James Clifford

Sarah recounts her and Will’s Pacific Northwest wedding, complete with friends, family, beautiful memories and her homemade wine!

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The Scene: August 31, 2013, at Evergreen Gardens in Ferndale, WA

Will proposed to me on a perfect summer day in Walla Walla on August 31, 2012. He proposed to me with a stunning Bony Levy ring from Nordstrom, who we also used to make a custom wedding band to go with my engagement ring. When we began planning our wedding, we knew we wanted to relive that beautiful day with our family and friends, so we decided on an outdoor wedding a year to the day that he proposed.

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When we envisioned our day, we saw a day filled with love and fun for our family and friends and a style that reflected us as a couple. I consider myself to be relatively crafty, so making our own decorations and adding lots of little personal touches was a must.

Everything from our invitations to our wine was homemade. Over the last few years, my mom and I have been making homemade wine as a fun hobby. For the wedding, we made six different varietals. Each had a unique label that featured our engagement photos, favorite sayings and our two sweet kitties.

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One of my favorite moments was Will’s and my first look. Getting to see him looking incredibly handsome in his suit and seeing the look on his face when we saw me in my dress for the first time was unforgettable. It was wonderful to be able to steal a few moments out of the day to be with each other and truly feel like we were living in the moment.

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My Wedding Stylist: Katie Crittenden, Nordstrom Downtown Seattle

I had a great experience at the Nordstrom Wedding Suite in downtown Seattle. My stylist did a fabulous job picking up on my style and selected the perfect dress for me. Not only did she help me select the dress, she took fantastic care of all my family. The day was special to me not just because I was selecting my wedding dress, but also because my grandma was able to be there with me.

It was the last truly happy memory I have of her. A week later she was diagnosed with leukemia, and, after a hard-fought battle, she passed away a short month later. I’m forever grateful for the last wonderful day we had together and that she was able to see me in my wedding dress.

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On our big day, I wore a strapless lace gown with a sweetheart neckline by James Clifford. I absolutely loved the romantic beauty of lace. It’s such a soft feminine texture, which went perfectly with our romantic garden wedding theme. My shoes were Kate Spade ivory patent leather pumps with the cutest gold bows.

I didn’t want to wear a veil, because it felt too formal for our wedding, but I still wanted some sort of head piece for the extra glam. A friend suggested I look up Serephine and boy, did I fall in love. Her work is unique and gorgeous and was exactly what I was looking for. The best part about it was Nordstrom had recently started carrying her products in their Wedding Suites.

My favorite accessory was my necklace. It was a locket my grandpa had given to my grandma many years ago. He had it engraved with their initials and put a picture of the two of them inside it. It was such a sweet, special piece to wear and remember them as I was missing them both dearly on our wedding day.

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My bridesmaids wore two different styles of Donna Morgan chiffon strapless dresses from the Wedding Suite. The peachy color was perfect for an outdoor summer wedding. It was fun, fresh and provided a soft contrast to the lush green backdrop in our photos. My stylist and I also picked out simple, classic gold necklaces with a single pearl and gold earrings with two large drop pearls for them to wear. I gave the jewelry to the girls before the wedding as thank-you gifts for being with me on such an important day.

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Even the guys got in on the Nordstrom experience! We purchased Aldo brown leather shoes with some sharp details and polka dot socks for them to wear with their suits. Overall, our experience was incredible, and I’m so grateful for all the help and support my stylist, Katie provided throughout our wedding planning!

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Our wedding day was more perfect than we could have ever envisioned. We were blessed with a gorgeous Northwest summer day and the presence of our amazing family and friends. The day was filled with love, laughter, tears and joyous times.

Photography by Michael Stadler of Stadler Studios.

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! E-mail Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

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Lacey and Chad share the beautiful details of their flower- and love-filled wedding day.

The Scene: April 20th, 2013, at Maple Hall in La Conner, WA

From the moment Chad popped the question, we knew we would get married in my quaint little home town of La Conner, Washington. In the spring, this area of Washington is well known for its flowers!

Our day was filled with beautiful blooms, from photos in the famous tulip fields to the daffodils from my family’s farm surrounding us during the ceremony and reception. My amazing mother and father stored 5,000 stems of daffodils for the wedding! A girlfriend of mine was able to transform buckets of daffodils into the beautiful flowers we had throughout the venue. I loved hearing guests comment that they had never seen so many blossoms in one place!

We envisioned our day representing not only our families, but also, of course, who Chad and I are. We both work in the wine industry in eastern Washington, so we used wine barrels to create our alter and corks throughout the decor. The “rustic elegance” theme–as my mom dubbed the decor–also included burlap, white and cream throughout.

Guests enjoyed wine from Goose Ridge Estate Winery and Milbrandt Vineyards (our employers), as well as craft beer from Horse Heaven Hills Brewery in Prosser, Wa. We loved keeping our menu, decor and style local. At the end of the night, each guest was given bunches of daffodils to enjoy for days to come.

My Wedding Stylist: Chelsea Hobbs, Downtown Seattle Wedding Suite

I am blessed to have an amazingly talented best friend whose style I adore and, lucky for me, she is also the manager of the Nordstrom Wedding Suite in Seattle! I could not wait to try on dresses in my appointment with Chelsea. My mother and grandmother accompanied me, and as soon we walked into the suite, we were warmly greeted and invited to browse.

Chelsea and I discussed the budget and she guided me through choosing some beautiful gowns to try on. Although there were three other brides trying on gowns, getting alterations or having final fittings, Chelsea and the whole staff made me feel like the only bride on the floor. Chelsea even talked me into trying on the gown that ended up being “the one”!

