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Our top 7 country wedding venues north of Seattle

The Wayfarer - Whidbey Island
Blue Rose Photography

Modern brides may be leaving many wedding traditions behind, but country weddings will never lose their magic. There’s just something about twinkle lights over a dance floor and the sound of crickets at dusk that never gets old. If you're wondering what the heck a “country” venue is, it’s exactly what you’d think: big barns, sprawling farmland, and maybe a horse or two. It’s close to the city but just far enough so it feels like you’re in your own little world (and you’re the rodeo queen).  So, whether you want to dance the night away in a historic lofted barn or exchange vows in a wide-open field, the pacific coast is brimming with …

Modern brides may be leaving many wedding traditions behind, but country weddings will never lose their magic. There’s just something about twinkle lights over a dance floor and the sound of crickets at dusk that never gets old.

If you're wondering what the heck a “country” venue is, it’s exactly what you’d think: big barns, sprawling farmland, and maybe a horse or two. It’s close to the city but just far enough so it feels like you’re in your own little world (and you’re the rodeo queen). 

So, whether you want to dance the night away in a historic lofted barn or exchange vows in a wide-open field, the pacific coast is brimming with stunning country venues for every couple’s vision.

We’ve compiled seven of our favorite country venues north of Seattle, so you can discover the best fit for your dream wedding day.

Ready to get inspired?

Whidbey Island Weddings

Whidbey Island is a mecca for country weddings, and you can’t convince us otherwise! With three unique country venues to choose from (all under an hour from Seattle), the island has everything you need to plan your dream wedding.

The Wayfarer is an elegant country venue that is well-suited to couples looking for a seamless blend of rustic and modern. The farm sits on a beautiful rural property with rolling green hills and an orchard. A whitewashed 19th-century barn is a blank canvas for your ceremony, while another barn features exposed ceilings and an antique bar for dancing and celebration. Set out a long table for a Pinterest-worthy reception and enjoy the setting sun under string lights and an open sky.

If dramatic water views and territorial vistas make your heart sing, Crockett Farm may be the venue for you. This 11-acre farm, complete with a barn and on-site guest house, lies on the beautiful Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve. The venue also features golden fields of grain, historic wood fences and an expansive property with a multitude of picturesque spots.

Greenbank Farm is a quintessential country venue located on central Whidbey Island. The focal point of the property is a historic red barn built in 1904 that includes a whitewashed interior with an intimate upper level perfect for a cocktail hour. If you’re considering an outdoor ceremony, Greenbank also has a beautiful ceremony spot on the lawn with a gorgeous pond backdrop.

Misty River Ranch

Misty River Ranch is an open-air venue cradled in the Mount Baker foothills along the Nooksack River in Deming, WA. It has all the forest charm you could dream of and is just 35 minutes east aof the Bellingham International Airport, which welcomes multiple flights a day out of Seattle. 

With every amenity you could think of (covered pavilion, intimate gazebo, walking bridge, bridal/dressing room, expansive green lawn and tables and chairs galore) your wedding at Misty River Ranch will be the tranquil return to nature you’ve been looking for — with a funky ranch-style twist.

OrcaSong

You don’t have to go to France to wander through endless lavender fields. Celebrate your union within 10 acres of fragrant purple fields at OrcaSong Lavender Farm on Orcas Island. This venue is truly a return to nature, with expansive gardens, flowering meadows and cedar forests.

Ceremonies are held in your choice of three defined circles within the picturesque gardens, the largest holding up to 150 guests.

Enjoy the first night of your honeymoon on-site with a variety of accommodations, including OrcaSong’s newly-renovated Farm House, as well as the Lavender Studio, a yurt, canvas tents and camping sites.

This community farm is women-owned and devoted to sustainability. Its country charm is ideal for unconventional couples passionate about creating a unique celebration in-tune with nature.

The Saltbox Barn

For the couple looking for a barn wedding without the “country,” look no further than The Saltbox Barn on Fir Island. The property is simultaneously historic and modern, with an unrivaled story of community, artistry and tradition all in a simplistic, rustic-meets-contemporary look

The Saltbox Barn is relatively new on the wedding venue scene, but the owners are second-generation Skagit Valley wedding proprietors with a wealth of knowledge.

Along with a stunning Saltbox-style barn with canopied bistro lights, the property has an expansive patio, a beautiful lawn with a cornfield backdrop and multiple outbuildings for getting ready and photo ops.

Snohomish Red Barn Events

Located on Stocker Farm in the Snohomish River Valley, this classic country venue featuring a historic red barn offers a breathtaking background for your special day with limitless opportunities for fun.

If you’re looking to blend tradition with straight-up celebration, you can take advantage of the venue’s in-ground jumping pillow, sports ball arcade, tractor tire jungle gym and fire pit and bonfire (smores, anyone?).

You’ll have your pick of ceremony backdrops, from the spacious red barn to various spots on the 5-acre property. The venue can also provide a beautiful canopy tent for large weddings, so you can celebrate your union under the stars.

