Today we’re sharing a handmade Washington state wedding on a farm with a big red barn! It used to be a working hops farm–now it’s covered in lavender, apple trees and of course hops. We got the details from the bride Christina: We wanted a relaxed, fun, country feel, I grew up in the country and we have a horse and I will always be a cowgirl at heart. We love bright colors so thats where the red blue and yellow came in. My parents also have a wedding carriage buisness and ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted horses in my wedding.
We had a smaller ceremony, about 100 people. We really wanted those closest to us to be there; several friends flew all the way from Austria. We got engaged at Cannon Beach when we were in the States for a visit in August 2011. We just had a week before we flew back home to Austria and I knew we wouldn’t be back until a month or so before the wedding. The Red Barn Studios was the second venue we looked at and knew it was perfect. We found Jagger photo and our graphic designer from a recently wed friend and that worked so well- we checked on dates with Jagger before we booked the venue!
One of my favorite memories was walking down the aisle, feeling so special and beautiful, to the same song my mother did, Be Thou My Vision, and seeing Robert crying. We had done a first look and I really didnt expect that, I was caught off guard in a wonderful way. The ceremony was so beautiful, time seemed to stand still and seeing everyone there, all our hard work on the decorations, one of my best friends from our childhood singing, having our minister from Austria there to officiate, etc. During our vows a train went by in the distance and blew its horn. It was so incredible to realize, that after meeting Robert seven years ago when he was my study abroad group’s tour guide in the saltmines in Austria… that our fairy tale really did come true was amazing. Being surrounded by and supported by everyone was overwhelming and so special. Also, before eating we all held hands and prayed, that was very special.
We had so many ideas for details! I wore my grandmas brooch on my dress, my moms pearls, new earrings, blue lacing in my cowgirl boots… We made the wooden cake stand, our topper, the boxes for the table arrangements, the vinaigrette…I actually found out the day before the wedding that we needed to juice our limes, so we had an assembly line of ten people or so to juice over 200 limes! We made a crossword puzzle with things like how me met, the name of our dog, out favorite foods, etc. We also had a long piece of twine interwoven through the chairs at the ceremony. We passed our rings around and asked each person to bless them or say a short prayer for us, so everyone touched our rings before we exchanged vows.
We wanted to combine our two backgrounds. Robert is Austrian and thats where we met, so we had beer from Austria, Cordon Bleu and red cabbage, and had parts of the service read in German as well and did some Austrian dances and traditions like ‘stealing the bride’, where the grrom has to ‘buy’ the bride back with drinks. During the receptions Robert, his best man and a couple other Austrian guys changed into Lederhosen, which was really fun.
I have lots of advice! Start early and invest in a good photographer. Have them stay the whole day, I wish we had done that. I know almost every bride says this, but things fly by. Enjoy every second, and just soak in the day. We got up early and went on a walk together the morning of the wedding, to have some alone time and just be together before everything started. That was great. I was hesitant to do a first look but I am so glad we did, walking down the aisle was still so wonderfully emotional regardless of having done the first look. Let people help you and know ahead of time what is really important- I was still trying to frost cupcakes the morning of the wedding! We made an Excel sheet with our budget early on with a high and low bid, so we did a lot of research to know what to expect for costs, and decided early on which things we wanted to invest more money and effort in. We looked in to all our vendors, got lots of recommendations, etc. I would highly recommend all of our vendors- we were so happy with them. Also, don’t skip over the ceremony. That ended up being our favorite part of the day- we had meaningful songs, poems and scripture read that was meaningful to us. So many people said the ceremony was so beautiful and just exemplified our love for each other and our personalities. Focus on your relationship, your journey together and your love for each other. It is a busy day with so many emotions, but take the time to soak it in. All the planning is stressful, but fun, but when it comes down to it, the day is a celebration of a beautiful love and the beginning of a new life together- don’t forget that!
Vendors: Photography: Jagger Photography / Venue: Red Barn Studios in Chehalis, WA / Food: Catrina’s catering / Bar and linens: Special Event Rentals, wine from Trader Joes, beer from Costco and a distributor in Portland (for the Stiegl–Austrian beer) and a signature raspberry margarita cocktail / Wedding carriage: Christina’s mom’s business, Olympia Carriage / Cake: