Chris and Shyloh's July 2013 Anacortes was shot by Stephanie Stremler of Stephanie Stremler Photography
, and was all sun and smiles. We love the personal details they included and the couple's sense of fun.
And the color! Oh. my. gosh. The color!
Bold splashes of blue and purple permeated the day (and even found their way into the bride's dress and shoes!).
We're in love.
Just look at these shoes! I would love to have a pair of custom Converses like these, and, bonus! If you look closely, you can see Shyloh even got the shoes embroidered!
It's so lovely when brides find a way to incorporate color into their attire, too. This bright pop of blue alongside her new hubby's vest and tie really helps pull the image together and is an unexpected by sweet touch.
And, pizza for your reception? Brilliant.
When the leaves turn bright orange, red and yellow, there's a little part of us that wishes it could stay fall forever. Particularly, if we have a fall wedding in mind!
This simple DIY project can help you hold on to that colorful season in a unique and beautiful way and we're excited to share with you. It's just one more way you can tie the turning of the seasons into your wedding day. DIY Leaf RosesSupplies:
A bag of freshly fallen or plucked leaves
Large bowl or similar container
Newspaper, etc. for drying
Start by preserving the leaves. You'll want to find leaves that have just fallen or (shhh!) are still on the trees. Once they've started to get crisp, they won't work. Look for vibrant, flexible leaves. (Editor's Note: They will lose some of their color in the processing, but don't worry, they will still be gorgeous momentos of brisk, fall days.
Take your leaves and fully submerge them in a solution of 2:1 glycerine/water solution, (glycerine
can be found in most craft stores - to do enough leaves for a full bouquet, you'll probably need about 16 oz.).
Make sure to cover the stems with your solution. Cover your container with plastic wrap and set aside for approximately six to eight days. Drain the leaves, spread them out and allow them to dry on paper towels and a towel for several days.
When they're done, you'll be left with leaves that are preserved, but still flexible.
To make your roses, start with a small leaf.
Bending the matte side in towards itself, fold the top of the leaf down.
Then roll it up like a cigarette. Or an egg roll. You get my drift.
Then take a bigger leaf ...
And fold all of the points in (again, fold matte to matte, so the pretty part of the leaf is showing).
When you've done that, take your rolled leaf and place it inside your folded leaf and wrap the folded leaf around the rolled one, making sure that the center leaf is peeking out above the leaf you've wrapped. Repeat the last two steps with more leaves, until it's as big as you'd like and it looks like a rose! This will take some tweaking, and you may have to undo and redo leaves until it looks the way you want it.
When you're happy with the way your rose looks, take a piece of floral tape, and wrap the base of the leaves and the stems tightly, securing them all together.
While you're wrapping the leaves, if you are concerned about them all staying together, you can also wrap the first few layers before adding the rest.
Grab one of your twigs, and place it up against the floral tape. Nestling it in between the leaf stems will help it blend in. Wrap it all in floral tape until it feels secure. Leave as much or as little of the twig showing as you like.
And there you have it – a leaf rose.
Make a few more and you'll have a bouquet!
This project takes some time, but not much work and even less money. A full bouquet should cost around $20, and they add a lovely touch to a fall or winter wedding. You can even mix them in with your natural flowers!
You can also do this project without preserving the leaves, but we're not sure how long the flowers will last. If anyone decides to try it this way, tell us how it worked for you below in the comments!
Our editor Brandy made a wedding website for her wedding this year.
