Alexandria and Nathan met eight years ago on a ballroom dance performance team at UW Madison – they were just a couple of college students when they first fell in love, and they’ve gotten through a whole lot of life and moves and career changes since. I’ve always thought there’s something special about a couple who spends a significant number of years dating – I admire and respect the heck out of their willingness to not rush into the rest of their lives, and to work through things and allow each other the space to forge new paths, and to savor each and every second of their dating years. Alexandria and Nathan did this, and then some – as shown on the signs leading up to their ceremony site, the years brought time apart during study abroad trips and Alexandria’s move to Chicago to pursue acting, and her move back to Madison later and their time getting their own place, and another move to Chicago, and another move to their dream location, Washington, and a pup and an engagement, and now, here we were on their wedding day.
Alexandria and Nathan love hiking and the outdoors and their new home base in the PNW, and they wanted a wedding day that reflected that. In turn, they chose Caribou Bay Retreat as their wedding venue and got ready in the cabin on the grounds and later were married among the trees, and everything about it was perfectly them.
They roamed the cabin together amongst their loved ones – their families and friends meshed as one big group rather than “bridesmaids” and “groomsmen”, and the house felt homey and comfortable as they mixed drinks, watched the game, and got into their wedding day attire. Nathan’s mom had made Alexandria’s dress, delivering it herself that day to her soon-to-be daughter-in-law. Before seeing Nathan for the first time in her dress, she entered a room full of the rest of their loved ones – eyes glistened and there was laughter and hugs and stories as the people who love her took it all in. She and Nathan kissed and embraced as he teared up and looked at his fiancé in disbelief, and then they were joined by their pup, and Kida played and licked and shook and they laughed as she even had a way of posing for the camera.
We were roaming the wooded area near their ceremony campsite together while snapping some photos after that, and as they held each other close, the ceremony sound person began to set up for the upcoming event. In preparation he played the song Alexandria would be walking down the aisle to, and without a word, the two of them looked at each other and began to cry. There are a million things that can happen on a wedding day that reinforce the fact that it’s going to be a real good one, and this is most definitely one of them.
Their ceremony was all things beautiful and true – Alexandria and Nathan said their vows to one another in the open air, with the only sprinkles of the day dropping briefly as they entered, subsiding by the time they reached for one another’s hands at the altar. From there, they joined their guests at the cocktail hour for signature drinks and a whiskey tasting, which was followed by delicious food and heartfelt toasts and so much dancing and a late night bonfire. It was a day full of meaning and enthusiasm and joy, and in being so, it was a day that embodied everything that is these two people and the people who love them.
Venue: Caribou Bay Retreat
Videographer: Bella Hill Wedding House
DJ: You Had Me At I Do
Catering: Moose Inn Supper Club
Coordinator: Sarah Davidson, Harmonious Union Events
Hair + Makeup: Kasha Rodig
Dress: Nathan’s Mother, Sandy Vogel
Pie: Nathan’s Grandma