Amy & Paul got married in a very nice back yard wedding… a really big back yard.
At Firstlight Photography we get invited to photograph amazing weddings, but this Valentine’s Day we experienced a first. We felt like Charlie peeling back that golden ticket and gaining entrance to the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory. Theo Chocolate was giving away a wedding to be set INSIDE the historic factory. A pop-up elopement on Valentine’s Day – and we were able to photograph this one-of-a-kind wedding!
We got in touch with the Drew Zandonella-Stannard, the Marketing Manager at Theo Chocolate, and asked her just how this genius plot was developed.
Was this the first wedding at Theo?
“We’ve had many proposals and a few weddings inside the factory, but this was the very first wedding giveaway we’ve done on Facebook especially for our fans. And it definitely was the first wedding to take place on Valentine’s Day and on our factory floor, no less!”
What was the inspiration for the Feb 14th wedding giveaway?
“At Theo, we believe in celebrating love in all its many forms. We wanted to do something different and fun for our social media fans on Valentine’s Day and thought that giving away an elopement inside of our chocolate factory with generous local partners like Firstlight Photography, Hotel 1000, Terra Bella Flowers, and Westward restaurant would make for an amazing and unique experience.”
What stood out about the contest winners’ story?
“Each one of the couples who submitted their love stories to us were special. It was extremely difficult to narrow it down to the final four! In the end, our Facebook fans chose Brenda and Andrew. It was such an honor to witness their commitment to each other as well as their love for their baby to be. Plus, the Seahawks jerseys they wore in their profile photo were a huge hit!”
Brenda, the beautiful bride, shared details of Andrew and her story and how she was able to secure a truly unique wedding.
How did you learn about the Valentine’s giveaway?
“A friend of mine told us about the competition. Her mom had sent her the information. Funny side note, she lives on the east coast – the power of social media and subscription lists. I entered us and actually didn’t tell Andrew until we were selected!”
Your profile story garnered quite a following. What did you do to rally the social media troops?
“We shared several times each day and sent messages to almost all of our facebook friends asking them to like and share. We had friends that took it upon themselves to do the same.”
What is the Andrew and Brenda story? How did you two come to be?
“My fiancé and I met when we were in junior high. We were inseparable until senior year of high school when we parted ways as many young people do. I went to college, and he stayed around our hometown working. Four years passed and we both had been down some pretty broken paths filled with heartache. On July 4, 2009 we saw each other and all of those young love feelings came flooding back. We were again inseparable. Things moved pretty quickly for us and we ended up moving in together within a few months. We have spent the last (almost) six years rebuilding our relationship into the great thing that it is today.
We are that couple that doesn’t go a day without seeing each other. We have two dogs, and a house and live in our hometown. Things have been great for us for a while. We have spent the last few years traveling being reunited. Last fall we found out we are pregnant with our first child – a boy! Our baby is due June 7, 2015.
We are so excited and basking in the fact that we have become so much closer already. Lucky for us, there’s more to come. While in Hawaii in December, Andrew proposed to me on the beach near a small lagoon. We were not sure when we would have a chance to have a wedding with a baby on the way, and were excited to win the Theo competition. We have always loved our story, but having the Theo Chocolate wedding makes it that much more unique and special. We are so thankful for the life that we have together.”
There were only a few days from being announced winner to saying your “I Do’s” How did this play out for you?
“On Friday of the competition, I took a risk and bought my wedding dress. It’s not returnable, but I figured that we planned to get married regardless of if we won the competition. Luckily, my dress was only $200. I am a planner. I can’t stand not having a plan. So, naturally, I planned everything out in my head as the competition was going on. If we win, this, this, this and, this needs to occur. Luckily, we didn’t have to do much because Theo took care of most everything!”
What will you remember the most from your wedding?
“I think what we will remember most from our wedding is the unique situation. We have been hearing so much about it even a month later because people are just amazed at the situation. It has, I hope, been a great advertising piece for Theo. I especially think this because we live in Kitsap County, so people do not know of all of the shops in Seattle. We have an amazing wedding story, thanks to Theo. We were so grateful for the entire thing and were treated like royalty!”
Dress & Shoes
The dress was purchased at Benita’s in Silverdale. Since middle school Brenda has been shopping there for dance and pageant dresses. Her dress had to fit over her pregnant belly so her sister and good friend met at Benita’s and the staff pulled five options. Brenda knew at first sight which dress stood out. She tried it on first because she fell in love with it immediately. She did try on the other dresses, but went with the first dress of the day.
Brenda wore sparkling diamond hoops that were a Christmas gift from Andrew. Her grandma asked her to incorporate a ring that belonged to her grandfather. He found the stone in the mountains of Wyoming. Brenda showcased the ring in the bow on the back of her dress.
She found her shoes at Benita’s and went with a sensible low heel since she was pregnant and wanted to be as comfortable as possible on her big day.
Terra Bella Floral Design and Mercantile provided the wedding flowers. Terra Bella Floral Design and Mercantile hosted a pop-up shop inside Theo Chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Their selection of floral design is unique and artful. They are a sustainable flower shop, sourcing local, organic and consciously grown flowers.
About Theo Chocolate
Theo Chocolate is proud to be the very first Organic, Fair Trade certified bean-to-bar chocolate maker in North America. Since 2006, the company has been making mind-bendingly amazing chocolate. Many people would be surprised to know that on a good day, they can make up to 55 THOUSAND chocolate bars at the Seattle factory!
Theo Chocolate has lots of exciting things brewing for the future, including exclusive tasting events, chocolate making classes, and special tours. Folks who are interested in keeping up with all of the latest happenings can follow @theochocolate on social media and check out the Events Page.
