Tell us a little about yourselves!
Harbin and I met through a mutual friend. At the time, I was living in the San Francisco Bay Area and Harbin was living in Seattle. We started dating long-distance, which has really made us value the time that we get to spend together. When I had the opportunity to relocate to Seattle for work, I didn't think twice and we're still in Seattle today. We got engaged not long after that, but took a little bit of extra time before diving into wedding planning.
Why did you decide to get married where you did?
Our original (indoor) venue remained closed throughout the pandemic, which had us running around looking for a brand new venue entirely. As we weren't sure what the local regulations for the pandemic were going to look like by the time our wedding rolled around, we specifically wanted an outdoor venue that would give us flexibility with the ceremony and reception setup and spacing. We found Vashon Field + Pond on a bit of a whim - it was the type of venue that wouldn't have popped up in our initial search, since they typically only host large weddings. However, the venue was open to hosting smaller celebrations like ours. The idea of getting married right by the water, and on an island that felt far away (yet was actually quite close to home), felt exciting in these less-than-exciting times. For us, the need for a venue switch ended up being a blessing in disguise; we can't imagine having gotten married anywhere else, and can't believe it wasn't our first choice!
How many guests did you have?
We had 6 guests - just our immediate families.
Tell us about your outfits.
I ended up purchasing my Jenny Yoo dress from Lovely Bride in Cincinnati, where my parents live. It was important to me that I got to pick it out with my mom, sister, and best friend from high school. Originally, we'd thought Harbin would be renting a tux. However, when we made our venue switch and moved things outdoors, he took the opportunity to get fitted for an Indochino suit, instead!
What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?
Especially as we'd always expected having a smaller wedding, it was really important to us that we document the day so that we could share these moments with friends and family who likely would not be able to join us on the big day. We met our photographer, Malorie Kerouac, early on in wedding planning, and she was pretty much one of the first vendors we decided to work with. Honestly, we couldn't have prioritized this better. When we realized just how small our wedding would likely have to be, we were grateful to have Malorie capture all the emotions and feel of the big day.
Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?
We'd always envisioned our wedding as an opportunity to gather our closest friends and family together, and have a chance to sit down for a meal together. We were excited to have a local restaurant (Gravy) take advantage of all local ingredients to cater our wedding for a family style lunch. They whipped up the largest, most delicious paella - no small plates and tiny bites for us! When we locked in our venue, we noticed that there was a willow tree right by the bluff, overlooking the water. We knew right away we wanted to have our ceremony right by the willow tree, and worked with our florist (Carlee at Rusted Vase Co) to figure out a way to make that willow tree pop!
Any tips for couples getting married, particularly during Covid?
Just because the wedding is small doesn't mean that you have to make sacrifices or cut down on elements of the big day. At times, we did run into issues when looking for vendors who had guest count minimums or minimums around number of hours contracted. But there are also just as many vendors out there who love working smaller celebrations and will happily help you figure out how to make a small wedding just as exciting as a bigger one! Especially if your budget allows for it, we'd recommend working with a day-of coordinator/planner, even with a smaller wedding! We loved working with our coordinator, Events with Alice, and were grateful to just focus on getting married and leaving the logistics to her expertise.