PNW Wedding in the Woods | Kitsap Memorial State Park 2   Recently updated !


What do you get when two adventurous souls combine? The picturesque intimate PNW Wedding with the best of the woods and the water.

On November 4, we were honored to be part of an amazing wedding adventure. Emily is a fellow wedding-industry vendor (she owns Paeonia Pines and Prudence & Sage) , and when she chose us to photograph their big day, we were thrilled. We knew that this wedding would be filled with incredible details and lots of experiences for their guests to just be themselves and have fun along the way. When they told us they’d chosen Kitsap Memorial State Park as the venue, we were excited to finally shoot at this beautiful location, as it’s the ideal spot for an intimate PNW wedding.

Here’s what we didn’t expect though – every detail of their wedding has meaning to them and their story. From Emily’s hiking boots that have gone on every adventure her and Andy have been on together to the lanterns at their head table (again, they’ve lit their way along all their journeys); to the tiny pins on her bouquet (one, a gift from her grandpa to her grandmother and the other a gift to her mother when she was a baby from her Dad’s mom). She also wore one of her grandmother’s brooches on the back of her custom-made gown, and the Amulet of Mara that Andy proposed with as her necklace (and can I just say, as a nerd, I LOVE this). Emily looked like a PNW faerie goddess of the woods.

The greenery in all of the floral pieces (her crown, bouquet, and centerpieces) came from Lake Stevens Disc Golf Course – and important place for the couple during their relationship (and also where Andy proposed), and the albino hops were from the garden of Amee Quiriconi, one of the couple’s close friends (and would you expect any less from a PNW wedding??). Her bouquet was tied with a piece from Andy’s mother’s dress.

We also loved the Vegan Sweet Roll cake and the comfy blankets they had as favors. And the awesome Taco Bar courtesy of their extended family! Yum! Plus, the fact that they both wore sweaters during the ceremony and Emily was cuddled in one of their blanket favors.

But to us, the best part was their approach to their wedding day. They chose to walk into this next stage of life together, and their entire day embodied this idea. They got ready together and Andy wrote his vows in the next room as she finished up.  They walked together to the ceremony site, even stopping to share a drink of beer along the walk.  They were married under gigantic age-old trees in the middle of a campground surrounded by their friends and family and shared their hearts and vows in front of everyone (which may or may not have included laughter, tears, a stolen mid-ceremony kiss and a curse word or two).

They played disc golf together during the reception (Andy fulfilled his vows and rescued Emily’s disc from the top of the main outdoor shelter), and danced the night away surrounded by friends and family. It was definitely more about the celebration of their next step and less about a wedding… it wasn’t pomp & circumstance, it was laughter, love, memories and experiences – things that build a strong foundation of forever. It was PNW wedding pure.

There are some things better said by the bride though, so I’ll let her share a few things here:

Five years ago, when I decided to date Andy, I made the decision then that it was for good. That I had found the person I was pretty certain I could tolerate my whole life and that made me want to be a better person. I told him that I wanted kids early in life so I could be in my late 40s with no kids at home, having decades left of adventure together and that I wanted to be able to stay at home with my kids. I also had already started and failed half a dozen business ventures at this point. Having entrepreneurs for parents and agreeing with my terms, Andy must have known what he was getting into as well.

Within a year of dating, Andy moved in to my 320-square foot, one-bedroom apartment in a falling down old Snohomish house. There were no doors in this apartment, only doubled up curtains between the bedroom and the bathroom. Very quickly, we broke barriers that take many couples decades to hurdle.

The next year, we moved into a two-bedroom house. Together we worked on house projects, built furniture launched a wedding planning business and continued to snowboard, camp, and explore amazing places. We learned to balance schedules, share finances and make big decisions about our future, together. We put both our names as legal owners of our vehicles. We combined bank accounts. We made the motions to intertwine our lives in a way that was not easily undone.

Then, we had Andrew. Together, we took on this beautiful adventure of learning to be parents. We learned our roles and how to balance being partners to each other and parents to our child. We chose to do it once more.

We mapped our options for our next destination, charting possible land purchases, evaluating the risks and costs of moving into an RV, and planning how not to permanently put ourselves into massive debt.

Since the days of Andy officially moving in to my teeny-tiny apartment we had talked about what our wedding would be like. This was a natural conversation to come up when you work in the wedding industry, as I had started to do that year. Another conversation that had come up was that I wanted Andy to propose to me, and that it would be meaningful to me. But the more we experienced life together, the less I thought about it as important.

