Rob and Stephanie Stroud of Bellingham had an extra reason to celebrate on Rob’s birthday, April 12, 2014.
In addition to ringing in Rob’s 36th, they gathered up their children, friends and relatives for a day of festivities as the couple married at Baker Creek Place in Bellingham.
They’d been together about six years and had already joined their families.
“Between the two of us we have six kids,” Rob says. “I have a couple boys, she’s got a couple kids, and we have a kid together.”
Fittingly, their wedding came together with plenty of help from family and friends.
Rob and Stephanie were each walked down the aisle by one of their children, and Rob’s uncle performed the marriage ceremony.
Stephanie, who worked for five months planning the April affair on a budget, put in many hours creating decorations for their country-chic wedding.
“I spent all that time going to Value Village, buying used stuff and repurposing it,” Stephanie says.
She dyed doilies purple, bought lace and saved wine bottles, which she wrapped in twine with her wedding party at decorating get-togethers.
“She put a lot of hard work into this wedding,” Rob says.
They bought their flowers in bulk from Triple Wren Farms in Ferndale. White, pink and blush roses, as well as purple ranunculus, made their way into hand-gathered bouquets and brightened-up tables at the reception.
They also got some crab apple tree branches from the farm, which Rob used along with vine maple to build an arbor for them to be married under.
Each bridesmaid was able to find her own purple dress in varied styles and shades, while the groomsmen wore black pants, suspenders, white button-down shirts and mismatched ties in gray and black.
Stephanie says one of the best finds of the wedding, which was also likely the most nerve-wracking, was her wedding dress.
“I ordered my dress online from a discount place,” she says. “I read reviews about the site after I bought it and it sounded like it would be a fifty-fifty chance it would be good or bad.”
Her fears were relieved as soon as the dress arrived.
“It ended up fitting perfectly,” she says. “It turned out to be a good thing.”
For the reception, kegs of beer from Boundary Bay Brewery got a special ice bath in an old cast-iron bathtub that Stephanie had Rob and his buddy pick up before the wedding.
After their dinner catered by Sandwich Odyssey of Bellingham, everyone got to pick from a large selection of cakes and cupcakes baked by each member of the wedding party. And, of course, there also was a birthday cake for Rob.
Their advice for others looking to get married?
“Don’t wait six years to marry your woman,” Rob says. “If you love her, you love her. Marry her, if she’ll have ya.”