Family Is Everything

From the outside looking in at a wedding, I get a good handle on family dynamics. I get to hear the stories, witness the special moments, those relationships that help us be who we are, and of course see the effects when a loved one isn’t there to share in the day.

For my friends Melissa and Brian (aka Murph), their wedding day was a celebration of two great families and the bittersweet moments of Murph’s mom not being able to watch her son marry his best friend. But his mom was there. Murph placed a bouquet of flowers on a front row seat next to his grandparents to help commemorate her memory.

There were tears and moving stories about the loss. But there was also many laughs, smiles and full on craziness. Have you ever heard of dramatic dance fighting? I have now. Murph’s family does this crazy show where it’s guys against girls in an all-out Meatloaf lip syncing battle. There was also a tour of the Boise State University’s stadium and a few quick pickup games on the world famous blue turf. And for the guys the next morning, there was a crazy competitive basketball game in the BSU practice gym followed by a lunch where fun stories and kind words were shared among the guys. Those moments and traditions highlight the amazing outpouring of love and appreciation for what they did have — two families joined together and the memories that helped shape Murph into the man he is and will continue to shape his new family.

I come from a very fragmented family where not very many of us our close. Yet it’s always an awesome part of my job to witness the closeness and moments these new combined families share at weddings. It’s even better to be brought into those moments and share them with these families.

Realize that life is short. And the people who you share those days with should be cherished and celebrated. Even if they’re no longer with us, they are still a major part of us.

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Know Who You Are

Chris and Stephanie are self-proclaimed rednecks.

They like beer, big trucks, camouflage, bonfires, hunting, fishing, ATVs and enjoy the great outdoors for all it’s worth.

When it was time to plan their wedding, they knew exactly what they wanted … a redneck wedding. A fun event for their friends and family to enjoy and be comfortable. But most importantly, it was their wedding and they wanted to be comfortable as well.

Ultimately, that’s what a wedding should be — a celebration of the unity of two people in whatever way they want to celebrate it.

There are so many formalities, traditions and rituals with weddings that most of the time brides and grooms do them just because that’s what everybody else does. But who says you can’t roll up into your wedding on quads? Or have your dad fly in at top speed in an buggy? Camo vests for the groom and groomsmen, why not? How about a bonfire and a couple of kegs instead of a chicken dance, and whatever else a lot of DJs “have” to play at the reception?

For me, it’s always a breath of fresh air to hear the couples that I work with say their wedding won’t be traditional, or some aspects of their day that’ll make it unique experience for everyone. That means new opportunities, reactions and moments to capture.

Know who you are and embrace it people.

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A Three F Wedding

Friends. Family. Fun.

Beth and Jason had this focus in mind and a big reason why they chose Elkins Resort on Priest Lake for their wedding.

Everyone could fly into Spokane and have their own cabin in a beautiful setting. And once there, they didn’t have to go anywhere except the main lodge for food, the ceremony and reception.

And besides convenience, the other perk was the fact that everyone could enjoy everything the area had to offer — quick hikes around the lake or to a peak.; a jaunt on one of the bays in a canoe, or a trip out to the lake for some fishing; beach volleyball; cigars on the deck; or naps in a quiet cabin. A lot of possibilities to do a lot, or nothing at all.

For the bride and groom, they were able to focus on themselves on their wedding day and have visitors drop by for mimosas or pizza while sharing stories from their childhood or adventures in college.

This type of an experience does wonders for a couple on their wedding day. It gets them out of the hustle and bustle of the typical business that can easily consume a wedding day experience. I would say this definitely showed as Beth and Jason were cool as cucumbers and thoroughly enjoyed their day from beginning to end.

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