Posts Tagged: seattle wedding coordinator

Post Pandemic Weddings & Events: Behind the Scenes of 2021

Spring 2021, the floodgates have opened. The wedding and social event industry in the Greater Seattle area has gone from a small trickling of celebrations in 2020 (thanks, but not thanks COVID-19) to a million miles an hour. Events are happening and inquiries are coming in stronger and faster than pre-pandemic levels as people are eager to celebrate both this year and in the year ahead in 2022! While our industry is thrilled for weddings and events to return as we’ve been waiting to get to this point since March 2020, the post Pandemic event world has changed and the wedding and events industry is doing it’s best to come back to life as smoothly as possible. 

Photo by Joanna Monger Photography

Weddings & Events are Back!

Couples who had postponed their wedding in 2020 are finally able to move forward with their wedding plans and are locking in final details for celebrations throughout this year. Families are eager to lock in celebrations that were put on hold and simply celebrate life with friends and family whether it being Birthday Parties, Post Pandemic Family BBQs or getting a chance to Celebrate a Life lost during this time.  In addition, newly engaged couples are worried that dates will soon be filled and are frantically locking in dates, venues and vendors in both 2021 and 2022. 

Photo by Jenn Tai Photo Artistry

While most people outside of the wedding and event industry see the front of the house I thought it might be helpful to give you a glimpse of behind the scenes and what is currently happening.

As a wedding and event planner we are used to working with a large volume of events and juggling a constantly full inbox plus meetings throughout town however this time it is different as the pause in the industry caused everyone to kick off planning at the same time. Pre pandemic, bookings for weddings and events would come in throughout the year, always heavier post Holidays, but making for a balance of the planning schedules for each event. However this time inquiries and the interest in planning has all happened at once – hello spring 2021. Clients we’ve been working with since 2019 and 2020 that chose to reschedule dates to 2021 and beyond having been excited to resume planning that was put on hold for 10+ months. We have been working together since the New Year revisiting plans and revising for the celebrations to come in the year ahead. At the same time weddings and events for both 2021 and 2022 are booking and planning at speeds we’ve never seen. Typically we are planning events that fall within a year to a year and a half away but this time we are planning events that should have taken place in 2020 as well as new events for 2021 and 2022 that are all at the same starting point. While we can’t complain it’s definitely a full and rushed start! 

As planners we get an inside look at every aspect of our industry and have firsthand knowledge of what we are experiencing working with venues and other vendors but not everyone gets this viewpoint. Here are just a few examples of what we are hearing as told by some of our most trusted industry pros.

Floral

Things to consider as you work with your florist as told by Flora Nova Design

Photo by Joe Tobiason Photography. Floral by Flora Nova Design.

~ We are seeing shortages and therefore pricing increases throughout the floral supply chain. It affects basic staples like white hydrangea, specific blush garden roses varieties, and favorite vases we love to use – just to name a few. 

~ Just a few weeks ago we were not able to get a single stem of white hydrangeas: an item usually available abundantly and stocked generously at our local wholesale markets. We needed to sub with white roses and white stock – not the same look but it worked. 

~ We are used to ordering specific rose varieties from our suppliers and keep a list of preferred colors, growers, and variety names. Repeatedly we are told that these varieties are not available which keeps us scrambling for possible replacements. 

~ One of our favorite glass centerpiece vases, which is our go-to for low designs, is out of stock until August. 

~ The list of shortages is long. It’s been a frustrating experience. Because of the shortages we see a 20% (and even up to 50%!) price increase on supplies. Customers need to be aware that pricing of wedding flower orders placed in 2020 or even in 2019 will need to be increased. 

~ The reasons for the shortages are manifold: I read that some farms have gone out of business. However, the majority of farms were simply not able to maintain their staff to plant the necessary crops in 2020 (because of the shut downs), therefor affecting supply this year. South-American farmers even switched to the much more lucrative farming of cannabis – a crop in high demand throughout the pandemic. 

We hope that this situation will normalize by 2022, but for now we need to roll with what we have. 

Tenting & Rentals

An inside look from CORT Party Rental

Photo by Alexandra Knight Photography. Tenting & Rentals by CORT Party Rental.

~ For drivers in the rental industry it’s more than just driving a truck and dropping off some equipment. Most times it also includes setting up and breaking down tents, flooring, and more. It’s more of an installer job. The need for delivery drivers has increased during the pandemic with more and more people having items delivered to their homes through companies like Amazon, UPS, FedEx, GrubHub, and UberEats.

~ As the season is ramping up and mandates are reducing, more and more people are ready to plan events which means an influx of rental requests – from both regular account customers and consumers. Adding sales associates to help with the demand will impact our success but with everyone else in the industry trying to ramp back up, the talent pool is either getting hired elsewhere or those previously in the events industry have moved into different industries like technology, real estate, and insurance, to name a few.

Everyone Wants a Tent!

~ From the beginning of the pandemic we knew that tented weddings and events would be the first type to come back. An outdoor environment is the least restricted option in terms of the regulations for COVID and many guests are more comfortable being fully outside. 

~ Because of this demand, the availability for tents is getting reserved much sooner than previous years. We anticipate seeing the surge of outdoor weddings and events last for a least a few more years, so reserving tenting well in advance of the event date is going to be important for all customers.

~ The important part to remember about tenting is that the installation requires a specific skill set of labor that has the proper training. Which in turn means that across all rental companies, there are only so many tents that can be setup in a day with this skilled labor force.

Supply Chain Shortages

~ We are seeing delays in product arrival across the board, but primarily in the tenting and lumber industry. Tent manufacturers have been running in overdrive this year to support the demand for outdoor space. Requests that would have been fulfilled in 3 weeks in 2019, are taking up to 18 weeks in 2021. In addition, lumber has been in high demand and the price has surged this year, which impacts the larger projects where the buildout includes a lumber subfloor. 