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4 Modern Winter Wedding Color Palettes

A couple pictured in the North Cascades. Photo by Between the Pine.
Between the Pine

Are you considering joining the growing ranks of winter brides? We must say, you couldn’t be making a better choice! Though winter may be the least popular season to tie the knot, it’s seriously underrated.  There’s just something about cold weather and a simplistic landscape that creates an atmosphere of crazy romance, right? We know all the couples getting engaged over the holidays can attest to that!  So are you ready to create an enchanted winter wedding to make everyone in your life come together? Whether you’re looking for a subtle twist to the classic holiday color scheme or something entirely new, we’ve created five totally modern color …

Are you considering joining the growing ranks of winter brides? We must say, you couldn’t be making a better choice! Though winter may be the least popular season to tie the knot, it’s seriously underrated. 

There’s just something about cold weather and a simplistic landscape that creates an atmosphere of crazy romance, right? We know all the couples getting engaged over the holidays can attest to that! 

So are you ready to create an enchanted winter wedding to make everyone in your life come together? Whether you’re looking for a subtle twist to the classic holiday color scheme or something entirely new, we’ve created five totally modern color palettes so you can start planning your perfect winter wedding in style.

If you’ve been perusing Pinterest for winter color palettes, we know you’ve already come across a variation of this option. Defined by deep reds and burgundies, blush and rose and, of course, ivory and green, this is the most loved winter color palette around. These colors flatter every venue and skin tone, create the best starting point for bridesmaids’ dresses, and are just flat-out stunning!

This simple muted color palette is like something out of a dream. If you want to diverge from the bright and stark holiday colors, this may be the way to go. With a collection of beautiful calming blues and simple pinks and rust tones, this palette is just made for the unconventional, wildly unique couples. Consider it for your small winter ceremony or adventure elopement to draw attention to you and your partner’s natural connection.

Love your big personality and want to show it? This bright winter color palette is totally for you. In this option, the greens stay how they’d like to: bright! And the pinks aren’t here to blend in, either. If you’re sticking to a classic look and feel, but just need that little something, incorporate this color scheme into your bouquet to amplify the memorability of your elegant gown or suit.

This color palette is what happens when you take the simplicity of option two and add a bit of mood. For all the brides out there that are looking to create a modern wedding (perfect for the dark & moody photographers out there), this color palette will make your heart sing. With yellows, blues, pinks, and greens that look like they’d come right out of a fashion magazine, this is a fitting palette for any couple hoping to break from the norm

 

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12 Things to do Right After You Get Engaged

Jasmyn Rose Photography

Welcome to the Pacific Coast Weddings blog! If you’re here that means… you’re freakin’ engaged! It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for forever … but what do you do now? We’re not going to sugarcoat it: planning a wedding takes a lot of work and can be super stressful. But don’t sweat it— you’re in the 21st century with a world of knowledge right at your fingertips. Oh, and also — we’ve got you. Below, you’ll find 12 tasks that are a must-do as you head into your engagement! Consider us your wedding planning gurus, and we’re about to take you through all the things. By the end, you’ll be …

Welcome to the Pacific Coast Weddings blog! If you’re here that means… you’re freakin’ engaged! It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for forever … but what do you do now?

We’re not going to sugarcoat it: planning a wedding takes a lot of work and can be super stressful. But don’t sweat it— you’re in the 21st century with a world of knowledge right at your fingertips. Oh, and also — we’ve got you.

Below, you’ll find 12 tasks that are a must-do as you head into your engagement! Consider us your wedding planning gurus, and we’re about to take you through all the things. By the end, you’ll be ready to start preparing for the best day of your life.

1. Share the news

We know you’re just dying to do this. You may want to text everyone all at once or post on Facebook immediately — but just wait! Think about the most important people in your life and call them, one-by-one, together. No separate phone conversations from the opposite sides of the room shenanigans— do it together! Pro tip: use FaceTime so you can see everyone’s reactions.

And, in case you need to hear it: you don’t have to announce your engagement right away. Remember, this is about the two of you. Choose what works best for you, and follow your heart. That leads us to our next point...

2. Take it all in

There is no need to rush into planning headfirst! This will be a long journey, followed by the rest of your life with your soulmate, but these first few days of being engaged won’t come again. 

Think of this as your first honeymoon phase and take a moment - or many - to revel in the initial excitement for the commitment you’re about to make!

Pop a bottle of champagne, reminiscence on your favorite memories — simply enjoy this newly-engaged bliss.3. Take care of your ring

We’re not trying to put a damper on your celebration, but you might need some insurance for your new bling! If you wrap it in with your homeowner or renter's insurance policy, it’s actually fairly inexpensive.

And make sure to get your ring sized at the jewelers immediately if it doesn’t fit quite right. You don’t want to lose that baby just days after saying yes!

