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!

1.

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. 

2. 

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.

3.

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.

4.

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!  

5.

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.

Lastly.

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!! 

Cheers!
Megan

Meg & Chien say "Wei Do"

Hello again friends! Please allow me introduce you to this amazing couple: Meg & Chien. I have to say, the story of how they met is my favorite of all time!!

Meghan had agreed to run a half marathon with a friend of hers, but she didn’t exactly train for it. So when she ran the race, she ended up fracturing her foot! However, what should have been an awful day turned out to be life changing. She ended up in the ER, and low and behold it was Dr. Chien Wei to the rescue! You can see where this is going right!? He personally called her the next day to check in on her (swoon!) and after they got off the phone, Meghan knew she had to find his number to ask him out. She was afraid if she called him at the hospital it would be a conflict of interest, so she searched and searched for him online only knowing his name (she acknowledges she went into full blown stalker mode for a bit). But it worked! She found him and asked him out to dinner! As they say, the rest is history! I love it!! 

They had such a fun wedding day style and Bloomed Out did an amazing job putting together Meg's bouquet! They had cool color combinations on a hot August day, perfect for summer in Seattle!

Could these two be any cuter!?

There were quite a few elements in this wedding that made it really unique. They really put a lot of thought into how to incorporate their family members. 

Of course these two had their siblings in their bridal parties, but Meg has a brother and Chien has a sister. I loved that they went outside of the box and decided to have their own siblings stand on their side, regardless of their gender. So nice!

In addition to serving as a groomswoman (or is it groomsmaid?), Chien’s sister designed their faboosh invitations and helped create the day of paper as well.

These two decided to get married at the Seattle Aquarium. It is such a unique Seattle venue & fun experience for guests! A super cool thing about this is the fact that Chien’s dad actually designs large aquariums all around the world as his job. How random is that?!

They held their ceremony out on the pier on one of the most gorgeous days! The blue skies and boaters out on the water provided them with some glorious photo ops. And they had a very dear friend of theirs officiate their wedding, making it that much more meaningful.

After the "I do's," guests enjoyed the perks of the aquarium setting by interacting with the marine life as they sipped their cocktails. Kiddos played in the touch tanks, and they did an otter feeding before dinner. What a cool experience, and surely one that would be hard to top!

We really got down with the marine theme and incorporated that into nearly everything including the paper, the colors, and the cake. Check out this cake, y'all! Meghan's sister-in-law baked their wedding cake and created the purple octopus out of fondant. 

These two LOVE dessert and wanted to incorporate both of their cultures into everything. Meg is Canadian, so her mom made Nanaimo bars to represent Canada, and her family is from Scotland where she spent six months studying, so they got tarts from Whole Foods to represent the Scottish. Then they got Moon Cakes from Smacha Tea to represent Chien's side and they had macarons for themselves, because they're their favorites! All in all there was a wide array of diverse dessert options to choose from!

Right before the sun set, these two lovebirds ventured out for a quiet few minutes alone and allowed Shane Macomber to capture it for them. Worth it!

During the speech portion of the night, Chien's sister suprised him by playing a video of their beloved grandfather who couldn't make the trip from Asia sending them his well wishes for the wedding. Chien couldn't hold back tears when he saw this, and everyone in the room teared up when they saw him crying. This photo of Meg comforting him is my favorite photo of the night, hands down. 

They wanted to avoid the usual clanking of glasses that can go on and on, so instead they decided to get really creative! They said that if an entire table got up and sang a song with the word "kiss" in it as a group, they would kiss! And guess what? EVERY. SINGLE. TABLE. ended up singing a song! It was hilarious and it really got the energy flowing during dinner. Way to go, you guys!

Then it was time to dance the night away! Unfortunately Chien's mom broke her hip just THREE DAYS before the wedding. How stressful! She rushed into surgery just two days before the wedding, but she never once thought that she wouldn't be there for her son on his wedding day. She rocked her dress and they still had their mother-son dance with Chien pushing her around in her wheelchair. That's dedication!

I'd say the party was a success based on this little guy. DJ Braden Landon rocked the house and some danced until they dropped!