Stationery

Behind the Stationery Scene with Sablewood Paper Company

Photo by Barbie Hull Photography. Program by Sablewood  Paper Company.

SO many things are different this year than last year! Besides being overbooked for everything due to postponements from 2020 and new clients/income for 2021, there are definitely some stationer-specific differences: PAPER SHORTAGES.

Almost every colored paper out there is backordered until the end of June or beyond, especially the popular colors of 2020/2021 like muted greens, dusty rose, dusty blue, et cetera. Cotton paper (a favorite for letterpress) is in very high demand and is also backordered through a lot of print vendors. Paper mills are facing unprecedented shortages of supply and employees. Our production partners for wax seals, ribbon, and more are struggling to keep up with demand. I’ve had to source 5 or 10 sheets/envelopes from multiple vendors and colleagues just to get enough in hand to make a project work! 

Wedding Cakes & Custom Desserts

Honey Crumb Cake Studio owner Carla shares how the event world has changed for her team post Pandemic

Photo by Barbie Hull Photography. Cake by Honey Crumb Cake Studio.

~ Our calendar for summer 2021 is DOUBLE booked. 2021 includes new orders, plus last year’s postponed weddings.

~ Lots of shuffling around on the staffing front — we are now actively trying to recruit new talent for the summer workload, but the pool of qualified people has definitely shrunk as people found other jobs after being laid off during the Pandemic!

~ There will be no in-person tastings at Honey Crumb for the foreseeable future. Given the possibility of viral variants, we’re playing it as safely as possible. Tastings will still be “pickup only”, and we offer a complimentary Google Meet consultation ONLY for those clients who are looking for a custom-designed Fine Art cake.

~ In 2020 we added a whole new catalog of Micro-Wedding Cakes to our range last year, and those designs have been selling. We’ll keep that range available in the long-term, so that even as weddings open up, couples can still choose to have a beautiful cake to display and cut (and we can add a separate kitchen cake to the order for larger guest counts).

Beauty

Salon Maison, a look before Hair & Makeup is applied

Photo by La Vie Photography Hair & Makeup by Salon Maison.

~ Finding people to come back to work is nearly impossible. We are paying the most we have ever paid consultants plus doing sign on bonuses and bonuses for our existing consultants to keep them working extra days or longer days.

~ People are still getting covid and have to quarantine or not work while they get testing. This makes it very hard for scheduling. For example, we may have 3 consultants scheduled and 1 is exposed to covid in her personal life and has to not work until tested which takes them off the event schedule.

~ Keeping up with all the emails and calls has become almost impossible. Postponed brides from 2020 who were already contracted for a new date this summer but are now wanting to move up their dates so we have to start the booking process all over again and find them a pre date. We are having 4 times the work and not passing any new costs on to our brides. Plus all the new inquires for new bookings because we are dealing with our existing brides. It’s a lot but if people have patience we will get to you!

~ Not to mention supplies aren’t as easily accessible. Everything is sold out for weeks. 

Photography

Behind the Lens with Cameron Zegers Photography

Photo by Cameron Zegers Photography

~ This year I have triple the number of weddings that I would have in a normal year, and inquiries are coming in so fast I can hardly keep up with them. To handle this wedding boom, I went from a one-woman show to hiring 5 people and purchasing loads of new gear!

~ I brought on three additional photographers to serve couples on weddings dates that I’m personally already booked for. I hired a studio manager to help manage the behind-the-scenes processes and keep everything organized. I’m also now bringing a day-of assistant with me on wedding days to help haul gear so my body stays physically ready to handle those double and triple wedding weekends.

~ New gear to handle the extra workload: During the height of the pandemic I purchased a new telephoto lens that allowed me to physically distance more easily while photographing. I also bought two new smaller cameras to lighten my load since the extra weddings take a toll on my body. A new computer for my studio assistant. And tons of extra hard drives and memory cards.

~ COVID is still here, and yet my team and I are now attending several large gatherings per week – week after week. Which is honestly still pretty scary for us. My business is only accepting weddings that are carefully following all guidelines (whether that’s being a fully vaccinated event or distancing/masking). I am SO appreciative of my clients who are considerate of the health and safety of not only their guests, but also the vendors working at their wedding.

So thankful for the grace my clients have given me this year as my email response times are slower than normal!

Photo by Jenn Tai Photo Artistry

2021 (+ 2022) will be one incredible year of celebrations!

Just remember to have a little patience and grace for your vendors as they deal with things out of their control and do their best to make the planning experience a smooth one. We are an industry that has always been able to say YES but these past 16 months have forced us to say NO more than we’d like and we cannot wait to be back in the world of YES!

New Venue Alert – Edmonds Waterfront Center

With hints of spring surrounding us, the excitement of Phase 3 next week and the opening of the new Edmonds Waterfront Center, we’d say March treated us well!

Earlier this month we had the opportunity to style the new Edmonds Waterfront Center with a talented team of vendors as the building celebrated its new beginnings. Images by Into Dust Photography.

Located on the waterfront in downtown Edmonds and steps away from the ferry terminal the outdoor area at Edmonds Waterfront Center makes for the perfect location for photos, an outdoor ceremony and lawn games!

Working with Fena Flowers we designed a low ground floral arch to compliment the natural flow of the lawn and avoid blocking any of the backdrop. Arrangements were filled with bright pink and yellow floral along with greenery found in the PNW. The yellow forsythia branches are always a favorite!

Whether in the community lounge or in the ballroom, your cocktail hour will be surrounded by large open windows highlighting the waterfront views and giving you an opportunity to fill with appetizers!

Right now we’re crazing the Crab Cakes and Fried Chicken Sliders by Shooby Doo Catering!

 

The awakening of Spring in the PNW gives the opportunity to spot bright yellow daffodils popping up throughout the area and what better way to highlight that beauty than in your event florals?

