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Washington Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

BRIDES Seattle: Where to Shop for Unique and Personal Bridesmaid Gifts

 Bridesmaids, Favors & Gifts, Local, Seattle, Washington, Wedding Favors  Comments Off on BRIDES Seattle: Where to Shop for Unique and Personal Bridesmaid Gifts
Oct 112016
Seattle Shops for Bridesmaid Gifts

Photo: Courtesy of Moorea Seal via Facebook

Helping you with your wedding preparations? Check. Dropping everything to be by your side throughout the process? Of course. Ready to put on any dress you see fit and stand by your side as you marry the guy of your dreams? Yep! Bridesmaids are there for the thick and thin of it, always ready and eager to help you have the wedding you've always dreamed of. You can show your gratitude with truly unique and personal thank yous for each one. Below are some of Seattle's best places to shop for that perfect gift for each of your doting bridesmaids.

Moorea Seal (Above)
If you have a few hours to get lost among amazing worldly wares, then Moorea Seal should be on your must-see list. The Belltown boutique specializes in unique and quirky accessories, home goods, jewelry, and so much more. Pick up a sparkling zodiac pendant for your Susan Miller-obsessed bridesmaid, or a nostalgic best friends pin for the maid of honor. They also carry an assortment of darling stationary and greeting cards to include a heartfelt note with your gifts.

E. Smith Mercantile
This modern-day general store focuses on one-of-a-kind gifts for the discerning customer. They carry everything from artisanal soaps and oils to clothing and jewelry. The décor is modern rustic, and there's even a bar in the back, in case you want to make a day of it. It's the ideal stop to scoop up handmade trinkets for all of your 'maids. We especially love the Geier leather moccasins that come in a vibrant butter yellow!

Fresh Tangerine Jewelry
Fresh Tangerine is known for delicate, handmade jewelry at refreshingly affordable prices. Your girls will love their stackable bracelets and rings that can be mixed and matched to their heart's content. Or opt for a fun pair of ampersand earrings for the grammar girl in your party.

See More: Pamper Your 'Maids with the Help of These Wedding Hair and Makeup Artists

Parfumerie Nasreen
Located inside the famed Alexis Hotel, Parfumerie Nasreen is chock full of the most luxurious scents from around the globe. If one of your bridesmaids loves playing with fragrances, she'll love a thoughtful choice from this decadent boutique. You can even consult with the owner for some ideas on the most personalized fragrances to match each of your bridesmaid's personalities.

Paris Grocery
The Francophile of the group will appreciate a gift from Paris Grocery in Pike Place Market. It houses an impressive collection of chic French delicacies as well as cookbooks for your foodie friend and charming housewares and knick-knacks that are certain to add a definitive Parisian flair to your besties' abodes.

For more fabulous favors for your bridesmaids or wedding guests, check out these other local Seattle vendors

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Aug 282016
Best Bridal Salons of the Western US

Photo: LOHO Bride; Josh Gruetzmacher

Finding the right wedding dress may be trial-and-error, but finding a bridal salon shouldn't be. Our editors polled more than 1,500 brides to discover the places with the prettiest dresses (from the designers like Carolina Herrera, Mira Zwillinger, and Houghton, just to name a few!), nicest consultants, and chicest spaces from coast to coast. Every single shop on this list is a true standout in style, service, and atmosphere whether it's the white dress mecca in your state or a gem in the middle of nowhere (we didn't judge!). Get ready for our curated, tested, and fully endorsed list of The Best Bridal Salons in America. Here, our editors narrow down the best bridal salons in the Western United States. Happy shopping!

Bateau Bridal Boutique, Anchorage, Alaska
With both hot designers and fab consignment finds, this salon is a true standout. But it's really the owner, Tara, our reviewers are obsessed with: "She got on the floor at nine months pregnant to fluff my dress!" says one.

Lillian Lottie Bridal Couture, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Every reviewer was referred by a friend — and has since spread the word herself. And with a huge stock of gowns under $1,500 and consultants who "have your back," that's no surprise. "My rep even called after the wedding to see how everything went," says one customer.

Erin Cole Couture Bridal, Costa Mesa, Calif.
Sure, SoCal brides could buy directly from a designer salon in Beverly Hills, but the ladies we talked to came here instead because of the awesome alterations team. "I'm a size 16, and they made me feel like Vera Wang designed my dress just for me," says one.

The White Flower Bridal Boutique, San Diego
Brides count shopping here, with its super-fun vibe (think paper umbrellas on the ceiling and Selena Gomez on the speakers) and "a team that really cares," as a highlight of planning. In fact, one says, "I wanted to invite the staff to my wedding!"

