Winthrop Ranch Wedding by Joann Arruda Photography
February 22, 2012
If there is one definite detail that sets my wedding-loving heart all a pitter patter, it would be a long, gorgeous, family style table. And if you place this long, gorgeous, family style table out in a pretty field somewhere and sit all your loved ones around to eat, drink and toast to your newly crowned marriage all whilst being captured by Joann Arruda Photography; then I'm a total goner. Off to the land that wedding dreams are made of. Lucky you, there's a passport to this fabulous land. It's called the FULL gallery.

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the bride... Patrick and I were set up on a blind date six years ago. I guess you could say his Irish accent was charming because a year later we were happily together and had traveled to both Ireland and Sweden to meet both of our families. Shortly after our travels, we discovered Winthrop, Washington, in the Methow Valley. We instantly fell in love with the natural beauty of the North Cascade mountains, the incredible river, and most of all the unique and relaxing lifestyle. Long story short, it was a dream come true when we bought what we now call our "Ranch on the River." When deciding where to have our wedding this year, Patrick and I were torn about the location. Would it be Sweden? Would it be Ireland? Then we realized that we wanted our families to experience our wild West, mountain lifestyle.  

The first thing I did after that was to hire Joann Arruda of Joann Arruda Photography. Having known and worked with Joann for over ten years, she was obviously the perfect fit for our intimate destination wedding in Winthrop. I wanted the feeling of the wedding to be rustic and elegant, but I wanted the night before to be a down-home "Round-Up" at the Twisp River Pub. Barbecue salmon, chicken, organic greens and local beer were served, and of course, there lots of dancing.  

On the wedding day, guests arrived at 5 p.m. for river-side cocktails, hor d'oeuvres and live jazz music. The ceremony  took place at our favorite spot, a clearing in the woods at the bend in the river, where our guests gathered around us for a pre-sunset, natural exchange of vows. The amazing Jillian Speer, a childhood friend, sang "An Angel Among Us"  and left not a dry eye in the crowd. The dinner table was a big part of the night. I knew I wanted one incredibly long table set for a hundred guests in the middle of the field. It was filled with homemade wood cut plate chargers from Roger, a local craftsman, and fresh-cut flowers by Fawn Meadow Design. We procured rusty horse shoes from the local horse ranch and tied guests' name cards with straw to the bamboo chairs for guests seating arrangements. The dinner was brought to life by Christine Pottle of the Wandering Cafe, whose staff served a fresh beet salad, hanger steak, grilled prawns and huge platters of fingerling potatoes and local veggies.  The Swedish and Irish wedding traditions were added with singing songs and lots of toasting with Irish whiskey and Swedish aquavit. We did not have a wedding cake, and instead served fresh-baked summer fruit cobblers served with vanilla ice cream. The Irish and the Swedes are all about dancing, so little did we know, the night had only just begun when The Nines, Seattle's best cover band, hit the stage. It was a mid-summer night's dream. 

Wedding Photography: Joann Arruda Photography / Flowers: Fawn Meadow Design / Catering: Kristine Pottle of The Wandering Cafe / Jazz Band: Gravity / Ceremony Music: Jillian Speer / Reception Band: The Nines / Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals via La Belle Elaine's / Earrings: Hammerman Brothers / Chairs + Table Rentals: AA Party Rentals / Sawed Log Chargers: Roger Rowatt of Homestead Custom Sawmilling (509-996-2778)