A Walla Walla Wedding


It’s hard to believe it’s already been over a month since we got married. Even harder to believe it’s been another month since I started this post. Hah! It’s taken some time to gather pictures from all around [and there’s still more out there!] and I especially want to thank Jared of Jared Wade Photography, Angela and Jackie for getting these to me! Please excuse the varied camera settings. I think it works, though, because you’re seeing the event from many perspectives. Settle in, get some coffee and journey with us to Walla Walla, Washington!

Mill Creek

We were married on June 15th, 2013 at Camp Kiwanis just off Mill Creek. It’s a famous spot for Matt’s family as it hosts their semi-annual reunions. I went once and fell in love with the camp’s seclusion and simplicity. You get seven cabins, bathroom/shower house and a main hall with a fireplace, fully equipped kitchen, an outdoor fire pit, and a pool. You can get all that overnight for less than half the price I was quoted for just an empty room for five hours in Seattle.

Washington is so beautiful! From Seattle you literally get to see mountains, valleys, lakes, rivers and desert! And even though it was an almost five hour drive, it was worth it. This picture Ryan took of his journey with Bethany, Lilly and my favorite Kiwi, Lauren, proves it.


Double extra big props go to Mama sunshine for flying all morning from Florida and then getting right in the car for the long drive. She’s a trooper. And my lovely friend Rebecca came from Denver! And Justin from Kentucky! But the biggest, best trooper of them all is my bestie, Martin. He planned half this wedding from across the country. Took care of anything and everything including my mom, hair, dress fitting, decorating, every-effing-thing! And his mom, my second mom, Juana, made my dress!

It all started when I spotted this Ted Baker number on the internet and went to try it on in person.

Ted Baker front Ted Baker back

The best part is the window for my treble clef. This tattoo means a lot to me and music means a lot to us so I wanted it to have its day in the sun.

With tattoo

But this dress is $825 and that wasn’t in the budget. So I started looking for something else when Mama Juana offered to duplicate it as her gift to us. Really?! What?! This provided me the opportunity to change some things like adding a bit of a tulip sleeve and making things a bit more wispy. I like that look. I’ve seen my mom make enough quilts to piece together my own, but how anyone is able to create clothing is far, far beyond me. Gracias, para todos Mama Juana!

weddingdress2 weddingdress1

We arrived right on time and immediately got to work hanging decorations and setting up tables and chairs. Unfortunately the fancy outdoor lights I got were lost in the shuffle so it was darker than I wanted and we were forced to rely on the harsh built-in lighting in the main hall. Oh well. But hey! You may recognize our Love Wins backdrop from here. One of my favorite memories was getting this window up. The window itself was sashed well, but there was only about a foot of rope on either end. I asked around and Papa just happened to have the perfect length of rope in the back of his truck. Thanks, Papa! So Rebecca and I were taking turns trying to throw it over this branch while Mama Sunshine supervised. It had a bunch of leaves that would keep it from coming down the other side. I guess a small crowd gathered to giggle at our tom-foolery when Matt came by, tied a stick to the end of the rope to weigh it down, then proceeded to tie the fantastic knot seen on the corner here. I was just gonna double knot it. But this way we were able to adjust it to my height easily after that. Matt kissed me and walked away. Mama says, “did you see him tie that knot?!” Clearly impressed. Can you believe he was worried about making a bad impression?


I couldn’t for the life of me get that garland to stay up, so it drooped all day and into the night. This was my wedding day and I was determined not to sweat the small stuff. Wouldn’t’ve been worth it! And, look, the others did their job of making my journey down the aisle feel like home. Remember when I made those paper garlands? Love is all you need.


Adam, Matt’s youngest little brother, played Spanish guitar as guests took their seats and I walked down the aisle. He’s an incredible artist and we’re so thankful he shared his talents with us. Thanks, again, Adam! I’m not a big fan of the wedding march, but couldn’t think of anything else, so he picked Canon in D. Perfect selection. Luckily everyone in Matt’s family is a musician. Bringing an amp from home would’ve taken up so much space, but Papa had plenty!


Before everything got started I was getting the finishing touches done everyone got together to make sure we were all on the same page. Love this photo.


That Face

From left to right there’s Kevin, Jared, my Honeybee and his brother, Shane, who performed the ceremony. Both Kevin and Jared have been there for both the joyous and the ugly moments in our relationship. It means so much that they were able to share in our special day. Thanks you three!