Honestly, it's true what they say... everything happens for a reason. These two are meant for each other! And I'm so glad they chose me to be a part of their journey. Don't we just look so amazing together?!

This is one of my favorite weddings, and I loved all of the personalized details that they included. It was fun to help plan and pull off, and I'm glad the fun continued with writing this blog post to share the fun with all of you! 

I hope you all enjoy your holidays, and I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store for Clutch Events. See you in the new year!

Thank you to the phenomenal team that collaborated on Meg & Chien's big day! Y'all rock!

Venue + Caterer- Seattle Aquarium

Photographer- Shane Macomber

Florist- Bloomed Out

DJ- Braden Landon

Dessert- Lady Yum + Smacha Tea + Whole Foods

Rentals- The Sweet Side

Hair + Makeup- Off White Makeup & Beauty

Photobooth- Atomic Photobooth

Videography- Travis Lawton Photography

 

Remi & Dave's Rustic Romance

Ah yes, Remi and Dave! What a hip, fun, and B-E-A UTIFUL couple! Though these two met in San Francisco, where they currently live and work, they are originally from the Seattle area. As soon as they got engaged, they knew they wanted to bring all of their out of town friends to the Pacific Northwest for a memorable wedding weekend!

These cuties wanted relaxed vibes and a laid-back feel to their wedding day, so Dancing Fish Vineyard on Whidbey Island was the perfect choice. The venue included a transformed barn, as well as a small vineyard, bocce court, lawn games, and a rental house for the perfect weekend retreat! The intimate outdoor setting was perfect for their ideal mix of country and shabby chic aesthetic.  

Remi was picture perfect in this vintage-inspired two piece gown accompanied by the most incredible bouquet from En Fleur Floral Design. And Dave looked oh-so-cool in his navy suit. Not to mention the bridal party, all in different earthy tones with their flowers adding the most beautiful pops of color. This could have been a photo shoot for a wedding magazine, am I right?! 

Mother Nature left us guessing until the very last minute! Being Seattle and all, of course rain was in the forecast for the weekend, but lo and behold she decided to let the sun come out in full force that day. We ended up canceling our tent order and had an all outdoors affair in the gorgeous weather! Remi and Dave were married under a chuppah, designed and built by their friends as a wedding present, overlooking the winery's own vineyard. 

After it was officially official, Remi and Dave snuck off to snap a few more photos while the lighting was just perfect. After a little photo shoot with the grapes, it was time to drink them!

The barn at Dancing Fish served as the perfect backdrop for their reception. Molly Jackson of En Fleur Floral Design, along with her husband, handmade the centerpieces-- small wooden boxes that held her colorful blooms. And they matched perfectly with the wooden table numbers that Remi found on Etsy! To complete the rustic look, we used natural wood chairs, classic white linens, and had the Seattle-based Chalk Boss design all of the signage on window panes and vintage chalkboards.

Guests drank Dancing Fish wines (yum!), enjoyed a family style meal, and had the most perfect summer time dessert-- pies from Whidbey Pies right on the island!

Guests danced the night away to the Blue Wave Band and had a blast. I think Remi's face says it all! After the reception ended, everyone was transported into town to continue the party with a nightcap. What a fun group and a perfect day!

Best wishes for a lifetime of happiness you two! Thanks so much for letting me join in on the fun. And thanks so much to all of our amazing vendors for pulling off this incredible fete!

Venue- Dancing Fish Vineyards

Photographer- Maurice Photo

Florist- En Fleur Floral Design

Band- Blue Wave Band

Dessert- Whidbey Pies

Rentals- Pedersen's Event Rentals + Diamond Rentals + Vintage Ambiance

Hair & Makeup- Ashli Danielle

Transportation- Beeline Tours

Signage- Chalk Boss

Time After Time

Every now and again between sharing all of my clients' gorgeous weddings with you, I like to provide a little wisdom to help with the planning process. This post is all about choosing a starting time for your ceremony!

All couples have to ask themselves at some point, usually when signing contracts or designing their wedding invitations: 'What time should we start our ceremony?'  Determining your ceremony start time is the key decision that will affect the rest of your timing for your wedding. You want to make sure you select the correct start time so you utilize your hours wisely! 