Tables adorned in cobalt blue linens were topped with vibrant pink and yellow centerpieces and circled with fruitwood chivari chairs. Place settings featuring waterfall mustard napkins and white chargers topped with watercolor-inspired dinner menus to match the table numbers and place cards. 

The sweetheart table stood out amongst the sea of blue linens with its mustard yellow linen and lush floral spray. Daffodil blooms topped the place settings to add that special touch.

Buffet or plated, what’s your vote? Luckily for you this menu dreamed up by Shooby Doo Catering can be served plated or in a buffet!

Artisan apple salad, flat iron steak, grilled salmon, sautéed green beans, and rainbow marble potatoes are the perfect menu for a PNW wedding or event!

Desserts while not only delicious can be another vehicle to add that wow factor to your event. We chose to be daring with a mustard yellow buttercream three-tiered wedding cake as the focal piece to the dessert bar that featured petite desserts including fruit tartlets and lemon bars. Yum!

Don’t forget the kiddos! With families eager to get out of the house, be sure to keep the little ones in mind as they too will be attending your event.

From tables filled with easy to grab snacks and games galore, parents will thank you for keeping their kids busy and happy! A babysitter to watch the children is a must.

Meetings never looked so good! Being on the waterfront has its perks and the meeting rooms at Edmonds Waterfront Center definitely capture it well!

For this shoot, we set the room for a corporate meeting using the venue’s tables and chairs along with some fun surprises to keep attendees eager to take note and stay alert with mini cupcakes and a caffeine of choice!

Inspired by the city of Edmonds and the surrounding PNW Evergreen Custom Gifting created gifts featuring products that would delight both the corporate and wedding world!

Event Planning & Design: Pink Blossom Events
Venue: Edmonds Waterfront Center
Photography: Into Dust Photography
Catering: Shooby Doo Catering
Florals: Fena Flowers
Rentals: CORT Party Rental
Wedding Cake + Mini Cupcakes: Cakes by Frosted
Games: Off The Block Games
Stationery: Chloe Clarke
Notepads & Pencils: Dahlia Press
Custom Gifting: Evergreen Custom Gifting

Blending Families at The Woodmark Hotel

After being introduced by mutual friends, Michele and Mark knew it was a perfect fit! Each with three kids of their own, a wedding during winter break was a must to ensure everyone was home together. And so on December 28, 2019, at The Woodmark Hotel & Spa, Michele and Mark were married with their children by their sides. Classic winter white and greenery made for one elegant evening on the shores of Lake Washington.

As friends and family arrived that winter day, Mark’s son Noah played the guitar. Their pastor and good friend, Chris Griggs, officiated the wedding that blended two families into one.

After the ceremony Mark and Michele joined loved ones in the library for cocktail hour before entering the tent that had been transformed from the ceremony to a romantic winter reception. Lush greenery, winter floral arrangements and plenty of candlelight set the mood.

After toasts filled with laughter and tears, Mark and Michele invited their guests into the ballroom for dancing and dessert! Mark and the groomsmen even surprised Michele with a surprise serenade.

As the dance floor came to an end and the last dance was had, Michele and Mark retreated to their room at The Woodmark while friends and family took home a sweet treat made by a good friend. In addition the next morning the leftover floral would be donated to Madison House and local hospice care.

Congratulations Michele & Mark!

Wedding Planner – Pink Blossom Events
Photography – Alante Photography
Venue & Catering – Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa
Floral – Fena Flowers
Bridal Gown – BHLDN Seattle
Hair & Makeup – Salon Maison
Wedding Cake – The Last Bite Bakery
DJ – Chris Graves Music
Officiant – Pastor Chris Griggs
Stationery – Minted

Classic Summer Wedding at the Seattle Tennis Club Wedding

As Caroline and Ted married on the shores of Lake Washington last summer, they couldn’t help but get antsy about the celebration ahead as they just wanted to dance, dance, dance! A palette of classic white with touches of light blue and greenery set the tone for one unforgettable wedding day!

With Caroline and her bridesmaids getting ready at the Alexis Hotel, Ted and his groomsmen got ready at a VRBO before all meeting at the Arboretum for their first look. Caroline dress featured a lace top and a fit and air crepe skirt as she carrying a bouquet classic white floral with touches of light blue and greenery. Ted wore a blue tux finished off with a bow tie.

During the ceremony, officiated by Caroline & Ted’s good friend, loved ones offered 7 blessings, paying nod to Ted’s Jewish background.

  1. Love: May you have love. May your admiration, appreciation and understanding of each other foster a love that is passionate, tranquil and real. May this love between you be strong and enduring, and bring peace into your lives.
  2. A loving home: May you have a loving home filled with warmth, humor and compassion. May you create a family together that honors traditions old and new. May you teach your children to have equal respect for themselves and others, and instill in them the value of learning and making the world a better place.
  3. Humor and play: May you be best friends and work together to build a relationship of substance and quality. May your sense of humor and playful spirit continue to enliven your relationship. May you respect each other’s individual personality and perspective, and give each other room to grow in fulfilling your dreams.
  4. Wisdom: May you have wisdom. May you continually learn from one another and from the world. Together, may you grow, deepening your knowledge and understanding of each other and of your journey through life.
  5. Health: May you have health. May life bring you wholeness of mind, body and spirit. May you keep each other well-balanced and grounded, and live long that you may share many happy years together.
  6. Art, beauty, creativity: May your life have the art and beauty of this world. May your creative aspirations and experiences find expression, inspire you and bring you joy and fulfilment. May you find
    happiness together in adventures big and small, and something to celebrate each day of your lives.
  7. Community: May you have community. May you always have the awareness that you are an essential part of a circle of family and friends. May there always be within this group love, trust,
    support and laughter, and may there be many future occasions for rejoicing in their company.

Mazel Tov! With the breaking of the glass, cocktail hour began! Street Tacos and hand rolled sushi were a hit as the string quartet continued to play.

