Congratulations to Frank & Riki! They recently got married North of Seattle (quite a way North) at the beautiful Saltbox Barn on Fir Island. We couldn’t have asked for a better day or a more amazing venue. The barn is really nice, offering great shade and a breeze on a rather warm day, some great spots for photos. All in all it was a really fun day with a really great couple.
Alex & Amanda wanted to have a a small ceremony with just close friends and family, so they went to Shotgun Ceremonies Wedding Chapel in Seattle and a large wedding is NOT an option, but it is a really great spot when you want to have a smaller wedding. It is very funky and the people that work there are a lot of fun. Because of the timing of the wedding and reception we did all of their photos at Shotgun Ceremonies and on the short walk between there and Merchants Cafe & Saloon. (The oldest Saloon in Seattle) where they had their reception in a very cool basement space. They also wanted to have something for their guests to do as there wasn’t enough space for dancing, so they added our GONNA SNAP! Photo Booth and gave it a good workout!
Some of our favorite photos taken at a recent wedding at Heartland Ranch in Graham, WA. We love this venue, not just because of the great locations for photos, but the friendly staff really go out of their way to help out.
We were beyond thrilled when Refinery29, a fashion and style website, contacted us for a feature one of our amazing wedding couples – Hally and Lou. Both were gorgeous tattooed brides that chose dresses to highlight their artwork. This post is a true testament that the perceptions around tattoos are changing. No more cover up makeup. Brides are proud to show off their ink!
The Refinery29 post highlights 10 beautiful brides who refused to cover their tattoos up. We were so pleased they let us photograph their big day!
Refinery29, the fastest growing independent fashion and style website in the United States, is a lifestyle platform that delivers nonstop inspiration to help women live a more stylish and creative life. It connects over 21 million monthly visitors and 1.9 million email subscribers with 24/7 programming covering everything from shopping and beauty to wellness and celebrities, giving readers all the tips, tricks, and tools they need to live a more beautiful life — and share it with the world.
About Firstlight Photography
We are a husband and wife duo that is so very fortunate to do what we love. The most amazing people choose us to photograph their engagement and wedding day.
We offer a wide range of services and products and custom design each package. How does this work? It is as easy as 1,2,3.
1. We’ll meet over coffee or Skype and review your wedding ideas
2. With you, we craft a wedding schedule that helps you design a package
3. Several weeks before your wedding we contact you and make any necessary updates
Throughout the time leading up to your wedding please feel free to contact us with questions or referral requests. We’ve been part of hundreds of weddings so we are prepared and always happy to lend a hand.
Our photography studio is located between Seattle and Tacoma. We cover Washington, Oregon and California but that is just the beginning. You can book us for your destination wedding or event.
In addition to wedding photography we also provide photo booth services, corporate photography, lifestyle photography and boudoir/pinup photography.
Getting married is a process that is filled with oodles of decisions. We recognize it can be daunting. As a husband and wife wedding photography team, it our mission to help engaged couples sift through options and breathe. After all, a wedding is a celebration. We stand beside you and remind you of this along the way.
Early on we began sitting down with clients and what did we see? Deer in the headlights. Lots of blank gazes. When we start talking about the flow of the wedding we realized that for most couples this whole wedding planning world is a new and scary space. We were not speaking their language…yet.
So to break it down we meet with couples over coffee and review our work via our books and tablets. Most couples secure their venue and then find their photographer. So, we come into the picture at the very early stages. This is important because you typically secure your wedding photographer before a planner is even considered.
Couples want to figure out their overall budget. Often times they come to us with a set amount of time they want us to spend at their wedding. To ensure we don’t miss something important or are booked for too long, we like to ask a few questions and sketch out a very crude outline of the wedding day. This sketch has become our best tool. With it we have found that we are able to help couples figure out what they actually need for their day and it helps us ensure that things stay on track.
We realize that reviewing the day of events leads to a lot of procedural questions – it gets the couple thinking. We strongly encourage couples to do what it is they want and expect from their day. We tell them what traditional components are (some don’t know – which really shows how much weddings are changing) and then we share what new and creative ones we have seen over the years. Wedding Wire offers a great perspective on The Top 10 Things You Don’t Have to do on Your Wedding Day.
Our initial meeting provides the chance to get to know one another and allows us to develop a feel for the wedding, the couple’s style and personalities. We start with an estimated wedding ceremony time. From there we can build an outline of the day. Even if the couple isn’t sure, we can develop a very rough timeline. Since we are in the early stages there is plenty of time for refinement.
