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From England With Love: Alain & Sara Get Married in Seattle at The Canal…

April 13, 2014

The only thing missing from Alain and Sara’s wedding was their beloved pooch, Nacho!SaraAlain3

Nacho was back in England, awaiting the return of his wonderful guardians.

And when they return, they will be so very married!

Alain and Sara were married on Friday, April 11th at The Canal in Ballard, surrounded by 100+ very happy family and friends.

Because of Alain’s deployment in the United Kingdom, we created their ceremony long distance and met for the first time at rehearsal.  What struck me was how much love was present for this couple.  And how happy family and friends were and are for this loving relationship.

And so, at the high hour of 6:30 p.m., Sara walked down the aisle, escorted by her parents to marry the love of her life.


Elope in Seattle: 6 Popular Locations and Places For Your Small And Intimate Wedding Ceremony

April 7, 2014

You are getting married! And you want to elope to Seattle, Washington!elope

Whether you live in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, are driving from another part of the State to Seattle or are flying in for your elopement, you’ll need a very memorable location and/or place for your small and intimate wedding ceremony.

So, you’ve got some decisions to make. Do you want something formal and traditional? Would you like to exchange vows waterside with your witnesses? Or perhaps you’d like to get married at the top of Seattle’s very popular Space Needle?

No matter what your faith and tradition or style, Seattle has some of the most amazing and fun locations/places for your elopement

Top Of Seattle’s Space Needle – There is so very fun! You’ll need to come up with the $18 per person ticket price to take the ride up the Space Needle and once there, you can exchange vows while taking advantage of spectacular views of Seattle and the Puget Sound.  And make a reservation for lunch or dinner and ride up for free.

Snoqualmie Falls - It’s worth the 30-minute ride to the tiny town of Snoqualmie to exchange your vows at the base of Snoqualmie Falls. This is a popular elopement site and many couples often celebrate their marriage with a celebration meal afterwards at the nearby Salish Lodge, which overlooks the Falls.

The Magnolia Bluff – This is an amazing bluff in the Seattle neighborhood of Magnolia which overlooks the Puget Sound. The views are free and your wedding photos will be amazing!

Century Link Field – There is nothing like getting married at home plate! If you are a baseball fan or sports fanatic, you may want to get hitched inside of Century Link Field. Contact the corporate office of the Seattle Mariner’s Baseball team to make arrangements and for more information.

The Willows Lodge – If you want a one-stop shopping venue for your elopement and overnight stay, consider the very popular Willows Lodge located in Woodinville, WA, a short drive from downtown Seattle. Willows Lodge is a beautiful property with indoor and outdoor options for your small wedding ceremony. And if you stay the night, the staff will provide two witnesses for free!

Vashon Island – Hop a ferry from Seattle’s Fauntleroy dock and take a short ferry ride to quaint and picturesque Vashon Island, a small neighboring Puget Sound Island of 6,000 residents. Vashon Island offers many beachside locations for your ceremony as well as intimate neighborhood dining options if you want to stay a bit afterwards before heading back to Seattle.

For more information on eloping to Seattle, visit ~ Annemarie Juhlian is a Non-Denominational Wedding Officiant & Minister and loves to work with a couple to create a meaningful and fun elopement experience!  Excerpt from previously written article.

Sharing My Birthday Weekend With 3 Beautiful Couples…

March 31, 2014

Beautiful couples – 3 of ‘em!

And best of all, it was such a happy pleasure to share my birthday weekend with 3 couples – all very different in inspiring ways and with one common denominator:  fierce love, determination and devotion.

Congratulations to David and Diana, Sean and Lindsey and Jim and Gail!

In this work that I do, I “see a lot.”

DavidDianaCho SeanLindseyLucas

I hold great reverence and appreciation for what brings two people together.  And in this work that I do, it is such an incredible blessing to have a front seat to the beauty of partnership – and to be a part of such a sacred lifetime moment - no matter if this is religious, spiritual or secular in tone.


A Seattle Wedding Ceremony Processional – 4 Tips For a Flawless and Memorable Walk Down the Aisle!

March 24, 2014

Just call me the Rehearsal Queen!  Here you go…

1) Put Someone In Charge Or Your Processional: In my world, the Officiant leads a rehearsal.  And in counsel with your Officiant or Minister, you will want to appoint a friend as “Processional Coordinator.”