With salads pre-plated and the Michael Benson Band beginning, loved ones made their way up into the ballroom for the reception. Lush blue draping adorned the entryway to Seattle Tennis Club and once inside the ballroom had been filled with long family style tables covered in candlelight and greenery runners mixed in with light blue and white blooms. Overhead the chandeliers had been transformed by removing the light shades and covering in lush greenery.

Post dinner toasts rolled into first dances and then the Michael Benson Band played back to back dance hits as guests filled the dance floor! Made to order ice cream cookie sandwiches made for the perfect treat to cool down in between dancing and a lively Hora!

BreeAnn is amazing! She remains unphased no matter what happens during wedding planning/day of and has a solution-oriented mindset. During the planning process she helped shape our scattered ideas into a concept that we loved and introduced us to vendors that would help fulfill that vision. While she is great during planning, the day of is where she really shines. No matter what went wrong, she found solutions and didn’t let either of us (the bride and groom) know that there was an issue. It really helped us focus on enjoying the day and soaking in all the love without worrying about details. She had a direct impact on how happy we are with our wedding day and we are so thankful for all her hard work and dedication to making our day so special!

Planner: Pink Blossom Events
Photography: Alante Photography Into Dust Photography
Venue: Seattle Tennis Club
Floral: Aria Style Seattle
Hair & Makeup: Salon Maison Inc.
Dress: Pronovias, The Dress Theory
Suits: The Black Tux
Sushi: I Love Sushi on Lake Union
Dessert: Street Treats
Strings: Arcobaleno string quartet
Live Band: Michael Benson Band
Stationery: Impress Ink
Rentals: CORT Party Rental
Transportation: A&A Limousine & Bus Service of Seattle
Rings: Green Lake Jewelry Works
Rehearsal Dinner: Ray’s Boathouse, Cafe & Catering
Getting Ready Location: Kimpton Alexis Hotel Seattle 

Elegant Columbia Tower Club Seattle Wedding

Brigitte & Scott’s Columbia Tower Club wedding last September was full of elegance and tradition all ending with one epic dance party! Classic white with pops of pale pink, gray and navy set the color palette.

Truly, thank you so much for everything – the wedding was perfect and memorable, and we were so grateful for everything you did to make it such a special day that ran so well. We are so grateful for your organization, creativity and planning, and how smoothly you made the wedding run. I know we probably weren’t the easiest group to work with, and we were so appreciative of how patient and calm you were. Thanks so much for everything! ~ Brigitte

Wedding Planner – Pink Blossom Events
Custom Welcome Gifts – Evergreen Custom Gifting
Photography – Alante Photography
Venue & Catering – Columbia Tower Club
Floral – Aria Style
Hair & Makeup – Salon Maison
Bridal Gown – Glamour Closet
Stationery – Silberman Brown
Wedding Cake – New Renaissance Cakes
Officiant – Forever Together Seattle
Band – Blue Wave Band
Room Blocks – W Seattle, Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle & Fairmont Olympic Hotel

COVID-19 Blog Series: What Safety Measures You Need to Incorporate at Your 2020 Wedding

Seattle Wedding Planners Pink Blossom Events, Clutch Events, Perfectly Posh Events and New Creations Wedding Design & Coordination have teamed up to bring you a 4 Part Blog Series covering COVID-19 and planning your wedding during these unprecedented times. To end the series your planning pros at Pink Blossom Events cover what safety measures you need to incorporate at your 2020 wedding. 

After months of planning, watching endless news reports on the Pandemic and most likely adjusting your guest size while you sample your wedding wines once more to make sure they are “just right,” your wedding day is a few months away and you just want to celebrate! We hear you!

While we wish we could just push it aside, we know the worries of Coronavirus are in the back of your mind. Restrictions and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Federal Government and our Washington State Governor are continuing to change and will play a part of your wedding day. Luckily, your wedding planner and vendor team have been working behind the scenes collaborating these last few months establishing new safety measures and protocols as we work towards the opening of events. We are here for you!

To help ease your mind we have pulled together a list of ways to ensure your event is safe for you and your guests.

Note: We are not certified CDC health experts. Our ideas are suggestions based on current guidelines and our years of experience. We know these may adjust down the road as guidelines change however, we, your wedding planner and vendor team, are here to support you and make it the best day ever!

{Photo Credit Amelia Soper Photography}

Getting Ready
Pop the bubbly, it’s the morning of your wedding! While you are getting ready with your nearest and dearest know your beauty team will have your health in mind. As Megan, owner of OffWhite Makeup & Beauty, said “before COVID-19 we had to protect our clients against things like MRSA, STAPH, Herpes, pink eye, and other contagious bugs. Sterile practices have and always will be very important to us. The additional steps we will take are to wear gloves and a face mask.” Hair and makeup should be the start of a beautiful day! {Photo Credit Amelia Soper Photography}

Keeping Things Clean
Guests arrive at your wedding via self-parking, valet or shuttle service and the first thing they do is open the door, place a card or gift on the gift table, remove their coat and sign your guestbook. How do you keep those things clean? Plan ahead is our motto!{Photo Credit Amelia Soper Photography}

A Friendly Welcome!
Working with Coat Check Complete we have created a number of services that will keep guests at ease as well as have their safety in mind. From Guest Arrival Attendants, a modified version of their Coat Check service to a Self-Serve Coat Check to Bathroom Attendants, the extra staff will ensure your loved ones are in the clear!

~Upon Guest Arrival – attendants will open and close doors so less guests are touching door handles. They are also available to direct friends and family, saving Aunt Marge from the task, and if needed can take temperatures of guests upon arrival.

~ Self-Serve Coat Check – Coat Check Complete can set up a “self-serve” coat check where guests hang their own coats and take a coat check number. At the end of the evening, party goers will pick up their own coat, then show the staff member their tag number and corresponding number on the hanger with the coat to leave.