Me 6 months pregnant and Andy with our 14-month-old on his back, we visited Kitsap Memorial State Park’s venue open house. But this time, not for one of my clients. I wanted Andy to come because I thought it would be a great place for us to celebrate our fifth anniversary, the purchase of our next home and the two children we brought into the world. And you know, maybe that would be a good time to have a small ceremony. I thought getting married would make a lot of legal paperwork simpler and it would be nice to have the same last name as Andy and the kids. We set a date, the first week of the following November. Well out of wedding season and Louis would be nearly a year old so I would feel comfortable having them staying with someone else. This was the dry, logical side of my brain taking over.

As the year went on and I stole moments away from nursing a baby, changing two diapers at a time, and coordinating 15 weddings to plan ours. Our priorities were simple. I wanted an abundance of cedar and ferns, tacos and for everyone to camp with us. Andy wanted the ceremony outside, to not have to do anything, tacos and beer. We were buying a house so we did not want to spend more than the $6000 we had designated because the house was the priority (though I was leaning towards skipping the wedding and putting money towards a house). It was sensible. And again, my logical-thinking side of the brain was taking over because my creative side was drained.

November neared. I worked on the décor projects that had been sitting in boxes through the wedding season. We set in to write our ceremony and vows. We read other ceremonies to find ideas. We got sentimental about our beginnings and talked again about our plans, unrelated to “getting married.” The realness of our PNW wedding wasn’t quite there yet.

I don’t know about Andy, but I know it did not hit me what we would experience on our wedding day until on the ferry to visit Kitsap for the first time in over a year we sat in the car writing our ceremony.

We dropped the boys with my grandma so that Andy and I could play a round of disc golf and collect the cedar, pine and ferns we would use in our decorations as our final date before the wedding. Our bags were full of greens. We were on hole seven and taking a break after searching for Andy’s favorite disc in the trees. Andy asked me if the wedding was everything I wanted it to be. I said it was and there is nothing we were doing I would change. I also asked him if he thought so as well. Andy said the only thing he wish for was that we might have been engaged, rather than just boyfriend and girlfriend. But was it too late?

Three days before our wedding, playing disc golf, in the woods, Andy digs through his Nut Sac and pulls out a necklace. I immediately understood what it was and the significance of it as he dropped to his knee to ask, “Emily Anne Wagster, will you marry me… on Saturday.”

When Andy and I started dating, he encouraged me to play this game called Skyrim. Long story short, playing Skyrim is one of the activities we love doing together and the game heavily inspired our wedding design. In the game, you can marry a few characters by obtaining a specific necklace, the Amulet of Mara, and presenting it to a character.

Obviously, I said yes. I wore the amulet for our wedding. The proposal was so thoughtful, so us, and one more adventure to add to our treasure box.

We love to be outside and camp. We are able to camp with our family for the whole weekend and really make the celebration about us.

Hunter Green, Slate Gray, Natural Ivory, Wood

Our theme is us – beer, woods, PNW, Skyrim

Allllll of it.

A Vegan Sweet Roll cake. Handmade by me (the bride!).
Please describe any special moments planned in the ceremony
Andy’s best friend will be marrying us. Our ceremony in itself is going to be unique and special. No seating, no processional or recess, no music. Just family in the woods surrounding us as we share vows
Love this PNW Wedding as much as we do? Make sure to leave Andy & Emily some comment love below, and check out their vendor team. 

AWESOME VENDOR TEAM FOR THE WOODED PNW WEDDING

Venue: Kitsap Memorial State Park

Day of Coordinator: Eastwood Events, Whitley

Florist: Paeonia Pines

Officiant: Tyler, friend of the couple

Baker: The bride!

Hair & Makeup: The bride 🙂

DJ: PJ Parsons Presents

Chair Rentals: CORT Party Rental

Decor: Prudence & Sage Events

 

AWESOME VENDOR TEAM FOR THE WOODED PNW WEDDING

Venue: Kitsap Memorial State Park

Day of Coordinator: Eastwood Events, Whitley

Florist: Paeonia Pines

Officiant: Tyler, friend of the couple

Baker: The bride!

Hair & Makeup: The bride 🙂

DJ: PJ Parsons Presents

Chair Rentals: CORT Party Rental

Decor: Prudence & Sage Events

 

WANT TO SEE THEIR ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS? CHECK HERE. 

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