Waterfall Elopement

One of the things I love about elopements is that the sky is literally the limit as to where, when, and how I get to help couples create something magical for their special day.  Just because it’s a small wedding doesn’t mean you have to go to the courthouse.  Couples who want something special  contact me for ideas and suggestions.  Sometimes they want a beach, sometimes they want a park.  Bianca and Tony expressed an interest in having a big wedding feel for their elopement.  This is what they shared with me:

“We were originally planning to have a destination wedding in February. We decided we didn’t want to wait to get married so we were going to get married at the court house. I felt a little disappointed because I wanted flowers, a dress, and pictures. We looked up eloping in Seattle and found you!”

In our initial consultation we decided on a mid-week early morning elopement with Franklin Falls as our destination.  The trail is beautiful and well groomed with tall evergreen trees on every side.  The Snoqualmie River runs parallel to the trail and creates a soothing sound of rushing water below.  It is a fairly short hike and very enjoyable.

On the day of the wedding, we all met in North Bend, which is a short drive from the trail head to the falls.  We drove up in a caravan with their photographer, Jeanne Phinney Photography  and me in one car and the couple in the other.  They brought along their hair and make-up artist, Shannon Mercil, as an additional witness and to do touch-ups along the way.

Bianca and Tony both brought wedding clothes to change in and hiked up the trail looking lovely.  Bianca also had a flower crown made along with a gorgeous bouquet from Woodinville Florist.

It was a pleasant surprise to arrive at the falls and see  that we were practically by ourselves.  This location can get uncomfortably busy in the summer.  Even though it’s less crowded in the fall, weekdays are still best if you want to have the falls to yourself.

We began with some fun pictures in front of the falls and then had their sweet ceremony.  They shared a few tears but mostly they were both smiling from ear to ear.  Jeanne took some more pictures and then we hiked out.

When we arrived at our cars, Bianca and Tony produced a cake they had brought with them.  Jeanne took some fun pictures of them eating cake and having a little toast.

Below are some great photos of Bianca and Tony’s waterfall elopement.  Enjoy!

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Franklin Falls Elopement

Vanessa & Roxanne contacted me in May to discuss having an “epic falls wedding” at Snoqualmie Falls.  In other words, they wanted to be right down in front of the falls to exchange their vows.  What they didn’t know is that it isn’t that easy to get down to the base of the falls any longer.  You can do it but only if everyone is a gymnast, including the photographer, and you have some sort of utility ladder.  So instead, I recommended Franklin Falls around the same area for their June elopement.  They liked the pictures I shared with them and we began to plan their Franklin Falls elopement.

Franklin Falls is about a 90 minute drive from Seattle and then there is a little hike into the falls.  We decided to meet halfway and then caravan to the trail head.  Once we got out of the city and close to our destination we discovered some great photo opportunities and took time to stop and capture some beautiful shots of the couple.

We arrived at Franklin Falls and set out on the trail.  It was so beautiful with Northwest evergreens all around us.  The trail is very well maintained and there is a river running below all along the trail.  What an incredible little hike.  We stopped along the trail to get more photos of Vanessa and Roxanne, and their excitement grew every step of the way.

We arrived to the falls and there was only one other couple there.  So we basically had the falls to ourselves.  The ceremony was lovely and afterwards Vanessa and Roxanne popped a bottle of champagne that they had hiked in with to celebrate with their friends.

All in all I would highly recommend this little day trip for your Franklin Falls Elopement.  It’s well worth it and not far from Seattle.  I hope you enjoy the fabulous photographs that Jeanne Phinney Photography captured for Vanessa and Roxanne!

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Wedding Wire Rated

Seattle Wedding Officiants Named One of the Elite ‘WeddingWire Rated™ 250 Level’ Companies
Company Honored for Having Over 250 Reviews Highlighting Its Top Notch Quality Service

Seattle, Washington – July 7, 2016 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading online wedding marketplace, is pleased to announce that Seattle Wedding Officiants has reached the prestigious WeddingWire Rated™ 250 Level, by earning more than 250 wedding reviews for Officiant in Seattle, Washington.

