September 13, 2015
Pepper Nix Photography
Because we decided to elope with very short notice. I wore an “off-the-rack” gown from Frenze Bridal because I only had 5 weeks to find and purchase a dress, and still have any alterations made. This “Fiesta” bridal gown was incredibly inexpensive, and could be ordered in 1.5 weeks instead of 6! I wore nude heels I already owned (my “something old,”) and did my own hair and makeup. My ring is from The Shane Co. I changed into my wedding dress in my car in the parking lot next to the trailhead. Brynn Larsen of Blooms & Co. designed the flowers, including my bridal head wreath. The flowers were PERFECTION. I had snuck into my mother’s house while she was at work earlier in the week and stolen some of her earrings to wear (my “something borrowed and blue,”) however I forgot to put them on in the car while I was changing! When I realized that I didn’t have them, Jessica took off the earrings she was wearing to let me use as “borrowed.” Luckily my toes were painted just right to be my “blue.” Greg wore slacks, a shirt and tie from JC Penney, and a vest from The Men’s Wearhouse. His ring is also from The Shane Co.
Our ceremony was in the middle of the woods at Snowbird Ski Resort. A short hike south of the resort finds a paved path and a wooden deck that overlooks the canyon and valley below. We knew we wanted to be married in the mountains, but it was our officiant, Anita Gordon, who suggested that particular site. Our 1 year old daughter, Olive toddled me down the isle. After Greg and I exchanged rings, we gave Olive a ruby necklace (her birthstone) as a token of the day. Greg and I knew from the very beginning that we wanted to be able to focus on what really matters in a wedding – what we were promising each other. We did not purchase designer clothing, or have a big reception that would’ve put us in debt. For this reason, we also felt it was important to participate fully in the ceremony. We were “turned off” by weddings we’d attended where the only thing the bride and groom said to each other the entire time was, “I do.” So we each read a message to each other during the officiant’s readings, and then repeated our vows to each other. It was personal, true and perfect.
The weather was chilly and we were hoping and praying not to get rained on. Clouds moved in closer and closer as we exchanged vows, and as soon as the ceremony was over, we were engulfed in a thick fog. This made everything seem incredibly dream-like. We signed the paperwork, had a champagne toast, then took photos. After taking photographs, we began the hike back down to the parking lot, only to get rained on the whole way down. Everyone was soaked – but smiling!
We did not have a reception or a wedding cake. Our witnesses and the two of us went to the award-winning Aerie restaurant at Snowbird for an amazing meal (after drying off in the hotel room, of course.) After dinner we lit and sent off a beautiful sky lantern, which we then immediately assumed would burn down the entire forest and resulted in everyone becoming very stressed out. However, once we saw that everything went safely (after all, the woods were soaked from the rain), we relaxed and enjoyed the view of it floating into the atmosphere. Greg and I stayed the night at Snowbird, and enjoyed the Oktoberfest celebrations the next day. Many of our friends came up to enjoy the festival with us, only to find out that we had secretly been married the day before!
If I had to give any bride advice, it would be to not let the wedding overshadow the marriage. Many of my friends say they have no idea what their officiant said because they were so overwhelmed with stage fright or the magnitude of the event. A wedding is supposed to be about two people promising things that they intend to keep! Focus on what matters. Don’t get carried away with making your big day about impressing everyone else.