Dona Bogg's and Gary Aitken's Wedding

May 30, 2009

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Surprise! Sometime in late winter, Dona and I decided to officially tie the knot. It seemed like the right way to confirm my committment to her; and it was a great motivator for getting things done around the place. It was also a heck of a good excuse for a party. The most immediate effect of that was that I put off trying to get back on Sambo for a few more months.

So... We started drawing up a guest list, trying to keep it small. But even then it seemed kinda large, Especially when we saw how many people would be coming from out of the area. Dona has a bigger family than I do, but between us they all added up. We got cards from Dona's nephew, Ram Papish, to use as invitations, printed them up and sent them out. Once we had an idea who was coming, we attempted to match people to accomodations, and sent out a few photos to let people know what they were getting into.

Invitation Front Invitation Text
Invitation Actual Text (Image)
(Expand to read)

One of our big concerns was where the heck we were going to house them. Some of our neighbors have cabins for guests, and were gracious enough to make them available for us. We reserved one of our neighbor's cabins, the Krutar Homestead, all the rooms at the bed and breakfast in Ovando, and some at our friends Brian and Kerry Bertsch's resort The Lodges on Seeley Lake .

Foote Cabin Poett Cabin Roe Cabin Inside Roe Cabin
Foote cabin Poett cabin Roe cabin Inside a cabin
Krutar Homestead Sunset from Lodges on Seeley Lake
Krutar Homestead
Photo by Christi Staib Staib
View from Lodges on Seeley Lake
Photo by Steve Amira

We put a railing on the front porch. And the back porch. We put steps up to the front porch, and new ones that were more stable up to the back porch. We made a custom shower curtain rod for the guest bathroom, made a shower curtain, and finished the trim. We built doors for the guest room and guest bathroom and hung them. We built a planter for the sunroom. We hung up more art on the walls. We ran power to the arena. We built steps down to the bench below the house, and a bridge across the irrigation ditch.

We arranged for a friend, Marian McKenna, to officially marry us, and for two of Dona's former students and colleages to play music. We arranged for a home-made cake from a great bakery in Missoula. We arranged for a dj to play music at the dance -- recommended by one of her sons as "The guys I couldn't get for our wedding." What else to do? Dona made her dress; I dusted off my suit, which I hadn't worn in a long time...

A day or two before, friends started showing up from as far away as Australia. We put them to work... The plan was for the ceremony to be out in one of the fields, but in May, you never know what the weather will do around here. So for an alternate plan, we thought about renting a tent, but in the end decided to use the arena. We originally were going to rent a dance floor. When we checked the price, we decided to cover the arena with OSB. For the price of renting the dance floor, we could cover an area large enough for guest tables to boot, then sell the stuff afterwards. So Dona's brother Bob, his son Nick, and Dona's youngest son Sid all helped cut the 1x4s for the frame and then screwed the whole thing together. The Frappells, Dona's Australian friends, took over decorating the arena, and what a job they did! Along the way, we had some fun swinging from the rope at the top!

Huon and Peter Frappell decorating arena Huon and Peter Frappell decorating arena Arena Arena
Huon and Frapps Decorating
Photo by Bob Fawcett
Huon, Claire and Frapps Decorating
Photo by Bob Fawcett
Decorating Hay Bales
Photo by Christi Staib
Top bauble
Photo by Christi Staib
Arena Transformed Arena Transformed
Arena Transformed
Photo by Carol Kulish
Hay Bale Proclamations
Photo by Carol Kulish

My family arrived the day before; they met up at Trixi's for lunch, where Ian made sure the animals were properly hydrated, and Blue Moose, Trudy's constant companion, got acquainted.

Ian bottle feeding moose head Eric, Mel, Ian, Christi group hug? Blue moose on Brian's head Blue moose on Brian's head
Ian hydrating the moose at Trixi's
Photo by Christi Staib
Eric, Mel, Ian, Christi
Photo by Trudy Hodges
Blue moose getting acquainted
Photo by Trudy Hodges
Blue moose
Photo by Trudy Hodges

The evening before the ceremony, we had all our out-of-town friends and relatives over for dinner and a get-acquainted evening.

