Tori Dexter and Joshua Bower both grew up in the Yakima Valley. They met when Tori was a senior at Selah High School and Josh was a sophomore at Central Washington University. They began dating in December of 2011. Tori already had plans to go to college in New York and play volleyball. She decided to take a risk and go for it. They were 3,000 miles apart, but they stayed together against all odds.
In November 2015, Tori and Josh got engaged while on vacation at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. They were married a year and a half later, on May 20, 2017 at Elk Ridge Campground in Naches, Washington.
On the weekend of the wedding, Elk Ridge Campground began filling up with the couple’s loved ones and beverages to last them all weekend long. There was not a single empty cabin or RV space on site!
The skies were blue come wedding day. That is until 2 p.m., when the ceremony was scheduled to start. A single cloud hovered over them and a downpour of rain drenched the guests as they took their seats. Tori was in a panic as she slipped on her grandmother’s 60-year-old wedding gown. But after half an hour of waiting and a bloody mary to calm the couple’s nerves, the sun came out. The sky was brighter than it had appeared before and the show would go on!
The ceremony was short and intimate. Tori and Josh chose to tie an infinity knot to symbolize them as two people coming together as one. It was a demonstration of how relationships can become stronger in times of stress.
Tori and Josh are both extremely family-oriented. They have strong relationships with their grandparents and wanted to show how important their families are to them during their wedding ceremony. Tori’s grandparents, Patricia and Dave Dexter, were married in 1957 and are still going strong to this day! To honor them, she decided to wear Patricia’s wedding gown that she wore 60 years ago.
Josh had a great relationship with his grandfather, Larry Hyatt. Larry passed away in December 2015 but Josh wanted to show respect to him and his wife, Karen Hyatt, by wearing his wedding ring. Karen and Larry were married for 37 years.
Addy, Josh and Tori’s 6-year-old Siberian husky, wore a matching bandana and trotted through the crowd, bringing extra smiles to everyone. That was until she wandered into the river behind the ceremony. Tori and Josh were in the middle of saying their vows when Addy was swept away by the current! A bridesmaid sprang into action and ran to save the day. Addy was able to swim close enough to the bank to be pulled to safety, all while the minister seamlessly continued on with the bride and groom’s precious words to each other. Surprisingly, only a small portion of the guests even noticed that Addy was in danger, but it made for a great story during the reception.