4. Start dreaming

This is where the real fun begins (or maybe we’re just saying that because we love this part). So, before you dive into your wedding planning checklist, discuss your dreams with your fiance and get researching! 

Pinterest is our go-to spot for collecting inspiration. Creating a wedding board will quickly help you realize your ideal color palette, style and decor.

Another cool way to keep track of your favorite inspiration is by saving posts on Instagram. You can be sure that all your local vendors are on Instagram, so take time to look through their feed so you can recall their favorite work when you speak with them.

If this part stresses you out, look into hiring a wedding planner to take on some of the load. You’ll have an industry pro there to help you realize your dream wedding — and turn it into a reality.

5. Plan the next few months with a wedding timeline and checklist

The key to tackling wedding planning like a pro is to stay organized. Start off by creating a wedding planning timeline to keep track of big items, like when to get your dress and book a photographer (or simply download our free worksheet). 

6. Choose a venue and pick the date

Once you’ve decided on a month or season for your ceremony, you can begin touring venues. Make sure to start this early because depending on the venue, peak season dates may be booked out years in advance.

When you tour venues, make sure to take photos and come with questions prepared. Take a look at our top questions to ask a venue before you go.

Looking for a venue in Western Washington? We have a vendor directory with the top venues on the Pacific Coast.

7. Choose your people

You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your wedding guests! Once you know the size of your venue, you can select your guests. Put it all down on paper (or Excel) and then start with the most important people. That way, you can figure out who you need to have on your day and who will ultimately get crossed off the list.

8. Set your wedding budget

Most people don’t like to talk about money, but setting a budget for your special day early in the planning process is essential. Figure out who is paying, what the most important items are (such as a photographer or venue), and how far that number can stretch. Make sure to account for wiggle room so you’ll be able to cover unexpected expenses. You can also keep track of costs using our budget checklist.9. Schedule your dress appointment

If you’re like us and watch too much Say Yes to the Dress, you know that finding a wedding dress needs to happen early. Don’t make the Randy in your life scramble to find you something from the sample room, and make sure your dress is ordered within 7-10 months prior to the ceremony.

Schedule an appointment at local boutiques or two and look out for trunk shows if you have your eye on a particular designer and want to score a discount.

10. Create your vendor dream team

Once you’ve picked a venue or booked a wedding planner, ask them for vendor recommendations. Odds are, they’ve worked with everyone in town and can help you find the best fit for your vision. You can also search our vendor directory to find an extensive compilation of local vendors.

Just make sure you choose vendors you can count on to be professional and help you achieve your vision. There’s nothing worse than picking the cheap option and regretting it.

11. Have a conversation about your wedding priorities

Has anyone ever told you that you have the power to do your wedding your way? At its roots a wedding is simply a ceremony binding two people together, everything else that happens is up to you. 

Incorporate unique elements to your ceremony, like planting a tree together or doing a ring warming ceremony. Create a custom cocktail or offer a shot of your favorite whiskey to your guests. Host your reception at the rodeo or take a hike with your bridal party on the morning of the wedding. Elope on a mountain top and have a celebration with your family and friends on a different date.

The only rule is that there are no rules! This wedding is the biggest party you’ll ever throw — and it’s yours to create.

12. Relax and dream about your honeymoon!

When it’s all said and done, the important thing is just to breathe. Focus on planning the things that excite you (like your epic honeymoon) — just make sure that all the hard stuff is done too.

And if you’d like a helping hand, you can find inspiration for planning your perfect wedding on our blog and all the resources you need on our worksheets tab.

 

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Vendor Feature: Weddings with Spirit & Wit

Amelia Vera, from Montreal, and Kyron Nakamitsu, from Maui, Hawaii, say their vows in front of local officiant Matthew Thuney at Peace Arch Park on September 12.
Photo by Ian Haupt

What do you find most important in a wedding officiant? Perhaps a religious or spiritual knowledge, outgoing personality or a sense of humor? With Matthew Thuney, of Weddings with Spirit and Wit, you get all three.  While attending church as a child, the Deming officiant said he preferred to listen to the sermon with the adults instead of attending Sunday school. Thuney enjoyed philosophy and theology and grew up to attend Yale Divinity School where he studied to become an Episcopal minister. Then, after completing a ministry internship in his early twenties, he realized he “wasn't ready to minister to anyone.” Thuney decided to leave the church and moved to …

What do you find most important in a wedding officiant? Perhaps a religious or spiritual knowledge, outgoing personality or a sense of humor? With Matthew Thuney, of Weddings with Spirit and Wit, you get all three. 

While attending church as a child, the Deming officiant said he preferred to listen to the sermon with the adults instead of attending Sunday school. Thuney enjoyed philosophy and theology and grew up to attend Yale Divinity School where he studied to become an Episcopal minister. Then, after completing a ministry internship in his early twenties, he realized he “wasn't ready to minister to anyone.”

