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University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture Wedding | Mai & Jake

The UW Center for Urban Horticulture is seriously a secret gem for wedding venues in Seattle. It’s tucked way up on the north side of the campus by Laurelhurst, and beware, on a game day is SCARY HARD to reach. Mai, the bride, and I were attempting to get there in different cars calling each other back and forth to report this road closure and that one. We finally made it but we had to be quick and rearrange the timeline on the fly.

It actually all worked out super well (thanks to their amaze attitudes and extra padding in every timeline I work on). You never know what’s going to happen, and it’s always good to have a backup plan for your backup plan on a day as big as your wedding. I take this part of it all really seriously, and never just show up on a wedding day to shoot. Being a huge part of the planning process allows me to build trust with my awesome couples and to ensure there’s a plan for when things don’t go according to plan.

My favorite part of the day was all of it. Ha, but seriously. There’s a great little bridge there and a row of trees making it a great place to get the first look and a great series of portraits. The Center for Urban Horticulture is a dream for photos because it’s so well curated and kept. Everywhere you turn will work. So instead of having to make sacrifices for background because of light obstacles, you just get help narrowing down the beauty. I loved the light in the field behind the venue, and the beautiful enormous trees with the bridal party photos were all a short walk. You get a great variety of photo options at the Center for Urban Horticulture, making it one of my favorites to work with.

My advice to all brides is to get a donut truck! OMG! They hired Mini the Dough-Nut Truck and it was such a great highlight, forgoing the traditional cake (I’m always excited to buck a tradition or two), and making it a separate chapter for guests to escape the dance floor for a second. The cinnamon-sugar donuts were delicious. Yeah, I ate them while one-handing my camera.

Another piece of advice I have is to re-think the grand exit. Honestly, it doesn’t always work to do it at the end of the night. A lot of people have left (bye, grandma) and it’s a bummer for special people to miss out. Also, sparkler exit + alcohol = danger. I have stories. Lastly, you seriously don’t need your wedding photographer to stay through all of the dancing. You’ll get an overwhelming amount of photos back and it’s not worth shelling out the cash to have me stay all the way to the last second. We did a fun human arch tunnel to welcome them from their golden hour portraits into their reception and it was so fun! And best of all, nobody missed out.

If you have the Center for Urban Horticulture on your list for your Seattle wedding venue don’t hesitate to ask me more about what it was like! And if you’re a photographer, hit me up if you have questions on shooting, etc.

Vendors:

Venue: UW Center for Urban Horticulture

Dress: Tadashi Shoji (BHLDN) via Brides for a Cause

Alterations: Andra Bose

Suit: J Crew

Florals: Woods Creek Florals

Catering and bartending: Wich Came First

Donut truck: Mini the Dough-Nut

DJ: Oren Artlip of Karr Productions

Rentals: Sweet Buffet Lady

 

Fallon + Dave | A Whidbey Island Garden Wedding at Wayfarer

Days before I turned 30, I ferried over with my little family to Whidbey Island to capture Fallon & Dave’s wedding. We stayed in a great little cabin in the woods, complete with a hot tub which we used both nights, baby sleeping inside. I try to blend a little vacation time in with weddings that require an overnight — this one happened to kick off the WEEK OF 30 which was full of adventures and family time. Fun fact: the morning of their wedding, my baby started walking! I was buzzing all day long. I never would have believed the things that get me as excited as they do with my son.

Walking into Fallon’s getting-ready AirBnB, I could feel the closeness and bond with her friends, many of whom came from Colorado where she had lived previously. Everyone was excited to be together, and it’s my favorite thing to just get absorbed into someone’s life and reality for a day and to make beautiful photos of it. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking.

Enjoy.

 
 

Sara + Ryan | A Bainbridge Island Waterfront Wedding Complete with a Flash Mob

Seattle summers are just the best. It never gets incredibly hot and there’s usually no rain from July through September, so it’s a safe time to throw an outdoor wedding without the fear of weather. There’s just something about boarding a ferry to attend (or shoot!) a wedding. It literally transports you to a new location, a new state of mind, and prepares you to disconnect and to be present in the celebration. Orcas Island, San Juan Island with its magnificent Roche Harbor, and Bainbridge Island all offer amazing views and are easily accessible by Seattle ferries.

Ryan and Sara were the most laid back couple ever. The wedding took place on a combination of Sara’s parents’ property and the neighbors. The neighbor’s house was the best getting ready spot with beautiful light, and just steps away from the ceremony, you couldn’t ask for anything closer. Ryan got ready in Sarah’s mom’s art studio which was so perfect. The ceremony was right on the water with a beautiful arch made by Ryan, and the reception was just up the hill under a white tent. Tables were set family style and decorated with peonies, vintage books, and dripping vines. It was a vision. Also, I don’t know what’s happening this summer, but every single wedding guest is SO DANG ATTRACTIVE!

Every last detail was beautiful. The speeches were the best, as usual, but a close second would be the amazing flash mob that Sara arranged and directed, a dancer herself. Check it out! And if you’re in the market for a wedding photographer yourself, let’s chat! I love to do a quick phone call to get to know you and hear about allll the details.

Enjoy.