Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gift Registry


We have created a compiled a registry found here on

We would like you to view our registry as more of a guideline, feel free to find the item listed in your local thrift store, rummage sale, or artisan shop!

If you can't find anything you like here, you could make a donation to the Natural Resources Defense Council or make us a homemade gift!

Thanks! See you in October!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wedding Party

Matron of Honor: Vanessa Hood

Vanessa and Jess have been friends since High School Freshman year basketball. They have stayed extremely close over the years even through long distance! Jess was lucky enough to stand up in Vanessa's wedding in May 2010 and now Vanessa will be her matron of honor! Vanessa is also creating the wedding bands for Andrew and Jess out of Andrew's Grandpa Ray's wedding band. Can't wait to see the finished product!
Bridesmaid: Kristin Persick
Kristin (or P) and Jess have been friends since the grade school bus and is now Jess' boss while Jess works in Oconomowoc for a few months! It is not unusual for P to run over to the Eskau's even while Jess isn't around, she is just one of the family. 
Bridesmaid: Jaclyn Pautz
Jaclyn and Jess met as floor mates Freshman year of college at UW-Madison and have stayed close ever since as pen pals to manage the long distance from Madison to the Oregon Coast!
Bridesmaid: Ashley Thompson
Ashley and Jess also lived together Freshman year of college, in fact Ashley was one of Jess' first college friends and has remained one of Jess' "go-to girls" for all of life's curveballs. If you need advice, she is the one to call :)
Bridesmaid: Ashley Eberle
Ashley and Jess went to highschool together but really became close when Ashley transferred from the University of Minnesota to UW-Madison and sent out a random roommate ad and Jess responded! They lived, laughed, cried, and did just about everything with each other until college graduation, and they still manage to pick up right where they left off everytime Jess moves across the country :)

Moosebeard and the Beardless Bandits! (L to R, Chris (best man/guitar-duo-sidekick),
Rodney, Will, Marty, and me)

It all started on a cold night in a warm sauna…and nine months later the moose had his
first gig! These guys are my best friends and if I were to write out all the reasons to
pick them and the appropriate stories that go with I would be here for days, so I’ll keep
it short! We started by simply jamming all night long in Fenenga Hall and soon it lead
to headlining the Ashland Folkfest and having our Northland classmates pick us over
the school hymn at graduation! We are now currently scattered all over the country but
I have no doubt that if we were all to pick up some instruments we could be right back
were we started—and that’s why they are standing up for me.

Sister of the Groom: Janelle East


So, I think I’ve been embarrassing Janelle my whole life, why would I stop now?
Anyways, there was no question when picking out who would stand up for me at the
wedding whether Janelle would be in or not, it was just a question of what do we call
her? A grooms-maid…no, grooms-lady…nah, but I digress, again. My sister is a natural
choice because not only is she my sister, but she is also a wonderful person that is a
constant source of stability and unconditional love. And she plays a killer fiddle solo…

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Guest Accomodations

Lakewoods Resort in the Winter
Our Ceremony and Reception will be held at Lakewoods Resort  October 13, 2012. The resort has a block of rooms reserved for the nights of the 12th and 13th. 

Other lodging options are the condos, which could be a great idea for a big group of people to split (2-4 bedrooms). 

Space is limited so make your reservation soon!
Just make sure to let the Lakewoods staff know you are with the Backus/East wedding to receive the wedding rate!

Our Story

Andrew and Jess met while we were working at UW-Madison's Trout Lake Research Center the summer of 2009. Andrew was working through Northland College and the Wisconsin DNR on a common loon research and monitoring project and Jess was working for UW's Center for Limnology as water chemistry sampler. Andrew had been planning a solo canoe trip around the area and Jess asked (demanded) that she join. After paddling through high waves and wading through belly button deep muck, they knew they wanted to hang out with each other a bit more. The summer ended and Andrew and Jess went back to their respective colleges to finish up their final year of school. They managed to keep dating through 300 miles distance with iChat, long drives, long bus rides, and a couple of other creative travel plans. The long distance continued for the summer of 2010 when Jess took a job in Idaho and Andrew worked another year at Trout Lake. After those seasonal jobs ended Jess and Andrew landed jobs on the same project in Oregon working with Chinook salmon! They have spent the past year and a half working on several different Fish and Wildlife seasonal projects. They lived together in two doublewides, an apartment, and a farmhouse following the seasonal work up and down the Oregon Coast.  They have now moved back to the Midwest working for the Wisconsin DNR until Jess starts grad school at Texas Tech in January.

It was Christmas at the East household on December 27th. Mixed with all the presents there was a big chunk of oak sitting under the tree with a bow on it. Andrew and Janelle played Santa and divvied out the presents and I get the chunk 'o wood.

I obviously leave the chunk o' wood to last because I was a bit confused. So when I finally get to it, Andrew takes my hand and says that this piece of oak is to be made into a mixing bowl for our kitchen. However, it will take a lot of work to make, we will have to make it together, and we will have to continuously take care of it just like a marriage and then he asked me if this could represent our marriage... and I said YES! 
Andrew had gotten this idea from an author he has been reading a lot of David James Duncan (The River Why, River Teeth, and My Story as told by Water). The chunk o' wood is currently oak, but we also have options of pine, basswood and others all of which were chosen and cut by Andrew's dad, Gene.