Stephen and I met on Tinder and thankfully we both swiped right! We tied the knot on June 24, 2017 at the American Homestead in Naches, Washington, where we also held the reception.

Our wedding was special and one-of-a-kind from the start. Stephen’s proposal was so unique. He used a 360-degree night photo that he had taken at Lost Lake, Oregon and manipulated the stars to say, “Will you marry me?” and put it to our favorite song. I saw it for the first time through a virtual reality headset, and it was one of the best surprises of my life.

The whole wedding planning experience was very personal. I tried my hardest to have our wedding centered around love, memories, family, hard work, and creativity. Crafting is one of my hobbies so I made the save-the-date cards myself, as well as fun gifts for the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and my brother, who walked me down the aisle. I made everything except the food, cake and jute-wrapped bottles. In order to keep things more intimate I made close to 100 “music flowers” out of sheet music Stephen used to play while earning his music degree from OBU, Oklahoma Baptist University. I used the flowers in the boutonnieres, aisle décor, centerpieces, and on the catering table.

I wanted to get our family involved, so I had my niece make the earrings and bracelets for the bridesmaids. My sister did my makeup. Both Stephen and I came into this union already having a child, so we made them the ring bearer and the flower girl. We had a sand ceremony and wrote vows for our stepchildren and presented them with a gift to symbolize our love for them. Stephen recorded a version of “A Dream is a Wish” on the piano that played as the bridesmaids walked down the aisle. He also wrote me a personal wedding march for the processional.

Another special piece was our beautiful cake stand, crafted by Dan at Spirit in the Wood in Naches. Other pieces that were very close to my heart were my shoe charms. They featured pictures of my grandparents, who have passed away. A picture board showed other family members and friends who have passed or were unable to attend.

At the end of the ceremony we released butterflies that we raised. It was all like a dream come true. To top it all off I trashed my dress in the Naches River, and after peer pressure Stephen joined me as well as some family and bridesmaids. Getting in the river and exploring in the weeds and trees for the best backdrop with our photographers were the most memorable parts for me.

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