This talented, and evidently unflappable, canine did a great job as ring bearer at the couple’s afternoon wedding, held at Cannon Beach’s Surfsand Resort with its incomparable views of Haystack Rock. No one minded when Sunny’s ring pillow kept slipping off to the side. Her presence was a sweet addition to the celebration and meant a lot to the young couple.

The couple met about five years ago through a mutual friend. Lee popped the question under a night sky on New Year’s Eve. They had gone skiing at a Snoqualmie Pass ski resort. Stephanie confessed that she’d expected a proposal before this, but when her guy didn’t come through at Thanksgiving, on her birthday in December or over Christmas, she’d stopped thinking about it. That night, though, at the stroke of midnight, as people cheered, fireworks hissed and boomed and the torches held aloft by the ski patrol flickered, Lee opened the bottle of champagne he’d brought and asked Stephanie to be his eternally. During the ride back home, they woke everyone up, calling to share the news.

Well before the big day, the bride-to-be, a medical assistant who plans to go to nursing school, quick-started the process of planning her dream wedding by attending the annual “Weddings at the Beach” bridal show at Seaside’s Convention Center. A steadily-growing number of couples want to tie the knot against a gorgeous coastal backdrop, treating those attending their wedding to a sort of mini-vacation to boot. With a single stop at the bridal show, Stephanie was able to connect with top-notch vendors, picking her wedding venue, photographer, florist, cake baker and officiant that very day!

No doubt, it helped buy Stephanie some time in which to do fun things like tap into her self-described “artsy” side and fashion her own table decorations, place cards and wedding invitations. Tiny starfish, shells, cunning glass crabs and other coastal treasures were mixed with more traditional trimmings – ribbon, candles and flowers – to adorn her creations. In what was perhaps her first creative decision, she chose fuchsia and tangerine as her wedding colors … bold hues that are beautiful together.

The inestimable Cannon Beach Bakery created the couple’s wedding cake – a three-tiered work of art decorated with fuchsia and pink flowers, vanilla frosting and three different fillings between its layers: raspberry, buttercream and chocolate. The delightful tableau on top contained a porcelain figure of a barefoot groom sitting with his legs hanging over the side and a fishing rod in his hands. It seems that Lee, who has his own business as a framing contractor, is an enthusiastic bass fisherman. At the end of the rod was a ring that a porcelain bride standing at the bottom of the cake was reaching up to grab.

Stephanie found that all-important wedding dress at David’s Bridal in Tukwila, Wash. “I ended up choosing the first one I tried on,” she laughed. The fact that Stephanie’s mother burst into tears as soon as her daughter – a vision in white – emerged from the dressing room wearing it clinched things. Stephanie admits to crying a bit herself in that special moment.

Strapless with a semi-full “pickup” skirt, the gown had appliqué and beading on the bodice and a modest train. For shoes, the bride-to-be opted for flip-flops with sequins on the straps – a sensible choice for a wedding on the beach. In fact, the couple got their guests’ shoe sizes prior to the wedding. Each attendee was then able to pick a pair from a big basket of black and white flip flops, tied with a pink ribbon of course, which he or she could then wear during the actual ceremony.

To provide the music, “Halley the Harpist” was hired online at the Gigmasters website. The Rev. Tim Barnhart performed the ceremony, and Julie Adams Photography took scores of vivid and wonderfully evocative wedding photos. Debbie Nelson of Cannon Beach Florist and Basketcase Inc. did the flowers, bringing to bear her 14 years of experience, all of it local. The bridal bouquet was quite large – a profusion of fuchsia and tangerine blooms that included hydrangeas, gerbera daisies and two varieties of roses, wrapped in silk, ribboned and studded with pearls. A smaller bouquet was created for the maid of honor, Lee’s 13-year old niece Justine. Her sister Haley, 7, was the flower girl, and carried a large conch shell filled with tangerine and pink rose petals. The groom wore a gerbera daisy as a boutonniere.

When the bride-to-be asked for a birch arbor (known as a “chuppah”) under which she and Lee could exchange their vows, her florist bought one especially for the occasion. A feature in the traditional weddings of Orthodox Jews, the chuppah has four posts and is typically built by the groom. The bride, in turn, makes a cloth cover for it. In this instance, the arbor was decorated with fresh greens and flowers.

Surfsand staff set up the reception area and served the wedding party and their guests at a sit-down dinner. The resort’s popular restaurant, the Wayfarer, catered the affair, offering attendees two kinds of salad and a choice of salmon, chicken or “surf and turf” entrées with trimmings. Everything went like clockwork, despite the fact that there had been several weddings at the resort the same day!

Lee and Stephanie spent their honeymoon in Arizona, where his family has a place in the town of Chandler. When they arrived, cards and champagne awaited them. After a day or so, they drove north to Sedona and then on to the Grand Canyon. The newlyweds make their home in North Bend, Wash., east of Seattle. Congratulations, Lee and Stephanie.


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