Jin Wang, San Francisco
Designer Jin Wang's thing is a modern-meets-classic aesthetic, and her penthouse oozes that with cases of statement jewels, floor-to-ceiling windows, and gowns from the likes of Angel Sanchez.

LOHO Bride, San Francisco
Owner Christy Baird's specialty: a bride who wants to rock something cool and unique on her wedding day. (It's very Solange.) In San Fran and now L.A., her customers snatch up looks from Rime Arodaky and Houghton. Says one, "Forget the whole princess thing; this place makes you feel like a woman."

Anna Bé, Denver
This Front Range favorite is a go-to for chic Colorado brides, thanks to its "nearly endless selection" of the designers you love (Berta, Anna Maier) and up-and-coming ones you need on your radar stat (Sareh Nouri, Tara LaTour).

Little White Dress Bridal Shop, Denver
You'll be finding more than a LWD at this downtown salon, which is basically the coolest dress shop ever. Why? It's located in a restored church that's spacious and awesome, and it's the only place in the state selling J. Mendel and Naeem Khan.

Velvet Bride, Missoula, Mont.
Some Montana brides trekked 400 miles on mountain roads to shop the gorge gowns (from Leanne Marshall, Willowby, and more), vintage jewels, and uber-feminine lingerie.

Swoon... A Bridal Salon, Reno, Nev.
Go-big-or-go-home types will get lightheaded over pristine samples from ball-gown favorites Hayley Paige and Lazaro. And the owner knows wedding dresses; she literally wrote her graduate thesis on them.

Ania Collection, Portland, Oreg.
Grab your gals and head here to choose between Theia and Watters for yourself and a rainbow of gowns for your 'maids. Take it from this client: "There's a bridesmaids' dress for every price point, every size, and every style."

The Dress Theory, Seattle
Calling all cool girls! This airy boutique features a unique collection (Truvelle, Claire Pettibone) that's hand picked and carefully edited.

Alta Moda Bridal, Salt Lake City
Indecisive? Don't fret if you're torn between that Katie May and a Yolan Cris because the salesladies here are, in a word, patient. "I must've tried on my final two dresses 100 times each, and they didn't pressure me once," says a bride.

Subscribe to BRIDES now for the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration.

See More: 50 Things to Know About Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress

One Couple Said “I Do” to an Intimate Backyard Wedding With Epic Views of Mt. Rainier

 Real Weddings, Seattle, Washington  Comments Off on One Couple Said “I Do” to an Intimate Backyard Wedding With Epic Views of Mt. Rainier
Aug 262016

The search for the perfect business school roommate brought Elizabeth Goodrich and Kurt Sheline together. "We were both attending UC Berkeley and had been looking for other people to sign a lease with in August of 2013. We found two other roommates and the four of us signed the same lease without meeting," Elizabeth says. "Kurt and I met when his dad drove up from San Diego to move him into our house. We lived down the hall from each other and were housemates first, but pretty quickly after school started we began dating." Two years later, the duo headed to Patagonia for their winter break. After a horseback ride throughout a ranch in Mendoza (and a few glasses of wine!), Kurt proposed. And with a romantic backdrop like that, is it any surprise Elizabeth accepted?

With a venue already locked in (Elizabeth and Kurt knew they wanted to tie the knot at the bride's childhood home in Mercer Island, Washington), the couple was able to fast track the planning and exchange vows just seven months later on July 18, 2015. "This is the house I grew up in for most of my life," the bride says. "It's right on Lake Washington and has a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier. It also has a beautiful large tree and my dad takes great care of the gardens that are filled with flowers." With the help of Married with Michelle, the bride and groom pulled together a backyard celebration with a romantic twist. Read on to see every detail from this beautiful Pacific Northwest wedding, as photographed by Matthew Land Studios.

Although the couple initially wanted to invite around 120 friends and family to their celebration, Elizabeth's family's home couldn't accommodate such a large guest list. In the end, the bride and groom hosted 66 loved ones on the day of — the perfect number for an intimate outdoor gathering. Watercolor invitations from Carolyn Kach informed everyone about the party, including the pre-and-post-wedding celebrations.

The bride and her 'maids got ready in adorable monogrammed pajama shorts, before trading the comfy attire for formalwear.

"I knew I wanted a lace wedding dress and loved the idea of wearing something that was striking from the back," Elizabeth says. Her Rue de Seine gown was exactly what she had envisioned — the delicate slip was topped with a romantic lace overlay that featured just the type of dramatic back the bride was looking for.

