Budget Friendly Washington Winter Wedding at the Hollywood Schoolhouse
July 1, 2014
WhimsicalRusticEvent Venue
We are firm believers at SMP that being on a budget doesn't mean you have to sacrifice having the wedding of your dreams, and this wedding is proof. Captured beautifully by Jenny Linquist, every pretty detail sitting in this gallery proves yet again that when you have the help of family and friends, anything is possible. See even more of this heartfelt wedding here.
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From The Bride...My husband Michael is currently serving in the United States Navy. We met and fell in love in my hometown of Seattle while Michael was stationed an hour and a half north on Whidbey Island. Proudly patriotic and romantic, it was only fitting that Michael proposed to me in Washington, D.C. in front of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. We found out shortly after that he was being transferred to Oahu, Hawaii and that we had just seven months to plan the wedding of our dreams. While neither of us had ever been ones to dream of the perfect wedding, we quickly realized we wanted our wedding to reflect our personalities and act as a big send off as we embarked on our journey to the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

My vision for our northwest winter wedding was a simple mix of rustic and whimsical; charming yet chic. As a nod towards Michael’s military career, we chose navy, ivory and silver as our wedding colors. To bring warmth and charm to the winter wedding, I wanted as many candles and string lights as possible. The Hollywood Schoolhouse was the ideal location for our wedding and reception. Not only is it nestled in the beautiful Woodinville Wine Country five minutes from my childhood home, the brick exterior and interior paired with stunning crystal chandeliers was the perfect match for my vision.

As a bride on a budget and with limited craft skills, we had to be creative and resourceful when it came to decorations. We spoke to family friends who recently had weddings and had lanterns and frames that we could borrow that went very well with the rustic, winter look in my mind. It was so nice to have a network of family and friends to borrow decorations from that we have since passed on the good fortune and lent the candles, lights, and vases from my wedding to other weddings in the area. We were also extremely lucky to have talented and experienced family members willing to help put together our own simple flowers for the centerpieces, bouquets and boutonnieres and a bridesmaid who doubled as a makeup artist. Having so many people in my life that gathered around me to help make my wedding visions come true was so uplifting. Another way we kept the costs down were by designing simple programs and thank you cards ourselves and having them printed at a local print shop.

A tribute to the backdrop of our love story, the Pacific Northwest, I wanted to include pinecones into our décor by way of the place cards and pine branch table decoration. After ordering hundreds of real, dry pinecones and determining which ones would stand up naturally, I backed name labels with silver glitter paper for a fancier look. We clipped the pine from my parent’s backyard. We also wanted to play up our family name 'Fudge' so our party favors were a few ounces of fudge wrapped in a silver box and tied with a navy bow.

Even more important to me was tradition and honoring the great marriages that have come before us in our families. I wore an antique petticoat that has been in our family for hundreds of years. A document travels with the petticoat to each family wedding that includes the name of each bride that has worn it since my great-great-grandmother’s sister made it. After the ceremony, we handed a rose to each of our mothers and my grandmother, another family tradition that helps us take a moment to thank the most important people in our lives. I also wore a necklace that my grandmother had given my mother.

My favorite part of the day was saying our vows. Michael and I decided to write our own and not to share them until that moment in the ceremony. Most people did not know that Michael had a way with words, but after his vows, there was not a dry eye in the house. I still get tears in my eyes and chills thinking about how loved I felt during those moments.

The day of the wedding was better than anything I had ever dreamed. Not only did we marry our best friend, but we got to spend the happiest day of our lives with our best family and friends dancing the night away right by our side. Five days later Michael and I moved to Hawaii, still feeling the love from our wedding. Nothing has made our move away from family and friends easier than looking back on this day.