Photography by: Kristal Joy Photography
What a joy it was to be able to do my niece’s wedding to the love of her life (whom she has known most of her life!) They chose a beautiful church in Tacoma for their special day. When I asked them what they wanted to do, they said they wanted a classy dessert buffet, a candy “bar” and an espresso cart – perfect for a “Sweet” Sunday afternoon reception!
They wanted to jazz up the look of the church basement so we brought in pipe and drape and went around the entire perimeter of the room and draped all the doorways and column dividers. We had specialty linens and table runners that complimented our “sweet” stations and bistro tables. The room was completely transformed!!! The church said they had never seen anything like it. The Bride & Groom had a “sweetheart” table for 2 that we put on top of the stage and their Bridal Party sat directly below them – perfect for the toasting.
The Mother of the Bride (and a few friends) made ALL of the desserts and punch that were served, my calligrapher hand-wrote all of the desserts that were served on the double-sided 16’ buffet table on a 9’ chalkboard, we had an espresso cart with another chalkboard written with some “lattes of love”, a candy “bar” filled with candy in their wedding colors, a slide show of the Bride & Groom growing up, a DJ and pianist played background music and sang during the reception, and there was a sparkler send-off at the end. They were driven off in a Rolls Royce able to reflect on the festivities of the day and ready to start their new life together.
Bride & Groom: Thank you for all of your hard work, love and support! We LOVE you so much and could not have made this day happen so perfectly without you! Love, Karli & Taylor
Father of the Bride: Thanks for all your insight and help making Karli, Taylor, Ursula and my experience, a wonderful and easy time because of your help and contacts. We are grateful for your love for our kids and your gift of service. Love, Erin
Mother of the Bride: Thanks so much! We definitely could not have done this without you. You are very appreciated! Love, Ursula
Alaska Airlines contacted me about helping them put together a unique “Holiday Party” in December. They didn’t want the same old thing – a ballroom in a hotel with a cocktail hour and dinner. They wanted something out of the ordinary, unique, a fun venue, great food, and some fabulous entertainment! Once I knew how many guests and where they would all be coming from, I immediately thought of Russell’s Barn. No one from their group had ever been there before so it was going to be special and unique. I then thought of a “White Party” where the whole event is decorated in white and all the guests have to wear white. It’s very fun and festive and gets people talking the minute they walk in. Save the Dates and invitations were soon sent. The barn was divided into 3 sections (with white drape 12′ high) so no one knew what was behind the next curtain until it was “revealed”. The first curtain held the cocktail hour with passed appetizers, a white bar, white bistro tables and chairs and white hi-boys. Beautiful holiday music played in the background. The 2nd curtain was revealed to white candelabras and two long double-sided tables all adorned in white linens, white candles and silver and white holiday ornaments (no flowers for this group!) for the sit down dinner which guests were able to order “restaurant style” from the menus that were underneath their glass chargers! After dinner the 3rd curtain was revealed to red dueling pianos playing “White Christmas” as they entered the dance area. There was some white soft seating, and a dessert buffet in there as well. Requests were given all night long and no one sat out – they danced their legs off! Dueling pianos is a great way for some “interactive” entertainment for the guests (both singing and dancing). It was a fun night had by all.
Jessica & Jamar | November 11, 2011 | Mount Zion Baptist Church – Seattle, WA | Woodmark Hotel – Kirkland, WA
The Groom’s favorite number is 11. He was also born on the 11th of February. The numerical palindrome, that hadn’t come around for a century and won’t come around for another 100 years, will be easy for the Bride & Groom to remember! Their wedding was also pretty unforgettable.
The top priority for both of them was to incorporate their heritages of African American and Samoan into the ceremony and reception through music, dance, lighting, centerpieces, etc. and have more of a “world” themed event. Since the Bride is a concert pianist and dance choreographer, music and dance were also very important. The ceremony was held in their church, Mount Zion Baptist Church, with the Mount Zion Baptist Church Mass Choir, the University of Washington Gospel Choir, a Seattle Symphony Flautist, Piano, Bass, Organ and Drums, as well as two soloists. Of course they “jumped the broom” on their way out!
The reception was held at the Woodmark Hotel who happened to be offering an 11-11-11 wedding special. Jessica & Jamar were lucky enough to snag this when it was first offered.
The guests arrived to the cocktail hour with the sounds of a children’s marimba group playing in the Library. Then African Drummers led the guests into the amazing tent for dinner with beautiful trees as centerpieces on the tables with globes hanging on them to symbolize their “world theme”, followed by a small routine. During dinner two Irish dancers performed. In between some of the music and dance routines, the DJ gave a tribute to the Veterans (since it was Veterans Day after all) and played a song in their honor – it was extremely touching! After dinner was finished, a group of Tahitian Dancers and Drummers performed a few more routines. This portion of the evening ended with a Samoan Family Money Dance where the Bride & Groom joined in and were showered with cash!
After the money dance, the DJ asked everyone to follow the Bride & Groom down the hall to the Great Room where the Bride & Groom had their first dance, followed by the Father/Daughter Dance and a Mother/Son Dance, then open dancing for the rest of the night. They even had a beautiful gobo on the wall with “11.11.11” on it, as well as their initials “J & J”.
Since the Groom works at Apple in Bellevue Square, he wanted some videos and games for those that didn’t want to dance. We opened the doors in the Ballroom to a bunch of big screen tv’s, soft seating, table games, video games, etc. It was an absolute blast! Guests were able to dance the night away, play video games, go back into the tent to just soak up the view outside, and late night snacks were served until midnight! This is definitely a wedding most people won’t forget!
Photography by: Paul Dudley Photography
Bicycling is a passion for this couple. They have bicycled numerous courses throughout our State and felt it was only fitting to incorporate “a bicycle built for two” as their wedding theme. They also wanted to celebrate their wedding far enough away from the hubbub of Seattle but close enough that guests could come and go as they wished. The Inn at Port Ludlow was chosen as the destination venue.
We were able to rent a Bicycle Built for Two that set the stage for the guests as they entered the ceremony site. The programs were neatly placed in the bicycle basket.
The reception tables were marked with bicycle trips and a story of that trip was placed under each sign. Each guest was photographed next to the bicycle-built-for-two prior to being seated for the ceremony and then had a chance to create a page at the scrapbook table during the cocktail hour or just sign the guest book by their photo and give Erin and Ryan their best wishes.
A little twist to the ceremony was that there was no officiant standing in the front as the bridal party entered. After everyone was in place, including the bride and groom, one of the bridesmaids (Ryan’s sister) moved to the center and announced that she had the honor of officiating the ceremony. The guests were totally surprised but very happy, and his sister did an amazing job officiating! Ryan and Erin also wrote and recited vows that they had written for each other.
Ryan and Erin are a couple made to be together. I wish them the very best as they embark on their new journey as husband and wife – and look forward to sharing special moments with them.
Erin and Ryan: Merry Beth has created a fine art out of coordinating weddings. It would take a small novel for us to enumerate the millions of ways this incredibly talented woman turned our special day into a fairytale. I never thought we needed a coordinator – I wanted to be intimately involved in every detail myself and considered myself a master project planner. When we hired Merry Beth, it was purely for “creative consultation” and a little help on our wedding day. We quickly realized that Merry Beth is incredibly competent, responsive, trustworthy, and connected. So much so, we were perfectly happy to let go of the minutiae of planning, put our trust in her, and enjoy the process. We absolutely love this woman and consider her our dear friend.
Our wedding flowed so smoothly – we were on time (!), we were stress-free, we partied, we enjoyed our guests, we actually had time to eat our dinner (!), and we never once worried about a single detail. Merry Beth was always right there when you needed her or discreetly in the background keeping everything perfectly beautiful. She was so focused and dedicated to getting us through our hectic day – from the first hours of the morning when the girls arrived for makeup and hair, to the wee hours of the next morning when we called her from the honeymoon suite for help getting me out of my dress. I can’t believe that she still had a smile at that hour as she worked each of those tiny buttons free.
We can’t thank Merry Beth enough for her dedication to her craft. Over the course of her entire service, we continued to marvel at her skills and repeat the same five words with respect to our wedding – “best decision we ever made.” Now after the proverbial dust has settled, we still feel the same way.
