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Rose Garden Wedding

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.

Please enjoy the following photos of Janee and Raheem’s rose garden wedding courtesy of Jen Sanders Photography.  Flowers courtesy of Metropolitan Market, Queen Anne.

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Be sure to check out my Small, Elope or Last Minute Wedding page for more information!

Cherry Blossom Elopements

Look what we are doing ~ Cherry Blossom Elopements! Nothing says spring like a walk through cherry trees. And what is more romantic than getting married in the spring underneath cherry tree blossoms? To help fuel your passion for spring and each other we’ve put together the perfect package.  Our Cherry Blossom Elopement package includes three plus locations depending on which has the best bloom, my services to officiate your ceremony and one hour of photography. Call me for details for your Cherry Blossom Elopement!

Cherry Blossom Elopements, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Seattle elopement, elope in seattle, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Last minute wedding, Elaine Way

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.”

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Wedding Officiant, Seattle Officiant, Elaine Way, Book Your Officiant Early

Data based on WedInisights, industry data from WeddingWire

Small Seattle Elopement

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!

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Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding, Small Seattle Wedding, Seattle Elopement, I love sushi, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Seattle Officiant, Last Minute Wedding, Seattle Wedding Packages

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding, Small Seattle Wedding, Seattle Elopement, I love sushi, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Seattle Officiant, Last Minute Wedding, Seattle Wedding Packages

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding, Small Seattle Wedding, Seattle Elopement, I love sushi, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Seattle Officiant, Last Minute Wedding, Seattle Wedding Packages

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding, Small Seattle Wedding, Seattle Elopement, I love sushi, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Seattle Officiant, Last Minute Wedding, Seattle Wedding Packages

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding, Small Seattle Wedding, Seattle Elopement, I love sushi, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Seattle Officiant, Last Minute Wedding, Seattle Wedding Packages

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding, Small Seattle Wedding, Seattle Elopement, I love sushi, Jeanne Phinney Photography, Seattle Officiant, Last Minute Wedding, Seattle Wedding Packages

Elope Wedding Seattle

This is an e-mail I just received from a couple who live in Idaho and want to have an Elope Wedding Seattle style:

“We have been scouring the internet for an officiant that would fit the uniqueness of our wedding plans and our relationship.  We came across your website and what you posted really jumped out at us.”

In many cases, couples who want to elope have chosen to have their wedding day be an intimate event with just the two of them.  It could also be a personal or financial decision — or maybe they have never been to Seattle and want to combine a vacation to the Pacific Northwest with a small wedding.  Whatever the reason, I can help!

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

I love every wedding I officiate.  Whether it’s a small elopement or a large event with 200 people, I always bring my passion and enthusiasm to the wedding process.  Elopements are extra fun for me because I often get to act as an ambassador of Seattle — offering my expertise on different ceremony locations, restaurants to celebrate at afterwards and of course — crafting a ceremony that reflects the love between the couple.  So far in 2015 ceremony locations have included the list below:

Private suite at the Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland
On  a dock at Greenlake in Seattle
Private suite at the Seattle PanPacific Hotel
Private home on Queen Anne
Space Needle Observation Deck (2)
Washington State Ferry
Seattle Waterfront-Myrtle Edwards Park/Beach

These locations are just a handful of the many beautiful indoor and outdoor possibilities for your Seattle elopement.  If you want to add a photographer for an hour or two I can help with that also.  My photography packages can be tailored to your needs and they include my officiant services. I also offer Wedding Packages for your Seattle elopement.

Below are some of the photographs from an elopement that took place this past weekend.  This lovely couple had planned on having a large wedding in California but at the last minute decided to elope to Seattle.  I helped them get an upgrade on their room at the Edgewater Hotel so they could have a water view with a balcony on their wedding night.  I also arranged for flowers and champagne to be delivered to their room upon arrival.  The bride had a custom-made bouquet and the groom had a matching boutonniere that I obtained through Metropolitan Market.  They dined at Aqua  after the ceremony where I arranged for them to have a table with a view of Puget Sound.  And the best part is that all of this was photographed by the amazing and talented Nicole Bischel of Orange Anchor Photography.

If you are planning to elope to Seattle, please contact me.  I would love to be your officiant AND your Seattle hospitality expert.  Enjoy!

Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Seattle Elope, Elope Wedding Seattle, Non-denominational officiant, Aqua restaurant, Orange Anchor Photography

Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Seattle Elope, Elope Wedding Seattle, Non-denominational officiant, Aqua restaurant, Orange Anchor Photography

Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Seattle Elope, Elope Wedding Seattle, Non-denominational officiant, Aqua restaurant, Orange Anchor Photography

Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Seattle Elope, Elope Wedding Seattle, Non-denominational officiant, Aqua restaurant, Orange Anchor Photography

Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Seattle Elope, Elope Wedding Seattle, Non-denominational officiant, Aqua restaurant, Orange Anchor Photography

Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Seattle Elope, Elope Wedding Seattle, Non-denominational officiant, Aqua restaurant, Orange Anchor Photography

Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Seattle Elope, Elope Wedding Seattle, Non-denominational officiant, Aqua restaurant, Orange Anchor Photography

Small Outdoor Wedding Seattle

Frequently I am asked by couples for recommendations for small outdoor wedding Seattle locations.  This past May I was contacted by Josh and Crystal who were on a six-week road trip beginning in Vancouver, B.C.  Their wish was to have an intimate wedding while stopping in Seattle before heading down the coast.  I was thrilled to be a part of their planning.  Being a native of Seattle I get really excited when couples make the Emerald City their destination wedding location.  I love to introduce people to the city I grew up in.  In addition, I get the pleasure of meeting people from all parts of the country.

We started talking about locations for their elopement and decided on Golden Gardens Beach.  One of the reasons for this location was that I had arranged for a bed and breakfast for Josh and Crystal that was literally right up the street.  Sunset Hill B&B is a 100-yr-old renovated farmhouse.  The proprietor is a friend of mine and it is with joy that I refer guests to her urban retreat.  Read more about Sunset Hill B&B.

On the day of their wedding, I drove to the B&B and captured pictures of their “first look.”  Crystal looked charming and beautiful in her vintage gown.  And Josh beamed as he saw his bride for the first time.  The sunflowers in Crystal’s bouquet were even smiling!

Next we drove down the hill to the beach where our photographer, Jeanne Phinney of Jeanne Phinney Photography was waiting for us.  The following photographs are a beautiful reminder that even small weddings can have huge feelings.

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Small Outdoor Wedding Seattle, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding, Golden Gardens Wedding, Last Minute Wedding, Small Wedding Seattle

Small Outdoor Wedding Seattle, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding, Golden Gardens Wedding, Last Minute Wedding, Small Wedding Seattle

Small Outdoor Wedding Seattle, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding, Golden Gardens Wedding, Last Minute Wedding, Small Wedding Seattle

Small Outdoor Wedding Seattle, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding, Golden Gardens Wedding, Last Minute Wedding, Small Wedding Seattle

Small Outdoor Wedding Seattle, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding, Golden Gardens Wedding, Last Minute Wedding, Small Wedding Seattle

Small Outdoor Wedding Seattle, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding, Golden Gardens Wedding, Last Minute Wedding, Small Wedding Seattle

Center for Wooden Boats Wedding

Last summer I had the pleasure of being contacted by Sarah and Paul regarding their upcoming wedding at the Center for Wooden Boats on Lake Union.  Their wedding was only two-and-a-half months away, and travelling for work was in Sarah’s immediate future.  Needless to say, we needed to get started on their ceremony and wrap up details quickly before Sarah left the country.  Fortunately, we  had the help of my friend and colleague Kelli Bielema at Shindig Events.  Everything was more or less in place except the officiant – me!  Sarah and Paul are a laid back couple but they clearly wanted something special and unique for this ceremony.  Together, we wrote something they loved and the ceremony turned out perfectly — including random pauses for the planes taking off and landing on the lake.  Speaking of planes, family and friends flew in from around the country.  One friend made Sarah’s beautiful bouquet (see below).  The music was provided by Swing Soiree and the food from Herban Feast.  Beautiful couple, beautiful setting, fabulous wedding!  Enjoy the photos from Sarah and Paul’s Center for Wooden Boats wedding below.

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Center for wooden boats wedding, Elaine Way, Seattle wedding officiants, Nondenominational minister, Seattle Wedding, Wedding Officiant Seattle

Center for wooden boats wedding, Elaine Way, Seattle wedding officiants, Nondenominational minister, Seattle Wedding, Wedding Officiant Seattle, Swing Soiree

Center for wooden boats wedding, Elaine Way, Seattle wedding officiants, Nondenominational minister, Seattle Wedding, Wedding Officiant Seattle

Center for wooden boats wedding, Elaine Way, Seattle wedding officiants, Nondenominational minister, Seattle Wedding, Wedding Officiant Seattle

Center for wooden boats wedding, Elaine Way, Seattle wedding officiants, Nondenominational minister, Seattle Wedding, Wedding Officiant Seattle

Kayak Wedding on Lake Union

A few months back I was contacted by Al and Teya from Lithuania.  As we Skyped, they explained to me that they were coming back to the U.S. and wanted to get married in kayaks in Seattle.  They also wanted their officiant to be in a kayak to perform the ceremony.  Their vision included having a spot where those who didn’t want to kayak could watch from land.  I enthusiastically agreed to be their “sea-going” officiant and offered to research some options for them.

The first location that I thought of for a great kayaking destination, and also a location where guests could watch from land was Foster Island in the Arboretum.  I have taken many walks on the boardwalk out to Foster Island and I always see people kayaking and rowing through these beautiful wetlands.  I took my dogs down there one Sunday afternoon just to check out our options.  I saw many charming docks and platforms where guests could watch the ceremony and that we could easily kayak to.  I took some pictures and sent them to Al and Teya in Lithunia along with kayak rental information.

After discussing a few small changes we agreed on our route and made plans to meet at a location on Lake Union where we would launch our kayaks.

