Kate & Ryan: Real Wedding
How did he/she propose?
We had to go to Sweden for work last March, so we added on a little vacation time. Since it was freezing and we were in Sweden, we decided to really DO winter. We flew north—past the Arctic Circle—and stayed in Abisko. We went dog sledding, visited the ice hotel, and hiked on snowy national park trails and frozen rivers. It was apparently the best time to see the Northern Lights in recent history, so one night we took a chair lift up to the top of a mountain. We stayed two hours, watching the prettiest light show you will ever see in the night sky. And that’s when he proposed.
How did you come up with the budget for your wedding, and did you stick to it?
Never having planned a big party, we had no idea what any element of a wedding would cost—food, alcohol, rentals, music, décor, transportation. We did some research online, and decided to make a budget for the reception, but nothing else. We tried to stick to it, but that didn’t happen.
Was there any personal elements you incorporated into the wedding ceremony/reception?
Our wedding was full of personal elements. We wrote the ceremony ourselves. We got married in a remote field on the west side of Zion National Park. We wanted a simple script that focused on love, happiness, friends, family, and the beautiful surroundings.
Since our wedding was in a remote field, we wanted everyone to arrive there together. We wanted the location to be a surprise that everyone saw at the same time, and we wanted to walk together to really get people in the mood of Zion National Park. We started with a social hour at our rental house (it was adjacent to the park land), and from there we all walked 200 meters to the field. We walked through sage brush and field grass, and were surrounded by red rocks, sunshine, and a cloudy blue sky. I think it’s safe to say that people were blown away by the views.
Our wedding was fun and easy. My dad and I walked down the aisle to a Jethro Tull song. We had felted squirrels on our wedding cake. We had an amazing gluten-free cake from Kim and Jakes Cakes in Boulder, Colorado. We didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen, but my girl friends and I had a dance choreographed at my bachelorette party and we performed as the first dance.
What was a “must have” for your big day?
The only thing I could imagine wearing on my wedding day was a grey dress. I could picture exactly what I wanted: a messy skirt and a simple top, all in an unassuming light grey color. It seemed easy enough. Until I started looking. My search started locally, but soon had to become national (and let’s be real, international). A shop sometimes had one grey dress—it was never right. Months of shopping and spending more hours on the internet than I’d like to admit, I found a possibility in Cincinnati. It was an 8 hour round trip drive, my mom met me there. Once the dress was on me, we learned that the designer had discontinued the gown, but I could buy the sample. It had bling on the bodice and was about 8 sizes too large. We bought it. Five alterations later, it was perfect! We left for Zion the next day.
Share a wedding budget splurge that made a difference?
Months before the wedding, we made a trip to Zion to meet with Laura of Forevermore Events, our wedding planner to look at locations. Getting married, eating dinner, and partying in a field. It wasn’t cheap to bring in electricity, a dance floor, a food tent, and bathrooms, but it was exactly what we wanted. We looked at a few places on our house’s rental property before Laura led us across the property line, and down the 200 meter path into Zion. The field was an immediate yes.
Besides tying the knot, what was your favorite part of the day?
It was unreal to be in one of our favorite places with our favorite people. That feeling will never go away. Two of our married friends were so moved by our ceremony, they had our officiant renew their vows. That was the most precious thing to me.
Tyler Rye Photography
Kim & Jakes Cakes
St George Party Rentals