Thuney decided to leave the church and moved to Bellingham in 1985 to open his own business, which he ran for 16 years. In 2010 he relocated to Deming and retired, but continued to study religions from around the world and volunteer in his spare time. With his background as a minister, Thuney gave eulogies at several funerals before he finally found his calling in 2013 when he was asked to officiate a neighbor’s wedding. 

“It’s a special kind of calling, and I'm glad it found me,” Thuney said with a chuckle. 

Now, seven years later, Thuney travels around the state to officiate all varieties of weddings, from the most traditional to non-traditional. To be an officiant, Thuney believes it’s important to be a good public speaker, to have empathy and to understand different religious backgrounds--adding that a sense of humor doesn’t hurt. He enjoys working with couples to create the ceremony of their dreams as well as facing challenges as they arise. For Thuney, being a wedding officiant means more than just receiving a paycheck.

“I refer to it as a job but it’s not really. It’s something I’m so honored to be able to do,” Thuney said. 

With the onset of Covid-19, Thuney said navigating weddings this year has been challenging but also a learning experience. What started off as a typical year in the wedding business turned into an uncertain time for Thuney and engaged couples alike. 

“It became a game of scrambling to reschedule, to cancel, or to do an elopement this year and hopefully celebrate with a big bash next year,” Thuney said. 

But as weddings (albeit smaller ones) continue to take place during the pandemic, Thuney has stayed busy officiating. Cross-border weddings have become popular at Peace Arch Park, a mutual zone where Americans can meet their Canadian loved ones, and Thuney has officiated over eight weddings there. He said he has become familiar with the process of obtaining marriage licenses for couples of the two nations. 

Weddings with Spirit and Wit is appropriately named as Thuney sees the importance of the two aspects in a ceremony. With each wedding, Thuney believes in honoring all traditions — or “non-traditions” — and always adds a little bit of spirituality in the sermon. He has also been a writer for 40 years and enjoys engaging the audience with humor. 

“It is a spiritual ceremony, but you can have fun with it,” Thuney said. 

Matthew Thuney can be contacted via email at mdthuney@gmail.com. For more information visit the Officiants tab under our Vendor Directory on the Pacific Coast Wedding website. 

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Adventure Weddings

Everyone has heard of couples getting married while scuba diving or on a mountaintop, but have you ever heard of couples getting married in ice caves, or volcanoes, up in hot air balloons, on an iceberg with penguins or on a camel in a desert? Welcome to the wild world of adventure weddings. Adventure weddings vary greatly, but one thing that they all share is a couple committing while on an adventure. These adventures often involve travel, a journey to the special ceremony site, and possibly sharing the experience with friends and witnesses. The big question is, how do you plan the perfect adventure wedding for you? It’s generally a good idea to hire a professional agent …

Everyone has heard of couples getting married while scuba diving or on a mountaintop, but have you ever heard of couples getting married in ice caves, or volcanoes, up in hot air balloons, on an iceberg with penguins or on a camel in a desert? Welcome to the wild world of adventure weddings.

Adventure weddings vary greatly, but one thing that they all share is a couple committing while on an adventure. These adventures often involve travel, a journey to the special ceremony site, and possibly sharing the experience with friends and witnesses. The big question is, how do you plan the perfect adventure wedding for you? It’s generally a good idea to hire a professional agent specializing in destination weddings. They have contacts worldwide, they know reputable places to stay, transportation agencies, and agencies/vendors to help make your dream adventure wedding a reality. A professional can help you with finding an ideal location that fits your needs. We talked with Monique Brigham, travel professional and owner of Plumeria Breezes and Travelon how to get started. Monique suggested that couples “should have an idea of what they want to spend and have it narrowed down to where they would like to go. Of course, I can help them come up with both of those, but it is definitely easier if they have some idea.”

Some adventure weddings will take place in other countries, so it is important to check with the laws of that country –  agents can help with that step. Once you’ve determined the time of year you would like to get married, find out the typical weather during that season at your destination. There is nothing worse than wanting a winter wedding on Balangan beach in Bali, only to discover that you’ve arrived during the wet season.

In the Pacific Northwest, we have many possibilities for adventure weddings with locations ranging from mountains to the sea and there are lots of vendors who are excited to help out with these types of weddings. Many couples choose their favorite activity (hiking, biking, paddle boarding, scuba diving, sky diving etc.), and share their nuptials before, during or after that activity.

Finding the right officiant and photographer can be its own adventure. We checked with MMR Design & PhotographyMeraki PhotographyMatt Priestman PhotographyE.J. Harris Photographyand K. Hulett Photographyand while not all have photographed an adventure wedding, everyone was interested in having a go at it. Lisa from Meraki Design & Photographytold us about one of her experiences with aan dventure weddings. She said, “It was on a windy overhang on a mountainside overlooking a valley. It was so breathtaking and the emotions during the vows were so honest and genuine because there was no audience to be shy in front of.” She recommends a professional photographer because “a good photographer won't take you back just to the day, they will take you back to each emotion and moment.”

