Drew Gregory 28/01/2016 | Posted in Coosa HD, Drew Gregory, Fishing, Fishing Subjects, Freshwater Fishing, Hooked on Wild Waters, Internationalization, United States
One of the things I love most about Jackson Kayak is the fact that we simply do things the Jackson Kayak way. What that essentially means is that the company takes on the personality of our founder and president Eric Jackson, who decided at a young age he would kayak for a living, despite people telling him that it can’t be done. He proved the naysayers wrong by making it happen and doing it “his way.” Most would agree I share a similar story and philosophy on life; I believe anything is possible, and even if it isn’t, I’d rather try and fail, than to never try at all. I don’t want to be sitting on my front porch when I’m 75 saying, “I wish I had done this or that.” Sometimes you just have to do things your way and stop caring about what others think because, after all, it’s your life that God has given you to enjoy!
Recently, my wife Cristina and I were able to take some of that Jackson Kayak “our way” attitude and instill it into our Charleston, SC wedding. We we said to ourselves, “Selves, this is our wedding, and if some of the things that happen at weddings aren’t our style, then let’s just not do them!” We threw out a lot of typical things, including the cake cutting, bouquet toss, and we even nixed the traditional “here comes the bride” song too! We decided what was important and meaningful to us, ways we could personalize the day, and overall just hoped everyone would enjoy it as much as we knew we would!
“Our way” included a waterfront ceremony (of course) on a golf course (again, of course) with a unique guest book that happened to be a couple of beautiful wooden Bending Branches paddles! There was a very woodsy and outdoorsy feel to the entire event, thanks to Cristina’s grandmother who did an amazing job with the decorations.
Of course, I had a plan to incorporate kayak fishing into the ceremony, which surprises no one reading this, I’m sure. I wanted to fish and paddle my way into the ceremony, but the fear of something going wrong (basically me falling in) almost made me scratch this idea. Ok, it was more about not wanting to upset my bride by doing something as ridiculous as falling into the water right before one of the most important days in our lives! Reluctantly, I had to admit it was a valid point to consider. However, on the day of our rehearsal, I noticed that the tide was going to be at its highest point during our wedding! This had me excited because it made the tall sea wall easy to step onto from my Coosa HD, rather than awkwardly climbing up and over or trying to use a ladder. Once I was able to get onto the sea wall, it was just a few steps until I was literally at the altar. It was perfect!
During the actual wedding day, we were super blessed to have sunny 68 degree weather at the venue, Dunes West Golf Club. I had a case of the good kind of nerves, similar to how I feel before a kayak fishing trip, but just a lot more amplified, of course! Ten minutes before the ceremony, I hopped into my Jackson Kayak Coosa HD, waiting until my groomsmen began walking in so I could time my paddle to arrive when they did. Of course, I had about ten minutes to kill and in my flush mount rod holders behind me, I noticed I had my 13 fishing rod and reel in my kayak with a nice looking Z-MAN PogeyZ tied on. I did what any one of you would have done – started fishing! I could see all the wedding guests that were arriving or in their seats looking over, laughing and taking pictures and saying, “Is that Drew out there fishing?”
Sad to say that I didn’t get a bite in those 10 minutes before the wedding, but I clearly ended the day with a keeper for life in Cristina, so I wasn’t too upset about getting skunked on the water. I put down my rod and started to paddle into the ceremony when I saw my guys beginning to walk in. My dad, Lewis, and fellow Jackson Kayak team member, Brooks Beatty, met me at the sea wall and helped me up onto dry land. All those that knew me agreed it was a perfectly fitting entrance!
From there, my father performed a fun and personal ceremony, without too many more fishing analogies! It truly felt like a dream to Cristina and I while standing at the alter because everything was simply perfect. We had an amazing dinner, a super fun reception, we danced the night away! Months later, I’m still being asked, “What would you have done if you had hooked up with a fish in your suit before your wedding?” Is this a real question? No respectable angler would have cut the line or let the fish shake loose!
Thanks to all who supported both Cristina and I during this amazing time in our lives. We were very glad to have included our personality and like Jackson Kayak, do it “our way.” We look forward to seeing as many kayak fishing fans as possible this year as we travel around sharing the Jackson Kayak philosophy via trade shows, seminars, River Bassin’ Tournaments and online, via the Hooked on Wild Waters YouTube Channel and show!