A Washington Wedding
It's true, we love to feel the love! Jenny & Lara were surrounded by so much joy...not to mention, they had a great par-tay!
Jenny and I both started our graduate programs at the University of Washington in the Fall of 2010. Because we were both studying environmental engineering, we had a few classes together. For a while, we both noticed each other, but never really talked. In the spring, my friend Jill came to visit and we hung out with Jenny and our mutual friend Chris. It was a super fun day that consisted mainly of drinking delicious beer and complaining about grad school (two of our favorite things). After that day, Jenny and I started talking and hanging out a lot more. Jenny was dating someone else at the time and as that relationship got rocky, Jenny's friends started noticing a trend in how much she talked about "the cute girl she goes to grad school with." In June of 2011, Jenny and her friend Manuela invited me to go to Seattle Pride with them. We had an absolute blast and at the end of the day, Manuela told Jenny (I later found out), "you totally like her....quit pretending like you don't!" A couple of months later, Jenny had just returned from a vacation and invited me and a couple of other friends out for karaoke. At some point in the night, Jenny turned to me and said that we should go on a date and at the end of the night, Jenny just went for it and kissed me (she isn't one for subtlety, clearly)! We planned to go see Glee: The 3D Concert Movie (because we're classy) the next day. Jenny's friend Vanessa really wanted to see the movie as well, so Jenny invited her along (so yes, technically Jenny invited someone else on our first date...super smooth). Vanessa and Jenny, embarrassingly, sang every song of the movie out loud. I think the fact that I continued to speak to both of them proved I was a keeper. We continued to hang out over the next month and on September 8, 2012, Jenny took me to Discovery Park at sunset and asked me to be her girlfriend. We moved in together at the end of February, after the apartment building Jenny had been living in caught on fire and she needed a new place to live. I think we confirmed that we were meant to be together when the Summer Olympics came around. At that point, we didn't have cable and and were wondering how we were going to be able to watch all the events. After 15 seconds of discussion, I suggested we go get cable, get a DVR, blow up an air mattress in the living room, and obsessively watch every little bit (yes, even power walking) for the next month.
Jenny started looking at engagement rings the next day.
In December, 2012, Lara went to San Francisco for a week for a conference. Prior to that, I bugged her relentlessly about making sure she was home at a reasonable time that Friday and about being free that whole weekend afterwards because a friend was having a birthday party at her parents' cabin (not really true!). While at the conference, I informed Lara that the plans for the cabin had fallen through, so we were just going to hang out on Friday for our friend's birthday and then go home and relax over the weekend. The next morning, I woke Lara up and told her that I was going to take our dog, Storm, to get her nails clipped, but that she should look at the pillow next to her when I left. Thus began a long, elaborate day that I had been planning for months. The note said to get up and be ready by a certain time for a day of adventures. Lara was handed the first set of clues, which she had to decipher to figure out where we were starting the day. Throughout the day, after each activity was complete, Lara received another set of clues. We went to the gingerbread house display at the Sheraton downtown, then ate lunch (and drank abnormally giant beer samplers) at Pyramid Brewing, attempted to go a laser light show at Pacific Science Center, went on a tour of Safeco Field, and picked up food to make dinner when we arrived back home. After dinner, I took Lara downstairs to the great room in our apartment complex, where many of our friends were waiting. Everyone watched a video that I had created, highlighting the things I love about Lara and our relationship, and included short video clips from some of the friends that couldn't make it. In the middle, I got down on one knee and proposed. Lara said yes! (obviously). Then everyone partied. And drank copious amounts of champagne.
From both brides...
We got married in July on the water in Seattle, at the Lake Washington Rowing Club. We had decided that we didn’t want to see each other until right before rehearsal, so we spent the morning getting ready with our bridal parties in separate rooms at the hotel. We also hadn’t seen what the other person was going to wear until we saw each other dressed at the first look. We had decided to have each of our best friends bring us out with our eyes closed, stand us back to back, then turn around simultaneously for the first look. Before we turned around we exchanged notes that we had written for each other. We both spent the morning panicking (the good kind of panicking!) and writing our notes to each other. We also both wrote our own vows so part of the morning was spent polishing those (i.e., we changed them at least 37,696 times). When we finally exchanged notes during the first look, we were both so anxious and excited that neither of us even remembers what we read. We turned around and were both totally blown away! The wedding ceremony was officiated by our good friend Matisse, who did an amazing job personalizing the whole thing for us. Not everyone’s wedding ceremony contains a section where the officiant compares the couple to a type of beer (wit beer, to be exact), but ours did...which makes total sense for us! (We are very much a reflection of our environment here in the Pacific Northwest). Lara read her vows first, which ended in a section where she had pieced together lyrics from 90’s boy bands, Kelly Clarkson, and rap songs into a paragraph about how much she loved Jenny and wanted to be with her forever. Jenny read her vows next, which started with a paragraph almost identical to the one Lara had just read. If there were any doubts by anyone in the room that we were totally made for each other, I think they disappeared in that moment. The rest of the night was a blur. We ate pizza, drank beer and wine, listened to bridal party speeches and gave our own speeches, then just talked to our guests and danced the night away. It was such an incredible day for us just trying to take it all in. Based on the disaster we had to clean up the next day, I think it’s safe to say our guests had a great time as well.
The wedding was incredible. Looking back at the pictures, we noticed some things that were totally overlooked (missing decorations, incorrect signs,, etc.). However, at the time, none of that mattered. What mattered was that everything was mostly set up how we wanted and that people seemed to have a great time. We spent months perfecting our playlist to ensure lots of dancing (Justin Timberlake, Hanson, and the Cupid Shuffle), selected really good local beer and wine, and served delicious pizza and cupcakes. The thing that stood out the most was the love in the room. So corny...we know, but just so true! Our wedding day coordinator was a good friend who understood what the most important things to us were, our officiant was a great friend who created such a wonderfully personal ceremony, our cutting cake was made by a close friend just how we wanted, and the DJ was a good friend with an incredible personality who ensured that everyone had a fantastic time all night (and happily put up with the increasingly intoxicated group and their ridiculous music requests). Additionally, the vendors that weren’t friends before, really became friends over the process of the wedding planning and the day of the wedding as well. We can’t speak enough about how incredible they all were. To have so many people who care so much about you, give their time and energy to make sure you have a wonderful day meant so much to us. Furthermore, to stand up during the speeches to talk to everyone and thank them for coming, to see a room packed full of people, who had spent so much time, energy, and money to travel from so many places, far and wide, just to show their love and support was...overwhelming. To say the least.
One of the best parts about getting married is the honeymoon. We waited a few days after the wedding to leave, so that we could spend time with some of our out-of-town guests that had stayed a few extra days. We then headed to Costa Rica for a week, then to Puerto Rico for a week! Jenny had never left the country (other than Vancouver...which really doesn’t count. It’s basically Seattle. Expensive Seattle.), so this was a big adventure for us both! We made sure to mix in adventurous activities with beach time to not wear ourselves out. Overall, it was probably the greatest trip of our lives. So far...
- Photography By Jenny GG Photography
- Venue By Lake Washington Rowing Club
- Rentals By Grand Event Rentals
- Florals By Flowers By K
- Day Of Coordination By Katie Lange Events
- Hair & Makeup By Latay Blankenship
- Cake By Megan Erickson
- Cupcakes By Fantazmal Cakes
- Bar Service By Prive Events
- Catering By Veraci Pizza
- DJ By Ryan Crawford