Shannon Day, officiant of Tall Red Head Girl, said that although she has never officiated an adventure wedding, she is definitely game. Couples can also have adventures leading into larger receptions. For example, a couple could get married on horseback at Misty River Ranch if they BYOH (bring your own horse).Then afterwards, they can have a full reception while the horses graze in the field. Other couples might like to exchange their vows on the water then slide into a marina for an awesome beachfront reception. The Hotel Bellwetherand Bellingham Yacht Clubor the Seafarer’s Memorial Parkand Transit Shed Event Centerare all situated so that you could step off a boat or paddleboard and into your party.

With a little research and help from professionals, couples daring to take weddings out of the ordinary can create a unique, once in a lifetime experience.

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Postponing weddings during Covid-19

Broadway Hall Wedding Venue
Matt Priestman Photography

According to Dhanusha Sivajee, chief marketing officer at The Knot Worldwide, 95 percent of all weddings canceled during Covid-19 are being rescheduled for later this year or into next year. So how do you get started postponing and rescheduling the wedding of your dreams? Vendors currently understand that these are uncertain times and postponing weddings right now is par for the course. If weddings are scheduled in May through July, vendors suggests rescheduling rather than cancling. As far as August or September weddings, they  suggests waiting to see if the stay at home orders/gathering bans are lifted. Many venues are allowing brides to reschedule weddings and receptions twelve …

According to Dhanusha Sivajee, chief marketing officer at The Knot Worldwide, 95 percent of all weddings canceled during Covid-19 are being rescheduled for later this year or into next year. So how do you get started postponing and rescheduling the wedding of your dreams?

Vendors currently understand that these are uncertain times and postponing weddings right now is par for the course. If weddings are scheduled in May through July, vendors suggests rescheduling rather than cancling. As far as August or September weddings, they  suggests waiting to see if the stay at home orders/gathering bans are lifted. Many venues are allowing brides to reschedule weddings and receptions twelve months out, but all establishments vary. So if you are thinking about rescheduling, the first thing to do is establish a new date and time for the event. Wedding scheduling is dependent on many things like the availability of the couple, family, venue or even the caterer. Find a couple of dates that work so you have a better chance of getting all of your vendors and suppliers. Also, realize that if you are getting married at a different time of year, the flowers in season will differ; floral designer and Pozie by Natalie owner Natalie Ransom encourages brides to “go with the flow.”

Once you have a couple of dates in mind, talk with your officiant, venue, vendors and any suppliers. For those working with wedding planners, they can often help create a list of the vendors that need to be contacted as well as help you navigate vendor contracts. But do not worry if you do not have a planner; just create a list of your vendors and give them each a call. Rescheduling a wedding is far different than canceling a wedding, but there can be some fees for rescheduling and some of your venders may not be available on your new date, so you may lose a deposit. Review your contracts beforehand to see if they include an Act of God exclusion – Covid-19 certainly qualifies for that! Be sure to talk with all your vendors and suppliers before you announce your new date to guests.

Finally, it’s time to announce the new date to the guests. If you have already sent out wedding invitations, then the address list has been established and you can send out a cute postcard to guests with the information. There are free post card templates on the internet and phone apps or you can create a photo postcard yourself. Sending a mass email or text messages is simple, effective and free. Statistically, the older generation enjoys getting phone calls, but be prepared to have an exit line. If you have a wedding website where people have/can RSVP, be sure to put the announcement and new information there as well.

Postponing a wedding can be a daunting task, but just take it one step at a time.

 

References:

Thousands of weddings are put on hold amid coronavirus pandemic- By Jessica Dickler

A Guide to Postponing Your Wedding-By Jane Chertoff

 

 

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Getting married during Covid-19

Matt Priestman Photography

Many couples who planned a spring wedding a year ago have been confronted with the wedding industry coming to an abrupt halt due to Covid-19. But the determination of some to get married during this time of social distancing and stay at home orders has only increased. Through adaptation and creative thinking couples are still getting married in creative ways. When we flatten the curve and things seemingly get back to a new normal, will these marriages officially be legal? One of the unique ways folks are continuing on with their big day is virtual weddings. Virtual weddings are weddings that the guests, officiant, and witness attend online through a video meeting platform like Zoom, …

Many couples who planned a spring wedding a year ago have been confronted with the wedding industry coming to an abrupt halt due to Covid-19. But the determination of some to get married during this time of social distancing and stay at home orders has only increased. Through adaptation and creative thinking couples are still getting married in creative ways.

When we flatten the curve and things seemingly get back to a new normal, will these marriages officially be legal? One of the unique ways folks are continuing on with their big day is virtual weddings. Virtual weddings are weddings that the guests, officiant, and witness attend online through a video meeting platform like Zoom, Facebook Live, or Instagram Live. This is a great way to exchange vows and have people share in the experience, but the internet is not a legally binding entity and to have a wedding be legally binding, the couple, two witnesses and an officiant must all be physically present. If, for instance, your household includes five people right now, you could legally marry as long as one of those people can become certified as an officiant online. You can always have virtual guests, but the five main players must be there in person.

