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Annemarie's Blog

Quiet Time. Breathe, Enjoy, Remember…

December 2, 2014

After the hustle and bustle of a full and wonderful wedding year, I move into December in a quiet and reflective mode.

As I sit here on this early Tuesday morning, I find I don’t have much to say or share.  thank you

So, I  look back on the many experiences of 2014 with great gratitude for my couples, the grace of synchronicity, the honor of doing this work that I do and cherish that a most wonderful man who shares in my great love and devotion for dogs loves me.

I know that January is coming and with the new year, the promise and delightful anticipation of wonderful couples and their lifetime moments.

And in this moment, as I am fond of saying to my bride before walking down the aisle, “breathe, enjoy, remember…” 

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Married! Christopher and Jeff at Seattle’s Mayflower Park Hotel: Some Things Are Meant To Be…

November 24, 2014

Christopher + Jeff.  2 guys truly meant to be.  Christopher Jeff Klincke

Christopher and Jeff met in 7th grade.

In their years together, Christopher and Jeff grew together, in big ways and in smaller ways.  They have weathered lots of changes, growth, challenges, push back and opportunities – and through it all, they have loved each other with fierce and beautiful hearts.

With elegance, joy and heart, Christopher and Jeff  married on November 13th at the Mayflower Park Hotel, surrounded by 120+ delighted family and friends.

For ceremony, we had laughter, tears, important words shared by 4 friends, beautiful vows and a missing “ring dog,” Pip!  Yes, Christopher and Jeff’s beloved pooch decided against ring bearer duties and instead, made an appearance at reception.

Christopher and Jeff, thank you for the happiness of being a part of your wedding day!

Photo:  www.jennygg.com

 

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Thinking About A Wedding Favor For Your Guests? Ponder This Street Smart View From Lots of Wedding…

November 17, 2014

Simply put, I have a love/hate relationship with wedding favors.

As a Wedding Officiant, this really isn’t my business AND I am often asked by my couples, “what should be do about a favor?”

So, with all that I have seen at a wedding, I guess I do come with some on-site perspective.

In my “street smart” wedding experience, a great wedding favor is “homemade” and/or is hand-crafted to really celebrate a couple.  AndrewCaitlinWissink

For instance, see these happy faces to the right?  Meet Caitlin and Andrew.  They were married this past weekend at Seattle’s Lake Union Café.  When I arrived, I found jars full of tasty ingredients to make homemade hot chocolate.  What a fantastic idea! 

As you decide on a favor, here are my top tips: 

1) Make it hand-made or crafty.

2) Make it about something to eat and drink – guests love a fancy treat bag of candy, cookies or chocolate as they leave a wedding.

3) Make it about someone or something else.  In other words, on behalf of your guests, make a donation to something special or a charity.

Photo:  www.jennygg.com

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I Want To Clone Steve: You’ve Gotta Love A Guy Who Adores His Gal…

October 31, 2014

Last Saturday evening at Canlis Restaurant in Seattle, a sweet guy surprised his beautiful gal with a renewal of marriage vows.

In celebration of 20 beautiful years.  In honor of 3 amazing children.  In reverent jubilation of a shared journey filled with devotion, perseverance, lots of change, ups and downs, romance, house chores and so much love.  canlis

With great attention to detail, Steve surprised his wife, Tracy, with not only an elegantly planned dinner party (20 close family/friends) but his big moment was announcing that they would be renewing their wedding vows – a promise made years ago in celebration of each 10-year milestone wedding anniversary.

And so, before everyone sat down for dinner, Steve declared his love for his beautiful Tracy.  And of course, Tracy once again said, “I Do.”

You’ve got to love a guy who goes above and beyond to create a cherished lifetime moment.

Tracy, you are one lucky gal!

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Wedding Ceremony Locations in Seattle: Fun Places For a Small and Intimate Wedding Ceremony!

October 14, 2014

Being married in Seattle, Washington? If your wedding is small and intimate in size, the greater Puget Sound area offers sweet and special locations and venues for such an affair.  JoanneDrew10

Here are 6 little known and known venues and locations in Seattle and the Puget Sound area that are perfect for an intimate wedding ceremony.

1) 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.

2) The Botanical Gardens at the Ballard Locks ~ You can get hitched at the Botanical Gardens at the Ballard Locks for free! That’s right – you just need to contact this popular Seattle tourist attraction to fill out a little paperwork and the space is yours.

3) 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 (5-20 guests) and offers a fantastic spot for a very 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. Contact the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department for a permit.

4) Get Married in a Tree house ~ Really! Go take a peak 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!

