DJ: Rox MC
Tables & Benches: Spokane Farm Tables
Chairs, china, napkins, dance floor: Event Rents
Wine Barrels: Design Events
Bride’s Bouquet: Fleurtations Floral
Floral: Katie Owsley Design with help from the MOH and bridesmaids
Centerpieces & succulent flower boxes: myself
Catering: Cafe Carambola
Cake:Sweet Frostings / Cheesecake & pie: Costco
Restroom Trailer: All About You
Bus: CDA Limo
Arbor: built by Kellen and his brother Evan
Love Story –
Kellen and I met at a mutual friend’s going away party. We saw each other again the following day when the same mutual friend invited us both to lunch. He had me laughing the whole time and I was immediately drawn to him, although, I was freshly single and training for the Ironman Triathlon in Coeur d’Alene so I was focusing on myself and not interested in starting a relationship. Over the course of the next couple of months he reached out to me via Facebook on several occasions to make small talk and ask for my phone number, so that he could take me out. I genuinely looked forward to the Facebook messages he would send during my long workouts but I maintained that I would not give him my phone number or go out on a date with him. I believe I used the excuse that I was far too busy with training to have time for dating. He was persistent though and a couple months later we both happened to be out in downtown CDA one night and we bumped into each other. I remember being so excited to see him and talk to him that when we parted ways later that night we continued messaging each other, via Facebook of course, until the wee hours of the morning. We met up again the following day for lunch with a group of mutual friends and by a random turn of events ended up going off roading in his 4×4 van and shooting, just the two of us (stereotypical north Idaho date). On the way home that evening he offered to make me dinner. There were several things that stuck out to me that night – Kellen has an incredible sense of humor and the ability to make anyone in his presence feel comfortable, as if they’ve known him forever, and that is how he made me feel; the enchiladas he made me were AMAZING; and finally, he owned his home, which was clean and well decorated, which was impressive considering we had not originally planned to hang out at all. I could tell he was well put together, compassionate and loving. After that day we were practically inseparable. During Ironman a couple months later, he was beyond supportive and encouraging. I ended up getting injured 3 weeks before race day and was in an incredible amount of pain during the race so as the sun went down that night and I was on the last stretch of the run portion, only four miles from the finish line, I saw a shadow in the distance and thought it looked remarkably like my boyfriend. As I got closer I realized, it WAS my boyfriend. He had backtracked the last four miles of the course to find me and make sure that I was doing OK. He walked with me the rest of the way and then ran to the end to watch me cross the finish line.
Fast forward to just over a year later, I had decided to take Kellen home to Alaska with me, where I grew up, to visit my parents. He had been distant before the trip to the point that I wondered if he was going to break up with me. We spent the first day in Alaska exploring several new places and hiking with my little brother. That night we made the hour drive out to my parents house and woke up early the next morning to go hiking in Hatcher Pass, which I always refer to as my “happy place”. It is one of those perfect places that is beautiful beyond words and growing up in Alaska, I had spent much of my childhood and teenage years hiking, exploring, and picking blueberries there. Even my late older brother’s ashes are spread there. It is a place that holds an incredible amount of meaning to me. When we got there the next day we made a plan to explore an abandoned mine, hike up to a mountain peak that has a cross at the top, and then hike across that mountain ridge to an alpine lake. My little brother and his girlfriend were in much better shape than us and made it to the top of the peak much more quickly that we did. When we reached the top we sat down on the boulder that the large cross was attached to and just enjoyed the view for about 10 minutes. Since we hadn’t seen my little brother in a while we decided we better continue on to catch up with him and his girlfriend. As we stood up Kellen pulled me into his chest for a hug and said, “You know I love you more than anything in the world right?” I was pressed so firmly into his chest that I couldn’t even open my mouth to answer. He started to loosen his hug and as he did he got down on his knee and took a ring out of his pocket an asked me to be his wife. I was in such a state of disbelief that all I could mutter was, “Oh my god, are you being serious???” He finally said, “Sonja, I’m asking you to be my wife!?” I said yes, and the rest is history 🙂
He had set an alarm early that morning and had managed to get both of my parents outside. He asked them both for their blessing in asking me to marry him, which they gladly gave. It turns out that he was being distant prior to the trip on purpose to throw me off. He had already designed and purchased my ring and had been so excited that he had been showing it off to all of our friends and was worried that I would know something was up. It worked because I was completely shocked! It was the best surprise I could ever imagine!