Her blush and white bouquet of garden roses, peonies, ranunculus, dahlias, roses, and foliage looked as if it could have been handpicked from the pristine property.

Kurt charmed in his blue suit from Bonobos, which he paired with a chambray bow tie and a succulent boutonniere.

This couple decided to expand their little family before the wedding — with an adorable four-legged friend! Their brand new puppy looked dapper in his blue bow tie, which he wore for portraits and on his walk down the aisle.

Elizabeth kept things easy for her bridesmaids, asking each to wear any floor-length light pink dress they loved. Kurt's groomsmen wore dark blue suits and bowties. "I wanted something simple and classic that wouldn't look silly in 20 years," the bride says.

The women all carried smaller version on the bride's bouquet, although each was slightly different in composition. The mixes of garden roses, geraniums, scabiosa, and stock looked great against their pale-hued gowns.

The ceremony was held on the edge of the family property, where guests were treated to an up-close view of Lake Washington. Wrought iron lanterns and bushels of baby's breath lined the aisle.

The bride walked down the aisle with her father while a string trio performed a classic rendition of Pachelbel's Canon in D. Elizabeth's brother and Kurt's sister performed the ceremony, and the duo exchanged vows they wrote themselves.

"Because the wedding was hosted at my parent's house, it felt very much like having friends over for dinner, which made the whole day very personal," says Elizabeth. "We signed our marriage license on my parent's balcony with our siblings as witnesses."

Cocktail hour was all about great food and drinks. Guests enjoy the couple's two signature drinks and creative appetizers as they found their seats on a watercolor seating chart.

Long tables were set in the family's yard for Elizabeth and Kurt's reception. "We chose rustic farm tables without tablecloths," the bride says. A mix of different centerpieces were arranged down the length of each table, including footed bowls filled with pink roses and wooden planters packed with dahlias, succulents, and blackberries. Tall candelabras were lit at sunset, casting a romantic glow across dinner tables.

At each place setting, guests found a mini potted succulent that served as both a place card and favor.

"We designed our dinner menu because we're both big foodies," Elizabeth says. "We had a salad course, a choice of three different types of pasta, and then a main course." At the end of the meal, the couple treated their loved ones to a special Port wine from Portugal, where they had vacationed just before the wedding.

Instead of one large cake, the newlyweds offered several one-tiered options in a variety of different flavors, including chocolate, carrot cake, and peanut butter chocolate pie.

Elizabeth and Kurt waited until dusk to share their first dance, and then the party really got started. Guests closed out the night with glow sticks and sparklers.

Although the official party ended on Saturday night, the newlyweds invited their friends and family back for another celebration the following morning. Everyone spent the day in the lake before seeing the bride and groom off for their honeymoon to Portugal and Norway.

Venue: Private Residence || Wedding Planner: Married with Michelle || Bride's Wedding Dress: Rue de Seine, purchased at The Dress Theory || Engagement Ring, Wedding Bands & Bride's Jewelry: Zwikker & Zacher || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August; Monique Lhuillier; Amsale || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Bonobos || Florist: Melanie Benson Floral Design || Invitations: Carolyn Kach || Music: Puget Sound Strings; Kris McCoskery || Catering & Cakes: Lisa Dupar Catering || Photographer: Matthew Land Studios

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Looking for more ideas for your own backyard celebration? Then check out another couple's beautiful at-home wedding in the video below.

BRIDES Seattle: Local Shops for Beautiful (and Affordable!) Bridesmaid Dresses

 Bridesmaid Dresses, Bridesmaids, Local, Seattle, Washington  Comments Off on BRIDES Seattle: Local Shops for Beautiful (and Affordable!) Bridesmaid Dresses
Aug 022016

Your wedding is one those few times in your life when your dearest friends and family come together to celebrate just for you (and your partner, of course!). It's an extra special moment to have your bridesmaids by your side — your closest friends and confidants throughout the years. So when it comes to dressing them for the big day, you want your girls to feel extra special — without breaking the bank, that is. Luckily, Seattle brides and their bridesmaids have many options for where to find that bridesmaid dress that is both beautiful and affordable. They'll thank you for that!

Anthropologie's bridal-centric little sister has been making big waves in the wedding world for a few years now. BHLDN's Seattle store, located in the downtown district, offers both brides and their bridesmaids options that range from vintage darling to modern minimalist. BHLDN also carries accessories galore, so your girls can score the dress, earrings, shoes, and everything else in one chic swoop. Read real brides' reviews here!

