Paige + Dane
(September 1, 2019 in Liberty Lake, WA)
This blog post follows the story of a couple, Dane and our real bride Paige, and their dream wedding. The couple envisioned a boho-chic wedding with natural colors, a laid-back style, and traditional aspects. Their priority was to have a venue where all their friends and family members could stay with them to celebrate all weekend long, and they found the perfect place in Zephyr Lodge. The author details how the day went and mentions the highlights of each day. They spent Friday preparing the lodge and leaving notes for their guests, and on Saturday, they spent the day barbecuing, playing in the lake, and enjoying a rehearsal dinner. On Sunday, they had a slow morning getting ready, and after the first look and bridal party and family photos, guests began to arrive. The author describes the moment they walked down the aisle, surrounded by friends and family, and shares their favorite parts of the wedding weekend.
Paige looked absolutely gorgeous in our Alexa gown by Willowby. This gown is a gorgeous A-line fit with a stunning titanium-colored liner with soft layers of tulle over the top of it. The skirt has gorgeous dahlia motifs with sequin details scattered throughout for a little bit of sparkle. The bodice is a gorgeous deep-v plunge with a stunning double waistband made of delicate velvet ribbon. The ribbon ties into a dainty bow in the back and the baby train completes this boho, whimsical gown.
By our real bride, Paige:
What was the vision for your wedding?
After my brother got married on top of Schweitzer and guests partied in the village all weekend, Dane and I's number one priority was finding a venue where all our best friends and closest family members could stay with us to celebrate all weekend long. We found exactly that experience at Zephyr Lodge. After a ton of research, it had everything we could dream of from the beautiful trees surrounding the property, the lake backdrop, and the rustic venue with so much character (including its history of being a brothel turned church camp turned wedding venue). Besides the location, we envisioned a boho-chic wedding with natural colors, a laid-back, but classy style, with some traditional aspects and some, not-so-much. We wanted to work with as many local vendors as possible to give back to our community. Finally, we wanted every aspect of this day to be true to ourselves and the life we have built together.
How did it go the day-of?
It. Was. A. Dream. Our favorite part about it was having the venue for 48 hours to soak up extra time with loved ones and we would recommend it to anyone thinking about it!
Friday, August 30th: We loaded food, beverages, decorations, and bridal party gifts into the lodge to prepare for our guests. We left welcome notes on each guest bed with schedules, lodge info, and a couple of special PNW touches - our homemade (and handpicked) huckleberry jam and my deer jerky and pepperoni sticks. We left Dry Fly vodka and whiskey in both of the getting-ready rooms to start the party off right!
Saturday, August 31st: Our bridal party and parents got settled in and we spent the day soaking up the sun, barbecuing, and playing in the lake. Dane and his groomsmen tried (unsuccessfully) to fit 4+ grown men on an inflatable Twister all afternoon while others were kayaking, paddle boarding, and socializing. Later that afternoon we did the rehearsal with Ashley Graham at the venue before meeting our extended families at The McGinnity Room for our rehearsal dinner.
Each specialty drink was customized to fit our PNW theme or our relationship; we recommended a Lawson Lemonade (with huckleberry vodka), Washington Apple, Mr. & Mrs. Mimosa, etc. We served a taco bar and had Kawaii Kandy spinning champagne and cake batter-flavored cotton candy with edible glitter because we are basically fancy children. We gave our bridal party special notes telling each of them what they mean to us and the impact they have had on us and our relationship along with some local goodies to show our appreciation for their support. Each member of our crew received a candle from Inland Candle Co. Wildflower for the ladies and Tobacco + Pine for the guys. The bridesmaids also got wedding-morning outfits and rose bath bombs from BeYOUtiful Bath Bombs & More. The groomsmen received bow ties, suspenders, Sasquatch socks, and cigars (which everyone forgot to smoke). We also gave our parents some meaningful gifts robes for the moms to get ready with us, an engraved hammer for my dad, a customized handkerchief for my mom, a bracelet for Danes mom, and Dane made cinnamon pancake mix for his dad. They may seem like random gifts, but each had a special meaning to each parent. We finished off the night by opening up the mic for anyone to tell a fun, sweet, or embarrassing moment of either of us. It was amazing.
Sunday, September 1st: The next morning felt like it went in slow motion, yet also flew by. I was greeted with a coffee and a mimosa to start the getting ready process with my girls, mom, and mother-in-law, while Dane and the guys had another morning bopping around the lake. I walked around the property chatting with my slumber-party guests at our dorm before I had to start getting ready and Dane scolded me and finally said we couldnt see each other anymore until the first look. I took every moment in. All of a sudden, it was time to get dressed for the first look!
As I was having a first look with my dad, I successfully tricked Dane as one of his best friends wore a white dress, my bachelorette party veil, and tapped him on the shoulder. Being a sensitive man, a couple of people wondered if Dane would be upset that it wasnt me. I questioned it a bit, but am so glad I did it he thought it was hilarious! I showed up next and it was a great moment for just the two of us (and our paparazzi). We did bridal parties and family photos (where things became a blur) and headed back up to the lodge and condos as guests began to arrive.
My girls and I mixed some cocktails and had an impromptu dance party as we watched guests trickle in. Baby Got Back came on and my sister-in-law displayed my 11-month-old nieces adorable diaper booty as Sir Mix-a-Lot would exclaim that baby got back. Potentially inappropriate, but very adorable.
