All photos by Melissa Dunstan PhotographyMeet Molly...a real mountain bride. I've been picking her brain for months now about her Flagstaff wedding...how she accomplished things...who she recommends...yadda yadda. She has really been an invaluable resource for me (thank you thank you thank you Molly!!)
When I got a peek at her Flagstaff wedding photos my jaw hit the floor. As you can see...it's just spectacular. Spectacular in a perfectly Flagstaff way. I'll let Molly explain....
When we started planning our wedding (in just 6 months, which required an intense amount of organization - there were color coded charts, calendars, & itineraries!) we knew that all we really wanted was for people to relax and have legendary amounts of fun. We wanted everything to look and feel like it was natural and came easily. So everything was geared towards that and all my favorite DIY projects turned out to be the most natural and easy ones!
We used old bottles that Michael collected out in the field for centerpieces, along with mason jars I had at school. Our friends put together our table flower arrangements (we got our flowers in bulk) and set up the reception sight for us. The table names were pictures of local trees, with escort cards made to look like Forest Service Trailhead signs (complete with little sticks). Our cake was semi-DIY from a local bakery, along with cupcakes and my favorite treat: Lofthouse Pink Cookies!
The details I am still swooning over relate mostly to my outfit! I'm a fashion legend in my own mid, so I wanted to really look like myself. I wore my hair in a more styled version of my everyday lazy side-bun. My dress was exceedingly plain, but I had a pocket added. My shoes were lime green, with florescent colors swirled in, and a big bow. I got a bracelet made from the mold of a twig from Etsy, and flower earrings that Michael gave me a long time ago.
My favorite accessory was a sweater that a good friend knit for me in the months leading up to the wedding. She let me choose the pattern and yarn myself and then set to work. She surprised me with adding Molly hearts Michael and our wedding date along the inside hem. It was - and still is - my favorite wedding attire, besides my ring.
I begged and pleaded with Michael to have the ceremony outdoors with a view of the San Francisco Peaks, since my original dream of an all-outdoor wedding was dashed (much love to outdoor brides; what a logistical nightmare!) We found the perfect meadow, had a friend grate the dirt road the day before, and spread the word to wear sensible shoes.
My favorite thing about our wedding wasn't how it looked, it was how it felt. We were relaxed and joyful and surrounded by people we love. I was smiling non-stop and giddy from the moment I woke up to the minute I fell asleep. I don't think I have loved Michael more than I did that day and I was thrilled to have so many other people I loved with me. Michael & I took pictures with our families before the ceremony in the meadow and stuck around until guests began to arrive at the meadow so we could greet them. So many people were surprised to see me, but I was just so glad to be able to spend as much time as possible with everyone there. A fabulous, dear friend agreed to marry us, for the low, low price of calling him "Reverend" once in a while. Writing our ceremony was stressful, but paid off in the end because it was perfect for US. It was full of jokes and goofy stories and love. One of my favorite pictures of the day is our first hug (I'm on a stool, because Michael is much taller than me and we thought it'd be funny to bust that out!)
If the ceremony was all about goofy lovey-doveyness, than the reception was just pure FUN. The food was the bomb and our DJ was on the top of his game. We barely finished eating before the dancing started and it was only tamed for a few moments (for little things like our first dance, toasts, and cutting the cake - yes we smushed). The dance floor was packed all night and everyone from Grandma to our ring bearer shook it like a polaroid picture until they kicked us out!
Afterward, it was great to hear from people about how much fun they had and how natural and easy the wedding seemed. Planning the wedding was stressful and overwhelming and nerve-wracking, but in the end we focused on the fun and that's what we'll remember.