Stephanie + Matt
(March 5, 2022 in Spokane, WA)
In this blog post, the author shares their experience planning their wedding and the unexpected twists and turns that led to their big day. Despite not having a clear vision for their wedding, they were able to put together a beautiful ceremony and reception that incorporated their loved ones in unique and meaningful ways. The author shares details about the ceremony, their nontraditional vows, and the reception, including a surprise addition that was a hit with guests. They end the post with advice for future brides, emphasizing the importance of being present and savoring every moment of the big day.
By our real bride, Stephanie:
What was the vision for your wedding?
To be honest, I really had no idea what I wanted. I was never that girl who had a Pinterest board or really pictured her wedding day; thankfully it all just came together. We had planned to do an elopement on a beach somewhere, but it turned into a much larger wedding in Spokane. This was my husband’s second wedding and my first and he didn't want something big and honestly, neither did I. After the fact though, I am so happy that all of our friends and family were able to be there to help us celebrate our big day, it meant so much to us both to have them all there.
Being a bit older when we got married, I didn't want a long engagement and based on timing and my personality, I didn't want to shop around for a venue or really anything else wedding related. I've always loved Barrister Winery and thought it would be a beautiful place to get married since we got married in the winter. I also knew the caterer for Barrister is Beacon Hill and you can never go wrong with them — they have amazing food and the best team. When we committed to Barrister, Beacon Hill provided me with a list of preferred vendors and I knew some people that had used a number of them and had rave reviews. Luckily, each one that I wanted was available for our wedding day. I jokingly said that no one wants to get married in the winter, so I was able to get the vendors I wanted on a fairly short notice. I also had an amazing wedding coordinator, Shelby, who took care of all of the day of details for me and made flower arrangements for the tables. It was nice to have that extra person to handle it all and make sure that our friends and family just enjoyed themselves. It made the day of the wedding so much more smooth and worry free.
How did it go the day-of?
The week leading up to the wedding it poured rain, every day, and the forecast kept taking the rain out another day closer to the wedding. Thankfully the day-of couldn't have been more beautiful, blue skies as far as the eyes could see. The morning flew by and before I knew it, the photographer was there and I was getting into my wedding dress and the next thing I knew, I was changing my ceremony shoes to my flats and looked at the clock and it was 9:45am. I said to my friend that was with me, “What's the point of changing shoes now? We leave in 30 minutes!” It all flew by so fast.
We did not have a wedding party but still wanted to incorporate our friends into our special day. My husband's childhood friend acted as our officiant, we each had one of our best friends as our witness, and I had my high school best friend do a reading during the ceremony. Our officiant did a phenomenal job and really personalized the ceremony, even speaking to our friends and family beforehand to give him inspiration. One of the stories he shared was about how we jet set off to Mexico for our second date and we mostly kept it a secret from our friends and families. A few people did know and of course wanted details about each of us prior to leaving for a foreign country.
We also went nontraditional with our wedding vows and wrote our own; we made "I promise" statements to each other. We also made it fun and added in a line about college football. Matt is a WSU grad and avid football fan and I am a UW grad and also an avid football fan. This needed to be added after our recent Apple Cup experience… I may have left Matt at the game due to how annoying he was being. Matt also has a son from his previous marriage so I said a few words to him as well. I think the way we did our vows was very special and meaningful.
The ceremony brought tears of joy and laughter to all who were there, some cried who wouldn't have imagined crying. Dinner was delicious, as you would expect from Beacon Hill, and we decided to open the mic after my dad and Matt gave speeches. I was a bit worried about how that would go, but I'm so glad we did. Since we didn't have a maid of honor and best man speech, it was nice to have some friends get up of their own will and toast to us. Their words meant the world to us. So many people danced the night away and really enjoyed the addition of foam glowsticks to the party. We originally used them for our exit but decided to bring them out during dancing and they were a hit — I joke that it was the best $100 spent on our wedding.
Our friends and family had the best time at our wedding and we were so thankful to have those closest to us there to celebrate. We were so thankful to have people join us from 13 different states who made sure to let us know they wouldn't have missed our wedding for anything, I truly feel so lucky to have the people in my life that I do, ones that will be lifelong friends and ones that will be there for us every step of the way.
For not really having a vision or a plan, I think our wedding went very well and everything came together. The most important thing is that we got to get married in front of our friends and family and got to celebrate with them all. At the end of the day, that is what matters.
What is your #1 tip to future brides?
Soak it all in; really do your best to be present because it is such a surreal experience. I was told how fast it would all go by and until it happened and was over, I didn’t truly understand. Even months later, it all still feels surreal and like it was a dream.
PHOTOGRAPHER: JENNIFER DEBARROS
ASSISTANT PHOTOGRAPHER: LAUREN GOSNEY
VIDEOGRAPHER: MATT GREEN
CATERER: BEACON HILL CATERING
FLOWERS: ROSE AND BLOSSOM
VENUE: BARRISTER WINERY
MAKEUP: DENISE AZURE
HAIR: TANYA WEST
MUSIC: JONATHAN TIBBETS
CAKE/DESSERTS: JUST AMERICAN DESSERTS
WEDDING COORDINATOR: SHELBY MILLER
MARQUEE LETTERS: ALPHA-LIT