After nearly a year of blogging about her wedding planning process, it’s finally time for Cara to share the actual big day itself! Read on for her Real Wedding story…
It’s bittersweet that I’m writing the big end-all post for my Brideology series, as my engagement and wedding have come and gone. It’s incredible how fast the time goes by, but the memories—and the marriage!—are even more incredible.
I’m so excited to tell the story and show photos by the awesome Sea Studio Photography. Because we share many Real Weddings from brides on our blog, I thought I’d tell mine in the same way…
The Scene: August 3, 2013, Treehouse Point, Issaquah, WA
Our wedding took place at the bed & breakfast at Treehouse Point, tucked away in the forest with a small meandering river, rocky beaches, wooded trails, a cozy main lodge and treehouses for our family and wedding party to stay in. It was the perfect place for us because we could all be together for the whole weekend in a gorgeous, peaceful setting.
We wanted the day to feel comfortable, intimate and fun for our 100 guests, so we included as many personal touches as we could. While it was a ton of work, it was worth it when it all came together. Our decor was eco-inspired with many recycled elements.
My mom created our welcome sign to match our invitations, and I drew the rest of our signage in bright colors on chalkboards with gold frames. Our friends helped us put up strings of lights (amazing how much just a few lights can glam up a space!) and decorated with succulents from our garden at home, river rocks, gold-painted branches and farmer’s market flowers.
Drew and I hand-wrote notes to our guests and tucked them in jars that were used for drinking glasses, also doubling as our place cards. We found funny, artsy little cards and wrote thank-yous to each person. We wanted to acknowledge the support, friendship and memories that every person has contributed to our relationship, seeing as these are the people who got us to where we are today!
My Look: I wore a gown by Olia Zavozina called ‘Delia’ that I found at a trunk show through the Wedding Suite. My Wedding Stylist Chelsea was incredibly helpful, sweet and patient, and after just one appointment with me, she knew my style better than I did. She had her eye on this gown and told me I should try it on, and she was right—I absolutely loved it in every possible way!
The gown was covered in rosettes that gave it an amazing texture, and it had an almost ombré effect in the way in which the fabric was layered. I would wear it every day if I could (but seeing as that’s crazy, I’ll probably just stick to the whole watching-TV-drinking-champagne-eating-popcorn-in-my-wedding-dress-on-my-anniversary thing).
I wore the same flower crown that my mom wore at her wedding almost 30 years ago, although I added a few fresh flowers to it. For jewelry, I kept it simple with small kate spade new york floral earrings that happened to perfectly match a bracelet my mom found for me at an antique shop.
My Groom: Drew looked amazing in his suit, if I do say so myself! He wore a grey BOSS suit with a white shirt and cognac monk strap shoes, all from Nordstrom. I got him a polka dot pocket square as a day-of surprise.
Our Wedding Party: My bridesmaids wore strapless ‘Morgan’ dresses by Donna Morgan. (A popular bridesmaid style for a reason: They’re so flattering on different body types!) I loved how the peach color looked with the bright flowers and all the green scenery. My girls looked beautiful and were so amazingly supportive and fun all weekend long. My sister Haley was my maid of honor.
Drew’s five groomsmen wore light-blue Calibrate shirts, plaid Ben Sherman ties and grey pants. Drew’s dad was his best man. The guys worked hard to set up for the wedding and then took a break to skip rocks in the river and make a few whiskey toasts before the ceremony.
The Ceremony: One thing I really wanted in our wedding was live music, so we had Drew’s brother play the guitar and his friend play the violin for the processional—”The Stable Song.” They also played “Can’t Help Falling in Love” when I walked down the aisle. It was a tear-jerker for sure! Our ceremony was personal, sweet and funny, officiated by Drew’s aunt and with readings from our families. Incorporating our families was very important to us.
Although the day had been cloudy, the sun broke through literally right as I took my place at the arbor. You hear people say that even on rainy days, the sun comes out for the wedding, and I couldn’t believe it really happened. I looked up and practically shouted, “The sun!” I was so excited, I couldn’t contain myself!
The Party: We kicked off the party with local beers and wines and popcorn, and we followed that with a delicious dinner catered by Portage Bay Café. We had a shortcake berry bar for dessert—one of my favorite parts!
We skipped many of the reception traditions in favor of more time to mingle and dance with our guests. Drew had a friend bring hula hoops to the reception—something I initially thought he was kidding about—and it turned out to be so much fun! People were having hula-hoop competitions on the dance floor!
Our Special Moments: There are so many, it’s overwhelming! I do think one of the best moments was when Drew and I were alone for a few minutes after the ceremony. I would definitely recommend taking this time to just be together—it’s so emotional and memorable!
We were surprised with some hilarious and heartfelt speeches during dinner from my dad, my sister and Drew’s dad. They were a major highlight of the night, and people have been talking about them ever since.
Our first dance was also really special because Drew’s brother played the guitar and sang Ryan Adams’ version of “When the Stars Go Blue.” The small space filled with lights felt intimate and cozy. Everyone loved the mini-concert and wanted more!
We stayed up late with our overnight guests before going to sleep in the trees. It truly was the best day ever.
Thank you for following my journey! It’s been a great experience!
Images by Sea Studio Photography