Our wedding day was something we had both been waiting for and dreaming of for years — and once it finally happened, all the things I had set in my mind for my dream wedding came true. Eight years after I first imagined it, we get married at Cascade Garden, walked down the aisle to “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri, had beautiful hanging flowers on our wedding arch, and candlelight for the evening festivities. We had our wedding on a Friday night instead of Saturday because it was quite a bit cheaper and we knew we wanted an evening wedding.

Brandon and I first met in eighth grade on the school bus. We lived two streets from each other, so we rode the same bus. He kept sitting by me and wanting to talk to me, but I thought he was annoying at first and wasn’t interested. He kept on sitting next to me, trying to get to know me, and ended up getting my phone number. He would call me after school and we would talk for hours almost every day.

Eventually I started to fall for him and we ended up dating at 15. It sounds cheesy, but we really did fall in love about a year later at 16 — so young! We knew we were meant to be married. At 18, he and I toured Cascade Garden. We sat there in awe in the garden, hoping we could have our ceremony there. He proposed to me at age 23. We wanted to wait until we were both in a good financial spot to enter into marriage. Our wedding date was Sept. 14, 2018.

Cascade Garden catered the food, Kira Baron took the photos, Hannah Bryan did my makeup, my friend did my hair and I got my dress from Amy’s Bridal in Richland. Our DJ was provided by Cascade, and my sister, who was also the maid of honor, made our wedding cake and cupcakes. They were chocolate with homemade raspberry frosting, lemon with lemon frosting, and mini chocolate peanut butter cupcakes so guests had options to choose from.

We had several different types of beer and sparkling wine. We served Ohana shave ice during the cocktail hour. I wanted something unique that would cool people down in the warm weather and be fun for the kids. The reception featured sausage lasagna, mushroom spinach lasagna, Caesar salad, cheesy bread, and bacon-sautéed green beans.

I put a lot of effort into the details. I made little cones filled with dried flower petals to put on each guest’s chair to throw at us once we walked down the aisle. We used the remainder of the dry flower petals to do a beautiful swirl under the arch. I got most of my decorations through friends, yard sales, and online.

My favorite part of the day was taking pictures in the different parts of the garden with my husband, dancing, and seeing all the guests light up when they saw there was shave ice. Brandon’s favorite part was watching me walk down the aisle and seeing everyone having so much fun on the outdoor dance floor. Our guests packed the floor until nearly midnight!

We left for our honeymoon the next day, at the all-inclusive Sandals Resort in the Bahamas. We got to scuba dive, swim with sea turtles, wind surf and more. Our wedding was truly one to remember.

-Written by the bride and edited for length.