While it’s certainly not traditional, a wedding website is very often a part of the 21st century bride’s toolkit, and if you use it to its full potential it could make your planning life much easier. What to include in your wedding website:Your story –
You can tell the story of your relationship or the proposal - or both! Your guests will love reading about the things that lead up to them attending your wedding. It's a great way for people who haven't met your significant other to get up to speed on the details. Photos -
This is a no-brainer. People are very visual, so cut down on the words and fill the space out with photos. It'll be easier for you and fun for them!Ceremony information –
This will give people an easy-to-access place to keep the location, time, and directions at hand. It can also help you establish expectations for guests – Will it be a traditional ceremony or have you made it your own? How should people dress? Are kids invited? Put it out there and get everyone on the same page.Reception information –
Where, when and how to get there. A google map is always helpful.A page for updates -
And, if possible, the option for people to sign up for a subscription. That way if something major happens and you need to let everyone know, you can send a blast and be sure that people are seeing it.Information for out of town guests –
If you’ve booked blocks of rooms in hotels, include all the information people will need when they’re contacting those hotels
. Be sure to include pricing and the date they must register by to receive their deal. And, since out of town guests most likely won't know much about your town, it's helpful to give them a list of suggested activities and places to eat.Online RSVP –
Whether or not you decide to send out physical invitations, have all but your least tech-savvy guests RSVP on your website ( but, it's probably best to still include that special return envelope in your great aunt Ida’s invitation).Honeymoon –
If you know the details, post them here. People will ask you about what your plans are, especially if you’re asking for contributions to your honeymoon as part of your gift registry. If you want to make it REALLY easy, include a link to honeyfund.com
, where guests can make online donations for your post-wedding plans.Address -
Are you moving after you get married? Be sure to include your new address so your gifts end up where they belong.Contact form –
No matter how much information you’ve provided, people will have questions, and if you’d like to avoid a million calls, put a contact form on your site. But make sure that it sends an email to your current address. The last thing you need is another place to check.Bear in mind
, the more this website keeps track of for you, the less you have to remember!A helpful hint:
It might feel like you’re excluding people, but make sure you can put a password on at least parts of your site. According to CNBC, there’s a new kind of wedding crasher – the hotel crasher. These crashers use your wedding website to find a cheap block rate, so if you want to make sure that your wedding guests are the only ones staying in your hotel block, password protect your site.
There are so many options out there for wedding website services that it can be hard to choose. We did a little research, and here are a few we like:Wedding JoJo:
Free or $14.99/month
Four options from free to $14.95/month
Find a hosting site you like and start making it your own!
For more great wedding planning tools, visit our Worksheets
Do you use a site you love that we haven't listed? Tell us about it in the comments!
Who uses a Jenga game and a globe for a guestbook?
Apparently this sweet Navy couple who tied the knot at Fall City Farms
in Fall City, Washington this year! Alexandra Knight Photography
captured Caitlin and Ben's gorgeous day using both film and digital photography.
The couple went all out with 2'x2' love notes, creative tie-ins to their globe-trotting Naval ways and easygoing style, piling on the lovely details but still managing to keep their wedding lighthearted and fun.
We especially loved their use of baby's breath and candlelight for the centerpieces, and the use of family photos to decorate their venue, proving once again that less is more when it comes to decorating for a wedding.
"We both wanted something casual, outside and relaxed. We wanted our family and friends to dress in what made them feel awesome, have a good time, and feel comfortable with the setting. The decor reflected our personalities and interests (nautical, travel, outdoors, rustic). We hoped the day would be filled with laughter, fun and love. And it was."
Asked about any advice to future brides, she said, "Enjoy the love and laughter at your wedding. It was so precious to have all the people you love in one place. Take a moment to savor the event, it goes by so quickly. Enjoy the food and cake; you deserve it – it's your wedding after all. Let your partner know you love them and just have fun!"Alexandra (Alexandra Knight Photography) says:
Caitlin and Ben are both in the Navy - as are many of their close friends and family - so involving nautical elements as a nod to their commonalities was important. It created a unique aspect to this wedding, as the nautical flags hung on the wedding tent combined seamlessly with the rustic and vintage decor details filling the tent and the yard for the ceremony and cocktail hour. We photographed many of the couple's portraits in front of an old propeller that sits on the hillside at Fall City Farms. Perfect! The weather was fabulous and we were able to explore a Christmas tree farm next to the venue for some more adorable portraits, too. Caitlin and Ben did not have a bridal party, which allowed the guests to completely focus on the wedding couple. Bridesmaids that have to get all dolled up and match to a "T" isn't Caitlin's style, anyway. This decision allowed her friends to be themselves, but still help out and have more fun as a result.