I was blown away by the extraordinary kindness and genuine being of this couple from the moment I met them. They were more than self-confident, but so not arrogant. They were determined in what they wanted, but open to suggestions and ideas. They were an absolute joy to work with!
The wedding site was the groom’s family property on Poulsbo. It was an absolutely beautiful location right on the water and large enough to have various activities at various locations so as not to run into each other. For instance, the shuttle buses dropped off the guests at the top of the property where they were served non-alcoholic beverages. They had a chance to interact with the farm animals and see the art studio of Andrew’s mother. Just a short walk from the pre-ceremony beverage refreshments was an apple orchard where the ceremony took place. From there, the guests walked down the driveway to the swimming pool area for cocktails and appetizers and also were able to relax on the lawn in some soft-seating furniture. Finally, the last trek was down to the waterfront for dinner, dancing, and mingling under the tent.
The guestbook was clever for this “apple” inspired wedding. There were two hand-made posters with a tree on each with lots of branches. The guests were to place their thumbs on an ink pad and put their thumbprint somewhere on a branch on the poster. Under the thumbprint, they signed their names. This was particularly creative for Andrew and Heidi because of the apple connection (Heidi’s family has an apple orchard in Eastern Washington and they were married in the apple orchard on Andrew’s family’s property) … but also because they are both attorneys and the fingerprint was a unique way to tie in their professions.
Caramel apples were the favor for each guest and were placed at each place setting. A jazz combo entertained the guests during the cocktail hour and dinner. When the shuttles came back to pick up the guests, they were offered a bag of chocolate chip cookies and a carton of ice cold milk. A sparkler send-off preceded this departure.
Oh … and did I mention that while planning his wedding, setting up a business, supporting Heidi as she finished law school – Andrew picked up the baton and began his run for Congress!! Now there’s a motivated and busy Groom!!
Andrew and Heidi: Speechless. That is what we still are when thinking about this past weekend. It was truly a night to not only build a dream on, but build a beautiful marriage upon.
Mother of the Groom: We are still singing your praises and dreaming about the perfect wedding you coordinated here last year for Heidi and Andrew. Thanks again for all the memories of last August 27th. You are incredible. Hugs, Jill Day
This wedding was the crème-de-la-crème of all weddings! Kimberly was a bride all wedding coordinators dream of!! Her style, attention to detail, and ability to think of everything and leave no stone unturned was truly refreshing, unusual, and fun to be a part of.
The “paper” collateral for this wedding alone was stunning and over the top. The invitations and table numbers were done in Lucite. She had signs with her logo everywhere – including a gobo shining on the wall as you walked up the staircase. Each table was named for a destination where Kim and Dave had vacationed and there were photos of them in each of these cities as part of the centerpieces. There were coasters, hand-made pillows in the lounge, signature drinks cards, cocktail napkins, menu cards, programs, and lots of specialty signage.
There were cookie favors with a photo of where the Groom had proposed, flip flops for dancing, a scrapbooking table, nanny service, photobooth, espresso cart, up-lighting, and an ice bar.
One of the most unique ideas I have ever seen was done by the Groom. He personally thought up a signature drink for every guest with a funny phrase as to why he chose that drink. These cards doubled as place cards and were tucked into each napkin. He then had about six leather-bound books made (to look like restaurant menus) and these were placed on the bistro tables near the bars so each guest could read everyone else’s “drink” and the explanation of same. Very thoughtful, very time-consuming, and something that was truly enjoyed by all!
The day began at 9:30 with hair and makeup for the bridesmaids and an early lunch for the groomsmen. A shuttle was ready to pick up the bridal party for off-site photos at the University of Washington campus and then arrived at the Four Seasons around 4:15 p.m. There was a special rose presentation during the ceremony.
After the ceremony, the bride and groom took a few moments to catch their breath and have their first glass of champagne as husband and wife before joining their guests for cocktails.
The ballroom was transformed from the wedding ceremony to the wedding reception. The up-lighting infused the room with romance and the guests were treated to a beautifully-presented plated dinner. The ceremonial dances were interspersed during courses.
