Living in the Pacific Northwest is amazing and it is a special treat when our couples want to get out and do a session somewhere that highlights just how amazing it is here. Sure, you can do engagement photos at the Pt. Defiance Rose Garden and stand in line for spots with 100 other couples on a sunny (maybe) spring day or you can take a hike… go climb a mountain… do something AMAZING! When Jamie & Brian told me they wanted to do photos on Mt Rainier I was beyond thrilled. Sure, it was fall and our normally unpredictable weather is even more unpredictable, but they just considered it all part of the experience. We really had a great time spending the day driving around to different locations.
I’ve always really loved taking pictures of people, ever since I was in High School on the yearbook & newspaper staff and that’s continued today. Even after 17 years in business the thing I love to do when I have spare time is to head out into nature to hike and take photos and living in the Pacific Northwest we get a fair number of people that want to take their engagement photos up on Mt Rainier and some other amazing locations. If you’re looking for engagement photos, senior portraits, family photos or just want to get out and get some cool photos just for fun get in touch and we can help make that happen!
During a recent hike on Mt Rainier I ran into a group of women that asked me to take a group photo of them. They hadn’t planned on doing a serious hike, but they liked my photo of them they ended up tagging along with me and we kept taking photos and it got me thinking that it would be a lot of fun to combine a photography lesson and a hike, so if you have a camera you’d like to learn how to use a little better and love nature we can combine the two for private or small group photography lessons. If you’re interested contact me directly at 253.335.7958 or fill out the CONTACT FORM on our web site.
Jeff & Dustin are a really fun couple. They’re getting married in the back yard of their new house, so wanted to do their engagement session in the new house. I found out that Dustin is a bit of a YouTube celebrity and a friend of ours calls him “my favorite YouTube Beauty Guru”. Check you his YouTube Channel – click HERE.
We were dreading the weather forecast, it called for rain and was pouring on my way to meet them. By the time we met it was down to a light drizzle and a few minutes into the shoot it stopped and we had some blue skies by the end. This has happened a few times, we always head out in hopes of dodging our Pacific NW weather and more often than not we luck out.
Kyle & Jamie had a very intimate wedding ceremony at Clearwater Resort & Casino in Poulsbo, WA with their best friends & family. They love beer so much that rather than a blending of the sands ceremony during the wedding they made a Black & Tan for the couple and wedding party to share. Once they were married there was a brunch followed by a tour of breweries in the Poulsbo area. It was a first for us and a LOT of fun for everybody involved.
Bainbridge Island Brewing
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 met Jestina at the South Sound Wedding and Event Show at the Great Wolf Lodge earlier in the year. When Jared and Jestina told us about their engagement shoot ideas we could not wait to work with these two! How can you not adore this couple’s free spirit, sense of humor and show of love?
For their shoot we went to Riverbend Ranch in Tenino, WA. Next year this will be the venue for this couple’s wedding. It was great to get a sneak peek at this amazing venue – and it help set the stage for what they had planned.
As your wedding photographer Firstlight Photography will work with you to pick just the right location for your engagement shoot. Many of our couples like to go to their venue for the shoot. As the photographer it is a great opportunity to getting the lay of the land and we can talk with couples about specific locations for the day of the wedding photos. As an engaged couple you get to see how your venue photographs.
If you have something else in mind we are your sounding board and work with you to cultivate your ideas. Other locations that our couples like include downtown urban areas, an open field (we have our own vintage picnic basket and other fun elements), a graffiti wall, a meaningful to you place – you get the point…we’ll go just about anywhere! We will work with you to plan out your vision. Start looking around on Pinterest. Create an inspiration board and share it with us. check out our engagement ideas board while you are there!
Your engagement photos capture a very special time in your romance. With a little planning we can help you suss out a vision and a plan of action. As part of your wedding package, we will work with you to develop these into announcements / save the dates for your big day.
We love Offbeat Bride and the clients it brings our way. When we did our pre-shoot phone consult, Alyson had a major game plan. There was no lack of ideas so we were pretty excited to get the show on the road.
We sensed the couple was going to be fantastic to photograph. We met Andy and Alyson at their Seattle/Georgetown engagement shoot. Since they are getting hitched at the Central Cinema in Seattle, we started there and then whisked off to the Georgetown Ballroom. Both are amazing venues.
We feel so lucky to get to work with the couple’s that choose us. We have really focused on our niche and we aren’t turning back. And, yes, that is a hint for an upcoming blog about defining your clients. Just another reason we LOVE what we do.
Alex and Nichole have set sail for their honeymoon cruise and we are editing their photos. This Fort Worden wedding is just magic to us. We love their images and they were amazing to work with. Happy honeymoon you two! We will have the photos done upon your return! Their wedding will also be featured in the On the Go Bride Blog!
Alex and Nichole are getting married soon and we are lucky enough to get to shoot their wedding in Port Townsend, WA. We met them at the West Sound Wedding Show in Bremerton earlier this year. Here are a few more engagement pics on the beach.