One year with my best friend, and I didn’t know my heart could feel so full. I’m bursting at the seams with gratitude and love! After our wedding, last September, we naively plotted out our course for 2020. We mapped out vacation destinations, discussed the places we still needed to visit in the UK, bought concert tickets, and anticipated sporting events. And of course, we talked about goals we had for ourselves – like picking up old hobbies, finding the right church community, and exploring volunteer opportunities. Well…as they say, “Man plans, and God laughs.” Our first year of marriage was very different from our expectations. But we learned more deeply about how to love and support one another. We’ve become exceptionally grateful for things big (Mr. B’s employment, a place to live, and our health) and small (a sunny afternoon walk or time spent reading a book). We are growing even as things seem to feel on hold, and everyday that reaffirms our commitment to one another.
Now that our one year anniversary has arrived, I’ve been reminiscing about our special day. And I would love to share some of our amazing wedding vendors with you, especially if you’re a Washington State bride! I hope you find amazing vendors that are dedicated to making your special day a dream!
Venue – Rock Creek Gardens, Puyallup, WA
I’d always dreamt of having my wedding at a California winery or French chateau (sounds pretty dreamy, right???). But you really have to prioritize when planning a wedding. We decided it was so much more important to us to have a convenient location for our family and friends to attend. This meant picking a venue in Western Washington where the majority of our guests live. We planned our whole wedding from London, which presented some challenges. Luckily, right after we got engaged, I traveled to Seattle for a friend’s wedding. This meant I had a short window to visit a handful of wedding venues! We ultimately decided on Rock Creek Gardens – a female founded and operated business in Puyallup, Washington. The venue has a small bridal house, a ceremony location (outdoor pergola), reception location (3,200 sq. ft. tent), and a cocktail hour location (deck of the bridal house). There is even a swing set if you have children attend! It’s a beautiful garden setting with tons of greenery, which gives it a Pacific Northwest feel! The venue offers a lot of flexibility with your head count because it fits up to 300 guests! We were able to use the venue to host our rehearsal dinner as well!
Florist – Leah Erickson
While we were allowed to select a florist of our choice, the venue had a preferred florist that they work with. I got bids from several florists, but ultimately decided to go with the venue’s preferred vendor, Leah Erickson. And I’m so glad I did! Leah is incredibly talented and hard working. She collaborated with us and our budget to create a dreamy setting for the big day. If I ever need flowers for an event in the future, I would (without a doubt) definitely hire her. I had very specific requests for the wedding (in terms of design), but if you find a florist you trust, don’t be afraid to give them free rein (within your budget). They know how to make your budget stretch and make the most out of what you’re working with! If I am able to hire Leah for a future event, I would completely trust her to do this!
Leah is an incredible IG follow! Not only will you get some flower inspo, but she also has the cutest pets (a bunny, dog, and 2 kittens) and is so funny.
Photographer – Alaina Davis
I did tons of research on photographers because I had a very specific idea of what tones/colors I wanted in the photos. Initially, we were hoping to work with Athena and Camron, but they had another wedding on our same day. Luckily, she referred us to our photographer, Alaina Davis, who uses Athena’s photo presets (a set edit that gives photos a particular look – kind of like a filter). Her portfolio is beautiful and I was so grateful that Athena referred her to us! She takes a lot of lovely organic/candid shots. Alaina’s husband was our second shooter, and they did an amazing job! They are so fun and kind – a delight to work with! My only regret was not getting more photos of Tyler and I in different locations outdoors before it started thunderstorming (eh, they say rain on your wedding day is good luck). But that was my fault, not the photographers. It’s best practice to create a photo list of all the different shots you want for your big day and have someone help check them off while you’re having your photos taken. I created one, but we totally forgot it in the bridal suite when it was time for photos. Alaina does a lot elopement’s and intimate weddings, so I was glad she was open to shooting ours. If you’re not in Washington, good news, she travels!
Videographer – Michael Nguyen
I’ve heard several brides say that they regret not hiring a videographer. And I can say that it was definitely worth the investment! We hired an ex-coworker and friend of Mr. B’s who has a videography business. Michael was super professional and did an excellent job! He created 2 Instagram teaser videos and a longer video. We were so happy with the final result! This video is something we’ll cherish for years to come.
Hair – Haley Valentine Hair
My stylist, Haley, was referred to me by my sister who used to go to her salon. She is super talented and actually runs bridal workshops to coach other stylists. Since we were limited on time, Haley hired another woman from her salon to help out with some of the bridesmaids. I did 2 trials with her because I was a fickle bride (a nice way of saying high maintenance), and I changed my mind on the style of my hair. The day of, she came on site. I didn’t have a super complicated style for the wedding, but she nailed it, and it lasted all night! Haley is also a blonding expert, so if I ever build up the courage to dye my hair, I would absolutely book an appointment with her. [Update: Haley is now my hairstylist for cuts and blonding. She recently opened her own salon in Seattle!]
