It’s taken me awhile to put this post together and it’s mostly because as I’m flipping through the progression of photos from the big day, my anxiety, excitement, and emotions all come rushing back! I’ve tried to narrow it down to my favorites, but there were so many little meaningful details captured, that it’s hard to cut some out.. and there were over 1500 to choose from!
This is probably the most intimate and personal post I’ve ever shared on the blog, so I feel just as nervous hitting publish as I did when I said, I do! But without further ado, here they are…
We chose to keep the tradition of not seeing each other the night before the wedding, so after baking three dozen cupcakes for the reception, putting together wedding favors, and trying to remember everything I needed for the ceremony, my cousin, Rachel, and I hit the road to the coast! We stayed with friends that were renting a beach house just 30 minutes away from the ceremony spot. All the stress from the day vanished as soon as I heard the ocean and smelled the salt in the air. We walked down to the beach and enjoyed a small fire before heading to bed.
The morning, however, was pure chaos. I woke up early and put the finishing touches on my vows and immediately started getting ready. Thank goodness my wonderful hairstylist, Mykla Anderson, made the drive from Portland to the beach house to style my hair because we all know I’m hopeless at doing my own!
When my hair was finished we realized we had 15 minutes for me to finish my makeup, paint my nails, write out my vows onto cards, and get into my dress before we had to check out…. Not ideal timing when you’re getting ready for one of the biggest moments in your life. I decided to pack everything up and do it in the car and/or public restrooms at the beach.
We pull into the parking lot and it’s PACKED! Another wave of panic sets in. I do my eyeliner, false lashes, eyebrows, and lipstick in the visor mirror of my car because we find out there’s no mirror OR sink in the restrooms. I decide to skip painting my nails because not only am I terrible at it, but with my luck I would have probably gotten red nail polish all over the dress. I then scribble out my vows onto note cards and we head into the bathroom to put on my dress.
To set the scene.. My dress has an all lace back so I can’t exactly wear a bra with it. I’m standing on a beach towel in a dirty, wet, piss stench filled public restroom clutching my boobs as mothers and small children are coming in and out of the bathroom. I finally get into my dress and realize I left my vows in the car.. we go running back, put my veil in, take a few breaths, and start to head down. We’re over an hour late at this point and I’m guessing that our guests as well as my groom are wondering if I’ve gotten cold feet.
I chose not to have a bridal party, but thankfully I still had some amazing women by my side through all of this. Mykla, my hairstylist, Rachel, my cousin, and Channing, my best friend since freshman year of high school. They helped me remember everything that I forgot, made sure my hair, makeup, and dress looked good (remember there was no bathroom mirror so I didn’t even see what I looked like head to toe until after the ceremony when the photographer showed me a shot from his camera!), provided me socks to stuff into the front of my dress since the sewn in pads weren’t much help, and helped keep me calm while I was muttering obscenities and hyperventilating.
Josh also had to get ready in the bathrooms before I arrived and apparently styled his hair in the reflection of a car window! Haha
The beach has this large cliff wall that juts out toward the ocean, so most people stick on the left side of the wall instead of walking around because once high tide comes up, it’s pretty tough to get back over! Well, since we got married on the 12th which was also the day of the Super Moon, tides were extra high. I kept waiting for the waves to go back, but they were relentless. I hiked my dress up to my chest and ran as fast as I could around that wall! Getting my legs a little wet was expected, but what I didn’t expect was hitting sink holes under water, stumbling, and nearly going face first into the ocean multiple times! I got soaked up to my waist and I’m sure the photographers got more than one shot of my accidental indecent exposure. I believe they were kind enough to delete those!
Josh and our friend (and also minister!), Nick, arrived early in the morning to clean the beach of washed up debris, set up for the ceremony, and even raked out a path for me to walk up to the big rock we stood on during the ceremony. The thought and detail that they both put in, made me instantly tear up when I came around that corner.