~ Bathroom Attendants – from opening and closing doors for guests to wiping down counters at least twice per hour (or more according to need/guidelines) to continuously wiping down door handles of stalls and the door to the bathroom as well as ensuring supplies are well stocked. We wish this service was mandatory before COVID-19! They can even act as your mother and remind guests to wash their hands for 20 seconds!

Hand Sanitizers all Around!
In Part 1 of our blog series Clutch Events worked with Pomp & Revel to create custom hand sanitizers that are just too cute not to use. Companies such as CORT Party Rental are offering hand sanitizing stations. We highly recommend having hand sanitizing stations and individual sanitizers available throughout your venue. And remember to have those hand sanitizing bottles or wipes at each place setting during dinner.
hand sanitizer for weddings hand sanitizer stations for weddings

Custom Masks for Everyone!
Who says safety can’t be in style? Companies such as BBJ Linen are offering custom face coverings (aka masks) that can be personalized to each event. From using a fabric that matches your décor to a witty saying, the sky is the limit! These can be placed at the entry to your event as guests arrive for easy grabbing and then later moved to a high traffic area like the bar or restrooms. face covering masks in cute patterns

No Contact Greetings
Hugs with your friends and family may be in the past but blowing a kiss, wave or an air hug are always okay! Check out sign from Post 1 with ideas on what to communicate to your loved ones.

Minimal Touch Guestbook
Move over polaroid cameras, pens and hello Voast! This minimal touch guestbook is the first video toast booth that asks questions to capture words, wisdom and stories from the people who love you most. Plus, they have rolled out The Virtual Voast in response to COVID-19. Now, even guests who can’t make it can still leave you a heartfelt toast. The Virtual Voast can stand alone or be paired with the Voast booth. It makes sure everyone who can’t be at the event, has a way to spread the love on your important day.

Creative Seating!
Working with your wedding planner, venue and catering team you will be able to create the best seating arrangements for your ceremony and reception based on your venue and guest count. In both the ceremony and during dinner we recommend grouping people by households and creating more space in between tables and seating vignettes. For the ceremony families in the same household may be seated close together but other guests may want to be a bit further apart. Spacing chairs farther apart or adding in additional aisles (ie. ceremony in the round) will help your guests focus on the two of you and not who is sitting nearby. seating in the round for wedding {Photo Credit Char Beck}

For cocktail hour spacing out cocktail tables to keep guests socially distanced and creating multiple lounge areas for intimate groups will keep guests apart while together. cocktail tables socially distancing {Photo Credit Rachel Birkhofer Photography}

Seating Charts will be necessary for dinner as you will want to group people by households. Guest size per tables will need to be adjusted. For example, instead of eight people at a sixty-inch round, think five, unless they are all from the same household. Using tools such as All Seated or working with you wedding planner you can create layouts that allow tables to be placed six feet apart for social distancing. It may take a little work but it will be well worth it come day of!

Catering
For years, catering companies have had a high standard in safety and cleanliness both behind the scenes and in front of the guests. Now more than ever food and beverage service will have the most rigorous regulations. Speaking with Kaspars Catering they have created a COVID-19 Handbook which outlines health and safety measures they are implementing all catering events. The handbook details that “the health and safety of our customers, communities and employees are our primary concern.” From back of the house to front of the house, this handbook will guide them and their community through each event.

Cocktail Hour Apps!
Tray passed appetizers and elaborate cheese boards may be on hold but individual items (Martha Stewart made popular years ago) and Small Plate Stations with an attendant are encouraged!

What About the Drinks?
Caterers such as City Catering Company and Kaspars Catering are offering bottled cocktails and CORT Party Rental has been working behind the scenes on ways we can be safe at the bar, but still have fun in an attractive way! They are rolling out custom service dividers (aka “sneeze guards”) that can be placed on bars to allow distance between the bartender and guests. bottled cocktails for weddings city catering copany {Photo Credit City Catering Company}

Dinner Service
Individually plated meals and entrees being covered will be your best friend! Unless covered, pre-plated salads will be a thing of the past and bread baskets will be replaced with individually served rolls. Family-Style service, while one of our absolute favorites will be on hold for now. Buffets are an option but these will come with service dividers and an attendant to serve your guests vs self-serving. safely deliviering covered meals for weddings {Photo Credit Kristen Honeycutt Photo Co.}

Incorporating elevated cloches can serve double duty at each place setting for your dinner. We have also been working with rental companies such as CORT Party Rental on elevated plate covers. stylish elevated plate covers for weddings during a pandemic
{source}

As Shelby Sewell, owner of Foodz Catering mentions, “Right now and until we have a vaccine against COVID we will be looking at ways to serve food in a safe way at events. This will essentially consist of some type of barrier to keep menu items ‘safe’ by staying covered as long as possible during the process of serving. That’s the analytical way of looking at it but how we do this can be one of many ways! Many planners are looking at plated meals as a way to keep people safe since the open buffet that uses serving utensils shared by all your guests would be a cross-contamination nightmare. Having a gloved, masked server behind a plexiglas barrier would be a safe way to serve guests but private events like weddings would not likely welcome “the lunch lady” look at their wedding!  Even a plated service may need additional barriers such as food covers.  The ones used in today’s market are industrial in nature as currently they are used for the back of house preparations. So, it’s a good idea but we, at Foodz, like to be more creative. We would rather see guests be served with menu items served under a glass cloche or one of our favorites, the tagine.” safely serving food in a tagine for wedding {Source}

“The tagine has many colors and variable shapes so it could be woven into a couple’s decor. We love the surprise effect when the cover is removed. We want to add to your experience and this is one way to accomplish that task.”

Other options for an experiential meal from Foodz Catering include “a hybrid on a buffet, a Bento Box theme where guests would use a wooden tray and choose items that are individually packaged. This would be a great way to accommodate allergies and food preferences” as well as “a Tiffin Box that was invented for workers in India and spread across Asia. They can be plain and branded or very colorful. Most are 3 stacks high and are often insulated so a hot meal would stay hot.”

