Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Real Weddings: Helen + Pat

Planning Helen and Pat's August wedding with Helen's mother was one of the very best experiences I've had with a mother of the bride.  Forget any of the old cliches...Robin and I had so much fun together on her visits up to Seattle from Southern California for planning, and we spent a lot of (very fun) hours on the phone making sure all of the details would be perfect.  Helen and Pat were unusual in that they wanted to simply be GUESTS at their wedding--such a novel but really quite brilliant idea for a bride that doesn't want to get to caught up in the planning.  Helen trusted that Robin knew her taste, and Robin really did make the wedding a gift to Helen and Pat.

The ceremony was held at Helen and Pat's alma mater, the University of Puget Sound in the charming little New England style chapel on campus.  The sweet wreathes on the door were the perfect announcement that a wedding was taking place.

The girls carried bouquets of orange milva, cherry brandy, and Alhambra roses mixed with sunset calla lilies.  Helen's bouquet had additional ranunculus, orange and yellow mokara orchids, scabiosa pods, and cobra lilies.

Tacoma's Union Station was the location for a vibrant and artistic reception.  The renovated former train station features several large scale works by the Northwest Artist with talent of mythic proportions; Dale Chihuly.  His "Monarch Wall" was the inspiration for the color palette, embroidered silk linens, and tiny hand painted feather butterflies that graced the table arrangements.  Some of the tables featured glass apothecary jars that we filled as if they were little miniature "Chihuly Gardens" with plants and tiny colored glass pieces and shards I'd collected.  (Chihuly often does installation pieces in some of the world's most spectacular greenhouses).

I feel so blessed to have been able to share in the planning and execution of this wedding, and I so enjoyed working with all of the talented people that helped.  Robin truly put together a fabulous team.  I also loved getting to spend the evening at the event and watching the magic come to life.  Other magic?  The beautiful toast that Helen's father gave.  I hear a lot of them, but his was truly a gift, with blessings and stories of remarkable love from all of the generations that came before Helen and Pat in their families. 

Ceremony Venue:  Kilworth Memorial Chapel at University of Puget Sound
Reception Venue:  Tacoma Union Station
Photography:  Wallflower Photography  (Thank you Scott and Laura for sharing your beautiful work!)
Flowers/Event Design:  Fiore Blossoms
Linens:  Choice Linens
Catering:  Snuffin's Catering (some of the nicest caterers I've worked with, and I was lucky enough to get to eat their really fabulous dinner!)
Artwork throughout Union Station:  Dale Chihuly
Glass votives on tables:  Glassybaby


Scott said...

Robin, Helen and Pat were great to work with, weren't they?! It was a beautiful wedding with lots of "eye candy" for photographers, and your work was a big part of that! Hope to work with you again in 2010.

Tara said...

Wow, Alexa -- these flowers are absolutely beautiful! And the colors work so well with all the Chihuly work. NICE.

Flores La Plaza said...

precioso, me encanta.

Alexa Johnson said...

Thanks everyone!

I'd love to work with you again this year Scott--what a lovely surprise that would be at a wedding.

Tara, it was so fun working with the Chihuly pieces, though certainly a little intimidating. I really think he is one of the greatest living artists today, so I felt very humbled to be working in that same space.

Floristeria...how sweet!

Robin said...

Alexa, Thank you for the lovely write-up and thank you for your breathtakingly beautiful and inspired designs. Helen and Pat celebrated their wedding in spaces that literally glowed with light, color, warmth, and artistry. You should be so proud--I told you, and it bears repeating, that people came up to me and said that they would remember the beauty of this wedding for the rest of their lives. Fun? Oh my goodness, I had a TOTALLY fun time putting this together with you, and I especially loved it when you'd say, "Now this may be a bit over the top..." because I'd know it would be something I'd LOVE!! Just remember, if you ever need an extra gofer or a helper, call me and I'll hop the next plane from San Diego! You are absolutely correct, too, that I had the very best team. You were all amazing! Scott and Laura's photography was gorgeous, unflappable Annie at Snuffins handled every aspect of the catering with calm and gracious expertise, and Susan Bernard at Summerland Letterpress here in SD created the elegant invitations and the impeccable printed work that definitely added to the ahhh! factor. I am truly thankful to have had the opportunity to work with you, and to get to know you all. Best to you and your family and know that I'll look forward to seeing many more lovely weddings featured in your blog in 2010.