To cha-cha, or to swing? To tango or to rumba? Dare you foxtrot with your new spouse on the dance floor?
What do you want your first dance to say? You’ve said your vows, now show it with your body language. Trust, grace, love, and laughter all have a place in your first dance. How do you want to start your marriage? In this day and age, there is a dance for all occasions. While you could do the dougie if you wanted, there is a way to pick a dance form that reflects how you want to start off your marriage.
If you are looking for elegance and sophistication, of course, I would recommend a waltz Waltzes are ageless dances that convey grace and class and it says volumes about listening and working together. Waltz is the most popular wedding dance of our time, because it is a classic that says a lot of wonderful things about teamwork and truly hearing each other.
Are you a couple who prides themselves on their passion? Perhaps you should start the ball rolling with a tango. A tango is going to emphasize the raw power within your relationship, and demonstrates a confidence in yourselves that is truly unique among dances.
A swing dance (and I recommend west coast swing) is adventurous. Infuse it with some lindy hop moves to show that fun loving side of your relationship. The fun lindy hop moves also demonstrate trust and bravery. A swing or lindy hop will show that you are risk takers with a penchant for excitement.
Intimacy and deep feelings will come through clearly in a rumba. Rumbas are very sweet, but very passionate, and Latin dances like this will make you feel like you and your new spouse are the only ones in the room.
Something that is pure fun would be a Charleston. This dance form is straight out of the 1920s. The embellishing moves that can be thrown in with the basic steps will cause laughter and smiles. While the footwork seems complicated, a lesson or two would be able to break it down, and the footwork will become second nature in no time. You will be unique with this dance choice, as it is neither traditional nor very serious, but if fun and laughter are your priorities in marriage, why not show that with your dance?
Looking for something easy to learn? Try a salsa. Salsa is easy to pick up, and always looks beautiful. It’s a fun dance where, once you’ve got the basic steps down, you don’t really have to think anymore. It is a nice choice if you just want to improvise with your spouse within a loose structure. A salsa says that you think on your feet, and you like to roll with the punches.
A personal favorite of mine is the cha-cha. Cha-cha is playful and fun, but it can also be complex and full of surprises and unexpected turns. With this dance, you will be showing that you are hard workers who love learning and growing together. Cha-cha shows that you meet challenges head on, and with quick, solution-based thinking. This dance will keep you on your toes, but so can marriage.
Another thing to consider is a medley of any combination of any of these dances. Hiring a choreographer will make this easier, but make sure you tell the choreographer what you want to say with your first dance, and why you’ve chosen to include each type of dance.
In the end, it’s just a dance, but it is also the beginning of a magical new chapter in your life. Your first dance can say something about who you as a couple want to be in this marriage. Use the first dance to set an intention within yourself to be mindful in marriage, and aware of your strengths as a couple. What will your first dance say about you? What will it say to your family and friends?
A note from the bride to be:
"We met playing slow pitch softball back in 2014. We were playing on different teams, but ended up meeting and hitting it off at a local tournament. We quickly realized we had something special and ended up moving in together after only 3 months of dating. We haven’t spent a day apart since moving in together. We get along so well that we even started a design business together and are working on launching a lifestyle shop.
Daniel proposed to me during a cold winter night. We were bundled up beside our fireplace having a little picnic of good wine and cheese, our favorite snack since going to France for a few months the year before. It was a very romantic evening, just the two of us! My engagement ring is vintage from 1923 (my favourite era). Daniel knew I wanted something with history so he spent months hunting down the perfect ring at an antique store in Washington and boy am I glad he did!
After getting engaged, the first thing we wanted to do was find an amazing photographer. We knew we wanted somehow who could capture our personality and make us feel comfortable in front of the camera. We were lucky enough to find Mattie, the incredible photographer behind Hopeless Romantic. She completely understood our vision and helped us chose the shoot location at Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver. We are thrilled at how the photos turned out and can’t wait for her to shoot our wedding!”
How did you and your fiancée meet?Let us know in the comments!
