A Rustic Coffee-Shop Inspired Wedding at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center in Kenai, Alaska

Bradi Anderson (21 and a art instructor) and Jed Cress (22 and an electrical lineman apprentice) met through mutual friends. Just a month after they s

Bradi Anderson (21 and a art instructor) and Jed Cress (22 and an electrical lineman apprentice) met through mutual friends. Just a month after they started officially dating, Jed got a job offer to work for Samaritan’s Purse as a carpenter in Port Alsworth. However, there are no roads connecting Port Alsworth to the rest of Alaska, no cellphone service and no promise of internet. After being there a year, he came home and proposed on the beach in Nikiski, Alaska. “It was late, stars were out and the moon was red,” Bradi remembers. “It was incredibly windy that night, so we were wrapped up close in a blanket, talking and then he proposed. It was so dark that I couldn't see the ring, so I totally thought he was joking around the first time. He had to repeat himself, poor guy.” Bradi and Jed wanted their wedding to focus on their relationships with the people around them. Loving the cozy, intimate feel of a coffee shop, the couple used it as their inspiration. They kept their wedding affordable by foregoing dinner and instead serving Seattle Mountain Coffee and DIY desserts—cinnamon rolls, muffins, cookies, cakes—made by their friends and family. All of the furniture, decor and dinnerware were borrowed from family and friends, and the extra big tables and chairs were provided by the Nikiski Community Recreation Center. They draped Christmas lights from the ceiling to make the space feel smaller. “It made our reception feel homey and lived in,” Bradi says. They completed the night with open mic entertainment where family and friends shared their talents on stage. “We wanted to extend our love and appreciation to all of our guests by creating a night that they would remember, not because of the fancy cakes, top notch band or catered dinner, but because of the connections they made with the people surrounding them.”

Bradi wore teal heels decorates with rosettes for her something blue. rn
Bradi wore a strapless Oleg Cassini tulle ball gown from David’s Bridal. It was decorated with a crystals and rose at the waist for just enough sparkle.
The groomsmen wore their own three-piece gray suits with black shirts and blue ties. rn
Laughing Bride Getting Ready in Kenai, Alaska
Bradi’s aunt put together the flower arrangements for the wedding. Brado carried a cascading bouquet of white hydrangea, roses, hypericum berries and wildflowers.
Bradi and Jed exchanged vows at the First Baptist Church of Kenai. “It was the only available venue that would fit our large families,” Bradi says. “Because of Jed’s work schedule, we had to schedule the wedding on Good Friday, so a lot of churches already had services planned. We are thankful we found a place.”
Jed and his father made pillars to frame the alter at First Baptist Church of Kenai. They used birch trees topped with lanterns and baby’s breath. Jed also made the wedding arch with birch trees as well. “I really wanted to keep the ceremonyrnsimple, because we wanted to focus our efforts on the reception,” Bradi says.
Bradi and Jed Recessional
DIY Wedding Party Transportation
DIY Pickup Truck Wedding Transportation
A Nikiski Community Recreation Center Venue
Bradi and Jed borrowed furniture from family members and sat up tables, couches and booths for guests. “We had fun shopping in my aunts' houses, they were gracious enough to let us borrow a ton of decorations to make our reception feel homey and lived in,” Bradi says. They wanted an intimate coffee-shop feel, so they tried to keep group seating small to facilitate conversations. “The room itself was large, so we put a layer of christmas lights up to bring our ceiling lower, helping make the space a little more intimate again.”
“We had a coffee bar with all sorts of hot drink choices,” Bradi says. “My vision for the reception was to basically create a large-scale coffee shop. I wanted the cozy, intimate feel that every body loves about them. We have the best times at weddings when we spend it with our loved ones, so I really wanted to foster the feeling of closeness and friendship.”
Vintage Sugar Stand for the Coffee Bar
Instead of serving dinner at their reception, they made their own dessert bar. Bradi’s mother made cookies and muffins and Bradi’s grandmother made her famous cinnamon rolls. Bradi and Jed also asked their friends with cake specialties to bring a small cake with them. “Our guests were able to choose from a plethora of flavors, all made by specialists,” Bradi says.
“Our entertainment was provided by all of our friends and family,” Bradi says. “Sticking with the coffee shop theme, we set up a scheduled open mic and had brothers, aunts, cousins and friends all play a set up on stage. It really created such a fun a soothing atmosphere, we have a talented community!”
Bradi and Jed First Dace
Bradi and Jed at the Nikiski Center