Marisa and Krzysztof’s Classic Woodinville Wedding

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and Cupid was certainly to thank for Marisa and Krzysztof’s decision to tie the knot. First meeting via OkCupid, the couple decided to meet in person at the McMenamin’s in lower Queen Anne for a drink. Both Marisa and Krzysztof speak to the comfort they found in their first impressions, as if they weren’t first impressions at all. “Spending time with Krzysztof felt familiar. I was almost immediately comfortable around him. I could tell he was kind, caring, intelligent, and personable.” Kryzsztof echoes, “We could talk for hours, and it seemed like no time had passed by. I was keen on getting to know her, and I could tell the sentiment was mutual.”

Their ease of conversation and desire to get to know one another continued to bloom. While their wasn’t a specific”aha” moment that they knew they were going to spend the rest of their lives with one another, they soon became inseparable. “Before we knew it, we knew that we wanted to be together and grow old together.”

The proposal was a sweet nod to the beginning of the life and home they’d share together. Krzysztof had put in an offer on a house, and they’d found out it was accepted a day after the two had returned from a trip to Kauai. After the sunset, they were checking out the new house and were about to leave for dinner when Krzysztof told Marisa he had one more question. He knelt down on one knee in the empty living room of their new house and before he could finish the question, Marisa excitedly said yes, crying tears of joy.

Their wedding day was a simple, elegant, and fun tribute to their love story and their love for the Pacific Northwest, coordinated by Jen Leslie Events and captured by Veesh Photography. “My favorite moment was at the end of our ceremony, walking down the aisle and seeing all of our family and friends, smiling and celebrating with us. I think I was too nervous and excited to notice anyone on the way down the aisle, but on the way out, I was amazed at all of the people who have supported us our journey to become partners for the rest of our lives.” As for the groom, his favorite moment was welcoming guests as they arrived for the cocktail hour. “It was a joy to hug and chat with each and every friend and family member as they came to start the festivities. It was the first formal way for us to acknowledge the union of all the people in both of our lives.”

To sum up the best part of being married, Krzysztof cites the quote, “Happiness is only real when shared.” He says, “It’s the fact that you’re with someone who you want to share all of your happiest moments with, and who makes you happy in seemingly effortless ways.” Marisa says, “The best part of marriage is knowing that we are sharing the rest of this unpredictable journey of life together. We will have many ups and downs, but knowing that I have someone to share life with means more than anything to me.”

The Details:

Venue: The Hollywood Schoolhouse, Woodinville, WA

Wedding Coordination: Jen Leslie Events

Photographer: Veesh Photography

DJ: Levi Harshman of Remarkable Production

Flowers: Anna Brandt of Distinctive Design Florist

Hair and Makeup Artistry: Kendra Springer of KLS Makeup Artistry

Groom’s Apparel: Vera Wang

Bride’s Dress: Stella York via Blue Sky Bridal

Officiant: Rev. Patrick Callahan

Taylor and Justin’s Backyard Wedding

CASPhoto_TaylorJustinWedding151“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” These words by Maya Angelou perfectly speak to the story of Taylor and Justin. Though the thought of a long distance relationship was initially unsettling to Taylor, the persistence of the Californian boy in his pursuit of the Washingtonian girl paid off. One day, she finally agreed to a first date and found herself on a plane down to meet him. “It sounds like an exaggeration, but we could have done anything and he would have still had me at hello. Something was different – this time my heart was open to anything. I had a complete gentleman pursuing me like no one’s business for a year! I’m constantly thankful I finally got my act together and reciprocated that pursuit.” Taylor shares.

It wasn’t long before she knew her grand gesture was worth it, because Justin had decided to make one in return. He shared that he wanted to come up from Washington to watch Taylor graduate from college, and it was this desire that really sparked their journey to marriage. “When it came time for him to come up, he ended up buying a one-way ticket to Washington. He surprised me by staying the summer in order to spend time with me, my family, and to help me transition into the real world.” Later, Taylor decided to call Southern California home.

“He was all-in and made me feel like the most important thing in his life. I knew I loved him then, and I knew I would do anything to pursue his love right back,” says Taylor. As a nod to their love story, the house where Justin had stayed with his best friend in Washington was the place where the two of them said “I do.” With many fond memories of time spent at the house, Taylor is confident that they “could not have chosen a more perfect or more meaningful spot to get married” with their backyard wedding.

The best part of being married? “Having someone to laugh with during the fun times and lean on during the tough times is the greatest gift.”

