A sundrenched winery, in Manson, Washington set the scene for Alison and Josh’s gorgeous September wedding. With the stunning landscape, there was no need for lavish décor, but the details they did include were thoughtful and blended seamlessly with their wine colored theme. Royal purples and reds, gentle candle light from wine bottle votives, and wine charms (hand beaded by the bride) attached to each menu created a romantic ambiance. The handmade wine box, which you can read about below, is my favorite! Alison and Josh first met in 6th grade, but it wasn’t until many years later, when they met again after returning home after working out of state, that these two started dating. Read below for their full story.
Before the Ring:
Josh and I have actually known each other since 6th grade, which is also when I met Nicole, our photographer. We all went through middle school and high school together, and while Nicole and I were friends, josh and I were just acquaintances. After high school, we both went our separate ways to college, and jobs out of state. Josh played minor league baseball for few years, and ended up living in San Jose after he was released. I had moved to southern California for a few years for work. We both ended back up in Seattle, home. I had been back a few years, Josh only a couple months, when we ran into each other again. It was at my favorite bar in Seattle, Pesos, in the Queen Anne neighborhood. There was an instant attraction, and soon after we went on our first date. I couldn’t believe that we had known each other all this time and had just found each other. Things moved pretty fast after that. We went on many dates, wine tasting outings, met each other’s parents and friends, and spent almost every weekend that first winter at my favorite mountain snowboarding. It was a pretty long drive up to the summit, but it was great bonding time, and I really do think that helped us fall in love.
It was only 8 months after we had started dating, but we both knew we were meant to be together. He had gotten one of my work colleagues to get my boss in on it, and let us off early that day. August 27th, 2010. We walked on the ferry in Seattle and headed to Bainbridge Island for a little wine tasting and dinner at a place we had heard wonderful things about. It was a beautiful sunny summer Seattle evening, and the restaurant did not disappoint! On our way back on the ferry, the city was all lit up with the night lights. After the ferry, we were headed to my place, but Josh suggested we go up to a park on Queen Anne Hill in Kerry Park. This place not only has one of the most beautiful views of the city and Puget Sound, but is also a place we frequented, and where we had our first ‘relationship’ conversation. It was very unexpected to me, and as we walked up to a bench, Josh turned around, got on one knee, and asked me to marry him. He had also employed my best friend for help, and she had stashed a bucket with a bottle of champagne and 2 glasses in it under the bench. It was truly the best moment of my life to have the man I’m so completely in love with ask me to spend my life with him. Obviously,
I was elated, and as we drove back down the hill, called our parents, who already knew, of course, Josh suggested we go to that very bar we met, and meet up with my best friend. I was so excited, and couldn’t wait to see her. I was so happy in the moment; I didn’t know who to call first! Much to my surprise, josh had another trick up his sleeve. He had gotten about 25 of our close friends to be waiting there! It absolutely made the night perfect to get to share our excitement with our friends over champagne.
Details of the Day:
My mind was spinning at all the possibilities of our wedding when we first got engaged. The best advice I got about where to start, was to think of three words that come to mind when you think of your day. For me those were: ambiance, classic, and effortless. I knew that I wanted a venue that had natural beauty, so decor could be minimal. I hate clichés, and wanted things to seem organic, in the sense that they flowed together, and happened naturally. I also knew I wanted it to be a fun party for all the guests! The idea of a winery was my first choice, though I did look at a bunch of very different options before deciding. We instantly fell in love with our venue, Benson Vineyards Estate Winery. It has breathtaking views of Lake Chelan, and wonderful wine!
A very special detail was our wine box. We were having a hard time deciding what to do when I came to our “uniting” part of the ceremoy. I wanted something different and special to us. Our officiant, pastor Craig, suggested a wonderful idea. A box that held a bottle of wine, two glasses, and two letters written each by the bride and groom to each other. and then placed and locked into the box on our wedding day, and opened years later on an anniversary. How perfect for a winery wedding! My dad, who is quite handy (he made the sign for our wedding and hand cut all the wine bottles for the centerpieces) along with help from my grandpa, handmade us the box that would be this huge part of our ceremony. It was made of oak with two separate locks on it, and lined in velvet…beautiful. We bought our favorite bottle of wine from Benson, (Cabernet franc), and two glasses with the wineries logo on them. Our moms held the letters we had written to each other, and gave them to us, along with a hug, and we locked the box together.
One of the most important parts of the day for me, was my friend, Heidi. She was one of my best friends since college, and had tragically passed away a few years ago. I wanted her to be part of my day though. I had saved a bridesmaid spot for her, which made our numbers uneven, but, I couldn’t fill it with anyone else. Heidi was one of the most genuine and free spirited people I had ever known. She had touched so many people’s lives, and she wanted to have her ashes spread all over the world by her friends as we all traveled to places special to us. Before the ceremony, josh and I, along with Nicole, our photographer, went down to Lake Chelan, so I could spread her ashes and have her be a part of my day. It was very a memorable moment for us, and I’m so glad we were able to get photos of it. They turned out wonderful and Heidi was able to be there with us on our big day.
Photographer: Nicole Goddard Photography / Venue: Benson Vineyards Estate Winery / Bride’s Dress: La Belle Elaine’s (Seattle) / Flowers: Herban Floral / Bridal Jewelry: Unique Boutique / Bridal Makeup & Spa Services: Campbell’s Spa and Hotel / Men’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse / Caterer: Peppercorn Catering / Cake: Deb’s Delights / Officiant: Craig Rayment / Rentals: All Seasons Event Rentals / Music: DJ Chelan