What does a processional coordinator do? They take on the task of knowing your ceremony line-up and with your Officiant, they line everyone up just before the ceremony begins.  The Coordinator assists with music cues and they cue in each member of the processional as they follow the music selections.

Most often a friend is touched to be asked to take on this important role in a ceremony. Don’t leave the “orchestration” of your processional to chance, especially if you don’t have a coordinator or planner. Find a friend who loves a wedding and task him or her with the responsibility of getting everyone down the aisle on time and in style!

2) Get Everyone On The Same Page With Your Music Selections & Cues: One of the most serious hiccups within a wedding ceremony processional are music cues. As you plan your processional, you likely will be selecting up to four pieces of music starting with the pre-seating of family members through the presentation and arrival of the bride.

If you are working with live music, work out the music cues ahead of time with the person in charge of your trio, quartet or band and insure they have a copy of your processional order. If your DJ is running your processional music, do the same.

Lastly, have your Officiant and Processional Coordinator consult with the person in charge of your music to insure that everyone is on the same page.

3) Flower Power: Do It Early and Do It Right: Don’t be one of those weddings where flowers are passed and pinned on family and wedding party members at the last minute. Corsages and boutonnieres should be pinned at least an hour before your processional to eliminate any last minute flower pinning. Sometimes, fancy flowers aren’t the easiest things to get on a flimsy dress or starched suit. Also, flower bouquets should stay in water up to 5-10 minutes before a ceremony and wiped dry before being given to the ladies at processional.

4) Plan Guest Seating With Care: Don’t seat guests too early, especially if family and friends are sitting in the heat or sun. Plan on seating 10-15 minutes before a ceremony begins and start within 5-10 minutes of your “invitation time.”

By seating your guests quickly, elegantly and with care, you help insure a comfortable experience not only for your guests but for the wedding party waiting in the wings. Also, a wedding ceremony that starts on time helps set the stage for an elegant reception!

Annemarie Juhlian is a Wedding Officiant, Minister & Celebrant in Seattle, Washington. She creates personalized wedding ceremonies for couples of all faiths and traditions. Take a peak at Annemarie: or call 425. 922.1325

Your Seattle Wedding Rehearsal – Best Tips For A Fun & Easy Experience…

March 16, 2014

Are you days away from your wedding rehearsal? Perhaps your rehearsal is still weeks or months down the line.  rehearsal

As a Non-Denominational Wedding Officiant/Minister who has led hundreds of rehearsals for couples in all types of settings (church, chapel, park, waterside, side of mountain), I have had the remarkable experience to be “up front and personal” at rehearsals of all shapes and sizes.

As move toward your wedding rehearsal and rehearsal meal, I offer these suggestions for a fun, engaging and memorable wedding rehearsal.

~ Start On Time: If your rehearsal is scheduled for Noon, put 11:30 a.m. on all invitations and notices. Wedding party members and family/friends are notoriously late for rehearsal and this often creates chaos and stress as the bride and groom attempt to keep everything on “time” for the rehearsal dinner/meal.

~ Insure You Have a Strong “Rehearsal” Leader: Why? Because nobody – and I mean nobody – is really listening at a rehearsal. A wedding rehearsal, while an event, is an “emotional event,” which means that while people appear to be listening, they really are somewhere else.

Do you have a wedding consultant or day or planner? Wonderful! Use him or her to take a strong leadership role in your rehearsal. If your Minister or Officiant is leading the rehearsal, insure that this person knows the mechanics, nuances and strategies to insure a successful rehearsal. Most of all, if the person leading your rehearsal directs with kindness and great humor, a wonderful memory will had by all attending this event.

~ Bring Your Marriage License To Rehearsal ~ Insure that you remember your marriage license by bringing it to rehearsal and giving it to your Minister/Officiant or Wedding Planner. You can’t be married without your marriage license and handing it off to a “person in charge” gives you one less thing to worry about!

~ Rehearsal “Buffer Day” ~ Couples who allow for a “buffer day” between rehearsal and wedding day often walk into their wedding day with more grace, elegance and ease. If your wedding is on a Saturday, rehearse on a Thursday and use Friday for a spa day, time with your Sweetheart and people or perhaps to attend to last minute planning details. Also, by having a low-key buffer day, you most probably will get better sleep than being up late into the night with a rehearsal and rehearsal meal and get-together.

