If rugged, natural beauty and military “I dos” give you the feels, stop what you are doing and pull up a comfy seat. Because, girl, this Orcas Island wedding has it all – a decorated veteran, a stunning bride, and the Northwest’s rustic, misty ambiance. As if that doesn’t make you weak in the knees, Doug’s proposal to Luisa will! When proposing to Luisa, Doug told her that she “gave him strength and courage in this life to be a better man.” To die for, right? There’s more about that heart-skip-a-beat proposal and their wedding day from Luisa below.
How did Doug propose?
“On Christmas morning with a lump of coal in my stocking! As he put the ring on my finger he said that before he met me he was like that lump of coal and loving me gave him strength and courage in this life to be a better man. I cried and said yes of course…. and that became a theme for all the events that followed!”
wedding dress: Lea-Ann Belter Layla | photographer: Clinton James Photography | scroll down for full vendor list
How did you choose your gown?
“I didn’t waste any time… haha. I went with my mom and fiance the day before New Year’s and tried on a several gowns where one of those was the Layla by Lea-Ann Belter. When I went to turn around to get a view of the back of the gown with a handheld mirror the tears started flowing and I knew it was the one!”
Tell us about your day! Did you have a theme or style in mind?
“When discussing our venue options early in our planning we immediately agreed that our theme and goal was to share with our guests the very experience that caused us to fall in love with Washington state and settle down here to begin our new life together. With its rugged coastlines and snow-capped mountains, the San Juan Islands archipelago was perfect. Only accessible by ferry or air, it only made sense to have it on Orcas Island (the gem of the San Juan Islands) at Rosario Resort so everyone could feel like they were really getting away from the everyday. We all had a great time and it was an amazing destination to have a wedding… there is nothing else like it!”
What’s your funniest wedding day memory?
“My six-year-old nephew breakdancing on the dance floor with the Groom! They were an adorable head-spinning duo…. we were all so delighted by their silly antics and talented dancing.”
Five words that best describe Doug:
“Doug is the most amazing person I ever met and I knew it the very moment we met…. he is kind, brave, tenaciously resilient, thoughtfully romantic, and hilariously funny! I am so lucky to have him in my life.”
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
“Your wedding doesn’t have to be sunny to be perfect! The skies opened up the night before during the rehearsal dinner and poured all night… then stopped mid-day and the sun peeked through… then started up again just as I started to walk down the aisle at 5pm. We got the most stunning photo and video footage that day because of the misty clouds drifting on the mountains and rocky bluffs. By nighttime you could look out the windows of the reception hall to see that the clouds had departed leaving clear skies and a giant full moon reflecting off the water with bright intensity. It was wistfully romantic like a dream and even more beautiful because of it. I wouldn’t have changed the weather even if I could!”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“A roadtrip adventure across New Zealand with an extended layover in French Polynesia. Stunning to say the least!”