Tag Archives: Jon Almeda

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.

st. marks + edgewater wedding- dakota & aymeric

Dakota grew up in Tacoma. Aymeric in France. It’s amazing to me that two people from such far away places can meet by chance and be so perfectly suited for each other. Their wedding was in October on a blustery yet romantic Seattle day. I loved the classic style of their wedding from Dakota’s elegant dress, the Rolls Royce and the understated yet stunning interior of St. Mark’s Cathedral. The reception was at The Edgewater Hotel on the Seattle waterfront. During the party the waves crashed against the pier and the wind shook the windows adding an extra layer of sound to the dance party.

From the bride Dakota- “We really wanted to make the day seem “timeless”. Since Aymeric is French, we also really wanted to include a hint of a French theme without making it seem kitschy or cliche. We felt that everything would come together if it was simple and elegant. I think we each have different favorite moments from the wedding day, but both are equally memorable. I loved the first look, having Aymeric  finally see my dress after a year of hearing about it was very emotional and special, his face and reaction was just priceless. On the other hand, Aymeric’s most memorable moment was watching me walk down the aisle and the ceremony, which was wonderful and emotional for both of us! We really wanted to thank three major teams that helped our wedding be the best that it could be and helped us remember the biggest day of our lives. First off, Heather and Jon, you are dream photographers, and the photographs you captured were more amazing than I could have thought possible. Secondly, our videographers Bello Pictures, this video clip is so perfect, we can’t believe that video is from our wedding; we felt like movie stars. And last but most definitely not least, Suzanne Molt with Dwelling in Tacoma; she took our simple vision of our wedding day and turned it into the most elegant and stunning event.”

Wedding Details:

Venue: The Edgewater Hotel // Ceremony: St. Mark’s Cathedral // Event Decor and Design: Dwelling // Graphic Design: Passio Creative, Heather Stajger // Floral Design: J. Robbins Florist, Jennifer Robbins // Rentals & Linens: Grand Event Rentals // Bride’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier // Bride’s Make-up & Hair: Salon Maison // Groom’s Apparel: A. Z by Zegna  // Transportation: British Motor Coach // Baguette Favors: Tom Douglas, Dahlia Bakery // Dessert: Macrina Bakery // Videography: Bello Pictures

blogging binge- week one

Starting today I’m going on a blogging binge. I have become a little overwhelmed with the amount of really cool weddings that I haven’t posted yet. My friend and fellow photographer Karen Obrist started a Tuesday blogging club to help keep each other accountable and focused on blogging at least once a week. I loved the idea and posted for a couple weeks when she would send me friendly reminder texts. But with the sheer volume of what I want to share, posting once a week would still take me forever to get caught up, so I fell off the wagon and started making excuses. I have now decided to go at this like I did Game of Thrones and binge my way through all our awesome weddings that have been hiding out on our hard drives. I figure if I can watch 2-3 episodes of whatever show I’m binging on per night I can just as easily binge on blogging too. I doubt I’ll be doing three a day but you can count on at least one new wedding to be posted here every day for the next month. For this first month I’ll be focusing weddings from 2013 and 2014 or Seasons 6 and 7. Here’s a little peek of what will be featured.