Have you had that bridal nightmare about the monster zit? You know the one. You wake up on the happiest day of your life, the sun is peeking in through the curtains, the birds are singing, and you feel rested and ready. All you need is your morning coffee before this perfect morning continues into your perfect day.
Then you pull yourself out of bed, and on your way downstairs to the coffee pot, you glance at your reflection in the mirror and there it is: a huge and dreaded mid-forehead zit that no veil, and no last minute bangs styling can hide. Here are 4 helpful steps to make sure this nightmare never becomes your reality.
1. Washing your face consistently is the most important thing. Even an expensive serum will not be totally effective on unwashed skin. It doesn’t matter if your skin is usually clear, washing your face in the morning and at night will help keep it that way when the stress is up and the big moment is looming. All skin types benefit from being clean and bacteria free.
2. Hydration is everything when it comes to that coveted glowing, flaw-free skin. Moisturizing after face washing is a game changer. Many moisturizers serve duel purposes, like brightening as well as hydrating, or some will help even out your skin-tone over time. This is why it is so important to start your wedding skincare now. Give your skin time to rise to the occasion. Try to get a moisturizer for your skin type, especially if you have naturally oily skin. Some moisturizers are heavy and can contribute to clogging your pores. Drinking water will also help hydrate your skin. Make sure you are always hydrating, especially on the big day itself.
3. Use masks! Try using different masks to help you establish which types of masks work the best for your skin. Experiment with samples! That way, in the week leading up to the wedding, you can be masking with products that you already love, and products you know will make a difference. See how a brightening mask effects your skin, and maybe that will be the mask you use the morning of. Maybe you will need a purifying mask the night before, if you sense a breakout coming on. But at this point, you’ve been practicing good skincare for months, so you know what will get the job done on short notice. Become an expert on your own skin.
4. The week of, consider popping into one of our many local spas for a facial, but I recommend doing a test run of the treatment in advance to make sure it’s the right facial for your skin on your big day. Wearing a backless dress? In addition to their many other facial treatments, The Chrysalis Inn and Spa has a facial treatment specifically for your back. Majestic Inn and Spa offers a body polish in the same vein. if your dress shows skin, a full body glow will never disappoint.
Skincare can be an overwhelming world, from the serums to the liquid collagens, and there is room for all of it, but most important are the basics. When it comes to skin, consistency is everything. Commit to just a few steps that you can do every day, and build from there. Good skincare is no guarantee, but it is a tool. If your skin nightmare comes true, you’ll know what to do, and you’ll know that you did everything you could to prevent it. Your most radiant skin and self takes work, but it will be worth it when you are walking down the aisle with that coveted bridal glow.
From location to location and dress to dress – this engagement shoot by husband and wife pair, Nazar and Tanya Iskenderov is perfection from beginning to end. We know that Lake Diablo can steal the show, but we were surprised to see how perfect the halls of the University of Washington are for a engagement shoot. And oh, can you see the love between bride and groom-to be Iryna Fedina and Nazar Sergeyev.
We can't decide what our favorite photo is, but let us know if you are able to!
From the photographer:
"The chemistry between this couple was amazing! It makes our job so easy this way. We love being around happy and in love couples. They had absolutely no problem driving three hours to a second locations. These are the types of couples that get amazing shots! Love it!"
Hair trends are always changing, even when it comes to wedding updos. These days, any look is do-able with the help from elegant hair pieces or floral embellishments.
Credit: Ulyana Aster
The up-down 'do.
This look is best with achieved with a lot of hair. Want a bit of help? Ask your stylist about temporary hair extensions for the big day. Shop around for a hair piece, like the one here, to help complete the look.
Credit: Ulyana Aster
A new twist
Big twists and braids can create a lot of volume and make for a beautiful up-do that looks very intricate.
Credit: Ulyana Aster
Soft and Relaxed
Messy, loose and relaxed – this look is boho at best. A brilliant hair piece can take this look up a notch, and if you want to make it a bit more refined, just ask your stylist to leave out less falling locks and tighten the bun a bit.
