Mr. & Mr. Orizotti

Think about some of your best friends and try to remember the first time you met them (go ahead, I’ll wait)…   It's kind of hard right!? Well I can remember the exact MOMENT I met Tyler Orizotti. I was standing on the railing of the bar at Sluggers around 11AM on a Saturday in November (feel free to stop judging me at any point) watching the Montana football rival Cat/Griz game (Go Griz!) and saw him walk up through the crowd. Granted, I knew I was going to meet him that day. His sister Kelsey & brother-in-law Tyler (yes, two Tylers) are dear, dear friends of mine who both went to the University of Montana and they told me he was coming to the bar. I had been hearing all of these great things about this Tyler, but we had never met. Well, boy howdy, let me tell ya! We locked eyes and instantly just started smiling and giggling and I’m pretty sure I said something to the effect of, “Did we just become best friends!?"  I mean, you meet new people all the time, but sometimes you just know in an instant when you meet someone that they are going to play a major role in your life foreva eva!

That was nearly 8 years ago! Fast forward to two and half years ago when Tyler met me for a suit fitting for a Get Hitched Give Hope model shoot (yes, he is as pretty as he is nice)…  After the fitting we had a beer (no shocker there) and he told me alllllll about his first date with Brandon. Brandon worked with his sister Kylie and she set them up!  (To be clear, Tyler has three sisters- Kelsey, Katie and Kylie. The joke is that I’m the fourth sister, kinda like Kris Jenner thinks she’s the fourth Kardashian. It’s a thing.)

Anywho, Tyler was absolutely smitten at first date!! And luckily for him, so was Brandon. By the way, I also remember meeting Brandon for the first time… I ran into his arms at a bar outside of the Mariner’s game (I’m sensing a pattern here). I’d been waiting for weeks to meet him and he did not disappoint  :)

Brandon & Tyler did an engagement shoot (yeah yeah yeah, they are BOTH handsome model types, groooaaaan) for Wedding Paper Divas where they wore rings from Sholdt Jewelry. Later Brandon went back to Sholdt and bought rings for he and Tyler to propose with. Which he did one year after their first date. Aaaawww!!

Cut to exactly one year after that and bam, they are married!! The two wed at Sodo Park and it could not have been more wonderful!! Get ready to become as obsessed with them as I am in 3... 2...  (but, like, back off 'cause they're mine!)

Aren't they the most handsome duo ever?!

They wanted an elegant affair with a masculine feel, and I think we really accomplished this. They incorporated jewel tones of navy, hunter green, gold, and burgundy, which paired perfectly with the natural wood of Sodo Park.  

Molly Jackson of En Fleur killed it with the flowers and decor and really amplified the color scheme. She also incorporated a lot of foliage and ferns in her arrangements, and used a ton of candles – so gorg!!

Tyler’s best friend Liz was a groomsmaid and her father Bill officiated the wedding. Throughout the ceremony he rotated between moving everyone to tears and sending us all into fits of laughter. It was like he was cracking jokes while chopping onions, everyone was a mess one way or another!

After the ceremony, we transformed Sodo Park into an equally as dreamy reception space for dinner and dancing. The lush floral and foliage centerpieces and table runners were AMAZING and we added in even more candles and lights, some more jewel tones, and some metallics and BAM! I think we outdid ourselves.

Brandon was my Get Hitched Give Hope bidding buddy at the 2016 gala and he won their wedding cake at the auction!! Karolina of Lilac Cake Boutique knocked it out of the park with her three tiered cakes (yes, plural!). Those ferns you see on the cake? Yeah, they're sugar! So amazing!

Guests dined family style enjoying beef tenderloin, seared cod, thyme crusted chicken breast, and gnocchi while Tyler & Brandon’s siblings entertained the crowd with funny speeches & heartfelt toasts.

I’ve actually known some of the Orizotti family since high school (there are a lot of them out there!), so I knew this party was going to be a good time no matter what. But man, when you get a room full of people from Butte, MT and an open bar – watch out dance floor! They’re coming for you!! DJ Kryspin played hit after hit and soon it was a sweaty mess out there, just as any awesome dance party should be!! 

