This Long Beach Penisula wedding is one for the ages! All the basic elements were covered and not a single one felt forced, trite, or ingenuous. But, when you add the other elements like Rain; and Tides; and Earth Magic; you get a day that literally embodies all that these two evoke with their own spirits. It was a absolute joy to watch the collective force that Hayley and Ethan draw out of those around them. This group of people managed to make a two day extravaganza seem so easy and manageable. “Teamwork makes the dream work” has never been embodied as it was this day.
Hayley and Ethan got married in one of our favorite places on earth, and on my birthday to boot! I couldn’t have asked for better people to share my special day with. They even sang me a birthday song during their reception. I cried.
Read on to learn how you can plan the Long Beach Peninsula wedding of your dreams, successfully pull of an epic DIY wedding day, and get a tip on a great soul food caterer in the area.
Why did you choose to have a Long Beach Peninsula wedding?
We chose Oysterville on Long Beach Peninsula because it is a place with special memories for both of us. Ethan grew up coming to the peninsula with his family, spending holidays together and exploring the coast and I’ve been joining them for the past seven years. It’s our place of relaxation, rejuvenation and fun! We decided to hold the reception at Shakti Cove because they had multiple cabins for our guests and a grassy area in the center of the property for our tent and dance floor. This venue allowed our guests to lodge right next to the reception, so they could spend the whole weekend with us and didn’t have to drive anywhere after the late night dance party. They also had a private path to the beach that was perfect for sunsets and a bonfire on Friday night after the rehearsal dinner!
What DIY details made your day extra special and extra “you”?
We didn’t have a ton of vendors due to our budget and the location, so a lot of aspects of the wedding we did ourselves with the help of our friends and family. All the details and personal touches made the day feel really true to us and extra special. We brought foliage and flowers from our garden and picked plants from the peninsula to arrange all our own decorations for the reception table settings and ceremony space. Using plants and flowers from our yard and from the peninsula was a unique touch that connected the day to us and the place we chose to get married. Our friends also made the wedding cakes, shucked the oysters, and DJ’ed the dance party! We had friends and family travel from all over the country to come to this special, remote part of the world and spend multiple days with us and that made this event so memorable and meaningful for us.
Tips for Planning A DIY Wedding
If you want to do a big DIY wedding like we did, we suggest that you lean on your community where you can and express your gratitude! We could not have thrown the wedding we did, in the way that we did, without our incredible community of creative and energetic friends and family. Everyone pitched in and helped with something, and looking back that is what made our wedding weekend so special.
When it comes to hiring vendors, what advice can you give?
Hiring vendors during the pandemic did have its challenges; we had a few vendors cancel earlier in the planning process due to covid risk so we would suggest hiring your vendors sooner rather than later and getting creative and flexible if any fall through. We ended up with the best vendors!
Fave Vendor Recommendation!
Our wedding dinner was catered by Jordan from Surf to Soul food cart in Astoria, OR. He was super chill, professional and made the most delicious food for very affordable prices. People still rave about the food we had at our wedding months later and say it was the best food they’ve had at a wedding ever! If you’re in the Astoria area, we highly recommend trying his scrumptious food.
What is your favorite wedding memory?
Just one? Impossible! Of course the ceremony was an unforgettable, and incredibly emotional part of the day that we will carry with us forever, but the absolute best parts were taking pictures with Miller (the neighborhood street dog) who we’ve loved and pet for years whenever we visit the peninsula, getting my wedding dress caught in our motorcycle on the way to the reception, Ethan walking over the dinner table at the start of our first dance, and that EPIC dance party. All those things are just so US and the wedding wouldn’t be OUR wedding without those memories.
For more bonus tips see our aritcle on how to have a stress-free wedding day here.