Alaskan Wedding with Big Island Style | Bringing Island Charm to the Mountains

Beth + Michael
November 17, 2012
Anchorage, Alaska

I just love mountain brides who do their own thing and make their own wat no matter what. Beth originally wanted an island wedding, as in Hawaii. But many of her beloved friends and family wouldn't be able to swing an destination wedding. So Beth opted to bring a bit of aloha to the mountains with this island-themed wedding. Be sure to check out Beth's Hindsight wedding advice below…

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Why a Mountain Wedding?

Wanted a beach wedding my whole life. After Michael and I got engaged Nov 2011, we considered San Diego. We also tried Hawaii, but few of the guests could afford to travel.  My family is from Alaska, so we decided to get married in Alaska to be closer to friends and family and have them be a part of our celebration.

While me husband's family lives in Florida, his side of the family is very small, so Alaska was a clear choice.

Didn't really consider it a mountain wedding. Many Alaskans take the mountains for granted. But when I got the pictures and saw the  gorgeous Alaskan scenery I was glad for our choice to have a mountain wedding.

Where did you find your inspiration?

The Beach (lol). I tried to bring a little bit of Hawaii into our celebration. I even ordered plumerias fresh from Hawaii.

I also had my heart set on sunset pictures. We pretty much planned the wedding around sunset, which ended up being a hour early because of day light savings. So we had an afternoon wedding so we could get the sunset pictures. Sunset at 4:15

Tell us your favorite moment of the day.

Waiting with my dad and just being nervous, and then walking down the aisle and seeing Michael. There was so much joy and emotion in that moment.

What are you glad you glad you did.

  • Glad we got married in Alaska because we were surrounded by family and friends
  • Glad we got a wedding planner. It was actually a gift. And I'm so grateful for it. She took my vision and made it happen. She was there any time I needed anything, and she kept things going smoothly. I wouldn't have been able to have the same wedidng without her. It's seems like it's every little girl's dream to plan every little detail, but trying to do it all is really just too much.
  • Very glad we got plumerias from Hawaii. A few florists I talked to in the beginning said it couldn't be done. So I did my own research and found a company that could get the flowers shipped to me, and Carrs (a local grocery store) used them in all of the arrangements and bouquets. They weren't in season and I was warned that there might not be many blooms, but they were great. Plumerias don't come with stems, just flowers, so I ordered a thousand. They were beautiful and smelled great.
  • I also really wanted green cymbidium orchids, but they were out of my price range, so I cut them out. Lucky for me the florist just added them anyway with out breaking the bank. She was able to get cut back on the star gazer lilys so I could have the orchids. I basically ended up with everything I wanted.

Anything you wish you had done?

  • I wish I planed ahead a bit more. I thought I was doing well, but trying to plan 3 different weddings in 3 different locations during the course of a year ended up being too much.
  • I think a later ceremony might have been nice, so we didn't feel so rushed during the day. I ended up missing the opportunity to  take extra pictures with my bridesmaids because by the time I got my dress on we had to go to the ceremony.

Anything you wish you hadn't done?

  • Wish I hadn't paid so much attention to online resources like blogs, websites and pinterest. I constantly felt pressured to have a certain wedding, knowing I could never afford it.
  • I wish I didn't have to order so much online. It really wasn't something I could help, but shipping to Alaska was difficult and expensive.

Anything you wish you hadn't worried about?

  • I wouldn't have worried about the small stuff. I'm super detail oriented, but in hindsight I realize I didn't need to worry about everything.
  • Wish I didn't worry about my dress fitting. There's a funny story be hind this: I went to Seattle to visit my sister and we went dress shopping together. The girls at the salon took my measurements and put my in a size 4. I figured they knew what they were doing, but I'm typically a 5 or 6. Then the owner called me and said she looked at my measurements and decided to put me in a 6. I got my dress in Alaska a month before the wedding, and during a family dinner, my sister-in-law started telling me a story about getting a dress one size larger and it just fell off her. To make matters worse, the salon wouldn't take it back. Instead, they wanted to charge for alterations. My sister-in-law  felt like she was being scammed by the salon to get her to spend money on alterations. I was freaking out for a week before having the opportunity to try on the dress, which was at my parent's house. Luckily, when I finally tried it on, it fit perfectly. No worries.

How did you choose your vendors?

  • Recommendations and word of mouth. My wedding planner was a friend. For many vendors, I would just ask around to people I knew. I say, “hey do you know a florist?” or “hey can you recommend a a caterer?” The venue was easy. The one we chose was beautiful and close to the church. The size of the venue was also important. I had a 150 guests coming, so I needed something that woud accomodate a large group.
  • Research. In addition to friends, a scoured Alaska Bride and Groom's website.
  • I met with each vendor individually so I could get a sense of who they were and went with my gut. One company I met with was rude, so I decided not to go with them.

What is your very best hindsight advice?

  • Find great vendors and trust them to do their job
  • It's OK to ask friends and family to help. They're happy to be involved!
  • Sit back and enjoy the day. Enjoy the time you have with friends and family. Pay attention to the little moments, and cherish all of the sweet moments with your new husband: at the ceremony, taking pictures, and during the reception.
  • Our DJ suggested we play a game at the reception. We played the shoe game. The DJ asked us 10 questions about various things about us and we would have to hold up the shoe of the person we thought the statement was about. And it was a way to allow our guests know a bit more about us and invite them in to our lives a bit more.

Alaska Wedding Vendors

Wedding Photographer:  Jessica Elle Photography | Event Planner: i Do Events | Reception VenueO'Malley's on the Green
DJ: 5 Star Entertainment |  Bridesmaid Dresses: Something Blue Boutique | Bakery: Tiers From Heaven