It's one thing to be super happy for a close friend when they get married, but to then enjoy their husband just as much, is icing on the cake!! Thank you for letting me be a part of your wedding! I love you big time Brandon and I’m so happy to have you as a part of the family! Love, your 4th sister!!  ;)

*As seen in the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of Seattle Met Bride and Groom

As always, I couldn't do what I do without the help of my amazing team of vendors! Y'all killed it and I couldn't be more proud of our work on this one. Thank you all!

Venue + Catering- Sodo Park & Herban Feast

Photographer- Katie Parra Photography 

Florist- En Fleur Floral Design

DJ- Kryspin Music

Dessert- Lilac Cake Boutique

Rentals- Rented Elegance +Pedersen's Rentals

Holly & Kristian: The Fisherman and Wedding Planner

The very first time I met Holly Patton was at a Get Hitched Give Hope event team meeting back in 2011! We were on the GHGH Events Team together for five years! And if you know anything about Get Hitched Give Hope, you can imagine how many hours we spent together planning these amazing charity galas year after year. First, as colleagues, but after just a short time, as friends. That’s right, Holly is a wedding planner too! She is the owner of very fabulous and award winning, Perfectly Posh Events! So what do you do when you are a wedding planner and are getting married!? You hire a day of coordinator so you don’t have to stress about anything on your wedding day!! Or in Holly’s case… you win one! Uh huh, Holly won my day of wedding package at Get Hitched Give Hope during the silent auction!! For those of you who aren't familiar with the GHGH catch phrase, it's “Get gorgeous goods, while giving back"… That’s right you guys, I’M THE GORGEOUS GOODS! Haha! But in all seriousness, I felt honored that she would choose me and put her trust in my hands for her own wedding day.

I have to say, the one super nice thing about having a wedding planner as a client is that they are beyond organized! My work here was not tough people! And I got to see a ton of awesome vendors at the dance party!! Bonus!

Holly is the uber feminine girly girl who wears dresses and heels on the reg. I mean, her company is called Perfectly Posh and she fits the name to a T! Now let’s cut to Kristian. He is the quintessential guy's, guy. He’s a skier, golfer, and a fisherman. But like actually a legit fisherman. As in, he is in Alaska half of the year on a commercial boat. So these two together are the best version of opposites attract. But on their wedding day, they couldn’t have been better as one. She was the happiest I had ever seen her and he looked at her like she was the most gorgeous bride on the planet. And everyone at the wedding could see it. It was amazing.

Of course, being that it was a major wedding planner's wedding, it had to be the ‘STORM OF THE YEAR’ in Seattle… The news made it sound like Armageddon was coming! Between the DJ, the venue, and myself we had multiple calls about renting generators, getting extra candles, umbrellas- the whole nine yards! Luckily the power stayed on all day. It rained, even poured, but we were ready for it!

Anne Bradfield of Floressence did the flowers and homegirl crushed it! The ceremony backdrop with the wine barrels was beyond phenomenal!! She added foliage and flowers to the chairs on the aisles, which turned into to the chairs for the head table. Pair that with the lights from Vintage Ambiance and the aisle was gorgeous!

Following the ceremony, we transformed the ballroom into a stunning dinner setting! Holly created a beautiful design and it was truly a show stopper when the doors were reopened for guests!

Holly’s dad, Terry, owns Espresso Elegance, so of course there were a few coffee carts in the mix with their ‘signature coffees.' And talk about desserts! There were macarons during cocktail hour if you needed a sugar boost, 7 (!!!) cakes from Met Market, a surprise ski themed cake for Kristian from BAKED. and a late night popcorn bar with sweet and savory flavors! Kristian proposed with a ring in Holly’s popcorn bowl so it was only fitting that they enjoy some on their wedding day as well!

Guests were entertained all night with miniature golf, a photobooth, and a packed dance floor courtesy of Austin Beaver! One surprise that Holly definitely didn’t see coming was when a team of our fellow vendors made a grand entrance to her favorite song, "Baby, Baby" by Amy Grant (Yes, you read that correctly, that is her fav song) with a parade of pink dolphin balloons! When Holly was little her favorite color was pink and her favorite animal was a dolphin and she always thought it would be so great to have a pink dolphin themed wedding. Well Holly, here's proof that dreams really do come true!!  ;)

Thank you for letting me be a part of your wedding day my friend!! Cheers to you & Kristian!! 

**As seen in the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of Seattle Bride Magazine

A special thank you to all of the vendors who helped me pull off a wedding perfect enough for a wedding planner! You guys rock!

