On a cloudy and overcast day in midsummer, Rachel and Mekala gathered with their families and friends and said their “I do’s” in a gorgeous, eclectic cottage wedding. When the sun came out just after the ceremony, every single person in attendance beamed with joy!
We originally intended to propose to one another in May 2020 in Hawai’i while we were going back for Mekala’s 10-year high school reunion. However, the pandemic happened, and at that point, we decided we wanted to wait a little bit for the world to be a little brighter.
With our friends we try and do one bigger backpacking trip every summer so we sort of agreed unofficially to use that trip to get engaged. One of our favorite places we go backpacking is on the Hoh River trail in the Olympic National Park (lands of the Quileute and Chalat’ peoples). So after hiking 5 miles Mekala proposed in front of some of our closest friends along the Hoh river and among the trees.
That night we laid down and watched stars and bats shooting across the sky.
THE WEDDING DAY
That morning our Moms and friends were getting last-minute flower things ready (Rachel’s Mom coordinated all flower related things!). Our flower girls (AKA our friend’s chickens) explored everything that had been set up the day before and Rachel got last-minute music things together.
We got ready in two different houses on our friends’ property where we held the wedding. Mekala has a bigger immediate family so her getting ready was a little more busy, but Rachel got ready and then dressed up our dog in his own special Aloha shirt and collar for the event.
Our officiant, one of Mekalas sisters— led our dog Lando to the front and everyone clapped for him. Those are some of our favorite pictures simply ’cause he didn’t have a clue what was going on. The weather had been spotty and we were really nervous for rain. We had figured we had planned our date early enough in the summer for good warm weather, but then we ended up renting heaters at the last minute (a good call!). Even with the spots of gray throughout the day, there was sunshine!
During our vows, the sky literally parted with rays of light, and two songbirds flew over us. Like, how magical is that?
Forty adults and a few children fought over pinata candy and money and we played “bardcore” music in the background during dinner; people would laugh when they recognized the bard cover of a song. The whole day was just extremely silly and very us.
Mekala compromised on Rachel begging for a frog cake which had been popular online the past year. Our friend made all of our cupcakes and our personal cake, and the two frogs on top were adorable. One is currently in our freezer, preserved for the time being. But we do refer to our wedding sometimes as our “gay frog wedding”.
ADVICE FOR OTHERS PLANNING THEIR WEDDING
Don’t plan it in 6 months, whoops! But generally, both of us would say to really rely on your community for extra hands and to delegate all day of tasks beforehand. There were a lot of times during the wedding weekend when we were a little burnt out from telling people what to do.
Also, prioritize the things that are most important to you— for Rachel, it was photography (we love our photos and Taylor so much!), and for Mekala it was our food and incorporating our cultural aspects throughout the day.
Cake Matcha & Rose
Caterer La Cocina Port Townsend
Dresses Baltic Born
Officiant Gabrielle Nava
Robe Anna Hand Bridal
Stationery Sand And Sky Creative
Videographer Caitlin Woudstra
Wedding Rings Ruby Tynan Jewellery