Jana & James

May 22, 2021

Bride’s name: Jana D. Weltzin

Groom’s name: James W. Stevens

How they met: “We actually met in Vegas,” says Jana. “I was born and raised in Alaska, but had left for college and law school, and then was planning on moving to Anchorage. While at a convention in Vegas, I was roaming the conference floor when this handsome man at a booth was trying to get my attention. He introduced himself and asked who I was and what I did. I explained I was a lawyer and planned on moving to Anchorage, Alaska, and he replied, ‘Oh really … I live in Anchorage.’”

Number of guests: About 230

Wedding colors: Gold and sunset orange

Unique and special aspects of the day: “The day could not have been more perfect: the wind settled, the clouds disappeared and revealed the most stunning blue; it was perfectly warm and calm — which was great, because I was nervous and I am sure James was too,” says Jana. “The ocean was beautifully blue and shimmering – not a white cap in sight. The most special aspect was the overwhelming amount of love we felt from each other and all of our friends and family that helped have the most memorable wedding ever. Our pups, Avy and Arctos, were ‘Ring Bearers’ and seeing them in their little cute groomsmen outfits troop down the aisle was beyond adorable. My two favorite parts of the day were exchanging the vows we wrote for each other and the speeches given by both our dads, our best friends and my big sister. It was perfect.”

Most memorable moment…

For her: “Our first look. Seeing James' profile set against the ocean backdrop and knowing I get to spend the rest of my life with this man filled me up with peace and took away all my anxious feelings.” Another special moment for Jana was the couple’s first dance: “We did not have a chance to practice dancing to it before our wedding day – not even one time – but we love dancing together and had so much fun; we nailed it. People kept asking us how long we worked on our dance; they thought we had choreographed it!”

For him: “The moment I turned around and saw Jana sparkling in the sunshine for our first look. She glowed, and she looked so happy. As soon as I saw her, the butterflies flew away and I felt so much love and excitement towards her and our forever future.”

Funniest moment: “It had to be the dance off between James' brother-in-law Dan and James and myself. James' sisters are a lot older than him, so Dan is like an old school cowboy type of guy. He had on a red leather tux and a cowboy hat. Dan wanted just one dance with the bride, and James swooped me away, and then the two of them had an epic dance off; it was legendary.”

Three words that best describe the day: “Magical, chaos, perfection”

If they had the chance to do it again, what they would do differently: “I would want to be more mindful of the moments and the fact that it’s going to work out wonderfully, even if every little detail doesn’t go as planned.”

Best advice for a couple planning their wedding: “I was definitely super glad we had a wedding planner. If we didn’t have her for our day, it would've been uber stressful.”

Photography: Joshua Veldstra Photography • Videography: Laura Roberts • Ceremony & reception: Second Star Mansion • Cake: Alaska Wedding Cake Boutique • Catering: Main Event Catering • Wedding rings: Ben Bridge Jeweler • Wedding coordinator: AKhappenings • Flowers: East Hill Floral; Maclovia Alvila • Bride's dress: Maggie Sottero gown • Bridesmaids' dresses: Jenny Yoo • Groom's & groomsmen’s formal wear: Men's Wearhouse • Hair: Hannah Rees (bride); Salon Demetri (bridesmaids) • Makeup: Salon Demetri • Officiant: Mr. Dale Fox • Entertainment & music: Woodrow Band • Bride/groom’s wedding night accommodations: Second Star Bridal Suite • Guest accommodations: Second Star Mansion; Land’s End Resort • Honeymoon destination: Europe

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