Food can still be delicious and creative!

Time to Party!
The moment you’ve been waiting for, the dance floor! Open up the dance floor beyond the standard 16×16’ or 20×20’ dance floor. The more space the better! X marks the spot, or in this case your spot on the dance floor! For indoor dance floors, a notation on the floor may help those partygoers spaced.

If there is an option for outdoor dancing (taking into consideration noise ordinances) get outside! While glow sticks have been popular in the past, we vote glow in the dark face masks to come out during dancing! bride and groom dancing outside {Photo Credit Sullivan & Sullivan}

Capturing It All!
In addition to your photographer have you considered Live Streaming your ceremony to loved ones who are staying at home be a part of the ceremony and wedding day? Numerous videography companies, in addition to LightSmiths, have created Live-Streaming Ceremony Services, allowing everyone to stay included. You will need a venue-provided wifi or LAN connection however companies such as LightSmiths can provide a 4G hotspot for an extra fee. (Note from LightSmiths: “what it is not: It is not a package designed to replace or compete with the traditional videography package”)

Curious how a service like this works from LightSmiths? “Multiple sources are streamed/recorded at one time. One operator seamlessly switches between cameras live, for the optimum viewing angle and action; this live feed is sent out to the desired streaming source, either YouTube or Facebook. You can choose an invite-only guest list to stream it to, so it is not sent out for the world at large to see. All sources are simultaneously recorded, along with any audio input from your DJ, mics on your officiant, time-coded, and dumped down to a master recording on a SDCARD that you get to replay.”

We hope you are able to incorporate one or many of our recommended safety tips to ensure your wedding will be as safe and enjoyable as possible!! COVID-19 may cause changes on your wedding but we know Love, Laughter and a Happily Ever After will always be true! We can’t wait for all the celebrations to come!

Cheers to Safety!

BreeAnn Gale
Pink Blossom Events

And thank you for following along in our 4 Part Blog Series covering COVID-19 and planning your wedding during these unprecedented times We hope you found the information valuable and were able to get some great tips along the way!!

Post 1: Vendor & Guest Communication – Before & During Your Wedding by Clutch Events
Post 2: How to Keep Your Vendor Team for a Smaller Wedding by Perfectly Posh Events
Post 3: Planning Your Wedding During COVID-19 by New Creations Weddings

Shannon & Jonathan’s September Wedding at JM Cellars

As their officiant spoke to friends and family he told the story of Shannon and Jonathan’s first meeting and what brought guests to JM Cellars last September…”Shannon and Jonathan happened to meet at my wedding in Washington DC. A relationship seemed unlikely as Shannon lived in Philadelphia and Jonathan in DC. Luckily, Shannon is a pretty avid sports fan and the Phillies were visiting the Nationals a couple of weekends after, so Shannon made the trek to DC to go to the game and visit Jonathan. The following weekend, Jonathan was up in Philly. This pattern continued for almost 2 years, a lot of their life spent sitting in traffic on 95! “

A cheek squeeze, a first look and a window peeper trying to be incognito with a fake mustache gave us a good laugh!

JM Cellars set the stage for a Pacific Northwest inspired fall wedding as Shannon & Jonathan celebrated with loved ones this past September. Greenery, candlelight, and minimal floral touches were all accented with acrylic and glass signage.  Accents of taupe and navy could be found in the bridesmaid’s taupe dresses and navy suits were the perfect fit for the groomsmen & Jonathan’s Suits.

As tray passed appetizers came around and the bar opened Shannon and Jonathan were most excited about their must have Oyster Bar! Taylor Shellfish Farms Kumamoto, Shigoku & Pacific Oysters were enjoyed!

As Harold Beslkus duo played in the background Shannon & Jonathan had their first dance outside on in front of JM Cellars copper doors before friends and family were invited inside for dinner.

After finding their names on tent folded escort cards, which played double duty as place cards noting entree choices, guests found their seats among tables cover in ivory linens and topped with greenery centerpieces (round tables featured a greenery wreath / rectangle tables featured a greenery garland) and floating candles.  Place settings featured ivory napkins on top of Aria Rose Gold chargers. Two dinner menus by Paper Fling were placed tables for sharing.

Dinner began with a mixed green salad of poached pears, candied walnuts, chevre cheese and a champagne vinaigrette and Macrina artisan rolls with sweet cream butter. Entrees were split between braised boneless short ribs and northwest salmon fillets each accompanied by grilled late summer asparagus and sea salt roasted garlic mashers.

After toasts, Shannon hit the dance floor with her father and Jonathan his mother. With the dance floor open an ice cream bar (vanilla, chocolate, and Rocky Road ice cream with a topping of chocolate sauce, sprinkles, Reeses M&M’s, whipped cream and cherries) and Lowrider Baking Co cookie station (brown butter triple chocolate chunk, cookies and cream, s’mores and double chocolate peanut butter chip) opened!

Wedding Planner – Pink Blossom Events
Venue – JM Cellars
Photography – Amelia Soper Photography
Floral – Fena Flowers
Hair & Makeup – Salon Maison Bridal Beauty & Style Bar
Bridal Gown – BHLDN Seattle
Bridesmaid Dresses – Lulus
Catering – Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering and Events
Cookies – Lowrider Baking Company
Childcare – Stay & Play Childcare
Live Music & DJ – Harold Belskus
Rentals – CORT Party Rental
Invite – Minted
Day of Paper Goods – Paper Fling
Acrylic Signage – Pomp & Revel
Table Numbers – Client

Lisa & Karen’s Intimate Salish Lodge Wedding

With Halloween their favorite holiday, Lisa and Karen chose the night before Halloween for their intimate wedding celebration at Salish Lodge & Spa overlooking Snoqualmie Falls. Surrounded by twenty two of their nearest and dearest a magical fall evening was had. Romance, candlelight, lush fall floral and a sprinkle of “nerdiness” made for one beautiful evening. Tones of peach, blush, creams, soft orange and garden greenery filled the ceremony area on the outdoor terrace and inside on the u-shaped reception tables. Details captured by La Vie Photography.