We all know the preppy retailer has made a big splash with classic, pared-down wedding gowns, but did you know J.Crew has an incredible variety of tasteful and refined bridesmaid dresses? And with price tags that will make everyone smile. Because many of their dresses come in the same group of colors, this is the perfect opportunity to try out the mix-and-match bridesmaid dress thing you've been eyeing on Pinterest. Consult with a personal stylist at one of the store's Seattle or Bellevue locations, or let your maids have fun choosing the most-flattering silhouettes through the store's website. Read real brides' reviews here!

Samila is a mecca for all things glitzy and glam. This Redmond boutique is not for the minimalist at heart. You'll find mostly sparkling, floor-sweeping dresses that are ideal for a grand affair. The selection is large, and the staff extremely knowledgeable. If your wedding is the event of the season, then Samila should be your bridesmaids one and only stop. Read real brides' reviews here!

Pipe and Row
If shopping locally is more your thing, a visit to Pipe and Row is in order. This Fremont boutique stocks independent designers from Seattle and beyond, including hot up-and-comers like Just Female and Keepsake. Your bridesmaids can choose from super simple flowy frocks or something more detailed in lace or even fringe (it's elegant fringe, we promise). Whichever design your bridesmaids leave with, it's definitely a dress they will wear again. And again!

See More: Still Need Someone to Pronounce You and Your Spouse Officially Wed? Check Out These Local Wedding Officiants

Bella Bridesmaids
The name really says it all. Bella Bridesmaids is a boutique made specifically for your special gals and their sartorial needs. While the store is a chain, it certainly doesn't feel like one. When you make an appointment, the Bella Stylists give you and your bridesmaids one-on-one attention, helping each girl with a dress that's both beautiful and flattering. They even offer complimentary fittings once the dress orders have been placed. Some favorite brands include Aidan Mattox for tasteful beadwork and Jenny Yoo for feminine looks with an unexpected twist. Read real brides' reviews here!

Not quite your style? Browse our Seattle Dresses page for tons of other places to go shopping with your 'maids!

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BRIDES Seattle: Best Local Boutiques for Wedding Jewelry and Accessories

 Jewelry & Accessories, Local, Seattle, Washington, Wedding Accessories, Wedding Jewelry  Comments Off on BRIDES Seattle: Best Local Boutiques for Wedding Jewelry and Accessories
Jul 242016

Nothing makes your wedding gown sparkle (literally and figuratively) quite like the perfect jewelry and accessories. Even if your dress choice leans towards the understated and classic, the right type of jewelry and accoutrements are crucial for creating a wedding look that's head-to-toe gorgeous. These Seattle stores offer tasteful, elegant jewelry and accessories for even the most discerning bride.


This ultra-charming boutique on N. 35th Street is a wonderland of baubles, trinkets, and other girly musings. Not only will you find coveted Jamie Joseph gemstone rings or signature earrings by Melissa Joy Manning to complement your wedding day white, but brides can also browse the unique perfume section for a special scent your groom is sure to love. (P.S.: Essenza also serves as a delightful place to seek out fun, thoughtful gifts for bridesmaids!)

Luly Yang
Luly Yang's bridal salon specializes in sophisticated, truly luxurious gowns, with the accessories to match. Even if you find your perfect dress elsewhere, Luly Yang can help you style it to the nines with their stunning selection of jewelry, hair pieces, and veils. We are especially taken with her airy floor-length veils paired with whimsical butterfly hair combs. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: Check Out Some Of The Best Local Make Up Artists On Our Local Vendors Page

Blue Sky Bridal
For the eco-conscious Seattle bride, Blue Sky Bridal is a godsend. This different type of bridal salon recycles bridal gowns to promote eco-awareness while offering budget-friendly options to brides. You'll also find a plethora of feminine accessories to accent your look, including belts, sashes, veils, and baubles. The staff creates a cozy, welcoming environment where you'll feel at home while playing dress-up with all of their wedding goodies. Read real brides' reviews here!

Pretty Parlor

If retro glamour is more your style, Pretty Parlor is your one-stop shop. This high-end vintage boutique boasts a special bridal area, where you can browse breathtaking heirloom style accessories to go with your wedding gown. If you've been secretly pining over the idea of crystal brooches or a Kate Middleton-esque tiara for the wedding, Pretty Parlor has you covered, and then some.

Some brides prefer an understated, less-is-more approach when it comes to the styling of their wedding day attire. For this, we recommend Baleen. The Seattle design duo is known for their minimal yet impactful shapes that lend just the right amount of finish to your modern bridal ensemble.

Need more sparkle for your big day? Check out other jewelry stores on our Local Vendors page.

