Wedding details, vendor reviews, and why I like marriage

Nick and I have been married for 25 glorious days. It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed since the big day. I wanted to take an opportunity to give credit to all of the fantastic vendors who helped to make our wedding day so special.

We had SO much fun on our wedding day. I knew it’d be the “happiest day of my life” but I had no idea that it would be so fun! Something very calming happened that day, and all of the little things I’d been planning and concerned about either all fell into place or all suddenly became unimportant to me. It truly ended up being about Nick and I and a fun celebration. I also was able to let go and allow other people to take care of me and really just enjoy the day. Not to mention, we were blessed with one of the most beautiful days the Seattle-area has seen this summer, with lots of sun and a pleasant breeze.

We’ll start with our fantastic photographers, Red Fish Blue Fish Photography. Jennifer started the day with the girls, and Kristin with the boys (brave, brave Kristin!) and these two women are really who kept the day moving along. They kept us on schedule, helped move us around, found beautiful backgrounds, and came up with inspiring poses. Jennifer kept me cool and comfortable, Kristin kept the boys laughing and on schedule! They gave us the perfect blend of direction as well as private moments. You can find the beautiful photos they did of our day by clicking here. We love Red Fish Blue Fish and give them our highest recommendation!

Rather than inserting lots of photos of the below vendors, we’re asking you to visit the above link from our photographer to see all from the big day!

Our actual ceremony and reception was held at the Loft at Russell’s. The venue had a lot of space that hosted our 115-ish guests comfortably. The hardwood interior and unique lighting makes for a stunning, church-like feel. They also do the catering and our breakfast for dinner was delicious, and was a huge hit with our guests. There were some bumpy moments in the planning process, but staying well-organized and keeping record of everything in writing will help with any issues here. Overall, we like, we like! Not to mention, our guests happily enjoyed the bar downstairs before, during and after the event. :)

Cake is very important to me, and Kelli’s Creations met and surpassed all of my expectations. We went with two flavors – a lemon cake with blackberry preserves filling and coconut cake with buttercream frosting filling. It was all covered in buttercream and dusted with shimmery sprinkles. Not only was the cake beautiful, it was delicious! Nick and I didn’t eat much at the wedding but we had LOTS left over and we enjoyed it happily. That coconut cake really blew my mind. Kelli was a dream to work with and we give her our highest recommendation!

Flowers were also important to me. Our original plan was to have my mom grow a bunch of dahlias that our florist would incorporate into our centerpieces. Well we all noticed that really cold start to our summer, and as a result, very few dahlias actually bloomed by July 30 (sidenote – my mom’s garden is bursting with dahlias now!). Well, our fantastic florist, Kristin Denney of Denney Designs, rolled with all of our changes. We were able to use my mom’s flowers on cocktail tables and on the cake, and the centerpieces and bouquets that Kristin made were just stunning. My jaw dropped when I saw my bouquet. It was more than what I’d hoped for, and the centerpieces added to the beautiful glow of our reception. Kristin was so easy to work with and we give her our highest recommendation!

The dress. I felt really pretty on the wedding day, and I enjoyed that! Part of the reason was that I just loved my wedding dress. We bought the original from I Do Bridal in Wallingford and had the alterations done by Darcy from Fragile Fit. The girls at I Do are just wonderful. A couple of times I dropped by without previously calling and the remembered me (after I hadn’t been in for 5 months!) and helped me eagerly! Darcy was awesome for alterations. She helped us to find the perfect sash to add to the dress, and she made that dress fit me like a glove, a very tight glove. But that’s exactly what I wanted. A few people even asked if I’d had the dress specifically made for me – I think that reflects how beautiful the dress was!

My hair and my mom’s hair was done by my fabulous stylist, Kimberly Rowley. Kimberly and I did a run through to figure out what would look good for the big day, as well as how well my hair would hold style. And on the wedding day, Kimberly made me feel totally relaxed. We just enjoyed our morning at the salon and I didn’t worry about a thing. Plus she sprayed the heck out of my hair and it did not move at all that day. I thought my hair was outstanding and I loved it. Kimberly is the best!

My makeup and my bridesmaid’s hair and makeup was done through Pacific Artistry. Shanelle helped us book the services that we wanted, and then on the big day Krystle did the beautiful makeup and Shyn did their awesome hair. The bridesmaids kept commenting on how fun it was to get all dolled up. And I was beyond pleased with the makeup. It lasted all night and I thought it was the ideal blend of classy and fancy. Two big thumbs up!

Our DJ kept the party going the whole night. His name is Ian McLeod and we met him through another friend’s wedding. Ian’s DJ business is taking off and he did a great job at our wedding. In fact, rumor has it that after Nick and I left the party really got started and guests from the restaurant came up and enjoyed the party. A big thanks to Ian for handling the party!

