Wedding Portraits

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

Lindsay + Nick's Salish Lodge Wedding | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Venue: Salish Lodge

Make-up: Allison Peck

Hair: Emma Williams of Sweet Lips Hair

Wedding Dress: Casablanca from Weddings With Joy

Groom's Suit: Nordstrom

Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie

Jewelry: Ken Walker Jewelers, Stella & Dot

Bridal Shoes: Nina

Officiant: Miguel Standerry

Wedding Coordinator: Michelle Murphy

Florist: Elle’s Floral Ingenuity

Entertainment: The Nines!

Second Shooter: Entwined Portraits

 

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

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

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

Kailey + Gary's Gold Creek Pond Vow Renewal | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Kailey + Gary were originally married 10 years ago in a small informal ceremony. They were young and in love and ready to take on the world together - which took precedent to the wedding ceremony of their dreams. A decade later, they got to live their dream and renewal their marriage vows surrounded by the mountains and forest of Washington State.

Gary serves in the U.S. Army and is currently stationed in Texas, but Kailey + Gary knew that they wanted to renew their vows near JBLM, since they were originally married here and it holds a special place in their hearts. Thanks to a referral from a mutual friend (Erika, you're the best <3), this beautiful couple contacted me and we begin to piece together this stunning vow renewal. After several location scouting trips and much back and forth correspondence we decided on Gold Creek Pond (for obvious reasons.) As months passed, Kailey found the perfect dress, Hair and Makeup was booked with the lovely Bethany Yackel Beauty, vows of love and support were written and plane tickets were purchased. Kailey, Gary, their son and Kailey's parents flew from Texas to Washington with a vow renewal and then much needed vacation on their minds. Reports of rain lingered on the weather report and we all experienced a roller coaster ride of nerves and emotions due to it. Finally, the day before the vow renewal, Mother Nature decided on an accurate forecast and warmth and sun were waiting for us when we arrived at Gold Creek Pond.

Talk about the perfect combination of PNWesty (I need to copyright this word) scenery + amazing couple + perfect weather + a twist of adventure and storytelling. I heart this more than words can express.

Congrats to Kailey + Gary on your 10 year vow renewal! I'm so grateful you chose me to document it.

Hair and Makeup:  Bethany Yackel Beauty

Can you picture you and your love in these images? If you're considering an intimate wedding ceremony, vow renewal or elopement contact me today to start planning!

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

Amy + Jimmy's Hall at Fauntleroy Wedding | Seattle Wedding Photographer

Amy + Jimmy picked the perfect day to marry! March in the Pacific Northwest is usually pretty soggy and drab but with a strike of luck the day was not only full of laughter, love, friends and family but it was also full of sunshine and warmth. The perfect start to a lifetime together!

One thing I liked about Amy + Jimmy's wedding is that they kept it simple and made it about what was most important to them.... people. It was fun to follow them throughout the day as they interacted with their friends and family. They weighed out tradition and people on a scale and were able to put together an amazing balance, and experience for their friends and loved ones. Many times I see brides indifferent about traditions or doing them because ... well, because it's tradition. I am definitely a fan of the new wedding trend of setting tradition aside and doing what works best for the bride, groom and their guests. Hooray!

There is a new twist on an old tradition that I do really like though.... first look with the bride and her dad! I love when my brides and grooms do a first look, or even get ready together as it adds an emotional/unique aspect to the wedding (and makes family photos before the ceremony possible!) There is just something so special about the bond between a father and daughter, I always get teary eyed during these first looks! Of course I was raised by a (simply amazing) single dad and we are still very close, so that could be why I love first looks with brides and their dads SO much! Scroll down to see the first look between Amy and her dad, it's pretty darn cute!! Side Note: .... John Goodman?!?!

Overall, Amy + Jimmy's wedding at, The Hall at Fauntleroy in Seattle was pretty darn amazing! Congrats to Amy + Jimmy on their nuptials, may you always be surrounded by as much love and support as I witnessed on your wedding day!

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

Jenny's Bridal Portraits | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Jenny's bridal portraits were taken in a swanky loft in downtown Seattle and it was a perfect location for them! The vintage loft was full of character, deep neutral colors and rich textures that really brought some personality and depth to the photos. One wall of the quaint and charming space was knee to ceiling windows with long, sheer, white curtains that softened the light as it shown through the windows. These curtains also served as a visual warden, intercepting the view of the outside world and helping maintain the vintage feel of the loft. A few times throughout this beautiful vintage bridal session I stopped and looked around, feelings of being in a different era lingered over me. As I blinked myself back to 2018, I saw endless opportunities for amazing images!! 

Ladies and gents - are you wondering what bridal portraits are? Are you wondering why you should plan a bridal portraits session? Check out my blog post '8 Reasons You Should Plan a Bridal Session' for some answers! Also, scroll down past all the images of the lovely Jenny for a peek into some other bridal portraits. Indoor, outdoor - even bridal boudoir is an option!! So much fun and a great way to capture some beautiful portraits surrounding such a memorable, once in a lifetime, event!

For more information or to book your own session, contact me today!

Happy Thursday, friends!

Bride: Jenny

HMUA: Pacific Brides

Dress: Edith Elan

Flowers: Sublime Stems