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Annemarie's Blog

Some Of The Best Money You Can Spend On A Wedding Day? A Full Service or Day Of Coordinator…

August 2, 2017

Some couples are super duper planners and get the rhythm of all things ‘wedding. ”  These smart cookies just understand how plan out and prepare for a wedding day, formal or casual, big or small.

After doing this work for awhile, I’ve come to the conclusion (my personal opinion, of course), that most couples would be wise to invest in a Full Service Wedding Planner or Day Of Coordinator.


Let’s take a page from Teng and Bijun.  They hired a lovely person in the few weeks before their wedding day, feeling the pressure of a myriad of tasks and wanting their wedding day to be a ‘party.’  And a great party often needs a great planner.tengbiyun-b-jones-photography

When I walked into their wedding at The Woodmark Hotel on July 16th, everything was gorgeous, easy.  Simply, I found a bride and groom focused on each other and their guests, not on their timeline.

Conversely, I walked into a wedding awhile back and things were stressed, chaotic and ‘all over the place.’  This wonderful couple, with great intentions, didn’t attend to important ‘wedding morning’ and reception details and thus, the rhythm of their day was all mixed up.  And I’m quite sure the guests felt this. Not a terrible thing.  Just could have been better.

Smart couples, on a budget, will slice money in other areas to pay a Coordinator.

This a super smart move.  It makes great sense.  Photo:  B Jones Photography

June Seattle Weddings 2017: Unique Love Stories. Different & Inspired Paths to the Big Day…

July 10, 2017

I just looked at my calendar for the past couple of weeks. And I smile. Am I a lucky gal or what?

It’s my privilege to be with a couple when they say ‘I Do.” After all of the years of doing this work, I hold a couple’s trust close to my heart. So, let’s celebrate!



Jesse and Stephanie welcomed family and friends to The Monte Cristo on June 9th. I remember walking into the bride’s room before ceremony and finding Stephanie looking beautiful, serene and happy. There is no better feeling than seeing Stephanie walk down the aisle (lit candles and all!) with grace and the knowing she was making the highest choice for her life.




Chris and Amber sparkled up The Canal in Ballard on a June Wednesday evening and despite a bit of chill and rain, we were lucky to have their ceremony outdoors, under a covered area. I loved everything about Chris and Amber – mostly, their fun-loving, gracious and easy-going approach to their wedding day and the sweetness and vulnerability of their ceremony and love story.



Unlike Chris and Amber’s wedding day, Tamara and Maria were married on June 11th, one very hot Sunday!  At a beautiful church in Tacoma, these two loving and inspiring women exchanged vows, in the loving presence of their children and families/friends. If there were ever two women meant to be together, these two could be poster kids!




The very wonderful Ann and Jeremy were in Mexico for 2 weeks after hosting a beautiful wedding celebration at their home in downtown Seattle.  With their closest people around them, and in the presence of Jeremy’s son who stood as “Best Man,” we had a lovely ceremony complete with laughs, hankie moments, a reverse unity candle ritual and more.



I remember walking into the reception area of The Willows Lodge on June 18th, about 30 minutes before Joseph married the love of his life, to find him rehearsing his special and surprise reception solo song to share with his bride. The tone of this ceremony was semi-traditional, reverent and sweetly shared bits of their love story.



Woof! I left John Ryan and Stacey after their wedding ceremony on Friday, June 23rd, at the Red Cedar Farm in Poulsbo, with the biggest smile on my face.  After 10 years of loving relationship, these two lovebirds got hitched.

Delightfully, they included their two dogs, Penny Lane and Zeke, into their wedding ceremony. I loved looking over and seeing Penny Lane taking a snooze (she’s a basset hound!) and somehow, Zeke got lose during ceremony and he went for a run, with a delightfully well-dressed woman running around him.

Simply, so much JOY!