This was my view as I entered with Mama. Then comes me. I looked all over the internet for a fascinator that was just perfect. Ultimately I ended up making my own.  My flowers were dahlias, roses and lilies from Pike Place Market and arranged by yours truly. Whatever it takes!


lemme at I'm

BACCOShane taught everyone a new word, “bacco!” Which is an Italian kissing prompt. Everyone yelled it all night to make us lock lips…self included. They said I wasn’t allowed to yell it myself to which I responded, “I CAN YELL WHAT I WANT!” Just kidding. My goal was to be the opposite of a bridezilla.

It was the shortest ceremony that ever happened. That’s how we like em. Do you? I do. Do you? I do! No, not that short, but pretty short. Next thing you know Matt’s allowed to kiss his bride. Note the earrings and bracelet, a gift from my lovely ladyfriend Katherine who couldn’t make it. They came in a special bag that had been handmade and that I plan to pass along as well.


But then we realized we hadn’t exchanged rings yet!


Okay, now he’s mine! And you know what he does next? Hugs the moms!


Matt & MomAnd Papa!

matt & papa


The wedding party is: Rebecca, Martin THE AMAZING, me, Honeybee, Jared, Adam and Kevin. Then someone said jump and this happened.

bend jump 1 bend 2 BEND DEEPER Matt's Face! jump #3JUMP #3

After that we had a dinner of family recipes and chicken. One of my favorite things about that part is there were no specific place settings or seating charts. Everyone grabbed what they wanted from the buffet and mingled. No muss, no fuss. Then there was cake. Amazingly delicious plaid cake Matt’s Mom gifted us.

the cake they couldn't resist

Papa’s band played while we danced and some troublemakers got involved in tequila shots. And more dancing and giggles and shenanigans! Matt, Kevin and I got together and played some Super Plaid songs sans drums.


family waiting for the bride MY KIWI Kevin Jackie & Kevin Rebecca's rounds TEQUILA OOH! Papa's jam MINI SUPER PLAID DANCE, MONKEY!

Our wedding wasn’t the fanciest and certainly didn’t have the biggest budget, but it was made for and by everyone there. You could feel the love as Matt, Jared and Martin made their speeches. Jared said he’d never seen Matt so happy and that we make a great team. Martin recounted the first time I told him about Matt, how he had to tell me to slow down several times to understand my excitement. I told the story of how Matt hugged me the first time, when we were perfect strangers and my friend had died. And how Matt got his nickname, Honeybee. Basically he’s as sweet as a bee’s ass. Matt’s speech was saying that he’s yet to find a better word to describe me than amazing. I, beside him, was busy filling two tissues with happy tears. So glad there are no photos of that blubbery. He’s so handsome in that mandarin collar tux.

amazing speech

And then, when I thought the night couldn’t possibly get any better, we had a bonfire and sat around sharing stories. Matt and I gave our helpers massages in appreciation of their hard work. We were up late into the night having a blast. Well, most of us, anyway. Then, Matt and I snuck away to our cabin to do some married-people activities. Ahem.


The next morning Grandma Jo made breakfast for everyone and then played songs with her band, Grandma & the Boys for Cowboy Church. After that we had to pack up and head out. Back at Papa’s house in Walla Walla proper we made the marriage official since Camp Kiwanis is technically in Oregon.


I couldn’t’ve asked for a more fitting celebration of the truest love I’ve ever known. Weddings can be hard, expensive and stressful but we had none of that. And THAT, my friends is the best gift we got, a stress-free wedding and honeymoon in one. Thanks for sticking through this behemoth post and sharing our happy ever after. I leave you with just one more Jared took. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but this one’s up at the top.


Mr & Mrs Wray



6 thoughts on “A Walla Walla Wedding

  1. I love being able to see the pictures and hear the music and read your take, Brianna. You are such a sunshine, such a gift, and love truly wins every day you’er in the world. Congratulations again to you both, and watch for your forthcoming gift 🙂

      • Life is exquisite – married life especially. I bet yours is, too!!! I loveloveLOVE your hugs. You know, I studied hugging at ecstatic dance ecstaticdanceseattle.com 🙂
        I’m dancing weekly again because I need that as my meditation – my life is a whirlwind of innovation! IT innovation, paradoxically. Speaking of which, I need to focus on work.
        But hey, will I see you soon or what? I’m calling you on that good ol-fashioned phone!!

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