Karen & Lisa both incorporated a feather from their bird Petrie as their something blue. 

Petals to toss after they become Mrs & Mrs!

A trio of tray passed appetizers were enjoyed during cocktail hour. Fried chicken and waffles with bourbon bacon jam; white cheddar mac and cheese “arancini” and garlic crostinis with chèvre, roasted tomato and basil were enjoyed!

Place settings featured place cards tied onto mini white pumpkins, wood chargers with custom menus tucked into pocket folded napkins and favors of Salish Lodge Honey and custom coasters noting the brides wedding date. 

Can we talk about the menu? Yum!

First Course: butternut squash and apple bisque served alongside bread from Essential Baking Company.

Second Course: mixed baby lettuces with shaved seasonal vegetables and a champagne vinaigrette.

Entree Courses: pan roasted chicken or cedar planked pacific northwest salmon or an eggplant cannelloni.

With the night still young, Lisa, Karen and their loved ones were off to Snoqualmie Casino for some post wedding fun and gambling! 

“Thanks again for all your help. We really appreciate all you did for us. Very best, Lisa”

Wedding Planner: Pink Blossom Events
Photography: La Vie Photography
Floral: Down to Earth Flowers + Gifts
Hair & Makeup: Anne Timss Makeup and Hair
Paper Goods: Paper Fling
Post Wedding Fun: Snoqualmie Casino

Alli & Andy’s Alderbrook Resort Wedding

Waterfront Weddings and the Pacific Northwest come hand in hand. Alli and Andy’s wedding at Alderbrook Resort & Spa was the ultimate waterfront wedding filled with laughter, romance, beautiful details and a touch of royalty! Soft florals, a hint of blush, rich green accents and a pop of navy came together to create one stunning day on the Hood Canal all photographed by Alexandra Knight Photography. Alderbrook was a special place for Alli and Andy. Not only were they marrying at Alderbrook but the location of Any’s proposed and a place they had gone on vacation with Alli’s parents the same week the prior year.

One of our favorite stories from Alli and Andy’s wedding is the story of Alli’s dress. In the words of Alli, here is that very story:

“While enjoying the Rick Steve’s walking tour of Madrid last October, my maid of honor Lauren and I were both taken by a dress shop we happened to be walking by. We’d started the initial, “what kind of dress do you want?” steps of wedding dress shopping with my mom in Seattle, but hadn’t found anything that jumped out at us. This was different, but Andy was also walking about 20ft ahead of us with our friend Erik… so we had to move fast.

Lauren and I ducked into the store and quickly texted the guys on our group chat to let them know that we’d meet them at the hotel because we’d stopped into a dress shop. Erik surprised us both when he responded, “the dress shop.” Lauren and I had been behind in our audio guide and it turned out that the next stop on the guide was for Pronovias, “a famous Spanish wedding-dress shop that attracts brides-to-be from across Europe.

The dresses were gorgeous and I was bummed we were leaving Madrid the next morning. While internetting from the hotel that night, I found out the Pronovias flagship was actually in Barcelona, our next city! I immediately sent a request for an appointment. Their only available one was our last afternoon before we flew home the next morning. I booked it, figuring we’d have fun and just try on a bunch of random dresses.

After finishing our sightseeing with the group, Lauren and I left the guys at Barça Stadium and headed to our appointment. We sat down with a wonderful sales associate and as we explained Alderbrook and what I was looking for… her eyes lit up. I’ll save you the long ending and just say, I bought the first dress she had me try on. We did our due diligence and tried on some others… but then I put the first one back on to FaceTime my mom back in WA and show her and she immediately removed some of our negotiating power by yelling, “YES TO THE DRESS” loud enough for the associate to hear!

The dress fit like it was made for me and they even altered the front hem overnight so we could pick it up on the way to the airport and I could carry it home on our flights. Still feels surreal no matter how many times I tell the story!

Incorporating their favorite things, Alli and Andy, welcome their friends and family to Alderbrook with these custom welcome gifts created by Welcome Gifts by Pink Blossom Events. Swedish Fish, Theo Chocolate bars, Fremont Brewing summer ale (or Dry Soda), a pair of custom pint glasses printed by Pomp & Revel, apples and a Seattle inspired tote bag.

After a private first look within Alderbrook’s trail system, Alli and Andy gathered with their wedding party and family for photos.

Their wedding party was looking sharp! Bridesmaids in forest green floor length dresses with Andy and his groomsmen in cobalt blue suits and complimentary green ties. Bridesmaids bouquets were composed of lush greenery with white floral accents (ranunculus, hydrangea, roses, lisianthus) and a touch of blue thistle. Alli’s bouquet was of similar composition yet stood out with her favorite Sara Bernhardt pink peonies – stunning!

“I love her and that’s the beginning and end of everything.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

With the Hood Cancal as their backdrop, Alli & Andy were wed!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Cheers! With the signing of the marriage license, the newlyweds joined cocktail hour! Grand Marnier Prawns, Heirloom Tomato Ragout, Bacon Endives, and Mushroom Tartlets were tray passed.

With cocktail hour over, loved ones found their names written (in white via a local calligrapher) on emerald green escort cards from Dahlia Press displayed in individual gold frames.

Sitting under the clear top tent, guests found their tables which were covered in white linens, circled with gold chameleon chairs and topped with stunning centerpieces in gold compote vases from Fena Flowers, square mirrored table numbers and gold mercury votives sourced by Alli. Place settings were signified with Veneto gold chargers accented with fern leaves displayed underneath and accent with forest green dinner menus.

