Kristi and Dillon Styers
What an adventure! It was my honor to be called back for the third and final Skaflestad daughter’s wedding. When I found out that I got an awesome adventure out of the deal, I was pretty happy! Shannon and I flew, first by Alaska Airlines jet to Juneau… and then by a little tiny plane… to get to the remote Island of Hoonah. In case you were like I once was, and don’t have a clue where Hoonah is… it is just a short but noisy, six seater plane ride from Juneau. Hoonah is located down in what the locals call “South East” on one of those tiny little Islands that actually have names. Now I know exactly one of them. I also now know that with Hoonah being so much further south there are tons of differences in the plant and animal life due to the milder climate. They even have humming birds!
Just to give you an idea of what kind of life they live in Hoonah, there are only 800 people on the entire island. When we got off the plane all we knew was that we were staying at “Aunt Wendy’s house.” No address… Just “Aunt Wendy’s.” The bush plane crew exactly where that was and dropped us off… no address and even no last name necessary. Aunt Wendy put us up in her upstairs apartment and it was perfect! The rest of our arrival day was filled with adventure as we explored the island with Kristi and Dillon looking for all the best picturesque spots. And then we took a moment to experience the Hoonah Zipline… which is a crazy fun adventure with the longest drop in North America. (Look up Youtube videos of that thing… its nuts! Yes I did that and loved it!)
The morning of the wedding dawned slightly drizzly and grey. That never bothers me much since then I know the colors in the photos are going to be spectacular! We walked down to a cute diner and I had a super yummy seafood omelet that powered me through my day.
And then we started the fun. All the groomsmen met us… at… you guessed it: Aunt Wendy’s house.
Kristi had sent over a gift for Dillon… and it seemed to be just the right thing: a new watch.
When I asked Dillon where he wanted his groomsmen photos he immediately answered “The Dump”. Apparently, that is where to find the best view in all of Hoonah!
He was right!We also found some other fun stuff… like the giant pile of tires!
These guys are all crazy and fun, so there was no chance I missed moments like this:
Meanwhile the gorgeous Kristi was getting ready for the big day in her mom’s living room.
So MANY great places to take ring photos. But I think I love the cactus one the best.
It was so cute to have Kristi get ready in the room where framed photos of her mother’s wedding and her sister’s baby shoes decorated the mantle.
Ok, another ring shot. Couldn’t resist.
A special moment Kristi wanted to especially remember was the first moment her dad saw her in her gown. Her dad’s first glimpse was perfect with her perfectly framed beside the beautiful pink cherry blossoms!
Since I had photographed all three of these girls’ weddings, it was super fun when they each brought out their wedding dresses! And as a bonus, they brought out their grandma and mom’s gowns! Love it!
I was taking a few photographs of Kristi by an old peeling greenhouse when Dillon walked up.
And then she was in his arms.
When in Hoonah, everywhere we went, we made sure to have a gun along or stay in the car… all because of the extensive bear population. One groomsman told me that while he was visiting he personally counted 23 bears. I, for one, was thankful for that rifle… and that I only spotted one.
It was almost time for the ceremony.
Here she comes through the trees:
The ceremony was one of the sweetest I have ever witnessed, and you know I see a lot!
^ Favorite ceremony photo, right there. ^
Kristi and Dillon went for a short walk down to the place where they planned to make things official. Check out these gorgeous wildflowers they walked through to get to the spot:
Without a table, Dillon volunteered to offer his assistance.
I heard a guest say: “Only Kristi could take a place out in the middle of nowhere and turn it into a beautiful event like this!”
Kristi has her own resturant… so we were all treated to some of the best eats ever: Chipperfish style. Let me tell you… I am now a sucker for Blackened Halibut Lasagna.
The toasts were memorable.
You have all been to weddings so you probably know about the old wedding tradition: If you want to see the bride and groom kiss, just clink your champagne glass with your spoon. It happened. She kissed him. The funny part was that Dillon didn’t realize she left behind a perfect bright red lipstick lip print. When he stood up to thank the guests, he had no idea why everyone was laughing.
And then they went into their first dance.
The father daughter dance was very sweet. Gus is a cryer. I always love that about him at his daughter’s weddings.
Look at the cake… By now, I bet you won’t be surprised to hear that Kristi made the toppers herself.
Then the dance party began!
I loved how the dance party was open to all. No matter the age, everyone danced with everyone. I saw grandmas dance with groomsmen and 4 year olds dance with bridesmaids… It was a fun family party atmosphere.
Dillon is such a crackup… he has the CRAZIEST dance moves.
At the end of our time, we put away the camera and somehow magically morphed into a guest. They received us like one of their own! We were rather stuck out there in the wilderness, so why not join in the fun!
And then… they brought out the floating lanterns. I just HAD to drag out my camera for this! It was a crazy scramble to get everything together for a few photos after dark!
^Hey, there is Jessica and Cubby! You might remember them from their wedding in February!
What a beautiful ending to a crazy fun wedding adventure! Thanks so much for allowing us to join you!
Friends and family: Here is the link you have been waiting for! Click the link to see the rest of the photos in the set!