Moments and Milkshakes Washington Wedding

Laura is a crafty bride with just a skosh of OCD.

Not only did she do an amazing job planning her day, she also crafted the bridesmaids dresses on her own, created a number of the decorations for her ceremony and reception, and also put together bins with corresponding lists and pictures that instructed her support crew on how everything should be laid out and what it should look like. In the end, all the hard work paid off. The wedding day for her and Ryan ended up being a great time with very little stress, a nice coffee break in the morning, a stop for milkshakes before the ceremony, and one great reception.

But for Laura, the whole day had a number of great moments.

The milkshake escapade was something unique and a great way to relax.

“It was nice to have these fancy clothes on and still be ourselves. I mean, who gets a milkshake on their wedding day?!”

When the bridal party was lining up for the ceremony, this bride was supposed to be inside until it was time for her to walk down the aisle. But she decided to take a walk outside instead.

“It was awesome. I was able to take a look at the reception space and see all of the hard work my family and friends had given to make everything perfect … and enjoy a few minutes to myself before my life changed forever. I was able to sneak off and look at everyone sitting down at the ceremony site and it was such a great moment! Then Ryan came up (not sure how he knew I was there!!), and he gave me my last hug before we’d be husband & wife!”

To have those moments meant a lot to Laura, not only because it was her wedding day, but because it also gave her the opportunity to see all the hard work in preparation pay off.

“I wanted to create and prep a lot of this myself, along with my awesome team of people to help, to save money, but also because I enjoy it. I know for a lot of people that would be so stressful, especially making the bridesmaid dresses, but I feel like it was more special because of the memories that were made in the process. It gave me more time with my Bridesmaids, my mom, and mother-in-law. While the wedding day is viewed as the focus, the time preparing for the actual day is equally important. The time I got to spend with these individuals cannot be replaced and was so worth the long hours and crazy preparation. I will never forget the memories made during the preparation; now I can look back at the photos of our wedding and have ‘preparation memories’ sparked from what is in the photo! It’s pretty cool.”

The overlook of Denison Ridge provided a great backdrop which Laura and Rayn fell in love with instantly.

“Teri, the venue owner, has put so much time and effort into the space. The upkeep was truly impeccable, we loved all of the color from the flowers, and the view was incredible! Teri was really easy going and a pleasure to work with. She also had all of these decor pieces that we could use anyway we wanted, and that really enhanced the vibe we were trying to portray. It’s a great place that has many quaint qualities about it, too many to be discovered!

After all the preparation, the day of activities, and going through the overwhelming experience of a wedding day took it’s toll on the bride and groom

“People will tell you how tired you are by the end, and to enjoy it because the day flies by. So yes, I was expecting this, but it’s different than being tired and being done with the night so quickly. With all of the emotions that go along with the day, you lose track of the time, or you forget to sit down for 5 minutes and take it all in. I’m not sure how to explain what I wasn’t expecting. Maybe it’s the emotions. Of course I knew I’d be emotional, but they are emotions you cannot prepare for. You just have to experience it to know.”

Laura’s tips for planning a wedding:

  • It never hurts to get a price quote on something or a service. We wanted to have china and glassware vs. paper plates for our dinner but were convinced it wasn’t in the budget. Three weeks before the wedding we decided to check it out, and it was in our budget! We were pretty lucky that we found what we wanted, and it was available. So just get a quote from the start and forget last minute planning!
  • If you need to set up the day of, find two or three people that will help set everything up. The bride & groom shouldn’t have that stress the day of the wedding. You may want to do it yourself (trust me, I thought I wanted to), but you will discover that week leading up to the wedding is stressful enough and you just want to be done with planning. You will be glad other people are doing it!
  • Have one day the week before your wedding where you have no plans (including no work!). This can be your designated disaster recovery day. If something goes wrong, you have that whole day blocked off to take care of it. When everything goes smoothly, you just gained a day to spend with your family, fiance or both!
  • You may have a timeline for the day, but it’s your day, and if you choose to squeeze something in or have a spontaneous coffee run, do it!! Those are the moments that make the day even better.
  • Also, rubbing alcohol gets sap out of clothes.


Hair — Waves Hair Studio
Dress — Marcella’s Bridal
Flowers — Crafted by a family friend
Catering — Black Tie Catering
Cake — Celebrations
Rings — Jewelry Design Center
DJ — Complete Music
Suits — Men’s Warehouse and Macy’s
Venue — Denison Ridge

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Carefree Wedding Day On Hayden Lake

Tim and John spent their childhoods living near the water. Tim spent many summers on Lake Coeur d’Alene and always had a special bond to the lakes on North Idaho. John grew up in Rhode Island but spent his summers at his grandparents home on Squam Lake in New Hampshire. But when these two met, little did they know the water would play a key theme in their lives and their wedding day.

Shortly after they began dating 17 years ago, Tim and John started visiting Lake Coeur d’ Alene and Priest Lake where Tim’s parents both had homes. They eventually visited Hayden Lake and fell in love with the lake, the region, and the people, and purchased a home on Hayden Lake in 2009.

“When we decided to get married it was a hard choice for us as we had spent 16 years of our lives together in Seattle and the past several years in Sun Valley and felt special ties to all three places,” Tim explained. “Hayden Lake and the Hayden Lake Country Club however are both very special to us both. Our bond to the lakes was something we both shared and we wanted to share this with our family and friends who would be attending our wedding from across the U.S and from places as far away as Germany and Great Britain.”

During our consultation and site visit, it was important for Tim and John that the visual record of the day would highlight the experience of not only the wedding day, but what their friends and family were experiencing with the area from the waterfront vistas from the Hayden Lake Country Club to the amazing hospitality of the staff.

