Aly

      YES YES YES. Every time someone asks me about wedding planning I respond: “It’s going fine but I’m definitely ready to be married and be finished planning!”

      • Meghan

        YES! We will have been married for two weeks this Saturday, and it feels so good! I was afraid waking up the day after the wedding would feel like December 26th. No WAY! So happy to be married to this man, and, while the day was perfect, I am happy to have the craziness (which, comparatively, not much craziness) of the wedding behind us and be back to our “normal” life.

  • Gorgeous and warmly insightful – both the writing and the photography!

    • Thank you for your kind words! The photographer, Melissa, is a dear friend. She’s amazing!

  • Becs

    Oh my god, you must both be such truly beautiful people — the joy and love that is pouring out of these pictures is mind-blowing. Might be crying at my desk. Here’s to a wonderful life together for you both!

    • Thank you so much, your comment made me tear up. So far our marriage has been pretty wonderful, were coming up on one year this weekend!

    • Ack I accidentally reported this instead of exactlied it, disregard! Sorry! I loved this post but didn’t cry until all these comments :)

  • VivaLuisa


    • amanda

      I also love the puppers! My husband and I decided that having my dog at the wedding didn’t make sense, because he gets overstimulated very easily, especially around people he likes, which were basically all at the wedding. We didn’t want him joy-peeing everywhere! We did get some really nice photos with the dog on our wedding day, which are my favorite photos.

  • And this is exactly the wedding my husband and I were planning on having before money got involved. (Not our money, but parental money).

  • Amber


    “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.”

    Warms my heart! And makes me that much more eager for my August 31st wedding. :-) Thanks for sharing your story. It looks like a beautiful, joyous day full of love and celebration!!

    • Thank you so much. Best of luck to you!

      • Amber


  • Your headpiece is so amazing! I covet it!
    And your entire wedding looks gorgeous and love-filled and wonderful.
    The dogs are adorable too.

    • Thank you Hailey Rose on etsy (shop:Brydferth) she is so sweet and fantastic to work with on a custom order.

  • Sara

    Editz: its actually just to opposite –> it’s actually just the opposite

  • sarishah

    Aw, getting married on a misty day near a lake or river in the pacific northwest is my dream. Congrats to the couple.

  • “When we had our first kiss our friends popped bottles of champagne over our heads.”

    Gorgeous imagery! I’m so gonna suggest this to the next couple I hear getting married outdoors…. And it is so nice to see a wedding post from my neck of the woods.

  • Oh, how beautiful! Congratulations. (And I love your kickass tattoos, btw. ;) )

    • alyssa

      The lace cuff! Gorgeous…

      • Thank so much to both of you! Lace cuff was done by lisa orth at alleged tattoo and the roses were damon conklin at super genius. Both in Seattle.

        • alyssa

          I live in Seattle and have been curious about good tattoo artists. Thanks for the recommendations!

  • Amazing. Dogs. Cabin. A handful of friends. Handmade rings. Dudes, that is awesome.

    • Thank you! I think so, but I’m kind of bias.

  • Andree K.

    I’m such a sucker for cute dogs in wedding wear. Beautiful rustic, homemade wedding. The rings were fabulous!