Happy campers Adrian and Amelia’s Camp Moran Wedding on Orcas Island
Amelia and Adrian were wed amongst their vibrant collection of friends and family in a DIY camping-themed Camp Moran Wedding on Orcas Island last summer. Their weekend started with a welcome BBQ on Friday at beautiful Camp Moran on Orcas Island. Well, I’ll let the photos tell their story, but not without from Amelia and Adrian. Here’s what they have to say about their wedding planning and wedding day:
How did you guys meet, and were any of the details of your wedding tied to your story?
We met at a Halloween party in 2008. Perhaps the most pertinent detail is that Amelia’s college buddies who were hosting the party that night were at our wedding almost nine years later. Over the years we’ve been together, we’ve lived in Seattle, North Carolina, DC, and Seattle again. Everywhere we’ve lived, together and independently, we’ve built a network of friends. Our friends and family are such an important part of our lives, and we love them dearly.
We dedicated a section of our ceremony to our loved ones, both present at the ceremony and far-flung. We incorporated vows to our community into our ceremony, which we read together, facing our guests (we promised to always provide multiple beverages to our guests when they visit, among other things). And, in order to share our ceremony with as many people as we could, we invited loved-ones to share a word or phrase that they thought best represented us. They’re were all brilliant. “Chicken-lovers” was a highlight, contributed by a good friend and former veterinarian, who saved one of our chickens, Scarlet, after a raccoon attack.
What was your favorite part of the wedding, the most memorable?
The ceremony was so special – from the group parade, to my childhood family friend Layne who officiated, to our vows to our friends and family, to our personal vows we wrote to each other, to the kind, beautiful and hilarious words shared by our friends and family, to our dog Potato bringing the rings, to the epic group hug that sealed the deal, it is a moment that we will never forget. We felt so very loved.
We also loved the toasts, each one so fabulous, each one made Amelia cry. Crowd favorite goes to Amelia’s college friends Halley and Christina who brought down the house with their hilarious toast to us both.
What would be your top three tips for brides and grooms planning their wedding?
1. Make time for what is most important to you. For us, it was being able to spend time with our loved ones, so we created a whole weekend party. It was perfect, it didn’t feel rushed, or like we were in some sort of daze. It felt more like we were at a lazy, dreamy summer camp, our Camp Moran Wedding on Orcas Island.
But that also meant a lot of work upfront coordinating, the willingness of countless friends and family to pitch in, and that we had less money to spend on other things like custom florals, food and fancy drinks (note that our food was delicious – just not “fancy!”), or hair and makeup. Those things were less important to us, so we just didn’t bother. But that might not be the case for everyone. Chances are you are going to have to cut something here or there, whether it is because of money or time or both. Decide upfront what is most important to you, and how you want to spend what will hopefully be one of the most lovely days, or weekends, of your lives.
2. Hire someone to be your day-of coordinator – this is truly one of the most important, best things that you can do. Also, duh! Hire Jenn – words cannot describe how fabulous, professional, and amazing she is! (Side note from Jenn: THANK YOU, you guys!)
3. Relax and enjoy – things will not be perfect, and do not expect them to be. Also try to let go of some of your control and vision and let others help. My (Amelia’s) hope was that everyone would have a good time and be fed. Check, check and so, so much more.
Any shout-outs to your favorite people?
So many thank yous, more thank yous than I could ever utter in a lifetime! Having a camp wedding means that every single person had to chip in and help out.
We self-catered four meals, which means we had four rotations of kitchen volunteers grilling hot dogs, making sure the wine and beer were flowing, putting out a breakfast granola bar, making countless cups of coffee, making sandwiches, and flipping eggs!
One of Amelia’s favorite memories is being in the meal line and seeing so many people she loves from so many different times at her life cheerfully working together in the kitchen – what an amazing gift! We also did all the decorating ourselves – a special thanks to aunts who made the dining hall look so darn beautiful, uncles who hauled, cooked and cleaned, and to Peg Cox, a good family friend and fabulous designer who coordinated our wedding for us – we literally could not have done it without her tireless work to pull this whole thing off.
Also a very special thank you to Amelia’s now-90 year-old-grandmother Marilyn, who struggled with her health in the year leading up to the wedding, but trained and worked to gain enough strength to make the journey all the way from Chicago. It meant so much to share this day with her. Amazingly, Marilyn’s ten children ALL made it, most of them coming all the way from Chicago.
So many of Adrian and Amelia’s family and friends took very long journeys to come all the way out to this remote Pacific Island – what a huge gift.
Thank you for being there to celebrate. We will remember this day for a lifetime.
Here’s a list of the other details and vendors that made Adrian and Amelia’s Camp Moran Wedding on Orcas Island the wonderful adventure it was:
Wedding Party attire: Assorted – I asked all the girls to find bright floral pants in red and blue tones. They each picked their own – I can’t believe how fabulous they all looked together! The boys picked their own blue pants and brown shoes. I love the mis-matched glory of it all.
Special touches (heirlooms, meaningful details): My dad, Matt, made the beautiful arbor that we were married under. Adrian’s mom Irene made the bow ties for the boys in the wedding party and our dog, Potato’s kerchief!
Florals: We bought seven buckets of the most flowers from Foothills Flower Farm (prettiest flowers I’ve ever seen!) and made the arrangements ourselves. It was so fun – I would totally recommend it. Each lady made her own bouquet, they were all different and reflected everyone’s style and personality. There was a HUGE team effort to put little bouquets together for the dinner tables.
Rings: Phillip Baldwin, Shining Wave Metals (As a fun side note he just won the Seattle Metal Guild’s lifetime achievement award. Phillip is a family friend and we were honored that he made our rings!)
Decor: My mom and I dyed the table runners and napkins, my dear friend Madeline spent hours with another friend of mine, Jordan, laser-cutting out Island shapes for table markers and festive signs for the hall. My lovely friend Marley painted signs and helped me forage for vases and candle holders at thrift stores!
Favors: Custom matchbooks that we designed and had printed at ForYourParty.com
“Why do all my photos have me grinning from ear to ear?” Well, I don’t know, Amelia. Maybe you’re just a happy bride!
A few more quick portraits.
They just love life. That’s the long and short of it.
So here’s a very cool thing at Adrian and Amelia’s wedding: They led their entourage of family and friends through the woods serenaded by Squirrel Butter. Like the Pied Piper. With a less watery ending. Maybe a little watery (from the happy tears).
There’s Potato! I am naming my next dog Potato.
Second cool thing: They had the Virginia Reel, led by Squirrel Butter!
I mean, c’mon. I wanted so badly to join in but calmed down.
We hope our work speaks for us but at Jenn Tai & Co, we celebrate love in all forms, sizes, colors and creeds. As allies, advocates and leaders, we work hard to foster safe, diverse and inclusive spaces for our clients, their families and friends, our creative vendor partners and the planet at large.
Jenn Tai & Co would like to acknowledge the land on which our business operates as the Indigenous Land of Coast Salish peoples who have reserved treaty rights to this land, specifically the Snoqualmie Tribe (sdukʷalbixʷ). As naturalized immigrants currently acting as custodians to this land, we continue to learn, acknowledge and recognize the history of physical and cultural genocide and settler colonialism, which continues to displace Indigenous people today. We would like to also recognize these lands, waters, and their significance for the resilient and wise peoples who continue to thrive in this region today despite the consequences of displacement and broken treaties.