There are several factors to think about when determining what time of day you should begin your wedding. Here are a few things to consider:

● How much time do you have at the venue? Is it a block of set hours that you can move the start and stop time or is it a set time frame?  Are there any restrictions at the venue to be aware of? A few examples being; Are there other events on property that day to know about? Do they have a noise ordinance to adhere to? Do late night hours come with an additional charge?

● Is set up and tear down included in your time block? A planner, catering team & other vendors typically need two hours to set up and one hour to break down. Make sure that time is accounted for in your contract.

● If you are getting married at a church and having the reception at a separate location it is important to know the timing guidelines for both venues and to make sure they match up correctly.  Make sure to consider transportation time from the church to the reception venue when calculating the start of your reception. 

● How long do you expect your ceremony to last? I’ve been to ceremonies that have lasted only five minutes and others that are over an hour. Knowing how long your ceremony will be can affect more than just the timing of your reception. If you are going directly into the cocktail hour, the catering team and bartenders use your estimated ceremony time to properly plan when to pre pour beer and wine and when to begin heating food.

● What time is sunset? If you are getting married in July and the sun doesn’t set until 10PM, perhaps you want to start a bit later. If you are getting married in December and the sun will be down by 5PM, perhaps you should begin earlier.  Plan your daylight hours carefully! 

● How do you wish to spend your reception time? Couples who are foodies may want a five course dinner and so the majority of the time is spend on food service. Others may want the majority of the night spent boogying down on the dance floor. Once you know where you want to spend your time make sure your vendors are contracted properly! For example, if you want a three hour dance party, make sure your band is contracted for that minimum amount of time!  

I get the question ‘how long should our wedding be?' a lot. A standard wedding from start to finish is roughly six hours. How you break up that amount of time is up to you! Below is a general timeline that I see quite a bit:

5:00 – 5:30: Ceremony
5:30 – 6:30: Cocktail Hour
6:30 – 8:00: Dinner
8:00 – 8:30: Traditions (Speeches, cutting the cake, first dances, etc.)
8:30 – 11:00: Dancing

Once you have your timing set, make sure to communicate this to your vendors! Caterers base their staffing hours and bar service on your timeline. Depending on when you end your night, there may be a ‘late night pick up fee’ from rental companies. And make sure to plan your photographer’s arrival and departure so they can capture the moments you consider most important! 

I hope you have found these tips helpful in setting the ceremony start time for your wedding! Mark your invitations accordingly and happy planning!! 

Special thanks to photographers Barbie Hull, Melissa Kilner, Katie Parra, and Shane Macomber for these amazing photos!

#FinallyFentress

The first time I 'saw' Kristi & Joey was actually via Facebook. The fantabulous photographer Barbie Hull shot their engagement in Kerry Park. Joey had hired Barbie, plus a flash mob of dancers to surround them, on a gorgeous sunny day right before he popped the question! I thought to myself, "Those people look awesome - I want to plan their wedding!!" So you can imagine how thrilled I was a few weeks later when we first got together for coffee. I somehow inceptioned them to hire me, and I'm not one bit sorry about it!

The couple took a little break from their three favorite things- boating on Lake WA, Crossfit, and their dog, Murphy- to tie the knot on a perfect Seattle day. Kristi looked absolutely stunning in her dress, and Joey looked dapper as ever in his navy tuxedo.

And check out their crew! I was swooning over those bridesmaids' dresses all night. The mixing and matching of colors and textures was so fun. And these guys definitely look like they know how to party!

Kristi & Joey wanted what I call a "Mullet Wedding"- aka classy up front and party in the back. Just my style!! What better way to achieve that than to start off at the stunning St. James Cathedral? The dramatic aisle, vaulted domes, and the stained glass windows are phenomenal!

On their way from the church to the reception, Kristi & Joey stopped to take some photos at Pike Place and jumped in a rickshaw to take them to the Four Seasons to party! So fun!