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This Seattle Wedding Is Packed with Tons of Sweet Details

 Real Weddings, Seattle, Washington  Comments Off on This Seattle Wedding Is Packed with Tons of Sweet Details
Apr 212016

Kristina Coates and Joshua Acosta bring new meaning to the phrase childhood sweethearts: They met in the third and fourth grades, respectively, at a winter church camp. Fast forward 11 years, and Kristina found Joshua on one knee in the middle of a Christmas tree farm in Snoqualmie National Forest, asking her to marry him as he knelt in the snow.

For their March 7, 2015, wedding in Seattle, Washington, the couple dreamed of a simple wedding with plenty of thoughtful details and surprising delights around every corner. Think: lush floral arrangements, chocolate-colored sequined tablecloths, and Rice Krispy treat snacks. With 175 guests in tow, the pair exchanged vows in a late winter celebration (planned by the talented creatives behind Hey Gorgeous Events!) so pretty that we're confident it will have you rethinking that summer wedding date. But don't take our word for it! Look at photographer Marissa Maharaj's gorgeous photos below and be the judge.

Kristina and Joshua invited friends and family to Sodo Park, a loft in Seattle's downtown historic district. "It was in a great location," says Kristina, "and it was a beautiful space that could accommodate our guest count." The couple's invitation suite featured soft blooms surrounding swirling text and vibrant envelopes.

Kristina and Joshua chose to have a first look, a decision neither regrets. "It was probably one of my favorite parts of the day," the bride says. "It was so special to be able to experience so many emotions, just the two of us. We have been together for six-and-a-half years by the time our wedding day approached, but it was still surreal to see Joshua and know that he was about to become my husband."

Kristina chose a head-to-toe lace Sarah Seven gown with a high neckline and delicate satin belt. "It fit absolutely perfectly and it was so comfortable," she says. She also wore custom stud diamond earrings, which were a wedding gift from the groom, and carried a lush bouquet of ranunculus, roses, berries, and greenery.

Joshua donned a navy blue suit, while his tie had a hidden surprise: A heart-shape patch with his nickname for Kristina and their wedding date embroidered inside.

Kristina's bridesmaids wore olive-colored off-the-rack dresses from Zara. "I wanted them to wear something they'd be comfortable in," the bride says, "and something they could wear again." The couple's three flower girls wore winter-appropriate long-sleeve tops and fluffy handmade tutus. Gold sequin flats and super-sweet baby's breath flower crowns completed their wedding day attire.

The bride's attendants carried miniature versions of Kristina's bouquet, wrapped in ribbons that bore each woman's name. And the couple's bulldog, Henry, served as their ring bearer, wearing an oversized bowtie and a happy grin for his family.

Guests found programs at the entrance to the ceremony, black books that featured white script and were tied with light pink ribbons.

The ceremony space was outlined in ivory, with its entranced lined in eucalyptus garland. Tree stumps, lanterns, and fresh flowers also decorated the entrance. Inside, family rows were denoted with fresh garlands on the aisle-side chairs.

Kristina's father walked her down the aisle to the tune of Canon in D. "We did not write our own vows, but we chose special bits and pieces from the Bible to be included to reflect our hopes and prayers for our marriage," Kristina says.

Inside the reception, cocoa-colored sequined linens covered round tables that were topped with lush floral arrangements. Stunning mixes of roses, anemones, blackerries, pieris japonica, and flowing greenery surely offered a reprieve from the winter landscape outdoors. Table numbers were written on stained wooden blocks, while mustard-hued napkins featured custom stained wood napkin rings.

"Walking into our reception space before all of the curtains were pulled back to allow guests in was amazing," Kristina recalls. "We loved seeing all of the details that we had been planning for the past year and three months, all in one place. It was great to be able to take it all in and reflect on what we had been through."

Kristina and Joshua sat at a sweetheart table with chairs draped in swags of fresh blooms and a custom table number reading, "Table for Two." They served a feast of local and seasonal items, including a roasted winter squash medallion, spice rubbed beef tenderloin, citrus rubbed halibut, and Dungeness crab cakes.

While the couple didn't give out favors (Kristina and Joshua made a donation to Bulldog Haven instead), they did serve up glazed doughnuts for their guests to take home in monogrammed bags. "That was really special to us," Kristina says. "We also made a donation to The Paul Lee Foundation, which raises awareness and resources for those struggling with mental or emotional health. Our college experienced a school shooting our senior year and Paul Lee's life was taken."

A lounge area, complete with leather sofas, rattan furniture, and coffee tables made from tree stumps, offered guests another spot to relax during the reception.

