Vintage Inspired Kenai River Destination Wedding

Vintage Inspired Kenai River Destination Wedding

Brandon and Kristyn blended their eclectic style into an absolutely gorgeous Wes Anderson meets vintage romance Cusack’s on the Kenai River destination wedding. Their big day was just as much about the rich autumn colors, bold retro statements, and playful handmade details as it was about creating a wedding that represented who they are as individuals and as a couple. 

Surrounded by enchanting scenery that included everything from blue-tinged glaciers, roaring rivers, and dense forests, their ceremony was set right on the banks of the Kenai River. They added a touch of whimsy to the outdoor space with mismatched velvet furniture and a round arch with wild florals by Frenchie’s Floral Design that perfectly framed the couple. And to add their own unique spin on the ceremony, the couple danced down the aisle and included their fur babies in the festivities.

Their tented reception on the lodge’s front lawn was just as fun. From the colorful dinnerware and tablescape to the DIY fishing flies napkin rings and photo wall with framed photos of the couple—the vintage nods and handmade touches continued throughout the party. Even their paint-stroked wedding cake by Midnight Sun Cakery looked like a delicious work of art!

As if that wasn’t enough, the couple showed off their one-of-a-kind style in their wedding day attire. The groom looked dapper in an amber-colored suit that perfectly matched the bride’s romantic vintage-inspired Galia Lahav dress with dramatic bell sleeves. Running with the gem tones and playful textures, the rest of the wedding party pulled off their own unique looks. Scroll through these dreamy images captured by The Hitched Hiker and get inspiration for your own colorful and quirky destination wedding.

The Couple:

Kristyn and Brandon

The Wedding:

Cusack’s on the Kenai, Soldotna, Alaska

Why They Chose To Get Married At Cusack’s On The Kenai

We picked Cusack’s on the Kenai because it’s where we had one of our first dates and where Brandon proposed, so it was only appropriate to get married on the Kenai River. We booked the lodge for four nights, so we got to spend the whole weekend with our guests. Highly recommend making a whole weekend of it!

Vintage Ceremony Decor

The most important part of the ceremony design was mismatched chairs and wild florals. We were lucky to find an amazing rental company Wild Poppy Rentals, for beautiful vintage chairs and a magical florist Melissa Garcia Johnson to really make the vision come to life.

The Most Memorable Moments Of Their Kenai River Destination Wedding

Some highlights of the day include dancing down the aisle to my best friend, watching all of our loved ones band together to set up the day, the heartfelt and raw speeches, and of course, the liquor-induced evening shenanigans.

Wedding Planning Advice From The Newlyweds

Make it about your love story–that was the guiding light in all of my planning. Every little detail represented a part of who we are as individuals and as a couple. Also, have fun– it goes way too fast to be stressed.

DIY Wedding Details

The biggest DIY detail was the photo booth. I used a big wood crate from a shipment we got. Brandon disassembled the walls and reconstructed it as a photo booth, to which I then applied the wallpaper. I thrifted vintage frames and put our engagement photos in them for a gallery wall along with other special wall decor. The fish taxidermy and fishing net on the wall are my dad’s from my parents’ honeymoon. 

An Unforgettable Kenai River Destination Wedding

The turnout was more than we expected, considering it was a destination wedding for most of our guests. The love that filled the air that day makes me proud to have so many beautiful people in our life. It was a unique celebration that all of our guests would always remember.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – The Hitched Hiker
Event Planning – Wild Hearts Events
Venue – Cusack’s on the Kenai
Floral Design – Frenchie’s Floral Design
Catering – The Cookery Oyster Bar
Cake – Midnight Sun Cakery
DJ – Go with APE
Videography – Diego Meek
Invitation Design – Colorquarry Letter Press
Hair Styling – Winsor Theory
Wedding Dress – Galia Lahav
Rings – Wilderness Mint
Rentals – Wild Poppy Rentals

Congratulations to Brandon and Kristyn on their vintage inspired Kenai River destination wedding. And many thanks to The Hitched Hiker for capturing every dreamy detail and beautiful memory of their amazing day!

