There’s nothing like a good wedding story to get me excited. When the wedding takes place with a beautiful pontoon in the background, that’s enough excitement to make my whole week. When I saw Nick and Kendra Pedicini’s wedding photos, I could barely stand it. This beautiful couple took their marriage vows in front of friends and family on a beach, where they used the bride’s family pontoon as the limousine for the wedding party. This beautiful wedding had an elegant feel with a price tag that didn’t break the bank. It was the prefect wedding for the couple and they incorporated a lot of things that you could do with your own wedding on your own lake.
Nick and Kendra, of Hartford, Iowa, had known each other for years because Nick was a friend of Kendra’s brother. But it never developed into anything more than a platonic friendship until both had graduated from high school. They ran into each other at a mutual friend’s party and then started dating. Five years after that, they knew their love was destined and decided to get married.
Kendra and her mother, Cheryl Rawson, started planning the big day. As with any wedding, they worked on securing the venue first, before starting on the other arrangements. They drove to Des Moines, Iowa, to look at locations.
“Nothing hit me as the place,” says Kendra.
As they were driving home, Kendra’s mom suggested a beach wedding and that got the wheels turning.
“I was concerned because Kendra has a champagne taste on a beer budget,” laughs Cheryl. “When I suggested it, I never thought she would go for it.”
But the beach wedding ended up being a perfect idea. It allowed for a lot of creativity and for the couple to display their true personalities. Kendra, along with her three siblings, had grown up on the water aboard the family’s pontoon boat.
The Only Boat For Them
You’re probably wondering what boat would be special enough to incorporate into a wedding. For the Pedicini wedding, it had to be the Rawson’s Manitou. They own an X-plode 25th anniversary edition, which is a model Manitou created in 2011 to celebrate its quarter-century mark in business. One of the top boats in the industry, this pontoon was only available for the model year and was built on top of one of the best features in the industry, the SHP V-Toon hull.
“This boat is our second Manitou,” says Cheryl. “We boat with other people with pontoons and I get on their boat and I think it’s nice, but not nearly as nice as mine. I’m not being mean, but Manitou just has a wonderful product that always looks good.”
When it was time to upgrade from their first Manitou, the family headed straight to Malone Watersports in Monroe, Iowa, to get their second Manitou and didn’t even bother to consider other brands. The couple was initially attracted to this model because of everything it had to offer. They wanted something that was comfortable and equipped with enough room for all of their family and friends. Cheryl’s husband, Ken, wanted a boat with a great stereo, speed and enough power for all the water sports the family enjoyed.
“With our first Manitou, we never had any problems, not one,” says Cheryl. “When we upgraded, there was a little incident.”
The family took their boat out on their hometown lake, Lake Red Rock, in Pella, Iowa, and had a wonderful day. The water was calm and the lake was relatively empty of bigger wake-creating vessels.
“When we loaded it, there were some damages to the side panel. We couldn’t figure it out because we hadn’t hit anything,” says Cheryl. “I contacted Manitou and they were right on it and had it fixed. In fact, they even had bigger panels put in with no questions asked. They were Johnny-on-the-spot about the entire thing.”
The family enjoys the great product Manitou offers as well as the quality of the material the manufacturer uses. The Rawsons feel the boat holds up well to wear and tear and is easy to clean at the end of the day. They are extremely happy with their investment and routinely recommend Manitou to friends and family. Sometimes, their recommendation doesn’t even come in the form of the spoken word.
“We have a Mercury 350 Verado on the back, which gets a lot of looks from speed boats when we pass them,” says Cheryl. “They look at us like, ‘Pontoons aren’t supposed to go that fast,’ especially because we have it loaded down and pass them with no problems.”
The Big Day
The wedding invitations were shaped like messages in a bottle and sent out to family and friends. The wedding was held on the shore of Lake Red Rock on June 8, 2013. The guests were provided with leis to wear as they arrived. While the guests were on the beach, the groom and the groomsmen came in by boat. The girls were already on the beach. Once the ceremony was over, the wedding party jumped on the Manitou and sailed off into the sunset.
As with any outdoor wedding, you don’t have complete control over everything.
“Of course, Red Rock flooded that year and so there wasn’t much beach,” says Kendra. “But, luckily, we had just enough.”
The Flower Girl
Nick and Kendra were blessed to be able to include their daughter Laila in the wedding party as the flower girl. Laila is growing up as a water-loving child who loves to play on the boat from early morning until the sun goes down. She’s been boating since she was six months old.
“She’s a little fish and swims like crazy,” says Kendra. “People are amazed because she’s such a natural.”
When asked what advice she gave to her daughter before her wedding, Cheryl had a simple, yet powerful message to share.
“I always tell newlyweds the same things,” says Cheryl. “Always love and laugh together.”
Boat-Friendly Wedding Tips
Some ladies love their heels, especially at weddings. But if you want to keep them from stumbling, include an information card in your invitation that lets your guests know that beach-friendly footwear is okay. Some will appreciate the permission to be more casual.
Let The Scenery Speak
Décor is important at any wedding. The great thing about getting married outdoors is that you have access to the most beautiful creation ever made. While some simple pieces, such as additional flowers, will accent what’s already there, let the scenery shine.
There is nothing worse than having to scrap your beautifully-planned ideas at the last second because of weather, but you should always have a back-up plan. Some places will let you make a small down payment on an event tent that you can cancel within 10 days of your big day. When you’re 10 days out, you can check the forecast and decide if you should move forward with the cover. Remember, a little drizzle isn’t the worst thing. In fact, it can even add a little unexpected romance.
Keep Bugs At Bay
To control insects on your wedding day, burn citronella candles throughout the space the morning of.
Pin Your Ideas
If you are planning an outdoor wedding, you need to be on Pinterest. This social media site allows you to keep track of all the great ideas that you come across. Consider keeping your wedding board private so your guests will be surprised when they arrive and not know all your plans beforehand.