My Look: I wore a strapless lace dress by James Clifford (style J1820), with a pearl necklace and Valentino patent leather bow pumps. The gown was delicate and feminine with lace appliqué and the most gorgeous train I have seen.

In my fittings, Toma, the alterations specialist, was able to fit the dress like it was handmade only for me; it was hard to watch her cut open the sides of the dress, but she was able to work magic! The bustle Toma put together was the perfect height and showed the lovely lace piece that flows down the train.

The scalloped lace at the bottom of the dress was the cherry on top, the perfect length to show off my shoes a bit! Chelsea helped me find the perfect shoes (Valentino…my heart!) and bridesmaid dresses and helped my mother find her dress as well. And on my wedding day, I was blessed enough to have Chelsea by my side as a bridesmaid! 

My Bridesmaids: The girls wore the Donna Morgan ‘Donna’ dress in ‘Candlelight’, a soft shade of ivory. The bridal party got ready at my cousin’s beautiful Victorian farmhouse. Spending the morning getting pampered with my girlfriends was an amazing way to celebrate! We were also able to go to a nearby tulip field for photos. The bright red and yellow tulips were an amazing, eye-catching background against the soft chiffon ‘Candlelight’ color of the bridesmaids dresses.

Our Favorite Moments: Chad and I met while attending Washington State University and knew our Coug spirit also needed to have a part in our day! We loved our WSU-themed photo booth and an amazing Coug carved cheese block (which our friends loved as well). Exiting the party to the fight song was definitely a memory we will both cherish.

Photography by Sara Welch Photo

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! Email Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details about getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

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Jen and Mike share the story of their wedding: a beautiful, unique affair at 11,550 feet.

The Scene: June 1, Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort in Colorado

Our wedding day was exactly as I had envisioned it would be: a bluebird sky, a blanket of fresh snow on the ground, high altitude, sentimental and fun! A blizzard had hit the area just two days before the wedding, and while it had some people biting their nails, Mike and I were skiing and relishing in the fact that we would get the perfect “summer winter wedding.”

We started our wedding day at sunrise on top of Loveland Pass for our first look. This might sound crazy to some, especially when you factor in the freezing temperatures and gusty winds, but Mike and I fell in love over our mutual passion for the alpine environment, and it just seemed fitting to start our day off like true mountaineers: really early and really cold!

The Ceremony: I wore my mother’s kimono for the ceremony, which is the same kimono that she wore to marry my father. Putting on a kimono is no easy task, and I really enjoyed watching my mother put her heart into all the details, from tying all the ties to making sure my collar was just so. We both teared up when she handed me the 600-year-old family dagger, a symbol for protecting the honor of my family—both old and new.


The ride up to the ceremony site  with my father was very special and not unlike the chairlift rides we took when I was a child and he was teaching me to ski. We talked about our excitement, laughed together and even teared up together in the cold silence. When we got to the top, Mike was there waiting for us, looking so handsome in his Marine Corps uniform.

My uncle Tom was our officiant. He had been skiing with us (read: skiing in front of us as we tried to keep up) during the first sparks of our relationship and I’m pretty sure he knew we were soul mates before either of us did. He did an incredible job leading our ceremony, which also included Mike’s sister gracing us with “Ave Maria” and a reading by a family friend.

The Party: I changed into my gown for the reception and loved walking, dancing and just moving in the dress! It was such a sentimental and love-filled wedding, I was tearing up at any given moment (and I think most of the guests were too). It was  a treat to watch people enjoy themselves!

The Details: We have so many wonderful friends and family who contributed to the wedding! And because there was so much snow on the ground, the service road wasn’t accessible, so everything had to go up and then come down on the chairlift! It was no easy task planning a wedding at 11,550 feet, but it was worth it.

My friend, who is an interior and event designer, took on the huge task of styling the wedding for me—everything from the vintage skis “guestbook” to the blue chevron table runners and the flowers. We chose blue and orange as our accent colors and ended up having a perfect blue-and-orange sunset!

Mike and I wanted to minimize the impact of our day on our special environment. We sent out electronic save-the-dates, used seed paper invitations and chose a venue that prides itself on its eco-friendly business practices. In lieu of wedding favors, we volunteered at various environmental organizations. Also, as a tribute to our families’ histories in the armed services, we asked our guests to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project in lieu of any gifts.

My Look: For the reception, I wore a James Clifford gown with amazing detailed scalloping at the sweetheart neckline and hem and a train/bustle to swoon over. I also wore a Nina birdcage veil and carried a Sondra Roberts beaded minaudière box clutch.


My Wedding Stylist: Audrey Moon at the Nordstrom Wedding Suite in Lone Tree, CO

My shopping experience with Audrey was nothing short of spectacular. I was feeling a bit over my head with such a daunting task, but Audrey was so accommodating, and I loved that she pulled so many dresses for me to try on. The problem was that I loved every one of them!

The decision came down to two very different dresses, and Audrey was very encouraging about going with what I wanted. In the end, I chose the James Clifford gown for its classic lace and modern cut. From that point, accessories were easy! Audrey knew exactly what was required to accomplish the look that I wanted. She made herself available to me anytime; it was comforting that she was so responsive to my emails, phone calls and text messages.

I didn’t know how overwhelmed one dress could make a girl, but she kept me sane and made me beautiful for my wedding day!

Our Special Moments: There are two! The first is when we exchanged vows. Mike wrote them when I was away on a business trip, and I couldn’t have been happier with the result. They spoke to our love of the mountains and of our commitment to each other and we both bawled our eyes out.

The second was the chairlift ride immediately following the ceremony. The initial idea was that the ride was just for the photos, but it also gave us a quiet moment together to reflect on the epic event that just occurred. It was incredible!

Photography by Jen Neal, Photos by Shew Photography

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! Email Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details about getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a wedding stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

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