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Your Seattle Wedding: 5 Unique Ideas For Your Memorable Northwest Wedding Day…

August 24, 2014

You are planning your wedding in Seattle, Washington!

As an excited and enthusiastic engaged couple, you have a big variety of choices and decisions to make around the size, design and scope of your wedding ceremony and celebration.

Planning Your Wedding In Seattle, WA – 5 Big Planning Tips:

1) Consider Having Your Seattle Wedding In The Off-Season – The popular months for a Northwest wedding are May through the end of September. The “off-season” tends to run from October through April, with wedding venues and wedding vendors offering preferred pricing and best values during the less popular wedding months.

As you consider your wedding date, think about an early Spring wedding in March or April as this is limbo time between off-season and the full wedding season. If you are planning a wedding in a popular Summer months, recognize that dates are venue are at a premium and often booked a year or two in advance (especially Saturday and Sunday).AnneLilly2012

2) Take Advantage Of Unique Northwest “Outdoor Elements” For Your Wedding - The Seattle area offers an engaged couple wonderful and unique outdoor elements to incorporate into a wedding ceremony or party/reception. In Seattle, you’ve got many properties, venues and parks with amazing water and Puget Sound views as well as access to local/regional parks. Also, just a 30-minute drive outside of Seattle are the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and many couples love the Snoqualmie and North Bend areas for their wedding ceremony and celebration.

So, as you plan your wedding, decide if you’d like to take advantage of what is unique to the Northwest and incorporate this into your wedding day. You may find that you want to be married waterside on a bluff overlooking Puget Sound with Seattle in the background, in the Seattle Arboretum surrounded by lush gardens and views of Lake Washington or perhaps you’ll decide to board a Washington State ferry and get hitched as you ferry to nearby Bainbridge Island or Vashon Island!

3) Pastry And Desserts (including pie!) Featuring Local Fruits And Berries Are Replacing Traditional Wedding Cake – Wedding cake is still popular at Seattle area weddings, however, many couples are choosing to go a bit “retro” and showcase Northwest fruits and berries in a “dessert buffet” of pastries, tarts and pies. As you think about the dessert portion of your wedding day, you may want the traditional wedding cake, fun buffet of desserts and treats made from in-season Northwest berries and fruits or perhaps a combination of bot.   Also, consider a late night ice cream truck visit or ice cream sundae bar!

4) Incorporate Sacred Native American Rituals Native to Seattle Into Your Wedding Day – Sprinkled throughout the Seattle and Puget sound area are sacred Native American grounds. Seattle’s Daybreak Center is a venue featuring Native American decor and artifacts and popular for weddings. Tillicum Village is a wonderful Native American venue for a wedding and is a short ferry ride from downtown Seattle. Whether you may come from Native American heritage or appreciate rituals from the Native American tradition, incorporating something from the Native American tradition or selecting a local Seattle venue with Native American flair may be a best choice for your wedding day.

5) Honeymoon In Your Backyard: Seattle and Puget Sound! Instead of taking a honeymoon immediately after your wedding day, what about a honeymoon in your backyard? Seattle and the Puget area offers a grand variety of honeymoon options, whether this is snuggling into an Inn in downtown Seattle and enjoying the arts and nightlife for a few evenings, ferrying to a nearby Island for a soothing respite or hiking in the Cascade mountains or around Mt. Rainier.

By staying local, you potentially save big money on a traditional honeymoon and/or can look forward to a big trip during the first months of your wedding after you’ve settled down from 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. Or if you want to elope and get married today, tomorrow or next week, go to

Photo:  Lily’s Mothers Get Married (Annemarie & Lily)

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August Is The “New June” For A Wedding in Seattle! Celebrating The Fierce Love Of Beautiful Couples…

August 16, 2014

Awhile back, June was “the month” for a bride and groom.

Well, things have changed over these past years in Seattle.  My sense is August is the “new June,” as couples of all ages and stages get married in this last full month of Summer, hoping for great weather and so much more.JudyGeoffGurr

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been so very taken with my couples of this big wedding month.

With the guys and gals I work with, there seems to be a general trend:  graciousness, kindness, creativity, authenticity and lots of spunk and fun.

So, here is a little review:  So loved George and Becca at the Foundry who celebrated with a gorgeous and elegant ceremony and celebration.  I navigated the craziness of the weekend ferry to be with Gurjot and Lauren at their waterfront home on Vashon Island, who celebrated with 200 family and friends.  It may have been a little warm at Tod and Lily’s venue and the fun of their ceremony totally made up for it!

