We were super excited to discover a new (gorgeous!) wedding venue in the Seattle area through Harmonie and Andre’s delightful wedding. That, plus photography by one of our faves and we’ve got ourselves an awesome and inspiring local wedding! From Harmonie: Andre and I really wanted our wedding to reflect us. We wanted to keep it simple and colorful, with a bit of a vintage vibe. Thankfully, we agreed on most of the ideas and our friend Christina was able to make those ideas a reality. We really loved our venue, so we didn’t want to take away from the great wood walls and cool setting, but rather just enhance it with great colors.
I think there were two favorite moments for me. The first was walking down the aisle. It was emotionally overwhelming (in a good way), trying to take in the room that was filled with people we love and focusing on Andre, standing at the front of the room waiting for me. It was a day I had dreamed of for so long and I just couldn’t believe it was here. The second was right after the ceremony. We were husband and wife. It was pure love and joy and happiness. It was the best feeling in the world!
We wanted to do something fun at our wedding, so we decided to play BINGO, with prizes and all! We didn’t know if it would be a total flop or a raging success. Thankfully, everyone got totally into it and it was SO fun! Playing BINGO was a surprise to my Grandma Shirley. A little background, the first time my Grandma met my brother’s wife, they went and played BINGO at the local senior center. After Andre and I had been dating a couple months, we went and played BINGO with my Grandma at the senior center and had a fabulous time. It ended up being the perfect addition to our reception and a great surprise for my Grandma!
Andre and I only had a 7 week engagement, so we had to get a lot done in a short amount of time. So my advice, especially when planning a wedding in a short time:
1. Set your budget at the beginning. It allows you to prioritize what’s most important and help with decision making.
2. Be willing to make quick decisions. It helps if you and your groom already have a clear idea of what you want. Andre and I talked about our wedding before we got engaged, but didn’t book anything or make anything official until after our engagement. I actually booked our venue and photographer the night we got engaged. :) We were able to make quick decisions because we had spent time researching prior to our engagement.
3. Be flexible. If something isn’t working out exactly as you thought, be willing to make changes. We started with one idea for the backdrop of our ceremony. After going to the space a few times, we realized that it would take away from the space rather enhance it, so we changed it and it turned out so much better than we originally envisioned.
4. Ask for help. My dear friend Christina is creative, artistic, and knows me well. We asked her to help us from day one. We would talk to her about ideas and she found ways to implement them. I also trust her immensely, so after spending hours talking about we wanted, it was easy to let her just go for it. She did all the decor for our wedding/reception and it was absolutely perfect!
5. Make sure the wedding reflects you and your groom. Only you and your groom can decide what is important to you about your wedding day. Andre and I knew we wanted our wedding to be a celebration of our love, but also about the people that have invested in our lives. That’s why we kept our wedding small. We wanted it to be a fabulous dinner party in a great setting with delicious food. We were so excited to find Cast Iron Studios, who happens to be catered by one of my favorite restaurants – Purple Cafe & Wine Bar. We got a lot of comments about how great the food was, which is exactly what we had hoped for. A lot of people may/will offer you opinions, but focus on making the day about what is important to you and your groom. And when all is said and done, remember what is most important, marrying the love of your life.
6. Be present. I had been told by so many brides that the wedding day goes by so fast and at the end of the day feels like a blur. So I tried to be present every moment and really take in everything. It does indeed go by so fast and I wish that I could have slowed everything down. But at the end of the day, it was everything we wanted and more. And we’ve been able to relive the experience by looking at our photos and hearing about the night from our friends and family.
Vendors: Invitations & Thank Yous – Matt Wells, a good friend of ours who is a graphic designer / Bride’s dress: off the rack at La Belle Elaines / Veil: La Blanc Fleur / Groom’s Suit: J. Crew / Bride’s hair – Jacquelynn from Sorella Salon & Spa / Photographer: Kristen Marie Photography (Kristen also set-up a photobooth, which was a fun way to say hello to each of our guests. You can see photos here.) / Ceremony & Reception (venue & food): Cast Iron Studios / Flowers: purchased from the local farmer’s market. My mom put together the boutonnieres and corsages and friends put together the table arrangements. / Decor: a dear friend of mine helped with all things creative. She was able to implement what Andre and I wanted and it was perfect!