Seattle Weddings 2017 – Celebrating Love, Honoring The Different Paths To Love…

June 6, 2017

As I sit here at my desk in my office, I’m about to get all packed up and ready for what I affectionately call ‘a weekend of love.’

Mostly, I look back on the past few weeks with a full heart, grateful for the trust my couples put in me to officiate their wedding ceremonies.

grant-jillian-hunterI loved everything about Grant and Jillian’s wedding at Newcastle Golf Club last Friday.  This was a perfect venue for a guy from Scotland and a gal from Seattle.  And their love of all things Disney was incorporated beautifully into their reception decor.

kaci-tomKaci and Tom traveled to Seattle to be married on a windy and crisp Friday May evening before they left on their cruise to Alaska.  Joined by a happy and intimate group of people, I remember a group blessing of the rings that was perfect for the moment and the setting.

After more than 20 years together, Harold and Terri got hitched at the home of dear friends in Bothell.  Traveling from Canada to do all of this goodness, I was very taken with these two – their grace, charm and attention to detail.

joey-kandie-davisGina and Seth and Rebecca and Benjamin, both selected the “I Do For 2 package” at The Willows Lodge and were married on different dates and with the same wish:  easy, fun and simple!

I made my way up to Arlington to officiate Joey and Kandie’s wedding ceremony at a lovely Snohomish venue.  With more than 100+ family and friends on this Saturday afternoon, we celebrated this young couple and their inspiring journey to their wedding day.  Seriously, such fun people!

Love comes in so many shapes and sizes.  It’s my happiness to be a part of all of this goodness.  Simply, I’m one lucky gal.

Photo #2 (Kaci and Tom ) –  Photo #(Grant and Jillian) and Photo #3 (Joey and Kandie)


Michael and Martina: A Most Beautiful Couple Married at Newcastle Golf Club On A Glorious May Day…

May 17, 2017

I thrive when a couple reminds me how honored I am to do this work.michael-martina

Immediately after Michael and Martina were wed on May 5th at Newcastle Golf Club, I immediately found them in an adjoining ballroom, waiting to sign their marriage license documents.

Sitting side by side, and looking so happy and content, I knew without a doubt that these two were meant to walk into their marriage adventure together, day after day…loving each other.

In the presence of their family and friends, and with lots of smiles and bows to their parents who didn’t speak much English, we had a sweet and personal ceremony.  After a crazy weather event the day before, the crisp sunshine was an added bonus.

I left Michael and Martina with great happiness…lucky, lucky me!

Wishing Stephen and Madeline Much “Aloha!” A Beautiful April Wedding at Cedarbrook Lodge…

April 24, 2017

You’ve got to LOVE a couple who starts dating in high school and throughout all of the ups, downs and changes of college and early careers, is stronger than ever.madelinestephen2

Congratulations to Stephen and Madeline, married on April 8th at the lovely Cedarbrook Lodge in SeaTac.

Over a number of months, we worked together to craft a most personalized wedding ceremony that not only celebrated Stephen and Madeline’s path to their wedding day but one that poignantly honored their parents, families and friends.

When I arrived about an hour before ceremony, and needed extra help with ceremony elements, I was very touched with Stephen and Madeline’s wedding party – the women were ‘on it’ and the guys were hugely helpful as they stood by to move large pieces around the space space (I’m into symmetry!).

And with great love, we all shared in a ceremony that was deeply moving and one that seemed to go by way too fast.

Stephen and Madeline…I hope you had a most amazing honeymoon in Hawaii and I wish you a lifetime of Aloha!

Jeff + Cindy: An Early Spring Wedding at Red Barn Studios In Chehalis…

April 24, 2017

We may have had crazy wind and no power at Red Barn Studios for rehearsal, but on the next day – Jeff and Cindy’s wedding day – the sun broke out and we had a gorgeous, crisp and partly sunny afternoon. jeff-cindy-1

It was happiness for me to travel to Chehalis to marry this beautiful  and inspiring couple on the afternoon of April 9th, surrounded by 100+ family and friends.