Dona and her brother Bob Fawcett Dona and her brother Bob Fawcett Gary and College Buddies Gary and College Buddies Ian and Trudy stuck butt to butt
Dona and brother Bob Fawcett
Photo by Christi Staib
Frapps, Dona and Bob
Photo by Christi Staib
College buddies
Victor, Kent, Steve
and Peggy and Bob Payne
Photo by Christi Staib
College buddies
Photo by Christi Staib
Ian and Trudy
got some kind of glue
smeared on their butts
Photo by Christi Staib
More...

Dona's sister and mom arrived the morning of the wedding -- Mary (sister) was staying with Dorothy (mom) in Missoula.

Gary hugging Dorothy Greeting the Papish clan and Dorothy Ram hugging Anne Mel, Gary, Ram and Ian Dorothy, Framms and Dona Dave and Annette Hinds and Peter Frappell
Gary likes Dona's mom
Photo by Christi Staib
The Papish clan and Dorothy arrive
Photo by Christi Staib
Ram, Anne, and Mary
Photo by Christi Staib
Mel, Gary, Ram, Ian
Photo by Christi Staib
Dorothy hadn't seen Frapps in a while
Photo by Christi Staib
Dave and Annette Hinds
Peter Frappell
Photo by Christi Staib

Our mothers and siblings helped arrange flowers in the bowls Dona had turned on dad's old lathe.

Dona's flower bowls Dorothy, Nancy, Anne, Dona and Mary arranging flowers Dorothy, Nancy, Anne, Dona and Mary arranging flowers
Some of Dona's table centerpieces
Photo by Bob Fawcett
Arranging flowers
Photo by Bob Fawcett
Arranging flowers
Photo by Bob Fawcett

Everybody helped out doing all the things we forgot, and had a good time to boot.

Dorothy doing Mary's hair Eduardo Ceballos and London filling salt and pepper shakers
Dorothy doing Mary's hair
Photo by Christi Staib
Eduardo Ceballos and London
emptying our lifetime supply
of salt and pepper
Photo by Christi Staib

Our neighbor friends were wonderful and brought potted plants to help decorate the arena; something they could take back home.

Ian moving flowers in wheelbarrow Huon filling water pitchers Climbing plant Plants Plants
Studly Ian moving flowers
Photo by Christi Staib
Huon filling water pitchers
Photo by Bob Fawcett
Plants
Photo by Christi Staib
Plants
Photo by Christi Staib
Plants
Photo by Christi Staib

We figured our septic could deal with one day's overload, and it gave people an excuse to see the house.

Toilett sign
Essentials
Photo by Christi Staib

We lucked out on the weather -- it was perfect. We had about 600 feet of extension cord from the arena to the field where the ceremony took place, so we and the musicians could be heard. The ceremony was relatively short; I'm sure our friends were grateful :-).

Chairs in field ready for ceremony
A field of chairs
Photo by Sid Boggs

Dona's sister Mary lives in Hawaii, and she brought us two surprises, besides herself -- traditional Hawaiin flowers for the bride and groom! Our friends had to check them out to see if they were real... a lei crown for Dona, and a Maile lei for Gary!

Zia shows her flowers to Madeline Steve checks out Gary's Maile lei
Zia shows Maddie her flowers
Photo by Carol Kulish
Steve checks out Gary's Maile lei
Photo by Carol Kulish

While waiting for the bride, we took a few family photos.

Christi and Gary, Tom Butts on the side Ian, Gary and Christi
Christi and the groom
My sailing friend
Tom Butts says
"Check out the suit!"
Photo by Christi's camera
Ian, Christi and the groom
Photo by Christi's camera

Our friend Marian McKenna did the officiating, our neighbor Zia Kloetzel carried Dona's flowers. The best part of the whole ceremony was watching Dona come across the field escorted by her sons and grandsons to the tune of "Simple Gifts".

Simple Gifts

Fast Internet Connection Slow Internet Connection

(grandson Aidan was being onery and kept his mother occupied...

