All across the country, fireworks were going off in shimmering splendor on July 4, while Tiffany and Kevin Chambers were creating sparks of their own. The Bellingham couple celebrated their love for each other and their country with an Independence Day wedding at Hovander Homestead Park.
They had been planning an August wedding, but when they found out that Kevin, a former Marine who is now in the National Guard, might have training that month, they decided July 4 was the way to go.
“I’m patriotic, so I think it worked out great,” Kevin says.
The park provided the perfect backdrop for their casual big day. Tiffany loves trees and wanted to get married in the orchard. Their reception took place in the picnic shelter as kids played on the playground and lawn games were set up for anyone who wanted to play.
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“We just kind of wanted to celebrate with friends and family,” Tiffany says. “We more had a short ceremony and a big Fourth of July barbecue. It took the pressure off us.”
They wanted to honor the patriotic theme without going overboard, so they opted for red, white and blue, but no stars and stripes. The flower girls wore red-and-blue dresses with white polka dots, and the red-and-white bouquets were wrapped in red, white and blue burlap. On the tables, daisies and hydrangeas carried out the motif.
They also had a photo booth with patriotic theme accessories for guests to play dress up.
The food was barbecue at its best. Tiffany’s dad and his wife made pulled pork and burgers, while her grandfather grilled salmon. Tiffany’s mom’s friend decided they needed a big cake, so she whipped up a three-tier strawberry shortcake with lemon cream.
Kevin’s favorite part of the day was the ceremony itself, where he says a little of his nerd side was able to shine through. Performed by a local District Court judge, the ceremony opened with a line from the movie “The Princess Bride,” and then continued in geeky fashion with an almost word-for-word copy of a ceremony performed by Capt. Jean-Luc Picard on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
“The whole thing took maybe seven minutes,” Tiffany says. “It was short and people were laughing and I couldn’t get Kevin’s ring on.”
Kevin had a moment of nerves as the ceremony began — in the hushed moment as everyone quieted and Tiffany began her walk up the aisle — but the jitters didn’t last long.
“We made eye contact, and everything was great,” he says. “I was nervous for all of 30 seconds.”
At dinner, each table had a bucket of Legos (another Kevin favorite) and a request for guests to build Kevin and Tiffany their dream houses, cars, pets, you name it. Tiffany’s co-workers combined their buckets to build them a massive castle. They had a Lego cake topper and a Lego ring box as well.
Despite a wedding that was smooth and laid-back, the day started rather hecticly. Tiffany’s laptop with the wedding music crashed, her hair and makeup took longer than expected, traffic jams made people late for pictures, and it started raining before the ceremony.
Tiffany says she should have been stressed, but she wasn’t.
“Honestly, none of it mattered,” she says. “I was completely confident that I was marrying the right person, and it didn’t matter how, because I was going to get married regardless.”