Caitlin was such a fun bride! She was having a great time as she got ready, cracking jokes, shrugging off details that didn't work out so great (like the fact that her first dress was ruined less than a month before the wedding, but she found another one that worked amazingly)! She walked outside to the ceremony with her dad, greeted by thunderous applause from her friends and family. What a way to enter your wedding ceremony. The smiles on everyone's faces all day were beaming, stress-free smiles and I went home already knowing this was one of my all time favorite celebrations. Cake cutting was a blast, dancing was silly and toasts were to die for. Every wedding should be this packed with glowing memories.
The details at this wedding were awesome. Caitlin and Ben used a globe and Jenga game as their guest book, asking guests to either locate themselves on the globe and leave a message, or write on a Jenga tile for them to keep for future games. The globe was perfect for this wedding, having so many of their guests also serving in the navy attending from posts and stations all over the world. The rustic setting was capped by beautiful antique furniture, tons of sunflowers, a vintage bicycle, chalkboards made out of old doors or picture frames and images of passed relatives showcased in adorable vintage frames.
The couple took the "love notes before the ceremony" idea and blew it out of the water. Ben's note for Caitlin was a handmade 2x2' card, complete with a painted heart to match the decor in the reception tent and loving words that only Caitlin's eyes got to see. The color purple was used by Caitlin in little pops here and there, including a small bit of purple in her hair, and many members of her family continued the purple trend in their attire for the wedding.
Caitlin's flowers were assembled by her step mom, and were adorned with a pendant with her mothers' initials, who passed away when Caitlin was younger. Her spirit was felt throughout the day. Caitlin described her something old as being her great grandmother's ring; her something new was the pendant on her flowers with her mother's initials; her something borrowed was her great grandmother's handkerchief and her something blue was the ribbon used to hold the pendant onto her bouquet.
Caitlin and Ben honeymooned in NYC, where they met, and moved to San Diego after returning from their honeymoon to take up their new jobs. I am so thrilled to have been there to celebrate their wedding with them, and am so inspired by their love for one another, as well as for their families. What a truly great and fun celebration! Congratulations Caitlin and Ben!
This wedding was photographed using a combination of film and digital photography. Canon 5D Mk II digital, Hasselblad 500C medium format film camera, Canon 1V 35mm film camera, and a Mamiya 7 medium format film camera.
Photographer: Alexandra Knight Photography
Hair & Makeup: Pinup Salon
Officiant: A Heavenly Ceremony
Music: Rogue Events
Groom's Shoes: Nordstrom Rack
Groom's Apparel: Nordstrom Rack
Bride's Shoes: DSW
Wedding Dress: Adorned in Grace Bridal
Alterations: Twice Blushed Bridal
Catering: Pecado Bueno
Coordinator: Dani Matthews, Weddings by Dani
A rooftop first look, a couple enamored with one another and a small gathering of family and friends. What more could you ask for?
We love the sweet simplicity of Chad and Jackie's small, intimate ceremony shot last summer at The Majestic Inn & Spa
in Anacortes, Washington by our very own editor Brandy, who also works with her husband as a wedding photographer at Joel and Brandy Photography
Soft light and strong colors are the highlights of the day and really showcase how gorgeous a small wedding can be.
Plus, who knew honey dippers could be so cute?!
Photographer: Joel and Brandy Photography
Wedding Venue: The Majestic Inn & Spa, Anacortes, Washington
Brandy (Joel and Brandy Photography) says: The minute we met Chad and Jackie, we fell in love. Jackie is a quiet but sweet and sassy gal who knows exactly what she wants and Chad is the life of the party. And, when they get together, sparks fly.
When they told us they wanted to have their first look on the balcony located off the bridal suite, I was stoked. The space was tight, so we played "Red Light, Green Light" with them so we would have time to move around and capture the moment perfectly. It was a gorgeous moment to get to witness, and I'm so glad we were able to capture every bit of it, as Jackie was overcome with emotion at getting to see her husband to be all dressed up!
It's one of my favorite first look moments ever.
