Tag Archives: Heather Gilson

griffith redwoods, santa rosa wedding- rachel & jonathan

Being obsessed with the weather report comes with the territory. I start checking on Tuesday when I think I can get an accurate read on the weekend. Around Thursday we know if we’ll need to pack umbrellas and have a back up plan. Most couples decide by Friday if they need to rent tents or relocate the wedding. However Rachel just couldn’t change course even though the weather forecast was telling her to arrange for a tent. She just couldn’t do it. She had a vision of her wedding in the redwoods and a white tent wasn’t in that vision. So they winged it, stuck with their plan and hoped for the best. Unfortunately this time the bet didn’t pay off and although the rain held off for their ceremony, it became clear that they would need to relocate the reception. Their friends, family and wedding planner went above and beyond to save the day. They found a quaint little hall close to their original venue and went to work redecorating it and making it party worthy. In the end I think Rachel sums up it best….

Even if it rains and you have no backup plan and your outdoor reception gets moved to a local hall that you’ve never seen before in your life . . . with linoleum floors, ceiling fans, metal folding chairs, and a weird smell . . . it will still be amazing. Seriously.”

Wedding Details:

Venue: Griffith Woods // Event Planning: Bertoli Bridal & Design, Leah Bertoli // Catering: Savory Truffle, Rick Rozet // Floral Design: Passion Stories, Kate Kittredge // Music: The Speakeasies  // Bride’s Dress & Veil: Stone Fox Bride // Groom’s Apparel: Neiman Marcus

olympic sculpture park, seattle wedding- dean & justin

There wasn’t a dry eye during Justin & Dean’s deeply personal and moving ceremony. From Dean “We wrote our own vows, making them very personal based on our experiences together. We also had a friend marry us and we had friends speak in the ceremony. It was great that we did not know what our friends were going to say ahead of time – it made it even more special for us to hear their words for the first time in that moment.”

Most of Justin and  Dean’s inspiration came from their venue, the Olympic Sculpture Park. They both love modern design and art, plus the outdoors and gardens so it was a perfect fit. They leveraged the natural setting and allowed it to serve as the canvas, and pulled the surrounding elements into their design. I loved how they used the painting on display inside the pavilion as inspiration for all of their graphic design pieces.
“Standing up with my husband as we’re getting married and looking out at all of our guests. It is such a wonderful feeling to see everyone from all aspects of our life together – family, friends – from all corners of the world. To think that they were all here for us brings tears of joy to my eyes even today.”
Love wins!

“Our first dance was choreographed to “The Best Day of My Life” by American Authors. It truly was the best day of our lives and so many people helped make it special. Special thanks to Brenda, our wedding coordinator and friend, for all her amazing work to make sure our day was perfect. We’d also like to thank Heather and Jon from One Love Photo. They are fun, creative and truly got to know us and captured who we really are as a couple”.

Wedding Details:

Venue: Olympic Sculpture Park // Day-of Coordinator: Brenda Bloczynski // Catering: Taste Catering // Floral Design: Lola Creative // Ice Cream: Sweet Treats, Food Truck // Music: Windsong Trio // DJ: Leu Jam, David Leu // Groom’s Apparel: J. Crew // Engagement Photos

smith tower, seattle wedding- jennifer & terry

There are those people in the world that you feel an instant click. People who you know you have something to learn from. Jennifer is one of those for me. She told me that the first time she saw our photos she knew we were the photographers for her. When she first called there was no messing around or “feeling things out”. It was straight forward, “I love what you do and do have our date open, if so how do I reserve you?” The next phone call I learned about the recent death of her mother and best friend and how devastating the year had been so far. She told me that in her mom’s last days she was snuggled up under one of those giant cheesy photo blankets with an image of her herself and her grand children printed on it. It was the last silly gift Jennifer gave her. She explained how they went the “European” route by having kids first and a wedding second. I learned a lot. And I thought a lot about what it must feel like to lose your best friend and your mom, something I always fear.

 
On the day of the wedding I discovered that having kids before a wedding makes for much more love, fun and silliness. Watching their ceremony it was clear that the simple act of sharing and vowing in front of their children, family and friends made their family feel complete. During the toasts I realized that most toasts I hear are focused on advice for a future family. But toasts for newlywed parents are very different because friends get to praise the couple for what they have already accomplished in parenthood. They get to tell them what they are doing right and encourage them to continue the work. All parents should have a party and a round of toasts when their kids hit age four.

The biggest lesson I learned from Jennifer was at the end of the night, I was standing on a chair focusing my camera on her out on the dance floor when Prince came on. With the familiar tempo the dance party kicked into high gear. Watching her laugh I realized that a person can lose one of the closest people in their life and six months later be happy enough to dance their heart out to Purple Rain.

From Jennifer about the wedding- “Even though we had been together for years and have two kids together, we were surprised by how different it felt to actually stand in front of everyone we love and get married. It was incredibly moving and powerful. We knew it was special, but didn’t really grasp the magnitude of it all until afterward. One of the happiest days we’ve had! We didn’t reference any wedding magazines or websites. We wanted our wedding to feel like us and not influenced by other weddings that may look lovely, but not have meaning to us. We planned our wedding like we would plan a party at our house. We used a bakery that we go to all the time with our family. It’s in our neighborhood and is special to us because it’s part of our community and life. I made our centerpieces using ebay finds, old books, cards and toy arrows. We wanted to use our centerpieces to tie in the other elements of our wedding…invite, cake topper, belt buckles for gifts for our guests. I loved creating our centerpieces. They felt like something we’d just have in our home. We do now…and so do some of our friends. They are fun reminders of the day! I loved working with Nisha at Fluerish on the flowers. I had read “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and was blown away. After losing my mom last year, it was important to me to have moss in my bouquet, which in Victorian times symbolized maternal love. It meant so much to me because of my mom and because I am a mom now also. I also wished for dogwood, which stands for love undiminished by adversity. We chose things we love and included friends as much as possible. It made the whole thing easy to plan and it all came together in a way that was truly special.”

Wedding Details:

Venue: The Smith Tower // Catering: Skillet Street Food  // Cake: Bakery Nouveau // Floral Design: Nisha at Fluerish// DJ: Sean Toomey // Bride’s Dress:  Juan Carlos Obando // Bride’s Shoes: Alexander McQueen, Ebay Score! // Groom’s Apparel: Hugo Boss suit and Alexander McQueen tie.