WOAH. Our wedding. Of course I had to share some photos because I LOVED OUR WEDDING, but I also wanted to give a virtual shout out to all of our amazing vendors that helped make this day so special for the two of us. Looking back, there are so many things to remember, so many thoughts I jotted down in my mind as the day progressed….things that changed last minute and happened unexpectedly. So many things we enjoyed, learned from, and will hold in our hearts forever. I apologize for the novel you’re about to read, but I’m passionate about weddings. They’re extraordinary days with extraordinary people. SO, let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
We knew (or rather, I knew) from day one of our engagement I wanted our wedding to be small and take place somewhere meaningful to us. After seeing/shooting 100+ weddings I knew exactly what I DIDN’T want. I didn’t want to be rushed trying to beat a venue clock (no “you have to be done at 10pm” sort of thing). I didn’t want us having to work around the parameters of a formal venue (no outside catering, no hard alcohol, no this, no that). And most importantly, at the end of the night I didn’t want to feel like I didn’t get to chance to sit down and speak to every single person in attendance, spend time with them, see their faces. Having that perspective helped me explain to Tyler why those things mattered, and of course, who couldn’t agree that those are important? Did having it small make it go by slow, you ask? Hell no. It went by in a flash, but there are so many vivid memories we have of that day because we cushioned it with a ton of extra time and were purposeful with each and every detail. We didn’t want to ever ask someone what time it was, or say “shoot, we’re late!”. We wanted to float. In all, we wanted everything to reflect a few important ideals. Intention. Family tradition. Joy. Without taking ourselves TOO seriously.
So, then we began assembling our wedding “team”. The people I knew would help me reflect these same intentions and make our day how we’d imagined it. I didn’t want to just choose anyone. There were some people I knew I wanted to work with off the bat — people I had worked with before that I knew were a perfect match — but, others I had to research until I felt that click. When I meet with potential clients or speak with friends recently engaged, I always encourage them to do the same when they’re planning their wedding. These people are spending the majority of the day with you, it’s important that you like them. :)
I’ve written a little bit about each person at the end of the post and I hope you read it. These people are the best of the best (in my eyes) not because they are at the top of the a google search or have 10 features in magazines, or are the “cream of the crop”, but because they are damn good at what they do and they’re passionate about it. THEY CARE.
We ended up holding the wedding at Tyler’s parents house on Vashon Island, a quick ferry ride away from West Seattle, where we live. Vashon has quickly become one of my favorite places to be. It’s quiet, welcoming, with big stretches of woods & beaches. It’s somewhere we imagine raising kids one day (woah!). It’s the home that Tyler grew up in and we visit any chance we have. It’s been such a big part of our relationship and we knew that it just made sense to get married there. After a loving “a-okay” from Tyler’s parents, we began to plan. The ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception all took place in different lawns so we could have people flow from one place to the next. We only had 38 people attend, so the whole time it felt extremely intimate. Not once did I feel like it was too small. It was amazing to look around and see all “my people” talking and hanging out with “Tyler’s people”. And for a wedding of 38, we kept that dance floor jam packed all night long. We didn’t have bridal parties per say. I had 8 of my close friends in attendance and the intimacy of the wedding itself made it feel special. I had my two sisters as honorary bridesmaids and Tyler had 2 friends hold a few responsibilities, but we didn’t want anyone standing up with us at the ceremony, no bridal party entrances to the reception, none of that. Frankly, I’m not a fan of bridal parties (sorry, I’m saying it). During the ceremony we wanted everyone to be able to sit with their significant others or families and see our faces. No staring at the backs of our heads. But, they did readings, gave speeches, signed the marriage certificate and ultimately felt included. (So, hey future brides, it’s OKAY to completely nix a bridal party!). Wink, wink.
For dinner we ate a traditional Polish meal. Three kinds of pierogi, a vegetable medley, potatoes, sauerkraut salad, pickles, etc. It was dang good. And filling. I’ve seen it happen at weddings where brides don’t even get a chance to eat. Nope, not us. I wanted a giant family dinner. I wanted to actually sit down and eat on my wedding day. I wanted bottles and bottles of wine to be passed around, no rushing, just eating and enjoying. There was also Polish vodka available — served out of crystal decanters from my grandmother — and a Polish dessert my dad always makes, mazurek (think honey graham cracker crust with chocolate on top). Essentially, there were a lot of family memories jam packed onto a small dinner plate.
After dinner, we drank, danced, and had a bonfire. We threw out some formalities, kept others. We did what we cared about and we took our time, ate late night mac’n’cheese, ran around barefoot. Drank whiskey out of the bottle (or what was left of it). It was perfection.
So, without further adieu, our wedding (240 photos…deal with it. I couldn’t narrow it down).
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