“Surprise! One of my Leavenworth elopements was published and I didn’t even know it,” says Chanelle Carlin, Washington State Wedding Officiant and Your Celebrant for Life

You never know what you’ll find when searching the internet…earlier today, I took part in a 30 minute ‘lunch and learn’ with Sara Dunn, a wedding SEO professional. If you’re a wedding professional and wanting to learn how to rank higher on Google, she is super amazing. Anyway, after the training, I was following up by running an SEO check on my website. That check showed that among other things, my website was ranking for a backlink to the digital wedding magazine, www.offbeatwed.com for a Leavenworth Elopement. I knew I hadn’t written a post for that publication, so of course I had to check it out. Surprise! I found a story submitted by one of my couples that got married in Leavenworth, Washington back in 2021, “An intimate ‘Up’ Adventure Party Leavenworth elopement with gluten-free pizza & donuts!” posted by Chris Wolfgang.

Chanelle’s Reflections

From an officiant’s perspective (any wedding professional’s perspective, I’m sure), Randy Joe and Jeremy were pretty much an ideal couple in that they always did what they said they would do, they responded to emails in a timely fashion and they were just plain old organized and very gracious and kind. Crafting their ceremony was just fun and having them love it enough to submit it is a genuine honor. I invite you to check it out here

Usually, when I write a blog post about one of my weddings, it’s full of my reflections as the officiant on that day, so, even though most of the details of the ceremony are shared in the article linked above, I’ll just add my recollections and feelings about my experience getting to know Randy Joe and Jeremy, their elopement ceremony and why it stands out to me even though it was two years ago and I’ve officiated dozens of weddings since.

Getting to know you…and YOUR Vision for your Day

I first met Randy Joe and Jeremy in March of 2021 about their planned elopement (“Act I” of their wedding), and they had pretty much everything already figured out: The venue was Roots Produce and Flower Farm in Leavenworth, Washington. The date would be June 12, 2021. There would be no guests at this time (just their two witnesses and their photographer) because they would have a bigger ceremony for their one year anniversary (Act II of their wedding) …They had everything figured out, except the ceremony…no worries, that is what I do as the Officiant, listen to stories and craft ceremonies…they knew they wanted something fun, laid back and something that totally matched their personalities. SO…we had a zoom chat to get to know each other. Jeremy and Randy Joe met in college in the theater program, which is handy because one of their favorite hobbies to do together is to watch movies. They got to know each other even went out with friends for Halloween: Randy Joe as Carmen San Diego and Jeremy as Waldo (as in “Where’s Waldo?) However, their first “official date” was lunch on 11/11/11 and Jeremy told me that soon after that, he knew he was “done looking.” Randy Joe actually told her mom all about Jeremy after their first date. They dated throughout the remainder of their college years, graduated, moved in together in 2013 and now have been together for twelve years (and married for two). Getting to know Jeremy and Randy Joe was so much fun, I couldn’t wait to draft their ceremony and send it to them for their thoughts and edits. My excitement was rewarded when Randy Joe emailed me with her and Jeremy’s final approval; her response was so sweet,

“Anyway, this all looks fantastic! I mean, I cried within the first 30 seconds of starting to read it and basically didn’t stop, so that’s a good sign.” 🙂
Photo credit: Sydney Cave, Everlasting Everly Photography

On “The Day,” their ceremony was just as fun for me. You can see it in my photos. It was relaxed and was with two people who were just so happy to be married, nothing else really mattered once we got there. One of my favorite memories from that day was watching them hand paint their mailbox which would be used for cards during “Act II” of their ceremony (the bigger wedding party on their anniversary). I promise you, there is nothing like watching a couple don colorful aprons, smoosh paint on their hands and then put their painted handprints all over a white mailbox. In case you’re wondering how that activity fits within a wedding ceremony, I’ll tell you. They each put on their own apron, but had the other person tie it for them. This speaks to helping each other with the everyday tasks during the marriage. Then, they squirt paint on their hands, smoosh them together and put handprints all over the mailbox. This is FUN and embraces the messiness of life (two very important elements in marriage and life in general). Finally, their witnesses were on hand with baby wipes so they could clean off their hands, which reminds us that there are times when even the strongest couples, need support from others. You can check out Chris Wolfgang’s article on Offbeatwed.com for photos of this fun activity, which I genuinely hope you do, or just use your imagination. 🙂

I also loved when they shared their vows (sweet and funny – check out the link above) and then signing their paperwork during the ceremony with their witnesses, so that when they walked up the aisle after I pronounced them married, they were actually completely and officially married. (You know…it’s not official til the paperwork is signed).

Photo credit: Sydney Cave, Everlasting Everly Photography

“’And love, true love, will follow you forever’ and may you always be each other’s greatest adventure.” – the final wish from their ceremony borrowed from their fave movies, “Up” and “The Princess Bride”

Celebrating Randy Joe and Jeremy’s elopement was as beautiful for me as their Wedding Officiant as “finally” getting married was for them and I’m grateful they enjoyed the experience enough to submit their wedding story to be published. For those wondering how Act II went, Randy Joe emailed me after receiving their anniversary card and shared,

“We did go ahead with our Act II this past Saturday and it was lovely! Frantic and stressful, but lovely!”

OH! and if you’ve never been to Roots Produce and Flower Farm, you should go. It’s absolutely stunning and the location for weddings is down below the road in a little valley surrounded by the majestic mountains. Truly, it will take your breath away.

Other Wedding Pros involved in this beautiful adventure:

You’ll see a list of the other wedding professionals and vendors if you read the Offbeatwed.com article, but I’ll share them here so it’s handy for you:

If you’re ready to schedule your consultation to talk about your elopement or intimate wedding ceremony, please feel free to reach out. I’d love to chat with you.

About Chanelle:  

Photo credit: Roxanne Best

Chanelle Carlin is Your Celebrant for Life. She is an ordained minister, professional wedding officiant, coach, and owner of Chanelle Carlin Weddings, LLC. Believing that life and love should be celebrated every minute, she collaborates with couples who’ve already started building the foundations of their relationship over the years and are now ready to venture forth into marriage with a custom, memorable (for all the right reasons) elopement/intimate wedding ceremony. While Chanelle works throughout the Pacific Northwest and Ireland primarily, she gladly travels to wherever her couples prefer to marry. As their Celebrant for Life, Chanelle also celebrates all the special milestones and moments that matter in each of her couples’ lives. She lives with her family in rural Okanogan County, Washington, USA, and totally LOVES her life. You can visit Chanelle at www.chanellecarlin.com, on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. 

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