Kiana Lodge is one of my favorite venues and Phil and Amy topped off their ceremony with a colorful group photo (one of my things to do after a ceremony at this location).  A most beautiful couple, Melana and Amy, were married at a Woodinvile winery in an intimate ceremony followed by a full reception.

Do you now about Beecher’s Loft in Pike Place Market?  Jaime and Erin were married there and I’m now a big fan.  After Chris and Sarah were married at the Lake Union Café; they signed the wall in the “100 year old basement,” leaving a piece of them behind.

Handsome Geoff and his beautiful and fun-loving lady, Judy, were married at The Manor –  and I so loved their wedding party and especially Judy’s parents, Matt and Rachel.    I don’t remember a ceremony with so much laughter – just ask Stephanie and Cindy who after many inspiring years together, tied the knot at Robinswood House in Bellevue.

Andrea and Austin were married in 96 degree weather at high Noon on Alki Beach with their parents as witnesses.  And only a day later, with an overcast sky, Keith and Kelsey got hitched in style at the Mukilteo Lighthouse, with the sun breaking out for their kiss!

Baby Boomers Lane and Debra and Nathan and Mindy both eloped from miles away to get married in elegant and tiny ceremonies at precious places.  Girish and Schuthi, along with wedding dog “Fury” were married in a robust ceremony that celebrated their Hindu tradition with gorgeous rituals, including the 7 Steps, Circling, sacred Prayer and more.

And after 18 years of loving relationship, Sarah sang her vows to the love of her life, Leila, in a moment so emotional, that Photographer Heather Shipley and I had to share a hug!

LOVE.  Such a privilege.    Photo:

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Becca + George: A Beautiful, Poignant and Fun-Loving Celebration at The Foundry in Seattle…

August 4, 2014

Becca + George.

I remember when Becca first called me last December to discuss the possibility of officiating her marriage to George.  Many decisions for this wedding were being made long distance and as we all know, it often it is challenging to make big decisions without an in-person meet and greet. GeorgeBecca

And Becca and George took a leap of faith on me and for this, I am grateful.

This past Friday evening at The Foundry in Seattle, beautiful Becca walked elegantly down the aisle to marry the love of her life, George.

All was sweet. Romantic.  And so very real…authentic in all ways.

Joined by 100+ family and friends, George and Becca shared beautiful vows that were perfectly crafted and hugely intentional – not only for their wedding ceremony moment but words to carry them into their years together.

Wedding Planner Katy Roberts and her assistant, Channy, did an exquisite job with the overall design and presentation of not only the ceremony space at The Foundry but the reception and celebration areas, too.  I love working with Katy and her team – these ladies are not only wonderful human brings but they are hugely talented, responsive and creative…with spunk and humor!

George and Becca…much continued happiness to you both!

Katy Roberts/Vows Wedding & Event Planning –

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Casey + Dayna + Sweet Amelia. A Beautiful Wedding Ceremony in Tacoma For a Beautiful Couple and Their Family…

July 30, 2014

Casey + Dayna.  CaseyDayna

Last Saturday at high Noon, this beautiful couple exchanged vows in the beautiful Pagoda at one of Tacoma’s “hidden gems” of a wedding location/venue – the Chinese Reconciliation Park on Ruston Way on Tacoma’s waterfront.

Their young daughter, Amelia, was escorted down the aisle in her petal dress with her “best friend, ” Elise, just before Mommy walked down the aisle to marry her Daddy.

For Casey and Dayna, creating an intimate ceremony with 50 thrilled family and friends meant keeping it real, with no crazy!

So, the decorations were simple and easy.  The chairs and other important items were brought in early on Saturday morning to insure everything was set up before guests arrived.  The music was beautifully handled by Casey’s sister.  And both Moms, Joanne and LaNea, were there early to insure the tiny details were attended to.

Truly beautiful in all ways.  Amelia, your Mommy and Daddy are so very married!



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A Tapestry of Love: On The Beach – Hindu & Interfaith – Overlooking Hood Canal – Lakeside – and An Elopement!

July 20, 2014

The Summer of 2014.

As I look back over the last week, I marvel at the diverse couples who have tied the knot…who come together in fierce love and devotion to create a joyful life as best friends, team mates and lifetime partners.  JeremyJessicaBoerner

You’ve got to love Frank and Randy who travelled from Texas to be married at the Mayflower Park Hotel in downtown Seattle on Thursday, with their best friends (Dave and Kevin) as witnesses.  Talk about celebrating 2 decades of partnership devotion with a thoughtful ceremony with personal touches.

