Tucked amid the barbecues and Ski to Sea parties of Memorial Day weekend was a bride in lace and flip flops.
But the flip flops weren’t the surprising thing for Amy Schnackenberg, 40, when she married Tony Schnackenberg, 47, on Sunday, May 24. The real shocker was the traditional lace wedding dress. Amy is not a dress person — let alone a lace dress person — but the moment she saw the dress she knew it was the one.
“It was a huge shock,” she says. “It was ivory and lace. Who knew I would have gone for lace and very traditional?”
The dress was the most traditional thing about the Bellingham couple’s wedding, Amy says. They were married at the Roeder Home in front of fewer than 50 friends and family members. But if Amy would have had it her way, they would have said “I do” with no fanfare at all at the courthouse. Tony wanted the big day, though, so she agreed.
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“I’m not one who likes to be the center of attention,” she says.
And while most honeymoons take place after the wedding, the only time the couple was able to get away for theirs was before the wedding. They went down to Las Vegas for five days in April, though Tony worried that the easy access to chapels would tempt Amy to elope.
“He was all worried that I would try to get married down there,” she says. “Every time we went by a wedding chapel he’d cover my eyes and say, ‘Nope, it’s not happening.’”
In the end, Amy was glad she didn’t opt for a quick wedding in Sin City. Her Bellingham wedding was beautiful, set among the flowers of the Roeder Home so she didn’t even need a florist. And Memorial Day weekend marked the three-year anniversary of when they started dating, after Amy first laid eyes on Tony playing darts at a bar in downtown Bellingham.
“It was a perfect day,” she says of the wedding. “It had been raining the day before and rained the day after, but that day it was perfect. Beautiful sunshine. The flowers were in bloom. You couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.”
The feel of the day was casual. Amy prepared and helped cook roast pork and lemon chicken, along with vegetable and fruit platters, red potatoes and green beans. There was music and laughter and fun all around, even if that meant some of the usual wedding stuff got skipped. It was more like a party than a wedding, except for that lace dress.
“We forgot to do the tossing of the bouquet and everything else. We almost forgot to do the signing of the marriage license,” she says. “We were just having such a good time and taking pictures and drinking and pictures and eating and drinking. There was just so much going on and people were talking and laughing, you forgot there were certain things you were supposed to do.”
The ceremony itself was short and sweet (it took longer to put on the dress, Amy says), ordained by a friend. Amy’s father walked her down the aisle, and her daughters were her bridesmaids, standing up beside her for the ceremony. Getting to see the families together and happy was a wonderful thing.
“It was really intimate and sweet and surreal to have everybody together, all for this one special occasion,” Amy says.