The couple's four-tiered wedding cake was covered in Swiss meringue buttercream, and included layers of pink Champagne, red velvet, and chocolate chunk cake. But that wasn't quite enough sweets for Kristina and Joshua, who also offered other fun desserts, including additional single-tiered confections, more doughnuts, and Rice Krispy treats.

After taking their first twirl to Dustin Kensrue's "Pistol," the couple left their reception and went on to honeymoon in Playa Mujures, Mexico. "AKA paradise," Kristina jokes.

"Decide together what aspects of your wedding are important to you, and don't be afraid to go for them," Kristina tells future couples. "Enjoy every single moment because it will fly by."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Sodo Park || Wedding Planner & Florist: Hey Gorgeous Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven || Hair & Makeup: Erin Skipley || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Zara || Groom's Attire: Ralph Lauren || Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A. Bank || Flower Girl Attire: Tutus Chic || Invitations: Graceline Art || Music: Puget Sound Strings; Austin Beaver || Catering: Herban Feast || Cake: Honey Crumb Cake Studio || Rentals: ABC Rentals || Videographer: Good Times Productions || Photography: Marissa Maharaj

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Looking for more weddings just like this one? Then check out another couple's Seattle celebration in the video below.

Feb 052016

Sometimes in the great search for the perfect wedding venue, you don't even know where to begin. The answer? Browsing the top-notch spots to get married. Ever. In our new February/March 2016 issue (on newsstands now!) we call out the best venues— indoor and outdoor, big and small, luxury and budget-friendly— across America. How did we go about creating such a list? We asked more than 1,500 real brides and grooms nationwide to weigh in on the best spots to say "I do" by rating their own wedding location on everything from the service to the food to the view. From great plantations and rustic farms in the South to elegant libraries and grand hotels in the Northeast to romantic, swoon-worthy wineries on the West Coast, we found them all. So take note, brides-to-be! These are our readers' favorite bridal boutiques in the Midwest.

Wide-open spaces are your backdrop at these luxe ranches, wineries, and mountain Resorts

The Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado (Above)
A few reasons to get married at this perennial favorite's 11,212-foot-high wedding deck: the awesome Rocky Mountain backdrop, the giant vaulted restaurant, and the chance to use a gondola as your getaway ride.

El Chorro, Paradise Valley, Arizona
After a ceremony with epic views of Camelback Mountain, lead your guests to the adobe-style hotel's great room or light-strung lawn for seasonal southwestern cuisine.

Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson, Arizona
Saddle up for a pre-wedding horseback ride with your girls, then kick off your boots and celebrate with vows among cacti that are at least twice your height.

Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California
This posh Mediterranean-style resort features a gorge garden, colorful tiled patios, and an airy ballroom overlooking the sea. fourseasons.com.

Bear Flag Farm, Winters, California
Come for the private estate's sprawling vineyards, fragrant fields of lavender, and on-site event design and coordination; stay for the Ferris-wheel photo ops. (Seriously!)

St. Regis Aspen, Aspen, Colorado
The sunken courtyard is the quintessential winter ceremony spot, filled with Aspen trees, fire pits, and sights of the nearby peaks.

See More: Say Yes to The Dress at One of These Bridal Salons in the West!

Dunton Hot Springs, Dolores, Colorado
Wild West wedding alert! If you'd like, you can have this entire ghost town turned five-star resort for the weekend, including an open-air chapel, 13 log cabins, and a saloon that once served Butch Cassidy.

Kukahiko Estate, Maui, Hawaii
This tropical oasis is set on some of the island's most beautiful coastline. Have your ceremony on a lawn overlooking the Pacific, then watch for whales as you dine by the lava-rock beach.

Sun Valley Resort, Sun Valley, Idaho
Breathtaking Bald Mountain will play a starring role in your photos all night, whether you're exchanging vows on Trail Creek Cabin's lawn or partying in the window-filled ballroom at River Run Lodge.

Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, Las Vegas
Three floors up, the neutral-hued ballroom offers a sleek, chic space for your bash, plus floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase the city's famous Strip.

Maysara Winery, McMinville, Oregon
After exchanging vows among 250 acres of vines, move to this massive stone-and-wood space in the Willamette Valley for a night of local pinot noir and dancing.

Montage Deer Valley, Deer Valley, Utah
In the hills above Park City, this modern resort woos mountain-loving brides with its in-the-forest ceremony site, artisanal menus, and cozy, elegant great room.

Sodo Park, Seattle
Just south of downtown, this 100-year-old restored factory features soaring ceilings, exposed beams, and a kick-ass catering team.

Want more genius planning tips? For the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES February/March 2016 issue, on newsstands now and available for download here!

