Our wedding day came together beautifully. I mean, it was perfect. It was so much better than we could’ve ever imagined or planned for ourselves.
Neil and I both wanted an easy, low key wedding. Neil being more introverted and shy had requested a small and simple ceremony. He would have been fine with a quick visit to the courthouse but I wanted a bit more. We had already planned this trip to Isle Royale with our friends and the island holds such a place in our hearts that it was easy to decide to get married in such a magical place.
…And what we got was epic and absolutely one of the best days in my life.
I’m pretty bad when it comes to planning events. I prefer spontaneity and winging it, which doesn’t really make for a beautiful and well-sorted wedding. I mean, you’d think I would be able to plan out a wedding, I’ve been shooting weddings since 2008 and I have well over 200 weddings under my belt. I see first hand how much hard work and coordination goes into putting together a beautiful wedding every time I shoot one.
So we had some loose plans for how we wanted the day to go but we’re really lucky that our dear friends & children all joined in and gave us such a memorable wedding day. To top it off, one of my closest friends of 20 years, the lovely and talented Amie Heeter, (with help from the jack of all trades Beth Campbell) photographed the whole day and she nailed it! They took all these awesome photos in this post.
It started off in the best way, sleeping in till 9:30am. When I got up, I thought it would be funny if I wore my white bathing suit and pranced around the majestic shore of Lake Superior like the weirdo I am.
When I came back to the house, our kids had made us breakfast. How sweet is that??!
I took a morning swim with my friends in lake superior. I can’t express just how profoundly beautiful Isle Royale National Park is. If you’re looking for a place to spend some time away from everything and be overcome by the majesty of raw nature, it’s hard to beat
Neil spent some time sitting on the rocks working on his vows and came back to the house to write them down (and let me tell ya, this guy can write some vows).
We started to get ready about an hour before the ceremony. Bridget, my 11-year-old step daughter did all of our hair, the kids picked bouquets and my girlfriends Gini and Beth even picked me a gorgeous bouquet of wildflowers which was an awesome surprise! We hiked about 1/2 mile down the trail dancing and singing to the ceremony site. I was beaming with a grin ear to ear.
The traditional pee in the woods before the wedding ceremony.
Neil is so ready to do this!
Our dear friend Kerry Martin had crafted a wonderful ceremony with lots of laughter, poems, and my personal fav, surprises. Each person with us added their own touch and said a few words of love and encouragement which made the whole rag-tag ceremony incredibly moving. I teared up countless times and my heart felt like it could explode but I was never nervous, stressed or anxious and neither was Neil, which says a lot more. It was all the good stuff with no fuss.
Our kids did an adorable song and dance from the book ‘Personal Penguin’ by Sandra Boynton.
Awwwww, I love this guy so much!
Neil’s loving and humorous vows.
My friends know me and surprised us by lifting us both.
Neil took it gracefully AF. I gave him a wedding wedgie because I could.
Our friend Mark and his daughters.
Reverend Kerry and his dear daughter Wren.
The gang, except Amie Heeter because she was taking it. We did miss our families and other close friends but we held them in our hearts all day.
I asked the kids to wait for us to all jump in, but they couldn’t wait. I just adore this photo that Beth captured.
Neil’s turn to take the plunge into the straight up cold waters of Lake Superior.
But first, a make out because that is mostly all I want to do.
Amie Heeter (the photographer), we were a 2 person trail crew for many years at this park.
Our friend Andy Miller (The wonderful guy with a knack for planning and organization who you always want to have on a trip) cooked a feast for everyone and then we moved to the camp fire for a dance party.
He is mine!
The rest is just too good to share online, but many times that night I was in awe from how great the dance party was and the whole day. I went to bed so happy next to my husband! The next day we all rested and prepped our camp gear for our first family backpacking trip. Not your normal honeymoon material and believe me it was no honeymoon! But it felt good to go on an adventure as an “official” family.