After their ceremony, guests made their way to the Four Seasons Hotel to enjoy a gorgeous view of the Sound while munching on Asian inspired appetizers. We had Prop Gallery West drape the entire room in navy blue fabric and brought in woven metallic overlays & navy napkins from Pedersen's Event Rentals. Kristi liked the mixed medal look, so we combined the linens with gold, brass, and copper vessels from Flora Nova. The stunning florals that Christiane created were arranged in three looks and heights so when guests walked in to the ballroom they were greeted with a gorgeous display!

Their invitations were custom created by Stephanie Clarke of Dahlia Press. Joey nearly became a graphic designer before he turned his attention to contracting, so he was very involved in the fonts, layout, and design of the paper. It was pretty fun to watch him get technical when it came to the thickness and angle of the stripes.

A fun twist to the night was that after the standard traditions (speeches, cake cutting, and first dances) a rolling feed of their hashtag- #FinallyFentress- was projected onto a screen while guests danced the night away. It was a great way to see candid images of the day and it got their guests to keep snapping away fun photos!

One of my favorite moments of the evening was when Kristi's sister, who is still in high school, got up on stage to perform and absolutely CRUSHED it! What a sweet, personal moment and I was so impressed by her.

The party was still going as the sun set over the Puget Sound, providing the most beautiful backdrop to end one heck of a day!

Kristi and Joey, thank you so so much for letting me be a part of your big day! I'm so glad my mind tricks worked on you and I was able to be a part of all the fun  :)   And a huge thank you to all of our vendors who made the day so special and beautiful! You guys rock!

Reception Venue + Caterer: The Four Seasons

Photographer: Barbie Hull

Florist: Flora Nova

Music: Austin Beaver

Rentals: Pedersen's + Prop Gallery

Hair: Rachel Gonzalez

Makeup: Kayla Kollection

Invitations: Dahlia Press

Sara & Gabe Say "I Do"

These two beautiful people are Sara and Gabe, and they tied the knot last August! They met while completing their residencies in Seattle. Many of our super fun planning sessions took place in their backyard over a bottle of wine while they were still dressed in their scrubs from the hospital, with their dog Tater by our side. Clearly they clean up nice... Tater, too!

The weather on the day of their wedding could not have been more perfect. They held their ceremony at their favorite place in Seattle, Sunset Hill Park. Check out that view! And of course, Tater joined in on the fun as well as the best ring dog in all the land. What a cutie!

It was during those wine infused planning sessions that we assembled a truly all star team for their wedding. Starting with a favorite venue of mine, Sodo Park, they brought in so many of my cherished vendors from photographer, Shane Macomber to Christiane with Flora Nova. Christiane really knocked it out of the park by creating these amazing centerpieces, table arrangements & hanging pieces. The whole place looked so beautiful and romantic!

Flora Nova created the most wonderful textures and accents at this wedding. Literally there were flowers and plants everywhere. Sara's bouquet was to die for (I LOVED the colors!). Sara & Gabe's home is filled with plants and they especially love air plants. Each guest even got their very own air plant to take home with them. They really outdid themselves here!

Sara and Gabe also incorporated some really beautiful paper that they helped design into the big day. Their beautiful wedding invitations included the breathtaking view from Sunset Hill Park and the wonder that is the Olympic skyline.

After Herban Feast served the most delicious dinner, guests toasted the happy couple and it was time to cut the cake. And check out this cake! With even more details from Flora Nova, this two-tiered (vegan!) beauty looked almost as good as it tasted.

Then it was time to party! The Nines totally rocked the house and took us from day to night, when the lighting and candles made everything look so insanely romantic! Guests danced the night away and had a blast, while Sara and Gabe managed to sneak out with Shane for a few more beautiful shots as the sun set. Another beautiful Seattle wedding in the books!

Sara and Gabe, you two make an awesome couple and I wish you all the happiness in the world! Thank you so much for including me in your big day.

And a big THANK YOU to this truly all star team of vendors. I couldn't have done it without you!