We all lined up to walk down the aisle and all the feelers started coming over me. This was it. As the instrumental version of Justin Biebers Baby faded out (an inside joke about when we met) and Piano Brothers A Thousand Years began, I did not think I was going to be able to keep myself together. My dad jokingly whispered, You can still get out, as I glared at him and Ashley pointed me down the aisle. I quickly glanced around to see what seemed like all my friends looking back at me, and Dane and I locked eyes.
We declined our parents giving us away which seemed a little possessive as almost 30-year-olds, and made our ceremony exactly what we wanted. Two of our best friends married us together, Danes sister and brother-in-law welcomed me into their family, and my brother and sister-in-law welcomed Dane into our family. We wrote our own vows full of things we deeply love about one other with some humor sprinkled in, because that is who we are as a couple. When we were pronounced husband and wife, our dog barked as if on command and we celebrated back down the aisle to DJ Khaleds All I Do Is Win.
Dane and I signed our marriage license as we stuffed appetizers in our faces that Ashleys staff member brought us from the display in the field. We then made our debut as husband and wife at the reception in our brightly-colored golf cart with giant balloons trailing us. Kanye Wests Good Life played as I tried to shake up the champagne for the explosion you see people accidentally doing, which did not work as planned. I do not often waste champagne, so I was pretty terrible at it. It didnt pop but did start fizzing and spilled onto my dress, but my mouth caught the majority of it.
Dane and I sat at our sweethearts table and took mental photos of everyone having a good time. I told him I wanted to put everything on pause, go take a nap, and come back to that exact moment. Unfortunately, that wasnt an option, so I powered through. We went through and talked to as many tables as we could make it to before we were whirled off for golden hour photos. We had the traditional best man and maid of honor speeches, but instead of just having our dads give speeches, we asked them to do joint speeches with our moms as they are equally important role models to both of us.
I changed into my party shoes before Dane and I danced to Old Dominions One Man Band. We had heard this song while painting the garage in spring and absolutely loved it. Also, having met plenty of country singers working on the radio, made the song choice even harder. When we heard this one, I thought back to driving the Old Dominion band members around one day and how they were such nice, fun guys which made the decision a no-brainer. My dad and I danced to his choice of Paul Simons Fathers and Daughters where we invited other fathers and daughters to join us on the dance floor partway in. Dane and his mom danced to Lee Ann Womacks I Hope You Dance and also invited other mothers and sons up to join them. We got the party started with the anniversary dance to Sonny and Chers I Got You Babe where my parents were the last ones standing. However, both sets of our grandparents did not join in, as they would obviously have taken away the W! The evening was spent dancing away to all our favorite songs that we pre-submitted as well as some guest requests. 10 oclock came in what seemed like minutes! (Ive Had) The Time Of My Life was our last song, and unfortunately, Dane did not catch me in the air as they do in Dirty Dancing.
We had prepared to-go smores for our guests with personalized tags reading smore love to fit into our outdoorsy venue and our shared love for a perfectly toasted smore. The reception was over, but the party was not. We had a sparkler exit where we headed to the lodge with any guests that were still celebrating. We turned on the after-party playlist in the lodge (with the non-grandparent-approved songs), our late-night pizza order arrived, and we brought what was leftover of the kegs up to the inside bar. Dane and I poured Big Barns Honey Lager and Mac & Jacks African Amber into two camping pitchers and we walked around refilling beverages. I twirled around in my gown to Blanco Browns The Git Up, shared lots of hugs and love, and the best man and I took Pedialyte shots. People trickled off as hours went by and when there were just a handful of guests still socializing around 2 a.m., we reluctantly headed off to bed with a bit of FOMO. Boys were walking around in their underwear talking about going swimming it was time to call it a night.
Monday, September 2nd: We woke up the next morning to find more people at the lodge than we bargained for, and we loved it. Some friends slept in their camper in the parking lot and others grabbed a couchand even a porch bench. Everyone emerged throughout the morning telling stories, drinking coffee, and having breakfast prepared by our dads. The morning went by, friends left for flights, and we reluctantly packed everything up and took it back to our house with both sets of our parents. Danes family took off for the west side, mine departed, and our special weekend was over. Just like that.
It was the best weekend of our lives, thus far, and we only hope everyone has the chance to have all of their favorite people in one place celebrating their love at some point in their life. The feeling of joy and support was overwhelming, and that is what made it so hard for it to end. It was the most perfect weekend we could have ever imagined, and we are so appreciative of our families who helped not only throw this amazing celebration for us, but have been amazing examples of what healthy, loving relationships should look like and have helped pave our paths to who we are.
What is your #1 tip to future brides?
Hire a day-of coordinator!!! Ashley Graham and her team made it so that my girls and our moms werent coordinating logistics and never had to be the bad guys or give directions. I am so glad we had a first look and didnt create more FOMO by taking time after the ceremony for photos. I loved that we invited over mother/son and father/daughter pairs out onto the dance floor. Neither of us are people who love the spotlight, so it was nice to take a little pressure off when we were in the spotlight the entire day. I am a planner, but I was still surprised at the massive amount of details that go into an event this big and this personal. Dane and I thought through every detail, every moment, and did every little thing we could to make sure this weekend was special for everyone involved. What did we notice? Most people didnt notice all the details we stressed out about during the planning process. Things go wrong. Our awesome after-party playlist got changed and I didnt get my lodge bar photo that I wanted and we forgot to even set out the 30 cigars we bought. We had about 100 leftover smores left because they were set out when it was dark and people had been consuming beverages. Dont sweat the small stuff youre the only one who will notice. But you know what people will definitely notice and love? LATE. NIGHT. SNACKS. The pre-ordered pizza delivery was a hit. Have fun, take mental pictures, and love every minute of it.