Wedding Bouquet

Jessica + Michael's Cabin Creek Lodge Wedding | Washington Wedding Photographer

Jessica + Michael said their “I do’s” at a quaint little lodge in Easton, WA called Cabin Creek Lodge. Some of the amazing features of this venue are multiple sleeping areas, a large game room, a wrap around porch big enough for an outdoor reception, an indoor reception area, a professional kitchen, an outdoor bar area, a fire pit, and a spectacular woodsy ceremony location. It is also situated on a little creek which is a beautiful location for bride and groom portraits or just to wander and explore. This venue really has it all and is woodsy and secluded enough for an intimate wedding but located fairly close to Seattle. Proximity and easy access from SEATAC airport is ideal for those guests flying in from out of state or country… which leads us back to the multiple sleeping areas so that guests can have a room indoors or even throw up a tent outside. No need to block out hotel rooms for your wedding guests when they can stay right at the venue. I’d say that is pretty handy and a huge plus to this venue.

It truly was an honor to capture this sweet couple’s wedding day. The father of the bride is a photographer as well and could have photographed the wedding himself but Jessica wanted him to be present for her big day and not busy taking pictures the whole time. I thought that was really sweet and it was obvious when they did their first look and throughout the day how much these two love each other.

My favorite part of Jessica + Michael’s wedding (besides the groom’s tears when he saw his gorgeous bride walking down the aisle) is when Michael read a letter that Jessica had written him not long after they met. Michael was deployed to Afghanistan and the two were corresponding by letter and fueling their romantic relationship. Michael, knowing that some day he was going to marry this girl, saved and unopened letter that Jessica had written him just for this occasion. He carefully opened the letter and read it’s contents to the crowd, resulting in tears, laughter and a touch of blushing from the bride. Seriously impressed by this sweet gesture! Congratulations Jessica + Michael! You two are so amazing together!

Venue: Cabin Creek Lodge

Florist: Auburn Flower Farm

Cake: Regina Barale

Caterer: Jim Hunter + Associates

HMUA: Mckenzie Galanti

Officiant: Jessica’s Grandfather

Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero / Rebecca Ingram

Wedding Party Dresses: The Wedding Bell

Jewelry/Rings: John Sampieri

Suits/Ties: The Wedding Bell

Check out Jessica + Michael’s engagement session HERE!

 

XOXO,

Sarah

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Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

35 Ideas to Make Your Wedding Day Unique | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Customize your day, make it fun! Here are some ideas to make your wedding day unique!


1. Pay homage to the important details of your relationship… state you met, restaurant from your first date, favorite activity to do together etc by decorating your reception or cocktail hour space with details of these places.

2. Avoid some of the pre-ceremony jitters by getting ready together. Laugh and spend the morning with your love, then help each other get dressed. More fun, less stress.

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3. Go paperless! Send out electronic invites or use embroidered hankies or cloth for napkins, menus and invites.

4. Choose a colorful dress and have your bridesmaids wear white.

5. Select mixed gender bridal parties. Man of Honor and Groomsmaid have a nice ring to them!

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6. Opt for a non-traditional bouquet. Feather, greens, pine cones and dried flowers are all beautiful and unique. See some ideas for epic and non-traditional bouquets HERE.

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7. Instead of the traditional unity ceremony with sand or candles build or buy a clock and start the time on it during your ceremony. This idea is different and you can display the clock in your home.

8. Don’t let mom feel left out! Have both your parents walk you down the aisle. You can also have someone very special like Grandma or your bestie do this!

9. Skip the bridal party introductions and go right to dinner! This gives you more time with your guests and everyone is ready to eat by then anyway.

10. Instead of a head table for the wedding party, set up round or square tables in the middle of your guests. Head tables put the wedding party on display while they eat!

11. Decorate your tables with small custom items rather than large floral arrangements. Tall vases block views of the other side of the table and limit conversation between table mates.

12. Instead of having everyone line up for posed family photos, schedule 20 or so minutes to socialize with them. Laugh, tell stories, hug, pray… and have your photographer capture these interactions without the pressure of posed photos.

13. During cocktail hour support local businesses and show off your city by setting up tasting stations with local cuisine. Seafood if you live near the water, appetizers with fresh veggies if you live in farm country etc.

14. Toss out the idea of doing a garter and bouquet toss and replace them with a fun game that includes all your guests, instead of just the single ones.

15. Who says the flower girl has to be a young girl? Anyone can be a flower girl, so designate your granny, bestie or even your college roomie!

16. Set up a confetti bar and let your guests custom make little bags of confetti to throw. Dried or fresh flowers, flower petals, herbs, leaves, leaf confetti are just some ideas of what to include. Think biodegradable for easy cleanup!

17. Guest books usually end up in a box in storage, never to be seen again. Instead of a traditional book choose a more useful item like a wall hanging, picture or wooden puzzle to be signed.

18. Instead of offering your guests small trinkets for coming to your wedding, make a donation to your favorite charity in their name.

19. Create a scavenger hunt of items that can be found at the wedding. This allows your guests to interact more on your big day and have some fun!

20. Send a map and a list of “must do’s” for your city to your guests that are coming from out of town. This extra step will make your guests feel welcome and help them see your city.

