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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

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

Tayla + Danny's Rein Fire Ranch Wedding | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Tayla + Danny had a fun and relaxed wedding at Rein Fire Ranch, surrounded by their closest friends and family! 

Throughout much of the engagement Danny, a soldier in the U.S. Army, was deployed to Afghanistan. Tayla took wedding planning by the horns and rolled though every detail until it was perfect. Danny did do some awesome planning from afar too... he hired me to shoot his homecoming as a surprise for Tayla!! Whoo, that was SO much fun. I had to bring my husband and friend to make sure Tayla didn't spot me, so shout out to Kyle and Leslie for helping me pull that one off!!

On the big day, everyone was laughing, smiling and having a great time. It was really sweet to see the excitement and anticipation in Tayla + Danny's faces. They were both so happy and so ready to say 'I do'. Seeing the anticipation and excitement my couples experience on their wedding days is one of my favorite parts of being a wedding photographer. It's so heart warming to SEE and FEEL the love and connections shared by two humans in love!

Tayla + Danny, you two are both so special and the love that you have for each other is beyond compare! I am so happy you chose me to capture your wedding day and I feel like I've made some great friends as well! I can't wait to see all the fun things life will bring you and I look forward to being there to capture all your important moments.

Check out all the amazing vendors below!! There are so many talented small businesses that focus on weddings in the area, love it!

Make-up: Bethany Yackel Beauty

Venue: Rein Fire Ranch

Cake: Wanna cupcake?

Bartending: Pour Girls and Some Guys

Catering: Brank's BBQ

Cake Stands and Card Display: The Meaningful Details

Flowers: J9Bing

Dress Alterations: Fashion Fittings

Dress: The Wedding Bell

Suits: Men's Warehouse

Second Shooter: Picturesque Art Photography (Thanks girl, you're amazing!)

 

  

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

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

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