We stay in contact with our couples and continue to refine the wedding day schedule. We all go into the wedding day very prepared. And the couple gets a custom fit package that meets their every need.
As the wedding plans progress we coordinate with a variety of wedding vendors. We will have more on this in an upcoming blog that highlights the whole vendor/day of process!
We are currently booking consultations 2016 and 2017 weddings.
We know you will enjoy Alyson and Andy’s Rock n Roll Wedding.
Do You Come Here Often?
Like the perfect Seattle pairing, these two met at a café – Cafe Casbah to be exact. The had been traveling in the same circles for years but until that fateful day at the Casbah they just kept missing one another.
Who better to serve as officiant that the woman who was instrumental in these two getting together? Angela, the Casbah barista that talked these two up to each other, performed the union. Alyson recounts that during the early days, she provided just the perfect amount of meddling that made their intentions for each other clear without being awkward.
Let’s face it, every bride we’ve met is busy. Alyson is no different. She is a multi-tasker extraordinaire. Without time or desire to sit around and read wedding magazines so she read the Offbeat Bride blog features on a weekly basis. She also relied on Indie Bride and Rock n Roll Bride to help build up confidence and to find inspiration.
The Wedding Theme – The Overall Vibe
Alyson and Andy wanted the whole day to be a really super awesome day in their lives. The goal was to let their out of town guests, including the bride’s East Coast family, get a bird’s eye view and flavor of what this couple’s “Seattle thing” is all about.
It is Your Day – The Bonus Hour
After the getting ready and couple shots were done, Alyson and Andy were on the move to their venue. We took off early to navigate through the Seattle Gay Pride Parade but thanks to a speedy driver, we busted through the city like it was nothing. Like a good photographer Kier advised them to think about how long it was before their next meal. Andy and Alyson asked to reroute to the Twilight Exit for a Manhattan and nachos. They turned their phones off, shared a few laughs and even had time to play an old 80s table top video game.
Picking a Seattle Wedding Venue or Two
For the wedding, the couple wanted to select places from their Seattle community. The wedding was held at Central Cinema where Alyson worked for nearly three years.
And, where do you go when you want your friends’ bands to be able to play three separate sets? The Georgetown Ballroom offered a great mix of indoor/outdoor space and allowed for a structure to the party portion of the wedding.
Here Comes The Bride
Getting married at Central Cinema the couple thought they should have a slide show to take advantage of the theater venue. So when Alyson told her friend, who just happened to be Clinton McClung, one of the program managers for the Seattle International Film Festival and former Central Cinema programmer, he said he could help.
Clinton brought her slide show concept to a whole new level. He suggested he make a movie so they put down ideas like the gay marriage scene from Wet Hot American Summer, Beetlejuice, Princess Bride and more. They weren’t trying to be too in your face about their stance on marriage equality but thought it was a sly way to recognize it – especially since they were married in the middle of Gay Pride Day. The movie also featured Wayne’s World, and Billy Idol’s White Wedding video clips.
And How About that Wedding March Song
Making a grand entrance was accompanied by friends of the couple performing the song “Happiness”by Kasabian – a British band the couple had seen earlier in the year. It is their only love song and it was perfect for this event.
Jessica Abbott accompanied by her boyfriend Trevor O’Dell on the cinema’s piano, during the processional. They are an established act that Andy and Alyson help manage bookings for now!
Alyson admitted there were a few times that she would put the song on and rehearse – after work.
Andy and Alyson met halfway down the aisle to the sultry “Boom Boom Boom” by former Seattle band Post Stardom Depression – one of the brides fave bands for many years.
The Wedding Dress & that Amazeballs Reception Dress
To find the perfect dress Alyson started at a wedding shop but then went to Nordstrom’s with her mom, her recently married friend and one of her “wingmen.” The whole process took 3 hours. They had one in her size and it was exactly what she wanted.
What a better way to top off her look but with some sparkle. One of Alyson’s best girlfriends gifted her a fascinator from a Portland milliner friend.
To get the look perfected, Alyson’s wingman, Derik, styled her the day of the wedding (he is her stylist and colorist too).
After the wedding she changed into a reception dress that was made by friend Pia Johns. The dress was textural and full of movement and whimsy. It looked great with her knee high Chuck Taylors.
Dapper Esquire Wingmen
Andy and the groomsmen looked dapper as all get out. Most of this couple’s appointed wingmen had their own black suits. Alyson asked her esquire wingmen to buy new shirts and ties and the ever important Converse Hightops.
