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,, 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 learn more about the Couple’s Choice Awards®, please visit

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.


Historic Robinswood House Summer Wedding

Last summer I had the joy and pleasure of officiating John & Desiree’s wedding at Robinswood House in Bellevue.  The color scheme that Desiree chose was stunning with shades of orange and pink.  For the ceremony, the couple hung frames from a tree and added beautiful bouquets provided by Ravenna Bloom.  Desiree’s son walked her down the aisle and the two couldn’t have looked more happy.   During the ceremony the family participated in the tradition of blending sands, which  included lots of smiles and giggles.  The dinner was held on the outdoor upper patio where tables were adorned with colorful vintage tablecloths.  Dessert, provided by Sweet Side Cake & Al A Mode Pies  included a traditional cake but also an assortment of pies which fit in perfectly for this fun summer wedding.  These special moments and many more were captured by Heather at One Love Photo.  Congratulations Desiree and John!

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, Seattle Wedding, Robinswood House

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, Seattle Wedding, Robinswood House

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, Seattle Wedding, Robinswood House

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, Seattle Wedding, Robinswood House

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, Seattle Wedding, Robinswood House

Seattle Wedding Officiants, Elaine Way, Nondenominational Minister, Seattle Wedding, Robinswood House

The Wedding Ring vs. The Engagement Ring

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

The wedding ring, that most famous and instantly recognizable symbol of the joining of a man and a woman as husband and wife in the institution of marriage, has a long, wide-spread and mysterious history.

The ring is of course a circle and this was the symbol of eternity for the Egyptians as well as many other ancient cultures.  It had no beginning and no end, like time.  It returned to itself, like life; and the  shape was worshipped in the form of the sun and the moon.  The hole in the center of the ring is not just space either; it is important in its own right as the symbol of the gateway, or door; leading to things and events both know and unknown.

It is not difficult therefore, to see how the ring and the  gift of a ring began to be associated with love, in the hope that this most worthy of emotions could take on the characteristics of the circle and capture eternity.

Why the left hand?

A wedding ring is often worn on the left ring finger, which is the fourth finger from the thumb of the left hand.  But in some countries like Bulgaria, Norway, Germany, Poland and Russia it is worn on the right ring finger.  The wedding ring is usually worn on the fourth left ring finger of the left hand because it is believed that the left ring finger contains the “vena amoris” or “vein of love”.  It is traditional belief that the “vein of love” directly ran from the heart to the fourth finger of the left hand.

How to wear the engagement ring on your wedding day

It’s up to you.  Most people move their engagement ring to their right hand so that the wedding band will not be “upstaged” and can be placed first on your finger, in its traditional position “closest to the heart.”  Later you can move your engagement ring to your ring finger as shown below.  You may also want to not wear your engagement ring that day — stow it somewhere safe — especially if you are wearing gloves.

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

Customs, Rituals & Traditions: Let Them Eat Cake!

The Wedding Cake

History:  In ancient Rome, marriages were sealed when the groom smashed a barley cake over the bride’s head. (Luckily, tiaras were not fashionable then.) In medieval England, newlyweds smooched over a pile of buns, supposedly ensuring a prosperous future. Unmarried guests sometimes took home a little piece of cake to tuck under their pillow.

By the mid sixteenth century, though, sugar was becoming plentiful in England. The more refined the sugar, the whiter it was. Pure white icing soon became a wedding cake staple. Not only did the color allude to the bride’s virginity, but the whiteness was “a status symbol, a display of the family’s wealth.” Later, tiered cakes, with their cement-like supports of decorative dried icing, also advertised affluence. Formal wedding cakes became bigger and more elaborate through the Victorian age. In 1947, when Queen Elizabeth II (then Princess Elizabeth) wed Prince Philip, the cake weighed 500 pounds.  (Carol Wilson, Gastronomica article “Wedding Cake: A Slice of History”.)

Fast forward to 2012 and the sky is the limit as far as what you choose for your wedding cake.  Available in almost any size or shape, color or flavor, wedding cakes can be made as simple or elaborate as you wish.  We are all familiar with Mike’s Amazing Cakes.  Mike will take your vision and create a work of art.  I hope Mike provides cutting instructions for his cakes!

Wedding cake from Mike's Amazing Cakes

While you may not want something fanciful and otherworldly like Mike’s cake above, you most certainly will want something to express a bit of yourself through your wedding cake.   For example, there are the wedding colors to take into consideration.  Will it be practical and attractive to incorporate the lime green, raspberry and taupe colors you have chosen for your wedding theme into your wedding cake design?  Probably.  Think about all the flowers that are available in the summer.  A simple layering of flowers in your wedding colors on the cake could easily bring the wedding cake into the color scheme without appearing out-of-place.  Or maybe you don’t care about incorporating the wedding colors and want to decorate the cake with bling?  Or perhaps colors and bling are not what matter at all and it ends up being a unique design with a cake topper reflecting your new family – including the family dog.  Check out the three examples below:

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And what about the cake, icing and filling flavors?  Depending upon your baker, you will have many choices: white cake, chocolate cake, carrot cake to name just a few.  For icing how about buttercream, cream cheese or fondant?  The filling can be as simple as more buttercream or as seasonal and delicious as fresh raspberry mousse.  Pick flavors that you love but also flavors that your guests will enjoy and remember.

