He was from Arizona. She was from Maryland. They lived in Alaska. They played on the same ice hockey team. He apparently had a crush on her for awhile but she had no idea. Their team was playing in a tournament and they both got kicked out of a game for telling the referee, in colorful language, that he was bad at his job. After the game, he asked her out….but she didn’t agree to go out with him until five months later on Friday the 13th. This is the story of Erin and Dave.
Fast forward to February 2020. A global pandemic had begun its’ spread. Funny how major events like a pandemic help people realize what is most important in life: companionship, friendship, family. Dave asked Erin if she would like to “quarantine for life” with him.
When we initially began our talks back in February we had high hopes that the pandemic would be under control by the fall. Erin and Dave planned a destination wedding at Treehouse Point for November 13th, a Friday – a nod to their first date. Erin and Dave would already be legally married by November, with Dave being in the military and a summer deployment on the calendar, but they wanted to plan a smaller destination wedding. About 40-50 guests would all traveling from out of state, introducing them to the Seattle area, a region Erin and Dave were planning on moving to at some point in 2020.
The pandemic had other plans for the world. Erin and Dave quickly realized that the pandemic would not be under control by November, but intended to continue with their vow renewal. They scaled back their guest list to include only Dave’s mother, three daughters, and one of his daughters’ boyfriends. We modified our plans from full scale wedding coverage to an elopement package.
The day before Erin and Dave’s planned vow renewal, the governor of Washington State announced new Covid restrictions and regulations. Thankfully weddings (and other similar events) were not affected, so long as they adhered to the specific rules for for Phase II, and we were able to continue with their vow renewal the next day.
Favorites from Erin and Dave’s day:
- Embracing the rain! When we arrived at Treehouse Point for Erin and Dave’s vow renewal it was raining HUGE raindrops with no end in sight. Everything was drenched. Erin got ready in the main lodge at Treehouse Point and when asked if she wanted to modify their plans for an outdoor ceremony, she politely declined and said she’d like to embrace it and go for it. From the little I had grown to know about Erin, this seemed to be a perfect example of her attitude: GO FOR IT. So positive, so optimistic. So we went for it. The first look, bride and groom portraits, and family formals were all done in the rain. But somehow, magically, the rain stopped just in time for their vow renewal ceremony with their six guests in attendance and family and friends on Zoom.
- Embracing the reality of life! Erin and Dave’s daughter is currently doing distance learning in Alaska due to Covid. When they arrived at Treehouse Point to get started with the day, Erin logged her soon-to-be step-daughter into her online class so she could participate while Erin got ready for the day. The job of being a teacher for kids at home is new for so many of us, and Erin embraced the reality of our current world and made sure she didn’t miss school.
- The simplicity. Weddings are so often focused on beautiful decor, beautiful florals, big parties, a full dance floor… and that’s not a bad thing. It’s just a lot of things to research, plan, coordinate, juggle… Erin and Dave’s wedding was fully coordinated by Treehouse Point. They only had to research and plan three things: venue, attire, and photography. Treehouse Point’s elopement/vow-renewal package is all inclusive and makes things SO EASY for couples. Erin and Dave were able to sit back and enjoy the day as they shared their handwritten vows in front of their guests. Which brings me to….
- THE VOWS. Erin and Dave wrote beautiful vows for each other. About how they met and how life has changed due to the pandemic. They shared promises with each other. But what REALLY hit me square in the feels was when Erin shared her vows with Dave’s daughters. She is taking her job as Dave’s wife and their new step-mom very seriously, and the care she took in crafting meaningful promises to them was absolutely beautiful. (The photo below of Erin crying while sharing vows was from this part of the ceremony.)
Being a part of the team to help Erin and Dave celebrate their marriage with their guests (both in person and virtual) was something I will never forget. Nothing about this year of weddings/work has been normal, and I felt so privileged to be able to document their intimate vow renewal and deliver a gallery of images and a beautiful heirloom album that they will be able to share with loved ones for years to come. I am forever thankful and grateful for the opportunity to play a small role in such a big day in people’s lives.
- Venue // @treehousepoint
- Gown // @bhldn
- HMUA // @mstimssmakeupartist
- Flowers // @downtoearthsnoqualmie
- Photo // @evariebphoto