Venue + Catering- The Foundry by Herban Feast

Photography- Lucas Mobley Photography

Florist- Floressence

Music + Lighting- Austin Beaver

Rentals- CORT Party Rental Vintage Ambiance

Coffee Service- Espresso Elegance

Hair + Makeup- Off White Makeup & Beauty

Dessert- Metropolitan Market + Little Squirrel Bakery + BAKED

Late Night Food Cart- Dante’s Inferno Dogs

Transportation- Butler SeattleBritish Motor Coach

Entertainment- West Coast EntertainmentGolf to Go

Nanny Service- A Nanny for U

And a GIANT thank you to Megan Keller of A Kurant Event for being my right hand gal & secret back stage dance partner the day of the wedding!!! #themegans strike again!

Dress to Impress: Arrive in Style this Wedding Season

Well hello again! As I type this, the sun is finally shining in Seattle (we missed you!) and I am officially entering Ultimate Wedding Season 2017!  I am so pumped for the next few months with some amazing couples! 

In addition to the weddings I'll be planning and coordinating, I'll also be attending a few as a guest, as I'm sure many of you will be as well. This is why leading into wedding season this year, I've partnered with The Black Tux, my go-to recommendation for my client's suit and tux rentals. Think of them as Rent the Runway for men! Their very fashionable collection of suits and tuxes always keep my grooms and groomsmen (and sometimes even guests!) looking sharp on the big day. They have recently put out a wedding guest style guide called Dress to Impress, a resource that's honestly going to be a lifesaver for both me and the hubs when it comes to putting together an outfit!

I've included their super helpful style guide below, which includes on-point guidelines ranging from casual (but not too casual) to white tie (the most formal type of formal) events.

Obviously it is ALWAYS better to be overdressed than underdressed, but hopefully their guide can help you be right on point so you can feel comfortable and enjoy the night! 

Whether the event is semiformal, beach formal, or black tie, The Black Tux (my every day #TBT) has got your back. Now you'll be ready for your photo ops from ceremony to reception all wedding season long!



Jake & Jennie: The Perfect Fit

Meet Jake and Jennie! Jake and I have been close friends for over 10 years. The first night I met him, he bought me a beer at the bar and I was immediately sold on his character. It doesn’t take much people! We are the kind of friends who camp and travel together, played softball on the same team for years, and believe it or not, Jake was even the flower man at my wedding!  A 6' 3", 30 year old flower man dropping those petals like it was hot - it was hilarious!

Jake met Jennie at a mutual friend's birthday party and we were there. I literally saw them meet, which I think is super cool! It wasn’t long before Jennie was joining us on the softball field, and camping and traveling with us as well. Jennie is the soft-spoken yogi to Jake’s loud karaoke charisma. They just fit together.

Their ceremony and reception took place at Woodland Meadow Farms in Snohomish and I just fell in love with the dreamy background setting. From flower fields to wooded areas to horse pastures-- it was gorgeous! 

Jake’s good friend Colin was the officiant for the wedding. Jake was his wedding officiant a few years prior, so it was very full circle. Also, Colin’s cousin Molly of En Fleur did the stunning flower arrangements (she's another good friend of mine) so this was a family affair!

Though It rained throughout most of the morning, it luckily cleared up just in time for the ceremony! And the cloudy day provided amazing lighting for photos, not to mention the rainbow that appeared and was on display after dinner for guests to snap pictures in front of!

As they left the ceremony, the newly married couple literally rang a wedding bell! How cool.

One of Jennie’s bridesmaids made these large wooden signs, seating charts, and guest book as a gift to the bride & groom. This added personal touch created the perfect entrance to the reception tent and looked so cute!

Dinner was a BBQ buffet and it was so awesome and delicious! Guests really enjoyed the laid back, casual vibe of everything and the whole reception was so fun and relaxed. As an added bonus, Jennie put together these adorable homemade cookie kits as guest favors and everyone loved them!

By the time dinner ended, it was clear that everyone was ready to party and that the dance floor was packed the entire night! Everyone went absolutely NUTS for the dessert bar from The Sweet Side (understandable-- it was delish!), but guests with a late night sweet tooth were also able to make s'mores by the fire! How fun! 

I've never seen Jennie look so beautiful or Jake look so handsome! Ahhh love-- it's the best! And it was truly SO FUN seeing these two make it official. I love being a part of my friend's wedding days and making their dreams come true! Congrats you two!

I couldn't have done it without the amazing team below. Thank you all for being so awesomesauce!!

Venue- Woodland Meadow Farms

Staffing- Bartenders Extraordinaire

Photography- Katie Parra

Florist + Rentals- En Fleur Floral Design

DJ- Integral DJs

Dessert- The Sweet Side

Transportation- Shuttle Express

Hair + Makeup- Lindsay Martz

I Do Sodo Wedding Tour: Hex Sells!

Part of my job as a wedding planner is being able to take my clients' ideas and bring them to life for them. I love taking the vision they have and putting it on a table or creating their perfect ceremony design. But it's usually their ideas and vision that I am executing. Of course, I add my suggestions and thoughts, but I want their wedding to be totally “them.” So it is very rare that I get full design control over a ceremony & reception.

This is one of the many reasons why I was so excited to be asked to be a planner at the second I Do Sodo Wedding Tour! As a planner, you get assigned a fabulous venue in the Sodo District and then you get to build a team of vendors around a design at your space. My task was to create an urban chic party at Canvas Event Space where you can experience some of the best vendors in Seattle and leave with some inspiration for your wedding! Canvas is a large, modern event space that's perfect to party in! It is a blank canvas – pun intended – to create any design that you want.

The hexagon theme came to light when I was in San Diego at Better Buzz Coffee and they had the cutest hexagon tile floor! That was last June when there wasn’t a hexagon wedding to be found. Then it just so happened that the geometric shape blew up! By the time February rolled around I was perfectly on trend. Maybe I should start doubling as a trend forecaster?

Once I had the idea of using hexagons, I knew I wanted to build a custom piece for the ceremony backdrop. I cut out the over 100 12” diameter MDF boards with my husband and dad in my parents' garage in Montana over Thanksgiving. Then I painted them black and white and combined two 4x8’ plywood boards for the background and painted them metallic copper. Then I used a brad gun (like a boss) to secure the hexagons on the plywood. I attached the base of the backdrop onsite at Canvas so that I was able to actually move it. And yes, it is as heavy as it looks! It was the first thing I’ve ever built (and it will be my last), BUT I loved how it turned out!! And it served as a fun photo backdrop for guests to partake in thanks to The Snap Bar. I donated it to the venue if you want to rent it from Canvas! It already has a few dates to be rented out – I’m pumped people liked it so much!

I am loving that copper is the new ‘metallic’ on trend, so I incorporated it in the paper goods, escort card holders, and votives, and I had a few custom wood pieces painted copper as well. I added a few brass, gold, and rose gold pieces as well to create a warm mixed metal vibe. I wanted to keep it simple, so adding it to the black and white color palette was just what I had in mind. 

I put together a PHENOMENAL team of vendors to help achieve the vision for the event. Each vendor is crazy talented, friendly, professional & fun! And they let me do some crazy things like, put a car inside of Canvas (thanks British Motor Coach), use ridiculous names for our table settings (Barack Obama and Ryan Reynolds, for example. Their invitations must have gotten lost in the mail!), and put a gorgeous model in a two-piece gown with a black leather jacket and a floral cuff.

Katie Parra captured the event beautifully and was able to showcase each vendor who worked on it and how everyone's details came together perfectly. A full list is below… I hope you enjoyed the show!

Venue- Canvas Event Space

Photography- Katie Parra

Florist- Bash & Bloom

Catering- Ravishing Radish

Dessert- The Sweet Side

Stationary- Dahlia Press

DJ + Lighting- DJ Kryspin

Rentals- Pedersen's Event Rentals

Attire- BHLDN

Hair + Makeup- Yessie Libby

Jewelry- Sholdt Design

Photo Booth- The Snap Bar

Transportation- British Motor Coach

Coat Check- Yo! Check it!


Tom & Jen's Home Run

Jen&Tom 21.jpg

I'm not sure y'all are ready for something this beautiful, but let's give it a go! Meet Tom and Jen! Before I give you the scoop on these gorgeous humans, let's all just admire how stunning they are, shall we? 

