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.
Alterations: Andra Bose
Suit: J Crew
Florals: Woods Creek Florals
Catering and bartending: Wich Came First
Donut truck: Mini the Dough-Nut
Rentals: Sweet Buffet Lady