Wedding Chicks

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

From Aleah + Nick Valley of Valley & Co.: Lauren and Bryan’s wedding planning story is one that was not only fun and memorable, but it’s close to our hearts. Aleah and Lauren have been dear friends since they were in grade school and they’d secretly been planning their weddings since they were little girls. Lauren walked by Aleah’s side as she and Nick tied the knot some years ago, and it was our pleasure to not only help Lauren and Bryan create their wedding experience, but to also stand by Lauren’s side as she said I Do.

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

They wanted something in Washington State that felt like a true getaway for guests, but that wasn't too far from Seattle for ease of access. They settled on the perfect venue: the Northwest Maritime Center in charming seaside Port Townsend, which was a special place to Lauren – nearby to the island where Aleah’s parents live and where we tied the knot. The venue was a perfect setting: one with exposed wooden beams, sweeping views of the islands in the distance and Olympics to the west, and an industrial feeling that was warm and allowed for sweet touches to be brought in. It was the perfect balance for the masculine undertones Bryan wanted have represented and the delicate touches Lauren wanted to incorporate.

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

Once the stage was set we all went to work on incorporating sweet details and setting the tone for the personalized celebration. We worked with the talented Kate Holland from Ruby and Willow in New Zealand to design the invitations: it was a fusion of colors and created in letterpress for an elegant touch. The invitations {in flourishes and creative fonts} indicated a fun and beautiful celebration was to come.

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

Since grade school Lauren’s favorite colors have been the definition of girly: pretty pink, pastels like sea foam and lavender, and pale blue. It’s no coincidence that we brought this sweet color story to life in their wedding picture. The blooms were also Lauren’s favorites: hydrangea and roses and ruffly peonies that we were ever-so-lucky to score in Seattle in late July. We used an abundance of gorgeous glass vessels like apothecary jars and cut crystal vases and endless candlelight for an utterly romantic ambiance for the reception. Clusters of oversized hydrangea stalks were bunched with irises, curly willow and floating peonies for a timeless tone.

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

Bryan is a big time Cubs fan {hence the Cubs cufflinks} and he’s visited every Major League Baseball stadium in the country. We nodded to his love of the game and doled out Cracker Jacks boxes to guests mid-dancing for some fuel.
Their wedding parties represented various stages in both of their lives: from childhood through college. Family and friends play such a supporting role in both of their lives individually and together, so having these important stages represented was key.
The ceremony was focused around the Indian Island backdrop and was spectacular. Lauren and Bryan met on the 3rd of July verses from the book I Like You were recited, complete with a sweet sentiment about the 4th of July. Perfectly fitting.

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

Boaters who were out in forces on the beautiful day stopped to watch the nuptials and one group set off a cannon as Lauren and Bryan were pronounced husband and wife. The perfect coastal touch. Guests enjoyed an outdoors cocktail hour with a Skip and Get Married cocktail and hand selected wine and enjoyed a dinner menu with Pacific Northwest flair and desserts like donut holes and cupcakes. Dancing kicked off with a sweet first dance and some full-on getting down. The crowd knew how to celebrate!

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

A Pastel Seaside Wedding

From day one the happy couple knew that they wanted to create an experience for their guests. With many flying in from Australia, Alaska, Miami, and other locations, giving everyone a weekend to remember was a priority.

Down to the details: Lauren and Bryan’s wedding really was a labor of love.
Aleah’s mom handmade the darling hooray and yay pennant flays we secretly passed out pre-ceremony and made chalkboards from scratch for signage. Nick and Aleah’s dad went to work on the school-map photo booth details and Lauren’s father hand selected special wines and champagne. The rehearsal dinner was flown in fresh from Alaska {delicious salmon!} from Bryan’s family. Everyone pitched in to create the beauty that was.

Family touches were so prevalent: Lauren carried her grandmother’s handkerchief around her bouquet, wore her great grandmother’s ring, drank from her other set of grandparent’ cup for a wine exchange during the ceremony, and chocolates flown in from Australia in honor of family members who could not make the trip. She and Bryan hand wrapped the favors with our mothers and had our mothers sign our marriage certificate.
Bryan’s uncle made the brisket for rehearsal dinner, two of  Lauren’s bridesmaids were her hair and makeup stylists and Bryan conspired with Lauren’s family to have her 90 year old grandmother (and other Australian relatives) leave a recorded wedding wish that was played during dinner. They also Lauren’s engagement and wedding ring together and their wedding day was the first time she was able to wear their labor of love.

Lauren says that: Bryan was a total rock star during the planning process and had a say in most all of the details. We had so much fun planning together and it was further confirmation of what a good team we make. He knew me better than I knew myself at times! For inspiration I perused Wedding Chicks literally every day and was able to draw ideas and details from Pinterest to share ideas with Aleah virtually.

Tips from Lauren: Soak in the day. It goes by in such a flash. We knew this going into the wedding day so we took note from Jim and Pam in that episode of The Office where they took mental snapshots of each moment. We kept looking at each other taking those snapshots, like during dancing, and that’s how I’m able to remember much of the day.

My words of planning wisdom: realize that the small decisions feel really important at the time but on the actual day it’s not about that. Yes, your wedding is everything you imagined it to be, but it’s all about getting married and celebrating with friends and family. There came a point where Nick and Aleah made those last decisions for us and surprised us with elements like the guest book and photo booth and flowers.

From Bryan: I can’t stress the capturing of each moment enough. I’m thankful we were able to slow down and take it all in with our mental snapshots. Eat as much as you can. After all, you chose the meal! While we definitely put effort into the details, I love that we never forgot that the big picture is what really mattered. Our late night snack of grilled cheese sandwiches was a huge hit and definitely kept the party going. Say hi to everyone, dance a lot, drink enough and remember to be thankful that everyone is there for you!
The word that best describes the wedding: Love. The entire planning process was centered around sharing our love with the people we love the most. Love of our family, friends, and most importantly, each other. Some people have a theme- we had a feeling that we wanted to share. That was prevalent throughout the fun of the planning process and through our wedding weekend.
Making a weekend getaway experience for our guests allowed the entire time to be relaxed and not rushed. Spending Thursday night gathering our wedding party, close friends and family doing karaoke was a perfect way to kick off the weekend after the ferry ride. Friday was spent exploring the quaint town and enjoying the rehearsal dinner in an outdoor garden. Saturday was the main event and brunch on Sunday was the perfect way to send off guests.