Seattle Wedding

Brita & Richie's Dream Home Wedding at the Altig Family Farm

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We were thrilled to be featured alongside our talented Seattle industry colleagues on Style Me Pretty on March 24th! 

VOWS Wedding Planning on Style Me Pretty

If there was a couple to feature, this is the one. The Altig Family (groom’s side) are well known in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland; they are a big and active family, devout Catholics, kind and generous…they also have a farm in the middle of the city!

Parents Rick & Lisa bought the large property in the Kirkland Highlands in the 80s then raised their family of four there. It was the dream of first daughter Natalie (beautiful, pregnant bridesmaid in the photo below) to get married in this special place...so we did just that on the pool deck in 2010! The tradition continued with Richie Altig (eldest son) wanting to do the same. His love of the animals took us down below to their farm property.

Words beautiful bride Brita (Bree-ta, it’s Norwegian) described as her vision were:  romantic, timeless, vintage-chic. Our palette was the softest of blush, greens, ivory, and taupe. We used a variety of table shapes and sizes to fill the grand white tent:  farm tables, large, medium and small rounds with different textured linens to bring interest. Each place setting was adorned with vintage flatware, layered chargers of gold rimmed glass and floral print vintage china, gorgeous menus describing the lucky guests’ 6 course, Italian inspired meal (Altig Mom’s side is Italian). 

The groom and groomsmen got ready in the 100-year-old cabin at the base of the property that had been moved by the family from Kirkland’s waterfront before it was demolished. The Altigs refurbished it staying as true to the time it was built as possible. The girls got ready in an extension of the main house in a well-appointed guest apartment next to a private dance studio where Brita and her girls spent a lot of time practicing (Brita is a Sea Gal for the Seattle Seahawks). 

The day was a dream though rain did flirt with us (it is Seattle after all). Traditional Catholic ceremony with mass, then a send-off in Grandpa of the Groom’s Vintage Model A.  A sea of greens and romantic flowers awaited them at the reception including a stunning, one of a kind, floral backdrop behind their head table.  

The night was full of great food, entertaining toasts, and roaming animals per the family’s request. The mini horse spent hours looking at his reflection in our porta potty waiting area’s vintage vanity. He was the hit of the night!

I hope you find this wedding as special as we did. The vendor team below worked so hard, tirelessly, and creatively to give Brita & Richie the wedding of their dreams. 

Huge congratulations to Brita & Richie! We were so honored to have been a part of their big day! A very special thank you to our amazing vendor team:

VOWS Wedding & Event Planning (planning, design & coordination)

O'Malley Photographers

CORT Rentals

Flora Nova Design

Choice Linens

John Howie Catering

La Happy 

Vintage Ambiance

Seattle Farm Tables

Bogle Productions

Greenlight Event Productions

The Sweetside

Erin Skipley (bride's hair and bridal party hair & make-up)

Susan Cummins (bride's make-up)

Jennifer Iovanne (ceremony piano & vocals)

A New Groove Band

Butler Valet

Royal Restrooms

Titan Security

Seattle Storm No Match for Broadmoor Golf Club Wedding

by VOWS Planner/Designer Amber Sooter

On August 28th, 2015, the city of Seattle experienced heavy rain, 50 mph winds, downed trees and numerous power outages. Though, no storm could have put a damper on Jane & Nick's bright and glittery Broadmoor Golf Club wedding.

As if on cue, the skies cleared and the sun emerged as they began their wedding party photos in the Arboretum. Bride Jane wanted to blend her classic and preppy style with the perfect amount of glitter and glam. Groom Nick is an avid golfer, so it only made sense the two chose Seattle's Broadmoor Golf Club as their reception site. The Bride wore a breathtaking Monique Lhuillier gown and Groom Nick sported a navy and black tuxedo.

But enough talking, let's take in their swoon-worthy day with just a few highlight photos by Affinity Photography.

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The newlyweds departed their St. Joseph's Church ceremony in the Father of the Bride's vintage Mercedes.

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Affinity Photography, get away car, Seattle bride

I first met Jane & Nick at as a guest of a wedding in 2014. Though they weren't yet engaged, it was clear they would be soon. Two months later, Nick proposed to Jane on San Juan Island (see their invites below) and they asked me to be their wedding planner. Cue the champagne popping!

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Save the Date and wedding invitation suite by Kerri Effendi Designs.

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Playing off of the warm tones at the Broadmoor, gold was a real highlight of the décor from the gold Chiavari chairs to the gold sequin head table. To create a glamourous impact without being too over-the-top, we opted for three alternating linen colors: almond, ivory and gold sequin. Topping the tables, we used two different styles of chargers: gold beaded glass and brushed gold chargers, along with gold votive candles.

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The lovely Anne of Floressence created centerpieces of bright pops of deep pinks, corals and orange tones blended with the bride's favorite white hydrangeas. And the cake, oooh that cake! Cake baker extraordinaire Carla of Honey Crumb Cake Studio created a four-tiered pleated buttercream frosting cake with an ombre floral scaling the length of the cake.