We also chose to have Josh blind folded until I walked up to a certain point. I gave the thumbs up to Nick to take it off and our friend and guitar player, Luke, started playing Josh and I’s favorite song. ::more tearing up at this point::
A long time ago I said I didn’t want to be given away by anyone (too stubborn and independent), but I decided after a few months into the planning process, to ask my step-dad, Tracy. I’m so happy that I changed my mind because it was a very special moment for the both of us. He doesn’t have the best relationship with his daughter and I don’t have a relationship at all with my father, so him and I are always there for each other. Our bond is stronger than any blood and I consider him my true father.
Josh helped me up onto the rock and the ceremony began..
Nick wrote the most amazing ceremony speech and vows for us. We were laughing, we were crying.. it was perfect. We played Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine who would have to read their vows first, but Josh, being the gentleman he is, went first anyway. 😉 During Josh’s vows to me I forgot that I had put his ring on my hand and when I went to switch my bouquet to my other hand.. I dropped his ring! Luckily it’s tungsten so that sucker won’t even scratch!
I said my teary vows and then of course.. the moment everyone waits for.. the kiss! We kissed a lot actually.. haha
There was of course a lot of lipstick clean-up..
Afterward we hopped down from our rock and hugged our friends and family as they pelted us with birdseed. We celebrated with champagne and Josh and I had special Blue Moons just for us that we cheers’d with.
and more lipstick clean-up!
The story behind the Blue Moon – As lame as it sounds, Josh and I actually started talking over Facebook. We had never met in person, but had tons of mutual friends and knew who one another were. We were both too nervous to ever comment or like anything that the other one posted until Josh shared a photo of a big glass of Blue Moon he was having at the airport. I made a comment about how amazing it looked, he responded, saying next time I was back home we should have a few together, to which I replied he should just come to the #1 beer city in America (Portland) and have one here! Obviously little comments turned into private messages, to texting, to phone calls, to long distance dating, and the rest is history.. So we often joke that Blue Moon is the reason why we’re together. It was only fitting to enjoy one after our ceremony together.
My something old was my grandmother’s ring and my something new was my dress.
The waves kept rushing in so we would run out and snap a few photos and then someone would scream, “Sasha! Your dress!” and we’d have to scoop it up and run. Finally Josh just draped it over his arm behind me, but it still didn’t stop us from getting splashed from the icy cold Pacific!
Now while the beach had perfect weather.. Portland did NOT! It was 95 degrees in the city so when we got home we hopped out of our wedding garb and changed into what we called, “white trash outfits.” It’s not that we planned on looking like white trash, but it was so hot, we just grabbed whatever outfit we could find so we weren’t sweating all over our wedding clothes!
We had our reception at Bridgeport Brewery, which is also where we had one of our 2nd date. Josh’s mom did each flower arrangement for the tables and the rest of us ran around setting up the dessert table and centerpieces.
The staff taking care of us at Bridgeport, were phenomenal! They learned nearly all of our guests names, made sure we had everything we needed, provided us a microphone after we forgot ours, and made sure we had a beer in our hands at all times! All of our friends and family kept telling us how impressed they were with the service, food, and drink and so were we!
We had some funny and emotional speeches from our parents, Nick, and of course from us. I had to go last and turned into a blubbering baby at the end, but it was all perfect.
While we were eating I remembered the advice that you all had been giving me over the last few months, which was to stop, look around, and take everything in. I told Josh to do the same and it was honestly my favorite moment of the entire night. To look around and see our Iowa friends, Portland friends, and our two families all together and knowing that they were there for us.. it was unforgettable.
After dinner we braved the heat again to take a few shots outside..
And then of course it was time to cut the cake, have our first dance, and enjoy a few drinks!
Despite all the chaos, the stress, and mishaps.. our wedding was 100% US. And that’s exactly what we wanted. I still cannot believe that this amazing, kind hearted, and talented man is now my husband and I’m officially a MRS! We couldn’t be happier to start this next part of our lives together and see what the future has in store!
Thank you all again for your advice, kind words, and good wishes over the last few months!
Mrs. Erickson 😉
All photos by Corey Bruce Photography
P.S. Don’t worry friends and family! There are plenty more photos coming your way!