Wedding Details Like No Other
The Wedding Logo
It all starts with your wedding logo (Alyson attributes the logo concept to Offbeat Bride). The logo and ceremony invitation and program was designed by the bride’s aunt, Chris Winders. She lives on the East Coast, but is so talented she was able to nail the designs on the first try, exclusively communicating through phone calls and emails.
Once they had the logo they had a stamp made and put it all over their wedding items. It is a great way to brand your wedding and gave the couple lots of ideas on how to use the logo. They put it on matchbooks, invitation poster tubes and can use it for their thank you cards. The logo was also featured on the paparazzi and security shirts made the couples had made for the wedding photographers (us!) and friends in charge of crowd control.
Rock ‘n Roll Poster Invites
Alyson and Andy got a real live rock star to do the poster invites for the party! Jefferson Angell (front man of Missionary Position, now touring arenas of the world fronting Walking Papers) makes excellent show posters, and nailed theirs.
What Rock n Roll wedding is complete without backstage passes. The couple had laminated backstage passes on lanyards for the bride, groom, father of the bride, mother of the bride, wingmen, best man and the Reception Master of Ceremonies. To continue with the rock and roll vibe, two of Alyson’s girlfriends were “doorguys” handing out flyers with musical guest information to incoming guests at the Georgetown Ballroom.
The flower inspiration came right off the blog pages of Offbeat Bride. Alyson quipped she “didn’t know that duct tape had made such advances.” There are many more colors than the utilitarian silver hue. Now duct tape has an arsenal of colors and patterns.
What do you get the guests of a rock n roll wedding? The favors lined the tables in paper lunch sacks that were emblazoned with the couple’s wedding logo. Inside guests found gourmet hard candy from the Stained Glass Candy Company. The tasty treat looks like gemstones. Every favor bag needs a beer coozie emblazoned with a wedding logo (Andy’s idea, since they were doing all canned beer, and, according to his wife, he is NEVER without a coozie!). Also included were matchbooks with the couple’s logo and of course what every concert goer needs – earplugs.
And Now for Some More Music
Alyson and Andy have a lot of friends – and many of them are musicians. Members of all 3 bands are some of their dearest friends and Alyson and Andy are very loyal fans. They joked with the bands that they would be providing them with a captive audience.
Their friends did not disappoint. Hands down this was an amazing concert.
Skill Shot, Seattle’s Pinball Zine, was a main feature of the reception. Since they were reporting on Andy and Alyson’s wedding the guys from Skill Shot donned backstage press passes.
The couple met the Skill Shot guys at Shorty’s, a local bar featuring a collection of sixteen pinball machines ranging from AC DC to the Wizard of Oz. Skill Shots is the insider on the local pinball tournaments and they ran the tournament event at the wedding. The pinball machine was a loaner from the friend’s private collection.
Making a Grand Entrance
One night when they were first dating the couple had plans to go to the 24 hour diner but were too lazy to get a cab. Sacsha, owner of Greener Cab, was pedaling by and asked if they needed a ride. He had his brother with him so they each got into pedi cabs going down 4th Ave at 1 in the morning.
Alyson had read the Offbeat Bride book and was really taken by the concept of having a walk or some private time where right after the wedding the couple walks alone. She was trying to think of how to fit that into their ceremony. And, lightbulb moment – they would pedi cab it to the 2nd location.
Sacsha took extra care to dress up the pedi cab and added a “just married” sign. The entrance created a scene with people honking and cheering along their several mile ride.
They arrived into the courtyard of the Georgetown Ballroom where their adoring fans were cheering them on. The pedi cab was left it in the courtyard and it was a great photo prop.
Fancy Date Night Pizza for Wedding Dinner & Strawberry Shortcake
For this couple they agreed that working in the food and beverage industry really paid off in spades when it came to planning and sourcing locations, supplies and catering for the big day. They kept it local.
Alyson used to work at Zeek’s Pizza – and it is a common date night so selecting fancy date night fare for the wedding was a no brainer. The couple sourced food from Cash & Carry for the salads. And, Bitterroot, a PNW BBQ restaurant in Ballard, did the strawberry shortcake. Alyson worked there and came up with the idea since Andy doesn’t like cake but they both heart strawberry shortcake.
Hilliard’s Beer is a new brewery in Ballard they both love. Both of the businesses Alyson and Andy used to work at serve their product. To keep an eye on budget they mixed in this craft beer with a variety of other beers.
The Wedding Reviews
What did the couple hear after the wedding? For their friends in their social it was the best wedding ever – it had all the things they loved. None of their families had ever been to anything so off the beaten path. It was hard to explain their wedding concept in a cohesive way but now that they experienced it, family members felt like they knew Alyson and Andy a lot better and what their lives are like in Seattle.
