How did you meet?
Like many great modern love stories, we met on a dating app! For our first date, we met at a park by the water and walked around before heading to a local bakery where we shared some pastries and played board games together.
What is your proposal story?
We went on a four-day backpacking trip in the Olympic National Forest. On the second day, Ted navigated us to a small, secluded, picturesque lake where he got down on one knee and proposed!
Tell us a little a bit about your wedding.
It was really important to Ted for us to get married in his church, which is something I wanted to respect. This meant finding a reception location that was nearby so that our guests didn’t have a long commute between locations. I also knew that I wanted an outdoor reception venue so that we could enjoy all the beauty that Seattle has to offer. I wanted our wedding style to blend seamlessly with both locations. The church, on its own, is grand and beautiful and did not need much in terms of decor. For our reception, I wanted to add a little more whimsy to the style by decorating with wildflowers and adding DIY elements.
Tell us about your attire choices.
When it came to attire it was most important to us that we felt comfortable. We also didn’t want to spend a large portion of our budget on our attire. My dress was a previous sample dress that I purchased at a bridal consignment store. I was looking for something sweet and romantic. Ted purchased his suit on sale at Bonobos.
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
We knew holding the ceremony and reception at different sites was going to incur extra expenses. We had venue and music costs associated with each space. At first, we debated on hiring a day-of coordinator, but at the end of the day I knew my family couldn’t be at two locations at once and I wanted all of our loved ones to enjoy the day and not be worried or stressed with too many responsibilities. Photography was also important to us. We wanted to make sure we were able to capture all the special moments. Overall, we wanted our friends and family to have a good experience and to celebrate our love for one another.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
One of my favorite parts of the day was when we were driving from the ceremony site to the reception. Ted pulled over on one of the side streets and we took a few moments together to soak everything in before heading to the reception. I’ll also never forget walking down to the field where our dinner tables were set up, under a grove of trees, and seeing it for the first time. It felt magical eating dinner with all our closest friends and family in such a beautiful location.
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
My mom and aunt are flower super-heroes and assembled all of our wedding flowers! They handmade the bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and several decorative bouquets from flowers they purchased at Pike Place Market and Trader Joe’s. The flowers for all of the dinner table centerpieces came from wildflowers they picked from my parents’ yard and from a local you-pick flower farm.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, we opted for an ice cream sundae bar. Guests were able to choose their flavor of ice cream and load it up with an assortment of toppings. In addition, our caterer provided a mixture of bite-sized desserts.
What did you do for favors?
For our second date, Ted wanted to go to a terrarium-making class. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get our schedules to work for that class. Instead, we signed up for a soap-making class. Ted struggled over and over again with melting the base for the soap. He kept scorching it, having to throw it out, and starting all over. It got to the point where the instructor almost had to cut him off. I think it was slightly embarrassing for him. I, on the other hand, found it endearing. For this reason, we thought it would be perfect if we made soap to give out as favors at our wedding.
Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
Along with making the soap for favors we also made small succulent pots with each guest’s nams and table numbers to serve as escort cards. All of the succulents were gathered from my parents’ yard and I added metallic paint detailing to each of the terracotta pots.
All of our centerpieces were made by my family. We cut sections of 3×3 wood posts, drilled 1-inch holes, and inserted glass test tubes. There were also several smaller décor items that I handmade, such as a welcome banner that greeted the guest as they entered our reception site along with moss-covered initials for our sweetheart table. Ted also curated and premixed our specialty drink mixes ahead of time.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Planning a wedding can be an emotional experience. It’s exciting at times and overwhelming at others. There can be a lot of pressure and expectation setting. My advice would be to focus on what is most important to you, make lists and timelines with what needs to get done, and know that there will be ups and downs along the way.
Don’t forget to ask for help when needed. Know that it’s okay to break away from traditions and focus on the aspects that bring you joy. At the end of the day, it’s about starting a life together, choosing to love and be loved, and that will always be beautiful in and of itself!