Le 20 juillet 2015, 05:24 dans Humeurs • 0
Tim and Amber Biby of East Grand Forks love to be outdoors every chance they get. So it made sense that when they decided to marry, they would have an outdoor wedding.
"We spend the entire winter waiting for summer to come," he said. "We do as little as possible inside in the summer, so this wasn't any different."
They chose Arbor Park, a pocket park nestled between Norby's Work Perks and Sledster's Food & Brew on South Fourth Street in downtown Grand Forks.
"It's beautiful," Amber said.
The park features a raised mound area, framed by a 10-foot arbor of branches intertwined at the top, where they stood before a minister and read the vows they each wrote.
"(The setting) is perfect," she said. "It's just made for a wedding."
She and Tim met two summers ago at the annual Moondance Jam festival near Walker, Minn.
"I saw her dancing," he said. "I told a friend that I should meet that gal. I said it off the cuff; I didn't mean anything by it."
Later, his friend brought her over to meet him.
At the time, Amber lived in Brainerd, Minn., Tim in Grand Forks. After they met, they kept in touch by phone for about a month before he went to see her in Brainerd. Later, she traveled to Grand Forks to see him.
"She fell in love with the city," he said.
"I fell in love with everything," she said, "the outdoor parks, activities for the kids, parades, movies in the park. I just fell in love with them.
"It's a nice area and a nice community."
Pictures: sexy wedding dress
Tim and Amber Biby celebrate their wedding day with children Clyde Biby, Julia Biby and Kylie Finch.They both have children from previous marriages.
When they started to get serious, they talked about where to live, he said. "It worked better for the kids for her to move this direction."
When the couple bought a house in East Grand Forks last summer, Amber and her children moved here.
They were married on July 11 in the presence of about 30 relatives and friends who had traveled from California, Florida, Minnesota and other parts of North Dakota for the occasion.
Their attendants were his children, Hannah, Clyde and Julia Biby, who are 10, 8 and 7, respectively, and her children, Kylie and Keith Finch, 11 and 5, respectively.
Clyde and Keith were both the "best man," Amber said. Kylie, Hannah and Julia were maids of honor.
The course of their relationship has been "very natural," Amber said. The two families have blended well.
"Luckily, it's been really nice and a good fit ... (The wedding) is for all of us."
They hired a musician, Andrew Konderla, to play acoustic guitar, and Amber's best friend from high school, Tiffany Ellingson of Waconia, Minn., who had recently been ordained, presided. This was the first marriage ceremony she officiated.
"She has watched our relationship unfold," Amber said.
After the wedding, they continued the outdoor theme, inviting guests to their home to celebrate around a bonfire.
"I'm surprised that more people don't do more stuff (in the city's pocket parks)," Amber said. "It was really exciting to find out we could use Arbor Park (for our wedding)."
Grand Forks' pocket parks are "very popular" as wedding locations, said Sharyl Simeone, communications specialist with the City of Grand Forks. "Town Square is popular, too."
"They are beautiful places to have weddings," she said, estimating eight to 12 weddings a year are held in these locations.
The city charges $50 to reserve the space, along with a refundable $100 damage deposit—but the city rarely keeps it, she said. "People are very good about leaving things the way they found them."
If needed, temporary barricades are set up on the street to accommodate the bridal couple's vehicle and to ease the arrival and departure of elderly guests.
As part of her job, Simeone works with people who are planning all kinds of special events on city property, including those who want to create a romantic atmosphere for a memory-making experience.
"I remember one couple who had met in Town Square," she said. For their wedding anniversary, the husband surprised his wife by "putting on a whole dinner there—and hired a string quartet to play."
Another man set the stage by lining the downtown greenway sidewalk with tealights, leading to the gazebo where he proposed to his girlfriend.
"You see things like this all the time," Simeone said.
Tips for outdoor weddings
Outdoor weddings can be beautiful but it's always a good idea to have alternative plans ready in case of inclement weather.
"It's always good to have a 'plan B,' " said Nancy Zalewski, owner of Kristen's Bridal & Tuxedo in Grand Forks, "whether it's tents outside for your guests to sit under or renting a community center."
In her 36 years as a bridal store owner, Zalewski has worked with many couples planning outdoor ceremonies, "especially in the lakes country (of Minnesota)."
Her advice to brides is to choose a gown that's "lighter and airy, depending on where they're having it," she said. And usually shorter trains are best.
Hem your wedding gown "a little bit shorter, so it won't get grass stained," she said.
If the bride is planning to wear high heels, Zalewski recommends a clear plastic product, called Sole Mates, which covers the heel.
"It gives your shoes a wider base so you don't sink into the grass," she said. "It's a really nice product."
She also recommends not using real flowers as a garland in your hair, she said. "I've seen them—especially daisies—wilt before anything gets going."
Wedding photography usually takes place before the wedding so, in hot humid weather, some flowers tend to droop.
"You could ask the florist for recommendations on flowers that may be a little more heat-resistant than others," she said.
Scheduling the wedding for later in the day is a good idea, she said. "It's generally cooling off by then."
"You can also string lights on trees which makes your setting look more like a fairy-tale world for your guests to enjoy," she said.
But there are some guests, like mosquitoes and other insects, you really don't want to attend, she said. So don't choose their favorite habitat as a wedding site.
"This is just my opinion, but I suggest having your wedding where you have pest control," she said.
"If you're going to wade out in the middle of a big grassy field, you can expect these pests," she said. "I prefer manicured lawns and parks where they have sprayed."
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