Toward the end of the evening, a chocolate fountain was opened, late night snacks were served, and the espresso cart was available.
What a spectacular wedding! As I said, no detail was left undone. Kim absolutely outdid herself with anticipating each guest’s needs. This was a wedding that will be remembered for many years!
Kimberly and Dave: Merry Beth was not just our wedding planner for the past 14 months, she was our friend, my part-time counselor (stressed about anything? She wanted to know!), and the person I turned to if I couldn’t get a hold of any vendor. She has been planning weddings for years, and has plenty of experience doing all types – from large galas to intimate outdoorsy weddings. She bills hourly, so you can use her as much or as little as you’d like, and she will be 100% honest with you when you have a bad idea, a difficult-to-execute idea, or if you’re talking to a vendor that she hasn’t had good experiences with (which is invaluable given that this is a one-time shot thing). She’s quick to answer any question you have and really willing to do anything she can to help – no task is too big or too small (she offered to deliver my goody bags for out-of-town guests when I was busy). To say she is thorough is an understatement – she’s the most detail-oriented person I know! She put together a comprehensive day-of timeline, and the day of executed to perfection! I never once had to worry about a vendor delivery, a set-up question, or anything else, and I knew that EVERYTHING would go smoothly from start to finish. It was absolutely perfect because of Merry Beth’s help and her watchful eye!
The feel of country air and the beauty of the valleys at Lord Hill Farms is what makes this such a spectacular venue for weddings. Their new outdoor wedding site is beautifully crafted and makes such an incredible setting for a wedding ceremony.
As guests arrived at Michele and Brian’s wedding, they were offered a glass of lemonade, water, or wine while they mingled before they were seated for the ceremony. Their monogram had been placed into the lawn with rose petals to personalize the space for them.
This couple had met while playing in the University of Washington Marching Band.
Some pre-ceremony events that made this day special were a surprise toast in the bridal party rooms and shuttling guests from Bellevue hotels. Some post-ceremony events that were highlights of the day included a scrapbooking table, a same-day-edit of the wedding ceremony shown while guests were eating cake (a huge hit with the Bride and Groom), and a London Cab as the get-away car. Two French macaroon cookies were the favors at each place setting – each with a different flavor.
I loved this wedding in its simplicity and style. A great deal of thought was put into each element and the guests were constantly treated to a new view, beverage, or having the ability to be silly at the prop-filled photobooth.
Mother of Bride: Smashing success in our books by the way. It was EXACTLY what Michele wanted.
There were a couple of “firsts” for me at this wedding – I had not worked at Annie Wright before (and absolutely LOVED this venue) and it was my first opportunity to work with Steven Moore (an absolute delight and privilege).
Steven described the design style of this wedding as follows: Lush, timeless elegance infused with Northwest wine country touches and a subtle vintage flair. He absolutely hit the nail on the head with this description as every element of his design was met – and then some.
The other first for me (and one which I found to be so tender and meaningful) was when Rebekah’s parents presented their daughter to Josh at the first glance. It was one of many times that day that tears welled up in my eyes! Josh and Rebekah had written letters to each other which they read privately earlier in the day. Very touching!
The day started in Seattle with the wedding party having their hair and makeup done, dressing, breakfast, and off in a shuttle for off-site photos to Pike Place Market. From there, the bridal party traveled by Party Bus to Tacoma to Annie Wright. More photos with the wedding party and families followed just before guests began arriving for the ceremony.
The reception was set up outside under a tent and decorated with long guest tables filled with large centerpieces filled in with scattered single bloom flowers in bud vases. Candles were everywhere and the favors – coffee beans – doubled as placecards. The guests were treated to an outstanding buffet dinner, a photobooth with props, and soft seating to relax and enjoy the evening.
Each wedding I coordinate, I think it is the most spectacular wedding I have ever seen or been a part of. This wedding did not disappoint me! What was even more touching was the sweet thank you from the Bride the very next morning on Facebook. She took the time to do this before flying off on their honeymoon! Wow – what an awesome and thoughtful Bride!!
Rebekah and Josh: You were amazing!! Thank you so much for everything you have done for me the last few months. I couldn’t have done it without you! Yesterday couldn’t have gone better … it was perfect! The strawberries were delicious – thank you for remembering!
