As it turns out, Chris Croft technically never asked his wife, Steph, to marry him.
The night he planned to propose, the two were camped at the 2013 Subdued Stringband Jamboree at the Deming Logging Show fairgrounds. After a day of music, they found a spot to lie down and watch a meteor shower overhead.
At the right moment, Chris held the diamond ring he had picked out at Bayside Jewelers above their heads and started to say, “I can’t offer you a real star,” when Steph grabbed the ring from his hand and said an enthusiastic “Yes!”
“Honestly, I’ve never actually asked her to get married,” Chris says with a laugh.
They were married Aug. 30 at Evergreen Gardens, an outdoor wedding and reception venue between Ferndale and Lynden.
They opted for a relaxed, vintage feel, with shabby-chic decor.
Old windows were made into signs with chalkboard paint. One window displayed directions for lawn games the couple had built, including wooden cornhole sets that Chris constructed, and a ring toss with bottles that Steph painted. Another board showed the timeline for the ceremony, dinner and dancing.
There were stacks of vintage books and milk glass vases next to tiny, brown apothecary bottles. Blue Mason jars held flowers.
One window frame served as a memorial, with wire and clips holding pictures of relatives who had passed away, including Chris’s dad and Steph’s uncle.
Steph’s dad grew dahlias for the wedding, which the florist, Seven Sister Designs of Blaine, worked into the displays.
The groomsmen wore gray pants, white shirts, suspenders and seafoam bow ties. The bridesmaids each wore different styles of seafoam dresses made by the same designer.
The ceremony was comfortable and lighthearted. Guests were able to grab champagne, wine or beer from the bar beforehand and take it to their seats for the ceremony.
“They really appreciated it,” Steph says.
“We laughed and joked around through the ceremony,” Chris says. “My cousin said, ‘You made that look really fun.’”
In general, Chris and Steph say the wedding wasn’t stressful, thanks to help from friends, family, vendors, and a wedding planner from Belle’Ham Wedding & Event Consulting, who made sure things went smoothly.
Chris and Steph advise other couples to set a goal each month for planning — first find a venue, maybe the next month find a photographer, then figure out your plan for food, etc.
“Remember that it’s just a party and you’re marrying each other,” Steph says. “It’s really about your love and your relationship. I think this was just a good party for our friends for helping us get to this point.”
Chris works 48-hour shifts as a firefighter in Kent and Steph is a registered nurse at Northwest Endoscopy Center. They live in a more-than 100-year-old house Chris restored in the Roosevelt neighborhood.