Last, but certainly not least: Cupcakes instead of wedding cake?  Yes!  Cupcakes have most definitely proven that they can take the place of a traditional wedding cake.  If you do choose cupcakes for your wedding, you are faced with the same decisions: design, color, flavor.  One of my favorite ideas is to choose your cupcake and frosting flavor and then create a unique edible decal.  You can read more about this idea in my blog post: “Introducing Ticings: Edible Toppers for your Wedding Cake, Cupcakes or Cookies”.   Here’s an example of a cupcake with an edible decal:

Wedding cupcakes instead of wedding cake

Whatever you choose for your wedding cake, be sure to have fun.  This is a time to be inspired and there are so many wonderful bakeries that are more than willing to meet your expectations.

What kind of cake/cupcakes are you having for your wedding?


Customs, Rituals & Traditions: Why do grooms carry brides over the threshold?

Each week I will examine a wedding custom, ritual or tradition that has been passed from generation to generation.  We’ll look at it’s origin and how it has influenced the lives of our ancestors and hot it impacts us today.  We’ll also look at how we create our own customs and how these new traditions are a reaction to and a reflection of our changing world.

Bride on wedding day being carried over threshold

Bride being carried over threshold

Carrying the Bride: Exactly Why?

As it turns out, weddings in the days of yore sometimes followed kidnappings. This explains not only the role of the best man but also why the bride and groom customarily leave the wedding celebration before everyone else. It’s symbolic of the groom stealing away with his bride, whisking her from her family and into a new life with him. The kidnapping theme also explains why grooms carry their brides over the threshold in some cultures. In Medieval Europe, carrying a bride into her new home prevented her from seeming too enthusiastic about losing her virginity. By picking her up and taking her into their home, the groom provided an alibi for his wife’s chastity.

Interestingly, this isn’t the only origin and rationale for a groom carrying his bride across the threshold after their wedding. It appears that this custom also developed in other cultures for different reasons. Chief among these reasons was to thwart bad luck and evil spirits.

Bride and groom over the threshold

Bride being happily carried over the threshold

Superstitious Western Europeans believed that a bride who tripped over the threshold of her new home would irrevocably bring bad luck to her home and marriage. Since the husband appears to have been immune from such happenstance, the groom carrying the bride into the home proved a good way to avoid such a mishap altogether. This fear of tripping appears to have its roots in ancient Roman culture, which held a similar belief.

Much, if not all, of the original meaning behind a groom carrying his bride across the threshold has been lost in modern Western weddings. It’s remarkable that the practice continues, even if a newly wed couple isn’t entirely sure why to do it. It’s almost as if a collective memory of the danger with which a threshold may be fraught remains. And after all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Did you get carried over the threshold on your wedding day?  Was your threshold in some other country on your honeymoon?  I invite you to share your threshold stories with my readers!


Customs, Rituals & Traditions: Something Old, Something New…

Each week I will examine a wedding custom, ritual or tradition that has been passed from generation to generation.  We’ll look at it’s origin and how it has influenced the lives of our ancestors and hot it impacts us today.  We’ll also look at how we create our own customs and how these new traditions are a reaction to and a reflection of our changing world.

Where did the wedding custom of “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” come from?

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

The next line of this old saying actually hints at its origin. The complete phrase is:

Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

A sixpence is a coin that was minted in Britain from 1551 to 1967. It was made of silver and worth six pennies. So this wedding tradition is definitely English, and many sources say that it began in the Victorian era.

Each item in this poem represents a good-luck token for the bride. If she carries all of them on her wedding day, her marriage will be happy. “Something old” symbolizes continuity with the bride’s family and the past. “Something new” means optimism and hope for the bride’s new life ahead. “Something borrowed” is usually an item from a happily married friend or family member, whose good fortune in marriage is supposed to carry over to the new bride. The borrowed item also reminds the bride that she can depend on her friends and family.

As for the colorful item, blue has been connected to weddings for centuries. In ancient Rome, brides wore blue to symbolize love, modesty, and fidelity. Christianity has long dressed the Virgin Mary in blue, so purity was associated with the color. Before the late 19th century, blue was a popular color for wedding gowns, as evidenced in proverbs like, “Marry in blue, lover be true.”