Lovebirds Kolby and Amanda tied the knot on Friday night at the Lake Wilderness Resort in Maple Valley.  Before Amanda walked down the aisle to marry the love of her life, we delighted in a wagon that was pulled down the aisle filled with decorations, baby “flower girl Ava” and the couple’s two tiny “wedding dogs!”

Kevin and Shengying chose the Edgewater Hotel for their ceremony and celebration, and with family and friends visiting from all over the world, this gracious and appreciative couple hosted a most elegant celebration for their loved ones.

It was a delight for me to join Rob and Swetha for their interfaith Hindu ceremony.  Like Kevin and Shengying, this beautiful couple hosted family and friends from far away and thoughtfully crafted a wedding day to celebrate their 3 children as well as their colorful, vibrant and loving tribe.

And I just arrived home tonight from Alderbrook Resort, where after 8 years of partnership, Jeremy married his sweetheart, Jessica.  While it may have been overcast, we got lucky and were able to have ceremony on the Resort lawn.  I left Jeremy and Jessica knowing we did good…and our world is a happier place because this inspiring couple is creating more love in the world.

Love.  Love.  Love.   Photo:  Jeremy and Jessica – Alderbrook Resort

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2 Beautiful Ladies. A Happy Officiant, an Awesome Photographer & Film Crew. Carla and Karen = You Are So Very Married!

July 13, 2014

Karen CarlaCarla + Karen.

These two women created and designed a wedding day, celebration and week in Seattle to celebrate their loving relationship and family.

Traveling from Texas, Carla and Karen were married in the bright sunshine last Friday afternoon at Seattle’s Volunteer Park.

It was a tiny affair.  Photographer Jenny Goldberg-George joined me (she is awesome!) and we were accompanied by a 4-person film crew who were capturing Carla and Karen’s wedding day for an upcoming documentary.

And so, under a big shade tree, with lots of hankie moments, Carla and Karen shared their vows and could not stop smooching as they were pronounced “wife and wife.”

Congratulations to two very smart, resilient and courageous women.  Carla and Karen, I wish you much continued happiness on your marriage adventure!


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Your Wedding “Smooch.” 4 Sweet Tips For an Outstanding and Memorable Ceremony Kiss!

July 4, 2014

Every wedding ceremony ends with a sweet kiss.

A fantastic and memorable kiss to top off a sweet and loving wedding ceremony is a beautiful forever memory for a couple. Some kisses are better than others. That’s just life!

It might seem elementary to talk about “kissing.’ However, having been up close and personal to many wedding ceremonies over the years and having worked with hundreds of wedding photographers, I know one thing for sure: some couples are just better at the public “kissing thing” than others!

So, as you talk to your Sweetie about your wedding ceremony, take a moment to discuss what you both want and desire at the moment you “seal the deal.” Do you want a big smooch? A small peck? An enthusiastic and energetic kiss?

No matter if your wedding ceremony is small and intimate or if you are being married in front of a ballroom filled with people who love you, here are four sweet tips for an outstanding and memorable smooch:

1) Hold it. Hold it. And hold it some more. That’s right! Take time for a nice long kiss at the end of your ceremony. This will help your photographer get some great photos and you are intentionally taking time to truly mark your “we’re married” moment with an authentic and romantic kiss.

2) Tell Your Officiant Or Minister to Get Out Of The Way! Nothing makes a wedding photographer more crazy that an Officiant or Minister who doesn’t move out of the “kiss photo” at the end of a ceremony. Top wedding officiants and ministers will move out of the lens of a camera and to the right or left as they are making your pronouncement.

To insure this happens, tell your Officiant or Minister to move – and remind him or her of this again just before you walk down the aisle. This way, your wedding photographer will have the happy experience of capturing your kiss in a clean shot Trust me, this makes for a fantastic photo!

3) 2-For-1 Ceremony Kiss. Okay, picture this. You’ve just had your sweet kiss at the end of your ceremony and you take your partner’s arm or hand and begin to walk down the aisle. The Groom then stops mid-aisle and romantically cups the face of his Bride and gives her kiss with cheering and clapping family and friends lining the aisles. Talk about an wonderful moment!