If there was ever a couple meant to be together, it’s these two beautiful people.

I was charmed by the time and attention Jeff and Cindy gave to their wedding ceremony and how important it was to involve and/or recognize the people they love most in the world.

Before their ring vows, Cindy’s Grandfather, Eldon, shared some personal and important words and I appreciated his touches of laughter.

Jeff and Cindy ~ I wish you much happiness, good fortune and fun as you launch on your marriage adventure!

What I Remember From A Wedding…

March 26, 2017

It’s always curious to me what I remember from a wedding.  As I look back on the beautiful couples I have known and worked with in the past month or so, I’m going to take a mini-trip down memory lane…

Robin and Pete did it ‘their way,’ getting married on an early Sunday morning at The Museum of Flight (before opening).  I remember Robin getting her hair and make-up done and how she got into her gown.  Simply, so easy and so quietly beautiful.

Emily and Christian were so excited, not only about getting married at Stimson-Green Mansion, but their honeymoon to Scotland…and I felt their excitement.  This young couple, together for so many years, are one of those darling pairs meant to be.

If there ever was a couple who put great and conscious intention and time into their wedding ceremony and celebration, it is Donte and Sara.  Married at the Lake Union Cafe, we had a ceremony with great personal touches and afterwards, a ‘skit’ that is now up on YouTube.donte-and-sara

Who gets married on a weekday, a formal wedding with all of the trimmings?  Felix and Sandra do!  They said “I Do” at Thornewood Castle on a Tuesday afternoon, surrounded by 50+ family and friends.   A solid and seriously fun-loving couple…and such a beautiful bride with a veil that had a mind of it’s own!

Courtney and Julio.  I loved everything about Courtney and Julio.  Their great devotion, their relationship journey and watching Julio with Courtney’s two young girls before ceremony and the love they have as a family, made my heart so very happy.

Elope to Seattle from Oklahoma!  Trenton and Holly found their way to The Salish Lodge with Trenton’s Mother and Holly’s Grandfather, and in-between rain bursts, were married outside on the lawn.  Chilly, sunny.  I remember happiness and very wet feet!rik-gina-1

And they did it!  At mid-life, Rik and Gina got all hitched up at The Willows Lodge, surrounded by the people they love the most in the world.  You know the word ‘graciousness?”  These two lovebirds could be poster kids for such gracious hearts.

Sydney and Matt, in a most precious and intimate ceremony, re-married. What is big, is small.  What is small, is big. It was truly an privilege to stand with these two as they re-committed for a lifetime.

It’s a great joy for me to work with so many diverse couples.  Every couple has a unique story and path to a lifetime commitment.

Sometimes, in the quiet of a morning such as this, as I type here in my office at our Wigglebutt Farm in Olympia, my heart is simply happy to be a part of loving goodness.  Photos:

The Very Wonderful Donte + Sara: Joyfully Married Friday Evening At The Lake Union Cafe…

March 13, 2017

You’ve got to LOVE a couple who loves Star Wars and Harry Potter…and who takes great time and intention to incorporate joy and vibrant pieces of fun into their wedding ceremony and celebration.donte-and-sara

It was great happiness for me to join Donte and Sara for their wedding ceremony on Friday evening, March 10th, at The Lake Union Cafe in Seattle.

Donte and Sara planned their Seattle wedding from San Diego and I met them for the very first time at rehearsal. They did such a beautiful and meaningful job orchestrating all planning elements which included a fabulous skit with costumed actors.donte-and-sara-1

For their wedding ceremony, we worked together to create something that not only celebrated the two of them but offered gratitude to family and friends.  One of the special pieces was the presentation of rings in a Harry Potter book, embedded into an 8th chapter titled “An Unbreakable Vow.”

Sara and Donte, I am the lucky one to have been a part of your beautiful day.  Wishing you so much joy and happiness!


