They say the best relationships start off as friendships. This rings true for Katelyn and Derek, who met through a mutual friend and ended up bonding after playing the video game Legend of Zelda together. They began dating in August 2010; one week later, Derek expressed his love for Katelyn—she felt it too.
During the next couple of years, the couple became inseparable, and in early 2013 visited a park bench they often frequented. Derek gave Katelyn a limited edition Legend of Zelda 3DS gaming console—complete with the newest Pokémon game she had been waiting to play. “It was a little frustrating because he had already started the game, but when I opened the party menu each Pokémon’s name was titled ‘Katelyn, Will, You, Marry, Me?’ I looked up and there he was, down on one knee,” explains Katelyn. Their engagement lasted about a year and half, and they planned for a September wedding.
Surprisingly, Katelyn was “hands off” during the planning process, as she was either working or going to school full-time. With help from various family members, especially Katelyn’s mother, the couple chose to incorporate the feel of the video game they first played together into their wedding, along with their interest in Norse mythology, hence the Valhalla Grand Hall in Camp Richardson, South Lake Tahoe as the wedding venue. “We wanted something that felt whimsical and woodsy,” describes Katelyn. Their colors were purple, dark olive green (the duo’s favorite colors, respectively) and ivory. The wood in the surrounding area gave guests an enchanting feeling, which was just what the couple desired.
The wedding was charming and fun, but also very personal, especially when pictures of both Katelyn’s and Derek’s grandfathers were added to her bouquet. They then added those pictures to their grandmothers‘ photos as well and displayed them during the reception. “We wanted our grandmothers to know that they were there in our hearts and weren’t forgotten on our special day,” Katelyn says.
As the day came to a close, the remaining guests formed a circle around Katelyn and Derek and sang and swayed to the song “Good Riddance” by Green Day. It became very emotional for the couple because they could feel the great amount of love surrounding them. “It was truly an amazing evening, and I was so happy that so many people we loved could share it with us,” the bride says.
As for the newlyweds, married life hasn’t changed them much. This self-proclaimed “silly couple” still continues to grow, and they are having the time of their lives.
First Dance Song
"So Far Gone" by Thousand Foot Crutch
Father/Daughter Dance Song
Betcha by Golly Wow by the Stylistics
Mother/Son Dance Song
"Hope You Dance" by Ronan Keating
Cake Cutting Song
"White Dress" by Ben Rictor
Bouquet Toss Song
"Eye of the Tiger" by Queen and "Should Have Put a Ring On It" by Beyonce
Garter Toss Song
"A Beautiful Morning With You" by the Pillows
Last Dance Song
"Good Riddance" by Green Day
Details about the cake
White with a custard filling and white butter cream frosting.
Details about the flowers
Hanging Amaranthus, Hydrangeas, Spider Lilly's, Calla Lilly’s, Roses and Monkey Tails. The roses had little crystals in them as well to add some sparkle.
Details about the favors
Little bottles of flavored alcohol to help get the party started for the adults. My family put them together.
Anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
During the last dance everyone that stayed till the end stood and linked arms and hands forming a circle around my husband and I, everyone singing along and swaying with the song. It was a truly special moment that you could feel all of the love from friends and family that were there and could not be there. It was one of those times where you are truly grateful for having every single one of them with you in your life.
Our DJ was AMAZING. He kept the party going smoothly from the beginning to the end, there was never a dull moment and he was a pro at adapting when our flower girl decided she wanted to start the party before dinner was even finished.
Our coordinator was constantly on top of things, you normally hear horror stories about how something went wrong but Sharae made sure that everything went perfectly. We don’t know what we would have done without her and our DJ.
We decided against buffet style, and since sit down with individual plates was quiet expensive we opted for a family style dinner. It allowed everyone to pick and choose what they wanted and the caterer was so easy to work with. The food was absolutely delicious.
The flowers were the most stunning thing I had ever seen, Raven did a fantastic job at making my imagination a reality and filling the entire building with fragrant flowers that added more life to the already inviting estate.
Any tips you’d give brides and grooms planning their wedding today?
Stop! Breathe! And think before you act. I almost ended up with two dresses because I thought that I found "the one" the first time around after a horrible experience at the first store. Trust me, I made more than that mistake too! It was very easy to make silly mistakes because you are panicked about needing to make decisions right away. It’ll affect the rest of your wedding if you don’t take your time to calm yourself and relax before making the important choices.
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