Credit: lenabogucharskaya via Instagram
Sleek and Voluminous
No longer does sleek require a lack of volume. This look is a modern take on the classic, sleek pulled-back bun. This hairdo will work with long or short hair, but if girls with less locks want a bigger bun, a hair piece might be the perfect addition for the big day.
Credit: lenabogucharskaya via Instagram.
Big, bold and elegant
We love volume and this look has a lot of it. This look keeps everything a bit loose while still working with an elegant gown. Add a hair piece to make it all come together.
Credit: lenabogucharskaya via Instagram
A big, large voluminous crown braid is a noticeable trend in the wedding community – and we love everything about it. Pull hair out near your face to create framing and add flowers to make this look a bit more boho.
We’ve likely all struggled with writer’s block in the past, but combine the most important day of your life with a crowd of family and friends hanging on to every word and you could definitely have trouble finding the right words to say at your wedding.
Whether you choose to write your own vows for the ceremony or adapt from something you’ve discovered, we are here to help you get the words flowing.
Start by asking yourself the following:
To help with structure, follow this format:
You are my _______ (best friend, true love, soul mate, etc.)
Today, I choose you to be my ________
I love you because _______
I promise you that I will be _________
I vow to __________ for______ (as long as we live, better or worse, until the end of time ….)
Keep it short and sweet. Aim for two minutes or less.
Practice, but not so too much that it seems rehearsed.
Talk to your spouse about the tone you want — will it be humorous? Personal? Completely your own or more traditional? The two of you can write them together if you want them to be harmonious.
If you want to go the traditional route and leave it to the officiant, you can still write personal vows to say to one another the morning of the ceremony or even your first morning as a married couple.
Make sure to make copies and save the original. These are precious memories, and will be good reminders on anniversaries and the days to come.
Understated has never looked so good. This wedding reception at Hyatt Regency Lake Washington paired gray and marble accents with white florals and emerald greenery. The classic, modern colors sat against flickering candlelight while guests danced, played cornhole, made memories at the photo booth and indulged in tableside ice cream sundaes, a custom margarita, cookie bar and late night taco bar. Although the day was a bit rainy, it did not get in the way of a day to remember for the happy couple, Michelle and David.
Photography by Azzura Photography. See full list of vendors below.
Old-fashioned coke bottles, calligraphy, and polaroids decorate the tables of this charming, farmhouse styled shoot. A dairy farm turned event venue, the Vanderveen Farms in Mount Vernon features authentic rustic style. See below to read more about this venue and the styled shoot from photographer Afton Lewis.
Photographer: Afton Lewis Photography
Planner: Torry with Raise A Glass Wedding and Event Planning
Venue: Taryn with Vanderveen Farms
Wedding Linens: Taryn with Skagit Valley Wedding Rentals
Tables, chairs, Various Decor: Amanda with Rustic Events Rentals
Dessert: Tiffany with Flour & Girl
Models: Alex and Terrance Lewis
Attire: Alicia's Bridal and Formal House
Jewelry: Pave Jewelry + Design
Hair and Makeup Bride: Bubbles and Blush Beauty by Kristen and Sarah
Groom's Styling: Tied Knot Gentlemen's Grooming
Flowers: Pozie By Natalie
Paper Goods: Snarky Card
Specialty Drink: Tom Collins -Dry Fly Gin Distilling, Woodenville Whiskey Co.
Assistant: Kim Gangloff
From the photographer:
This is an old dairy farm that is 110 years old, that is currently being converted into a fantastic venue. The upstairs is a beautiful ceremony space, with cathedral-high ceilings, exposed beams and an outdoor ceremony space; the downstairs is perfect for a beautiful reception area. The Bridal Suite is being converted from an old milking parlor, and soon there will be a kitchen area, as well as a grooms room. The owners have been milking on this dairy farm for the past 60 years and could not be cuter. (They are pictured at the end of the gallery) and they are so happy someone is seeing the beauty in the barn and converting it to a venue. The owners are also avid gardeners that have beautiful flowers and bushes all over their venue. The bride cannot believe the transformation. She feels honored and blessed to see it all coming together.