Shooting their intimate wedding on the lawn of The Majestic Inn was truly an honor. An emotional ceremony officiated by Chad's own brother, it was one of the sweetest I've seen in quite some time, and they were so happy to be up in front of their family and friends holding hands and say "I do" for the rest of their lives, that I *might* have even shed a few tears of my own during the wedding.
Want to see your real wedding on the blog? Have some inspiration to share? Head on over to our submissions page
to see how you can get featured. We're currently accepting real weddings and engagement shoots from all over western Washington.
We tuned in to the live stream
of the Bridal Market Fall 2013 runway shows courtesy of HuffPost Weddings
and The Knot
just in time for the Romona Keveza
Fall 2014 show.
Here are some of our favorite looks (we apologize for the blur, these are screen captures from a video):
These dresses are so gorgeous!
We'll be sharing more photos from these shows throughout the weekend, so stay tuned.
We're so excited to share this sweet October 2012 wedding from Stephanie Stremler Photography
with you. Even a little rain didn't dampen Todd and Jessie's bright fall day. The couple used the colors of the season to their advantage, even incorporating touches of Halloween in the decor.
We love that they took some time for just the two of them before their wedding, and read love letters to each other before seeing each other for the first time that day.
The photographer says: "Todd and Jessie's beautiful October wedding was full of color, fun and laughter! I just loved all the wonderful details the couple chose, from an ice cream sundae bar to handmade biscotti and all sorts of beautiful fall touches! The day was full of fall weather with wind and rain but we were so excited to get a break in the rainfall so we could capture some beautiful images at Hovander Park in Ferndale with all the pretty fall leaves (and one adorable calf, as Todd is from dairy farming family).The best part of the day for me was the couple's choice of reading letters they had written to each other prior to their first look. They stood back to back under umbrellas, since it was still raining, reading the most beautiful letters of love and commitment. What a truly memorable moment for the couple. How wonderful to slow the day down for just a moment and focus on the what day was really about."Wedding Venue: Ferndale Events CenterWedding Photographer: Stephanie Stremler PhotographyCaterer:
Rose DeGroot, Fairway Cafe, 360/318-1302Wedding Cake:
Friend of the brideDJ: VM SoundBiscotti: Rainy Days Kitchen Biscotti
This adorable Seattle wedding, photographed by Barrie Anne Photography
, is absolutely charming. From the bride's vintage-inspired style to the groom's irrepressible smile, everything about this couple makes us swoon. Especially the venue
! Holy moly, that view is incredible!
Bold splashes of color (we love the subtle and classy tint her uber-cute dress has!) make this wedding bright and lively, and perfect to share on a gray October day.
The photographer says: "After a bit of a shaky start, Kit and Philipp were more than relaxed (or at least pretended to be)! Once we got started everything was smooth as could be. What made the day even more special was that not only were we surrounded by amazing family and friends, but we were so lucky to have some of Philipp's family there all the way from Austria! We met everyone on a rooftop for the first look and some family and bridal party photos, then headed across the street to the World Trade Center for the ceremony and reception. During the reception, Kit and Philipp had a photobooth set up with tons of fun props for all their guests to come get their photos taken, which then would be used to create a one of a kind album for the couple. Before the night was over, right after sunset, we snuck off for a few minutes to get some beautiful rooftop photos."
Couple: Kit Ko and Philipp Schonger
Photographer: Barrie Anne Photography
Wedding Venue: World Trade Center
Steve and Nicole
For all intents and purposes, my part in this process could have ended after I bought the ring and no one would have thought less of me.
Guys aren’t expected to know anything about wedding planning and, in that respect if not in others, I’m a pretty typical guy. I didn’t spend my youth imagining my dream wedding. I was imagining epic battles between the Transformers and the Ninja Turtles in my backyard. So when I proposed to Nicole, I knew I was making the right decision, not only because I love her more than life itself, but because I automatically assumed she would know how to plan the wedding. Nicole is very organized, competent and likes to plan ahead – basically the opposite of me.
But I didn’t want to be that guy. I wanted to contribute, maybe learn a thing or two. I mean, where is it written that the groom can’t take a keen interest in wedding planning? Isn’t this my day as much as it is hers?
No. The answer to that is no.
But still, I wanted to contribute.
