seattle wedding photographer | golden gardens | jaime and aaron

Apr 16, 2009

The reason for my trip to Seattle last week was that my cousin got married!  She had a stunning wedding with beautiful details and a healthy dose of bad luck.  For a Seattle wedding in any month, but particularly April, you’d assume rain was going to be your biggest worry.  So they planned an indoor wedding, I brought a gorgeous silk umbrella with me for pictures, and their invitations even said “Rain or Rain.”  Remember how cute they were?

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But we totally scored on the weather.  In a completely uncharacteristic move, the Seattle sun shone.  It was a beautiful day.


The flip side of that was that Seattle threw its other weapon at them:  traffic.  The traffic on I-5 (Seattle’s main freeway) was so bad on this Saturday that it actually made the news that evening.  (Traffic and Seattle go together like peas and carrots, so for it to make the news says something.)  And once everyone fought their way out of that traffic?  Well…the Golden Gardens had a little surprise for Jaime and Aaron.  (This photo has nothing to do with the surprise, but this post is text-heavy so I had to break up the text with eye candy.)

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Not only was their venue hosting their wedding that day, the park was also hosting the 2009 Honda Lowrider Convention.  Something Jaime and Aaron didn’t know until they arrived!  I sat at the park entrance in my car for over an hour just trying to get in.  Along with a LOT of young men in their suped-up Civics (I drive a responsible four door Civic with its original height and factory speakers, thank you very much) blaring their bass and revving their engines.  WHY COULDN’T IT HAVE BEEN A LIBRARIAN CONVENTION?!!

As you can imagine, everyone was late.  Bride, groom, vendors, guests…we were all at the mercy of the mean guy directing traffic at the bottom of the hill.

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Now, this could have been really bad.  But Jaime and Aaron took it all in stride and their usual humor.  At the opening of the toasts Jaime announced with great fanfare:  “Welcome to the 2009 Honda Lowrider Convention!!” to applause and a lot of laughter.  Luckily they had a 110% professional wedding coordinator running the show.  Kirstie from Simply Wed handled and orchestrated the situation beautifully.  She was in control and organized and just went with the flow and I spent the day thinking “what a difference a wonderful coordinator makes!”   I’m going to kidnap her and make her move to Colorado.

Her organization made it that much easier to shrug off the stress of the journey and get down to enjoying the wedding with all of its wonderful details!  Like the candy bar.  (insert maniacal laughter here)

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Jaime and Aaron’s wedding showed more concern for their guests than any wedding I’ve ever seen.  I was incredibly impressed by the level of thought that went into guest comfort, and it ended up being so important because of the delays due to the lowrider traffic.  Instead of keeping the food for after the ceremony, they had set up an appetizer buffet table and were serving drinks and food the moment guests arrived.  They had carnival games set up around the room:

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At each guest’s place was a basket-type bag.  Guests were told to fill them with goodies from the candy table.


They’d seen each other ahead of time (even before we had a chance to do a “first look”), and as guests arrived they used their time to mingle and welcome guests as opposed to staying hidden from view.   It was a really modern approach–they tossed out the rulebook and just focused on being great hosts for the event.  Totally the way I’m doing my next wedding after Nic leaves me for a younger, less mouthy wife.  :P

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Once everyone had arrived, it was time for the ceremony.  I love these shots of everyone getting organized.  (That’s my Nana on the left.  I wanna look that good when I’m 85, too.  And check out the cell phone in her hand!)

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This next shot proves that you don’t have to avoid seeing each other before the ceremony to get that million dollar reaction!  Jaime and Aaron had been together for about three hours by this point, but look at his face as he took Jaime’s hand!

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The dramatic light was pretty cool.  I’d normally expose for the shadows, but I decided to  go for drama in some of the shots, and I’m so glad I did! (It’s my attempt to be cool like Cliff Mautner.)

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Isn’t Jaime pretty?!  I love her bubble hem dress–so perfect for her!


After the ceremony came the congratulatory hugs.  I love the hugs!

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After the ceremony we had the best dinner I’ve ever had at a wedding.  I overheard the caterer saying that they aren’t really wedding caterers–Aaron just loved the restaurant she owned and asked if they would cater!  It was 10 different kinds of delicious.  I want to lick the pictures.


The cake was incredible.  Topped with the same topper that all the women in my family have used since my grandmother got it in 1945.  (She told me before my wedding that she’d been disappointed by it because it was so old-fashioned and very “dated and old-fashioned.”  Because of the war and rationing, not only did she have to supply her baker with the sugar for her wedding cake, she also had to buy an old cake topper, because apparently in the early 1940s they had more important things to make than wedding toppers.  Like tanks.)


And then the party started.  The Coopers rocked the dance floor pretty hard.  Check out my momma.  She’s too good of a dancer to be rendered on film:


And my sister?  She’s too bad of a dancer to be attacked mid-move by Will.  (Just kidding Kell-Mell.)


Check out maid-of-honor Christine jumping for the bouquet!


And making it official…Jaime and Aaron arm-wrestled to see who should sign first:


This actual real true low light sunset had me canceling my flight back to Colorado Springs.  ;P  We just don’t get light like this in Colorado Springs!  (The mountains block the sun as it sets meaning we don’t get the “golden hour”–the sun drops behind the mountains before that can happen.)



Nic was in California on a business trip, so I shot the event all by my lonesome.  Which makes behind-the-scenes shots a little tricky.  But I can offer you these.  My dad carrying my shoes while I rocked the beach shots barefoot:


And one of me, my mom, my sister, and my nana in that golden light.


And this one that shows just how much Will enjoys dancing with me.


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