Yes, this “mid aisle kiss” may be orchestrated but here’s what is lovely about this opportunity. Even if planned, few grooms actually remember to do this. It’s the act of “remembering” that touches the heart of a bride like no other. So, talk about possibly incorporating this aisle kiss into your recessional to create a very touching wedding moment.

4) “10″ Cards Or “Message Cards. If you have a lot of members in your wedding party and want to do something fun, have them hold up “10″ cards while you are kissing! This surprise stuns guests and creates such joy at the end of a wedding ceremony.

This move needs to be elegantly and quickly coordinated by your Officiant or Minister. One of the best ways to execute this is to have the Officiant or Minister hand cards to the Best Man and Best Lady as he or she is pronouncing the couple. These cards can also be hidden on a small side table or in the binder/folder held by the Officiant and the passing of the cards can be quickly done by two members of the wedding party.

Annemarie Juhlian is a Wedding Officiant, Minister & Celebrant in Seattle, Washington and she has been front and center to many wedding kisses of all shapes and sizes! You may contact Annemarie through her website or at 425.922.1325.

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Summertime Weddings Are Here. There. And Everywhere. What I Know For Sure…

June 30, 2014

What I know for sure?BrandtAnitaUrban

There is no right way to have a wedding.

Or wrong way to have a wedding.

As I’m fond of saying, “this is your wedding and what is right and true for the two of you.”

So, today, on this festive last day of June, I celebrate some of my couples of June and May.

You’ve got to love Brandt and Anita, married in most elegant style at the Four Seasons Hotel.  (photo: left)

It takes a village to keep up with the fun-loving and fabulous Shaugn and Whitney, so festively married at The Canal!

Bruce and Karen traveled up from Portland to be married at The Salish Lodge, in an intimate ceremony of family and friends.  Michael and Jamie eloped to The Willows Lodge with their parents and two sweet pooches.  And the very lovely and inspiring Kim and Dan, who share a love of running and community service, were married at the most fabulous of venues – Farestart in downtown Seattle

The Seattle Water Taxi hosted Jennifer and Crystal’s wedding ceremony on one fine Wednesday morning on the 10:30 a.m. sailing.  Josh and Janice were married with their children and witnesses – so happy to have their perfect family ceremony at The Willows Lodge.

Amy and Andrew threw a gorgeous celebration after they were married one fine Friday evening at the Arctic Club Hotel.  While on the same weekend, Johnny and LaDonna held their wedding at The Edgewater Hotel, so lots of laughter and such fabulous family!

It was a celebration of all things Turkish for Levent and Esin, married in a multi-cultural ceremony at the Mayflower Park Hotel.  And it was an inter-faith ceremony for Kapil and Sarah at The Salish Lodge, celebrating their Hindu and Christian traditions.

Ian and Lauren came down from their new home in Calgary, Alberta for a gorgeous evening of love, friends and family at The Palace Ballroom.  And Steve and Juanita flew from Hawaii, joined by 40 friends and family, for their destination wedding at The Space Needle.

Wunmi married the love of her life, Jason, at The Salish Lodge before her new husband shipped out the next day; she begins the sacrifice of loving a guy who is serving our Country.  Grant and Kayla lit up the Chapel on Fox Island with their country chic wedding with fabulous box lunches for 75+ people!

Photo:  Brandt & Anita(6/28/14 – Four Seasons Hotel.  Photo:  Alante Photography)

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How to Apply and Obtain A Valid Marriage License from Seattle, King County…

June 24, 2014

To be married in Washington State, you need a valid Washington State marriage license. Whether you are being married in three days, next week or next month, here are easy steps to obtain, secure and use your valid marriage license from Seattle.marriage license

To do this, you and your partner will visit a Marriage Licensing office in Seattle/King County during regular business hours. The cost for the license is $64, cash or debit/credit card. No blood test is required and both of you must at least 18 years of age.

When you leave the government office, you’ll walk away with a packet of legal paperwork which you will give to your Officiant or Minister on your wedding day. The person who marries you must review this paperwork before your ceremony takes place and he or she will then get required signatures (both of yours and two witnesses) and return your signed legal document back to the County for processing/certification.

Note: There is a 3-day waiting period from the date your marriage license is issued. What this means is that from the date your license is issued, you must wait 3 full days before you can be legally married. Also, most people who reside in the Seattle area secure their marriage license in Seattle. If by chance you are being married in any other County in Washington State, the license you secure in Seattle/King County is valid in all Counties in Washington State.