Gary waiting for Dona
Gary waiting for Dona
Photo by Ram Papish
Dona arriving Dona arriving Dona arriving
Dona arriving
Photo by Ram Papish
Dona arriving
Photo by Steve Amira
Alex and Riley, Dona, Justin and Dylan
Photo by Ram Papish
Marian, Zia, and Gary waiting for Dona Zia giving Dona her flowers Zia giving Dona her flowers
Marian, Zia and Gary
waiting for Dona
Photo by Nancy Aitken
Zia giving Dona
her flowers
Photo by Christi Staib
Zia giving Dona
her flowers
Photo by Christi Staib

The bride looked wonderful, and, fortunately for me, happy :-).

Dona Dona waving to grandkids
Good looking bride, eh?
Photo by Ram Papish
Waving to grandkids
Photo by Ram Papish

Marian orchestrated the whole thing, ready to help out if we messed up.

Dona, Marian, Gary Dona, Marian, Gary

Photo by Bob Fawcett
The setting was perfect.
Photo by Steve Amira

Dona's brother Bob gave us some sage advice. To be on the safe side, we told him what to say...

Advice from Bob
Photo by Nancy Aitken

Dona read a short poem, "At Last," without crying -- pretty good, considering she couldn't ever do it in practice. I tried to listen carefully, something I'm not always very good at. I read a short poem as well, "Two Trees."

Dona Reading Dona Reading Gary listening to Dona's reading Dona reading
Dona reading
Photo by Ram Papish
Dona reading
Photo by Ram Papish
Paying attention...
Photo by Christi Staib

Photo by Steve Amira

Music was provided by two friends of Dona's, who are former colleagues and also co-researchers -- Bret Tobalske and Jerred Seveyka. They even composed a wonderful special piece just for us --

Rendez Vous

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Bret Tobalske and Jerred Seveyka
Bret Tobalske and Jerred Seveyka
Photo by Ram Papish

We exchanged vows, serious and humorous.

Dona reading her vows Dona reading her vows Dona reading her vows Dona done with vows Gary reading vows
Exchanging vows
Photo by Ram Papish

Photo by Ram Papish

Photo by Ram Papish
Glad to be done with it?
Photo by Ram Papish

Photo by Ram Papish

Our rings were made by a local jeweler, Barney Jette. Dona's contains a Montana sapphire she found herself, which we had cut and polished by an old miner in Missoula. Gary's is a sheet bend knot, one of the best knots for connecting different kinds of line.

Gary reading vows Dona putting on Gary's ring Putting on Gary's ring Putting on Gary's ring Putting on Gary's ring Putting on Gary's ring Putting on Gary's ring
Ring exchange
Photo by Ram Papish
Putting on Gary's ring
Photo by Christi Staib
Trying to put on Gary's Ring
Photo by Ram Papish
Still trying...
Photo by Ram Papish
And trying...
Photo by Ram Papish
Finally!
Photo by Ram Papish
Dona's went on a little easier...
Photo by Ram Papish

Finally! What a guy has to go through for a kiss! I told Marian I didn't think I got it quite right the first time, so I got to do it again :-).

Kiss Kiss Kiss again Kiss
Whoppie!
Photo by Ram Papish

Photo by Steve Amira
Sometimes not gettin' it right
the first time
has its advantages...
Photo by Ram Papish

Photo by Steve Amira

Our friends and family in the audience were totally enthralled... of course! Well, at least they didn't doze off...

Dona's family Ruth Needham and Peggy
Part of Dona's family
Photo by Christi Staib
Ruth and Peg
Photo by Christi Staib

Our friend and neighbor Steve Kloetzel sent us off with a wonderful Native American verse, "Apache Song".

Steve Kloetzel reading Apache Song
Steve reading an Apache Song
Photo by Bob Fawcett

We left to a jaunty rendition of "Saint Agnes and the Burning Train." You can interpret that however you wish! When they played it at the wedding it wasn't quite this fast, and it had a bit more of a "lilting" tempo to it, although that may not be the right word. Ah, but to have captured the moment!

Saint Agnes and the Burning Train

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Dona and Gary leaving Dona and Gary leaving Dona and Gary leaving Dona and Gary leaving Dona and Gary leaving Dona and Gary leaving
Off...
Photo by Ram Papish
to the tune of...
Photo by Ram Papish
St. Agnes and ...
Photo by Steve Amira
the Burning Train
Photo by Ram Papish

Photo by Ram Papish

Photo by Ram Papish

Sid grabbed us, saying the light was just right, so we went down to the river for a few pictures.

