There is something truly magical about the work of Seattle photographer Kirk Mastin of Mastin Studio, and we are in constant awe of his breathtaking photos. Like all great pieces of art, however, what really draws us in is not the technical flawlessness of his photos but their heart and soul, the beautiful stories they tell. On that note, we are beyond thrilled to feature one of Kirk’s weddings—a lovely autumn fête full of tasteful vintage flavor and touching moments.
Sarah, who is currently pursuing a master’s degree in art therapy at Antioch University, and Jesse, a user experience designer for HTC, easily made the decision to hold their wedding at Seattle’s Clise Mansion, a 28-room country estate with Tudor Revival details that appealed to their shared taste for historic American architecture and—given Seattle’s unpredictable weather—their desire for an interior space worthy of a wedding ceremony. Situated in the Willowmoor farmstead area of Marymoor Park, the manor offers glorious views of the surrounding lawns and gardens, whose stately heritage trees, awash in the glorious colors of fall, served as a vibrant backdrop for the couple’s portraits.
Sarah, who chose a seasonally fitting palette of Oxford blue and warm, autumnal orange, thoughtfully orchestrated every last detail of the day, from her 1940s-inspired updo to the vintage Valentine’s Day postcards that adorned the charming antique book centerpieces she carefully assembled by hand. But it was the spontaneous moments that she cherished the most. “On the day of the wedding, I was amazingly calm and able to be in the present,” Sarah recalled. “One of my favorite moments was walking hand in hand with my daughter, Ollie, to meet Jesse for our ‘first look.’ When we saw each other, it was a very magical moment. Not only were Jesse and I about to get married, but the three of us were about to become one family.”
Q + A with Sarah
What’s your love story? How did you meet, fall in love, and get engaged?
Jesse and I met in 2010 at a Fourth of July BBQ. Jesse’s from Orlando, and he was visiting Seattle with his friend, Justin. Justin’s then girlfriend (now wife), Hannah, was interning at the non-profit World Vision and living with my friends Andrea (one of my bridesmaids) and Nathan. Andrea and Nathan have a son, Isaac, who is my daughter’s age. (He was the ring bearer in our wedding.) My daughter, Ollie, and I went to a BBQ at Andrea and Nathan’s house, and that’s where we met Jesse. Jesse and I were both so shy that we hardly spoke to one another, but we later acknowledged the instant attraction. When Jesse went back home to Florida, I contacted him on Facebook and told him that I liked his graphic design work. That’s how things began. A month later, we decided to commit to each other. We spent the first year in a long-distance relationship, which allowed us to get to know each other and communicate really well. Jesse moved to Seattle to be with me in the summer of 2011, and we were engaged in February 2012. The night of our engagement, he took me to the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s performance of Don Quixote and proposed on Alki Beach. The best thing about our relationship is that we constantly learn from each other, support one another, and grow together.
Can you tell us a little bit about the details of your wedding and your sources of inspiration?
The best way to describe our wedding would be to call it “vintage autumn.” Jesse and I have similar aesthetics; we find a happy middle ground in mid-century modern design. Our venue, Clise Mansion, was built in the 1900s. It has beautiful crown molding, white-washed walls, dark wood, exquisite stained glass, and Art Deco details. A gorgeous interior was essential for our wedding because late October in the Seattle area can easily bring heavy rain. Fortunately, we were blessed with another typical fall weather pattern, which includes everything from bright sunlight to hail to double rainbows.
We kept the wedding decorations simple to highlight the venue’s architectural beauty and the natural fall foliage outside in Marymoor Park. The centerpieces that I assembled were vintage books topped with vintage Valentine’s Day postcards. Some of the messages on the postcards were quite humorous! I wanted to add a bit of humor to lighten up the event. The floral arrangements on the tables were designed by my sister and matron of honor, April, who works at a flower shop in Los Angeles. My mother, Kathy, also designed some silk flower arrangements for the tables. It helped to have such creative people in my family!
My dress was a vintage-looking tea-length dress designed by Justin Alexander. I fell in love with it immediately. My hair was done at Gene Juarez Salon in Redmond, Washington, and the look was inspired by a 1940s updo.
The bouquets and boutonnieres were created at an adorable antique and flower shop called Whimsical Whites in Kent, Washington. I purchased other bits of décor (e.g., a vintage telephone, a typewriter, etc.) from shops on Etsy. I found most of the fall décor from craft stores such as Michaels. Our wedding invitations were designed by Jesse’s best friends from college, Sara and Brad, who also live in Seattle now. They have a letterpress shop in Pioneer Square called Constellation & Co.
What were your favorite moments of the day?
On the day of the wedding, I was amazingly calm and able to be in the present. Although I had spent months agonizing over the planning, I had to trust that everything was going to come together. One of my favorite moments of the day was walking hand in hand with my daughter, Ollie, to meet Jesse for our “first look.” When we saw each other, it was a very magical moment. Not only were Jesse and I about to get married, but the three of us were about to become one family.
What kind of advice would you offer to future brides?
Hire a day-of coordinator! I seriously cannot advise this enough. I was one of those brides who thought I could do everything. I designed and planned the entire thing almost single-handedly. However, my friend and wedding officiant David advised me to get a day-of coordinator, and that was probably the best decision I made. Thankfully, my friend Alison had been a day-of coordinator for other weddings, so I was able to ask her.
What’s so great about a day-of coordinator, you ask? All the details that you have planned actually come to fruition, and you get to relax and enjoy your day! Don’t think about it; just do it. Make if fit your budget, or simply ask a family friend, preferably one who is detail-oriented and works well under pressure, to serve as your coordinator.
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Photography: Seattle photographer Kirk Mastin of Mastin Studio / Venue: Clise Mansion / Bouquets and boutonnieres: Whimsical Whites / Catering: Act 3 Catering / Cake: Baked / Cake topper: Ready Go / Floral arrangements: April Mitre (sister of the bride) / Dress Designer: Justin Alexander / Dress Shop: I Do Bridal / Bride’s shoes: Poetic Licence / Jewelry: Parisienne Girl / Hair: Gene Juarez Salon / Makeup: Beth Wurdeman of Mary Kay / Programs: Wedding Paper Divas / Invitations: Constellation & Co. / Bridesmaid dresses: H&M /Groom’s attire: Indochino and Nordstrom / Groomsmen’s attire: H&M / Engagement photography: Amaris Michelle Photography
This wedding was submitted via Two Bright Lights.