For information, please call 206 296 4021 orvisit the King County Marriage License website:

All particulars are on this website (including office locations) and while most couples do apply for a license in person, you may initiate the process via phone and regular mail.

Get Married in Seattle: How To Use Your Valid License

Once you have your valid license in hand and have exhausted the three-day waiting period, you can get married!

If you have a Minister or Officiant to marry you, fantastic. If you need someone to marry you, fire up Google or your favorite search engine and do a little bit of snooping for someone who resonates with you. For instance, keywords to search under may include “Seattle Wedding Officiant” or “Wedding Minister Seattle.”

Annemarie Juhlian is a Wedding Officiant,Minister & Celebrant in Seattle, Washington. She creates personalized wedding ceremonies for couples of all faiths and traditions.  For more information:

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Seattle Wedding Ceremony Locations: Waterfront/Views For Your Happy Wedding Day!

June 17, 2014

There isn’t a more beautiful city for a waterfront or waterside wedding ceremony than Seattle, Washington.

If you are being married in the Emerald city and are searching for a sweet and exquisite location or venue for your wedding ceremony, you have an amazing array of possibilities.

Having worked at hundreds of wedding venues in the greater Seattle area, here are 6 favorite locations for a ceremony overlooking the water or on the water.

1) Gasworks Park - Gasworks Park, the site of Seattle’s annual popular 4th of July bash is a favorite waterfront location for wedding ceremonies of all shapes and sizes. Young couples particularly like Gasworks Park because it has a hip and fun vibe that translates well to an off-beat wedding or less traditional ceremony. Contact The Seattle Parks and Recreation Department for more information and to obtain a permit to hold your wedding ceremony at Gasworks Park.

2) Hamilton Viewpoint Park - Known by locals in West Seattle, Hamilton Viewpoint Park offers high bluff fabulous views for a couple who wants to get hitched with a panoramic view of The Space Needle and downtown Seattle in the background. This is a small neighborhood park and suited for a small to medium size ceremony. What’s terrific about this park is that there are a variety of wonderful reception venues nearby which makes the transition from ceremony to reception extra easy. Like Gasworks Park above, contact the city’s Park and Recreation for information and a permit.

3) The Woodmark Hotel – For an elegant, higher-end and absolutely magnificent waterfront venue, consider the Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland for your wedding. This beautiful hotel is on the shore of Lake Washington and is perfect for a small ceremony in a suite overlooking the water or perfect for a big bash in the hotel’s waterside tent.

4) Richmond Saltwater Beach Park - Like Hamilton Viewpoint Park above, Richmond Saltwater Beach Park is a hidden gem located in the neighborhood of Shoreline. It has a unique advantage in that it offers both high bluff possibilities for your wedding ceremony as well as a beach location to exchange your vows. Contact the City of Seattle’s Park and Recreation Department for information and a permit.

5) The Edmonds Senior Center – A wedding at a Senior Center? Absolutely! The Edmonds Senior Center is located on the waterfront of Edmonds, WA, which is just a hop and a skip from downtown Seattle. The Senior Center offers a fun and casual space for a wedding day that is all about family, beach activities and comfort. You’ve got to check this place out for a very affordably priced waterfront wedding ceremony option!

6) Beaver Lake Lodge – Across the lake from downtown Seattle in the city of Issaquah is a hidden gem for a wedding ceremony and celebration called The Beaver Lake Lodge. Overlooking a neighborhood lake, this gorgeous lodge built with logs, offers a truly Northwest feel for a wedding ceremony, whether small or big, casual or formal.

Annemarie Juhlian is a Wedding Officiant, Minister & Celebrant in Seattle, Washington and has been to hundreds of venues and locations for a wedding ceremony and celebration in the Greater Seattle area. Annemarie creates personalized wedding ceremonies for couples of all faiths and traditions. Take a peak at Annemarie: or call 425. 922.1325

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3 Beautiful Couples. 3 Inspiring Paths. 3 Very Different Ceremonies.

June 15, 2014

Over this past weekend, I had the happy pleasure of getting 3 beautiful couples so very hitched!

As I ponder these past few days,  I honor the power of love and how it brings people together – often in ways and places that are unexpected and magical.

Kapil and Sarah were married in an Inter-faith Hindu/Christian wedding ceremony at the Salish Lodge, surrounded by 50+ family and friends who could not stop smiling.  We celebrated a guy and a girl from different parts of the world who came together in profound love and incorporated ritual and practices from their individual Hindu and Christian traditions.  (photo)

KapilSarahGanganePatrick and Renee traveled from Texas to Woodinville to be married in a sweet and intimate ceremony for “2,” at the Willows Lodge, accompanied by their best friends, Preston and Kari.  You’ve got to love a Cajun girl and a Cape Cod boy who get together with so much festivity and love!

