AJ and Cait had a vision for their wedding. A super fun, super casual family style reunion all day culminating in a sunset wedding ceremony IN the river.
Here’s the scoop:
Tents dotted the edges of the huge plot of land that Cait’s grandma owns along a small river in S.E. Michigan. They had every lawn game you can imagine, set up beach volleyball, a couple of blow up toys for all to enjoy, had a rope swing, campfires, a river to lounge in, kayaks to play in, shade to rest in and oh yeah, AJ (groom AND a professional chef) cooked a huge fish boil for the entire crowd all day long. The grand finale was heading round the bend for a sunset ceremony IN the river.
They were SO lucky!
The forecast for the week was horrible. Storms hit all around us and we barely had a cloud in the sky until sunset. We were running late, the light was almost gone when they captained two pontoon boats up onto a sandbar in the middle of a river. While Cait, AJ and their sweet newly internet ordained wife beater bearing officiant slogged through the mud to the miraculously and newly places lit arch, family members and friends scrambled to set out floating lit lanterns (that really did float!).
I, meanwhile had not quite understood that I would be standing in the river in near darkness grabbed sweet and helpful assistant chef, Jason to hold my flash (which weighs about 15 pounds). He happily hugged that thing for the 20 minutes we were out there. Everyone sobbed as the 7 minute ceremony progressed. A couple of pics with the non swimming rescue dog, “Poptart” (who promptly headed off into the sunset and off the sandbar which meant AJ had to go slogging off to rescue the rescue dog) and we got back on the boat to head back to the riverbank where they were greeted with sparklers on shore.
This really was a once in a lifetime wedding. Cait hired me with a “pack your swimsuit” at the end of her note. I did spend about an hour paddling around in the river with my waterproof camera getting some fun stuff (a first… the swimming, not getting fun stuff!).
This was SO MUCH FUN.
Clearly everyone enjoyed time together, hanging out, getting competitive at volleyball, making new puppy friends, eating amazing food and totally breaking all the wedding traditions. Sure, Cait had some wedding themed things (personalized sunglasses for all the guests), fun personalized drinkware for everyone, a dinosaur cake topper (“oh, we cut the cake this morning when we got hungry”). But the vibe was casual (the bride wore her bathing suit all day with her $18 wedding dress over it), communal and so, so much fun!