Snow, Wind, Rain and Cold. 3 Seattle Winter Weddings…Beautiful Couples, All With Different Stories…

February 7, 2017

Nothing was going to keep me from getting three beautiful couples married this weekend, including yesterday – an official ‘snow day’ in Seattle.

I may not have been a pretty picture in my snow boats and huge coat, and with a car stuffed full of supplies, ‘just in case,’ we pulled it off.

Matt and Rae Ann were married in their suite at The Salish Lodge on Saturday night, surrounded by a small group of people who love them dearly.justin-carolineryan-tracey

Ryan and Tracey exchanged vows in front of family and friends, many who travelled to Seattle to be with them.

All of this goodness was on Sunday (yes, Super Bowl Sunday!) at Ivars Salmon House on Northlake Way.

Most of all, I appreciated the huge intention and creativity Ryan and Tracey wove into their ceremony including a ‘can of chicken soup’ and a ‘promise mini challenge car!”

Last night, Salty’s on Alki, opened their restaurant just for Justin and Caroline, keeping their promise to host their wedding and reception.  We had Justin’s parents and family from Texas and New Mexico and Caroline’s Mother and family from France…together, we got them beautifully married!

Photos:  Jenny GG Photography

Not Your Mother’s Marriage Advice! A Great Piece That Makes You Think and Go “Hmmm…”

January 31, 2017

There are a zillion articles out there offering marriage wisdom and counsel.marriage

This article is good.

It’s from the Huffington Post.

It offers a bit of marriage guidance that most assuredly most Mothers WOULD NOT offer on a wedding day!

Julie + Briana: We Raised The Roof Off AXIS in Seattle’s Pioneer Square With One of the Best Ceremony Toasts, Ever!

January 24, 2017

Julie + Briana, sweetly married at AXIS in Pioneer Square on January 14th.

I love this photo, taken in flight, on their way to a much anticipated honeymoon in Iceland!

What I appreciate so much about Julie and Briana…briana-julie1

  • Julie and Briana had a vision for their ceremony and what was vital to them. Including their family and friends, particularly their niece and nephews was hugely important.  We got the children beautifully down the aisle and each participated in a hand-fasting ritual.
  • Emotion.  So much emotion.  These two women, on a relationship path of 7 years so far, are one inspiring duo. During ceremony, we celebrated their history, joys and happiness, ups and downs, funny moments and more.  I loved that Julie and Briana wanted it real – we kept it real.
  • The memory that I left with the most?  A well orchestrated ‘forever and ever’ toast within Julie and Briana’s wedding ceremony – celebrating not only the two of them, but a toast that honored the love of each person in the room.

At the end of the day, Julie and Briana worked to design and host a ceremony and celebration that was truly lovely, reverent and so much fun!

Chris + Brandie: A Great Wedding Kick-off For a Wonderful Couple at Cedarbrook Lodge…

January 10, 2017

Could Saturday evening have been any better?

Two loving people, with a fabulous football themed wedding, were beautifully married and The Seahawks won!brandie-and-chris

Chris and Brandie, in the presence of 100+ family and friends, shared vows at the lovely Cedarbrook Lodge on Saturday evening.

Fast forward through much shared life experience, history and love shared, these two devoted and fun-loving people, exchanged heartfelt vows and shared in a ceremony that honored Brandie’s 3 children, expressed gratitude to parents and family, celebrated Chris’ guardian angel and included a family ‘glass pouring ritual.’  And of course, we announced the game score as Chris and Brandie finished walking down the aisle!

I appreciate a couple who desires a ceremony that eloquently not only celebrates their love story, but one that embraces the people they love most in the world. Chris and Brandie, I wish you much happiness!

Angela + Frank: A Holiday Wedding at Seattle’s Beautiful Arctic Club Hotel…

December 13, 2016

I appreciate a couple who has their priorities in order.

