Marita + Andrew found each other in high school – and not just any high school, a high school in Japan! After graduating high school and spending their college years in Seattle, Andrew moved to Florida to start his navigator training. Then they found out that in order for Marita to live with Andrew, they would have to be married, so they had a courtroom wedding with just four others present. They told everyone they were engaged with the plan to have a big traditional wedding the next year. After the stress of Andrew being in school and trying to coordinate their guests schedules so they could attend (lots of family were living in other countries), they decide to call off the wedding and tell everyone they were already married.
Since they already had a photographer (the talented Andria Lindquist) booked and a gorgeous (wait until you see it!) custom gown on the way, they decided to travel back to Seattle and elope with their closest friends – in a field just like Marita dreamed of. It was perfect – and now they have photos of their wedding to share with their future children and remember the day forever. Congrats to Marita + Andrew and thanks so much for sharing your story.
I had yearned for peonies since beginning to peruse the wedding blogs for inspiration, and was astounded when I went to Pike’s Place Market the day before our ceremony to see dozens of buckets of pink peonies waiting for me. My bouquet of 14 peonies only cost me $20!
I had seen countless elopements that looked so sweet and simple, and I was really drawn to outdoor with a small arch to bring a focus to our small little group. Growing up, Pride and Prejudice was (and still is) my favorite book, and all of the outdoor strolls Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy took led me to believe that they might have had a small outdoor ceremony under an arch of flowers. So, I imagined an old Victorian style outdoor wedding, with a handful of people in a semi-circle and a simple bouquet.
Favorite Moment of the Day? One of the main reasons we had a ceremony was because we never got to say our own vows at our ceremony in the courthouse. Andrew writes the sweetest most thoughtful anniversary/birthday/holiday notes, that I really wanted my vows to match his. I rewrote several drafts of my vows, hoping to make them feel genuine with a little humor sprinkled in. I couldn’t help but cry through both of our readings of the vows, and that was by far the best moment of the day.
After traipsing the streets of downtown Seattle having a mini photo shoot, we went to dinner at Barolo Ristorante to end the evening. Even though nothing about our wedding was conventional, we felt that it was the most genuine representation of our relationship, and now marriage. I feel blessed that we got to celebrate twice with those closest to us, and focus on the fact that we found each other. Andrew saved me, and I will spend the rest of my life letting him know how grateful I am for it.
Any advice to those planning now? Stick to your gut. Even though we were already married, we wanted photos to show our children, but also to mark the occasion in a special way. I knew I wanted something small and intimate, but that didn’t feel overdone or that we were trying to have an actual wedding. I had moments of panic that the ceremony would be cheesy or awkward, but the entire day felt so natural that all my fears evaporated. We were really intent on focusing on vows and just celebrating, and we got exactly that.
But the most important piece of advice I can give is to hire a quality photographer. Since taking our engagement photos with Andria, I was dying to shoot with her again, especially since her photos just seemed to be getting better and better. She knew us so well, the style we liked, that it was the most natural fit. She acted like our wedding coordinator also (which I don’t recommend for big weddings!) by keeping us on time and choosing the location of the ceremony. I had a vision in my head, but no real direction of how to carry it out. Looking at our photos now, I’m blown away at how much Andria interpreted my vision and turned it into something we will treasure forever.
photography: Andria Lindquist // ceremony location: Discovery Park // elopement dinner: Barolo Ristorante // flowers: Pike Place Market // grooms attire: Calvin Klein // wedding dress: Etsy seller Atelier Tami (custom made in Greece) // shoes: Christian Louboutin // bridesmaid dresses: Anthropologie & Banana Republic (they chose their own) // hair: Salon Armand