Brooke and Josh's wedding, photographed by Sarah Postma Photography, was a joyful affair that brought together loved ones from all over the world. This wedding is lovely and honest. Take a look!
The Pacific Northwest is a stunning region, full of picturesque forests, mountains and beaches. With all this beauty, it’s no wonder that many local couples opt for outdoor weddings.
But while the landscape is beautiful, the weather is unpredictable. We’ve compiled a list of essential items to ensure your guests stay comfortable (and dry) at your outdoor wedding.
A large tent: This is the most important item on the list. Hopefully the weather is perfect on your big day, but it’s important to give your guests a place to get out of the rain or the sun on a hot day.
Insect repellent: If the mosquitoes are particularly bad, consider having the grounds sprayed a couple of days before your wedding. Check with your venue to see if they can arrange this service. Electronic insect repellents can also provide protection over large areas.
Sunscreen: Provide it in your guest’s welcome bags!
Handheld fans: Tip: Try turning your program into a fan – all you need is cardstock or cardboard, glue and some popsicle sticks.
Restrooms: If your venue doesn’t have a restroom, you’ll have to supply one. These can range from basic to deluxe depending on your budget.
Staging area: Make sure you’ve got somewhere nearby to get dressed before the wedding.
Rope or string: This has a million uses – tie things down if it gets windy, hang lanterns or use it to decorate!
Lights: String lights are beautiful if you’ve got electrical outlets to plug them in. Citronella candles or torches make a great insect-repelling alternative.
Blankets: Keep your guests comfortable on a cool night with throw blankets. (We love a bonfire on nights like this, but get the OK from your venue and check for any fire bans first!)
First aid kit: Be prepared for any bee stings, cuts or burns.
Garbage bags: Pack your trash out!
Ethen and Heather's Salt Lake City wedding, photographed by Tony Gambino, was the epitome of style and grace, and yet still full of laughter. The couple's portraits, taken at the Bonneville Salt Flats in northwestern Utah, are nothing short of stunning.
As soon as you begin planning your wedding, you will be inundated with well intentioned but somewhat clichéd advice from friends and family members. Truly helpful advice can be hard to come by, so we asked a few recently married locals for advice they wish they’d gotten while planning their weddings. This is what they had to say:
“Employ professionals! Don’t try to do it all yourself. I did that, and on my wedding day my parents didn’t get to enjoy it because they were taking care of everything. It’s been a year and anytime I think of my wedding day, I think of that. I have very few pictures of me with my parents, and it kills me.”
– Ashley N.
“I wish I had worried less about the actual party and tiny details, but I really wish we had gotten a professional photographer instead of having our friend take them. We have hardly any photos of my husband and me that aren’t just candid ones from friends.”
– Marina B.
“There are a lot of times in your life when it’s unacceptable to be selfish. Your wedding day is not one of those times. Despite the pressure you may feel to accommodate friends and family, this day is about you and the person you’re marrying. It’s supposed to be the best, most memorable moment of your life. Don’t forget that.”
– Steve G.
“Get your girls involved in planning. Make planning parties, craft and wine parties, etc. and enjoy it! Just be sure no one dominates your plans and don’t let the planning cloud the meaning of actually getting married.”
– Katherine E.
“Don’t obsess about the little things. I know it’s easier said than done, but a month after your wedding, you won’t care if your favors all looked perfect (actually, most guests will probably forget to take them) or if your florist couldn’t get that perfect flower. The things you’ll remember are the look on his face when you walk down the aisle, and laughing with your friends as you get ready, so take a step back and focus on what’s really important.”
– Kara Furr, Editor
If you’re like most brides, you’ve probably been mentally planning parts of your wedding for years. You already know you want your favorite flower in your bouquet and who will be your ring bearer.
You know what many of the details of your wedding will look like, but how much have you thought about the most significant part of the day – the wedding ceremony?
Some couples work hard to create a wedding day full of personal touches, yet often the ceremony follows the same old script. Don’t let that be you – working with your officiant, create a ceremony that’s deeply personal to you.
The first step to planning your ceremony, even before you pick your officiant, is to decide on your style: Do you want a traditional religious ceremony with personal touches, a totally secular ceremony, or something in the middle? Is this about the two of you, or is it about the community of loved ones that surrounds you? Once you have decided on the basics, you’ll have a foundation to fall back on when making decisions on the details.
It’s important to decide what you want before you look for an officiant, because some will only perform ceremonies within a certain framework. Church weddings, for instance, can be more difficult to customize than other types of
An important aspect of creating a personal wedding ceremony is finding an officiant you get along with and asking if they are willing to let you customize your ceremony. (For tips on vetting potential officiants, see our worksheets.) Forming a connection with your officiant is an important step in a process that will allow them to speak about you and your partner with familiarity and authority.
If you can’t find a professional officiant that you connect with, don’t panic; you’ve got options. A friend or family member who’s comfortable with public speaking can become ordained (usually a fairly simple process online) and serve as your officiant. If they don’t feel comfortable going through the legal process of becoming an officiant, you also have the option of getting married in a brief civil ceremony sometime before your wedding – if you’re already legally married, your officiant doesn’t have to be certified.
The easiest way to figure out what you want out of your ceremony is to start with a traditional framework and decide which parts you like and which you don’t. Once you’ve chosen the basic elements of your wedding service, you can reorder them, add pieces from different traditions and tailor each element to you.
Lexi and David's Lopez Island wedding, photographed by Adam Nash Photography, has everything we love most about Northwest weddings: a beautiful location, an adoring couple surrounded by their loved ones, gorgeous details and, last but not least, bubbles! Judging by the guests' expressions, we're not the only ones who love bubbles. This is a wedding to swoon over.
Stephanie and Brian's engagement shoot with David Clumpner Photography has everything we adore in an engagement session. It's relaxed, natural, it shows a sweet piece of the couple's life and relationship, and it's absolutely gorgeous.
While it’s common for today’s couples to pay for all or most of their wedding themselves, some parents will want to pitch in for some or all wedding expenses, and will expect to pay for their traditional part. We’ve put together a list of who traditionally pays for the different aspects of a wedding to make sure everyone’s on the same page.
Adrienne and Tynan's wedding, shot by Katheryn Moran Photography, was intimate and heartwarming. This couple's love and joy is absolutely contagious. Their wedding celebrated their style as well as their relationship, and it's so inspiring!
See below to read what Adrienne had to say about her wedding day:
Maria and Jake's August wedding at the Nantucket Inn in Anacortes, photographed by Lisa Marie Photography, was timeless and personal.
This sweet couple is bound to bring a little extra happiness to your day.