And finally, a silver sixpence in the bride’s shoe represents wealth and financial security. It may date back to a Scottish custom of a groom putting a silver coin under his foot for good luck. For optimum fortune, the sixpence should be in the left shoe. These days, a dime or a copper penny is sometimes substituted, and many companies sell keepsake sixpences for weddings.

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Please share with the readers the items you collected for your Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue tradition on your your wedding day.

Customs, Rituals & Traditions: Celtic Handfasting Ceremony

Each week I will examine a wedding custom, ritual or tradition that has been passed from generation to generation.  We’ll look at its origin and how it has influenced the lives of our ancestors and how it impacts us today.  We’ll also look at how we create our own customs and how these new traditions are a reaction to and a reflection of our changing world.

Handfasting: An Ancient Wedding Tradition

We have all heard the expressions “tied the knot” or “giving one’s hand in marriage”. But have you ever wondered where those sayings came from? And no, it’s not in the same category as the “ball and chain”! It’s in reference to the ancient tradition of handfasting. This lens gives an overview of the ancient tradition of handfasting in Wedding ceremonies.

What is Handfasting?

The term Handfasting is taken from Old Norse “hand-festa” meaning “to strike a bargain by joining hands”. Handfasting is the tradition of lightly binding the hands of a couple together using a cord, rope, ribbons, a scarf, tartan or strips of fabric. It is meant to signify a couples coming together as “One”. (or perhaps to keep the Groom from running away!) Whatever it’s original intention, it has become a popular new tradition for today’s couples seeking new and Spiritual ways to honor their love.

Origins of Handfasting                                                                             

Origins Of Handfasting Handfasting was originally practiced by the Greeks and Romans. The Romans created a garland made of magnolia, elder and roses. It was then wrapped around the couple’s wrists to signify love and fidelity. In ancient legends, lovers were united together as they “tied the knot” in the tradition of Celtic handfasting. The ceremony was especially common in Ireland and Scotland. It was commonly the way that couples were “officially” married before the church became involved in Wedding ceremonies. Variations on the theme have since been used in other countries as well. Handfasting has seen a modern day resurgence owing in part to the movie Braveheart,in which William Wallace and his girlfriend Murron are joined together with a handfasting ceremony. This has especially been true in Scotland where the movie is based.

The Colors Of Handfasting

In the traditions of Celtic handfasting the couple’s wrists are bound together using ribbons of thirteen different colours. Each color has it’s own special meaning:

The Colors of Handfasting

Red: passion, strength, lust, fertility
Orange: encouragement, attraction, kindness, plenty
Yellow: charm, confidence, joy, balance
Green: finances, fertility, charity, prosperity, health
Blue: tranquility, patience, devotion, sincerity
Purple: Power, piety, sanctity, sentimentality
Black: strength, wisdom, vision, success
White: purity, concentration, meditation, peace
Gray: neutrality, canceling, balance
Pink: unity, honor, truth, romance, happiness
Brown: earth, grounding, talent, telepathy, home
Silver: treasure, values, creativity, inspiration
Gold: energy, wealth, intelligence, longevity



[Handfasting~A Wedding Ritual]. November, 2011. Retrieved from:



The Wedding Ceremony

I blog about everything wedding: venues, style, vendors, traditions and more!  What I haven’t blogged about, however, is the actual wedding ceremony.

One of the first things I always tell my couples is, “There is no right way or wrong way to craft your ceremony.  Only your way.”  Having said that, there are some basic components that are a good guideline when you are setting up the structure of your ceremony.



They are:

The Greeting
Reflections on Marriage
Ring Exchange
Blessing or Well Wishes for the Future Couple

In this blog post I would like to address the Greeting.

After the bride has arrived at the front of the venue to take her place next to her groom and all the guests have been seated, there is this quiet moment right before the ceremony begins.  It is a moment of anticipation for the couple, the guests, the family, and me.  At this point in the wedding everyone is really wondering what is going to happen next.  I  believe that the first words that come out of your officiant’s mouth should be thoughtful, meaningful and engaging so that everyone can feel at ease and personally invited to this celebration.  I always like to begin with something like: Welcome Friends and Family to the celebration that will unite (bride and groom) in matrimony!  Next I might say something special about family and/or friends that have traveled all the way from (fill in the blank); and/or those that have passed but are acknowledged in our hearts; and/or how the couples’ wish is that everyone will soon have the right to marry; and/or a special thank you and acknowledgement of both sets of parents for raising the couple and guiding them on the path that brought them to this moment.  At this time the couple may even choose to honor the parents by presenting them each with a bouquet of flowers as a special “thank you.”

In summary, the Greeting is really a time to set the tone for the remainder of the ceremony.  It is an opportunity to put everyone at ease and welcome them as a community to not just watch the couple get married but to feel they are a part of the celebration.

Bella and Jin at Snoqualmie Falls 2011

In future posts I will cover each component of a wedding ceremony.   Next will be “Reflections on Marriage.”

