Ya know how couples often leave their receptions by plane and fly off into the sunset and it’s super cool and romantic but like, only happens in movies and not real life?! WELL, guess what, that’s exactly what Maddi and Ethan did! After their reception one of their best friends flew them into the sunset where they watched the sun set over the mountains as husband and wife. What!! Just a little reminder that your wedding day can be anything you want it to be! So without further ado, meet bride Maddi and hear all about her and Ethan’s Sunset Hangar Wedding! Enjoy! Xo!

Sunset Hangar Wedding

All Photo Credit: Kara Durbin Photography


My now hubby Ethan; a Colorado native, who decided to journey from home to the rolling wheat fields of Pullman, Washington to attend college at WSU, where I, a lifelong Washington gal, would be unknowingly waiting.

Valentine’s weekend of our sophomore year my sorority was having its annual “Sweetheart Formal”. Rather than bother with finding someone to take as my date, I asked my best friend to set me up with one of her boyfriend’s friends. Enter, Ethan. The night went far differently than expected; rather than take a few pictures and eventually leave, we ended up glued to each others’ sides all night. He was charming, funny, and incredibly handsome. I think we both knew then that we had something special, as we’ve been together ever since.

Sunset Hangar Wedding

Sunset Hangar Wedding


Sunset Hangar Wedding

Sunset Hangar Wedding


Sunset Hangar Wedding


As one would imagine after dating for 6 years, living together for almost 3, and watching many of our friends start to get married I‘d begun to get a little antsy on the topic of a proposal.

During a road trip to Colorado to visit family for Christmas, Ethan and I discussed getting married and when we thought it may happen. Ethan literally said “I know you’re antsy, but I’m just not there yet. I’m working on it”. That’s the last lie he’ll ever tell me, because the remainder of that trip he spent secretly announcing to his friends and family that he’d be proposing when we got back to Washington.

My suspicions started when Ethan casually stated he’d be taking me out to dinner on New Year’s Eve before heading to a party with friends, but wouldn’t tell me where. Not a dead giveaway, because he often will surprise me with fun dinners (I can always be distracted with good food). This did not stop me from concocting a whole scenario in my head about how he was going to pop the question that night.

Fast forward to Tegaris Winery, New Year’s Eve 2017. About half way through dinner I’d given up the fantasy he was going to propose and admitted “I kind of thought you might propose tonight”. His response, of course, “why would you have thought that? You know we talked about waiting a while longer.” From there, Ethan says he could see me visibly relax.

Regardless of our declining desert the waiter made made his way back to our table with a plate of rose petals and a card. At this point, I knew, but was so shocked I stupidly blurted out “is this going to make me cry?” Ethan laughed and replied, “probably”. I opened the card and read

“I have loved you for 2,148 days; that’s 51,552 hours,
3,093,120 minutes, or 185,582,200 seconds.

And I promise to continue to love you with all of my heart
for every day, hour, minute, and second for the rest of my life.”

When I looked up, Ethan was next to the table on one knee with the most beautiful ring in his hand. I don’t think I even let him say “will you marry me?” before I was in his lap weeping and laughing.

Sunset Hangar Wedding


The day began in the wee hours, rallying all my girls (9 bridesmaids takes quite a production to doll up) at my parents’ house to get ready. This was the perfect kickoff as many of these gals had spent glam sessions for high school dances and pre-football face painting in that same house. The Groomsmen had a much more leisurely, but I’m sure equally as fun, morning just a few country blocks away.

After a “first look” with my dad in their back yard, he helped me into a jeep with the top down to cruise to the venue. It was a much needed quiet moment; wind in our hair, singing at the top of our lungs to Garth Brooks just as we had spent every car ride of my childhood. When I say “venue” I mean an airplane hangar at my little hometown airport where my dad made his lifelong dream of being a pilot a reality. A completely industrial space that we had all the opportunity to create whatever we wanted. My mom and I made most of the decor ourselves with much help from friends and family, and my dad welded the arch for an “industrial flare”. After a small hiccup in that we’d forgotten to leave a car for Ethan to get to the venue, he arrived for our first look. Looking as handsome as I’ve ever seen a man. We read letters to each other filled with all the sentimental things that’d surely send me into a complete emotional episode if we’d read them in front of everyone.

Sunset Hangar Wedding Sunset Hangar WeddingSunset Hangar WeddingSunset Hangar Wedding


Sunset Hangar Wedding

Sunset Hangar Wedding


Sunset Hangar Wedding Sunset Hangar Wedding Sunset Hangar Wedding


After a whirlwind of photos and brief hellos to early guests began my favorite part of the day – the ceremony. In the month prior, Ethan and I had talked about what features of our relationship are most important to us, and created our vows based on them. Officiated flawlessly by one of our mutual college friends, we recited the following promises

1. To value one another as equals
2. To practice the patience that love demands
3. To be loving, kind, and comforting in good times and bad
4. To grow together with respect for the other’s
individual fears, desires, and dreams

And in the way we wrote them, I think, we created a 5th – to not take ourselves too seriously. Because they were funny; full of jokes about our golf game, Ethan’s 9 fantasy football teams, and how to treat each other when we’re hangry.

The rest of the evening was as fun and flawless as it possible could have been. After dinner, speeches, and dances one of our best family friends literally flew us into the sunset where got to see the sun setting over the mountains, a full moon, and what our wedding looked like from above. It was utterly perfect. We then of course came back to enjoy the rest of the party!

Sunset Hangar Wedding

Sunset Hangar WeddingSunset Hangar Wedding Sunset Hangar Wedding Sunset Hangar Wedding


Book your photographer and videographer first (prioritize budgeting in a videographer, I PROMISE its worth it). You spend your whole day with them, so make sure you plan enough ahead to get who you want and are comfortable with. Take a minute. To just sit with each other and observe the party, its truly something to behold. If doing a “desert table” put out a little sign politely asking guests to refrain from snacking until the couple has cut the cake. This way its not picked over by the time you are taking cake pictures.

Sunset Hangar Wedding


Photographer – Kara Durbin Photgraphy
Videographer – Bèl Zèv Films
Catering – Bon Vino’s Bistro and Bakery
Wedding Planner – Bliss Events
DJ – Eric Riel & Resonance DJ
Band – The Knutzen Brothers
Lettering – Lauren Scott
Desert Table – Layered Cake Artistry
Decor Rentals – Sash Weddings
Photo Booth – The Snap Shack

Better than the movies, right?! We love Maddi and Ethan’s love story and wish them nothing but the best. If you want your special day featured too, click HERE! Xo!