5) 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.

6) 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!

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: http://www.marriedbyannemarie.com or call 425. 922.1325

Photo:  Drew & JoAnne Johnston by www.jennygg.com

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The 2014 Fall Wedding Season in Seattle: What I Know For Sure…

October 6, 2014

I love Fall.  It is my favorite season.

As I look back over these first days of Fall, I celebrate:

Aaron and Devon Mills – married at DeLille Cellars this past Friday afternoon, in the happy presence of their family and friends.  I loved getting to know Aaron and Devon and sharing in their day.  Side note:  my husband, Greg, had Devon in his kindergarten class in Woodinville years ago – talk about synchronicity! (featured photo).AaronDevonPass1

Eddie and Bea Bartlett - after fighting for their love and loving fiercely (yesterday, today and tomorrow), this beautiful couple was married at The Salish Lodge, surrounded by an intimate group of family and friends, half of whom only spoke French!   So, so happy for Eddie and Bea and all they have created together and their new home.

Alan and Stephanie Hong – it was such happiness for me to join Alan and Stephanie at the Chihuly Glass Garden and to celebrate this couple in the presence of 300 very happy family and friends.  With such grace and ease, Alan and Stephanie designed and crafted their wedding day and as Stephanie shared with me when I arrived, “everything is working out beautifully!”

Christina and Chris – two vibrant, devoted and sweet women who traveled to Seattle from Ohio with their parents to be married at the Seattle Arboretum.  And we could not have planned for our pint sized wedding crashers!

Ravi and Christie – married early Friday morning on the Kirkland waterfront as they look forward to their wedding in India early in 2015 with 3,000 guests (no, that isn’t a typo!).

Brandon and Darrah Mohr – such a special evening for Brandon and Darrah at the Columbia Tower Club.  Joined by DJ Austin Beaver and Darrah’s Father, Darrell (one of the finest DJ’s in Seattle) and with guests dressed in the bride’s request of black/white (talk about stunning!), this fun-loving and inspiring couple exchanged vows that were just darn perfect.

Simply put, I am loving Fall.

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In Celebration of The Tiny & Intimate Wedding Ceremony: John & Marnie’s Big Day At The Salish Lodge…

September 29, 2014

Just like couples, wedding ceremonies come in all shapes and sizes.  JohnMarnie7

Truly, there is no right.  And there is no wrong.

For most couples, deciding on the size, shape and color of a ceremony ritual is a hugely personal decision.  And over the years, I have been with couples of all paths and traditions – with guest lists from 2 to 400.

While many wedding ceremonies often have 40 – 100 guests (150 people is BIG in Seattle!), I also love the tiny and intimate ceremony.

On Saturday afternoon, John and Marnie were married at The Salish Lodge in Snoqualmie, with Marnie’s parents and two friends as guests/witnesses.

What I love about John and Marnie and other couples who go this route is that they did things right.  They were intentional about creating a beautiful ceremony and celebration that truly marked the moment.  They were thoughtful in how their day was going to come together and this was reflected in the ease and grace of their wedding weekend.

So, bottom line?  For a tiny ceremony and celebration, go big.  Not in terms of people present but rather in terms of planning a day or weekend that is truly a personal and intimate celebration and tribute to a loving relationship.

Beautiful Photo:  Steven Dangerfield:  www.dangerfieldphoto.com

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Amelia’s Mommy & Daddy Get Married! A Lovely Wedding in Tacoma, Celebrating a Beautiful Family…

September 21, 2014

The sun came out for Amelia’s big day!

Oh, it was Casey and Dayna’s big day, too!  Amelia

It was happiness for me to road trip it to Tacoma on the morning of July 26th to celebrate Casey and Dayna and to share in their wedding ceremony at the Japanese Reconciliation Park on Ruston Way.

Over a number of months, it was such a pleasure to work with Dayna and Casey, as we designed their ceremony and worked through ceremony and pre-planning logistics.

And all of Dayna’s planning work paid off in a big way.  Guests were elegant welcomed.  All pre-ceremony pieces were in place.  And we had such a happy bride and groom to get so very married on a hot July day!

Incorporating children into a ceremony is a gentle art and dance.  In this work that I do, I strive to be “real” and not preachy when it comes to honoring a child or children within a marriage ritual.

On this day, I walked away from Casey and Dayna during ceremony and got down on Amelia’s level to share some words to her.  And magically, I was able to make a “keepsake box” appear with a special letter written by her parents that will be given to Amelia on a very special day, years down the road.

