Tying the "nautical knot" takes on new meaning when it includes being married on the Shawnodese, a 43 foot boat built by Captain Curtis Pearson. There is no more beautiful backdrop or cathedral than Idaho's largest and most scenic lake, Lake Pend Oreille. Of course, being married on a boat has its drawbacks. Such as the time the Maid of Honor accidentally dropped the groom's wedding ring into 300 feet of water right before the ceremony. Or another time when the bride had made a special CD with the perfect music processional that had great meaning to her and her fiance. She dropped it off in advance to the office, but on the day of the big event, the CD somehow did not make it on the boat. A frantic First Mate calls the office from the middle of the lake and says "Where's the music?" It took some last minute scrambling, but the office manager's teenage son hopped on his jet ski and personally delivered the CD just in time for the processional. One of the more hilarious memories was the time when the Captain and First Mate's friend, Bonnie, was celebrating her 40th birthday on board. Lots of friends were invited to partake in the celebration. The boat was decorated for the party, but there were some "left over" decorations on the boat from an "earlier wedding on the boat right before the party". There simply was not enough time to take the Wedding Arch & entwined floral arrangements off the boat. Half way through the party, Bonnie and her boyfriend, Rob, disappeared below. Lots of giggling was going on as everyone was talking about how long both of them had been in the "Head" together. At the appropriate moment, the passengers were told to be quiet for a moment, the Captain had an announcement. Romantic music started and up the steps from below come Bonnie & Rob all decked out in wedding attire. There was a scream and lots of laughter and joy when everyone realized that they had been duped into attending Bonnie & Rob's wedding instead of just a birthday party. Captain Curtis proceeded to marry them while a videographer filmed the nuptials. There were many tears and hugs at the end of the ceremony, until the Captain said he had one more announcement. He then proceeded to tell everyone they had been duped for real-that the wedding was a setup for a commercial to be aired on television. The wedding wasn't for real. It should have been April instead of June as it was actually quite an "April Fools joke". Everyone laughed about it and toasted the couple anyway. By the way, in October, Bonnie & Rob tied the knot for real on the Shawnodese. Not all of the Shawnodese weddings have been so unusual, but certainly one of the most romantic weddings was the time a couple from Minnesota called up in the Spring on a cold and cloudy day and asked if they could make arrangements to be married on the boat. "Of course," said the First Mate. "When would you like to charter the boat". "Today", they responded. Normally, brides call months in advance, so this was highly unusual. Fortunately, the Captain was located and just the couple, Captain, First Mate, and Second Mate Willy (the dog), headed out of Hope. There were no wedding guests - just a couple very much in love passing through the area who decided to tie the knot on the spur of the moment. They took shelter behind Memaloose Island because of the high winds. The weather was rather nasty. But the bride held lilacs she had picked from along side the highway and she looked radiant. Just as the ceremony began, the clouds parted, the sun shone for a few brief moments, the wind died, and an osprey flew over head and landed on a branch to observe the proceedings. It was a magical wedding indeed. Such are the ways of being married on a boat on beautiful Lake Pend Oreille. One never knows for sure what the moment will bring. But you can be sure that memories will be made for a lifetime.