The esteemed WeddingWire Rated™ program recognizes wedding professionals who have received positive newlywed reviews about their business on WeddingWire. Since receiving over 250 wedding reviews, Seattle Wedding Officiants is now placed at the elite Rated™ 250 Level. The program recognizes businesses across more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, and requires a minimum of three wedding reviews and an average score of 3.5 stars or higher.

Within the WeddingWire Rated™ program, there are seven different levels that wedding professionals can reach based on the number of wedding reviews they receive (3, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250 and 500). The WeddingWire Rated™ 250 Level is reserved for a select group of businesses who have received 250 or more newlywed reviews.

As a member of WeddingWire, the world’s largest wedding review site with over two million reviews, Seattle Wedding Officiants’s advancement to the Rated™ 250 Level is considered the ultimate milestone, illustrating the business’ commitment to regularly providing quality service to their clients. As a WeddingWire Rated™ Black badge-holder, Seattle Wedding Officiants has reached the highest level of achievement on WeddingWire.

“To have exceeded 250 client reviews is a tremendous accomplishment that only a select group of wedding professionals have reached,” said Sonny Ganguly, CMO, WeddingWire. “We are honored to recognize Seattle Wedding Officiants for their impressive work within the wedding industry as indicated by their past clients. This great achievement showcases their strong track record of success and a steadfast commitment to earning positive reviews, each and every year.”

“Seattle Wedding Officiants is thrilled to have reached the Rated™ 250 Level for Officiant in Seattle, Washington. Providing positive experiences for our clients is our number one priority, and we would like to thank them for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. Each review allows potential clients to see that we are committed to providing excellent service on a consistent and ongoing basis, and we look forward to continued success.”

For more information about Seattle Wedding Officiants, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront at https://www.weddingwire.com/reviews/seattle-wedding-officiants-seattle/355963dc6eae85dc.html.

To learn more about the WeddingWire Rated™ program, please visit http://wed.li/ratedinfo

About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire, the leading technology company serving the $100 billion wedding and events industry, is the largest online vertical marketplace connecting engaged couples with event professionals. With more than 2 million consumer reviews, it is the industry leader in consumer reviews. The site enables engaged couples to search, compare and book from an extensive database of more than 200,000 recently reviewed event professionals, from venues to photographers. WeddingWire provides event professionals with the technology they need to serve their clients, including a SaaS platform, which powers advertising, marketing, and CRM needs of local wedding and events businesses nationwide.

Seattle Pop-up Wedding

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.

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Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding, Elope Seattle, Seattle pop-up wedding.

Book Your Officiant Early!

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.”

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Data based on WedInisights, industry data from WeddingWire

Snoqualmie Falls Wedding

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!

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Small Fairmont Hotel Seattle Wedding

Paul and Susan contacted me just after the first of the year to brainstorm ideas for their small wedding.  After some thought they decided on a small Fairmont Hotel Seattle wedding.  I love the Fairmont!  I actually worked there when it was the Four Seasons Olympic as a hotel Concierge.  This hotel is luxurious with an over-the-top attention to detail.

Paul and Susan’s group was small, consisting of Paul’s daughters and their husbands, me and our photographer, Jeanne of Jeanne Phinney PhotographyMetropolitan Market provided Susan’s lovely winter white bouquet with a matching boutonniere for Paul.  They reserved a beautiful corner suite for the ceremony and a small celebration afterwards.  Later they all went to the Georgian Room for dinner.  Talk about an elegant way to celebrate an intimate wedding.  Jeanne captured some lovely moments between Paul and Susan before, during and after the wedding. Congratulations Susan and Paul!

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Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Small Fairmont Hotel Seattle Wedding, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Seattle Officiant, Seattle Officiant Wedding, Seattle Wedding Officiants non-religious

Space Needle Observation Deck Wedding

Serena and Michael contacted me in December to inquire about a Space Needle Observation Deck wedding.  They explained to me that they had enjoyed their very first date there approximately two years ago.  They now wanted to come back and celebrate their nuptials with their blended family on Valentine’s day.

I have officiated several weddings on the observation deck and it’s never a dull moment.  You can always guarantee you will have wedding crashers but they all have the best intentions.  Who wouldn’t want to be visiting one of Seattle’s favorite icons and have the opportunity to suddenly be in the middle of a wedding?  If you have a Space Needle Observation Deck wedding expect a lot of cheering from people you have never met before in your life!