Casey and Dayna – I wish you so much love, joy and happiness on your marriage and family adventure!

 

 

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On Their 25th Anniversary and After a “Start Of Wedding Ceremony” Surprise, Cindy and Sandra Say “I Do!”

September 16, 2014

You’ve got to love two fabulous ladies who know how to truly have fun and a good time!

In celebration of their 25 years together, Cindy and Sandra exchanged vows at Salty’s on Alki, in a sweet and personal wedding ceremony, surrounded by their best friends and people.

To open their ceremony, and in a “planned surprise move,” Cindy stopped me, saying she had something to offer Sandra.  And magically, three “back up singers in festive boas and hats” appeared and Cindy lip synced a special song to Sandra.  Talk about fun!  Talk about laughter!  Talk about pure joy!  CindySandra

Creating a surprise within a wedding ceremony is a sensitive thing.

It must be well planned and executed and Cindy did an over-the-top job around this.  Sandra was totally susprised and elated and the two of them ended up doing a little dance as the song and the surprise played out.

I just stood on the side lines with a sloppy grin on my face, so delighted to be in a room bursting with happiness!

Cindy and Sandra – I wish you much happiness in your marriage adventure.

AND if you want to renew your vows in the years to come, with another “surprise,” please count me in!  Photo:  www.jennygg.com

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Steve + Leesa: Years In The Making and “Finally” So Elegantly Hitched at Alderbrook Resort.

September 15, 2014

Steve + Leesa.

Simply put, so much darn fun!SteveLeesaDuarte3

This beautiful couple traveled up from Oregon with Leesa’s Mother and Best Friend and were married on September 9th in a romantic, intimate and waterside ceremony at the Alderbrook Resort in Union.

The guest list may have been small and joy of this day for Steve and Leesa was enormous.

What I love about this couple is that they put serious thought and intention into crafting a ceremony and celebration that was truly significant and special, just for the two of them.

Their ceremony was a testament to the past, present and future and included a water ritual, which released the past ~ creating an opening for all present and future blessings.

And it was so fun to follow their wedding announcement on Facebook and see how happy hundreds of their family and friends were for their big news!

Steve and Leesa, thank you for the road trip. Thank you for the happy honor of sharing in your biggest day!

 

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You Know What My Happiness Is? A Kind, Gracious and Appreciative Loving Couple. Truly.

September 7, 2014

My heart was in such a happy place as I made the drive to the Salish Lodge last Sunday to get Brian and Dayna so very married.

This sweet couple lives by my favorite paradox:  ‘what is big, is really small.  what is small, is really big.”DaynaBrian

With 18 family members as their guests, Brian and Dayna were married in a very personal ceremony at The Salish Lodge…with all of the pomp and circumstance of a large and lavish planned wedding.

Captured by Photographer Jim Garner and Videographer Mitch Mattraw,  Brian and Dayna hosted a well-planned and happy wedding day that was enjoyed by each one of their very fortunate guests.

And as I drove away from the Salish Lodge, I recognized that our world is blessed.  Blessed by Brian and Dayna’s loving commitment.  Blessed by a couple who created a wedding day exclusively for “them.”

Most of all, blessed by two lovely people who found each other “over the phone” and moved heaven and earth to be together.  Love.  Love it!

 

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“That Was So Much Fun!” That’s Right, Let’s Toss Out the Boring, “Blah, Blah, Blah” Seattle Wedding Ceremony…

September 1, 2014

I followed David and Britney back to the guest house at their venue, The Farm Kitchen, and as we sat down to sign marriage license documents on Saturday evening, Britney kept saying “gosh, that was so much fun!”

And I couldn’t agree more.  DavidBritneyFischer

The aspect of “fun” during a ceremony has less to do with me and more with a couple.

Look at these faces.  Now this is love.  This fun!

The “feeling” of a wedding ceremony does have to do with the Officiant’s style and delivery AND it has to do with a couple’s sense of graciousness, style and ease.

And uptight couple = uptight group.

An easy-going couple = FUN!  JOY!

It was such a happy pleasure to join David and Britney over this holiday weekend.  We celebrated their loving partnership.  We honored their families.  We all giggled with glee as they shared in a unique “chocolate and beer ritual.”  Yes, we had so much FUN!

 

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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: http://www.marriedbyannemarie.com or call 425. 922.1325. Or if you want to elope and get married today, tomorrow or next week, go to http://www.elopeseattlestyle.com

Photo:  Lily’s Mothers Get Married (Annemarie & Lily)  www.laluzphotography.com

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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:  www.jennygg.com

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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 – www.vowswedding.com

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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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