A drive-in wedding is a creative option depending on what Covid-19-related orders are in effect in your state. A couple in Iowa are planning a drive-in wedding the second weekend in April. The couple will be on an outdoor stage while the cars will be parked at angles to see them get married, just like a drive-in movie. In states with only a social distancing order, this works well, doesn’t break any rules and is legally binding.

Because of Washington’s stay at home order, some folks with larger families at home have turned to drive by weddings. In this case, this can be legal if one person in the family is certified as an officiant. Additionally, the couple needs to be present, along with two witnesses. The ceremony can be performed at home and, at a set time, folks can drive by honking horns with, perhaps, cars decorated with signs of well-wishes. In Washington state, some recorder’s offices like King County’s have remained open and folks can continue to get marriage licenses. Some judges are continuing to perform ceremonies as well. Unfortunately, many counties are not issuing marriage certificates at this time.

With a little innovation and creativity we can still make important vows, celebrate together (virtually) and have fun. Sometimes letting go of expectations can result in a really unexpectedly beautiful and present wedding day.

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Real wedding: Jenny & David

Rachele Coen Photography

A note from the photographer: The couple was Jennifer and David Russo. They met in high school, dated and then went separate ways. They found each other again years later and knew it was meant to be! Their wedding was at Jennifer’s childhood home in Kent, WA. Completely styled by Jennifer, she added vintage touches by collecting tea cups from local thrift stores months leading up to the wedding, as well as renting gorgeous furniture for guests to relax on as seen in the photos. Vendors:  Photographer: Rachele Coen Photography / @rachelecoenphoto Venue: Bride's parents' home in Kent, Washington Hair & Makeup: The PNW Bride Catering & Bar Services: Al …

A note from the photographer: The couple was Jennifer and David Russo. They met in high school, dated and then went separate ways. They found each other again years later and knew it was meant to be! Their wedding was at Jennifer’s childhood home in Kent, WA. Completely styled by Jennifer, she added vintage touches by collecting tea cups from local thrift stores months leading up to the wedding, as well as renting gorgeous furniture for guests to relax on as seen in the photos.

Vendors: 

Photographer: Rachele Coen Photography / @rachelecoenphoto

Venue: Bride's parents' home in Kent, Washington

Hair & Makeup: The PNW Bride

Catering & Bar Services: Al Lago Restaurant 

Ice Cream: Sub Zero Ice Cream / @subzeroicecream

Event Rentals: Alexander Party Rentals / @alexanderpartyrentals

Furniture Rentals: Wander Event Rentals / @wandereventrentals

Florals: Bloominous / @bloominous

Florals: Costco Floral Department / @costco

Photo Booth: Act 1 Photo Booths 

Bridal Gown: Inmaculada Garcia@inmaculada__garcia

Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo Collection / @jennyyoonyc

Groom's Attire: Jos. A. Bank / @josabank

Jewelry: Kendra Scott / @kendrascott

Rings: Menashe & Sons Jewelers / @menashejewelers

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Big Fake Wedding Seattle 2019

In October, The Big Fake Wedding came to Seattle, bringing together a talented and exclusive group of local vendors to put on a lush and daring (fake) wedding. Leah and Shaun were the gorgeous happy couple. Origonally wed in 2009, the couple's vow renewal at The Big Fake Wedding was memorable to say the least! Their kids and puppy enjoyed the event as well.  The Big Fake Wedding was held at Within Sodo, with open air spaces and rooftop  views. The vendors (fully listed below) all came out to show how amazing and unique their services really are, and, boy, were we blown away. For more information about The Big Fake Wedding, visit thebigfakewedding.com. If you see something that …

In October, The Big Fake Wedding came to Seattle, bringing together a talented and exclusive group of local vendors to put on a lush and daring (fake) wedding. Leah and Shaun were the gorgeous happy couple. Origonally wed in 2009, the couple's vow renewal at The Big Fake Wedding was memorable to say the least! Their kids and puppy enjoyed the event as well. 

The Big Fake Wedding was held at Within Sodo, with open air spaces and rooftop  views. The vendors (fully listed below) all came out to show how amazing and unique their services really are, and, boy, were we blown away. For more information about The Big Fake Wedding, visit thebigfakewedding.com. If you see something that inspires you in the photos or video, be sure to reach out to the  talented vendors involved and see if they can help make your special day just as marvolous as the 2019 Big Fake Wedding in Seattle! 

