Monthly Archives: September 2010


Russell and Brynn, a match made in heaven and a day that was flawless.  Simply put, God was smiling on them.  We had the great fortune to be at the Seattle Golf Club, (where Jennifer Barnhart made all their wishes come true) and sunshine unexpectedly poured out of the sky.

The festive mood seemed to permeate this elegant setting throughout the day.  As guests arrived, this spirit became contagious.

I had the great pleasure of working with Tim Stever (fabulous DJ and owner of Beautiful Noise) and talented Nicole Goddard, photographer/diva that divides her time between LA and Seattle.

I loved that Brynn and Russell wrote “surprise” vows to one another that truly was poetry to hear.  Laughter, romance, a sunset over Puget Sound that had us all on the deck watching in awe, followed by music, great story telling and dancing.  Perfect in every way.

“Out of the Box” Bride

I just returned from San Francisco, after a week of participating in what I describe as a “Hands On” wedding.   This is my niece Kerry – who doesn’t settle for anything but extraordinary. And most frequently she invents it, like some of us breath. Here she is teaming with her mother Pam building her own bridal bouquet with the San Francisco Bay shining her on.   Other amazing creations that shined:  hand sewn packets given to all guests at the church that included directions to the reception lodge coupled with custom car bingo highlighting our route. Also included in the packet: sage seeds paired with sage recipes.  Kerry and husband Andy used an heirloom typewriter as an interactive guest book that had family and friends bonding while all discovered old school machinery.

Here is the final fitting of Kerry’s self-designed wedding dress made by patient and talented mother Pam.  Perfect fit, flow and smile.

Last Tuesday we had a field trip discovering four floors of a one-of-a-kind fabric store in downtown San Fran named “Britex”.  Imagine one floor dedicated solely to buttons and buckles!  Pure heaven for the creators walking among us.

I call this “Rustic Genius”. Double layers of muslin, rough edged, using lace as a stencil, add copper metalic spray paint and you have fabulous table runners.  Layer with custom designed tea light holders carved out of thick tree branches peppered amongst jarred greens.  It redefines “ELEGANT” – but that is our Kerry!

As with all weddings there are challenges.  Ours came the day before the wedding when the news found us that my husband’s father (and Mother of the Bride, Pam’s father) had passed away.  A tumble of emotions followed as we gathered strength to finish up our projects.  Life hands us odd timing and we pulled together as the amazing team we are.  My thanks to all for making Kerry’s day so lovely, in spite of our sadness in losing our dear Hap.  My father (in-law) loved to watch at family gatherings as we created, laughed and cooked.  He just didn’t want to miss the “Hands On” weddings that we keep producing together.  And I don’t  think he missed this one!  This is a photo of Hap and Lil on their wedding day.  It is my hope that Kerry and Andy share the love and devotion that made these two Soul Mates for over 60 years.

Erin’s Day

Erin and Michael have waited so long for this.  And it was worth it.  The sun honored their wishes. As the waterfront warmed, family and friends gathered to celebrate these nuptials.  Their mothers were each escorted by their little grandchildren, our ring bearer and flower girl, Kingston and Bella.  Our hosts, Gene and Tom, were so gracious and calm.  Children of all ages made their presence known and it was all as it should be with little ones… spontaneous, full of surprises, compromises and laughter.

Double Happiness

Tony & Janet’s story is rich in longevity, adventure, faith and cultural hurdles.  And here we are, so excited about their upcoming wedding.   Parents will both be traveling great distances to join us.  The interpreter is preparing for our partnering of this very special day.  We all carved out time in our busy schedules to enjoy a lunch of fresh roasted red pepper/tomato soup and the comfort of grilled sannies.

They both work hard.  Tony is an accomplished chef and is working more recently in Seattle for Fed Ex.  Janet is completing her studies and training to become Montessori instructor.  Somehow they still made it a priority to create these telling tags to wrap around their invitations  that display 10 years of devotion – and determination!

Tara and Robert

The ingredients were heady.  Tara and Robert, both imaginative, energetic and filled to the brim with exquisite taste. Toss in JM Cellars with owner Peggy Bigelow (as resident muse) Jacky Grotle (Event Success) as coordinator, Lisa Dupar cooking up culinary nirvana, flower displays in the rich colors that makes us all love fall, from Scarlet Blooms and Teddi Yaeger being anywhere and everywhere, clicking to keep the memories alive. Sweet touch: Glassy Baby lights placed on every flat surface…romance was in the air.  Add live music, lots of rain (that didn’t dampen THIS group’s spirits) and you have an evening in heaven.  I fell in love with Tara and Robert at our first meeting.  Gracious, appreciative and madly in love.