Annemarie Juhlian is a Wedding Officiant, Minister & Celebrant in Seattle, Washington. She creates personalized wedding ceremonies for couples of all faiths and traditions. Take a peak at Annemarie: or call 425. 922.1325

Getting Married At Home: Best Ideas & Easy Tips For Your Beautiful Seattle Wedding Day…

March 10, 2014

Home weddings are increasingly in favor with engaged couples all over the Puget Sound area.HOME WEDDING

Getting married at home – or at a home of a friend or family member – is a marvelous way to create a casual and warm atmosphere, save money and have good control of your catering, venue/site and much more.

So, what is your dream for your at-home wedding ceremony and celebration?

As you consider having your wedding ceremony and celebration at the home of someone you know, here are a few questions to ask yourself, especially if you’re not sure if this is a best option for you:

- Where will your ceremony take place? As you picture yourself “walking down the aisle” or “walking down a staircase,” will there be enough room for your family and friends to comfortably watch and be a part of your wedding ceremony? If the weather is good, does the home have a back yard area or garden for the wedding ceremony and/or reception? And if the weather isn’t good, does the home offer a “Plan B” in the event the ceremony or the ceremony and reception are both indoors?

Don’t consider a home if people are going to be on top of one another. At some weddings I have been to, the lay-out of the home didn’t work for either the scope of the wedding ceremony not did it provide an easy and comfortable atmosphere for the wedding reception.

- Consider all extra costs of a wedding at home. At a venue, details like linens, place settings, china, lighting, tables and chairs, banquet equipment, etc., are often all included in the price of your reception package. For a home wedding, it’s almost a sure thing that you’ll be calling a rental company to price out any and all items you will need to stage your wedding at a private residence.

As you take a look at your rental budget, figure that you’ll probably spend about 20% more than you intend to as you finalize your rental items. It just seems to work like this time and time again for a wedding!

- Cars, cars and more cars. Does the home offer convenient parking? If not, how will your guests park and will you possibly have a valet to assist with the welcoming of guests and parking of their vehicles? At some weddings I have attended, the host contracts with a shuttle service to ferry guests from the parking lot to the home. A wedding a few weeks ago provided several valet attendants who re-parked cars upon guest arrival.

- The home kitchen – does it work for a party? Chances are you are either making your own food or hiring a catering company to cater the event for you. Either way, you’ll need plenty of kitchen space for food preparation, food storage and refrigeration space beyond what you think you’ll need. I know one bride who rented two refrigerators and placed them in her garage where she stockpiled desserts and beverages for her party.

- Clean-up and good-bye. Small weddings are a cinch – minimal clean-up and you’re done. Larger weddings are more complicated. As you plan the entire day, insure you take good care of your hosts by either hiring a cleaning crew to leave the space spotless or enlist the help of family and friends to stay late to insure the home is left in best condition.

Other: Depending on the size of your wedding, consider the number of bathrooms available for guests. Your host may want to take pets to a neighbor’s home for the day so a dog or cat isn’t stressed by such an event. And finally, talk to your host about liability insurance and homeowners insurance. To be smart, have them review the policy in the event someone gets injured or takes a fall on your wedding day.

Annemarie Juhlian is a Wedding Officiant, Minister & Celebrant in Seattle, Washington. She creates personalized wedding ceremonies for couples of all faiths and traditions. Take a peak at Annemarie: or call 425. 922.1325

2 Great Guys. One Beautiful and Poignant Wedding Day at Seattle’s Mayflower Park Hotel…

March 4, 2014

RichardDavidRichard + David.

Married on Valentine’s Day at the Mayflower Park Hotel in Seattle.

These two gentlemen have such a great and inspiring love story and it was an honor to be a part of their wedding day.

Truly, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  With personal vows, poignant words and a few laughs thrown in for good measure, Richard and David celebrated their years together with the covenant of marriage.

As Richard shared with me, “we never thought we would ever see this day and we are so honored to be legally married.”

Richard and David, so much continued happiness and adventure to you!

Wedding Dog Bella Says “4 Paws Up!” Her Guardians, Nathan and Rosanna, Are So Very Married…

February 23, 2014

Nathan + Rosanna.NathanRosannaSassoRimmer4

Married last night at Seattle’s Sorrento Hotel, surrounded by 100+ family and friends and the love of their beloved pooch, the gorgeous Ms. Bella!

I am so taken with Nathan and Rosanna.  They have created a vibrant, appreciative and loving relationship and it was so wonderful to see how thrilled their loved ones were for them.