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The Details:

Photographer: Carina (Skrobecki) Swain
Wedding Planner: Ellie Haisch of Maris Events
Dress: BHLDN
Makeup: Chelsey Matley
Groom’s Apparel: Tommy Hilfiger
Catering: Act3 Catering
Cake: WannaCupcake
Videographer: Janssen Powers of Native Wedding Films

Brooke and James’ Lopez Island Wedding

brookejames-lightworks360(47of65)Camping supplies? Check. Grocery list? Check. Love at first sight? Check.  Brooke and James first met at a planning meeting for a group trip to Sasquatch. James recalls being unable to take his eyes off of her, and Brooke found his eyes and his sense of humor quite charming, as well.

After spending a weekend together at the Gorge, they shared a delicious dinner and quality conversation at Joule for their first date. Both remember being a little nervous, but at the same time, as comfortable as if they’d known each other forever.

The two of them found that travel very well together, and the trips they’ve shared each have marked important milestones in their relationship. What sealed the deal for their relationship was a six week trip throughout Southeast Asia. “I’ve never been across any sea , nor with someone I was dating. I had the best time of my life and shared it with her. We were walking off the plane after we landed in Seattle and that’s when I knew without doubt.” James recalls. Their proposal took place one year following, upon their return from a trip to Mexico. After walking off the plane in Seattle, Brooke had found James on one knee in baggage claim, which she had initially understood as innocently digging through his  luggage. Much to her delight, he pulled out a ring and proposed. “It was spontaneous and perfect for us.” Brooke shares. Their wedding day was as perfect for the two of them, as their photographers Laura and Tim of Lightworks 360 explain:

“Local artist Brooke Westlund (you can find her work at her airy Pike Place studio, and at always has a clear vision, and her wedding day was no exception. For her Lopez Island nuptials with fiance James Lee, there were a few things she knew for certain: it would be simple, it would be handcrafted, and it would include the family history that brought them to the island in the first place. Brooke’s great-grandparents homesteaded on waterfront property on the gorgeous island nearly a century ago— and the barn, house, and accompanying property are all still in the family. Designing her couples portraits to include the barn (even going so far as to climb through century-old dust in her pristine gown, just to get the perfect photo), the property, and her father’s vintage Chevrolet, Brooke gave nods to her roots on every aspect of the day. With the ceremony planned for the waterfront lawn at the newer family home, her parents worked all spring and summer to create a fully-blooming dahlia garden, from which Brooke created her wedding day bouquet. The laid-back, love-infused atmosphere was a priority for her: when heavy raindrops began to douse the ceremony location within half an hour of the wedding, family and friends pulled chairs underneath the deck’s overhang and huddled together joyfully for the ceremony, as if it had been the plan all along. Later, they were treated to an extended multi-course dinner, complete with wine pairings, at the neighboring Bay Cafe. Brooke’s life and passion is her art, and it only made sense for her to design her own day from scratch: from doing her own hair and makeup, to creating invitations by hand, her artistic vision was apparent from beginning to end. If only her Lopez Island ancestors could have seen the celebration!

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The Details:
Photographer: Lightworks360
Catering: The Bay Cafe
Dress: Sally Crew Couture via La Belle Elaine’s
Groom’s Apparel: Samuelshon via Nordstrom

Aly and Zach’s Heartfelt Wedding

IMG_9515Aly and Zach’s wedding is first of three featured in the first issue of Northwed Magazine. It’s been such an honor to feature their sweet story. They first met studying design at Western Washington University, and you can catch their adorable engagement session and movie-like proposal story here.

When it came to planning their wedding, they made sure that they day was centered on what they both hold to be the most significant: the love they share for Christ and their families. The strengths and talents of loved ones were on full display with the day’s DIY elements – from the flowers and décor to the courses and cake. Keeping the place that they met close to heart, almost every vendor they did hire was based in Bellingham. The bride and groom put their design-inclined minds together to ensure that all the factors of their wedding were tied together with beautiful branding.

Their first look was nothing but joyous. Every bit of anxiety Aly had been harboring on the morning of dissipated as soon as she saw her soon-to-be husband. Zach, not one to typically shed tears, was overcome with joy as well. “When he saw me, he gave me the most genuine look… I will never forget the love I felt as he cried seeing me as his bride for the first time. It was one of the most special moments of my life.” Aly recounts.

A favorite moment of Aly’s was her surprise singing performance dedicated to Zach. He’d requested her rendition of “When I Say I Do” by Matthew West, but she’d previously dismissed the idea due to her anticipated nerves. However, she decided that the reward would be worth the risk. She was right, as her performance brought tears to Zach’s eyes once more.

Another memory they’ll cherish is their 15-minute post-ceremony escape to soak in being husband and wife away from the crowd. Sitting in Zach’s grandfather’s truck, they shouted in celebration and shared a glass of wine, moments that can only be described as surreal. Simply put, “marriage is the best.”

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Don’t forget to check out the first digital issue here.

