The happiest day of my life.

Our wedding day felt like a dream. The night before, I could hardly sleep, not from nerves but from pure excitement. It was hard to imagine that the day was really only hours away. That night there was a weather warning, and as I lay in bed with my sister fast asleep next to me, the sound of roaring rain pounding against the windows, haunting wind whistling past the house, and the realization that the storm would not pass by the morning, I felt nothing but peace. It didn’t matter if the skies didn’t let up and the wind would blow us over, I knew that no matter what, I would marry Eric the next day, whether on the ferry boat, or in the car, or at the house, or wherever. Wedding or not, I was going to marry Eric, and that gave me incredible amounts of peace. 

You see, Eric and I had just invited 24 people to come join us in our very planned elopement, which would take place on the ferry from Anacortes to Orcas Island, Washington. The forecast wasn’t kind when speaking of the winds, and my only fear was that the ferry wouldn’t sail, and that’s all I really wanted, was to get on that boat and marry Eric with our closest friends there. But that night as I lay in bed I realized it didn’t matter anymore. Despite one car accident, everyone had finally arrived and was safe, all tucked away sleeping in their Airbnbs or hotels. Now, all there was left to do was sign the papers and be surrounded by our loved ones.

I don’t know what happened but that morning when I woke up, the wind was (mostly) gone, flowing past us at as it normally would when on the coast. We had rain, we had rainbows, we had sun, we had all-of-the-above-weather, and it was perfect. Eric and I each got ready separately at our own Airbnbs, and then almost everyone met at my Airbnb spot (wait, so where are we meeting? It’s easy to find, just look for the really, really pink house) where people had some breakfast and Eric and I had our first look. No one knew what was happening that day, except that at some point during the day, we were going to get married, and everyone was sleeping on Orcas Island at an adorable little hotel we booked out. My dad was our wedding officiator and I tried to tell him the plan, but after months of secrecy, he told me that I had kept it a surprise this long, and that he didn’t want to know where we were getting married. 

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After hours of getting ready and being nervous and the anticipation of the day, I peaked out the window and saw Eric’s car pull up, and within a few minutes, we did our first look and finally, finally, the day was there and I think we both breathed sighs of relief. We eventually all piled into our cars and drove to the ferry. That part was fun, the driving part. Eric and I drove in his big, red, 15 passenger tour van that has a sticker on the side that reads “boobies” (just keeping things classy), and I couldn’t help but feel overjoyed when looking through the side mirrors and seeing the entourage of cars behind us, our friends and family. The driving part was fun because finally Eric and I could just chat, say things like hey, oh my gosh, we’re getting married, i’m having so much fun, wow this is great, everyone seems so happy too, my dad forgot his dress shoes and is marrying us in black and yellow sneakers, no i think he borrowed one of the guys’ shoes, oh okay good, i can’t wait to get to the ferry, do you think anyone knows yet?, i can’t wait to see their faces, i hope we can find a good spot on the ferry, hey i love you, hey this is great, hey i can’t believe this is happening, did you get any sleep?, how was the bachlore/tte party? WE ARE GETTING MARRIED, okay wait i did tell people, i told all my friends, you told all your friends we’re getting married on the ferry?!, i didn’t tell ANYONE!, i know i couldn’t keep it in, i thought they should know, okay well i still love you, look at all those birds!, and so on and so on and so on… 

Our parents met for the first time while parked at the ferry terminal which seems crazy probably because it is. Thankfully, his mom and I love each other and my parents and Eric love each other, so it was a happy greeting, and before you know it we were all driving onto the ferry with our coffees and pastries we had picked up at the little stand outside of the ferry. Once parked, that was my only apparent “freak out” moment, although I wasn’t freaked out at all, I was just trying to get everyone in order. I had told everyone to bring a plant for a gift exchange we were going to do on the ferry, and that we were going to do family photos on the ferry as well, but that time was limited so we had to hustle. As my parents and bridesmaids and sister slowly got out of their cars, I turned into a drill sargeant, ordering each of them to leave their drinks in the car, and hurry upstairs to find Eric, oh, and don’t forget your plants! I remember each of them looking at me wondering why I was suddenly being so demanding when all day I had been so calm, and it was at that moment where suddenly a light flickered in my friend Brittany’s eye. Wait, are you getting married right now on the ferry?! I smiled, and suddenly everyone hurried upstairs with their plants. It was at that point that my dad began laughing, shocked that this is where the ceremony was taking place. 

And then, and then it just all happened. My dad and I walked out to the deck where everyone was and everyone was already seated and the plants were set up beautifully by everyone to make a little alter and Eric’s bandmate Andrew was playing the guitar and there was Eric standing and we said our vows and I most definitely cried and we looked out the windows and felt the sway of the boat and saw all the tiny islands and put rings on one another and The person with the British Columbia license plates, your car alarm is still going off and it’s been going off this whole time and people laughed and I know our one friend was super embarrassed and my mom and Eric’s mom had to tear a kleenex in half because it was the only one and it was cold but not too cold and the wind was loud but not too loud and he said you may kiss the bride and he kissed me and then we cheered and it was over.

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But it wasn’t really over, it was just the beginning. And that’s what I’m most excited about, to have just started our beginning together, and to know that we have years and years to spend writing our lives together, in sickness and in health, whether rich or poor, until death do us part and through the wedding vows we also wrote one another. 

Afterwards, we got to the island, and we ate and we drank and we danced and we laughed and we hugged and we were so incredibly blessed by having our core people there with us celebrating, supporting us and loving us. I had always thought that I had to have a really big and formal wedding, but it was the exact opposite of that, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. Being able to actually talk to every single person there and feel their immediate presence made me feel whole instead of a depleted introvert. This was our wedding day, and not only did it feel like it was a dream, it really was a dream come true. In all its imperfections, too. 

Photographer: Jordan Voth
Video: Caleb Babcock

Venus: Airbnb, Washington State Ferries and Orcas Hotel

Wedding Dress: BHLDN
Wedding Jacket: ModCloth
Eric's entire outfit: J.Crew
Kim's reception dress: J.Crew
Wedding Reception Shoes: Everlane
Robes for the girls: Plum Pretty Sugar
Flower bouquet: I made my own, and then it froze in the fridge overnight and the next morning turned brown, so thank you to the lady at the little flower ship at the Tulalip Resort Casino who whipped up my beautiful bouquet!