Their ceremony, in the ballroom of the Sorrento Hotel, was beautiful.  We had a festive processional of the wedding party, a formal seating of family and beautiful music by DJ Tony Schwartz.

Wedding Dog, Bella, pranced down the aisle and as an end-of-ceremony flourish, shared her well-crafted  “10 Top Tips For A Happy Marriage!”

Nathan and Rosanna – thank you for blessing our world with your love.  Thank you for making my heart happy.  Much love to you both!

Valentine’s Day 2014: Richard & David at the Mayflower Park and Don and Pam at The Willows Lodge. ..

February 18, 2014

Valentine’s Day 2014.  PamDonWilson

After I married the wonderful Richard and David at the beautiful Mayflower Park Hotel in downtown Seattle, I zipped across 520 to another one of my favorite venues, The Willows Lodge.

Awaiting me at the Lodge ~ Pam and Don.  Pam had been planning their wedding for sometime and many of her custom and amazing DIY touches enhanced the ceremony and reception.

Surrounded by 35+ close family and friends, and with plenty of hankies on hand, Don and Pam exchanged personal vows, with their children as their witnesses and wedding party.  We spoke about the journey that brought this couple to this day – an approach that was poignant, heartfelt and fully authentic.

What I love about Pam and Don is they love each other fiercely.  They overcame twists and turns to be together.  They are meant to marry.  And so it is!

Who Gets So Very Married on Super Bowl Sunday in Seattle? Well, Let’s Just Ask Brian and Shawna!

February 5, 2014

Brian + Shawna.BrianShawnaMascarelli

When Brian and Shawna started to plan their ’14 wedding last year, they didn’t take into consideration that February 2, 2014 was Super Bowl Sunday.

And with great heart, intention and a fun-loving sense of humor, Brian and Shawna were married about 30 minutes after kick-off on Sunday afternoon, in the happy presence of 70+ family and friends (with only one cousin who couldn’t attend!).

Shawna’s parents brought in a very large screen television. And after our sweet ceremony, family and friends gathered in the cocktail area (okay, Super Bowl Wedding area!) to find the Hawks up by 15 points. Can you say wedding gift?!

And here is what I love:  Brian and Shawna took all of this in stride and created and designed a wedding day that fully incorporated such a big regional and national event.  Truly, one of my most memorable ceremonies and celebrations EVER!


Photo:  Studio Joe + Jill –

Weddings on Woodinville 2014 – Couples, Wedding Pros & More…

January 27, 2014

WIWWeddings in Woodinville 2014.

I was part of the team at Willows Lodge for this sold-out “traveling wedding show” which was held yesterday, Sunday, January 26th.

Given that Willows Lodge is one of my most favorite venues, it was happiness for me to spend 6 hours with Lodge staff and other Northwest wedding pros as we connected with brides and grooms.

I only participate in one wedding show (this one!) plus one Open House (Kiana Lodge) each year.  I’m not a “booth gal” yet for these two events, I appreciate the boutique feel and the low/no sales approach to offering information and detail on services.

Bring on a beautiful 2014 wedding season for all of us!

A Sweet & Perfect ‘Ceremony Kiss.’ A Few Fast Facts…

January 21, 2014

AlinaEthanOttemillerAlina + Ethan.

This wonderful duo exchanged vows at The Canal in Seattle and as an “end of ceremony flourish,” shared the sweetest of kisses.

Having been to a few weddings in my lifetime, I offer these fast tips for a sweet, pretty and romantic “kiss” at the end of a wedding ceremony:

- Get Your Officiant Out of the Way!  Really, why does any Officiant just stand there as a couple shares a lifetime moment?  Simply put, have your Officiant move out of the way and to the side of his/her space.  This moment is truly about the two of you and offers your photographer a clean shot.

As you’ll note from this photo, I moved to the side and the photographer was able to shoot the couple with me in the photo and was also able to take photos of “just the couple.”

- Kiss and Hug!  Share a kiss and share a hug.  This makes your moment last a little longer and gives you both an opportunity to fully embrace and “feel the moment.”

Simple and easy.  A little planning does wonders for capturing such a timeless photo!


A Festive & Memorable “End of Ceremony Flourish.” A Page From Brad and Corrinne’s Wedding Ceremony…

January 13, 2014


CorrinneBradPHOTOBrad + Corrinne.

