Shelley and Jason's January 18, 2014 wedding was held at Herban Feast's Sodo Park location in Seattle, and was photographed by Shelley's friend Ozlem Yavuz.
Read on after the photos to read Shelley's memories of their beautiful and meaningful wedding, and her thoughts on the wedding planning process.
Our story starts where all great love stories start – the Internet! Jason and I met on OKCupid. The first time we met for coffee, and even before when we were just emailing, it felt like we'd been close friends for a long time. I think one of our most enjoyable connections is that we can make each other laugh really hard. Like, proper belly laughs. And we are never bored with each other, which I think is worth a lot to both of us.
Jason proposed to me at a Christmas party that he's been holding annually for years, and that's now become "ours." Funnily enough, the night before we'd been watching Love Actually and during the public proposal scene at the end I said, "Ah! If you ever proposed in front of people I would feel so awkward I'd run away!" so he warned two of my friends (the only people who knew it was coming) that if I ran off it "didn't mean it was a no" but only that they'd be in charge of crowd control while he went after me. I didn't run, and it was a gorgeous proposal in front of many of our closest people.
With very few brief exceptions, we truly enjoyed planning our wedding. Joy was a major focus, and in fact early on we established the metric of "How much joy will 'x' provide on the day?" and used it for evaluating all costs. If something didn't seem joyful, we tried to minimize its cost so that we could add something joyful elsewhere.
Neither of us have much of a cultural heritage and we have no religious affiliation so, without a spiritual or cultural template, we built a wedding that would truly focus on celebrating our coupledom. To this end, we tried to include as many personal details as possible.
We served Jell-O shots because Jason has a long-standing reputation for making superb Jell-O shots, which are always a feature when we throw parties. Our dinner menu included an adaptation on the first meal we ever cooked together, as well as a couple family recipes from Jason's side, who are excellent cooks. We served Full Tilt ice cream because there's one near our house which we often visit together, and we served our favorite flavors. Jason always gets me a Borracchinni's sheet cake for my birthday, so that's what we chose, and we asked Jason's best man to design the cake decorations for us because we knew he would create something far more personal than could be sculpted by a stranger.
We basically said, "What are our favorite and most meaningful things, and how do we incorporate them?" At times I worried that this focus on us might exclude the experience of our guests, but I think it did just the opposite. It felt like everyone was invited into our relationship in some small way, and the joy and personal touches seemed to really shine through.
Venue/Catering - Sodo Park by Herban Feast
Photographer - Ozlem Yavuz (Lives in Stuttgart, Germany. Friend of bride... We worked together in a pub in London.)
Videographer - Alec Cattarin
Catering – Herban Feast Catering
Cake - Borracchinni's Bakery sheet cakes, with printed images designed by the best man. Images were of us imposed into amalgams of various action films. Random, but totally “us."
Ice Cream - Full Tilt Ice Cream
Bride’s Dress - Carol Hannah dress from Lovely Bride in New York, NY
Groom’s Tux - Hugo Boss
Menswear - Dolce Bleu
DJ - Sounds Unlimited