Wedding Flowers

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

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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

Erica + Nick's Titlow Lodge Wedding | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Venue: Titlow Lodge

Officiant: Jared Deloach

Dress: Vera wang

Hair: Janet Newton at Wizard's Hair Spa

Makeup: Geneva Newton

Flowers: DIY Bride/Bridesmaids

Catering: Chantel Gills from Anar Seattle

Cake: Celebrity Cake Studio

Band: Father of the bride, Gary Crooks, and Uncle Tim Blucher

 

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

Kenzi + Daniel's Lake St. Clair Elopement | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Little elopements in unique venues, houses or Airbnb’s are TOTALLY a thing, and an amazing thing at that, #givemealltheelopements! Intimate, private and sweet, elopements take the pressure away from the planning, coordinating and money that goes into a big wedding. Brides and grooms can focus on each other and the people and things that are most important to them rather than trying to focus on all the events that happen on a big wedding day. Elopements are perfect for the sweet, adventurous couples that aren’t tied to tradition and pleasing others.

Planning and elopement is much easier than a big wedding as well…. venue, photographer, officiant, dress, suit, flowers and snacks! The only thing to do after that is sit back, get married and have a blast. Oh and of course print a few cards to send off to loved ones to announce your elopement!

Elopements can also be done in adventurous locations, so if there is a location that is sentimental to you and your boo then that could be a good option! See more adventurous elopement ideas HERE.

Kenzi + Daniel eloped at a private residence at Lake Saint Clair in Olympia, Washington. This custom built house added such personality to their day. I loved that they skipped tradition once more and got ready together rather than separate. The photos of Daniel zipping up Kenzi’s dress and Kenzi tying Daniel’s tie are priceless! Sweet moments, unconditional love and yummy treats, my kind of day!

See Kenzi + Daniel's PNWesty (I totally need to patent that word!) engagement session HERE.

Florist: The Amazing Heidi from A Moment in Time Floral Design

Make-up: Sable of Hello There, Lovely

Venue: Private Residence/ Lake St. Clair

Macrons: Macarons by Mel

Announcement: Sandpaper

Dress: Lulus

Vendors, you did amazing putting together all the little details that made this day so memorable!

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's 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

Travia's Ft. Steilacoom Bridal Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Oh briiiiiiiiiiiiides! I know I post lots of these bridal sessions, but I just LOVE doing them! Such a great way to get some beautiful images of yourself and by doing your session on a day other than your wedding day you'll be more relaxed and it won't be taking away time you could be spending with your guests.

 

 

“Work on being in love with the person in the mirror who has been through so much but is till standing.”

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” – Anna Taylor

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

“Don’t ever allow yourself to forget how incredibly special you are, even for a single second. Without you, the world would not be as magnificent. Let yourself remember to love again, starting with you loving you.”

“You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” “If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.” “Demonstrate love by giving it, unconditionally, to yourself. And as you do, you will attract others into your life who will love you without conditions.

Bouquet by A Moment in Time Floral Design

Check out more beautiful bridal sessions below!! Also if you are in need of hair, makeup or florals for your bridal session click HERE.

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

Leia's Bridal Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

What is better than one wedding dress? THREE! 

Can't decide on which dress you want to wear on your wedding day? Why not rent a few and do a bridal portrait session! You'll know which dress is right by comfort and how the dress looks in your portraits.

Plus it's so much fun to explore and get some amazing pictures!

Gorgeous Bouquets by Heidi at A Moment in Time Floral Design <---Hit her up for your DREAM bouquet!

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

Winnifred + Michael's Vintage Cherry Blossom Elopement | Olympia Wedding Photographer

One of my favorite times of the year is spring. Why do you ask?? Well, there are quite a few reasons... the birds start singing, flowers and plants start to bloom, the sun starts to make a presence..... blah blah blah. Really it just comes down to the Cherry Blossoms blooming! No joke. I love all the happy spring vibes but I'm totally and utterly obsessed with the gorgeous pink blossoms that pop up everywhere around Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle and the majority of the PNW. There are some places, like the University of Washington, that are especially gorgeous and thus very popular for photo shoots while the trees are blooming. There are also some hidden little gems like this lovely driveway lined with trees!!

A perfect way to celebrate the beauty that nature so graciously grants us, like these phenomenal blooms (or the breathtaking mountains of the PNW etc) is to document your love in that absolutely pristine scenery.  Not only do you get some unique and gorgeous portraits of you and your love, but every time you see the blossoms you'll think back to those sweet little moments and be vividly reminded of how strong and perfect your love was at that moment. 

There are not many things that rival the beauty and perfection of nature, but unconditional love, and the raw connection shared between lovers is on that list. Winnifred (Winni) + Michael definitely share that connection, it was really fun to watch them laugh, cuddle and share secret smiles throughout their day. Also, Winni's wedding dress is vintage and was originally worn by a close friend's grandma on her wedding day. How cool is that to see it make a comeback and in such a special way! It's was a perfect addition for the vintage look that Winni envisioned!

Also, these beautiful trees are quite the nice reminder that the rain will soon slow and the summer sun will dry up the Pacific Northwest and give us a much needed break from the soggy Washington winter. So that's amazing!! If you are as in love with these beautiful trees as I am, keep your eyes peeled in early spring and you're sure to find a sweet little spot for some amazing photos! Message me and let's start planning out your vision!

Flowers by 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

Terrianna's Bridal Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

A little bit of beautiful, and rare, Washington winter sun, a breathetaking bride and the perfect bouquet really go a long way!

Epic floral masterpiece by 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

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

Nicole + Timothy's Pt. Defiance Rose Garden Wedding | Tacoma Wedding Photographer

Nicole + Timothy said 'I do' among all the flowers in the Pt. Defiance Rose Garden in Tacoma, Washington. 

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