Reception Venue + Catering- Sodo Park

Ceremony Site- Sunset Hill Park

Photographer- Shane Macomber

Rentals- Pedersen's Rentals

Florist- Flora Nova Design

Ceremony Musician- Barry Pollack

Reception Band- The Nines

Dessert- Whole Foods Roosevelt, Full Tilt White Center + Johnny Samra

Officiant- Colin McCluney

Hair + Makeup- Off White Makeup & Beauty

Shuttles- Shuttle Express

 

Happy 1st Anniversary Evan & Ashley!

There is something extra special about helping plan your friends' weddings. You know them on a deeper level and a lot of the time mutual friends play parts in their big day and you get to be a part of the party!! That's why it was such an honor to be a part of Evan & Ashley's big day. The mix of friends involved in their wedding was so fun!

My old roommate, Amanda, met Evan at a Hawkeye football bar nearly 11 years ago and brought him & Damien (the best man) into our circle of friends. Wow, 11 years ago. Funny, I haven't aged a day... anywho, He and Ashley soon met, became friends, fell in love, and the rest is history. 

Amanda, their matchmaker, flew in from Malta for the wedding and was a bridesmaid. My dear friends Pat, Jake, Mike and Damien were groomsmen as well as my husband Sean (Aaaw!). And as if that wasn't enough, two of Ashley’s bridesmaids were past clients of mine, based on Ashley’s referral, of course. So just the group of people alone made this wedding super duper special to be a part of! Plus, when friends trust you to help them with their day, it's a pretty amazing feeling. 

Evan & Ashley had their first look at the iconic Gasworks Park, which led to some pretty amazing shots of them and the bridal party.

I put Evan in touch with Mary Doud who created my engagement ring and wedding band so she could help him create Ashley’s engagement ring. It turned out so gorgeous! And Evan & Ashley won the Sholdt silent auction item at Get Hitched Give Hope for their wedding bands!! Yay GHGH!!

They had their ceremony & reception at the Tyee Yacht Club, which is run by Ravishing Radish. Ashley wanted to keep the color pallet fun for summer by using blues, pinks and yellows.

Remember Amanda? Well, in addition to her being the the matchmaker extraordinaire and a bridesmaid, she was also the graphic designer for all of the day of paper! And the graphics that she used were a perfect tie in to their personalities. Honestly, what can't she do?!

Another super special moment for me (because ya know, it’s all about me, right?!) was that Evan & Ashley chose to use our dear friend, Susan Anstine, to officiate their wedding. Susan was the officiant at mine and Sean’s wedding a few years ago and she's the best! Their ceremony was beyond personal and heartfelt. Ashley didn't leave a dry eye in the house when she spoke her vows to Evan. It was like an onion chopping competition had just gone down. They were that good!

After the ceremony, guests were able to enjoy the dock of the club during cocktail hour – it was a perfect August day in Seattle! And check out my hubby - ain't he cute?!

A delicious dinner was followed by an amazing dessert with cakes from Nuflours. Then, per our usual friend group ways, we had an epic dance party! It was exactly what you would want as a wedding guest (a super fun party) and as a bride & groom (a room filled with a ton of love and happiness). It was apparent that everyone involved was so excited for Evan & Ashley to finally become Mr. + Mrs!!  

Evan & Ashley just recently celebrated their 1st wedding anniversary, and in just a few short weeks, they will welcome their very first addition to the family!! I cannot wait to meet baby girl Rhead!! I'm so excited for you two!!

It was such an honor to be a part of this wedding and to celebrate the two of you tying the knot and I can't wait to be a part of your newest adventure! Thank you for including me in your big day!

And a big thank you to all of the vendors who helped to make this day so special!

Venue- TYEE Yacht Club

Catering- Ravishing Radish

Photographer- Sparkfly Photography

DJ- Kris Simonsen

Hair- Lucki Thongdy

Makeup- Off White Makeup & Beauty

Dessert- Nuflours Bakery

Officiant- Susan Anstine

 

Jenny & Paul’s Seattle Celebration

This past June, Jenny and Paul said “I do” at the stunning Arctic Club in Seattle— the perfect venue for the formal, black tie affair they were going for.

The couple first met while in law school at UW. Paul asked Jenny to accompany him to an Apple Cup tailgate before a game and the two bonded over their mutual love of wine tastings and travel, as well as Paul’s dog, Nelli. Now, they are both lawyers in the city, and Nelli doesn’t leave Jenny’s side (and neither does Paul).