And our officiate, Margie Hyatt, made our ceremony beyond special. Margie was the minister from the church I grew up in and she graciously spent the weekend with us for the wedding. The words she spoke during the ceremony were amazing. Nick and I felt like she was truly speaking to us, and we had such positive feedback from our guests that it was such a beautiful, accessible, and honest ceremony. We couldn’t have asked for more.

Our honeymoon was a BLAST. We enjoyed 12 beautiful days in Kauai. We love love love the island and enjoyed relaxing as well as doing some fun activities. Sandra Gadd from Hawaiian Honeymoons got us a fantastic deal on our travel package and answered lots of questions for us. If you’re planning a honeymoon in Hawaii, we really recommend you talking to Sandy!!

Lastly, we have to thank our friends and family. Our dear friend Meggen was our day-of-coordinator type person. The day would not have happened without her invaluable help. She kept me calm and made everything happen. Our families were also fantastic throughout the big day. All of their love and support helped make the day truly special.

And that’s that. With all of that done, we’re married and really really happy. After dating for four years, I wasn’t sure that I’d feel differently for Nick, but I do. I love him even more. There’s a new, beautiful closeness between us with more love and respect than we’d imagined. I love my husband more and more every day and look forward to our happy future.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2 more days!!

We’re here, we’ve made it. We have 2 short days until the wedding. But really, Friday will be just as busy as Saturday, so as far as I’m concerned, we have 1 day. Today. And then it’s wedding time.

Hard to believe that 14 months have passed since Nick proposed to me on our couch in our apartment in Green Lake. Hard to believe that all of the phone calls, emails, and visits with vendors have culminated into a (hopefully) well-executed wedding.

Our anticipation is high. We’ve both reported lots of butterflies over the last few days. I cry when I listen to our ceremony music. Nick’s breath gets short when we talk about the big day. We’re nervous.

Friends and family are arriving to town and the festivities will begin soon. Sure, we have a few last minute things to do. Perhaps one last Jo Ann’s run is in order. But we’re basically at the point that no matter what, we’ll be married in two days.

Our last hope… that all who attend enjoy the love and joy of the day as much as we do. The day is about a celebration of Nick and I committing our lives to one another. We hope that everyone shares in our sentiment and has a lovely day.

Oh, and the weather looks like it will be perfect!!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Moving Day

It’s the first day of the rest of our lives… in Edmonds. That’s right, it’s moving day. We’ve been slowly taking loads of boxes to apartment for the last week, so the quantity to move today isn’t huge. But it will still be heavy.

Once we’re moved I know my head will clear a bit more and I’ll be able to more enthusiastically push through the end of the wedding planning.

Oh, and it’s Nick’s bachelor party this weekend…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2 Weeks

Well actually it was officially our 2 week countdown yesterday. We are officially 13 days away from our wedding. And we completely realize it.

I can’t imagine if I were working this summer and planning this wedding. Granted, work would be a welcome distraction from the wedding planning, but I really appreciate the time I have “free” right now.

Nick had his last day at Children’s on Thursday. It was a big day for him…. 3 years later and finally saying goodbye. I feel bad, though, because basically as soon as he finished his job I gave him more for the wedding to-do list. But he is amazing and handling it all incredibly well. In fact, he’s gone to Michael’s with me twice!

Oh and have I mentioned that we’re moving? Yeah that’s happening this week too. I don’t know how we’re making this all happen, but we are. We’re living amongst boxes right now, but it isn’t so bad. At least we’re doing it together… awwww.

I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed about the wedding. I’m just ready for that day to be here. There is so much that goes into it and I really just want to see it all come together. But in the mean time, we really do have a bit more to do. Luckily, the to-do list is manageable, and we’re tackling it in waves so not to completely overwhelm ourselves. But really really, I’m ready for the wedding to happen.

Oh yeah… because that means we’ll be in Hawaii three days later!!!! Paradise…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bachelorette Party!!!

Well this will be a fun thing to write about! My sister threw me the most incredible bachelorette party yesterday. And I’ve lived to write about it :)

As with all good bachelorette parties, I must be scant with the details, but leave it to say, we all had a GREAT time! We met at my place for some morning mimosas (of course!) and chatted while I had my makeup done. I took advantage of needing a makeup trial and scheduling it for the fun day. Promptly at 1:00 pm, Alan from Shuttle Express showed up with our party bus. That’s right – party bus!!! I was floored! I was so excited and it immediately got me so excited for the big day.