Ok, still with me? Great! Well let's see, I met Tom about 8 years ago on... the softball field. I was the captain for my team, Here for the Beer (we are the BEST), and Tom was the pitcher for our softball (read: beer drinking) rival, Sunday Delight. Obviously we talked a massive amount of s%#! to one another over many cheap beers, but it was all in good fun.

I can remember when Jen started coming to the games and we were all SO PUMPED for Tom. He is just THE NICEST, and we were so excited for him to have an awesome girlfriend like Jen. We were even more excited when these two got engaged! So can you imagine my utter elation when they asked me to be their wedding coordinator! Lucky me!!

This is truly a couple that you just really want to be around. They are so genuine and just good, good people. They must have built up a ton of good karma over the years because they had the most gorgeous, sunny, and warm weather for their November nuptials at the Fremont Foundry.

I love their very sweet first look photos. Also, that dress!

Crimson Haze really knocked this one out of the park (see what I did there?) with their lighting effects. They projected this cathedral window lighting display inside of the Fremont Foundry during the ceremony, which was beyond awesome! Tell me those don't look like real windows?!

Before the wedding, Jen took calligraphy lessons from Letters by Ellen and got really good at it. She hand wrote all of these marble hexagon coasters, which served as table assignments for all of their guests!

They went with a very simple table design, with luxurious navy table linens and tapered candles. This along with the lighting in the ceiling provided a very intimate, romantic feel in the room.

Crimson Haze was at it again at the reception. They projected this giant chandelier on the wall, which was such a special touch to the room for dinner and dancing.

Tom and Jen had a choreographed first dance, and they were really awesome! They took lessons leading up to the wedding (I LOVE it when couples do this- so cute!) and they were definitely ready to show off their moves to all their family and friends!

Then it was time for the father-daughter dance. Jen's dad does NOT dance, and he could barely eat beforehand because he was so nervous for it. But let me tell you, he CAN dance. In fact, he KILLED IT!! The crowd went wild for him- it was awesome.

Then it was time for everyone to party! The Nines rocked it out all night, while guests had an EPIC dance party. You know it's a good time when there's a conga line involved!

This one was so super fun and personal for me! It's always fun to be involved with a friend's wedding and be able to make their big day as perfect as possible. We truly had a blast and I couldn't have done it without this all star team in my lineup. Thank you all for everything! Cheers!

Venue + Bar- Fremont Foundry

Catering- Ravishing Radish

Photography- JordanQuinn Photography

Band- The Nines

Lighting- Crimson Haze

Hair + Makeup- Salon Maison

Davey & Becca's Ra Ra Romance

Hello friends! Meet Becca and Davey - they are so beautiful, I can barely handle it! This rad duo got hitched last August and I was lucky enough to be a part of their big day. These two are rockstars, literally- Becca is the violinist for the band RA RA RIOT and Davey is the drummer for Modest Mouse. Plus in addition to being awesome musicians, they own their own super cool soap company, ASH SOAP! It is amazing stuff - you should check it out! These two are obviously incredibly hip, just like their wedding.

As usual in Seattle, Mother Nature was being super sketchy on the morning of, but we decided to roll the dice and risk the rain. We ended up canceling the tent as it was being loaded into the truck, so of course it rained ALL morning! But by the time guests arrived, the skies had cleared and the rain thankfully stayed away for the rest of the day. Phew! 

pre ceremony rain.jpg

These two were SUPER casual about the whole day. They strung the outside lights together the day before and then they hung out together the morning of. They walked through the neighborhood before the ceremony so JennyJ could snap some sweet "first look" shots. 

They held the ceremony and reception in Davey's aunt and uncle's backyard in Magnolia, which was freaking perfect!They have a billion kinds of foliage- from jungle lush to vineyard vines. Plus check out that view of Mount Rainier, the city skyline, and the Puget Sound! The guests really dug how absolutely gorgeous it was (as did I)!

Even after 10 years in the wedding biz, I'm still getting to experience wedding firsts. Becca and Davey were the first couple I've ever seen walk each other down the aisle. I thought that was pretty cool.

Becca and Davey were married by Davey's childhood rabbi, Rabbi James, and they said their vows under a chuppah surrounded by their friends and family. Guests had the perfect view of the couple as they said their "I do's" while looking on at the gorgeous backdrop.

