For Anna and Mark, the best time spent together is time spent outdoors camping, barbecueing, or enjoying warm weather; and time spent making fun of each other, of course. “We make fun of each other a lot!” says Anna. “In a good way. We like to make each other laugh.”
Anna and Mark made each other laugh for three years before getting engaged in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in June 2017. Mark suspected Anna had a Pinterest account of rings she liked, so he created a secret account to figure out what she liked and didn’t like. “He nailed the ring,” says Anna. “He said that I didn’t even say ‘yes;’ I just stuck my hand out for the ring!”
The joyful event, with 160 guests, was held at Joseph Family Vineyards, owned by Anna’s family. The ceremony was under a large oak tree, with Mark’s son playing a role of honor as the ringbearer. They added a few rustic-yet-elegant details, like their welcome cart, decorated with greenery and photos of the couple. But Anna says that the natural backdrop of the vineyard was stunning enough without requiring much additional décor.
Mark’s favorite part of the ceremony was watching Anna walk down the aisle; Anna says that walk was her favorite part, too. While the goal of the ceremony was to create a fun and relaxed atmosphere, Anna says that the walk was emotional. She walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D—the same song her mother chose at her wedding. Her mother died when Anna was only 16, so choosing the same song was a thoughtful way to honor her and have her included in the loving celebration.
But after that, the party was all about fun, including laugh-out-loud speeches from loved ones. “We wanted everyone to be able to relax and have the wedding be a big party,” says Anna. That’s one of the reasons they decided to stray from the usual wedding fare and instead brought in a pizza oven along with salads and specialty pies. They also situated the long, communal tables near each other to create a close and intimate feeling during dinner.
Both Anna and Mark felt that the ceremony went by far too quickly, so much so that Anna wishes they had started the celebration earlier to leave more time for dancing. But she also says that sticking to their budget and managing her desire for everything to be perfect was quite stressful and time consuming, so having it be done isn’t all bad. “There is also a bit of relief when it’s over, though, because the planning process is all-consuming,” she says. “It felt like now we can relax and start our life.”