Outdoor weddings are becoming more and more popular these days, as are themed weddings. One of my husband’s cousins had a medieval wedding complete with handmade costumes for everyone that was spectacular. More and more people are reflecting their interests in their ceremonies rather than just sticking to tradition.
In the hunting world, camouflage weddings are very popular. Even though I work at Próis Hunting Apparel and wear camo almost daily, I decided to go with a white wedding dress instead of a camo one. I wear camo so much during the year that I wanted to dress the part for our wedding day. Eric and I wanted our wedding to be unique, memorable, reflect who we are, and most of all, be fun. Luckily our parents were extremely helpful and let us do what we wanted for our day. The wedding day was incredible and made all the planning and stress inherent with planning a typical or atypical wedding worthwhile. I am proud to say that I avoided becoming a bridezilla, and hopefully Eric would agree with me. My only regret is that the day went by too fast.
My two greatest passions are fly fishing and falconry, and I wanted both to be a part of our wedding. Including my hawk, Hades, in the ceremony was important to me and I worked with him regularly for three weeks before the ceremony so he wouldn’t be too stressed out being handled after not being handled most of the molt. He behaved wonderfully – other than pooping on one of the large bouquets, which was better than him pooping on myself or my maid of honor, Mary Curb, who I passed him off to when Eric and I exchanged rings.
Our two dogs also attended and Lucky looked adorable in his bowtie and Sadie was so cute with a flower pinned in her hair. We were also able to reflect our love of hunting and shed hunting with the amazing mule deer and elk antler archway we constructed for the ceremony. It was composed of local elk and mule deer sheds that belonged to us and two of our friends. We got the idea and the majority of the sheds from our good friends Jason and Sherry Booth, who constructed a similar archway for their wedding. Thanks to our friends and family who didn’t give up when our first attempt came down like the jaws of a giant prehistoric shark, the archway turned out beautifully and really added to the ceremony.
The ceremony was incredible. Our very good friend John (Vito) – head of rafting at Three Rivers Resort – rowed me down to the lawn we were getting married on with my goshawk Hades on my fist. Very few people know about this entrance. Eric and I exchanged our own vows, and our good friends Mary Curb (my Maid of honor) and Robby Cribbs did wonderful readings. Our friends and family offered their support in our marriage and Eric and I tried very hard not to cry as we looked into each others’ eyes and joined together as husband and wife. It was a gorgeous morning with a blue sky and we shared a spectacular kiss as our good friend Deb Tucker pronounced us man and wife. The ceremony was beautiful and went off without a hitch, thanks to all the help from our friends and family.
We wanted to be able to fish and float down the river on our wedding day. We decided to have our reception at Garlic Mike’s in Gunnison, Colo., because it is right on the Gunnison River and we were able to float down from where we got married to the restaurant. It also has some of the best food in town and certainly the best atmosphere.
We also had a reception float for everyone, after we left with our wedding party to float. This gave everyone some free time after the ceremony to explore the area and relax after the ceremony. Eric and I have both guided rafting and guide fly fishing at Three River Resort in Almont, and thanks to our friends volunteering their time, agreeing to guide boats, and the help, support, and rafts lent by Three Rivers Resort, we were able to take our friends and family down the river. (The people at Three Rivers are like family to us and we couldn’t have done it without them.)
Because we left before everyone – to float with our bridesmaids and groomsmen – we were able to take our time and fish and relax. Our photographer floated with us so we could be captured fishing in our wedding attire . . . as we rowed each other down the river. The float was incredible and we caught a ton of fish. I was happy to be landing a fish when the first of the reception boats showed up containing my mother, my Aunt Carol, Aunt Susan, and my Uncle Allan. I don’t get to see my family that often now that I live in Colorado, so other than my mom I don’t think they knew what our lifestyle is like up here. It also doesn’t hurt to impress your family every now and then.
The reception at Garlic Mike’s was excellent. The food was great, the toasts our friends and family gave were wonderful, and we all danced like fools. After the nerves of the ceremony, Eric and I relaxed and enjoyed our day to the fullest. I will remember our wedding day for the rest of our lives and thanks to Carlie Kenton, our photographer, we have tons of amazing photographs.
For people who are planning weddings . . . remember to have fun, and make the day what you want it to be and not what you think everyone else would want. In the two weeks before the wedding, I understood why people elope – with all the stress that goes along with planning a wedding. However, during and after the day, I knew it was worth it.
It also helps to have amazing friends and family to help out. I never realized how many people really cared about us before our wedding day. We wanted a wedding that was truly unique and special, and I know we accomplished that goal. We also honeymooned afterwards on the Green River’s A and B section and it was incredible. Eric and I are so lucky to have found each other and to enjoy doing the same things together. I truly believe that couples that play together stay together.
Tight lines and thanks for reading!
Katherine Grand pens "DamselFly Fisher" and works as Pro-Staff and Dealer Relations Coordinator at Prois Hunting and Field Apparel in Gunnison, Colo. She also guides in fly-fishing waters near Gunnison. View all posts by Katherine Grand
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