Jason and Wunmi celebrated their 3+ year relationship with a beautiful and formal wedding ceremony, including a Military sword ritual, at the Salish Lodge yesterday morning, with great emotion and the deep knowing that their unique marriage path will indeed be an uncertain adventure.

You see, Jason is career military and “has to go back” – today.  Wunmi joins the ranks of military wives whose sacrifice is personal, poignant and deep.  Jason, may the Gods keep you safe and bring you back to your Beloved.

Love.  Wow.


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What Really Matters on a Seattle Wedding Day? How About Getting Married and Doing It Your Way…

June 9, 2014

A wedding day is an important “defining moment” for a couple. It creates a moment in time to celebrate a loving partnership and to honor the promise of a fulfilling and joyful marriage.

In this wedding work that I do, I sometimes hear the expression “a wedding doesn’t really matter, it’s the marriage that counts.”

A wedding day does matter.

Yes, it’s true. Some couples go into over-drive with the wedding planning experience and fail to use the engagement time to deepen a relationship. In this hyper-mode, a couple temporarily “forgets” that they are really planning a marriage and put too much emphasis on the wedding.

A celebration of marriage is one big day of life. For many couples, it is the “best day of life.” For others, there is more focus on planning for the marriage than the wedding. Simply put, there is no right or wrong here but what is right for an engaged couple.

The importance of “the big day” is all about personal preference. Do you want a big and glitzy wedding day? Would you rather invite family and friends over for a casual ceremony and party at a family home? Or elope to a nearby city or plan a destination wedding to a more exotic place with close family and friends.

1) What is really important to us – our wedding, our marriage or both? For some couples, a wedding is hugely important and others would prefer a small wedding with more focus on the planning and creation of the marriage partnership. I’d like to think there is a happy balance – a special day that sweetly celebrates a relationship and a focus around building a marriage that is loving and healthy in all ways.

2) How can you incorporate your values into your wedding day? If you and your sweetheart look at your shared values and what is important to you, you can define the importance of the day that will join you in marriage and plan from there. Three possible shared and/or negotiated values may include the importance of family and friends, money, and perhaps any religious, spiritual or secular elements.

3) What is practical and prudent for us? What is romantic and loving for us? As you take a look at what a wedding day means to you, there is a gentle dance between being practical and pragmatic and romantic and loving. In today’s economic climate, couples are practical and prudent with their wedding dollars and at the same time, are still creating a wedding day (big, mid-size, small or very tiny) that lovingly marks the moment. No matter what your budget, the remarkable thing is that a wedding day can be had for $200 or $20,000 – it’s totally up to an engaged couple!

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.

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18 Fabulous & Affordable Seattle Wedding Ceremony Locations, Places & Venues

June 3, 2014

You are being married in Seattle, Washington!

Here is a short list of 18 fun and memorable locations in Seattle, Washington for a sweet and elegant wedding ceremony. photounique

Seattle’s Ballard Locks ~ One of Seattle’s biggest tourist attractions offers the venue’s English Botanical Gardens free of charge. You have a choice of four possible ceremony locations at the Gardens and the space is free with a reservation. For more information and/or to make a reservation contact The Ballard Locks.

Leschi Waterfront Area ~ For a short and sweet wedding ceremony, consider the beautiful Leschi waterfront area on Lake Washington as a definite possibility. This neighborhood area along the shore of popular Lake Washington is especially gorgeous and scenic during Seattle’s beautiful Summer months of July and August.

Top of The Space Needle ~ What about getting married high in the sky at the top of The Space Needle? Purchase a ticket for you, your Sweetie, two witnesses and your Officiant to ride the elevator and you can be married at the top of the Needle with a killer view of Seattle all around you!

Alki Beach in West Seattle ~ A favorite for locals and couples coming into Seattle from out-of-town is Alki Beach in West Seattle. For a short and sweet wedding ceremony, Alki Beach offers a bustling beach with lots of local color and activity. Couples love to get married at the water’s edge with their feet in the sand and the skyline of Seattle in the background behind them. Contact the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department for a permit for a beach wedding.