It’s often the unexpected details that will make your big day unforgettable. Don’t be afraid to skip tradition or choose an alternative yet meaningful venue or a quirky forward-thinking theme. Your wedding is yours, and it should reflect you and your partner in every way possible.


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Jaw-Dropping Helicopter Elopement in Alaska *

Jaw-Dropping Helicopter Elopement in Alaska *


Getting married is sometimes described as taking your love to new heights. For some couples, this means literally new heights. Bianca and David’s helicopter elopement in Alaska was just that. After their wedding was canceled multiple times due to the pandemic, the two opted for an adventurous Seward elopement that can be summed up in one word–epic.

Despite the hiccups during pandemic wedding planning, the day turned out beautifully with the help of their photographer Donna Irene Weddings, who doubled as their wedding planner. From the emotional vows to an elopement picnic complete with a wedding cake baked by the bride, this elopement is the perfect example of how incredible a day can be–big or small–when it revolves around you as a couple and everything that you love.

We know that you may not be convinced to ditch the big wedding for a mountaintop elopement yet. But after one look at these beautiful images you’ll be booking flights to your dream destination

Donna Irene’s Experience Shooting Their Special Day

We flew into Anchorage and then drove to Seward, a small town on the coast of Alaska. Bianca and David stayed at Windsong Lodge, got ready in their cabin, and did their first look in the forest on the property. Bianca was on the Great American Baking Show and even brought her own cake on the plane and decorated it on the spot with extra blooms from the florist!

In the evening, we took off on our helicopter tour with Seward Helicopters and were instantly blown away by the rugged mountain peaks all around us. We made our first landing on a snowy mountaintop that no one had ever been to before, and it all felt too beautiful to be real. We explored the peak and just took in the views and shot photos before heading to our second landing. 

Once there, the helicopter crew set up their sunset picnic while they exchanged their vows on a grassy cliff. They exchanged their vows and rings, said I do, and then popped champagne. Then they shared a drink and the cake the bride had made on the picnic setup they brought themselves!

The Couple:

Bianca and David

The Wedding:

Seward, Alaska

Why A Helicopter Elopement In Alaska

Planning a wedding during a pandemic is stressful. We had to cancel our large wedding events on two separate occasions, which caused a lot of friction but ultimately led us to an incredible experience eloping in Alaska.

A Memorable Helicopter Ride

Easily the most memorable part of the day was stepping off of the helicopter and arriving on our remote mountain top. As we left the helicopter we knew that this would be the place that commemorated our love. The spot was remote, peaceful, magical, and majestic all at the same time. The snow was untouched, the sun was shining, and the air was crisp and pure. Everything about the scene was so calming and beautiful. We paused for a moment to take it in. We’re so thankful that Seward Helicopters scoped this location specifically for us!

Recommended Reading: Cute Wedding Boots For Fall And Winter Weddings


Including DIY Touches To The Day

Bianca is a designer and baker, so she ended up having lots of fun pulling together different elements for our day. She made her polymer clay textured earrings, our watercolor and hand-bound vow booklets, the picnic set up, and our delicious wedding cake.

Recommended Reading: The Prettiest National Parks For Your Wedding


A Wedding Cake That Traveled With The Couple

We only took a bottle of champagne and the mini-wedding cake with us to the mountain. We went with one of our favorites and made a 4.5-inch, three-layer roasted pistachio cake with vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream, all covered with luxurious white chocolate ganache and flowers from our florist. As a baker, being able to make my own wedding cake was a dream come true. I whipped it up at home right before we left for Alaska and was able to transport it easily. I like to call it our little adventure elopement cake!

The Wedding Team:

Photography & Event Planning – Donna Irene Weddings
Floral Design – Fireseed Florals
Cake – Bianca Bakes
Videography – Marco Coelho
Wedding Dress – Willowby by Watters
Groom’s Apparel – Indochino
Rings – Valerie Madison & Jewelry Escorial
Transportation – Seward Helicopters


Congratulations again to Bianca and David on their helicopter elopement in Alaska. Big thank you to Donna Irene Weddings for planning and capturing the beauty of this adventurous day. To get inspired for your own epic “I do’s,” check out these stunning national parks that make the perfect elopement backdrop!

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