It’s almost lucky, really, that Nicole knows about as little about wedding planning as I do, and that we’re in this together step by step, whether I like it or not. At least that’s the positive attitude I’m trying to apply to this hot ball of molten stress that’s settled in the center of my chest.
Wedding planning is an overwhelming process. I knew that before going into it, kind of like I know getting hit by a car is painful without ever actually being struck. Taking to the internet, Nicole discovered a helpful checklist
on Pacific Coast Weddings
that walked us through everything we would need to do and when we would need to do it. This gave us structure but not a lot of comfort, because when it’s all laid out on paper like that, it looks like an awful lot, not to mention an awful lot of money.
With all the panic and the car-wreck metaphors, you may be getting the wrong impression. Don’t misunderstand: I’m thrilled to be getting married, and so is Nicole. When you strip away the cost and the logistics of it all, we’re basically just throwing a big party where everyone we know and care about celebrates our love and we get to dress up as nice as we possibly can and eat a lot of food. I’m trying to keep that mindset as I go on, even as the prices begin to push themselves right up to the limit of our modest budget.
Time is on our side. We’ve set the date for July 13, 2014, so we’re trying not to get too ahead of ourselves. We’ve narrowed down the three things that we want to lock down immediately, and it just so happens they’re the three most expensive things: the venue, the photographer and the caterer. Thanks to Nicole and her beautiful Type-A brain, we’ve ripped off those first two Band-Aids and we’re zeroing in on the third. And, I’m happy to say, I’ve played a significant part in the decision-making process for all three.
Every wedding website, blog, book, magazine, expert and amateur recommended starting at the same place: picking a wedding venue
. These usually go quickly, especially for a summer wedding, so we pounced on pretty, wooded, outdoor wedding venues like jungle cats. After carefully going over the four places that best suited our price range, we finally landed on Evergreen Gardens, which we’ve come to learn is one of the most coveted wedding venues in Whatcom County.
We both agreed that an outdoor ceremony is the way to go. Most of our guests will be coming in from out of town, so we want to show off some of Washington’s natural beauty, and brag to our Colorado friends and family that we can stand outside in mid-July without combusting.
is the perfect place for that. It’s lush and green and just screams “Pacific Northwest,” and it screams it loudly enough that there’s a huge covered area in the likely event of rain. It was a little pricier than some of our other choices, but it had everything we wanted, nothing we didn’t and a few nifty bonuses that will save us money (for instance: really nice decorations, essentially donated to the venue by a previous bride and passed on to us for free).
Booking a wedding photographer was a difficult prospect, mostly because I was banking on doing this part for free. As a journalism student, I have no shortage of friends who are camera-savvy, so I thought we could save a few bucks by enlisting a couple of shutterbugs eager to fill out their portfolio and willing to work for food.
I made the mistake of saying this idea out loud around people who have been married, however, and I was immediately inundated with stories about non-professional photographers and the horror they can wreak. Underexposed, overexposed, capturing the bride mid-sneeze or mid-yawn, missing crucial moments like, say, the ceremony. It was enough to incite panic, and it did just that. A wedding photographer
needs to know how to work a crowd, how to manage space and light in a way that’s both creative and flattering to the subjects. Basically, they’d need to make us look good at all times, and while that’s easy to do with Nicole, I do not anticipate suddenly getting handsomer in the next year. Suddenly, spending up to $2,000 on a photographer didn’t seem like such a crazy idea.
We weighed our options and decided on Matt Priestman
, a calm, amiable local photographer with a lot of experience with weddings. We liked him because he openly admits to getting easily choked up at weddings, which I found endearing. And as I said, he has a calming effect that I think will be very welcome on the day.
The only pressing issue we have left to settle is the caterer
. We both really want barbeque, so I’ll be forced to try local barbeque place after local barbeque place in an endless parade of delicious meats and sauces, trying to find just the right place to peddle the perfect meal to our loved ones.
Oh woe is me.
