Monday, April 5, 2010

The Coolest Wedding I Ever Accidentally Crashed

I am really, really, emphatically NOT into camping. I like being out in the wilderness, I like seeing outdoor sights, and I even like a little hiking here and there, but at the end of the day, I want to go back to my running water and my electricity and my real bed, you know what I mean? However, Mr. Octopus enjoys camping a lot, and a lot of our friends in Vegas were big-time outdoorsy types. So one weekend last year, when our closest "couple friends" invited us to go camping in Tuweep, Arizona, I knew I couldn't say no.

Tuweep is on the rim of the Grand Canyon, but it isn't the developed park area that you think of when you hear "Grand Canyon." It's on the northern edge of the Canyon, and it's one of the most incredibly rural, middle-of-nowhere places I've ever been in my life.

It's also absolutely stunningly beautiful.

And when we pulled up to our campsite for the weekend, we found ourselves neighboring one of the coolest, most unconventional weddings I've ever seen. Obviously, I was not a wedding blogger at the time, so I didn't have the foresight to stalk and photograph them, paparazzi-style. However, my friend and I WERE keeping a pretty close eye on the proceedings, so let me set the scene for you.

As we set up our camp for the weekend, we also saw the wedding group setting up for their ceremony and reception. There were about twenty or thirty people, total, in attendance, and they had brought one large RV trailer, and a whole bunch of tents.

(Sources: here and here.)

They spread linens on the picnic tables, and decorated their group campsite with simple bunches of flowers in mason jars and tealights. They also set up a picnic-style buffet.

(Sources: here and here.)


Mr. O and I went for a hike with our friends, and when we came back, the couple was in the midst of their ceremony. The bride and groom were standing right at the edge of the Grand Canyon with their guests gathered around them, and it was sunset. The bride was wearing a simple white dress, and the groom was wearing khakis. I can't overstate to you how incredibly beautiful, peaceful, and intimate it looked, even from my perspective as a random hiker/wedding crasher who was 100 feet away.

You just have to imagine a wedding ceremony in the midst of this.

After the ceremony, I could see the bride and groom and their guests playing bocce and cards, building a campfire, having some drinks, and enjoying their picnic. We could hear them laughing and enjoying themselves all the way over at our campsite.

Obviously, that couple getting married on the edge of the Grand Canyon were strangers to me, but I'd bet fifty bucks that all twenty of their guests were telling them, "this is so YOU." I really hope that's what my wedding guests think at the end of our day, too. Doing what "feels like us" has been the guiding principle behind our wedding so far, and thinking about that amazing Grand Canyon wedding has been an inspiration to me in that. Our wedding couldn't be any more different from theirs in execution, but in feeling, I hope it's very similar.

What are you doing to make sure your wedding reflects the two of you? What's the most unconventional wedding you ever attended, either accidentally or on purpose?

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