Sarah + Mark
June 30, 2012
A deep and personal connection to the mountains often prompts couples to have a mountain wedding. For Sarah and Mark, Mazama was a vacation spot. It was also the place where Mark proposed, making it the perfect location for this Seattle couple's mountain wedding. Mark, an architect, made many of the wedding details, including the gorgeous wedding invitation suite and the handmade wooden ceremony arch the couple exchanged vows under. Check out Sarah's Hindsight advice below, especially concerning the guest list…
Why a Mountain Wedding?
We love the mountains and spend a lot of our time hiking, camping and skiing depending on the season. We had traveled to the Methow Valley of Washington many times and got engaged there.
Where did you find your inspiration?
We wanted to make everything about the wedding organic and not out of a wedding magazine. I used some ideas I saw on Pinterest and made them our own. For example I loved the idea of a rustic arbor. My husband made the arbor out of branches from my mom's willow tree in the yard of the house I grew up in. My husband designed our invitations to look like the background of the wedding setting. We wanted our wedding to fit into the landscape rather than look like a wedding sitting on top of the landscape.
Your favorite moment of the day.
Oh there are so many! Walking back after we said our vows, holding hands looking at all these people we love together at one time with the ominous clouds above us that by some miracle did not drop an ounce of rain on us.
Three things you're glad you did.
- I'm glad we chose to have the smaller wedding that could fit into the barn. In order to accommodate the number of people on our original list would have required renting tents which would have looked like a giant, white eyesore on the gorgeous landscape. So we cut our list in half and made it work in the 100 year-old barn.
- I'm glad we borrowed decorations from friends rather than buying the “perfect” items. For example I wanted paper lanterns in different colors but we had friends who had dozens of white ones who let us borrow them. It turned out beautiful anyway.
- I'm glad I accepted the offers of help. So many people offered and we really needed it. I'm glad I stopped worrying and just said, “Yes, help me! And thank you!”
Three things you wish you had done?
I wish I would have spent more time with my husband! We had so many friends that traveled from thousands of miles away, we wanted to spend every minute we could with them. I look back and can't remember how much time we were actually together that night. 2. That's all I can think of. It was a pretty magical day.
Three things you wish you hadn't done?
- I wish we hadn't asked the caterer to put open bottles of wine on the tables. We thought it would allow people to not have to travel to the bar outside but they did anyway! We wasted a case of wine, open on tables that was never drank.
- I wish we hadn't blown off our dance practice. We took lessons for a choreographed first dance and never practiced. It was pretty evident but people still enjoyed our unique take on the traditional first dance.
- I wish we had arranged a more formal dinner the night before. We didn't have a wedding party so there wasn't a need for a rehearsal. At the last minute my family put together a BBQ which turned out amazing, but was a lot of stress on them.
Three things you wish you hadn't worried about?
- The guest list. It's a day to celebrate your life together. The people you want or don't want there is up to you. Forget about the “have to” people and only include the “want to”.
- That everything had to be perfect. It all works out and stressing about all the tiny details just takes away from the joy of the day.
- What everyone was wearing. I had it in my head that certain people had to wear green or couldn't wear a tie or couldn't wear jeans. In the end, it didn't matter.
How did you choose your vendors?
We chose our photographer, Katie for her talent as a photographer, but also because we had a personal relationship with her. We used to be neighbors as children and our families are close. The other vendors were all local. Having a wedding 20 miles from the nearest town required using people who knew the area and could handle a wedding outside, in the middle of nowhere. We also chose our caterer because her philosophy was sourcing all the food locally. We wanted to keep everything close to our hearts or the heart of the location.
What is your very best hindsight advice?
It's YOUR day. Forget the pressure from family, forget that you may offend someone with your guest list choices, you cannot make everyone happy. So make you and your future spouse happy. Looking back, the only thing that matters is making it the best wedding day for you.
- My husband designed, printed, and assembled our wedding invitations. They were so unique and beautiful.
- The arbor we got married under was made by my husband using branches from a tree at my mom's house.
- The flowers were bought from the local farm that we tied together and put in mason jars.
- My sisters did my hair and my best friend did my make up.
- My sister did the playlist for dinner, dancing and the cocktail hour.
- Come to think of it, almost everything outside of catering, photography and our clothes were DIY.
- Photography: Red Sparrow Photography
- Venue: Mazama Ranch
- Catering: Stewart Dietz Catering
- Maple Syrup bottles were from Benton's Sugar Shack in Thornton, New Hampshire
- Wedding Brownies: Sinful Squares
- Cheese was Cougar Gold from the Washington State University (we are both WSU Alum) creamery