How did you meet?
We met as college lab partners. We had a semester long project of dissecting a cat.
What is your proposal story?
I took her on a scenic airplane flight around the Coeur d’ Alene Lake, then we walked around the resort boardwalk. I had one of her close friends disguised near the point to get pictures. When I actually proposed, her friend took pictures while one of the friend’s friends took a video from a nearby picnic table. Then we had a steak dinner and took some more pictures!
Tell us about your wedding vision.
We aimed for a rustic wedding. We picked the colors rose gold and gray- her ring is rose gold so that made it easy. Initially, when we were planning in 2018/2019, we thought we needed a large venue for 200+ guests. Looking back on it, we really only needed a venue for 100 (give or take) We’re both from Idaho, so naturally we wanted an Idaho venue/marriage license. We found Dover, outside of Sandpoint, which was close and fit our needs, so we booked!
Tell us about your attire choices.
Samantha was able to put her entire bridal look together at Believe Bridal. She got her dress, alterations, veil, and jewelry there. Before the wedding, she didn’t want a veil or a train. Both of which she ended up getting! She also got sandals her sandals online.
We were going to rent my tux through her dress company, but it was going to be $250 for a tux rental, and all groomsmen would need to pay that as well. We then remembered a local tux rental store in Post Falls. We stopped by, the owner was really friendly and offered us a significantly cheaper rental option- we ended up going with him.
What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
We wanted to plan a cheaper wedding so we could have more to spend on our honeymoon. Our expensive honeymoon plans (two of them) were canceled due to COVID, so we did a cheaper honeymoon and had a ton of souvenirs.
Our priorities for the actual wedding planning were venue and photography; so, we got those planned and booked first. We splurged and added videography because Anson’s brother and sister in law said that if they changed one thing, they would have had a video to show their daughters.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
My favorite parts were getting ready with my best friends, smoking cigars with them a little later on in the night, and dancing with our close friends and my wife!
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
We saved money by having a mix of faux and fake flowers. The bride and her bridesmaids DIYed the bridesmaid bouquets with faux flowers.
Samantha made the flower rings for my bridesmaids’ bouquets with hot glue. She wrapped the stems of the foam flowers around the wooden ring and took apart the fake greenery stems into single leaves, then hot glued leaves into place.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Samantha’s grandma’s friend made us a really nice cake that resembled a birth tree. She also added chocolate dipped strawberries- it was really good!
We also had our mothers and sister-in-law help by making all the cupcakes for the guests. We made different flavors and homemade frosting. There was lemon with raspberry frosting, devils food cake with Nutella frosting, funfetti with powdered sugar frosting, and red velvet with cream cheese frosting. We got all the fun decorations for them and was still much cheaper than buying premade cupcakes!
What did you do for favors?
We had a Polaroid picture taking station. We asked everyone (or couple) to take a few pictures and leave some copies for us and take some for themselves. I think it was a fun idea and worked out well. We also did Life Saver mints and bottle openers that looked like keys.
Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
Most of our wedding was DIY. We spent a TON of time at Hobby Lobby and similar stores. My wife and her friends made the bridesmaid bouquets from fake flowers, my father-in-law and I made lawn games, I built the photo booth for the Polaroids, we made signs, and spray painted mason jars for our centerpieces.
Samantha made the flower pieces for the altar with the same foam flowers and fake greenery leaves as the bouquets, then hot glued them to the back of a cross-stitch canvas grid and cut the excess grid off. We bought white canvas fabric for the barn door drapes and altar. My mother stitched the drapes to fit a PVC pipe to hang from the hooks above the barn doors.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
We included a small tribute to our family members who had passed away and couldn’t be with us that day. She wore certain jewelry that was passed down.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Don’t over-stress it. Ask for help if and when you need it. Determine what you want to spend money on, and what you don’t. For us, we prioritized photographers and videographers and cared less about decorations. Take your parents (both sides), with you to the venue before the wedding day, and bounce ideas off each other. It’s about you, not your guests! And keep the addresses for when you send your save the dates because you’ll have to send thank you cards after the wedding.