Down by the River
From the bride, Tana: Our wedding was very “home-made.” It was a great effort of family and friends. It was not fancy or formal and things were very relaxed, just the way we wanted it.
That particular weekend in September happened to be an extremely rainy one. I thought for sure that we would be getting married under our tent in the mud instead of by the Florida River, which as “retired” raft guides was extremely important to my husband and me. It had rained so much that the ground under our tent had turned to mud after hosting the rehearsal BBQ there the night before. Kevin spent our wedding morning getting plywood to lay down a make-shift floor in the tent.
About an hour before the ceremony I was in my cabin and we opened the door to get a little more light and for the first time in two days we saw blue sky. Within 10 minutes of the scheduled ceremony time the skies completely cleared and the sun came out.
Our ceremony was officiated by a friend, spoke of rivers and mountains, we wrote our own vows, My favorite part: After Kevin said his vows, I took the microphone and simply said, “And I you.” That is a quote from his favorite movie, Braveheart. We had joked all year that he couldn’t just use the speech from Braveheart as his vows. We all laughed and then I said my vows.
The most memorable moment was spending time with Kevin down by the river after the ceremony. We just talked, took it all in, and enjoyed the sunshine!
We collected all of the guests’ response cards and had them write some advice on them the night of the wedding. These were collected and put in an old wooden box with a bottle of wine for Kevin and I to open either on our 10th anniversary or if we ever run into trouble.
For favors, I collected recipes from all of our family and friends and compiled them into a cookbook to give away as gift at the wedding. I love to cook so this was a very sentimental gift to me. I included recipes from my Grandmothers since both of them have passed on. We used the aspen image from our invite as the cover for the cook book.
All of our plates were collected from thrift stores by my mother and I (which took almost a year!). We had a lot of fun collecting them. We also collected mason jars for beer mugs. A month before the wedding my mom visited and helped me paint chalk board paint on all of the mugs so that people could write their names on their cups to keep track of them. I even made mason jar luminaries, but because of the rain never ended up putting them out!
I made a small cake for Kevin and I to cut and our cake topper was a set of antique owl salt and pepper shakers. Many friends and family from the area stepped up and brought a dessert of their choice to serve instead of cake.
My advice is to take your time, don’t stress about every little detail. When the day comes, you won’t care about them anyway!