I know, this sounds most likely a bit stuffy and boring and it’s true.  Especially when it comes to a wedding ceremony.frank-angela-rivers

It was happiness for me to join Frank and Angela for their wedding at Seattle’s Arctic Club Hotel on December 3rd.

Working together, we crafted a ceremony that not only shared pieces of their personal story but a personal ritual that offered gratitude to family and friends and created a special family moment with Frank’s son.

Frank and Angela’s ‘family first’ approach to life (a priority) was front and center as we celebrated the two of them and the people around them.

Tender emotion was ever-present as Frank and Angela exchanged vows and rings…I had to smile as I heard Frank share sweet nothings with his bride throughout the ceremony as we made our way to the big kiss!

So Grateful To Have Been Home With April Rose This Weekend…

November 14, 2016

I didn’t have a wedding this past weekend.

And the timing could not have been better.  april-rose

You see, Greg and I are dog lovers.  Our purpose as a couple, besides loving and caring for each other, is to rescue and care take dogs who have been neglected and abused.

One of our sweet ones was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in mid-August.  Sweet April Rose has had two surgeries and 5 chemo treatments.

Knowing April’s great spirit and will to live, we decided to fight for her, always with her best interests in mind. beautiful-april

April was doing very well (the cancer went into remission) and then the tumor returned full force last week.   Our oncology vet calls it “a beast.”

Gratefully, and for the first time in many months, I didn’t have a wonderful wedding this past weekend, giving me the precious opportunity to be home with April and to love on her.

I know this post doesn’t have anything to do with a wedding.

It has to do with love.  And because I felt like celebrating our girl…and posting her beautiful photos!

Joanna + Mark: Just The Most Beautiful Lifetime Moment at Hilltop on Bainbridge Island…

October 24, 2016

There are moments in life where you stop, look and say to yourself, ‘I want to take all of this in.”

I had one of these moments when I arrived for Mark and Joanna’s Friday morning wedding ceremony in August, at Hilltop, in the Grand Forest of Bainbridge Island. joannamark2

A wonderful group of family and friends were gathered.

Musicians were set up and getting in place.

The ceremony space was beautifully designed in a series of circles, symbolizing the union of two wonderful people.

And so, we had a romantic, intimate and joyfilled ceremony for Mark and Joanna, celebrating their path to this day and their family and friends.

Best yet, Bainbridge Island is Mark and Joanna’s new home and this grand day is just of many wonderful experiences to come on their beautiful Island!


Wedding Dog, Odin, Did Good! Celebrating Daniel and Rachel at The Salish Lodge…

October 21, 2016

Moments before Rachel walked down the aisle, she was with her wedding party and family. And I found her holding onto her exuberant dog, Odin. racheldaniel1

At rehearsal, Odin was very high energy and all dog.

The next day, on his people’s wedding day, this wonderful dog easily and gracefully walked down the aisle and took his place…seriously, Odin did so very, very good!

I loved that Daniel and Rachel incorporated their sweet pooch as an important part of their ceremony and celebration at The Salish Lodge.  A dog always raises the joy bar at a wedding and Odin did his part.

Daniel and Rachel, I wish you a life of great adventure, happiness and joy.  And lots of outdoor adventures with your beautiful boy!


John + Jaime: A Glorious Day at Kiana Lodge, Celebrating Two Loving People Who Really Get It…

October 18, 2016

Marriage is a crazy affair.  It’s over-the-top joy.  It’s chaotic and messy.  It’s about learning, growth, stretching and finding the depths of compassion and resilience. johnjaimemonnig

It’s about friendship.  It’s about endurance and nurturing stamina and curiosity in the midst of upset and change. It’s about truly celebrating the ordinary moments and the extraordinary ones.

John and Jaime embody the best qualities of loving relationship.

And this I know for sure:  they have what it takes to create, nurture and protect a devoted relationship that will take them through the years and decades.

On a lovely Summer Sunday, it was my happiness to travel to Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo (one of my most favorite venues) to get these two lovebirds married.