Pure fun.  Such love.

And on a blustery and chilly Saturday evening at Seattle’s Lake Union Cafe, what a beautiful, elegant and fun-loving ceremony we crafted to celebrate such a loving relationship.

Truth? A well-designed and well delivered ceremony goes by very fast.

To “slow things down” and to create an “end of ceremony flourish,” I enjoy working with a couple (most often at rehearsal) to really ‘take in’ the final moments of a wedding ceremony.  As you can see from Brad and Corrinne’s photo, they stopped – they enjoyed – and people absolutely loved their elation and joy.

A ceremony is about the “give and take of emotion.”  It is about taking advantage of emotionally packed moments to create forever memories.  It’s about taking a moment…just a moment…to create a forever memory.

Photo:  Memory Montage Photography.

Forget Your Wedding For Awhile, Let’s Talk About Your Marriage…

January 6, 2014

I did a happy dance when Seattle Bride Magazine recognized me for the work that I  do.Best of Bride 2013 logo

Over the past 10 years, I’ve worked with many couples of all faiths and traditions.  Many are close to my heart and have become life-long friends.  Some just wanted me there for the ceremony and bid a friendly farewell.  Other couples come and go, for reasons that have nothing to do with me.

And in this wedding work that I do, for me a ceremony is about a marriage.  It is about stepping into the unknown with someone and going for it – trusting all you know and trusting all you don’t know.

For me, it’s about traveling through the inevitable stages of a loving and lifetime relationship and navigating the twists and the turns, the highs and the lows.

It is about not leaving the room, especially when you really want to.  It’s about knowing that if you exit a side door without doing everything you can to preserve and protect, you will most likely find another skirt or pair of pants and learn many of the same lessons all over again.

At the end of the day, I’d like to think that if elegantly designed and created, a glorious wedding ceremony is about a couple’s shared and BEST intention around their purpose, intention and personal mission, rather than just a lifetime moment “that gets you married.”

Marriage isn’t for the faint-hearted.  It calls for two strong, loving and congruent individuals to stand tall and stand proud.  It is about two people saying, “let’s go – let’s do this – let’s feel it all - joy, crazy, anxiousness, glee, unsure, stuck, unstuck, loving, brave and so much more.”

Here is to a happy new year of beautiful marriages!



Good Morning 2014! A Very Sparkly and Elegant New Year’s Eve Wedding for Brian and Tiffany…

January 1, 2014

briantiffanyellisBrian+ Tiffany.  Married on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2013, aboard Seattle’s vintage and historic Skansonia Ferry Boat.

After a delicious dinner, 150+ family and friends gathered on the bow on the Skansonia.  Framed by sparkly white lights and the crisp chill of a Winter holiday evening, Brian and Tiffany exchanged personal words and vows to fully celebrate their loving relationship.

And what a New Year’s Eve wedding ceremony it was!  We had 2 sweet wedding dogs, a parade of flower girls, a surprise for the Mothers, a unique ritual just for Brian and Tiffany, laughter and tears and such a joyful processional with family and friends participating as a “finishing touch”

Brian and Tiffany – you created an elegant, romantic and well-designed wedding celebration.  It was my happy joy to be a tiny part of it.  Much continued happiness to you both!

Photo:  Barbie Hull (  And a big thank you to Skansonia Event Manager, Jen Erickson, for her invaluable on-board help and support!


With 2 Pups of Honor, Brenda & Lisa Get Hitched After More Than 10 Years of Loving Relationship!

December 15, 2013

It isn’t every day that I giggle when I first meet a couple.

BrendaLisaAnd giggle I did!  You see, when the hotel door opened and I first met Brenda and Lisa, I also was introduced to their two sweet pups of honor – and I couldn’t stop smiling.

Being such a dog lover myself, it brings me great joy and comfort to have a dog or dogs at a wedding ceremony.

In so many ways, big and small, dog energy relaxes everyone.  You would think otherwise but after having been at many ceremonies with dogs, our canine friends have an amazing ability to bring peace, joyfulness and delight to a day that is often imbued with great expectation and gentle tension.

And so, it was my pleasure to marry Brenda and Lisa, in a sweet ceremony for 2, at the beautiful Willows Lodge, joined by their witnesses.

This beautiful couple ventured to Seattle from the Mid-West to be married after 10 years together and their sweet and personal exchange of vows (from their cell phones) was just perfect for them in all ways.