Janee and Raheem contacted me from California in March inquiring about a good spot for their Seattle June elopement. I love it when I get inquiries from out of town because I am a Seattle native and always have great ideas for ceremony spots for out of town couples. Their guest count was small — they had invited less than 10 people, which is a factor when I choose a ceremony location. I originally suggested a sweet spot among the trees at Volunteer Park in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood. I refer to this particular spot as a “Woodland Cathedral” because the trees are tall and wrap around a small group for an intimate outdoor ceremony in a forest like setting. A few months into our planning, however, Janee advised me that their numbers had now grown to 20 people! The original spot was just too small for 20 people. So I shifted gears a bit and came up with the Woodland Park Rose Garden. They were thrilled with this idea and got on board with me to re-direct their plans to their rose garden wedding.
The rose garden at Woodland Park is an exquisite place to get married. In June, the gardens are in bloom and full of color and romance. Janee and Raheem exchanged their vows amongst dozens of varieties of roses with beauty all around them. They were beaming and their family looked quite happy even though there was a tiny bit of raining coming down. It was romantic, intimate and everything they had hoped for.
Be sure to check out my Small, Elope or Last Minute Wedding page for more information!
Alyssa and Jesse contacted me from Ohio in early December regarding their destination Seattle wedding. They had never been to Seattle and were not sure about very much other than the fact that they wanted a nice shot at Kerry Park. They hoped to capture a nice wedding shot there so they could make copies to send to friends and family for Christmas. We met at Kerry park and got the shot but the weather was cold and windy so we headed out in my Kia to scout a location for a Seattle Pop-up Wedding . First stop Pike Place Market!
The Pike Place Market at Christmastime is fantastic! It is so festive with all the sites, sounds, and smells of Christmas. After finding a great parking spot we set out to find the perfect spot for our Seattle Pop-up wedding. The courtyard at the Inn at the Market came to mind and everyone followed me as I kept my fingers crossed. This spot ended up being the perfect location for our Seattle Pop-up Wedding.
The courtyard was decorated with Christmas trees and lights. It was open yet intimate, festive yet private. We tucked ourselves into a nice little spot among the trees and had our ceremony. The ceremony was intimate and lovely, and we even had some shopkeepers peeking through their windows as Alyssa and Jesse exchanged their vows. After the ceremony we all headed back to the Fairmont Olympic Hotel where the couple was staying and finished with some more shots inside this grand hotel.
On a side note, Alyssa requested that I customize one of the bouquets I offer on my website to include her favorite lavender colored “ocean song” rose. With only one week to go before the wedding, my go-to florist, Metropolitan Market was able to accommodate Alyssa’s request. Her groom, Jesse, also got a matching boutonniere.
I couldn’t be more happy with the way this wedding unfolded. All in all, we visited three locations, had a Seattle Pop-up Wedding and the couple got their wish of having a lovely photo to share with their friends and family for Christmas. I hope you enjoy the pictures below provided by Jeanne Phinney Photography.
In this post I will explain why it is so important to book your officiant early. This is a note I received from a bride last July:
“My fiance and I are looking for a last-minute officiant for our wedding. We’ve actually been wedding planning for over a year but kind of put off getting an officiant until this last minute. If you are available for this date please let me know!”
Well, I wasn’t available and I’m not sure if any of my trusted colleagues were either. Couples, if you are beginning the planning process, please book your officiant early. It has been my experience over the past nine years that based on the popular engagement dates below, January is the heaviest booking month in the industry. In fact, most of my high-season Saturdays (May-October) will be booked by early February. I would like to share a few facts with you regarding booking your officiant:
Although weddings take place year-round, 76% of weddings occur during the Summer and Fall months. In fact, 25 dates make up 50% of all weddings in 2015. (You guessed right, they are all on a Saturday!).
Most popular dates to get engaged:
Christmas Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas Eve, New Years Day, December 20th (Saturday before Xmas), December 13th (2 Saturdays before Xmas, New Years Eve, December 19th (Friday before Xmas), December 23rd, and Independence Day.
Check out this easy rule of thumb:
Based on the average 13-month engagement, most couples search for the majority of their vendors 7-9 months prior to their wedding
In summary: Book your officiant early! I would hate to get your call in July for an August wedding like the bride above and have to say, “I’m sorry, I’m not available.”
Last December I was contacted by Barbara and Timo from Germany regarding their Washington State destination wedding. We e-mailed and Skyped for several months and I learned that they wanted a woodsy, bohemian feel for their August ceremony. Based on their wishes, it was easy for me to recommend a Snoqualmie Falls Wedding at the Salish Lodge and Spa. Barbara and Timo also wanted the ceremony photographed so they could share these memories with their families back home in Germany. I brought in my dear friend and colleague, Jeanne Phinney of Jeanne Phinney Photography to help me plan a creative timeline for the ceremony and photography. About half-way through the process the bride e-mailed me a picture of her dress and asked if I could match her dress to a wedding bouquet. I sent the photo to my go-to florist, Molly Snowden at Metropolitan Market and she created a lovely bouquet that matched Barbara’s dress perfectly. Timo got a matching boutonniere too!
We decided to start with the ceremony in the woods and then take the couple down to the river and falls to capture some moments in this beautiful natural setting. What follows are the amazing pictures from that day — including the couple opening a gift that their sister in Germany sent to me to be opened after their ceremony. Thank you Barbara and Timo for contacting me to be your officiant and help you plan your Snoqualmie Falls Wedding. The day was magical!
In May I was contacted by Yi via my Seattle Wedding Officiants Facebook page regarding a small Seattle elopement she needed help with. She and her fiance Binyan did not have a location and wanted to pull something together in two weeks. She had a small group of about 15 friends which is the perfect number for a small Seattle elopement.
We met for my free consultation and I shared some nice ideas with them that would provide a lovely backdrop for their early summer wedding. As I was dealing out options like cards in a deck (I have quite a few tricks up my sleeve), they mentioned that they had a friend who had offered his rooftop deck at his downtown Seattle condominium. I said, “wait a minute! A downtown Seattle rooftop?” I could hardly contain myself. Being a native of Seattle I have seen some pretty sweet views from atop Seattle’s tall buildings. You simply cannot go wrong from any rooftop in downtown Seattle, and this rooftop just happened to be 40 stories up with a 360 degree view of our fabulous city. I immediately suggested we scrap my ideas and use theirs instead.
These small elopements are so much fun for me. I collaborate with my couples to pull together some wildly fun and imaginative plans for their special day. A small wedding can feel like a big wedding when you get to Skype the ceremony to your family back home, add an hour of photography courtesy of Jeanne Phinney Photography, 15 of your best friends, and sushi from I love Sushi. Enjoy!