The fabulous vendors:

Alcohol - Associated Vintners - http://www.preceptwine.com

Bridesmaid Attire - Azazie - https://www.azazie.com

Oyster Bar - Taylor Shellfish - https://www.taylorshellfishfarms.com/

Catering - Twist Catering Co - https://www.twistcateringcompany.com/

Ceremony Musician - Joseph Dane Music - http://www.josephdane.com/weddings/

Chocolate Favors - Arrowhead Chocolates - https://arrowheadchocolates.com

Cupcakes - Hello, Cupcake - https://hello-cupcake.com

Custom Menswear - J.Hilburn - https://lizsilke.jhilburn.com

Day-of Coordinator - Polka Dot Events - http://www.pdotevents.com

DJ + Emcee - Puget Sound DJ - https://www.pugetsounddj.com

E-Commerce - Tough Cookie Games - https://toughcookiegames.com

Event Rentals - American Party Place - https://www.americanpartyplace.com

Floral + Event Design: Tables 1, 10, + Cake Backdrop - Pump Up Party - https://pumpupparty.co

Floral + Event Design: Tables 2, 9 + Ceremony Backdrop - K Frances Flowers & Events - https://www.kfrancesflowersevents.com

Floral + Event Design: Tables 3, 8 + Head Table - For the Good Events - https://forthegoodevents.com

Floral + Event Design: Tables 4, 7 + Personal Flowers - Jessica Vann-Campbell Flowers - https://www.jvcflowers.com

Floral + Event Design: Tables 5, 6 + Registration Table - Paeonia Pines - https://www.paeoniapines.com

Hair + Makeup - Elizabeth White Artistry - https://www.elizabethwhiteartistry.com

Hotel - Archer Hotel Redmond - https://archerhotel.com/redmond

Jewelry - Joseph Jewelry - https://www.josephjewelry.com

Marshmallow Favors - Malvi: Marshmallow Confections - https://www.malvimallow.com

Medical Spa - Purity Medical Spa - https://puritymedicalspa.com

Men's Wedding Band Home Try-On - Hitched - https://tryhitched.com

Wedding Day Pet Care - Wags & Garland - https://www.wagsandgarland.com

Photo Booth - Drunken Pixel - http://www.drunkenpixel.com

Photography - Wild Grass Photography - https://www.wildgrassphotography.com

Photography - Works by Sarah Jane Photography - https://www.worksbysarahjane.com

Photography - Woven Legacies - https://wovenlegacies.com

Table Accents - Songbird Paperie - http://songbirdpaperie.com/

Tabletop Rentals - Celebrations for Every Season - https://www.celebrationsforeveryseaso...

Venue - WithinSodo - https://www.withinsodo.com

Videography - Best Made Videos - https://bestmadeweddingvideos.com

Wedding Cake - Rue Cler Seattle - https://rueclerseattle.com

Wedding Dress - Grace + Ivory - https://graceandivory.com

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Low waste wedding? No problem

Weddings produce large amounts of waste. From the decorations, to the food to the throwaway dinnerware, the trash cans will be filling up before you know it. If you are a bride who cares about the environment, this could be hard to watch. Here are a few tips to try to reduce your waste on the big day, while still having the wedding of your dreams.  Book a venue that does not need excess decor: Excess decorations often cause large amounts of waste and can be unnoticed by your guests. There are many venues that already have a breathtaking set up as it is. Historical buildings, gardens and restaurants usually have enough decoration to give you the elegant wedding of your dreams. If you do …
Weddings produce large amounts of waste. From the decorations, to the food to the throwaway dinnerware, the trash cans will be filling up before you know it. If you are a bride who cares about the environment, this could be hard to watch. Here are a few tips to try to reduce your waste on the big day, while still having the wedding of your dreams.  Book a venue that does not need excess decor: Excess decorations often cause large amounts of waste and can be unnoticed by your guests. There are many venues that already have a breathtaking set up as it is. Historical buildings, gardens and restaurants usually have enough decoration to give you the elegant wedding of your dreams. If you do want a few unique decorations, think about making them yourself from recycled paper products or plants that can be used later or composted. Buy a second hand or vintage dress: Wedding dresses are expensive and you will only wear it once. There are tons of used wedding dresses out there that you will look gorgeous in. You can always get a used dress altered if it does not fit exactly right. After your big day, you can donate it to a second hand store or sell it online for another bride to enjoy, instead of it taking up space in your closet. Email the invitations: Everyone thinks you have to mail invitations to your guests for typical wedding etiquette. Instead, make an ecard for your guests and do electronic RSVPs. Give them about a month to respond and if your do not get a reply then send them an invitation on recycled paper. This will save you money on stationary and a lot of invitations that are going to get thrown out anyways. Pick your own flowers: You can make yourself an elaborate bouquet, centerpieces and boutonnieres for way less money with flowers from your own garden. Look up some fun, sustainable DIYs and have your family and friends help make it happen! If you do not have your own garden, ask a friend or go to a you-pick farm! Compost excess food: Food waste fills up trash cans in weddings fast. Instead, have large compost bins and label what is acceptable to put in them. Have an announcement before the meal that you are composting and not to throw food away in the trash. Also, have recycling bins and label what to put in them so there is no confusion. Tell caters before you hire them that you are going for a zero waste wedding and see how their services will align with your vision. Rent dinnerware: Instead of using throw away plates, silverware and napkins, rent them! There are many party rental companies that can rent you dinnerware for the big day. It will make the food look more upscale being served on real plates, rather than paper ones. Try to rent napkins made of cloth or use compostable napkins. Wedding gifts: Nowadays, many couples already live together before the big day and already have the household items people normally buy off of a registry. Instead, ask for donations to your honeymoon or a down payment on a house or another significant purchase. This will save you from throwing away piles of wrapping paper, ribbons and packaging.
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Modern Rooftop Engagement Photoshoot

