Today I’m sharing this super sweet Oregon lakeside wedding from Jamie Zanotti. It is a relaxed summer wedding filled with rustic details. I absolutely love the ‘just married’ canoe! The couple opted for a first canoe ride instead of the traditional first dance.
Overall, when we think of our wedding, we wish we could go back an relive it again and again. It was a wonderful day and not just because we were married that day, but because of the people with whom we shared the day. Our overall concept was that our wedding was not about us, but about our family, friends and community and the support they had all given us to help us grow and become the people we are and helped make our relationship with each other successful. For this reason, we did not do many of the traditional wedding reception “events” like first dance, throwing flowers, etc. And our ceremony attempted to recognize this as well (we had homemade candles honoring all our grandparents and served communion to all guests who wished to receive).
The flower cross at the front of the ceremony site is used every Easter at the church I grew up at–we purchased some of the flowers, but we asked guests to bring flowers from their yards as well. We also asked our guests to bring a little container of dirt/soil from their homes–Ben and I will plant something in this dirt on our first anniversary. The music included songs my dad played on the piano when I was a little girl, a song we sang in church growing up and a traditional celebratory Polish song. I baked the communion bread and the wine was from a winery my family has visited every year for almost 10 years. The ring bearer carried my maternal grandmother’s Bible down the aisle and handed it to my mother (my mother carried her grandmother’s Bible down the aisle at her own wedding).
My dad was an Eagle Scout and always carried a pocket knife, which saved the day multiple times during my childhood. When the cork got stuck in the communion wine during the ceremony, my dad pulled out his pocket knife and “saved” communion. One of our processional songs was Que Sera Sera. This is a song I first hear in high school and have loved since then, but we found out after the wedding, that Ben’s grandpa used to sing this song to Ben’s mom and it just happened to be the song that was playing when Ben’s grandpa was escorting Ben’s mom down the aisle along with Ben’s dad.
We gave gifts to our parents at the reception. We gave my parents a piece of Polish pottery to welcome them to the O’Rourke family (Ben’s family is Polish and Irish and his mother collects Polish pottery). We gave Ben’s parents a hammock that Ben and I made to welcome them to the Fischer family (my dad has made hammocks ever since I was a little girl and my family has many memories of hammocks). For those wishing to give us a wedding gift, we asked for gift cards to a home improvement store. We used the money to fix up our house, working together on many of the projects. We also asked for guests to consider donating in our name instead of giving a gift. We recommended three charities (a local charity for foster children since we plan to adopt in addition to having biological children, a local clinic that serves the poor since I’m a nurse and Ben is a pharmacist, and a local group that works with children with Autism since Ben’s mom is a special-education consultant).