This is Tara – with her creativity – always flowing and oozing.  She just can’t help it.  And who  else would wrap, ribbon, write, gift, and inspire like this?  Must I mention this is done pre-wedding and honeymoon?

He’s Full of Surprises

Julian called me a few weeks ago wanting to surprise his wife Michelle with a Ten Year Anniversary Vow Renewal!  His wish was to have his children, Sophia and Trey, be ring bearers carrying heirlooms  from Michelle’s relatives.   We collaborated through email orchestrating the sweetest ceremony.  And our “groom” enlisted help from Michelle’s mother Jan, with “surprise” child transport to the Salish Lodge and Spa (all the way from Bainbridge Island!) and colorful fall flowers for everyone.  The thoughtful staff at the Salish even delivered champagne after the ceremony was over!  Michelle was surprised by Julians attention to detail and the charming choices he made for the readings and ceremony.  Here is a photo of the “Family Blessing” that included everyone.  Sometimes romance just gets better.

Jacky – Making it all click

Jacky Grotle from Event Success is such a delightful miracle worker!  I’ve never really seen her magic wand, but I am convinced she keeps one hidden on her person.  She must, because she is always smiling, always calm and always making enchantment out of the ordinary. Here’s a peek at Jacky during a rehearsal last Friday night – flashing that bright smile that brings sunshine to a rainy day.

Suzy’s Feathers

Since I’m on a tangent of writing about over-the-moon fabulous invitations, I must include Suzy & Michael’s inspired “request to attend”.  It is a letterpress invitation (my favorite) with a feather and bird theme.  The cream colored paper stock is as thick as weighty water color paper – which plays well with the muted purple and rich gold inks that pillow deeply.

The RSVP envelopes were embossed as well with feather detailing matching the outside envelopes.  Hand calligraphy in gold ink was the first hint that something unexpected and imaginative would be discovered inside the thick envelope that arrived in the post.

This cream iridescent paper band with the feather attached neatly tied the invitation package together.  Michael did mention in passing, when they came for dinner, that feathers were still resting on most surfaces of the house! Valiant team effort you two!

Suzy’s own word’s:  My invitations were done by a local gal, Tere Mendez of Inkfancy. She has the letterpress in her garage in Phinney Ridge.  I loved working with her, and she was very kind to show me how to do some things myself to save money.  I would recommend her to anyone.

I took Suzy’s advice and went to the site – it is fun, creative and worth a visit!

Tara’s Labor of Love

I seem to have a bevy of artistic and creative brides. This original invitation is to a wedding that takes place soon  – as hinted by the fall colors.  Tara hand-tore the thick textured cream paper and wrapped each invitation in rusty and brown silk ribbon!  The wide print band you see is gold embossed vellum.  The way-cool font with the couple’s names is actually Tara’s fabulous hand writing!

Tara’s hand made wax seal (boasting her soon to be initial)  graced the back of each of her “pocket” envelopes.   She tucked in matching two-layered response cards, and direction details.  More paper had to be torn into submission!  My dedicated bride confessed that untold hours of labor were spent and countless piles of pulp dust were swept from the couple’s floor in preparation of these wedding keepsakes!

The Best of Both Worlds

Adin is from Bosnia and Katie is from Oregon but regardless of the cultural diversity, they have more in common than most.  They love to laugh, work, play and adore each other’s families.  We shared a wonderful evening together where my husband and I delighted in hearing “their story” over a yummy Mexican feast followed by Peach Tatin.  From Katie:

Rev. Mary,

I cannot thank you enough for having Adin and I over to your lovely home for dinner. The food was amazing and the conversation was even better. I feel so at ease now with the plans. You and Harry are wonderful people and we are so blessed to have you a part of our big day.     Love, Katie

This is Kadence and she will be our official flower girl, sand-pourer and mascot for the wedding.  Katie is five and just started kindergarten.

She is the light of Katie and Adin’s life and a constant source of joy and playfulness.

Let the fun begin!