Dona and Gary Dona and Gary on bench Dona and Gary by river
Photo by Sidney Boggs Photo by Sidney Boggs Photo by Sidney Boggs

With the ceremony over, mom could let Kya out of jail, people could say "Hi" to Sambo, neighbors could mingle with out-of-towners, and we could take a few more family photos.

Mom and Kya Sambo checks out Jill Sambo checks out Ruth and Charlie Sambo checks out Ruth and Charlie Payne clan Riley, Tash, Alex, Aidan
Mom with Kya,
her constant companion
Big Image Link
Photo by Christi Staib
Sambo checks out Jill
Photo by Christi Staib
and Ruth and Charlie
Photo by Christi Staib
Trudy, Geoff, Pen, Liz, Carol
Photo by Christi Staib
The Payne clan (my sister's family)
Big Image Link
Photo by Christi Staib
Riley, Tash, Alex, Aidan (Dona's middle son & family)
Photo by Christi Staib
More...

And then it was time to party!

Steaks were barbequeued by Dona's brother Joe, who hauled a big grill down from Kalispel. Dona's brother Bob handled the chicken. Joe didn't want any contamination of his beef... Our neighborhood friends brought yummy pot luck side dishes. As soon as they were done eating, all the kids chased each other around the haystack.

Joe and Nora cooking steaks Bob Fawcett cooking chicken
Joe and Nora Fawcett
Waiting to start steaks
Photo by Bob Fawcett
Bob Fawcett, Chicken Man
Photo by Christi Staib
Guest Book Photos of Dona Photos of Gary
Guest Book
Note the flower vase --
a Dona original
Photo by Christi Staib
Photos of Dona
Photo by Bob Fawcett
Photos of Gary
Photo by Bob Fawcett
Bride and Groom at dinner Kids playing on haystack
Dinner
Photo by Christi Staib
Kids love haystacks...
Photo by Christi Staib
More...

and then there was the cake... Yum! Made by Bernice's Bakery in Missoula, even people who don't usually like chocolate cake loved it. There was nothing left. Yum. Yum. Yum!

Carrying the cake in The cake The cake
Jim Hallett and Paul Alaback,
Cakebearers
Photo by Christi Staib
Photo by Christi Staib Photo by Christi Staib
Gary and Dona cutting cake Gary and Dona cutting cake Gary and Dona cutting cake Gary and Dona cutting cake Gary and Dona cutting cake
Photo by Christi Staib Photo by Christi Staib Photo by Christi Staib Photo by Christi Staib Photo by Christi Staib

We had hired some local DJ brothers from Missoula, Aerial Maneuvers Mobile DJ Services, to spin tunes for us. Dona's son Alex recommended them as "The guys I wanted to get for our wedding, but they were booked. They'll make people get out and dance." They didn't need to work too hard, Our friends are generally happy to party.

Bride and Groom dancing Bride and Groom dancing Bride and Groom dancing
Bride and Groom
Photo by Ram Papish
Bride and brother Bob
Photo by Ram Papish
Groom and mom
Big Image Link
Photo by Ram Papish
Riley and Aidan dancing Dancing... general mayhem Dancing: London, Eric, Dylan
Riley and Aidan
Photo by Bob Fawcett
General Mayhem
Photo by Carol Kulish
London, Eric, Dylan
Photo by Christi Staib
Ian break dancing A real line dance DJs dancing with Blue Moose
Ian break dancing
Photo by Christi Staib
A real line dance
Photo by Trudy Hodges
DJs mixing it up with Blue Moose
Photo by Trudy Hodges
More...

When the disk spinsters took a break, Adin Kloetzel played a hot rendition of the Milk Cow Blues, plus other impromptu stuff. Wish I could do that at age 12! Heck, I wish I could do it now!

Adin at piano
Adin Kloetzel revving things up
Photo by Sid Boggs

The next day we started picking up. Hot weather and hoses always leads to a water fight...

Water fight
More...