Zion National Park Wedding
Have you ever seen a backdrop more breathtaking than Zion National Park? When you’re surrounded by such gorgeous scenery, a bit of simplicity goes a long way. Mandolin and Nik didn’t let go of the opportunity to sport a bit of color, though — their Pantone ceremony backdrop also carried into the reception in brilliant ways. Thanks to AK Studio & Design for capturing this one!
From the bride, Mandolin: My husband and I love Zion National Park and wanted to share that love with our guests for our destination wedding, so we invited everyone to come stay with us for the entire week leading up to the wedding. Guests were coming from all over the world — India, Argentina, the Congo, Canada — so we wanted the wedding to be in a place that guests might not have visited otherwise. Since we were in such a gorgeous setting, I wanted the backdrop to do most of the “decorating” for us for the wedding. It was stunning to get married in such a beautiful place, and we arranged it so that guests had a 15-minute, breathtaking drive into the ceremony site inside the park to set the tune of the wedding and to instill a sense of awe at the beauty of the natural world.
We resisted having a color scheme, so we went the opposite route and embraced all colors (within reason). :) The flowers at the reception tables (ranunculus, my favorite) were multicolor in warm hues and placed in a progressive color pattern down the long, family style tables. In my work, I use the Pantone color scheme on a regular basis, so we used Pantone postcards as place settings and for the backdrop to the ceremony, which later decorated the reception site. I ordered the reception flowers from an online website and put them in mason jars myself (DIY). A friend did the hand-lettering on the place cards, and many other friends helped to make the backdrop. My father made the frame for the backdrop and was in charge of moving it from the ceremony to the reception site. My mother wrote and put on a short play, including making the costumes, for the entertainment of the guests. My sister-in-law taught everyone some Bollywood dance moves. I designed and letterpress printed the save the dates, wedding invitations, favors (a set of 10 letterpress printed coasters at each place setting), and the poem broadside we handed out at the ceremony to go along with the reading. Everyone pitched in to help, and most of the decorative elements were DIY.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? It’s only one day, and it will be wonderful no matter how the decorations look. Don’t get too caught up in the details, which no one will notice but you. Have fun, and make the day an expression of the two of you as a couple, not an expression of what the world says a wedding should be or should look like.
We had lots of soul, reggae, funk, world music — my husband loves music, and our dear friend Michael Olsen (Freedom Sounds) was our DJ. We gave him more or less complete control over the music at the reception. For the ceremony, my cousin played gypsy jazz on an acoustic guitar. There wasn’t really a particular song for the processional.
First Dance: “Blue Moon,” Elvis
Parent/Child Dance: “What a Wonderful World,” Louis Armstrong
Wedding Location: Springdale, UT / Photographer: AK Studio & Design / Flowers: Bloomers Floral / Ceremony Venue: Zion National Park, South Campground Amphitheatre / Reception Venue: Clear Creek Ranch / Wedding Dress: Cocoon Silk / Wedding Veil and Bolero: Sarah Gahagan / Wedding Shoes: Nordstrom / Hair and Makeup: Julie Thomas (435-632-4824) / Groom’s Suit: custom made in India / Caterer: Brian Wollin of LVChefs / Wedding Cake: Sweet Cakes By Karen and Albertson’s / DJ: Michael Olsen of Freedom Sounds (503-258-7678) / Wedding Invitations: Bride