Jenny was stunning from head to toe in her Monique Lhuillier gown (my absolute favorite part of this wedding), Jimmy Choo heels, and dazzling accessories. So gorg! And Paul cleaned up nicely himself. I absolutely adore his boutonniere from Flora Nova Design. Power couple!

Jenny gifted her bridesmaids these adorable glasses to sip their champagne while getting ready. A gift that keeps on giving!

And speaking of bridesmaids— could this group of ladies look any prettier in these gorgeous gowns from BHLDN?! They look like they stepped right out of a magazine. The Off White hair & makeup team crushed it! Squad goals, am I right?

The Dome Room at the Arctic Club provided a spectacular setting for Melissa Kilner to photograph their vows. Then, while the guests were enjoying cocktail hour in the Polar Bear Bar, we were able to transform the room into a romantic reception space for dinner and dancing. We used mostly black, white, and blush to compliment the bridal party, and pops of gold to compliment that incredible dome. We also incorporated some black + white stripes in subtle places which were pretty cute.

Ellen of Letters by Ellen Calligraphy definitely left her mark on the wedding by creating these beautiful escort cards, signs for all of the table numbers, and a super cute flag for each individual macaron from The Sweet Side (each guest got one on their place setting— Yum!). I’m a sucker for pretty calligraphy, and Ellen rocked it! Rosie of Songbird Paperie created their invitations.

Jenny and Paul incorporated their love of wine into their guest book idea. Guests wrote notes to the couple on mini scrolls and dropped them into wine bottles that they will break on their 5th, 10th, and 15th wedding anniversaries.

Guests feasted on a plated dinner and delicious cake (also from The Sweet Side) and danced the night away thanks to party tunes provided by DJ Austin Beaver.

Congratulations Jenny + Paul! I wish you many years filled with wedded bliss and wine! Thank you for letting me be a part of your big day and a big thank you to all the vendors who made it so perfect.

Venue + Catering- The Arctic Club

Photographer- Melissa Kilner Photography

Florist- Flora Nova Design

DJ- Austin Beaver

Dessert- The Sweet Side

Calligraphy- Letters by Ellen

Rentals- Pedersen’s Event Rentals

Hair + Makeup- Off White Makeup & Beauty

Officiant- Dan Kilpatric

Rachel & Walker's Old Fashioned Fete

Ah, yes. One of my FAVORITE weddings from this past year. Rachel & Walker met in middle school in Nashville, TN, but never really ran in the same circles until they reconnected after college.  The two began dating, became inseparable, and moved to Seattle together where Walker got a 2-year contract with Microsoft. They fell in love with Seattle and when they got engaged they knew that it was the perfect 'destination' wedding location for all of their Tennessee friends and family.

Rachel is a preschool teacher at Villa Academy. They have a gorgeous chapel at the school from when the property used to be a convent. It was such a special opportunity to be able to incorporate her beloved school along with her wedding. Also included in the day was their Pug Toby, whom they included in their first look. Isn’t he the cutest in his cuffs & collar!?

The nearby Sand Point Country Club was the ideal setting for their 200 guests to take in the water views of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains.

Although their wedding was quite formal, they wanted their reception to feel light and fun. We used ivory, shades of green, and pops of gold for the color palette. Flowers were very important to Rachel so we had McKenzie Powell create the lush tablescapes. Each seat had a white & green geode coaster favor from Anthropologie with a thank you tag from Sally Balt of La Happy. Sally also created their gorgeous custom invitations and all of the day of signage.

Upon arriving to the club guests were greeted to cocktail hour with a Moscow Mule signature cocktail and local oysters on ice. 

A hiccup of the day was that Seattle was hit by one of the worst storms in the past 10 years. The majority of the city lost power, including the club. Literally the golf course at the club looked like the set of "The Hunger Games" so many trees had crashed down. It was pretty crazy. Luckily backup generators kept the food hot and the band plugged in, but for the first 90 minutes of the reception we relied on candlelight to warm up the rooms. The sky was quite dark and when the power turned on at 8:30, the lit chandeliers were met with cheers!! 