A Friend’s Boat on Lake Washington ~ It’s amazing how many people in Seattle have a boat or know someone with a boat. Take your wedding ceremony to the water and get married on a friend’s boat while cruising Lake Washington or the Puget Sound.

Your Home or a Friend’s Home ~ This suggestion is probably a “no brainer!” What about making things as simple as possible and inviting your Officiant/Minister and family/friends to join you at your home or a friend’s home for a casual and simple wedding celebration? Home weddings in Seattle are as popular as ever and such location/venue might just be perfect for what you thinking as you plan your wedding day.

At The Top of Seattle’s Historic Smith Tower ~ A very fun place for a small ceremony is at the top of the historic Smith Tower in downtown Seattle. Get married high in the Seattle sky with gorgeous views behind you. The Smith Tower is one of Seattle’s oldest buildings and is a perfect venue/location for a small and intimate lifetime event.

Kerry Park Located on Queen Anne Hill/Seattle ~ This location for a wedding is as picturesque as they come! This is a fantastic spot for a very small ceremony (5-10 guests) and offers a fantastic spot for a small Seattle wedding. You won’t have much privacy given how many tourists frequent this very tiny park but this could just become part of your wedding story.

Get Married in a Tree house ~ Really! Go take a peek at Tree house Point located in Issaquah, WA, which is just a short hop from downtown Seattle. This unique venue offers luxury tree houses for overnight stays and hosts small and intimate gatherings in the trees.

The Kirkland Waterfront ~ Just across the bridge from downtown Seattle is the little “Sausalito of the Seattle” called Kirkland, WA. Lining the Lake Washington waterfront, Kirkland offers many picturesque piers and waterfront locations for a wedding ceremony. Best of all, there are wonderful restaurants and hotels within walking distance for a celebration lunch or dinner.

Marymoor Park for Dog Lovers ~ If you are a dog lover, what better place to be married in the Puget Sound area than “doggie heaven” at Marymoor Park, in Redmond, WA. This amazing and gorgeous park is perfect for a wedding ceremony and if you really want to create a special memory, get married in the dog area of Marymoor Park and you’ll have more canine guests than you can imagine!

Volunteer Park ~ Volunteer Park on Seattle’s Capital Hill is truly a hidden gem for a wedding ceremony and celebration. This local favorite offers a couple and their family and friends a remarkable venue for a lifetime moment. Ask about the “big tree” behind the Asian Art Museum and getting married under this 100+ year old tree!  Contact the Seattle Parks Department about permit considerations.

Magnolia Bluff ~ The Magnolia Bluff is a gorgeous location for a wedding ceremony. It does not offer a reception opportunity and it is one of the most special locations in Seattle for a small wedding ceremony.

Washington State Ferry ~ How about getting married on a Washington State Ferry? The Seattle-Bremerton route and the Seattle-Bainbridge Island route both offer a very fun and lively opportunity for a wedding ceremony. When you pull into either Bremerton and Bainbridge, there are wonderful restaurants within walking distance. For Bainbridge Island, check out Four Swallows Restaurant. For Bremerton, take a peek at Anthony’s Homeport restaurants. Both are celebration meal favorites!

Hamilton Viewpoint Park/West Seattle ~ This is a small and sweet neighborhood park that hosts wedding ceremonies of all sizes. The nearby venue, The Sanctuary at Admiral, is a perfect venue for a party after your ceremony at this “high bluff” park which overlooks Seattle.

Seattle Aquarium – Fish everywhere! The Seattle Aquarium hosts dozens of wedding ceremonies and celebrations each year. The Aquarium, on Seattle’s waterfront, is a very unique venue and is quite the conversation starter!

Washington Park Arboretum ~ This amazing Arboretum is a perfect venue for both a ceremony and celebration. The Arboretum is filled with meadows, walking trails, ponds, waterfront and gorgeous views.

Annemarie Juhlian is a Non-Denominational Wedding Officiant & Minister based in the Seattle area. She creates personalized wedding ceremonies for couples of all faiths and traditions. Call 425.922.1325 or

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A Surprise Pre-Wedding Visit at Home From Vice-President Joe Biden for Steve and Jane!

June 2, 2014

You’ve got to love a Groom-to-Be who gets the surprise of his life, a few days before his wedding – a very unexpected home visit by Vice President Joe Biden and entourage!SteveJane

I loved hearing the story from Steve about how while visiting Seattle last week, Biden’s motorcade pulled up in front of his Eastside home and how Biden and crew jumped out and insisted on getting a picture with Steve and his 12th man flag!