Makeup Artist – Ivonne Mendoza
I found my makeup artist on Instagram. That’s actually where I did a lot of wedding research! If you’re looking for wedding vendors on IG, try searching for hashtags like: #seattlemakeupartist #seattlephotographer #seattleflorist #seattleweddingphotographer #pnwphotographer OR search for #seattlewedding (or whichever city you’re getting married in) and look at which vendors are tagged in the photos. I knew from Ivonne’s portfolio that she would be able to achieve the look I was hoping for. She is the SWEETEST and is super skilled! I did a trial with Ivonne at a bridesmaid’s home and she aced it! A few of my bridesmaids were standing by watching and immediately said that they wanted her to do their makeup too. I let my bridesmaids choose whether they wanted their hair and makeup done, and the ladies that worked with Ivonne loved their looks! She also hired a second makeup artist to help out because we were tight on time, and she did a phenomenal job. If I ever need my makeup done in the future, I would absolutely hire her! I also noticed that she shared her Barbicide certification on Instagram, which shows that she has a proper understanding of sanitation and disinfection practices in the professional beauty industry. Super important for brides to know if they are planning a wedding amidst this pandemic!
Dress – Riki Dalal
I tried on…A LOT of dresses! Hey, playing dress up is one of the perks of being a bride! I went to a handful of shops in London and Seattle. I even visited Kleinfeld’s in NYC, made famous by the TV show “Say Yes to the Dress.” I fell in love with a dress there and paid a deposit. However, a few days later, I had a change of heart (as I mentioned before…a fickle bride). I saw pictures of the dress on the model and became afraid that it would look shapeless once it was in my correct size. I decided it was too simple. Luckily, I was able to get most of my deposit back. Moral of the story – sleep on your dress decision! Once I was back in London, I did more research and decided to visit the Riki Dalal boutique in London. I never thought that I would wear a “princessy” dress, but I fell in love with the Juliet style! The dress has a matching lace veil, but I opted for a long, plain veil without any trim or lace. For my dress, I chose the made-to-measure option (instead of choosing a size) because I have unique measurements (aka I’m VERY TALL) and it allowed me to save time and money on alterations. I had a great experience with the team at R.D. and they made the process seamless!
Photobooth – Snapbar
Snapbar has excellent customer service! They were always quick to respond. We thought about creating our own floral backdrop with a custom neon sign, but it ended up being a lot more affordable to rent a backdrop from Snapbar. We used their box hedge backdrop and everyone really popped against the green! They told us that we could hang a sign on the backdrop if it was under 10 lbs. This allowed us to create a custom wooden laser cut out that read “Forever ever? Forever ever.” per Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson.” I’m not sure if the vendor still sells the custom cut outs, but I’ll link them here. The day after the wedding we received a downloadable file containing all of the photo booth pictures and a link with all the photos that we could share with family and friends.
Vintage Furniture – Vintage Ambiance
We rented a few pieces of vintage furniture for our wedding (dessert tables, sweetheart tables/chairs, and a sofa). Vintage Ambiance has a TON of furniture and accessories (plates, vases, candle holders, etc.) to choose from! I visited their storage facility in Bellevue where I was able to check out all the options. One of the pieces we rented was a beautiful pink sofa, and I totally regret not getting a photo of Mr. B and I on it! The day was such a whirlwind and I totally forgot! The furniture was delivered early the morning of our wedding and collected the day after the wedding. It was super easy!
SHOP MISCELLANEOUS WEDDING DETAILS:
- table numbers: seller is no longer available, but here is a similar option
- tea light holders
- wine stopper party favors
- cake topper
- guest book
- wooden name place cards: seller is no longer available, but here is a similar option
- Snapchat filter
- Bridesmaid PJs
- unplugged ceremony sign
- welcome sign
- bridesmaid jackets were from Old Navy and the “Ride or Die” and “Bride” screen printing was done by Ink and Famous
- bridesmaid dresses: from Dessy (shade: sienna)
If you’re planning a wedding in the time of covid, I’m sure you’re dealing with a lot of unknowns and making plenty of difficult decisions. If you’re getting married in Western Washington, I hope this provides you with some great vendor options. If you’re getting married elsewhere, maybe you’ll get some inspiration from these vendors and find similar options in your region! Whether you decide to elope or celebrate with a big party, just remember to be present and soak up every moment! Happy wedding planning!!!