Do you have a special greeting that you incorporated into your wedding ceremony that you would like to share?

New trend in weddings: camping, hiking and everything outdoors!

Ok, so I can already hear a big sigh of “here she goes again” from my colleagues in the wedding industry, but I’m really feeling a trend lately.  That trend is creating a magical wedding day with friends and family at a rustic cabin in the woods, beach house or anywhere outdoors!  I don’t mean the kind where you book a farm location and have it catered by folks from the city or a big lodge in the mountains.  What I am referring to is gathering just close friends, family and the dogs; perhaps hiking a mile or less to a log cabin or beach house (with plumbing, of course); and decorating it in your own personal style.

Beach house with rustic decorations

I happen to LOVE this idea because I grew up in Washington state (yes I am a native) where you can go almost any direction and find numerous hidden getaways.  To the north we have waterfront, farmland and mountains.  To the south we have farmland and waterfront.  To the East we have the Cascade mountain range.   And to the west we have the Olympic Peninsula and the San Juans.   That’s just a general idea of what is available, but consider the following:

~ renting a cabin — or a couple of cabins is an alternative to the hotel or mansion where you are working within someone else’s guidelines
~having a DIY wedding/reception allows you literally a blank canvas to work out a beautiful plan for food, decorations, music and more!
~everyone loves to get out of town!  The entire feeling of your “getaway” wedding will be more relaxed — sort of like a mini vacation!

Wedding night bonfire on the beach!

Please do not misunderstand me.  I wouldn’t be in business if there weren’t any large hotel-style weddings.  But I would like you to consider the alternatives because the sky is the limit!  Be creative, take risks and mostly have fun planning your wedding!!

Me officiating wedding on Tiger Mountain, Issaquah

Check out these links to Seattle parks AND Washington trails: Seattle Parks and Recreation, Washington Trails Association-Seasonal Hikes

Customs, Rituals & Traditions: The Skinny on the White Wedding Dress

Each week I will examine a wedding custom, ritual or tradition that has been passed from generation to generation.  We’ll look at its origin and how it has influenced the lives of our ancestors and how it impacts us today.  We’ll also look at how we create our own customs and how these new traditions are a reaction to and a reflection of our changing world.

The White Wedding Dress

White has long been accepted as the traditional color of the wedding dress, but wedding gowns were not always white. The marriage of Queen Victoria to her cousin Albert of Saxe- Coburg in 1840 has had more influence on weddings than any other. Queen Victoria put the wheels in motion by marrying in white. Though brides continued to wed in gowns of different colors, white was now set as the color of choice for weddings and has continued ever since.

Queen Victoria: 1840

The Industrial Revolution also brought about change. By the 1890’s and the arrival of the department store, almost every woman could realize her dream of being married in a “new” wedding dress. The white dress was gaining popularity and in 1890, Ladies Home Journal wrote: “That from times immemorial the bride’s gown has been white”. Although this statement was not true, it shows how deeply accepted it was that a wedding gown be white. Although white was popular, some brides, especially the frontier brides, wore dresses that were more practical and could be worn after the wedding. As wedding dresses closely resembled the fashions of the time, only a little alteration was needed for the dress to be perfect to wear again.

Edwardian brides took the traditions of their Victorian ancestors to new extremes. Fashions became more extravagant as the decade progressed, but came to a screeching halt with the outbreak of WWI. Styles became simpler, and also reflected the changing role of women in society with hems getting shorter and the disposing of tightly laced corsets. Coco Chanel was a powerful force behind the change in women’s’ fashions, and was the one who officially introduced the short wedding dress in the 1920’s. It was a white knee length dress worn with a long train. This cemented white as the universal color of the wedding dress.

Coco Chanel: 1920

When the Depression hit, brides made do with their “best” dress for the wedding. My great grandmother, who was married in 1928 had a new white wedding dress, but after the wedding she dyed it navy, keeping only the collar and cuffs white—a common practice at that time. During WWII, women considered it their duty to give up the traditional wedding , although most brides might be engaged only for a few weeks or even days before the wedding took place. This did not leave enough time to find a wedding dress so the best suit had to do. If the bride was set on having a white dress, one could be borrowed or rented for the ceremony. If both the bride and groom were in the military they were married in their respective uniforms.

After the war, prosperity made it possible for the large dream weddings inspired by the Victorian era to become a reality. Grace Kelly’s marriage to Prince Monaco garnered much publicity because of its grand fairy tale wedding. She wore a white silk and lace gown. The focus of wedding dresses has shifted since the 1950”s. The emphasis now is on the individuality of the bride. So whatever color you choose to be married in, you now know a bit more behind the tradition of the white wedding dress.

Vera Wang: 2011

McIntyre, K. (n.d.) [The History of the White Wedding Dress]. Retrieved from: