Love is one part triple sec, one part tequila and a splash of sweet and sour mix for Hannah and Randy Strope.
The Whatcom County couple was married July 28, 2012, at a barn in Lynden, and their ceremony included an unorthodox but tasty way to show their bond: a unity margarita.
"Let's do something that is unifying but is kind of funny and kind of awesome," Hannah says of the couple's inspiration for the drink. "We each poured in one of the shots and poured the mix together, then drank. That was pretty fun. People laughed and they loved it."
She was a little worried, though, about how her grandma might react to the untraditional vows, but her concerns were unfounded.
"My sister afterward said Nana even laughed,"she says. "Nailed it."
The unity margarita was so popular that her brother and sister might make it a family tradition at their weddings next year, though they'll likely pick a different cocktail to liven things up.
The unity margarita set the tone for the rest of the festivities. The wedding was a casual affair with a rustic theme, and the day was focused on fun, love and family.
"I love throwing parties, and we wanted to just really throw a party that celebrated love," Hannah says. "We wanted something super fun and laid back and somewhere people could dance and laugh."
Because both she and Randy are from the south - he from a small town in Missouri, and she from Hot Springs, Ark. - the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner were a bit like family reunions.
Hannah's sister hosted the shower at one of the bridesmaids' houses the Thursday before the wedding so that visiting family members would be able to come. The signature drink of the shower was the mojito, and Hannah's sister gave everyone a mason jar and a muddler and taught them how to make the muddled mint-and-lime cocktail.
"She was so sore the next couple days from making drinks," Hannah says.
Hannah's parents had rented a house for the week so that they could host visiting family members, and for the rehearsal dinner they threw a big barbecue for all the out-of-towners. With about 60 people there and a karaoke machine in the works, it was a party in and of itself.
"It was so nice to see everybody, because a lot of the people I hadn't seen yet," she says. "Family and friends is one of the best things."