Venue availability and a limited budget were two rigid factors Kristin Siter could not ignore while planning her wedding.
Surprisingly, it led to what Siter’s husband, Brent Tri, said was an ideal location for the couple.
Strings of purple and white paper hearts, bulging flowers and handmade garland, crafted from scratch by Siter, adorned the exterior of the Kenai Peninsula College residence hall multipurpose room, its wide doors agape to house the 100 expected attendees.
It will be a first for the 1-year-old residence hall, said Kenai Peninsula College Associate Director of Residence Life Tammie Willis.
In fact, it will be the first wedding Willis has seen a residence hall host in her 15-year career in residence life.
Tri said it was fresh and new, and that suited them.
Siter was her own planner for the wedding, Tri said. The pair enlisted a troupe of family and friends to set up the red and white vintage-themed celebration, he said.
Renting the space cost less than $100, Siter said. Her first wedding at the Kenai Senior Center had run over $500, she said.
The couple met online two years ago, Siter said. The relationship began at a slow pace.
“We didn’t kiss or hold hands for the first month,” Siter said.
Early on Siter and Tri discovered they had very significant interests and life experiences in common in addition to their mutual Christian faith.
Siter has a daughter, Angel Sisneros, 6, and Tri a son, Bryson Tri, 5.
Siter and Tri agreed they didn’t want to drag their children through the throes of dating.
Six months later, however, the couple was engaged, and their children getting along like “two peas in a pod,” Siter said.
Last November, at the Kenai Courthouse, the four stood together and Siter and Tri officially tied the knot.
The ceremony at KPC is more of a chance to make vows to Bryson and Angel promising that the union is permanent, in front of the entire family Tri said.
In the planning process the family had to address whether or not it would be a dry reception, Siter said. Fortunately, KPC already had the answer.
No alcohol is allowed on the KPC campus, Siter said — which was fine as Tri, who is a recovering alcoholic, would have friends attending from his recovery program, she said.
Tri however has no problem being around a drink, but Siter said it worked out well to adhere to the policy KPC had set in place.
Willis said the only prerequisites for hosting events at the residence hall are that the individual or group has some connection to the school, or it is for educational purposes.
Tri said they received nothing but help while setting up for the event.
“I would rather save the money for the honeymoon,” Siter said. “We are going to Hawaii in December.”
Kelly Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.