John and Jaime, you invited me into your home and personal space.  You trusted me with your journey and story and I am so grateful for this gift.  Wishing you great happiness, joy and adventure!


John + Elizabeth: On To Their Honeymoon After Hosting A Lovely Wedding At Seattle’s Mayflower Park Hotel…

October 17, 2016

In the moments before they walked down the aisle together at the Mayflower Hotel in downtown Seattle, I joined John and Elizabeth in their suite.john-elizabeth

I love quiet moments before a wedding ceremony.  The few minutes before a huge life shift occurs.

And within minutes, we were in the elevator and making our way downstairs to be greeted by dozens of thrilled family and friends, who welcomed John and Elizabeth to their ceremony with a great round of boisterous applause.

What I love about John and Elizabeth is not only their smarts and fun-loving approach to life, but their loving graciousness.

It was important to both of them to have John’s adult children stand as their best people. Within ceremony, we acknowledged not only John and Elizabeth’s marriage and partnership but the new family created by this union.

With an evening of great food and drink, friendship and the ambiance of the lovely Mayflower Park Hotel, I’m quite sure that John and Elizabeth made their way back to their suite hours later, with the feeling of “we did very, very good.”

Photo: Sent to me from the plane, honeymoon bound!

Nicole + Kimball: Two Loving and Inspiring Sweethearts With The Most Fabulous Wedding Party!

October 14, 2016

I’ve been around a lot of wedding parties ~ some big, some small.kimballnicole

Some traditional and  quiet.  And some loud, feisty and with a bit of rock ‘n roll.

I could go on and on as wedding parties are just that…all different.

As I reflect on Nicole and Kimball’s beautiful wedding ceremony and wedding day at The Pickering Barn in August, I can tell you these two lovely women had one of the happiest wedding parties I’ve been around, ever.

As I was sharing Nicole and Kimball’s love story and personal details about their path to August 21st, it was fun to hear muted comments and generous applause from their joyful wedding party on either side of us.

What I loved even more is that this delight and exuberance was shared by family and friends…seriously, the happiness was coming from all sides.

Often before going down the aisle, or even during rehearsal, I encourage a wedding party to fully participate in ways that are authentic, genuine and meaningful.  This may mean big great smiles going down the aisle or even hand motions, genuine giggles and even a ‘high 5’ during a ceremony.

A wedding party that is ‘in motion’ raises the joy bar in the room and Nicole and Kimball’s fabulous group did this and more.  Sweet ladies, you have such great love and support around you!




Diana + Tim at The Monte Cristo Ballroom in Everett: With Some of the Happiest Family and Friends Ever…

October 12, 2016

Most often before I begin a wedding ceremony, I walk to the front of the room.  I thank family and friends for attending and give them direction on what to do during ceremony (if anything) and what’s happening after the bride and groom walk down the aisle. dianatim

This is an opportunity for me to also check my mic for the last time and to get a sense of ‘faces.’  Yes, faces.  I want to get a sense of the crowd, big or small, and what the ‘energy’ is like in the room.

This can be quiet and sedate, peppy and fun-loving or perhaps somewhere in-between.

When I did this for Tim and Diana at the Monte Cristo Ballroom on a lovely Friday afternoon last month, I saw beaming faces.

A lot of smiling faces.

I saw and felt great joy, elation, anticipation and happiness AND the wedding ceremony had not even started yet.

This kind of love and care always brings great happiness to my heart.

Because I know before we even start that everything will be okay – that we’re all present for the right reasons and even if something blows up or goes side-ways (which it does on rare occasion), that with a little self-deprecating humor, everything will be more then fine.  It will be real.  And that’s what I love most about a best ceremony.  It’s darn real.

Tim and Diana, the realness of your love, relationship journey and path to your wedding day makes my heart happy. Thank you for inviting me into your personal space and trusting me with your wedding ceremony. I wish you the blessings of great happiness, growth, courage and joy!