The Details:

Photographer: Shelby Payne Photography
Flowers: Contemporary Floral (bouquet and boutonnières)
Venue: Tazer Valley Farms
Officiant: Jeff Potts, Canyon Hills Community Church
Makeup Artist: Elizabeth Marie Makeup
Hair Stylist: Brooklyn Matthysse of Something Different Salon
Wedding Dress: Essence of Australia from Bellevue Bridal Boutique
Groom Attire: Men’s Wearhouse 
DJ: Janie Kelley
Videographer: RP Imagery

Melina and Matt’s Oregon Engagement Session

Oregon engagement
The promise of a new year is exciting, but what’s even more thrilling is the promise of sharing a lifetime of new years with the one you love. To celebrate their engagement, high school sweethearts Matt and Melina took to the charming riverside in Wilsonville, Oregon.

The two of them grew up together, sharing a journey from their prom nine years ago to their beachfront proposal in Cabo. Their portrait session pays tribute to the place that holds some of their favorite memories, from fishing to boating to relaxing with family.

What’s so special about photographs is that they never change, and Jamie Rae Photo beautifully captured Matt and Melina’s effortless connection. Their portraits are real, romantic moments that will stay constant, just like they have been for one another:

“Over the course of our relationship, we have experienced wonderful times along with incredible loss. Broken relationships in our families, people we care about struggling with addiction, and death of loved ones to name a few. We have been a constant in each others’ life within the chaos it has brought at times.I am so thankful that I have found someone who is the first person I want to celebrate with on happy days and cry with on sad. He is my family. ”

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Kayla and Corbin’s Bellingham Wedding


Some might call Kayla and Corbin’s first encounter a lucky strike, as they first met eyes in a bowling alley in high school. “When I first saw Corbin, , he was a mystery and a breath of fresh air. He had a charismatic smile and a friendly demeanor about him, so when he walked into the bowling alley I was immediately drawn to him.” The two started dating their sophomore year – a result of a distracting text message in the middle of a test. Their first official date was the classic combination of dinner and a movie, but Kayla couldn’t tell you much about the plot. Instead, all she could think about was when he was going to make the move.

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Kendal and Mitch’s Backyard Wedding


They say that love is blind, and blind was exactly what Kendal and Mitch’s first date happened to be. With a great deal of encouraging by Mitch and Kendal’s best friends, a shy senior girl and a recently-graduated gentleman agreed to meet each other for a rather nerve-wracking first date. “My first impression of Mitch was how genuine and funny he was. I remember being so nervous to meet him for the first time. We spent our first date laughing the entire time.” Kendal shares. Mitch was also anxious , but once he laid eyes on her, all of his nerves seemed to dissipate.

Their first solo outing was an evening spent  along the Vancouver waterfront. The date turned out to be not only full of chemistry, but also a little friendly competition. The two played putt putt golf and a lively game of H.O.R.S.E. before Kendal decided to shoot for a first kiss. She scored, and after that, the ball was in Mitch’s court.

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Carissa and Daniel’s Maple Valley Wedding


There’s no better way to open up the tale of Daniel and Carissa than with their beginning, as told by the groom himself:

“It was the summer of 2007 and down in Olympia, Washington, the paths of two very different human beings were set on a collision course at Black Lake Bible Camp. The initial meeting would be marked by awkward eye contact, attempts at flirting, and the mocking of dark blue running shorts that were ‘too short’. Regardless of the precise details, the earliest interactions can be characterized by these things; she was cute and travelled in a pack, where there was safety in numbers. He was a gangly rogue, who resented the herd mentality. She noticed his mischievous smile and misplaced self-confidence. He noticed her face. The week ended, and he headed back to his home to a tree farm outside of Salem, Oregon, and she rode a bus back to Maple Valley, Washington.”

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Ashley and Shawn’s Forks Wedding

Northwed Love Story | Ashley and Shawn

A wedding is much more than a gorgeous gown, vibrant flowers, and a breathtaking venue. While Ashley and Shawn’s sweet celebration in Forks, Washington had all of those elements, it’s the sentiment and significance of their occasion that truly stands out. Their wedding served as a confirmation of their commitment to one another and the first step towards a lifetime of love. It’s easy to see the excitement and passion emanating from the high school sweethearts in these stunning images captured by Samantha McFarlen.

The first page of Ashley and Shawn’s love story was written when Ashley was a junior and Shawn was a senior. Ashley’s red hair caught the eye of the upperclassman, and he found her to be strikingly humorous. Ashley was flattered and thought him to be quite charming as well. For their first date, Shawn invited Ashley over to his mom’s house to enjoy the comedy classic, She’s the Man. It wasn’t long after till Shawn was thinking She’s the One. “Even though we were just in high school, I knew right away,” says Shawn. When you know, you know, and Ashley knew it too.

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