Just let everything about your relationship and love shine through. Know where to make compromises with your vision. They had dreams of a photo booth, rock band competition, aerial artists and more but the couple wisely advises that you have got to be ok with saying goodbye to some of those grander visions if they don’t fit your budget or emotional capacity. In other words, don’t bust your budget or your sanity. Keep the big picture in mind.
The Show Must Go On…In Style
Alyson and Andy hired local comedian, burlesque host, and dear friend Vincent Drambuie as the evenings emcee. Not only did he introduce the entertainment, he ran around the venue like a madman, screaming announcements of upcoming reception events (gender neutral bouquet toss, cake cutting, toasts, departing shuttle buses) into an electric bullhorn.
Local boylesque performer, emcee, and singer EmperROAR Fabulous sang love classics between bands to keep the performance element going.
The Glue That Held it All Together
Megan Keller, of a Kurant Event, and her assistants absolutely smashed it, from setting up the cinema to breaking down the venue. Alyson recounts that she barely saw her that day, but she sent her shots, kept the couple on track for the demands of family photos, had more pizza ordered when it ran out (The couple didn’t even know it happened until a month later!), and, in Alyson’s words, “just kicked ass all over the place.” Megan was her rock via phone, email, and text the whole month of the event.
What to Do When Vendors are Friends and Refuse $
To show their gratitude for the talents’ time, travel, learning special songs (“Amzeah” from Minirex and Alyson learned a duet to “Oh!” by Sleater-Kinney, practiced in advance, and totally surprised Andy and everyone else! Missionary Position learned “A Little Help from My Friends” in the style of Joe Cocker, and blew the roof off the house when they closed with it and everybody held hands and swayed). The couple bought a $100 gift certificate to Guitar Center for each band. They picked out a top-shelf turquoise eyeshadow for EmpeROAR and repurposed the venue’s “groom’s suite” as a green room for all the talent.
How Much Does an Epic 2 Venue, 3 Band Rock n Roll Wedding Cost These Days?
The couple tapped into local sourcing and rolled with their budget as the planning progressed. This magazine worthy wedding came in at under $20,000.
The Honeymoon & Beyond
The couple decompressed in Portland for a few days after the wedding, but saved enough money, along with their wedding gifts to spend a month in New Zealand last spring as their big honeymoon. They skydived, rafted, sea kayaked, caved, hitchhiked, ate, and drank their way around a great country. The first of many journeys!
Alyson and Andy now operate a small home business called Hello Lucky. Alyson practices waxing and skincare, and Andy crunches the numbers and writes her paychecks. An excellent partnership!
It took us a while to put this blog together. It was such an epic day and the couple is just very special to us. Many thanks to them for picking us – and for Alyson her time and talent making sure the blog details were just right. She also gave us a great update. Their friend Justin, who beat out his girlfriend Angela for the prize in the gender neutral bouquet toss, is going to be a dad! The couple is happily engaged and expecting their first baby!
As Seattle area wedding photographers we get to visit amazing wedding venues in Washington and beyond. Wedding venues that offer a mix of outdoor and indoor spaces are the most flexible for couples – and they offer the most diverse backdrop for your wedding day photos. Kalley and Eric were married at Green Gates at Flowing Lake in Snohomish, Washington.
This venue has a fantastic open bluff that overlooks the Cascade Mountain Range and shoreline. The reception was held in the open air covered barn structure that, once night falls, literally glows with rustic romantic twinkly lights.
At every turn the venue offers great photo opportunities. The owners have put a lot of thought into making sure that there are many vantage points for wedding pictures. We were even given help in hoisting Kalley’s dress up for just the perfect setting.
The event went off without a hitch. We coordinated our photo schedule with the couple’s wedding planner Jennifer of Elements NW Events and Weddings so we were all on the same page for the days’ anticipated events. The wedding details were rustic and romantic. The tablescapes included dahlias and a mix of in season flowers set atop marvelously rustic tree platters.
Looking for a different twist on your wedding cake? Kalley and Eric have a love of brownies so they opted for a tower of brownies with all the fixin’s on the side. There was also a decadent candy buffet that the adults frequented more than the children.
Congratulations to Kalley and Eric! We absolutely loved your wedding and are so glad we could be part of the day.