Want to see more venues in the West? Check out our West Venues page to find your dream location!

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WATCH: Go Inside One Couple’s Quirky Seattle Wedding

 Real Wedding Videos, Real Weddings, Seattle, Washington  Comments Off on WATCH: Go Inside One Couple’s Quirky Seattle Wedding
Jan 302016

Planning a wedding in 2016? You're not alone! Between Christmas and Valentine's Day, plenty of new brides-to-be will receive a diamond engagement ring from their significant other, and the competition to book prime weekend wedding dates and highly rated vendors will be fierce. And even if you lock in the best pros in the business, there are still the all-too-tricky tasks of planning every element of the big day. So before you start choosing color palettes and dreaming up centerpieces, it's essential you decide just what type of wedding you want. One great way to do that? Watch lots of other couple's say I do on our real weddings video channel, which is packed with countless celebrations in a wide range of styles. Each week we've been giving you a closer look at one of these fabulous parties, and today we're taking you inside Alissa and Justin's personalized ceremony and reception in Seattle, Washington.

Cabfare Productions joined this adorable couple at Sodo Park for their offbeat nuptials and captured every fun-filled moment. Aside from throwing a totally lovely affair, Alissa and Justin wanted a vintage-inspired celebration that spoke to who they are as a couple. The bride's stunning crystal-embroidered gown is the perfect silhouette for their aesthetic, and the groom looked oh-so dapper in his charcoal gray suit.

See More: 15 Stunning Wedding Flower Walls

From their barn-inspired ceremony to their summery reception, the whole day rang true to this couple's style. Colorful flower arrangements and rustic touches (like a wicker cake topper and exposed wooden beams) tied the whole party together. They even visited iconic Seattle spots for photos and video that paid tribute to the city where they said "I do."

What we loved most about this video, though, is that it gives you a true sense of who these two are as a couple. It's quirky and fun, with lots of smiling, laughing, and horsing around. It's just the type of memory you want to be able to look back on years and years into the future.

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One Couple’s Elevated Backyard Wedding in Seattle, Washington

 Real Weddings, Washington  Comments Off on One Couple’s Elevated Backyard Wedding in Seattle, Washington
Jan 272016

Mollie Eshelman first met Graham Bullis in the winter of 2005 while both were in high school, but it wasn't until five years later that the two became a couple. Things took off and, three years after that, in November of 2013, Graham woke Mollie up early with breakfast and champagne in bed. They spent the day together, enjoying walking through the park where the first met and a romantic dinner at their favorite restaurant in Seattle, along with a proposal.

The couple knew they wanted to celebrate their wedding at home in Seattle, so they invited 188 guests to the bride's parent's house on Lake Washington for romantic, open-air ceremony and reception on August 9, 2014. "We wanted something timeless and elegant," Mollie says. "As for the feel of the day, we wanted it to be a good old fashioned party! No rushing, no strict timelines or long speeches. We really wanted all of our guests to enjoy the property, food, drinks, and company." And that they did! Keep reading to see their entire day, as photographed by Michele M. Waite Photography.

Mollie and Graham turned to stationer Jenny Wittlinger of Wendu Ink for their invitations and paper goods. They chose a classic navy and white color scheme — a subtle nod to their destination on the water — and completed the suite with a map enclosure.

The bride walked down the aisle in a strapless Monique Lhuillier wedding dress. "I felt amazing in it!" she remembers. "It's true what they say — you know exactly when you've found your dress." Mollie knew she wanted a loose, manageable bouquet with a natural and effortless feel, so her florist, Melanie Benson Floral Design, created a berry, pink, and green-hued arrangement with dahlias, Japanese anemones, peonies, and roses.

Her four bridesmaids each chose their own classic black cocktail-length dress and carried smaller versions of Mollie's bouquet.

Graham turned to J.Crew for a classic Ludlow suit, which he accessorized with a small rose boutonniere.

James and Emma, the bride's cousin's children, served as the couple's flower girl and ring bearer; he wore linen shorts with a white shirt and black suspenders while she wore a sweet tea-length dress. The sweet brother and sister walked down the aisle hand-in-hand, kicking off the ceremony officiated by the bride's cousin, Reid. Mollie's father walked the bride down a stone aisle where she met Graham beneath a floral arch. "We wrote our own vows. He promised to make me tea every morning and I promised to consider playing golf," Mollie says. "Neither of us have held up those vows very well."