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We lucked out in that the skies cleared for their ceremony and cocktail hour on the Broadmoor's outdoor deck, the power didn't go out and the unseasonal weather returned for a dramatic end to the night -- and none of us would want it any other way.

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Seattle Aquarium Wedding Brings Playful Romance

By VOWS Planner/Designer Amber Sooter

Coffee, chocolate, dancing and movies. These are just a few of Stephanie & Bob Nelson's favorite things. Add a shared love of sea creatures, animals, and bright colors, and it only makes sense that these two chose to have their wedding on June 27, 2015 at the Seattle Aquarium.

When I first met Stephanie & Bob back in November at one of their favorite local coffee shops, Uptown Espresso, I was captivated by their mutual positivity, sense of humor, and deep love for one another. Their wedding was a celebration of all of this.

It's a beautiful thing when a couple remains true to themselves on their wedding day by incorporating elements of their own unique style, personality and interests. Stephanie & Bob's wedding featured a coffee & chocolate ceremony, otter feeding, surprise flash mob by family and friends, choreographed video montage First Dance, and the spunky bride wore teal green Converse shoes at the reception. Call me biased, but I'd say they nailed it.

One of the sweetest First Looks I've witnessed.

Officiant extraordinaire Annemarie Juhlian wrote a beautiful ceremony, which included a coffee and chocolate ceremony, anniversary adventure box, and ended with high fives all around. The adventure they randomly selected out of box for their first wedding anniversary: Going on every ride at Disneyland.

Baked perfectly executed Stephanie & Bob's ombre teal green wedding cake. Beautifully accented with pink and coral blooms by Sublime Stems.

Each guest received a gummy sea creature treat at their place setting. Are these two fun or what?

Need we say S'more?

For a more detailed look into Stephanie & Bob's incredible wedding day, please check out their wedding video by First & Foremost Productions:

My wife and I did a lot of our own planning up front, we just needed a superstar to help with execution on the day of the wedding. Out of pure luck, we found VOWS and met Amber who would be our coordinator for the day. We could not have asked for a better "team captain" on our vendor dream team. Not only was the execution flawless, but she helped me and my wife stress out a lot less as the big day approached. Although we hired her as a day of coordinator, she did a lot more in the days leading up to the wedding.

We felt very comfortable with Amber. Our interactions with her were more like that of a trusted friend than a vendor. Above all she was professional, easy to interact with, and she pulled off a spectacular event!

We can't thank you enough Amber! - Bob & Stephanie Nelson

Many thanks to our Vendor Team:

Seattle Aquarium

Red Sparrow Photography

Sublime Stems

Annemarie Juhlian

Baked.

Magnolia Rhapsody

KLS Makeup Artistry

Barbie Dream Hearse

First & Foremost Productions

Sweet Lady Buffet

Intimate Home Wedding for Harry & Shuyi

By VOWS Planner/Designer Channy Sea

One of my favorite parts of being a wedding planner in Seattle is hearing my clients’ vision for their big day. Each is unique and takes you on a journey through their life as individuals and as a couple. Harry, a real estate investor and Shuyi, a business analyst, met in Cleveland and fell in love while housemates. Cut to 2015, after a big move to Seattle and the purchase of their dream house in Redmond, they decided to look no further than their backyard for a wedding venue. They wanted a romantic garden feel and what better way to start a life together then to have a home wedding day.

One of my favorite parts of a wedding is the first look. This is the moment when all the butterflies go away and you are able to soak in that special moment that you’ve been anticipating for so long.

The bride is an artist, so she designed their guest "book" cards and seating chart using water colors. Aren't they beautiful?

The groom wanted to top off the celebration by popping a bottle of champagne. Although it was his first time doing this, it definitely didn’t show!

Many congratulations to Harry and Shuyi and a big thank you for letting me be a part of your life’s journey. These two are incredible as individuals, and even more amazing together!

“Channy Sea from VOWS is so awesome. She is a great communicator that learned well about our needs throughout the wedding planning process. She is so experienced that she can give us multiple examples or suggest vendors to meet our specific needs. She is a hard worker too, always on time, sunny or rain, weekday or weekend. Overall, Channy makes the wedding planning process easy and relaxing. At the wedding day, Channy and her assistant organized everything so well that my family and guests were all so satisfied. There must be hassle and problems without her help. The money we spent on her is definitely well worthwhile.”Sincerely, Ming (Harry) & Shuyi

Big thank you to our Vendor Team:

Ben Blood Photography

Floressence

Herban Feast Catering

New Renaissance Cakes

Anne Marie Juhlian

Vintage Ambiance

DJ Braden Landon

CORT Party Rentals

Salon Maison

Planner to Bride - Top 10 Wedding Tips

by VOWS Planner/Designer Amber Sooter

As a wedding planner in Seattle, I'm used to being behind the scenes. The one in a black dress, directing vendors, setting-up décor and most importantly, ensuring that my bride and groom are happy. But on January 24, 2015 the tables turned. Exactly two months ago, I was the bride and this time my dress was ivory. Following are the Top 10 wedding tips learned on my own big day!