21. Custom wine bottle labels are a great way to add a unique touch to your big day and the bottles can be saved as souvenirs by guests.

22. Have your best friends or parents create a trivia quiz about you two. This can be light and fun and get guests laughing.

23. Create a circular ceremony location with curved rows of chairs that go nearly all around except for a path to get to and from the center.. This way guests can view the ceremony better and you will be surrounded by your loved ones, literally. LOL.

24. Instead of a traditional cake or cupcakes, have a ice cream or sno-cone bar for guests to indulge in.

25. Another idea for dessert is to have a “family recipes” theme and serve desserts that are important and familiar to you. Display the story and importance of each dish and set out copies of the recipes for your guests.

26. Write a sweet message to groom on the bottom of his dress shoe. This will be a cute little surprise for him when he is getting ready!

27. Skip the buffet and go for a family style meal. It’s more personable an intimate.

28. Stack piles of cheese, olives, crackers, jam and other finger foods on large wood slabs as a unique way to display your hors d'oeuvres rather than on separate plates.

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29. Instead of tossing your bouquet to a crowd of single women call on one woman that has made a positive impact on your life and celebrate her with a few words and giving her your bouquet.

30. Serve featured cocktails! Each of you can choose your favorite drink and those will be featured as the special cocktails of the night.

31. Make each of your guests feel special with a DIY flower bar. Provide flowers, pins, ribbons and basic instructions to make corsages and boutonniere and let your guests make their own custom pieces to wear.

32 Set up a table full of items to entertain your smallest of guests. Games, puzzles, bubbles, coloring sheets and kid-friendly snacks are all ideas you can stock your kids table with.

33. People love options! A fully stocked champagne, bloody mary or sangria bar can be an amazing and fun addition to your wedding! For champagne you can include berries, flavored syrups and cotton candy. For bloody mary’s stock it with olives, celery, A1, shrimp, pickled beans and hot sauce. For sangria you can have cut fruit such as apples, oranges or limes.

34. Surprise your guests with and end of night food truck. Offer a few of your favorite foods to fill their belly’s and soak up any of the… uh..um, … liquid … sloshing around in their stomachs.

35. On a smaller scale, as the night is winding down offer a ‘midnight snack’ to your guests. Cookies and milk or hot cocoa are great ideas!

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XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Ingrid + Dan's Ballard Bay Club Wedding | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Ingrid + Dan tied the knot this summer in a lovely outdoor ceremony at the Ballard Bay Club. Surrounded by friends, family and beautiful weather the day was simply amazing!

The morning of the wedding, both Ingrid and Dan got ready with a handful of their closest friends. It was all laughs and smiles (and yummy snacks) as we prepared for the big day. We then met at the Ballard Locks for the first look. There happened to be a concert happening but we found a private little spot in the woods for Ingrid + Dan’s intimate first glance at each other.

After the first look and family and wedding party portraits we headed over to the main venue for the Ketubah signing. Ingrid + Dan found the MOST amazing Ketubah on Etsy, isn’t it amazing?!?! What a beautiful collision of tradition and modern art.

The ceremony went off without a hitch and the Rabbi Aaron kept the atmosphere light and fun. (Side note, if you need a Rabbi, check him out - he’s great!)

One nice thing about having a wedding at the Ballard Bay Club is that the ceremony, cocktail hour location and dinner area is all together. There is an outdoor patio area as well for those who prefer to be outside. Such a beautiful space!

The whole day was just lovely! Also, I’d like to give a shout out to Anne Marie Jostol, she just does florals as a hobby but holy cow did she do an amazing job. I was baffled when I found out she didn’t have a Wedding florals business cause she should!

First Look Location: The Ballard Locks

Venue: Ballard Bay Club

Wedding Coordinator: Bridget Boggiano of The Plan Wedding Planning & Design

Bride Makeup: Emily Oliver Beauty

Bridesmaid's Makeup: Robertmakesfaces

Hair: Jess Sandiforth

Wedding Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie

Cake: Morfey's Cake

Invitations: Minted.

Personalized Cutting Board: Blushing Bull Branding + Design

Bride Ring: Ben Bridge

Florist: Ann Marie Jostol

Rabbi: Aaron Meyer

Band: Blue Wave Band

Second Shooter: Tammy Dalquist Photography

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Jess + Jeff's Woodland Park Zoo Wedding | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Dress: Lillian West via I Do Bridal

Bride's Shoes: Steve Madden

Bouquet: Eco Flowers

Suit: Calvin Klein via Men's Warehouse

Church: Luther Memorial - Lutheran Church ELCA

Reception: Woodland Park Zoo

Catering/desserts: Lancer Catering

Second Shooter: Tammy Dalquist Photography

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Brenda + Sal's Cannon Beach Wedding Portraits | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Let's talk about Brenda + Sal's STUNNING bridal session at Cannon Beach! That light! That view! That bouquet! That gorgeous couple! This session is truly a PNW Wedding Photographer's dream come true!

Brenda + Sal have been married for a few years but planned this gorgeous bridal session in their last days in the PNW before moving home to Arizona. Such a great reminder of their time in the Pacific Northwest and a great little weekend adventure for their little family of three!