The couple and their guests stayed by the water for cocktail hour, where everyone indulged in cocktails, a selection of wine from a local vineyard, and plenty of oysters. Dinner was served near the family home on an upper lawn. There, round and rectangular tables were decorated with lush centerpieces, vintage dinnerware, and lots of candlelight. Mollie and Graham's florist used many of the flowers found in the bride's bouquet for the reception, but added additional blooms and lots of fruit for decoration. "Melanie did such a spectacular job incorporating other elements for colors like blackberries, plums, pears, and greenery," she says.

In addition to the plated meal, which included a grilled nectarine caprese salad, herb-crusted beef tenderloin, and summer vegetable torta rustica, the couple set up food and beverage stations around the property where guests could grab snacks and sips throughout the night.

As night fell, caf&eaute; lights lent a romantic glow to the backyard reception and guests had the opportunity to take in stunning views of Mount Rainer.

Dessert was almost too pretty to eat — almost! "We wanted the cake to look good!" Mollie says. "I don't like those stiff wedding cakes that are common. They don't look appetizing to me, so we went with a swirled buttercream frosting, chocolate cake, cream cheese filling, and a layer of fresh strawberries." The confection was decorated with a cascade of berry-colored flowers.

Mollie and Graham partied with their guests until 1 AM, and paused the dancing only briefly at 10:30 PM to serve late night snacks from Dick's Drive In, a local Seattle favorite.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Private residence || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Hair & Makeup: Erin Skipley Hair and Makeup || Groom's Attire: J.Crew || Florist: Melanie Benson Floral Design || Stationery: Wendu Ink || Décor: Vintage Ambiance || Catering & Cake: Herban Feast || Videographer: Patrick Kehoe || Photographer: Michele M. Waite Photography

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Did you love this backyard wedding? Then watch another at-home celebration in the video below.

An Italian-Inspired Wedding on San Juan Island in Washington

 Proposals, Real Weddings, Washington  Comments Off on An Italian-Inspired Wedding on San Juan Island in Washington
Sep 172015

Although Renee Russo and Finn Fisher were high school classmates, it took 11 years for them to finally get together. They reconnected in February 2013 and, after just nine months of dating, Finn popped the question with the help of Renee's son. "My son told me to look in the fireplace," remembers Renee. "And when I looked in, there was a bed of flowers with a ring on it!"

The next August, the couple invited 150 guests to the bride's family home in Roche Harbor, Washington for an Italian-inspired ceremony and open-air reception. "My sister was married there and the house means so much to us," says the bride. The only challenge? "Getting vendors to deliver to the island!"

Keep reading to see Llanes Weddings' photos of the beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest below.

The bride chose a strapless Monique Lhuillier dress with an embroidered corset. She styled the gown with her mother's pearl necklace, her grandmother's pearl ring, and an antique diamond bracelet that was given to her on her 30th birthday.

Before the ceremony, the couple goofed around the property on a pair of white bikes.

Renee's bridesmaids stunned in strapless dresses in shades of champagne, pink, and lavender, while the guys matched in black tuxes and black vests. But the cutest members of the wedding party were the six flower girls, who wore fluffy white dresses, and the ring bearer, who wowed in purple suspenders and a bowtie.

To play up the natural beauty of the ceremony site, Renee and Finn added barrels filled with fresh flowers and moss and a wooden welcome sign at the entrance. After walking down a flower-lined aisle, they exchanged vows they'd written themselves in front of a bed of daisies.

As a nod to the bride's Italian father, the group enjoyed a market-style cocktail hour on the lawn.

With the help of Aleah and Nick of Valley & Co., Renee and Finn filled their tent with flower-topped farm tables, chandeliers draped with greenery, and a black and white dance floor. After the newlyweds danced to UB40's "Can't Help Falling in Love," the bride brought her son out to the dance floor for Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby."

To end the night on a sweet note, the bride and groom worked with Cakes by Felicitations to design a four-tired ruffled confection with chocolate, key lime, and tiramisu flavors. "The first bite of cake was one of my top three favorite moments of the night," says Renee.

Renee and Finn, who are waiting to take their honeymoon in 2016, have this piece of advice for brides to be: "Enjoy the moment and make sure to personalize your wedding — you want it to tell a story about you as a couple!"

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Private home || Wedding Planner & Flowers: Valley & Co. || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier from Marcella's La Boutique || Veil: Marcella's La Boutique || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Groom's Attire: Men's Warehouse || Flower Girl Attire: Neiman Marcus || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Westcoast Diamond & Gem || Catering: Roche Harbor Resort || Cake: Cakes by Felicitations || Photography: Llanes Weddings

Want to see another open-air wedding? Then check out this couple's outdoor ceremony and reception in the video below!

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