When it came to the decor for this couple, a nautical theme became apparent in large part because of their time spent on the water over the years and Tim and John’s affinity for classic wooden boats.

“I don’t think that either of us stressed over the decor’. We both had a good idea of how we wanted the wedding and reception to look and presented these thoughts and ideas to Cory Jasmin (the Hayden Lake Country Club wedding coordinator) when we met to discuss the event. Cory was super helpful and was able to offer suggestions and add to our ideas which made for a wonderful collaboration and ultimately to our day and wedding being everything we had hoped it would be and more.”

As the Hayden Lake Country Club crew were busy preparing the ceremony and reception areas, Tim and John were at their home enjoying a very relaxed morning alone as they made sure their suits, bow ties and handkerchiefs were all in order. I was able to document these two as they shared texts and Tweets with friends and family the moments before capturing a few portraits and departing for the venue. The entire morning was very low-key.

Once at Hayden Lake Country Club, Tim and John spent some time for portraits with their wedding party and then close family and friends. Then onto the ceremony which for this couple was the biggest focus of the day because they wanted to ensure the ceremony reflected both of their personalities. The two focused most of their planning efforts on the ceremony from the clothing choices, to the liturgy and to the music.

“We wanted this day to truly be the best day of our lives and we worked hard to have this outcome. As we look back now it truly was the best day of our lives!”

After the “I Do’s” were exchanged, and Tim and John made their way down the aisle hand-in-hand, it was time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the Hayden Lake vista.

While planning any wedding, couples often worry about how much they will be able to relax and truly enjoy the moment and the day with families and friends. The gentleman were able to do just that. But, they were also able to enjoy a party too. The dance floor was packed most of the evening. And Tim and John navigated between “getting down” on the dance floors, and working their way through the dining area for hugs and conversations.

When the evening came to a close, Tim and John made their way to the Hayden Lake Country Club staff to personally thank them for making their day perfect for them, and then they headed down to their classic wooden boat where a crowd above the marina bid them farewell and the two navigated to the middle of Hayden Lake for a moonlight glass of wine and to reflect on the whole day.



Venue & Catering — Hayden Lake Country Club

Cake — Just American Desserts

DJ — Coeur d’Alene DJ

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All In The Family

When I first met Katie and Dan, it was for their engagement session. We had done plenty of phone calls and emailing to make sure we were a good fit for their wedding. Right away I knew that these two cherished the family experience. Katie was coming into the role of wife and stepmother to Dan’s son Ethan in one moment. But from the looks of it, they’d been doing the family thing for a while.

During the engagement session, Katie, Dan and Ethan enjoyed their time strolling through Riverfront Park and just being together. This theme of togetherness carried over into the wedding day for not only this new family in the making, but their friends and family as well.

“We wanted the day to feel like a family reunion we just happened to be getting married at and I think we succeeded in that,” Katie explained. “The whole day felt very relaxed and we were able to chat with people and enjoy the day.”

Katie and Dan wanted Ethan and his cousins to feel like this was their day too. So to start out the day, the had a treasure hunt near the hotel they were staying at. This gave Dan a special moment with his son, and got the kids into the mood for a wedding day adventure.

To make their day easier, Katie and Dan relied on a well-recruited team of vendors to help ensure the day was as stress free as possible so they could concentrate on having fun with their guests. But the two things they may have stressed over a little were their first dance, and some of the details so they could make their wedding day personal with some of the special items they cherish.

“Everyone wants their wedding to be special and personal, and it’s sometimes difficult to figure out how to make that happen,” the new bride said. “We were able to borrow a lot of supplies from family friends and tried to keep the décor simple and not have too many things going on. We picked things that were important to us and tried to have one or two décor elements per area instead of decorating everywhere.”

Despite the focus on trying to keep the day stress free, a well balanced plan for the details, a solid team of helpful vendors, it seemed one small part of the ceremony was forgotten.

“We weren’t expecting to forget the exchange of rings!” Katie exclaimed. I guess we should have practiced the ceremony more.”

Once the ceremony was complete, everyone retreated into the barn at Camden Ranch for a reprieve from the heat. This was the weekend at the end of June when it was 107 degrees. A little dancing, some tasty Feast Catering Company entrees, and some good cake later, everyone headed outdoors again to enjoy the atmosphere, the cooler evening weather, and the remaining wedding party members and I headed out to capture some fun and odd moments.

Katie and Dan ended their wedding day a little earlier than expected. Primarily because everyone was exhausted from the heat and activities throughout the day. But for this newlywed couple, everything they wanted to happen, happened. And they were able to spend time with their friends and family as they celebrated their wedding day and the start of their new family.

In closing, Katie had these wise words for couples planning their wedding day …

“Find something meaningful to you and concentrate on that. A million little white Christmas lights may look great, but if it’s going to stress you out and be a giant pain it’s probably not worth it. It will be much more meaningful to look back on your photos and see the amazing cake you had made, or the photo booth, or the centerpieces, or whatever you decide is important. Also, take time to enjoy your day! We were able to relax, talk with the vast majority of our guests, and eat dinner and cake because we didn’t have a million different games or activities scheduled. Again, pick a few things that are important and make those memorable, don’t try to do everything.”



Venue — Camden Ranch
Hair & Makeup — Jen Brubaker and Mel Riddle from Tease Salon
Dress — David’s Bridal
Flowers — Crafted by the bride, bridal party, and moms
Catering — Feast Catering Company
Cake — Dan’s mom
Rings — Pounder’s Jewelry (bride’s), Thorsten Rings (groom’s)
Decor — Camden Ranch and bridal party
DJ — Complete Music & Events
Suits — Nordstrom and Men’s Wearhouse

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