Just because you are eloping doesn’t mean you have to fore-go the extra touches

Seattle Wedding Officiants is proud to offer photography and flowers for small weddings under 20 people.  Serena and Michael requested two hours of photography so they could get some family photos AND  of course the cherished “first look” photo, which was done at Peace Garden.  Side note: That’s the family in the background of their first look picture pretending to be paparazzi.  I arrived an hour before their ceremony and brought a beautiful customized bouquet for Serena and matching boutonniere for Michael.  In addition, I provided a smaller boutonniere for Serena’s son and wrist-let for Michael’s daughter (flowers provided by Metropolitan Market).

This small group had huge smiles from beginning to end.  In fact, right after I pronounced Michael and Serena husband and wife at the top of the needle, their 7-yr-old son burst out in tears and exclaimed, “it’s too exciting.”  Congratulations Serena and Michael and lots of love to your new lovely family!

Enjoy the following photos by Jen Sanders Photography.

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Historic 1625 Tacoma Place Wedding

I met Emily and Anthony about five months before their October 2014 wedding.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I had officiated the wedding of Anthony’s sister and brother-in-law a few years previously.  I love it when this happens because I get to celebrate with the new couple and catch up on the family too. Emily and Anthony chose Historic 1625 Tacoma Place for their fall wedding.  Historic 1625 is a 6,000 square foot venue with high ceilings and separate rooms for both the ceremony and reception.  It was a perfect location for Emily and Anthony’s 175 guests.

Everything was elegant about this wedding.  From the black tuxedos on Anthony and his groomsmen to the beautiful black gowns on the bridesmaids — everyone looked amazing.  Emily was gorgeous and elegant in her gown and veil, and she sparkled from head to toe.  The tables were beautifully decorated, and Emily and Anthony even made some home brew.  This couple beamed with love through the entire ceremony, which included a wine box and love letter exchange.  With 175 of their family and friends around them, a good time was had by all.  Please enjoy the beautiful photography of Vail Studio.  Congratulations Emily and Anthony!

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio
Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, historic 1625 tacoma place wedding, Vail Studio

Seattle Wedding Officiants Wins 2015 Couples’ Choice

Wedding Wire 2015

Elaine Way of Seattle‘s Own Seattle Wedding Officiants Wins a WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award® 2015Seattle, WAJanuary 15, 2015 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading online wedding marketplace, named Seattle Wedding Officiants as a winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2015 for Officiant in Seattle!The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2015 recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The esteemed awards are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their professional achievements from the previous year.While many industry award winners are selected by the host organization, the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with Seattle Wedding Officiants. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients.”It’s always exciting to start the year by honoring the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Network who represent more than two million reviews on our website,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Each of the businesses recognized are committed to quality, professionalism and all around top-notch service. We applaud Seattle Wedding Officiants for their impressive achievements within the wedding industry.”As a Couples’ Choice Awards® winner, Seattle Wedding Officiants is highlighted within the WeddingWire Network, which is comprised of more than 200,000 wedding professionals throughout North America and abroad.Seattle Wedding Officiants is proud to be one of the top Officiant in Seattle in the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding sites such as WeddingWire, Project Wedding, Brides.com, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. We value all of our clients and truly appreciate the positive feedback that helped us earn the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2015.For more information about Seattle Wedding Officiants, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today at http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/seattle-wedding-officiants-seattle/355963dc6eae85dc.html.To learn more about the Couple’s Choice Awards®, please visit www.weddingwire.com/couples-choice-awards.

About WeddingWire
WeddingWire, the leading technology company serving the $100 billion wedding and events industry, is the largest online vertical marketplace connecting engaged couples with event professionals. With more than two million consumer reviews, it is the industry leader in consumer reviews. The site enables engaged couples to search, compare and book from an extensive database of more than 200,000 recently reviewed event professionals, from venues to photographers. WeddingWire provides event professionals with the technology they need to serve their clients, including a SaaS platform, which powers advertising, marketing, and CRM needs of local wedding and events businesses nationwide.