Guests dined on King Salmon and beef tenderloin and were served both regular and gluten free cake. You can't have a Seattle wedding without a gluten free menu   :)

The Freddy Pink Band was out of this world and kept the dance floor packed, the only exception being when guests slipped away to pop into the photo booth. There were still nearly 200 guests dancing at midnight when the shuttles came to pick them up. 

Rachel & Walker had a sparkler send off before jumping into a vintage Rolls Royce. The rain was coming down at it's hardest and made their send off even more 'Pacific Northwest' than expected.

Cheers to this B-E-A UTIFUL couple and thank you for letting me be a part of your big day! I had an absolute blast. And a special thank you to all of our wonderful vendors!

Ceremony Venue- Villa Academy

Officiant- Father Shane McKee

Reception Venue & Catering- Sand Point Country Club

Photographer- La Vie Photography

Cakes- The Sweet Side + Stone Layne Baked Specialties

Florist- McKenzie Powell Floral Event & Design

Ceremony Quartet- Contrast Music

Reception Band- Freddy Pink

Stationer- La Happy

Hair + Makeup- Erin Skipley

Photo Booth- Moments Captured

Rentals- Pedersen's (chairs) + ABC Cort (copper mugs) + Prop Gallery (draping) + BBJ (linens)

Transportation- Shuttle Express + British Motor Coach

Hotel- The Four Seasons

Bryn & Shafin's Gorgeous Wedding!

This fashion forward (+ insanely gorgeous) couple is Bryn & Shafin. As luck (or fate!) would have it, these two were paired up to complete a project together at work. When they were finished, Shafin worked up the nerve to ask Bryn out! I'd say he's pretty glad he did.

These two got lucky yet again when the weather was picture perfect on their wedding day, which was held in late December... in Seattle. I mean, come on... that never happens! 

They had their first look at the Four Seasons before heading to the ceremony, which was held at the Seattle Jamatkhana in Kirkland (Shafin's parents' mosque). Not the worst place for a photo shoot by the lovely and talented Laura Marchbanks. Check out that view!

The couple changed out of their traditional clothing after the ceremony and into more formal wear for their reception. And, man, they did not disappoint! Bryn's dress & jewelry were absolutely to die for! So many beautiful details that I couldn't stop staring at her. Plus, she's not bad to look at herself, am I right?!

Let's just say that Bryn has met her fashionista match in the very dashing Shafin. I mean, look at him! He wore a navy velvet tux jacket made by none other than Tom Ford. This has to be my absolute favorite groom's look of all time. Swoon!

Now that they were dressed for the part, it was time to party! Bryn and Shafin wanted to incorporate a lot of bright colors in this celebration, and a lot of gold! I think we accomplished this with our choice of gold chivari chairs and champagne shantung linens from Pedersens Rentals, and the beautiful custom stationary by Chic Ink and Red Sparrow Design throughout WithinSodo, their reception venue. We finished off this dreamy look with fern foliage table runners and a ton of candles.

Post cocktail hour, the couple participated in their final wedding tradition, the Clay Pot ceremony, before guests sat down to a delicious plated dinner from Duos Catering

For their first dance, Bryn and Shafin recruited a local street performer they had met at Pike's Place to serenade them for their first dance. Totally original, and Dre was a big hit! Then guests were invited to boogie down on the dance floor with DJ Kryspin, who turned the rest of the night into one big dance party.

For dessert, guests enjoyed some baklava- Brynn and Shafin's favorite! Yum!

Thank you Brynn and Shafin for letting me be a part of your big day! It was such a treat!

And thank you to all of the incredible vendors who participated in this beautiful day!

Venue- WithinSodo

Ceremony- Kirkland Jamatkhana

Caterer- Duos Catering

Photography- Laura Marchbanks

Florist- Metropolitan Market

Reception DJ- DJ Kryspin

Live Musician- Dre

Dessert- Time Out Restaurant

Rentals- Pedersen's RentalsMela Floral & Event Design

Photobooth- 321 FOTO

Hair & Makeup- Off White Makeup & Beauty