In all seriousness, I’ve really enjoyed trying to find a caterer. Like pizza, even when barbeque is bad, it’s still pretty good. We’re leaning right now toward Danielle's Back East BBQ, a delicious little place we tried at the Bellingham Farmer’s Market. It’s more affordable than some of the other barbeque joints we’ve tried, and the food has a lot of homegrown personality to it. We are, however, having some difficulty settling on a price that we can both live with.
I appreciate the level to which Nicole is keeping me in the loop. She’d given me a cockeyed, “Really?” look when I told her I wanted to be involved in the process, but she’s kept me involved in almost everything. It hasn’t all been fun (how many wedding reality shows are
there?), and frankly, sometimes I just tune out (floral arrangements are beyond my expertise).
But she’s smart enough to distract me with small things that I can sink my teeth into, such as letting me choose our wedding playlist and applying my design experience to picking an invitation.
As we gradually check items off on our list, the stress is starting to subside a bit and the process feels more fun.
Gradually, as the image of the two of us standing at the altar starts to come into focus, I can look at this wedding for what it’s supposed to be: a celebration of our love, and a gateway into a long and happy life together. And I have no doubts or reservations about involving myself in that.Steve Guntli is a student at Western Washington University, and was our wonderful summer intern this year.
When you're planning your wedding, things can get overwhelming, particularly when you can't decide on a theme. There are so many options to choose from, so many directions you can go in to plan your big day that it can be tough to narrow it down.
So why just have one wedding? Why not do it all?
Kendra and Abby decided to save their money (and sanity) and instead scheduled thirteen wedding photo shoots that captured their love in a unique and heartfelt way.
Teaming up with Jen Martin Studios
, they've planned out these beautifully styled shoots that celebrate who they are and their love for one another. They're a little more than halfway through the project, but we couldn't wait to share how beautiful and romantic these photo sessions have been, and we hope you'll be inspired by their love and creativity!
Kendra says: My first Christmas gift to Abby was exactly what she’d asked for. A time-space continuum, so she could stop time and spend all the moments with me she could ever wish for. Since then, I’ve found a few others and bought those for her too, all in the form of special, magical pendants made from mystical stones and antique clock parts. This is a daydream of ours, obviously, but it’s a lasting one and the story behind Thirteen Weddings. It goes like this:
I always thought I wanted a “Wedding!” You know what I’m talking about – a white dress, an aisle, the whole bit. But somehow the more we talked about our wedding, the less I wanted all of those things. The more you dive into the wedding planning world the more you see that they are all just slightly different variations of the same. A template to plug in your own “personal touch.” At a certain point none of it is personal anyway. Who says we need to do all of that stuff? All we really wanted was to celebrate our love. So for a long time we were working on how to have our wedding be uniquely us and not doing the “traditional” thing.
We had loads of ideas and could spend hours brainstorming and falling in love again and again. The problem was, we couldn’t settle on anything. Nothing was perfect enough for our day. How could we dwindle our huge love and huge imaginations down to just one day, one song, one outfit, one venue, when we are so big together? Add all that to the pressure of the dreaded guest list! We wanted something small and intimate and genuine – and at times we wanted to invite everyone we knew and everyone they knew, just to share in our excitement. All of this pressure and stress was enough to make me want to be in wedding planning overdrive all the time, and enough to make Abby want to ignore wedding planning. All the time.
As of January 19, 2013, we’d been engaged for two years exactly. We’d passed two of our set dates, canceled the perfect venue and changed our “theme” about six times. I can honestly say I was beginning to wonder if we were ever going to have a wedding at all. Here we were, in January, our current wedding date coming up in June, a short six months away – a mere minute in wedding planning world. A frighteningly small amount of time to plan, decide, order, hire and purchase… everything. At this point, the only thing we had was a verbal agreement from a band.
After a week or so of life – and me – turning up the heat on our non-wedding planning, Abby and I had a heart to heart. I said, “Honey, I know something is going on. I’m not sure what it is, but we need to figure it out. I know you love me, and you want to marry me, but why don’t you want to plan the wedding?”
She thought for a minute and was able to tell me of all the pressures she was feeling, from all angles. I was one of them, because she knew how important having this wedding was to me. I melted. She’s my partner. My love. I didn’t want her to feel pressure from me. I have never wanted to have the kind of wedding where one person does all the planning and deciding and the other just signs the dotted line, puts a smile on and participates – probably drunk.