Photography – Firstlight Photography
Planning & Coordination – Elements NW Events and Weddings Jennifer Vandeventer
Venue – Green Gates at Flowing Lake
Spirits – BevMo
Catering – Barry’s Catering
DJ – “Nick at Night” Nick MacDonald
Transportation – Rainier Limousine
Are you ready to hit the ski slopes? Mike and Allie’s Crystal Mountain destination wedding was one of my favorites of the summer. It was an elegant affair with the backdrop of Mt. Rainier and the Cascade Mountain Range providing a sweeping view for all the wedding photos. The Crystal Mountain Resort does not disappoint. As a wedding photographer I couldn’t ask for a better skyline.
Getting married and wanting to preview the venue? You can contact the wedding sales manager for a complimentary site tour which includes a gondola ride to the summit for the bride and groom.
Congratulations to the happy couple.
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!
As a Seattle / Tacoma wedding photographer team we began seeing the wedding food truck trending in 2011 and it is growing in 2012 – and we are loving this! For quite some time many local jurisdictions made it hard for the food truck operator. In many places these types of mobile food mobiles were prohibited – or just allowed to sell hot dogs and light vending items.
Times are a changin’ and many cities are seeing these mobile restaurants as an asset and an economic development tool. The stigma of the “roachcoach” is long gone. Now food truck offerings range from comfort to cuisine items. And let us not forget the spectacular desserts and ice cream options. Lunch workers can stalk food or dessert trucks via Twitter and food truck vendors offer specials and updates to loyal followers.
Customers clamor for the latest food truck creations that they have heard about from friends, colleagues and their social media network. Food trucks deliver delish food and a fun experience – they are serving up a food mob. Finding your favorite food truck is exciting – and a challenge to be sure to time your arrival so you actually get to buy your nosh. Hanging out with people that appreciate good grub and enjoy the thrill of the chase is also part of the charm.
So, with the “food”tainment value it makes perfect sense and adds that homegrown element to weddings. Seeing a food or dessert truck roll up to a wedding is truly spectacular. Last summer we were photographing a wedding on a private Camano Island beach. When we saw the shiny silver Skillet airstream trailer pull up we squealed with glee! Skillet can provide street food style (right out of the truck) or family style catering at weddings and events. A combination of both services is a good option for larger weddings. We were treated to the fanciest gourmet burger ever and we can’t forget the seafood taco sliders. We were delighted to see their pink lemonade garnished with jalapenos – yes. And it was quite delish and refreshing.
Some couples are also going the way of the dessert truck. You can still have your cake and eat it too. Most cupcakeries / bakeries have a variety of other treats on the menu and can provide the traditional cake top for brides and grooms (as photographers we love the cake cutting shots). Having your cupcake truck roll into the wedding creates a great buzz. People can mingle and self serve. It is a surprise treat that reminds many of their days chasing crazed ice cream truck drivers around the cul-de-sac!
The Piccadilly Bakery is the first Kitsap County mobile bakery / cupcakery truck. Calling it a truck is somewhat of a disservice for it is more like an art truck. The owner is from the UK and her desserts show inspiration from across the pond as well as traditional US fare. Her cooked frosting is, in one word, divine. She has just the personality to delight wedding guests – and just wait until you hear that fab accent.
We are awaiting the day that Seattle based Bluebird Microcreamery shows up at a wedding we are shooting. This isn’t just because they make Elysian Stout ice cream (they are neighbors with the very talented Elysian Brewing Company). Their product is fabulous and it is served up from a retro ice cream truck – a perfect back drop for wedding candids.
Things to Keep In Mind When Hiring a Food Truck
If you are considering food trucks for your wedding you are after something different and perhaps a bit whimsical. Keep this in mind when reviewing menus. Food trucks aren’t a good match if you want traditional wedding fare. If you want something different food truck fare by no means sacrifice taste – just the pomp and circumstance.
Most vendors are very savvy about permits and requirements needed to operate in a certain location (jurisdiction, private venue) but be sure to coordinate with your venue and the catering / food truck vendor to see if street permits (if parking on a public street) are in place. Some private locations might also require permits depending on the jurisdiction. Do you homework to avoid any red tape issues on the big day.
Work with your caterers to devise a menu that offers some variety but keep it simple. If you are planning a wedding of 100 + you might want to consider an additional food truck or one with catering options to avoid long lines.
Consider a dessert buffet in combination with the dessert truck. It makes sense for larger weddings; the table is ready to receive extra cupcakes and treats when it is time for the truck to leave. Or, have a food cart greet guests as they exit. They can easily be given treat favors – not only is this a green wedding practice, but who doesn’t like to leave with an additional treat?
Food trucks are like water coolers. They provide a unique activity that gets guests mingling.