Friday, May 8, 2009

Getting Married in a Public Place

Matt and I had talked about getting married for nearly a year before the engagement happened. We agreed that Matt would ask me to marry him in a way that he wanted - however, whenever. The only thing that I asked is that it not be 1) in a very public place with dozens of people cheering when I said yes or 2) at the family holiday dinner table. Awkward...

He agreed that this is very cheesy and while it may be for some, not us. In the end he did ask me in a public park but there were no onlookers and it was very private. Why they would we want to get married in a public place? In fact the location we chose is Sedona's number one photographed location. Well because it is gorgeous, outside, and by a stream. Everything we wanted. Okay we also wanted to get married at an archaeological site but this may have been an overkill way to incorporate our personalities.

We chose to get married on a Thursday at sunset to hopefully avoid any crowds. We actually visited the spot a year before about a hour before our scheduled ceremony. The location was very quiet and peaceful. The only people included a family with a naked toddler swimming the in creek. We thought we would be fine if there was just a single family around but hope they all would be fully clothed. We were also working with a wedding coordinator, Weddings in Sedona. They said they couldn't reserve the spot we selected for our ceremony because it was a public place but they do talk to the other planners and make sure there are not to many ceremonies vying for the same spot.

Well, when we arrived to the location we discover how public our public place really was. Matt arrived first and I came with my parents a few minutes later with my parent's after we got ready at the hotel. One of the first things Matt said was that he had already seen 2 other brides and lots of people dressed up to go to a wedding. "What?" I had hoped they were not planning on our spot across the creek! I didn't car if there were people around enjoying the scenery, I really didn't want to get married a few yards from another bride and groom. Luckily we didn't see them until after our ceremony when they came to take pictures and we all let out a huge "yeah for marriage" yell.

But there were plenty of people enjoying their Sedona vacation. Many more than we thought would be around. As we walked to our ceremony spot we encountered all sorts of people and there must have been 20-30 additional onlookers during the ceremony. I didn't actually notice any of them at the time. I was so concentrated on Matt, not falling in the stream, and WE WERE GETTING MARRIED!!! It wasn't until the end of the ceremony when I realized all of the clapping was from more than just our 7 family members. We were taking pictures, they were taking pictures, everyone was watching and I am sure played in Japan when some tour group is showing video of their vacation.

Click to enlarge and read captions.

Was it ideal to have a bunch of strangers witness our ceremony? No, it was a little weird. But it was also sort of neat to see how happy everybody was for us. How intense some of the kids watched us and the foreigners smiled and nodded as we passed them on the trail. It is kinda cool to see how a wedding can make everyone so happy, even those people we had never even met.

Our photographer did a great job of setting up the photos so the people were in them or photoshoped some of them out. People were really courteous and we sort of felt bad because we were taking over all of the good photography spots and there were a couple of photographers waiting to take some senior portraits. They got in a huge fight over who got to go next even though they both were there before us. It is amazing how no one will bother you if it is a wedding. Once in a lifetime really means get out of their way.

Photos from David Sunfellow Photography.


Krista said...

I love your captions! I can see the cons, but also the pros, of getting married where you did. All in all, I think it worked out okay for you!

My Dream Ring said...

Gorgeous!!!! I also love the captions.

Nicole-Lynn said...

It was beautiful :) Captions are great :)

KATE said...

oh wow it is beautiful!

mark lawrence said...

Pretty exciting to know about this information on wedding at a public place. I have been searching for amazing wedding venues Chicago for arranging my niece’s wedding which is in couple of months. Hope to find perfect venue. I really wish to arrange a memorable wedding for her.