A few months ago Torry (Raise a Glass Wedding and Event Planning) and I worked on a styled shoot up on Mount Baker for another amazing local photographer and when I heard about this new venue needing photographs for the upcoming Skagit Wedding Society tour I jumped at the chance. The vendors are an amazing squad of Girl Bosses that I was honored to work with. From the beginning everything seemed to fall into place. All the hard work and dedication from Taryn (Skagit Valley Wedding Rentals & Vanderveen Farms) as well as her uncle is really paying off.
Alex and Terrance are a real life couple. They met 10 years ago and have been married for 6. They are super sweet and kind to one another and everyone around them. Alex said that Terrance needed a little "lubrication" for photographs so Torry made them their signature wedding cocktail, A Tom Collins, made from local distilleries from Washington State.
Whenever you speak with either Taryn, or Nick (the venue owner) you can just hear the love for this place in their words. They eagerly share the story with everyone and soon you fall in love with the venue and the valley.
The flowers were sourced from two local farms here in Whatcom County, one called Wild Rye Farms and the second called Sweet Peas and Carrot Cake. Natalie (with Pozie by Natalie) does such a beautiful job with the flowers. She works closely with her vendors and just has an eye for creating beautiful Bouquets.
High atop Mt. Baker, this styled shoot features striking winter tones such as burgundy and navy to pierce and contrast a beautiful white mountainside. Gather ideas and inspiration from photos taken by Nicole Sandoval Postma Photography and see additional vendor information below.
Gown - Belle Bridal
Florals - Bumblebee Bridal Works ( Instagram : @bumblebee_bridalworks)
Cake - Cakes By Emily
Photography : Nicole Sandoval Postma Photography & Film
Decor & Furniture : Rustic Glam Co.
Wood Sign : Love Letters by Cheyanne
Invitations, Cards & Cake Topper - Peacock Invites
Make-Up Artist - Tracy Li-Batton
Jewlery - Felicia's Origami Owl
Models - Jessica Tcheng ( Instagram : @jessicamaitcheng & Dave Tomlinson (Instagram : @davedanielboone )
Location - Mt. Baker
Plucked right out of a storybook, this wedding at the Thornewood Castle in Lakewood was filled with blush pinks, gorgeous golds and sparkle embellishments. As far as fairytale weddings go, this one might just take the cake. Photos by Stephanie Cristalli. Find full list of vendors and note from the bride below!
The bride says:
We initially fell in love with Thornewood Castle as our wedding venue and were really inspired to make our wedding classic & elegant to match the feel we got when walking around the castle & garden. My husband is European, so we loved having the ability to tie in his heritage to our big day through Thornewood. We decided on blush & gold as our wedding colors to tie back to the classic theme and immediately began working with our planner & florist to determine how to accentuate the features of this gorgeous venue without stealing away from it's natural beauty--and our team totally nailed it! Food was also extremely important to us and we were blown away by Twelve Baskets, Better than a Boyfriend, & Celebrity Cake Studio and our guests totally agreed. On the big day, we were SO impressed with how everything came together. From the beautiful garden ceremony, to the gorgeous reception underneath a tent in the back lawn & dancing and drinking in the grand ballroom, our day felt like it was straight out of a fairytale. Our wedding planner & team were beyond helpful throughout the entire process and were instrumental in making everything run smoothly and turn out perfect. We were SO thankful to have Stephanie Cristalli & Belscope Weddings there as well to help capture our big day and were blown away by the photos and videos we got to take away afterwards. In short, our day was a complete dream and above & beyond anything we could have ever imagined! We are so thankful for the wonderful team that helped make our dream wedding come to life and would highly recommend all of our incredible vendors to any bride & groom looking to create their perfect day!
Photographer: Stephanie Cristalli
Venue: Thornewood Castle
Wedding Planner: Elegant Affairs
Florist: Diamond Custom Floral
Videographer: Belscope Weddings
Caterer: Twelve Baskets Catering
Ceremony Musicians: Puget Sound Strings
Dessert: Better Than a Boyfriend Bakery
Cake: Celebrity Cake Studio
Rentals: American Party Place and Sweet Buffet Lady