JULY 21, 2021

Photography by Donna Marie Photography

Bride’s name: Trish Murphy

Groom’s name: Ed Stang

How they met: "We knew each other as children due to our families having summer cabins in Council, AK, just down the dirt road from each other,” says Trish. “We interacted in junior high when I beat him in a wrestling practice once (I don’t remember, but he sure does). We actually got to know each other and started spending time together in 2014. … We were both in Council for the 4th of July and went on a canoe trip together and haven’t stopped adventuring together since then."

Number of guests: 53 (“We expected 81 but the weather made it hard for a lot of people to come.”)

Wedding colors: Dusty rose, sage green, beige

Unique and special aspects of the day: "Our wedding day had a record amount of rainfall and the river in front of our cabins rose 3 feet by the evening of our wedding. Winds gusted to 30-40 mph and we had to reinforce the tent stakes with old dredge buckets,” says Trish. “Our dog Darby laid at our feet during the ceremony. We did a handfasting ritual during our ceremony to include my dad’s Irish heritage. Our first dance was a choregraphed dance to ‘Lover’ that we practiced all winter long.” The couple also designed and customized many special details for their day: Trish created all the handwritten signs, food/drink labels, flower arrangements and other décor – she even learned how to make macrame wall hangings for some bohemian flair; and Ed made the corn hole boards and built the bar and the arch. He and his dad also built 10 picnic tables for guest seating in the tent. The couple also handmade the meatballs for the wedding dinner out of the moose they harvested together from the previous fall. The blueberry-lemon cupcakes for dessert were made with blueberries picked off the tundra from the hillsides surrounding Council.

Most memorable moment...

For her: "I remember that even though it was pouring rain, windy, freezing cold, and most of my wedding day plans got blown away (literally), I was filled with so much happiness. I couldn’t feel my toes but my heart was overflowing with warmth from the love I felt from just getting married to the love of my life while surrounded by friends and family."

For him: "Being surrounded by our friends, in the worst weather, but very happy"

Funniest moment: "We were hesitant to do the bouquet toss and garter retrieval traditions – it just seems odd. But thank goodness we did! They were both so entertaining. While diving for the bouquet, about three girls wiped out. No one was injured, just stunned. Then Wayne fully committed to the garter removal and started his dance towards me about 30 feet away. There really isn’t anything quite like seeing your husband crawl towards you while all your friends and family hoot and holler."

Three words that best describe their day: "Fun, love and happiness."

If they had the chance to do it again, what they would do differently: "Nothing major, just small details. For example, we did Alaska-themed table designators instead of numbers (a marmot table, a blueberry table, etc.), and we forgot to give the DJ a list of these, so he did a great job and just kind of pointed at the tables when releasing them to get their dinners. Also, I wish we had spent a bit more time taking some photo booth photos. It really does go by so fast."

Best advice for a couple planning their wedding: "Breathe, try to set a budget, and stay as organized as possible. Remember it’s your wedding and whatever you do or don’t do will be great. We highly recommend doing a one song photo run around before everyone sits for dinner. The day will be crazy, so it’s a great way to get at least one photo with every table and therefore person. It’s also a fun and hectic two minutes."

Photography: Donna Marie Photography • Ceremony & Reception site: The Stang homestead in Council, AK (Wedding: In the backyard of the groom's family summer cabin; reception: In the barn that the groom’s father built in the 1980s) • Cake: Two-tier naked cake and lemon/blueberry cupcakes, made by the bride • Flowers: Alaska Wholesale Flower Market • Bride's dress: Stella York gown, Bateau Bridal Boutique • Bridal alterations: Yu Tailor Alterations • Bridesmaids’ dresses: David’s Bridal; Revelry; Poshmark • Groom’s formal wear: Dockers • Groomsmen’s formal wear: Banana Republic • Hair: Katie O'Connor, The Color Cave Hair Salon • Officiant: Tony Gorn • Dance Choreographer: First Dance Charlotte • Entertainment & music: 5 Spotify playlists created by the bride for the day's different events; Lance Johnson as the MC • Decorations, party supplies & rentals: Joann Fabric & Crafts; Michaels; Amazon • Transportation: River boat for boating guests across the river to the venue; side-by-side ATV for transportation to the bride/groom photo location • Honeymoon destination: Maui

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