Kassidy Sherburne Photography

A note from the photographer: Jessica and Roark met in Walla Walla, Washington and have been together for over six years! They moved to Portland four years ago and are tying the knot next summer. With Jessica being a designer and Roark a landscape photographer they wanted the modern-clean look of Portland architecture and the whimsical, forestland that the much of PNW has to offer.  We found the perfect rooftop spot in Northwest Portland and danced around the whole parking lot all morning. After some coffee and a drive up some ivy-filled roads, we got to Forest Park – the 5,100 acre park right in the heart of Portland. Jessica and Roark were right in their element as the …

A note from the photographer:

Jessica and Roark met in Walla Walla, Washington and have been together for over six years! They moved to Portland four years ago and are tying the knot next summer. With Jessica being a designer and Roark a landscape photographer they wanted the modern-clean look of Portland architecture and the whimsical, forestland that the much of PNW has to offer. 

We found the perfect rooftop spot in Northwest Portland and danced around the whole parking lot all morning. After some coffee and a drive up some ivy-filled roads, we got to Forest Park – the 5,100 acre park right in the heart of Portland.

Jessica and Roark were right in their element as the couple has spent their five years together, backpacking, climbing and exploring much of the trails that Oregon and Washington have to offer. 

To say these two were natural together is an understatement. Their love has an effortless softness to it that you just don't find everyday. I feel so lucky to have been able to capture this love and am stoked to be there for their wedding next June. 

Photographer: Kassidy Sherburne Photography

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How to Buy Your First Home

MMR Design and Photography

Wondering if you should start looking for a home to buy after the big day? We sat down with real estate agent Kate Fadden and asked her advice for first time home owners. Buying a house can be scary, and you might wonder if you are ready for this big of an investment. There are a few questions you should consider. How much can you afford each month? What kind of down payment ae you able to make? Speaking with a loan officer can help guide you through the process of figuring out a budget. “If you are renting, chances are you can buy. Think about the pros/cons of renting vs. buying and see how you feel about them,” said Fadden. Real estate is a great investment for a …

Wondering if you should start looking for a home to buy after the big day? We sat down with real estate agent Kate Fadden and asked her advice for first time home owners.

Buying a house can be scary, and you might wonder if you are ready for this big of an investment. There are a few questions you should consider. How much can you afford each month? What kind of down payment ae you able to make? Speaking with a loan officer can help guide you through the process of figuring out a budget.

“If you are renting, chances are you can buy. Think about the pros/cons of renting vs. buying and see how you feel about them,” said Fadden.

Real estate is a great investment for a person. Renting can be beneficial in certain situations, but with renting your money is not going towards an investment.

“By renting, you are furthering someone else’s real estate goals and finances rather than creating your own,” said Fadden.

However, the market is always changing, so there is not an easy answer of when is a good time to start looking for a house. Make sure to consider these questions before looking for your dream home. What is the market doing in the area you want to buy? What do the interest rates currently look like? Do you have a clear idea of the house you want to purchase? Are you comfortable with the current budget you have?

If you decide you want to buy a house, you still might not know what you want in a house. Make a list of things you like about your current living situation and things you want to change. You should also consider the area. Work commute, school district and neighborhoods are all things you should think about. Keep your priorities in line and make sure you tell your real estate agent so they can find a house that best suits you.

“When it comes to your budget, stick to it! Make sure you have enough money budgeted for your earnest money deposit and closing costs,” said Fadden.

If you are buying as a couple make sure to keep both your interests in mind. Discuss both of your ‘deal breakers’ and ‘must haves.’ Keep on the same page about budgets and have regular ‘check ins’ to make sure the whole process goes smoothly for both of you.

Ask lots of questions while looking for a house. Remember that your real estate agent, your insurance provider and your mortgage lender are all experts in their field and are there to help you.

“Once you know what you are looking for, the next step is to find a mortgage lender that you want to work with,” said Fadden.
A good place to start is to ask your realtor who they recommend.

Once you choose your mortgage lender, you should get pre-approved so you know what your set budget should be. They can also provide you with a pre-approval letter, which can make you look more desirable to sellers.

If you happen to find your dream home, your agent will write up an offer for you and guide you through the process. It’s a good idea to get a home inspection if your offer gets accepted. Also if you are buying with a bank loan, your bank will order an appraisal of the house.

To contact Kate Fadden about taking the next steps towards purchasing your first home, go to kate-fadden.com.

Happy house hunting!

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