One of my biggest goals and hopes for my wedding, was to be able to turn off my "planner mode" and instead, to relax, let go and truly be in the moment from beginning to end. Something I always remind my brides to do. Getting married gave me a newfound perspective of what it's like to be The Bride. Thankfully, this new wisdom can only make me a better wedding planner for my clients, and I'd like to pass along a few helpful tips.

Call me Type A (and you should), but I'm a big fan of lists: To Do Lists, Grocery Lists, Meal Planning Lists, Recommended Vendor/Venue lists, the list goes on. So, it only feels right to share what I learned on my wedding day, as a Bride:

1. You will not sleep well the night before, that is, if you sleep at all: Sadly the latter is true. With pure excitement running through my veins, I didn't sleep a wink the night before my wedding day. What I learned: False eyelash extensions are a Godsend.

2.  If at all possible, get ready with your bridesmaids and mothers: What girl doesn't like playing dress up with her closest gal pals? That's kind of what it's like, but with gifts and champagne. Nothing helps calm nerves like giggling with your girlfriends; I couldn't imagine the perfect day without them.

3. The most important aspect of the day, is Each Other: We can get lost in the many details and moving parts of a wedding. But (with ample plans in place and a kick butt wedding coordinator to execute them) my #1 thought and priority of the day, was seeing and celebrating with Aaron. I couldn't wait to see him. Which brings me to my next point...

4. Have a First Look: The day for brides and bridesmaids begins early. With hair and make-up appointments, getting into that dress, portraits, etc. I couldn't wait to see Aaron, and once I finally did, any nervous anticipation I was feeling was gone. I was relaxed and able to spend the rest of the day with my husband and our closest friends and family. Which to me, was what my wedding day was all about. Our First Look was a beautifully private moment between the two of us, plus our photographer and a flock of seagulls. Don't worry, they did great. See proof below:

5. Eat. Everyone tells you you'll never eat on your wedding day. Don't listen to them. You should absolutely make food a top priority on your wedding day. Eat breakfast, eat lunch, eat appetizers, eat dinner and of course, eat cake and any other dessert. You may not eat a ton of each, but the day will fly by and the opportunities to eat are few and far between. We both love to eat so luckily, we were able to enjoy all those menu items we planned, except for the doughnuts. D’oh!

6. Take mental images of moments throughout the day: I only hope to remember the special moments and details of our wedding day when we're celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. Sure, we'll always have the photographs and video, but I want to forever remember the feelings that a camera cannot capture. Memories like how big my heart felt looking out to all of our closest friends and family during dinner; the love and joy in the room was palpable. Or those final thoughts walking down the Edgewater hallway before entering our bridal suite to get ready, holding my morning coffee, with a smile on my face… "Here we go!"

7. Gracefully embrace the spotlight: Whether you're comfortable with it or not, all eyes and ears will be on you on your wedding day. You'll feel like a celebrity with all of the attention. Enjoy it, but be a gracious host. Try to talk to every guest. Many of them made sacrifices to attend your wedding and some traveled long distances. An important aspect of our wedding was honoring all eight of our grandparents, for whom we are so fortunate could attend our wedding. Grandpa Sam was surely casting that bright sunlight down on us.

8. Less is more. In other words, keep it simple. Aaron and I chose to have our ceremony and reception at the same venue, not only to simplify logistics for our guests and vendors, but also for our own sanity. The less traveling you and guests have to do on your wedding day, the easier and smoother the day will go. The same applies to décor. It’s about creating a cohesive and impactful look, without recreating your entire Pinterest board.

9. Keep it Personal: Incorporating personal touches and unique details into your wedding day and décor makes your wedding stand out and not just any other wedding. I didn't want a cookie cutter wedding that would work for anyone. We made sure to reflect our style and personalities. Getting married at Seattle's iconic waterfront hotel, The Edgewater, truly represented our personal style. It's the perfect combination of elegance and comfort, urban and Northwest outdoorsy. We also chose an "off-peak" month because we wanted a cozy-urban-log cabin-winter-wedding, as well as less competition for our vendors.

10. Finally, in my humble and experienced opinion, it is absolutely imperative that you hire at least a Day-Of Coordinator: You can be the most organized and detailed bride in the universe, but you still cannot afford to devote any time to fielding vendor questions, handling set-up/clean-up, keeping everyone on schedule and managing all of the many tasks and challenges that come with executing a wedding. I would have been a ball of stress the week and day-of my wedding if it wasn't for my incredible Day/Month-Of Coordinator, VOWS colleague and friend, Channy Sea. Channy ensured my day was seamless and exactly what I envisioned. I was completely able to relax, be in the moment, and truly enjoy every second of my big day. Thank you, Channy! You are simply the best!