Real Brides and Weddings: Ilana and Josh

Provided by Emilie Setting | Photos by Emilie Setting Photos

Ilana and Josh were married in Washington State on Sept. 23, 2023. Here’s their story:

Tell us your story – how you met, your engagement, etc.

We met in Nashville, right before I (Ilana) moved to Alaska for what was supposed to be a year of exploring there. Josh and I decided to keep talking, not knowing what to expect. A few months in, he ended up visiting Alaska during the winter. Things became official, and he moved to Alaska in the summer. Somehow, years went by and we ended up being homeowners in Alaska. In March of 2023, he took me on a trip to Fairbanks. We did sled dog rides, and watched the northern lights. He proposed with a sword he hand-forged, and my ring. We planned the wedding with the help of our elopement photographer for that September in Washington State, where we will be moving in October 2024!

Three words that describe your wedding:

Nature-based, rainy, fun.

What was your theme? What inspired you to pick that theme?

There wasn’t a true theme. The idea was to have an intimate wedding (around 50 people) and really be able to focus on us, and be somewhere green and beautiful. We had our wedding at Cusham Lake in Washington State. Really, we didn’t want the stress of the big wedding, and just wanted to spend time with loved ones that we haven’t seen since living in Alaska.

Wedding Colors

Sage green for the bridesmaids, darker green for the groom. Green in the trees and the other natural colors of the park.

Describe the dress you chose

Ilana & Josh wedding dress

Lacy and flowy, I love wedding dresses, and I wanted one that felt like me. I loved the way it fell off the shoulders, and the big train.

Favorite Detail

Doc Martens with Ribbons

The sword Josh proposed with! We used it for our cake cutting. Other than that, I also loved wearing white Doc Martens that I laced with ribbons to go with my wedding dress.

Describe the First Dance

We actually didn’t do a first dance, we simply put on music and started dancing with everyone around us. We didn’t want our day to feel like a big performance, and just wanted to have fun with friends and family.

What Vendors did you Use?

Lake Cusham as the venue, Emilee Setting for photos. We picked wildflowers from a wildflower farm for our florals; cakes were handmade by my mom and dad.

Any Advice for Other Brides

Having a photographer who helped with the planning was so helpful. Our photographer specializes in planning elopement and intimate wedding days. If we didn’t have her, hiring a planner would have been the other option. Having someone who knows what they are doing is an ultimate stress reliever.

Ilana & Josh

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