So Alan then drove us around to various wineries where we sipped (gulped) and gabbed. Becky had themed gifts planned for every stop, with the gifts signifying milestones in Nick and my relationship. It was so touching and really fun! Our last winery was awesome because we were able to be outside in the grass, open gifts and eat cupcakes. We then enjoyed a delicious dinner at Purple and then came back to my apartment for a few more hours of visiting.
My great, great friends!

It was the perfect day. It was exactly the pace I wanted, the group I wanted, and everyone had a great time. I couldn’t have asked for anything more! A HUGE thank you to my dear sister for organizing it, and of course a big thank you to my friends for making the day so special.

And with that, we’re officially at less than three weeks away…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hello denial, it’s me Jill… again

So I’m apparently supposed to get married in like, one month. Have I fully comprehended that? Hardly. Am I actively in denial about it? Absolutely. It’s not the marriage that is frightening me – I really like Nick, in fact I kind of love him! I’m just completely intimidated by the grandeur of the wedding day. I know it will all go off without a hitch (well maybe a couple small hitches) but still, it’s big – it’s my wedding! And I have to do it all in 31 days.

So rather than posting today about what I have yet to do – which actually isn’t too bad!! – I am going to write to you, dear readers about how you can help the brides in your lives.

The hard thing about a wedding is that the bride and groom are not only the hosts, they are the guests of honor. And that balance becomes tricky when needing to deliver challenging messages. Trust me people, the bride and groom have considered it all – it’s not like they’re actively trying to make decisions to do anything less than host and please their guests. So when you do hear an element of the wedding that perhaps you don’t completely agree with, please keep it to yourselves and say “We’re so looking forward to sharing in your special day.” And with that, be respectful of their plans. This is their day, about them and for them, not your day. You can have your day the day after the wedding, or before the wedding, or any other day other than the wedding.

Next, avoid the “How are you dooooooing?” with the cocked head look of compassion and concern. They probably want to say “Well we’re planning a freaking wedding and it’s a lot of work and we’re tired.” Instead they’ll say their rehearsed line of “It’s all coming together and we’re looking forward to the big day.” Instead, dear friends, let them know you’re available should they need anything. But please, only say that if you are available! And really, all the bride and groom might need is for you to not say anything or for you to buy them a drink… so please, just be respectful. Let them come to you.

So if you haven’t gathered by now – I’m a little tired, a little bit nervous, and fairly overwhelmed. I’m hanging in there, though. The summer break is offering a welcome distraction of morning talk shows and afternoon walks and yoga. So while in denial that my wedding is one short month away, I’m doing fairly well. And if you see me – hand me a glass of wine. Just joking. A hug will suffice.

See you, my dears, in a month. And if you haven’t already yet done so, please RSVP!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2 Months From Today

Good morning world – we are getting married in two months. From today. That was a thought to wake up to this morning. Actually, I had a bizarre dream that I was a bridesmaid in two weddings on the same day that were an hour apart. This wedding-related dream was a pleasant reprieve from the dreams that typically focus me as the struggling bride. I woke up and told Nick that I’m really looking forward to no more wedding dreams.

Actually, to be fair, Nick and I have made enormous progress on the wedding planning in the last week. The month of May was focused more on our friends Meggen and Mike’s wedding, and once it was over we had an “oh crap we’re next” moment that really spurred us into action. And so, here is a run down of things that we are proud we have accomplished!

– I survived my first shower. The counselors at my school were so kind to throw me an informal shower. And I got over my awkwardness in receiving gifts to enjoy the hour we spent together. Oh, the cake helped too.

– Registries. After so much headache with our Macy’s registry, we finally settled on what we hope will be final items. Note to all – Martha Stewart rotates her collections with every blink of the eye, so if her stuff is on your registry one week, they may be gone the next. Side note, we’re still really excited for our Honeymoon registry!! And we encourage our guests to peruse it :)

– Invitations. Once again I must give a big THANK YOU to my sister and mom for tirelessly embossing, gluing, etc to create the invitations. Nick and I got them (mostly all) out the door this weekend.

– Dress. I have my first dress alterations appointment in less than three weeks. Ahh so much working out. Additionally, I found my wedding day shoes so that I’m totally prepared for the alterations appointment.

– Hair and makeup. With just a few signatures and deposits to go, I think I will officially have our hair and makeup artists for the wedding day.

– Music. Nick and I have been having a lot of fun dancing to music that will play at our reception.

I think there are more things we’ve accomplished but they’re not immediately coming to mind. I’m looking forward to what will surely be a lovely shower hosted by my mother next weekend. Also, I have a goal (at this moment) to update this blog more over the next two months. We’ll see if that turns into a reality.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment