Ciana + Chris – Seattle Elopement Photographer

It’s their 1-year anniversary, so I figured it was only fitting to share Ciana and Chris’ rainy day elopement!

I’ve known Ciana for many years. I believe we met through Megan one night at someone’s party… in some apartment… where all I remember is that they were drinking terrible beer. Anyway, those details don’t matter! I don’t see Ciana very often except for when we’re celebrating something or hanging out with Megan. (I’ve met A LOT of people through Megan!)

About a year ago, Ciana emailed me saying she was engaged to her long-time friend Chris and they were planning an elopement at Kubota Gardens in Seattle. I knew it was going to be simple, laid back, and colorful. I wasn’t wrong! She showed up in a red swing dress and petticoat with polka dot tights. How freaking adorable!

We were slightly bummed that the weather decided to rain on us, but it didn’t spoil Ciana or Chris’ moods. They just wanted to get married already!

About 20 of their closest family and friends huddled under the shelter as they said their vows. The ceremony lasted 15-minutes and had everyone in tears by the end. The tiny reception consisted of cupcakes from Cupcake Royale, sparkling cider, and kids running around and through the trails. It couldn’t have been more perfect for them.

I hope Ciana and Chris have a wonderful one year anniversary today!


 

 

Khloe + Vincent’s Elopement– Seattle Elopement Photographer

Did you know that Seattle is a top destination for elopements? I didn’t until just recently!

Khloe (whose Chinese name is Fung Ha) reached out to me in May last year by email. She and her fiance Vincent are from Hong Kong and were planning on having their ceremony at the Downtown Seattle Courthouse in September. It seemed odd at first, but after a few more weeks of emailing back and forth, I agreed. Khloe had to make a few changes to the location and date because of trouble getting the marriage certificate. Finally, the date was set for September 22nd and the ceremony would take place on the observation deck of the Smith Tower.

I met the couple for the first time in Occidental Park on that rainy September Sunday for their formal portraits. We were able to communicate quite well despite speaking different languages. It was a lot of me directing using my hands.

Once we were done with the cold, wet weather, we walked the few short blocks to the Smith Tower for a few more formal portraits in the lobby. The Tower still maintains a few “golden carriage” elevators that take patrons up the building. One of them was open just for tours and I asked the couple to sneak inside for a quick kiss.

We eventually reached the 35th floor where a table was reserved for them by the window. Originally called The Chinese Room, the Smith Tower’s Observatory Bar still has the Wishing Chair. It was a gift from the Last Empress of China and there is a legend that if a single woman sits in the chair, she will be married within the year. Khloe sat in the chair and was married within minutes!

When the officiant arrived, we stepped outside tucked in a small corner of the observation deck. Khloe and Vincent said their vows to each other overlooking downtown and Elliot Bay. The rain never let up and Khloe and Vincent never stopped smiling.

Vincent’s Chinese name is Ling Hon.




 

Coleman + Marshall Wedding — PNW Wedding Photographer

Early Spring of last year, Cameron messaged me on Facebook to ask me if I’d be the photographer for his wedding with Annie scheduled for October. They’re good friends of mine and our kids went to preschool together, so I couldn’t pass it up! “It’s going to be a surprise,” he said. “Annie doesn’t know about it.”

*record scratch* What?!

Cameron planned this gorgeous wedding with the help of his and Annie’s families and she had no idea until 5 minutes before she arrived at the venue. To a farm. By helicopter. He called it “Operation White Wedding” and he successfully pulled off one of the best surprises I’ve ever been a part of.

They had been planning to get married for a while. She even picked out a dress. Two dresses, actually. Sometime later in October, they were going to head to Mexico where they figured — or so Annie thought — that they’d tie the knot. Only that’s not what happened.

Cameron booked the venue at Willapa Hills Farm, the caterer, the photographer (moi), the officiant (a friend), the band (Annie’s sister’s former band), invited the guests, arranged for the flowers. All of it. And it was perfect.

That morning, they drove to Seattle where they hopped in a helicopter for a day date and a tour of the Puget Sound. But when they started flying south and couldn’t see the Sound, she started to wonder. At about 2:00pm, they flew over the Willapa Hills Farm where she saw a bunch of people below and that’s when he asked her:
“Do you want to get married? Now? Today?”
“What?!” she said. “I mean, yes! Wait… what?”

She recognized a few cars in the parking lot and then it hit her. OH, I’M GETTING MARRIED. TODAY!

The pilot landed the helicopter and Cameron helped her out. Their two kids ran to embrace them and they greeted their soon-to-be wedding guests. Everyone knew this for months, except for the bride.

She got ready in a small building off the side of the barn where her dress, shoes, makeup, hair, and Spanx were set for her. Yes, he even remembered the Spanx.

Annie’s brother on guitar and sister on violin played music as they walked down the aisle where Cameron and Annie said their vows in a clearing by the river surrounded by friends and family. The party continued with live music from Annie’s favorite band, dancing, amazing food and beer from a local brewery.

If anyone could have pulled off a surprise this fantastic, it was Cameron. And there’s no other bride who could have acceded with such grace as Annie. They make the perfect match.

 

Megan + Thom’s Wedding – Seattle Wedding Photographer

The moment Megan asked me to be the photographer for her wedding with Thom Mezak, I KNEW it was going to be simple, gorgeous, and so laid back. These are a few of my favorite wedding things. Megan booked a house on Capitol Hill through VRBO and it had everything they needed for an intimate “Seattle backyard wedding.”

The couple got ready with their bridal party in separate parts of the house, while family and friends decorated the house and their puppers Grouch watched. They laughed their way through the patio ceremony and celebrated the nuptials with a small champagne reception that trickled out to the driveway. (The big party was happening the following night at The Stables in Georgetown where I was able to be a guest and not a photographer! Yay!)

I had so much fun with the bridal party — some of whom I’ve known about half of my life.

Hands down, this has got to be my absolute favorite wedding that I ever shot and participated in. Enjoy the Mezaktrimony! Just in case you missed it, take a look back at my blog post for Megan & Thom’s engagement session at Volunteer Park and their dog who stole the show.