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Real Wedding | Melissa + Steven

Why did you decide to get married where you did?

With an itch to travel somewhere new and an expired passport, we ended up in Orcas Island for the first time for Melissa’s birthday. Within minutes of driving off the ferry, we jokingly said, “what if we had our wedding here?” As we continued through the weekend, what began as a far off thought turned into what felt like a real possibility. Many of the details of our first visit to Orcas Island became part of our wedding weekend: whale watching , eating oysters along the water, and finishing our trip with a dinner at Matia. 

What really solidified our decision to get married in Orcas Island was dining at Matia; it is one of our favorite meals we’ve had together. Years before we had gotten engaged we had said that one day we would have our wedding at a restaurant. Living in LA together for a couple of years, we fell in love with the restaurant scene and long dinners where you sit and talk for hours over a delicious meal. Matia embodied this for us and seemed like the perfect place to have a wedding that also felt like an intimate dinner party with all of our closest friends and family.

How many guests did you have?


Tell us about your outfits.


Melissa went for a simple and form fitting Alyssa Kristin dress. She wanted a dress that felt like an elevated version of herself, and since her everyday outfit is a t-shirt and jeans, she knew she needed something understated.

Steven wore a Hart Schaffner Marx suit sans tie, because is it really an island wedding if you wore a tie?

What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?

We wanted the weekend to feel like a vacation for ourselves and all of our guests. Most of our friends and family had never visited Orcas Island before, and we felt like the best way to celebrate our love was to share with them all of the things that we love most about Orcas Island and the Pacific Northwest. 

Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate? 

Sharing food has always been one of the most important parts of our relationship, so we knew that we wanted our wedding to be centered around what we ate. After a few emails back and forth with Drew, the general manager of Matia, we settled on a nine course tasting menu for our wedding dinner. We had dishes with flavor combinations we had never experienced before like fried squash blossom with cornbread, mushroom duxelles, and smoked egg yolk and stone fruit with chili crisp, summer onions, and sesame brittle. We ended the night off with the most unique wedding cake we had ever had, a Plum and Earl Grey Marjolaine Cake with Hazelnut and Lemon Curd. The entire meal was exceptional.

Any tips for couples getting married?

Have the wedding that you want to have. At the end of the day, you two will be the ones who care the most about how your wedding turns out.

Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?

Our photographers, Juliette and Liz of J + L Photography, were truly a dream to work with. From getting to know Juliette and Liz at our engagement shoot to spending most of our wedding day with them, we really felt comfortable and like we could be ourselves from the start. The feeling of calm we had knowing that we could trust them to capture one of the most important days of our lives is something we wish for everyone planning a wedding. The photos they shot of our wedding portray so much love and happiness, and we are forever grateful that we have them to look back on to remember that day.

Photographer: J + L Photography @jandlphotography | Ceremony Location: Rental House in Eastsound, WA | Reception Location: Matia @matia_kitchen | Celebrant: One of Melissa and Steven’s closest friends | Flora: Dogwood Flower Design @dogwoodflowerdesign| HMUA: Hannah Bush at Urbanista Weddings @urbanistaweddings | Catering, Beverages + Cake: Matia @matia_kitchen | Wedding Dress: Alyssa Kristin @akristinbridal via A&BE Bridal Shop @aandbe_seattle | Suit: Hart Schaffner Marx @hartschaffner | Engagement + Wedding Rings: Ada Diamonds @adadiamonds | Earrings: Zoe Chicco @zoechiccojewelry | Watch: Movado @movado


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