It’s hard to believe it’s already been a week since we were in Sterling, Alaska for Nick and Alyssa’s wedding! And we’re actually off to another wedding today!
A few people have been asking me if I was going to post some wedding pics, so here ya go!!!
Remember the story of when we went shopping for Alyssa’s wedding dress?
I don’t recall if I’ve told the story of how Nick and Alyssa met. They were both working at places that sold Michelin tires and were sent to South Carolina for Michelin training (in fall of 2013). They connected at training, but Nick didn’t get her number or anything. So when he got back to Iowa and couldn’t stop thinking about her, he emailed the places in Wasilla, AK (her home town) that sold Michelin tires and said “If a girl named Alyssa lastname works there, will you have her call this number?” And he only knew her last name because he saw it on her certificate of completion for training. Creeper! Ha!
And she obviously responded to him! I saw Nick quite a bit during this time when he was first texting and calling Alyssa, then taking trips to Alaska to see her (he’d fly through Chicago) and I had never seen him so happy. Aww.
Alyssa moved to Iowa to be with Nick in May 2014. And the rest is history! They’ll continue to live in Iowa (they actually closed on a new house right before their wedding – exciting!).
Back to that Michelin training though. Some of Alyssa’s coworkers from the shop in Wasilla were at the wedding and had some funny things to say about training – “We don’t let women go anymore!” (jokingly) and they wrote in their wedding card “that damn Michelin training.” Ha ha. I can see why a shop wouldn’t want Alyssa to go – she is a hard worker but also a lot of fun to be around!
On to the wedding! The wedding was held at a place owned by a guy Alyssa’s dad works for. I think the guy uses the places for retreats, etc., and Alyssa’s dad has helped build some of the cabins/buildings there. Alyssa’s family let ALL of my family stay in these cabins, giving us a place to stay for a few nights, for free. They also rented us a huge 15-passenger van to get around, and hauled all our luggage, separately, for us. Very, very generous. We’re so thankful to them for making things easier for us (especially when there was so many of us!).
So they gave us the cabins… and they all used campers. As did many of the other guests. Some camped in tents, too!
The ceremony was at 2:00 pm. There had been a chance of rain but there was an indoor backup plan for it. It looked like it was going to be clear so the ceremony was set up for outside, then as we sat there waiting for the start, a few drops came down… but that was it! Phew!
The ceremony was held in the space behind the cabin we stayed in (which is also where Alyssa prepped!), and overlooked the Funny River.
The ceremony was short and sweet. Alyssa was crying when she walked down the aisle, so that made me cry a bit. Ha ha.
Me and Stefano at the ceremony
They did photos after the ceremony. I am excited to see how they turn out! We’ve gotten a photo of me and my three siblings at all our weddings, and I’d like to do something with all of them. Fun fact: all four of us have had outdoor weddings!
Mom, Alyssa, Nick and Dad
Alyssa and her mom and dad
The Bridal party – Jacob (Nick’s best friend), Anthony (our brother), Nick, Alyssa, Kathi (Alyssa’s best friend) and Brittany (Alyssa’s best friend). Nick’s boys walked Chevy (Alyssa’s dog down the aisle).
View of the back of Alyssa’s dress
Alyssa’s mom’s dad is very in to cooking, so he prepped all of the wedding food, with a bit of help. Starting around 4:00 pm, trays of foods were brought out – salads and a variety of local meats (I think caught/hunted by the family) – salmon, caribou, moose, etc. It was amusing for me to see which of my family members would try the local stuff, and which passed.
The whole wedding vibe was very casual, which was fun. It was like we were all hanging out having a huge fancy picnic together… and with some adorable puppies!
Chevy, Autumn, Hooch & Moose
Main building where the food was, and tent over the dance floor.
Me, our nephew James, and Christina
They did the traditional cutting of the cake,
and first dance together, and groom/mother dance, and bride/father dance.
An eagle showed up at some point during the reception, which is a common sight for Alaskans, but we all gawked and thought it was cool. Must be some sort of wedding blessing, right?
The DJ played a few songs after the first dance, then I plugged my phone in (eek – there is some nutso stuff on there) for music. And there was a bit of drinking, games, and s’mores around the fire. And I think some people were even fishing? It was fun – there were lots of options for what to do!
After 10:00 pm, I took my nephews to our cabin to try to get them to sleep. Ha! Fat chance when it’s still light out until past midnight and they can hear people outside having fun. Poor guys. They tried the best they could!
I really enjoyed spending time with Alyssa’s family and getting to know them (it helps to put faces to names)! I had met her mom twice before, but felt like I really got a chance to talk to her on this trip (well, when she wasn’t running around being the wedding coordinator). I hope I’ll get more chances to see her when she visits Iowa… and I hope we’ll be back to Alaska!
And I’m so happy to officially call Alyssa my sister now! It was exciting when I tagged her in a picture on Facebook earlier this week and her last name was changed! We’ve loved her since we first met her and are thrilled to have her be part of our family.