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  • Writer's pictureSydney Schatz

Rainy September Wedding at Elkins Resort on Priest Lake

Each year it seems that there is one date where Mother Nature throws something at me I truly can’t control or fix. That is the date I usually remember most vividly, including pretty much everything about that wedding or event. In 2018 (I could go back further, but that would get long), it was August 11th when smoke turned the world an interesting shade of yellow, and technically it was unhealthy for us to all be breathing the outside air – yet that’s exactly what we did. In 2019, it was September 28th when snowed just a bit too early for our liking and hand warmers were the hottest party favor (get it?) that day. In 2020… wait… what am I saying? We skipped right over 2020! So, every wedding or event that DID take place was the date to remember because those dates were so few and far between, and a miracle all by themselves. Finally, in 2021, it was September 18th when the skies opened and rained so much good luck on so many couples that I think God gave it away all in one day. This date, and one of those wonderfully adaptable couples, are what I want to showcase today with a wedding I will not soon forget.

Meghan and Riley were a dream to work with through the planning process. I truly felt (and still feel) that Meghan and I are kindred spirits. Our work ethics and the way we process information seemed to me to be very similar – think spreadsheets & detailed schematics. We, as planners and wedding vendors, are always expected by our clients to respond to their emails/questions in a timely manner, so I feel that that expectation and courtesy should be reciprocated on some levels by those clients. Throughout the process Meghan was always prompt with replies to my questions and respected my time as much as I respected hers. When it came to asking for a full vendor list, she already had everything on a spreadsheet with names, businesses, and appropriate contact information. When I asked about décor/table details & layouts she raised me one by laying down completed spreadsheet of what she was providing versus what was being rented, and a few different schematics of the tent details. I could have cried happy tears of organizational joy!

Okay, now that my little excitable rant is out of the way, I want to talk about the actual nitty gritty of this couple’s amazing wedding. Starting with the couple themselves and their attire… I mean just look at the first collage of pictures. The phrase that immediately comes to my mind is “ON POINT”! The burnt orange/rust color of Riley’s tux was absolutely killer. Especially taking into consideration the time of year and location. And Meghan’s dress… with that train cape… COME ON people, could she be any more perfect?! They don’t look cold and wet, but boy howdy was it cold and wet for most of that day.

During rehearsal the day before, the question posed to Meghan and Riley was rather simple… it is almost guaranteed that it will rain on your wedding day, so how much rain is too much rain before we move the ceremony under the tent? The decision had to be made by 1pm the next day in order to have enough time to make sure everything was set up properly. Leading up to ceremony on Saturday it was heavily raining most of the morning and into the afternoon, so the decision was made for the comfort of the guests to move the ceremony under the tent with everyone sitting at their assigned tables. However, at about 2pm (an hour and a half before the ceremony) there was an unexpected break in the rain and it looked like there was a possibility of clear skies for the ceremony, so some of the bridal party started mentioning to Meghan and Riley that they should go ahead and host it outside. We tried to look at the weather radar, but it wasn’t overly helpful. I took the couple aside and gave them the best advice I could as their coordinator and advocate… in the best interest of their guests and other vendors I would advise against moving the ceremony back outside, but as their coordinator I would follow her lead and do what she wanted. Ultimately, they stuck with their original decision and the ceremony was held underneath the beautiful clear top tent. And thank goodness for that because as soon as the officiant started speaking the skies opened and a downpour ensued. But just look at the second collage of pictures, could you imagine anything more beautiful and special? I don’t think so! In the end what matters more is not where you are married, but who surrounds you and supports the union and adventure you are about to embark on. And let me tell you, Meghan and Riley were surrounded by some loving & very fun people that night.

Their party went ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Between the who knows how many shots, all the guys who were unexpectedly “iced” at dinner, and the rocking music no one wanted to leave! Everyone was dancing so much there was even a point in time where I was asked to turn down the heaters because it was suddenly too hot in the tent. Even though the rain continued well into the evening, no one seemed to mind because everyone was there to celebrate this amazing couple – not worry about if they were getting slightly damp running the 10 feet from the lodge (where the bar was) back to the tent (where the music and dancing was). That, and the fact that when you have enough alcohol… well, we all know how that story ends.

I feel so blessed to have been part of such a special occasion with such a fun group of people. To Meghan and Riley, thank you for being awesome and for being flexible when Mother Nature decided to throw us a curve ball we couldn’t control. It was a beautiful day, and I will be looking back at these photos for a long time!

Vendor Team:

Venue & Catering: Elkins Resort on Priest Lake

Coordinator: A Piece of Harmony Events

Photographer: Gina Paulson Photography

Videographer: Killer Creations

DJ: Audio Affiliated

Florist: Pearl & Tin

Rentals: Event Rents

Makeup Artist: Makeup by Evelyn Mauro

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