This weekend marks 6 months of marriage for my husband and I, and this month we celebrate 8 years together. I wanted to share a selection of captured moments from our union and the memories to go alongside. My husband and I wanted to do things as simply and as true to us as possible. We opted for an outdoor ceremony with Mount Crested Butte overlooking us and lots of open space. It was still in town making it accessible for out-of-town guests and those who wouldn’t be able to hike had we of chosen to have it on a mountain. We wanted to write our own vowels but because I only wanted to share them with my husband we did things a bit different……..
A few weeks before our ceremony with family and friends we had our very own, just us and the pup. Gothic Mountain (12,631 ft above sea level) was the first mountain I had ever climbed alongside our first dog, Bear. We completed what I like to call our ‘5 part engagement’ at the peak. It seemed only natural to hike Gothic and exchange our vowels this time alongside our dog, Styx, this was his first summit. As you may have picked up, Gothic is a pretty special peak to us. I did not hike in my white dress, that could have been disastrous, ha! However, I changed once we approached the summit and to be honest I felt so divine on top of a mountain in a flowing dress, bare feet, and untamed hair. Climbing mountains takes a lot of effort, like most things in life, like relationships. There are more ridges in life than plateaus. The whole hike was ceremonial.
It was important to us that we handcrafted as much as we could ourselves, re-usuing and recycling materials. This pallet was left over from our business, the flower vases I made from restaurant vegetable cans, painted them and wrapped them in a sunflower printed burlap, and most of the flowers pictured here were picked from a local organic farm and greenhouse. Our utensils were made from plant fibre and could be composted as well as the drink wear and plates, all earth-friendly and compostable. We made ourselves an archway as an alter of sorts from fallen Aspen trees we had found while hiking and yes, we hiked back carrying tree trunks. The unused parts of the trunk we made into tea light (candle) holders to be spread amongst the tables. We even collected fallen pine trees, hollowed the trunk and made candles which when lit smelled of fragrant pine.
It rained, well poured for the better part of the day. Luckily, there was a pavilion we were able to move the ceremony into and out of the wickedness of the storm. It made for an enchanted scene with the looming clouds and fog especially when the clouds began to break. We have weathered all types of weather so rain certainly did not dampen our day. We and all of our loved ones embraced it gratefully. Plenty of other little things did not go as planned (as they usually never do) but it all unfolded as it should, perfectly right. All those little things make us laugh, reminiscing over them brings us nothing but joy.
Both my mother and my father walked me down the aisle. This was a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. Now a dream come true. This was the first time in 20 years both of my parents stood by my sides and on common ground. Our (Alex & I) union united many others that day. Love unites. Forgiveness heals.
Everything felt so magical.
Instead of exchanging rings we exchanged baskets. This is more true to the Cherokee tradition, my father is of Cherokee, Black foot, and Irish heritage while my mother is of Irish and German. My husbands background in largely unknown. I walked down the aisle to What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong and our ‘first’ dance as husband and wife was to Heart forward Tus Pies by Nahko & Medicine for the People. You can listen Here
My mom made the cake and did so well despite the challenge of high altitude baking and my husband tripping up the steps, the cake made it! It meant the world to me that she would make our wedding cake. Our hands are an extension of our hearts, so many gracious hearts contributed to our wedding. I made the stick people cake topper last minute when I realized we never had even thought of one prior.
A whole lot of love and cheering and the beautiful alpenglow behind us all.
Our parents. Our foundation.
One simple word could describe our ceremony and union: Meaningful.
We were surrounded by people we love deeply in a place we love and value so deeply. Great spirit watered our love that day and grandfather sun graced and nurtured our expansion.