Steve and Jane were beautifully married in the sunshine yesterday at The Willows Lodge in Woodinville, surrounded by an intimate gathering of the family and friends.

Jane – all I can say is life with your wonderful man will never be boring!

Congratulations and much happiness to an inspiring and fun-loving couple!


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Boom! 4 Ways to Blow up or Mess Up Your Seattle Wedding Ceremony…

May 23, 2014

It’s not every day that you plan a wedding ceremony in our beautiful city of Seattle and/or Puget Sound!

If you are being married outside of an established religious or spiritual tradition, you will have even more flexibility on the “how, what and where” of your ceremony.

A wedding day is perfect in it’s imperfections. And a ceremony is often a beautiful and imperfect part of a wedding day.

A wedding ceremony is a “one time shot” to get it right. When you start figuring in the Officiant/Minister, a nervous bride/groom, a wedding party of different personality types and family and friends with pounding hearts, a wedding ceremony can often teeter on the brink of imperfection.

And truth? Imperfection is beautiful. Little or tiny imperfections within a ritual become a part of your wedding day story and become sweet memories that will make you smile, laugh or talk happily about for years.

What you want to do is navigate around disasters that could be avoided with a few extra steps or additional planning.

As you begin the process of creating your wedding ceremony – within an religious or spiritual tradition or one that is non-denominational or secular in nature – here are four big tips to avoid crazy:

1) Tiny Aisles and “Runners” Made For Falling ~ Here is your first wedding time bomb: a set-up for disaster is a wedding aisle that isn’t wide enough and runners that aren’t properly taped or are set up on grass. Make sure that your wedding coordinator or family family friend eyeballs the ceremony aisle to insure it is wide enough for people to comfortably walk. Also, have this person do a last minute check to insure the runner is properly taped down so someone doesn’t go flying. Runners on grass are a disaster in the making because high heels get caught in the runner and grass and people slip and fall. If you are thinking about this supposedly elegant idea, nix it now.

2) No Back-Up Microphone ~ For a ceremony for 40-50+ people and depending on the location, you will want to have a reliable and professional microphone and/or amplification system. People want to hear what is going on and not being able to hear at a wedding is a huge frustration for guests. Insure that you have not one but two microphones. Oftentimes, one microphone doesn’t work and having a back-up is a built-in breeze. Also, lapel microphones are much more elegant for an Officiant/Minister to use than a hand-held mic.

3) No One to Grab The Little People ~ If you have a flower girl or ring bearer (or parade of children) walking down the aisle, you need an adult or several adults to “catch the children” as they reach the front. Not having adults in place to gather the children creates chaos as the children wander at the front as they try to figure out where to do. Take the extra steps with your Officiant/Minister to insure the children are properly welcomed and seated.

4) An Officiant Or Minister Who Just Doesn’t Get it ~ Do you want a Minister or Officiant who operates at the perfume level or the toilet water level? As you select the person to create and deliver ritual, make sure you take the time to ask your hard questions. Your options are somewhat more limited within a religious institution or church and you can still work to find the best possible fit for your and your Sweetheart.

If you are being married outside of a religious tradition, you have much more flexibility in selecting the person who will lead the heart and soul of your wedding day. Find a passionate, vibrant and committed professional who loves “all things ceremony” and who will work to create a ritual that is personalized, contemporary and at the same time, reverent. You also want to insure that your Officiant/Minister will orchestrate all pre-ceremony details for an elegant start. This is especially important if you don’t have a wedding planner or day-of planner.

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

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Garrett + Lisa: They “Circled Each Other” For 10 Years and Finally Met…

May 19, 2014

You’ve got to LOVE a couple who CRACKLES!  GarrettLisa3

Yes, this is what Garrett and Lisa playfully refer to as the passion, fun and joy that they have created in their loving relationship.

This inspiring and very fun-loving couple was beautifully and elegantly married in the presence of their 3 children and very happy family and friends yesterday afternoon, May 18th, at the Broadmoor Golf Club in Seattle.

Garrett and Lisa’s ceremony not only celebrated the two of them but it honored their three children and the family they have consciously nurtured over their time together.

The special touches by Seattle Wedding Planner Katy Roberts were truly gorgeous – the flower arrangements, table settings and even the “come to dinner/menu” posters!

Wishing you so much continued happiness and adventure, Garrett and Lisa.  And happy travels to England during your first year of marriage!

Katy Roberts:  http:/

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