This wedding is hard to put into a few words. There were so many meaningful parts to the ceremony, fun touches at the reception, and one of the prettiest backdrops of all the Seattle venues.
The day started with hair and makeup for the bridesmaids and virtual golf for the groomsmen at Hotel 1000. Then they were shuttled off in a Party Bus to Pioneer Square and the Sculpture Park for off-site photos. The weather was beautiful so we were able to hold the ceremony on the dock, cocktail outside as well, and then go into the Great Hall for the dinner and reception.
I was particularly impressed with a couple of things I hadn’t seen before at a ceremony. At the beginning of the ceremony, the officiant had one of the groomsmen pass two engraved stones to the guests who were instructed to hold them and infuse them with their well wishes and blessings for the bride and groom in their new life together and pass them from person to person. During the exchange of rings, the bride and groom asked their parents to present the rings to them in the hope that their marriage would be as long lasting as their parents. At the end of the ring exchange, the officiant asked the groomsman to retrieve the stones from the guests. Brittany and Ben then moved to the water’s edge and cast them into Puget Sound, signifying the ripples extended out from the stones would entwine their love and grow in the years to come, bringing more love into the world we live in. Ben’s grandfather was their reader and Ben and Brittany spoke directly to the guests and read letters to each other. What a touching ceremony!
The reception totally shifted gears and the fun began. In addition to a beautifully up-lit room in front of the fish tank, the plated dinner was scrumptious, the signature cocktail was a hit, and the heritage slide show was filled with memories for many of the guests.
When it was time to cut the cake, the bride and groom had a small cake to cut and then personally brought it to Brittany’s mother who loves cake. The rest of the guests were treated to ice cream sandwiches. The Father/Daughter dance was one of the best of all time, followed by a family dance from the Groom’s side, followed by the Horah for everyone! A sparkler sendoff ended the evening for this bride and groom.
I was privileged to work with both families on this wedding. What a great group of people!! Ben and Brittany can’t help but have a terrific marriage if their parents’ lives have rubbed off on them!
Brittany and Ben: We wanted to extend our most grateful “thank you” for all that you did to make our wedding the most incredible day for both of us. We are still smiling and are just ecstatic at how the whole event turned out. You truly were a pivotal part to making our wedding a success and we can’t thank you enough! Going out of your way and above and beyond was a regular occurrence with you and almost came to be expected! Your expertise really helped make this a flawless (in our eyes) celebration!
Parents of Bride: We wanted to thank you for your tireless effort and coordination of the wedding. This was Britt’s dream wedding and you made it happen … flawlessly. You are incredible! We have gotten so many emails and calls about that miracle of a night. Everyone, and I mean everyone, had a fantastic time. One friend said that he looked around and all he saw were smiles – all night long. So fun!! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Mother of the Groom: Still marveling at the multitude of your talents! You have near as much memory as a computer chip and energy to match a whirling dervish. Seriously, thank you for your guidance on our family’s wedding journey – we are overjoyed! Your expertise was instrumental in helping create a thoughtful, meaningful and personal experience for this life event. We take with us a GOLDEN memory. Not to be forgotten – thank you for giving me permission to … breathe …
Videographer: Thanks for all the hard work to make sure not only the day itself went off without a hitch, but that we got everything we wanted/needed to get. Means a lot! I’ll make sure to let Brittany and Ben know after they get the final film that you were one of the main reasons that we were able to get so much and that all of our footage looked so good. So … thank you, Merry Beth, from the bottom of my heart. The wedding was far better than even you described. You truly out did yourself; you should be very proud!
Photography by: Azzura Photography
There is nothing more romantic than a destination wedding. It seems that the guests arrive totally ready to absorb all the activities and take in all there is to enjoy in the area. Such was the case with Leah and Richie’s wedding. The Resort at Semiahmoo in Blaine was chosen as the venue for the weekend.
It turned out to be a beautiful June day and we were able to have the outdoor wedding ceremony that Leah and Richie had envisioned. The day started with a Tea Ceremony for their family, followed by a lunch for the family and bridal attendants before the elements of the wedding day themself began unfolding.