After the ceremony, we transformed the backyard into the perfect reception space. In lieu of flowers, they did candle clusters for their centerpieces on the tables from Seattle Farm Tables, so the setting was very clean and simple. As the sun began to go down, the lights and candles really began to pop and everything looked so elegant and romantic. 

Every bit of this wedding was so personal and intimate that it actually seemed like a really cool dinner party where a wedding happened rather than a "big wedding" feel.

After dinner and speeches, it was time to party and dance the night away! Everyone had a ball, especially the newlyweds! 

I am such a lucky gal to have been a part of this one with these very special humans. Their wedding was truly as fun as they are, and in case you couldn't tell, that's pretty frick'n fun.

Cheers to the newlyweds! Thanks to everyone who was involved for making this one to remember!

Photographer- JennyJ Photos

Catering- Ravishing Radish

Florist- Moon Bloom

Rentals- Seattle Farm Tables + Abbey Party Rents

Live Music- Ben Woods

DJ- Troy Nelson

Dessert- Deru Market

Hair + Makeup- Katya Gudaeva

Lighting + Sound- PNTA

Transportation- Maxemus Joyrides

Restrooms- Royal Restrooms


Clutch Events Celebrates 10 Years!!

I know what you are thinking-- How is her company already 10 years old? Did that bitch start her business when she was 15??!!?? You guys, stop it, you’re too nice!! But no, I began Clutch Events back in January of 2008 as a spry 25 year old  ;)   I had been living in Seattle for a few years and knew I wanted to create a wedding planning company that that was creative, personally fulfilling, and helpful to people who were getting married.

From weddings to corporate events, charity galas to incentive trips all around the globe, over the past decade Clutch Events has grown into this awesome business that I am so, so proud of!! I have been able to plan some Uh.May.Zing weddings for some of the most wonderful people. My clients are for realsies THE BEST! They invite me into the most special time of their lives and I do not take it for granted.  Plus it doesn’t hurt that the Seattle wedding industry is BEYOND welcoming & inclusive! We are a tight-knit community that is friendly and inviting, and I couldn’t imagine starting and building my first business anywhere else! Some of the best people in my life are fellow ‘vendors’ which is so rad, and I have come to realize, a career rarity!

So here is a ginormous THANK YOU to all of my present and past clients, the hundreds of vendors that I have teamed up with over the past decade, my Clutch Events associates, and my husband Ferris, who has been so supportive of me from day one! CHEERS to you all and to the many years to come!!

I Do Sodo - Hip to be Hexagon!

I’m so excited to be a part of the 2nd annual I Do Sodo wedding tour!!

My task is to create an urban chic party at Canvas Event Space where you can experience some of the best vendors in Seattle and leave with some inspiration for your wedding! Canvas was once an old crane repair station, and then an art gallery, and is now a sleek and modern event space. Typical story for a Sodo building right!? With clean white walls, tall Douglas fir ceilings, and an open floor plan-- it is a blank slate that allows you to create your wedding from the ground up. Another cool feature is that its 10,000 square feet can hold more than 300 seated guests, but it's segmented enough that you can make smaller events work as well. It is a fantastic space that you have to check out!

I put together a PHENOMENAL team of vendors to help me achieve the right vision for the event. Each vendor is crazy talented, friendly, professional & fun! I don’t want to give too much away about the design we created, but here is a little bit of what to expect when you come to Canvas:

Our team is featuring a twist on the geometrical trend by using hexagons, which highlight Canvas’ modern aspects. We’re warming up our black and white color palette with pops of copper, gold & rose gold metallics. Soft florals and greenery, wood (I’m building an 8x8 foot hexagon ceremony back drop – gulp!), acrylic, leather, velvet, and metal (we might be putting a car inside!) make up our textiles.

It is going to look spectacular! This group of professionals is top notch and I can’t wait for you to meet them and see what they can do!


                            Venue                                             Caterer                                           Dessert                                       

                 Canvas Event Space                          Ravishing Radish                            The Sweet Side                               


                      Photographer                                 DJ & Lighting                                Hair & Make up                

             Katie Parra Photography                         Kryspin Music                                   Yessie Libby


                           Attire                                                Stationer                                       Photobooth              

                          BHLDN                                           Dahlia Press                                   The Snap Bar      


                 Rentals & Furniture                                    Floral                                               Jewelry

                       Pedersen’s                                       bash & bloom                                       Sholdt


                      Coat Check                                      Transportation                                    Beverages

                       Yo Check it                                    British Motor Coach                            One Hope Wine


The event is on Sunday, February 12th, so make sure you get your tickets at Brown Paper Tickets before then!!

