Carol and Erik have a deep respect for nature and know how to find balance in their life by escaping to the outdoors whenever possible. They love backpacking, mountain biking and pretty much enjoying getting off the grid whenever possible. They wanted their woodsy mountain wedding to reflect their love of the outdoors and thought Camp Four Echoes (near Worley, Idaho) was the perfect venue for their woodsy wedding vision. They made their wedding a full weekend, and having everything located on site allow family and friends to get to know each other and start becoming a connected community throughCarol and Erik's marriage. Jerome Pollos Photography expertly captured every perfect moment of this exceptional weekend!
Carol + Erik
Camp Four Echoes, Worley ID
May 7, 2016
Wedding day weather: Low 80's, blue skies, sunny, meteor shower, new moon
Number of guests: 100
Your budget: undisclosed
Biggest splurge: Photographer & dinner
Biggest savings: Decorations
Why did you choose the Mountains for your wedding?
There was no question. we are mountain people. We feel at peace there. We wanted to be relaxed during our wedding AND also give the gift of a weekend in the outdoors to our friends and family visiting from out of town. The mountains give Erik and I perspective and help center ourselves. We are at our best when we are outside on an adventure and feel a connection to something greater than ourselves which made our wedding day even more meaningful and special.
Wedding day theme:
We never thought of a traditional theme…I guess ours was soft and free, keeping people happy and comfortable :)
Where did you find your inspiration?
We are both artists, so were able to use our creative selves. We looked at Etsy and Pintrest and got inspired there. We also got ideas from friends, including:
- Using leftovers of things they had from past weddings
- Trusting our other creative family and friends to lead certain components i.e. a communal dried flower wreath, the table settings, photo guest book, center pieces, ceremony site
- We got our inspiration by really knowing what we like, how we wanted to feel and were clear on the experience we wanted to give our closest family and friends. this point in itself gave us the most inspiration of all.
How did you choose to personalize your wedding?
The location was quite a personalization – everyone could sleep there, in their cabins there was no electricity – from Teepees to tree houses. we rented the facility for two nights to give everyone time to settle into getting to know each other and strengthening our community or friends and family.
The ceremony site above the lake suited our vision and the lodge was a perfect place to hold our dinner and reception with dancing outside on the deck.With so many areas to take on in the wedding planning, we focused the dinner & reception.
- We created personal handwritten and hand-stamped notes to each guest
- We had a bonfire during our ceremony and had people put their own piece of wood (handed to them at the start of the ceremony) in the fire for a prayer to us
- Yoga class pier side to start our wedding day
- Boats for people to use on the lake during the day
We also had many friends and family that began to help out in the last 24 hours to pull all of the details together. It was quite amazing. Just asking certain people to do things that we knew they'd enjoy worked so well! Friends set up and decorated the ceremony site (however they wanted), another friend made us chalkboard signs, my godmother made the place settings with wildflowers, someone else took charge of the seating details and ironing the guys clothes, another friend made the guestbook station, my mom drove me to get ready, a bridesmaid ended up doing my hair. We trusted the loved ones in our life to follow though and help make the day special, and they came through more than we could have even imagined. It made our celebration even more meaningful to us because of this special collaboration!”
What was your favorite part of the reception?
The toasts given by our family and friends and dancing outside until 2:30 AM!
What are three things you're super glad you did?
- Took the time to find the right venue
- Yoga class in the morning
- Kept the vibe casual and comfortable for our ceremony & reception
- Stayed calm and present through out the day/took time to breath slow breaths knowing the day will pass quickly so stopped and soak it all in…
- Throughout the day we had time to take a moment or two and enjoy the scenery, and find those amazing landscapes that would provide for great backdrops with the portrait images. And with the planning we had in place beforehand, it was easy to maintain that laid-back feel.”
What was the biggest challenge in planning your mountain wedding and how did you overcome it?
Of course, not knowing what the weather was going to do. In the end, we just let go.
Just knowing that we had no control (or a backup plan) and that the weather was going to do what it was going to do. We just had to take whatever we got as a blessing and be happy with that.
Aside from that…
There are just so many details to think of and consider during that time (i.e. how the room will be set up, table settings, type of dinner, bar, lighting, decorations, music, seating chart, gifts, desserts, toasts). But with all those details, there was only one area that caused stress — the reception seating. I stressed over the way the tables were going to be set up for dinner. I grouped people for dinner based on who they knew so some tables were 5 people and others were up to 13. There were barely any even numbered tables, we were working with the chairs and tables the venue had and I actually wasn't even sure if there were going to be enough, or that the table cloths would fit, or that it would all work out since I didn't draw this up before setting it up on the evening before. I didn't stress on the other things because in the grand scheme of it all they really didn't matter.
The other big challenge was food. we had half of our guests staying on site for the whole weekend. that's 5-6 meals. We had potluck breakfasts and lunches which worked out very well
How did you find and choose your vendors?
Lots of research, phone calls and face to face meetings!
We hired the people that were in our budget and were the most personable, who listened well, had skill in what they were doing, and who made us come alive with creativity when we talked. Through out this process It was a lot of work to figure out our vendors, more than I imagined, but when we found the person we wanted to hire it was so energizing.
What is your best pieces of advice to other mountain brides who are planning their weddings?
- Ask for help from your family and fiends. Divide up the tasks of who will do what. Get help with researching venders, bridesmaids dresses, hotels, set up, clean up.. our guests were apart of making our wedding a great success. they had ownership in it. this made our day even more special. And with a solid team of helpers, a great venue, and perfect weather, it all seemed to fly by once the reception started.
- Find the pieces of the planning/creating you like and fully get into it and enjoy it! Also, don't stress over things that don't need stress. Somehow every detail seems important, but they are not all important. Make sure you decide which ones are so you can prioritize those.
- Think about what your goal is, not what your theme is.
- Wear clothes (dress/suit) that make you feel comfortable
- Start dancing early enough so that everyone can get on the dance floor. We felt too many people left before the dancing really got going.
- Build in lots of time to visit with everyone. We didn't get to connect with all of our guests and thank them for celebrating with us. It's the one thing we would've done differently.
- The photographer is quite an important investment because the day goes so quickly. It's going to be great to have the journalistic images Jerome took to capture the feeling and vibe of our day for the rest of our lives.