The colors for this wedding were very bright and festive with red Chinese lanterns hanging in the tent. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were passed on the tent dock where the bridesmaids handed out the escort cards.
During the ceremony, a remembrance candle was lit in honor of the Bride’s mother. There was also a beautiful photo of the Bride and her Mom on the Remembrance table.
The bride was beautiful in her Chinese gown as well as her breathtaking wedding gown.
The guests danced the night away. As I stepped back onto the dock late at night to observe the festivities, it occurred to me that I felt as if I had been swept away into a fairytale. The uniqueness and cultural traditions of this wedding popped out at every turn. What a wonderful couple to work with and a beautiful wedding to coordinate!
Leah & Richie: Thank you so much for helping us plan the most amazing wedding! It was better than I could have ever imagined or hoped for! Everything was so absolutely perfect and every person I have talked to about it said it was the best wedding they had ever attended! Thank you again for making our wedding day a dream come true!
Photography by: Stephanie Cristalli Photography
This couple was one that hired me late in the game, and turned out to be one of my great brides and grooms. Their wedding was at the Sorrento Hotel, which is one of my favorite venues.
This couple met by chance in a bar in downtown Seattle. One of their stops for offsite photos on the wedding day was the venue where they had met. The wedding was all about family, close friends, great food, décor, and music. The bride’s daughters were the bridesmaids.
This couple wanted simplicity and elegance. Their paper collateral was letter pressed and everything was hand calligraphed, including escort cards, place cards, menu cards, programs, special signage, etc. The color scheme was black and white with a touch of red so the tables were set with black satin linens, black chivari chairs, and beautiful black and white filigree favor boxes and programs, as well as red raw silk draping in all the doorways. The guests were served a delicious plated meal, and Dick’s burgers were the late night snack.
Music was the next high priority of this couple. They had live musicians at the ceremony and a DJ at the reception. The dance floor was packed the entire night, with several of the couples never leaving the dance floor.
All in all, this wedding felt like it was happening in your own home. With the fire in the Penthouse and the patio to spill out onto, everyone was comfortable and relaxed. This bride and groom spared no expense in giving their guests a very special evening.
Bride and Groom: Thank you so much for making our wedding day so carefree, smooth, and beautiful! You are so good at what you do!
Catherine and Gary | May 14, 2011 | Holy Family Catholic Church – Kirkland, WA Russell’s Barn – Bothell, WA
Photography by: Azzura Photography
Weddings are always special but, when two people come together to find a special love after the loss of their first spouse, it is really a beautiful thing for their families and friends to witness. Such was the case with this couple. They had a beautiful Catholic church wedding, and then they totally switched gears and transformed Russell’s Barn into a festive party.
From the very beginning, the Bride said she wanted circles for everything. So I started with the linens and worked from there.
The theme for the wedding was Attraversiamo – “Let’s Cross Over” – from the movie “Eat, Pray, Love.” All of the paper collateral was done in watermelon and kiwi colored circles with “bling” on each piece.
Guests were greeted at the door with a mojito that held their circular escort card. The barn was transformed into three distinct moods through lighting. Glassy babies were everywhere and Countryside Floral did an amazing job on the flowers. Soft seating invited guests to sit down and relax during the cocktail hour and/or dancing. The bar was lit up with candles in martini glasses. A jazz combo played just the right music during the cocktail hour and dinner. The DJ picked up the pace and drew the crowd onto the dance floor where they danced for the remainder of the evening. Of course, Russell Lowell created an amazing sit down dinner for everyone.
This couple was not particularly fond of cake, so they started their married life off on their own path – not conforming to the traditional. The groom’s favorite pie is coconut cream and the bride loves red licorice. That is what they fed each other for their ceremonial “cake cutting.” Then a delicious dessert buffet was revealed for the guests.
Specialty linens, incredible food, warm friendships, and the overwhelming feel of love in the room made this wedding particularly special for me as well as the guests.
Bride: “Fun, over the top, amazing, beautiful memories I will never forget – words that describe our wedding day. More than helping to create, design, and organize this day, you have become a friend – the best part of all! Thank you for everything!”