If these amazing pictures don't speak for themselves and you are wondering why you should do a bridal session, check out  8 Reasons You Should Plan a Bridal Session!

Flower: A Moment in Time Floral Design

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Jade Bridal Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Rachel + Eric's Newcastle Golf Club Wedding | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Rachel + Eric tied the knot on January 6th as our first wedding of 2018 and what a way to start the year off! This wedding was by far our favorite of the year (haha I made myself giggle, but seriously I think it's going to stay that way!) Rachel + Eric are such genuine, sweet and talented humans and they were such a pleasure to work with. Just by spending one day with their friends and family I can totally see how loved and supported these two are. I almost forgot I was working because they made me feel so welcome which is a wonderful feeling.

One very special element to their big day is the time and love that went into making their wedding so beautiful! Rachel and Eric's friends and family members came together to create all the stunning floral arrangements and reception decorations that were all absolutely gorgeous. How special to have such support and involvement from the ones you love. My wedding was similar and it is some of the best memories of the day.

One more EXCELLENT note about the day is it was foggy out! I know, most people think foggy is kind of gloomy but as a Pacific Northwest wedding photographer I was stoked! It makes for a clean, interesting and serene background! As Washington winter days go we ended up getting pretty lucky! The raid held off for the most part with just a few drizzly spells here and there. Thankfully it stayed dry during wedding party and bride and groom portraits so we could do them outside and capture some of the view of the golf course. Those bride and groom photos with the foggy background! #dreamy #ilovefog #yaaaaas #hairgoals

Desserts: Midori Bakery

Dress: Nicole Miller via Blue Sky Bridal

Venue: Golf Club at Newcastle

Florals: Friends + Family

Live Entertainment: The bride and groom!!!!

Thanks to my second shooter Malory Larson Photography

Lizzie + Teron's Snowy Winter Elopement | Olympia Wedding Photographer

First blog of 2018, friends! Here's to 2017, I hope it was a positive and memorable year!

When it comes to a December wedding or elopement, the combination of rich dark green trees and soft white snow infiltrates the dreams of every pacific northwest wedding photographer. Lizzie + Teron's big day was just that! A dream transformed into reality.

The weather was pretty standard for a Washington winter. Rain, fog and cold! But it made for some epic scenery. Even a 'little' rain didn't stop us from having a great time and capturing some amazing photos!

Lizzie + Teron, you both are so sweet and it was such a pleasure to work with you! I love how you both set aside the unpleasant elements (brrrrrrrr) in order to make some amazing and adventurous portraits.

A HUGE shout out to the amazing vendors that helped make this experience amazing. Your contributions were all flawless and it was so easy working with you all! High-five!

Brides, if you are still looking for vendors for your 2018/2019 wedding contact these ladies! They are all top notch and I highly recommend them for their quality of customer service and beautiful work!

Hair + Make-up: Bethany Yackel Beauty

Floral Bouquet and Crown: A Moment in Time Floral Design

Cake: Turquoise Pink Sweets

Dinnerware/decor: Balancing Balloons

There are many epic locations around the world (that some day I'd love to shoot weddings at) but it's sessions like this that makes me realize how lucky I am to be a wedding photographer in the pacific northwest. I love the raw beauty that the scenery provides us here in Washington. That raw beauty combined with a good love story to capture is definitely my jam! I'm looking forward to all the adventure that 2018 brings!!

If you've got a story to tell and a hunger for adventure, message me and let's make your dreams into reality.

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Amber + Sam Say 'I do' at Stocker Farms | Snohomish Wedding Photographer

Stocker Farms is a quaint little farm venue in Snohomish, Washington. A big, and beautifully redone, red barn acts as an indoor area for ceremony or reception location. For summer weddings there is an outdoor ceremony location with a beautiful archway and real wood pews. A beautiful setting to say "I do." For wedding portraits there are fields of corn, a variety of flowers, the barn, an old water tower, a wall of tall dark green trees and more! The setting sun peeking around the water tower and through the trees adds a bit of magic to your wedding day. My favorite park of the venue is the entertainment section. There is basketball and yard games and a giant bag style trampoline to jump on. I love capturing emotion, especially happiness, so watching Amber + Sam's wedding guests laugh and smile as they played in the yard was definitely a highlight!

Amber + Sam, lovingly referred to as Samber, are fun and sweet! Such a light-hearted and genuine couple. Their love for each other and their sweet little family is worn on their sleeves. I could FEEL the love that they have for their kids and family and it just made their wedding day even more special. As a wedding photographer, I try to capture the most raw and real emotions so I just love when couples are so genuine!

Thank you to Amber + Sam for trusting me to capture your wedding! I'm honored to have been a part of your big day and I hope these memories bring you joy and smiles every time you look at them.

Make-up: Kasi Doyle

Hair: Krysta Betenbough

Hair Clip: Nicole Carter of Regalia Designs

Florist: Amber Baker (Yes, this amazing bride is an artist and made all these stunning flowers!)

Dress: David's Bridal

Venue: Stocker Farms

Second Shooter: One Thousand Words