So I searched my heart real deep and told her I could let go completely of every single part of my wedding daydreams except for one – the pictures. The captured moments of our love and beauty and youth are what I daydreamed of. For me, every single detail of wedding planning was in order to capture beautiful portraits of our life. Every time we talked about the day I was making absolutely certain to allot for ample time for photos. I want to be able to look back on our wedding and see our relationship.
I saw a flood of relief over her. All of that pressure melted away, and it was so freeing. A beat or two later, she lit up the way she does when she has an awesome idea. I love this part – the anticipation right before she finds the words. She gets so bright and excited and hopeful and wistful. I always let myself get caught up in her. “What? What? Tell! Tell,” I say.
“What if… wehadaweddingphotoshooteverymonthofthewholeyearinsteadofjustone?”
Of course! After she said it, it seemed so absolutely obvious. And perfect. And exciting. And all the reasons it is the absolutely perfect idea have been falling into place ever since. Jen says: My name is Jen Owen of Jen Martin Studios and I am a local professional photographer here in Bellingham.
This Thirteen Weddings project has been amazing... not only because of all of the fun and creative photo shoots, but because the love between Abby and Kendra is so real and true and beautiful, that it shows in every single image I take. Even when they are just being goofy!
They are an inspiration to all couples, everywhere. They remind us to stop and really enjoy a moment together, even if it's just a quick kiss on the nose and an "I love you" before running out the door. They inspire us to get creative and find that little spark of romance we sometimes forget that we still need or crave after we have been together for years. Abby and Kendra remind us to laugh together when things don't go the way we planned or when what we had our hearts set on just won't work out – because the most important thing is love. Nothing else matters.
Their first wedding was up at Silver Lake in the snow with Abby serenading Kendra and then they exchanged vows and rings on the dock above the frozen lake. They played in the snow with their daughter Chloe and made snow cones.
February's wedding was nothing like they had planned. The weather just would not cooperate and after rescheduling their shoot once already - they decided to just go with it and be spontaneous and embrace the rain and cold. We went downtown Bellingham and did some portraits in the alleys and the parking garage and then we drove over to Whatcom Falls Park, where they proceeded to have the most fantastic mud fight I have ever seen! I think this is probably my absolute favorite wedding so far. They had had their heart set on another location and theme and instead of moping about not getting to do what they had dreamed up they reveled in their love together and the photos reflect that.
March was the most intricate of the weddings so far. They decided to bend gender stereotypes. The Grand Avenue Ale House invited us to come in and use their pool table area for our sessions and let us come in before they opened so we would have the run of the place.
For April, we went out to a field in Ferndale and found a beautiful old weeping willow tree. Abby made a swing and they dressed in vintage style. It was a beautiful sunset session and watching them run around laughing together was wonderful.
With May's wedding, they focused on their newfound love of gardening so we did their session at their home where they had been working for months to create beautiful raised garden beds and had been planting and growing their own food. Their bouquet was made of various vegetables and it was just gorgeous. They "planted" their rings, rode a bicycle, hung upside down and played music and just spent the session having fun, enjoying their beautiful garden and being surrounded by things that they had created together. It was perfect.
For June they invited a small gathering of friends and family to do a more formal wedding. They had local band Rattletrap Ruckus play, with dancing, a potluck dinner and a whole lot of laughter and fun.
In July, Abby and Kendra spent some time with Abby's parents crabbing and beach combing.
The rest of the weddings have not been released yet but in the previous seven months of wedding shoots we have captured so much love and laughter, romance, beauty, selflessness, and "real," that it has inspired others to rethink the way they are planning their own weddings and getting people excited about trying something new and outside of the box for their weddings.
I am honored that Kendra and Abby chose me for their photographer, but I'm more blessed that they chose to love me as a friend.
To continue to follow Kendra and Abby's story and see more beautiful images from Jen Martin Studios
, visit the Thirteen Weddings Facebook page
over the next six months as they post the rest of their photo shoots.