About Firstlight Photography
Firstlight Photography is a husband and wife team. Kier and Mitzi spend their time doing work they both love. Services provided include wedding photography, boudoir and pin up photography and corporate events. The studio is located between Seattle and Tacoma with frequent travel throughout Washington, Oregon and California. Call Firstlight Photography for a phone consultation or meet over coffee to talk about your photography needs. Firstlight Photography works with each client to devise custom fit packages. A 15% military discount is offered on all services.
We truly live in the most amazing of places. Being Seattle wedding photographers is a dream. And, as an added bonus, cloud cover is actually great for photos.
Not too long ago we started a Firstlight Photography Pinterest Washington Wedding Venue Board and are trying to capture all of the Washington wedding venues where we have photographed weddings. We’d be lying if we didn’t say we had a long way to go.
Our newest venue crush is Rein Fire Ranch in Ravensdale, WA. The owners hosted us for a recent bridal portrait shoot that has been in the works for several years. We initially shot Tiffany and Brandon’s Friday the 13th wedding years ago. They were our first Offbeat Bride couple.
Tiffany is the most amazing of sports so we approached her at the end of last year with a Trash the Dress proposal. Since she had already worn her dress for a cemetery shoot, a library dress up event, Halloween and we think she even said she vacuumed her house in it – she agreed it was time to kick it up a notch. She was of the mind to go big or go home so we knew we needed some fire power behind us. We plotted out the demise of her dress (and we should mention that she and Brandon are still going strong!) and set our plan in motion.
We invited JoAnn from Studio J Salon and Day Spa to do Tiffany’s hair and makeup. We wanted to do a final farewell to the dress so we captured some bridal shots of Tiffany. From there, it was back to hair and makeup for a much different look.
Tiffany has worked with Firstlight Photography for so many years now that photographing her is so incredibly easy. She has got it down. We all had so much fun as we wandered the grounds of Rein Fire Ranch. We even had a chance to spend time with some of the furry critters that call RFR home.
Here is a sneak peek at the second part of the session. We had a blast with this Trash the Dress session! Stay tuned for more!
Firstlight Photography does alot of wedding photography at the Bellevue LDS Temple.
The Bellevue Temple offers a tremendous backdrop for photos. Firstlight Photography knows the grounds well and has several favorite locations for wedding sessions. We can help you plan your wedding. Our LDS Wedding Packages start at $625.
We met Alex and Nichole at the South Sound Wedding Show at the beginning of the year. Here is a sneak peek at their wedding from this weekend. They were married at Fort Worden State Park – which also happens to be where parts of the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman” was filmed. It truly is an amazing location. Alex and Nichole are a fabulous couple with amazing family and friends.
What a lovely day. Congratulations to you both! More to come!
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We’ve just been notified that South Sound Wedding & Event magazine has featured one of our weddings on their web site.
The wedding was shot on Friday, March 13th 2009 and it was one of the most unique weddings I’ve ever gotten to shoot. From the bouquet with no flowers, to the bridal party with no women it was nonstop fun with a great cast of characters. To see the article, just click HERE. The wedding was also featured on Offbeat Bride a few months ago. See that article HERE.
“Tiffany’s advice to future brides, “Wedding planning can be as easy or as stressful as you make it. I read, ‘your wedding is not a competition,’ and that really helped me. I didn’t need to outdo anyone to make my wedding special.”
and the winner is…
Okay, we are not sure. We love both designs that Camron from Level 70 Design did for us. We’re very impressed that he gave us what we wanted when we ourselves weren’t quite sure. Which one of the designs do you think should be the new face of Firstlight Photography weddings?
What do you think? We are considering including the word “weddings” on this page. Is it needed or is the bride a dead give away?
option 1 or option 2?
I just got an e-mail from a client that had posted her wedding photos on her Facebook page and I wanted to share the comment.
“This guy took some of the best wedding picture at the Seattle temple I’ve seen! He’s good!”
Cindy and Camron got married at the LDS Temple in Seattle / Bellevue a few weeks ago and I was very excited to shoot their wedding photos there. While I say that I shot their wedding photos, this isn’t exactly accurate. There is no photography allowed of inside the Temple of the wedding, so as a wedding photographer I waited outside for the happy couple to exit the Temple and be greeted by their friends that were waiting for them outside. I’m not LDS, but over the years I’ve had so many really great friends, neighbors and clients that are and to be honest I really love working at the Bellevue Temple. The grounds are amazing and the temple makes an awe inspiring background. I think that one of the great things about shooting wedding photos for an LDS couple is that by the time you start taking their photos, they’re already married and all the pressure is off of them. I had such a great time working with Cindy and Camron, they were so excited to be married and it really came through in their pictures. We worked our way around the temple grounds and and had a great time getting taking their photos. While not always the case, after we finished their photos at the temple I also got to take pictures of their ring ceremony and reception after the wedding.
Many of our couples that get married at the Temple are only looking for formal portraits on the Temple grounds and don’t need a full wedding package. We do offer special packages in these cases. If you are interested please e-mail ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) or call 253.335.7958 and we will build a special package to meet your needs.
In March I shot my first Friday the 13th wedding and as mentioned in previous posts it was a blast. Tiffany, the bride, was great to work with and her “bridesmaids” (not a woman among them) were more than just a little unique. Today I met up with Tiffany one more time. She had asked about doing a photo shoot in a cemetery and we were never able to get our schedules and the weather to sync up until today.
During our shoot we had a little visiter, this big raccoon just came walking by and climbed a tree. He really didn’t seem to care that we were there in the least and only stopped climbing long enough to give me a rather annoyed look when I got within a few feet of him to take his picture.
I haven’t gotten anywhere near going through all the photos yet, but I wanted to take a minute to post a few “teaser photos” now.