We hope to see you there!! Be there or be square (or hexagon?)!

You're Engaged! Now What?!

I can tell from my Facebook feed over the holidays that engagement season is finally upon us! If you are one of the lucky new brides or grooms-to-be, let me first say, "Congratulations on getting engaged!!" It is such an exciting & happy time and you just want to enjoy it all!! But once the ring goes on your finger, the questions start coming! When?? Where?? Am I invited? The beginning stages of planning your wedding can be overwhelming, but that's where I come in!

This post is all about the first 5 decisions you need to make when planning your wedding! I'm here to lay it all out for you so you can continue to bask in your post-engagement glow, while also beginning to get organized. Hopefully this will help you to figure out exactly what kind of wedding you want to have and give you some perspective on a few areas of the initial planning process!


First thing's first: Set your budget! The purse strings control most every decision that you will make regarding your wedding. Setting a firm budget now allows you to see the big picture and to control where you want to put your money. As soon as you know your total budget, enter that amount into a wedding budget calculator to give you an initial breakdown. Once you hire a planner, they can create a custom budget for your area (vendor prices vary upon where you live) and can put emphasis on the vendors that are most important to you. 


How many guests will you invite? Maybe a big party is exactly what you want, or perhaps a small, intimate affair is more your style. I would start by thinking of how many guests feels good to you. 50? 100? 150? 200+? Then make a list in Excel and see where you land! You can cut back from there! And of course, remember to get a list from your parents as well.  

My general rule is if you wouldn’t take that person out to a nice dinner and buy them appetizers, a meal, dessert, and drinks then you probably don’t need to invite them to your wedding.

The guest count affects what venues will work for you, as well as your variable costs. Whether you have a wedding for 50 or 250, your fixed costs such as a wedding gown, photographer, and a band will cost the same. But your variable costs will greatly affect the kind of wedding you can host with your budget. Variable costs to consider are catering (food, dessert, beverage & staffing), rentals (tables, chairs, linens & service ware), florals (centerpieces), transportation, and invitation costs. 

The Notorious B.I.G. tells us it's "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems," but when planning your wedding, it's actually more people, more money.


Where do you want to get married? Start with the big picture and work your way down! In the US or a destination wedding (I hear Mexico is lovely!)? Maybe you are from two different states, but met and live in Seattle, so you want to stay local. Consider your wedding vision, planning logistics, and your traveling guests when weighing your options.

Once you have settled on the location, it is time to choose your venue! A venue can help shape the style & design of the wedding, the layout of where each piece of your wedding will take place and the number of guests you can invite. 

Often a venue will come with a required caterer and/or rentals. Your venue, food (including bar!), and rentals should be ~50% of your total budget so it is important to know the full scope of services a venue has and if it fits within your price range.


What time of year do you want to get married?  Consider the following:

-        Average weather and temperature – especially if you are wanting an outdoor event

-        What time the sun sets - do you have a full day of light or will it get dark at 4PM?

-        Holiday weekends – They may be dates to avoid because of airfare costs & other travel

-        School schedules for guests that will be traveling with kids  

If you have the flexibility to choose a season or a preferred month without having a specific date, your options open up when selecting a venue. Just make sure your immediate family & bridal party can attend the dates you are considering!

And make sure to note how long your engagement will be! Perhaps you want to get married in the summer, but July is only six months away from when you got engaged. Make sure you have enough time to plan your wedding and the venue you want is still available!  


What style of wedding do you want to have? Casual? Semi-formal? Formal or black tie? Having a strong sense of formality will help you determine the menu, an appropriate venue, and overall guest experience.

This is important when looking at your budget and your guest count. You can host a lot more guests if you are having a casual event, serving sliders and mac & cheese at a community center versus a formal wedding in a hotel ballroom, serving filet & salmon.


Remember that the most important thing about planning a wedding is the experience you want to have and the people that surround you!  Once you have the what, where, when, who, and how much answered, the rest of the decisions such as vendors, colors, menu, etc. will come much easier!! 

I hope this helps you get your bearings on planning your wedding and saves you some initial engagement stress!! Happy planning!!