The big wedding day came and WOW!!! the weather was really bad.  It was pouring rain, the wind was blowing and it was cold.  I wasn’t sure I still wanted to be a part of this adventure and spoke with Al about a possible plan B.  (By the way, I always have a plan B.)  He was persistent, however, and after agreeing to shorten our time on the water I decided to join everyone.

Please enjoy the following pictures of this amazing wedding day of Al and Teya!

Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Nondenominational Minister, Seattle Wedding, Seattle Wedding Officiant, Wedding Seattle, Seattle Wedding Officiants

Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Nondenominational Minister, Seattle Wedding, Seattle Wedding Officiant, Wedding Seattle, Seattle Wedding Officiants

Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Nondenominational Minister, Seattle Wedding, Seattle Wedding Officiant, Wedding Seattle, Seattle Wedding Officiants

Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Nondenominational Minister, Seattle Wedding, Seattle Wedding Officiant, Wedding Seattle, Seattle Wedding Officiants

Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Nondenominational Minister, Seattle Wedding, Seattle Wedding Officiant, Wedding Seattle

Elaine Way, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Nondenominational Minister, Seattle Wedding, Seattle Wedding Officiant, Wedding SeattleHappily ever after!

Last Minute Wedding? I can do it!

The couples I marry contact me with all different lead times for their wedding.  Sometimes I get the inquiry for my services months in advance — in fact I have already booked a wedding for 2013!  And other times I get a phone call from a couple who exclaims, “We want to get married as soon as possible”.  I will then ask, “how soon?”.  And they may answer tomorrow or next week or even next month.  That is what I often refer to as a “last minute wedding”.

A last minute wedding  can be any of the following:

  • You want a small, intimate wedding with just close friends
  • One or both of you have been called on military deployment
  • You eloped and now you want a real ceremony in front of friends and family
  • You want an understated but charming ‘second-time-around’ wedding
  • You need a perfectly planned, short-notice vow renewals ceremony
  • You pulled everything together at the last minute but you forgot to hire an officiant!

Whatever your situation, I can help!  Recently, I officiated a beautiful wedding for a small group of 20 at the Palisades Restaurant’s Magnolia room.  My couple called me a month in advance for what turned out to be a beautifully orchestrated day – with only a month’s planning.

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Last minute wedding, Magnolia Room Palisades Restaurant, Palisades restaurant, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Seattle Wedding, Elaine Way

This weekend I also had the pleasure of officiating a last minute wedding at Gasworks Park.  What an amazing day it was on top of the hill overlooking Lake Union.  The couple even brought their pooch, Bennett!

Last minute wedding, Gasworks park, park wedding, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, quick wedding

last minute wedding, Gasworks park, park wedding, Seattle Wedding, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way

There are so many fun and beautiful locations to have your last minute wedding.  I am a native of Seattle and I have many favorites.  Here are just a few recommendations for your last minute wedding:

And don’t forget to check out all the hundreds of Seattle parks:  http://www.seattle.gov/parks/.  Each park has it’s own rules and regulations so you will want to make sure to read the fine print.

Call me today (206.406.7919) to help you get started planning your last minute wedding!

Food Truck For Your Wedding Caterer? You Bet!

I was strolling through the grocery store the other day when a magazine cover of Seattle Met (May issue) caught my eye.  The cover’s title said in big blocky letters:  FOOD TRUCKS.  Being the foodie that I am (I know we are all sick of that term but I don’t know what else to call myself), I immediately purchased the magazine.  I was intrigued with what seems to be a new trend in Seattle — moving wheels of goodness.  I went home and read the article with fascination….and here’s what I learned.

Seattle Food Truck, Catering, Seattle Wedding, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way

Did you know that there are 143 full service food trucks scattered around our city?  Did you know that in July 2011 the city council adopted legislation that opened up public roadways to food trucks?  Did you know that food trucks serve everything from crepes to BBQ to grass-fed beef burgers piled high with arugula and cambozola slathered with bacon jam?  Me neither…

Seattle Food Trucks, Seattle Catering, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Seattle Wedding, Elaine Way

So what about a food truck for your wedding reception?  I would like to suggest to my audience (engaged couples and couples hoping to be engaged) that we take a moment to think outside of the box.  Picture an outdoor summer wedding at a beautiful Seattle Park, i.e. Coleman Park on the shores of Lake Washington.  It’s post-ceremony and your guests are ready to eat, drink and be “marry.”   In rolls Skillet Street Food to serve up a delicious meal of kale ceasar salad, grilled asparagus and braised Draper Valley chicken.  Really – you ask?  A food truck can prepare a scrumptious meal on the road?  Yes! Yes! Yes!

Seattle Food Truck, catering, Seattle catering, Seattle wedding, Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way

If you are as intrigued as I was about this new trend of rolling nirvana, please check out Christopher Werner’s entire article in the current issue of Seattle Met: Food Truck City.   This article completely turned my head around about this style of catering that is perfect for an outdoor, indoor or anywhere Seattle wedding!

(Pictures courtesy of Young Lee Photography)