Falling in love with Prince Harry and Meghan Markler’s weddig cake, we worked with Alderbrook Resort’s pastry chef and Fena Flowers to create Alli & Andy’s very own royal wedding cake! Three delicious flavors were awaiting to be enjoyed as the newlyweds were announced into dinner and kicked off dinner with a ceremonial cake cutting. Marble cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and raspberry preserves; vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and blueberry preserves and a vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and blueberry preserves.

After dinner, highlighted by duo plates of beef filet & salmon, slices of wedding cake and flutes of champagne were served in anticipation of toasts soon to come. After toasts first dances were held on the outdoor patio before the ballroom doors opened to kick off a night of dancing and ice cream sandwiches!

A trio of ice cream sandwich flavors made choosing a favorite flavor a hard one! Canal crunch ice cream with toffee cookie; vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip cookie and mint chocolate ice cream with chocolate cookie were all a hit!

…thank you SO much BreeAnn for all you have done to make this such an incredible wedding weekend – Alli

Wedding Planner – Pink Blossom Events
Custom Gifting – Evergreen Custom Gifting
Photography – Alexandra Knight Photography
Venue, Catering & Cake – Alderbrook Resort and Spa
Floral – Fena Flowers
Rentals – CORT Party Rental & Fanciful Rentals
DJ – Bugsie Productions
Videography – Peak Digital Cinema
Stationery – Chloe Clarke Paper (Dahlia Press)
Beauty – Kat St. John Makeup & Styling
Bridal Gown – Pronovias
Childcare – Stay & Play Childcare
Photo Booth – The SnapBar
Engagement Ring – Bea Millen

Salla & Zach’s Fall JM Cellars Wedding

If there was ever a wedding that had us glowing, this would be it! Working with Salla and Zach on all of the planning and design of their fall JM Cellars Wedding was a dream! Inspired by the beauty of the season, Salla and Zach chose a warm fall-inspired color palette of evergreen, forest green, sage, burgundy, eggplant and touches of burnt orange, copper, and gold. From the warm glow of candlelight to the overhead bistro lights above the ceremony in the rock garden the soft lighting made for a romantic fall setting. Colorful fall floral by Sublime Stems filled the venue. Not afraid of texture, the floral incorporated nature’s bounty from berries to branches. Follow along one for images of one stunning fall day captured by Rachel Birkhofer Photography  that featured a cameo by their dog Juniper!

With family photos complete Salla and Zach’s guests soon arrived! Acrylic signage made by Salla welcomed guests into the rock garden that crisp fall evening. For their guestbook Salla and Zach set out three JM Cellars wine bottles for guests to sign. For the next three years as husband and wife they would enjoy a bottle of wine and remember their loved ones. “Like wine, love gets better with age.

Despite a few drops of rain that fell pre-ceremony (thankful for clear umbrellas on hand just in case), the ceremony stayed rain free!

Officially husband and wife, the newlyweds entered cocktail hour as Harold Belskus played for guests while they enjoyed a selection of Artisan Cheeses and tray passed appetizers of cremini mushroom & gruyere tartlets and herb & salt-crusted wild salmon skewers.

As JM Cellars’ famous copper doors opened guests moved inside the library and barrel rooms for dinner on long wooden tables. Tables were adorned with floral table runners filled with lush greens, dahlias, roses and hanging amaranthus.  Amber-colored votives were mixed in to give the perfect accent.  The head table floral runner featured additional blooms gathered in the middle of the runners that tapered out to the end of the tables, along with the deep green foliage.  Place settings featured black stoneware chargers, set on top of forest green napkins, were topped with acrylic menus from Paper Fling and highlighted with sprigs of burgundy hanging amaranthus, a favorite bloom of Salla’s. A trio of vintage glassware composed of culver highballs, gold rimmed crystal coupes and gold rimmed crystal glasses for wine. The perfect fall design for this intimate moody fall wedding.

After a plated dinner of local grilled & roasted market vegetables and seared sweet potato polenta triangles with entree choices of cider-roasted chicken breasts, braised Oregon country short ribs or a portobello mushroom steak; Salla and Zach cut their wedding cake. A hand-painted cappuccino cake with bourbon salted caramel buttercream was a highlight for Salla and Zach. Thanks for a surprise gift from Salla’s co-worker the cake was accented with the most gorgeous sugar flowers by Honey Crumb Cake Studio.

Dancing, cake and a trip to the Espresso Cart for a signature Dirty Chai kept guests celebrating late into the night! Not to miss the bahn mi sliders that came out at the end of the night!

Stealing a kiss outside Salla and Zach shared a s’more before a final bubble send-off with their friends and family.

Congrats Salla & Zach!

Wedding Planning & Design – Pink Blossom Events
Photography – Rachel Birkhofer Photography 
Venue – JM Cellars 
Floral – Sublime Stems
Catering – Ravishing Radish
Live Music & DJ – Harold Belskus
Wedding Cake – Honey Crumb Cake Studio
Espresso – Espresso Elegance
Hair & Makeup – Salon Maison Bridal Beauty & Style Bar
Bridal Gown – La Belle Elaine’s Bridal
Groom – Suit Supply Bellevue
Favors – Lady Yum 
Officiant – Rev. Ray Van Winkle & Associates
Rentals – Pedersen’s Event Rentals & Vintage Ambiance 
Acrylic Signage – Paper Fling (Menus & Seating Chart) + Salla
Table Numbers – Etsy

Booking BreeAnn as our wedding planner was the first and best decision we made for our wedding. I honestly wasn’t sure if I should book a planner as I have always imagined that I would figure it out a way to do it myself–but I quickly realized I was in over my head. We worked together for over a year planning our wedding and we’ve appreciated tapping into her clear experience planning weddings, deep knowledge of the Seattle wedding industry and creativity. We had several wedding guests mention how smooth and well run everything was (and you always have a few unavoidable bumps behind the scenes). Whether you are on the fence or deciding who your planner should be–I would definitely recommend considering Pink Blossom Events. ~ Salla