Married at the Loup

What a great day for a winter wedding! Pat and Raquel rented the Loup Loup Ski Bowl for their big day! On a Tuesday. In January. Nearly 250 miles from a major airport. Over 200 people showed up for this event! It was so much fun!

We started out at the Methow Valley Inn in Twisp for breakfast and hair and makeup and then to the Loup for the noon wedding. There were dogs and kids and all manner of winter clothes. The bride and her sister wore their grandmother’s vintage coats. Local artist, Sarah Jo Lightner, made their incredible rings. The ceremony was both serious and happy all at once. More than one person shed some tears. The love these two share is magical.

Afterwards, some people retired to the cozy lodge for hot drinks but most stayed out to enjoy the snow. Official papers were signed in the ski patrol room.

The weather was pretty cooperative. It snowed in the morning til about ten coating the trees with piles of fluffy snow. Northern Farms flowers were a perfect accent in the winter scene. Going up the chairlift, we passed through a thick fog bank before emerging into the bright sunlight on top of the mountain! People who hadn’t skied in years (including me!) strapped on skis or boards and had a terrific time on the slopes. Others rode the chair up to see the views.

After the lifts shut down, everyone went back to town to change and head to the reception at the Winthrop Barn. It was beautifully decorated. Guests enjoyed a great party with lots of music and dancing. The sparkler send off topped off a wonderful day.

Love Knows No Borders

Carly is from Canada; Sean from the US. They both ride dirt bikes. They met while volunteering on a trail work party. He fights fires for the county. She is a wildland firefighter. Her mother describes them both as super heroes! Carly is leaving British Columbia to be with Sean in this country. The paperwork for her has been, at times overwhelming.

They chose Sun Mountain Lodge for their wedding ceremony because of their deep love of the mountains. It was beautiful with grand Christmas decorations and the surrounding snow-covered peaks added to the feeling of a winter wonderland.

It was a small and hardy group that gathered that cold afternoon to celebrate with them. The temperature was in the mid-20’s, Fahrenheit or below zero, centigrade. Hand warmers were provided for the guests. Sean’s daughter was the flower girl and ring bearer. His dear friend – more like a brother – was the officiant. There were lots of laughs, especially when he compared the wedding ring not to a circle but to a motorcycle tire!

One guest put together a very handy translation guide to help everyone know the words that are different in Canadian and US English. For instance a beanie is a toque or a paper towel is a serviette and a road construction zone in Canada is known as a cone zone. I like that.

After the ceremony and pictures, they danced in the gallery with Donna Keyser‘s marvelous paintings for a backdrop. The wine cellar served as their dining room. Carly made their ‘guest log’ out of a slab of a dead tree they collected in the mountains. Guests signed in pencil and she will use a wood burning tool to make the names permanent. Joanne, from Arrowleaf Bistro in Winthrop made their unique cake. And just before dinner, the bride’s father challenged the groom to an arm wrestling match. Sean won so the wedding was official!

Wow! What an amazing afternoon! Thank you so much for including me in your wedding plans!


Winter Wonderland Wedding

I know I say this all the time but it bears repeating – All Weddings are Unique. There is no cookie cutter wedding.

This wedding not only united two people, it brought together a new family including four children and a dog. The ceremony was very inclusive, celebrating the love that all six of these people have for each other and how much they are looking forward to living their lives together as a family. All of the children were involved in the ceremony with readings and songs and two of them stood next to their parents as best man and maid of honor, along with the dog. It was incredibly touching.

Cold weather did not prevent the ceremony from being held outside on a wool rug spread over the snow. The sun made an appearance just before the wedding while a few fat snowflakes drifted to the ground. In the background, the Methow Valley spread out below the happy family and on the other side the views extended to the north, over Pearrygin lake and the Chewuch River valley. It was a picture-perfect Methow Valley winter day.

After the ceremony and cake, the family went outside for a good-natured snowball fight. They may not have been entirely dressed for the cold temperatures so the snow fun did not last too long. A fireplace next to the patio provided a good place to warm up. Inside there was lively music and dancing and lots of warm food. Outside the nearly full moon rose over Bowen Mountain on one of the shortest days of the year.

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Thank you Carolyn and Geoff for including me in your intimate winter wedding. It was an honor.

Jen and Kirk – A Sun Mountain Wedding

Winter Weddings in the Methow are tons of fun! You never know what will happen. Jen and Kirk chose Sun Mountain Lodge for their big day and it was perfect. The weather was cold and bright. The sunset magnificent. The bride was more than radiant and the groom ever so handsome. We had a great time photograping this celebration of love. I was with Jen while she prepared and Ken went with to find the guys. Earlier that day, I had a great idea for a fun photo of the couple and I asked Ken to talk to the groom and his friends about it. They were enthusiastic, to say the least. One of the fellows, not in the wedding party, was very happy to move a snow machine onto a big snow berm for the sunset portraits! It was ready to go before the ceremony. The ceremony was beautiful in the big lobby of the lodge. Jen’s son walked her down the aisle. Tears were shed. And there were kisses, lots of kisses. Much happiness. We did many of the photos in front of the stone fireplace and a few outside. Most of the women were freezing so we moved along pretty quickly. Jen never seemed to get cold and when she heard about the snow machine waiting for them, she was ready to go!

What a wonderful day! Many thanks to Kirk and Jen for including us in their Winter Wonderland Wedding.


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