You're Engaged!! Now what?

Grab a cuppa somethin or #treatyoself to some champagne, It's time to talk wedding details!

Copy of B. Jones Photography

Whether you've recently acquired a new sparkly ring or you've been showing off that rock for MONTHS, I am here to help! 

I've been photographing weddings for almost 6 years and have been wedding obsessed since my late teens. As a former bridal consultant at Alicia's Bridal, I know all about Finding the perfect dress and how to tactfully handle family drama when one of the moms gets a little to gung ho about planning YOUR wedding, I mean, It's your wedding right?

THE BEST WATERFRONT

WEDDING VENUES

IN THE Greater SEATTLE AREA

If you live in the Seattle area, you're probably wanting to show off the best of what the PNW has to offer. As a PNW native, this means getting married near the water with epic views from the ceremony & reception sites.

When I was planning my own wedding, I scoured the web to create a list of all the waterfront wedding venues, then I compared them and figured out which one suited my budget and gave off the vibe I was going for. I wanted a venue that provided catering, had waterviews from the ceremony & reception, and felt like a getaway for my guests but was still close to my hometown. I chose the charming Semiahmoo Resort.

Anyhooo, I digress. For all my brides looking for the perfect waterfront venue, I put together a comprehensive list of some of the best in the greater Seattle area. I've also added some pertinent information about each to make it easier to narrow it down to your favorite! Enjoy!

Featured Waterfront Venues

 

Woodmark Hotel

Premiere wedding venue on the lake, only boutique hotel on Lake Washington, classic and elegant white tented ceremony & reception and personalized service.

✔️  Water view Ceremony Site

✔️  Water view Reception Site

✔️  Provides Catering

✔️ Provides Guest Accommodations

Miles from Downtown Seattle: less than 10 miles

Max Guest count: 200

Venue Site Fee: $2000

Average Investment for this Venue: $20,00ish

 

Virginia V Steamship

The Steamer Virginia V is a National Historic Landmark and a treasure of Seattle's maritime history. The ship is an all wood stunner! 

✔️  Water view Ceremony Site

✔️  Water view Reception Site

✔️  Provides Catering

Miles from Downtown Seattle: 0

Max Guest count: 100

Venue Site Fee: $5000

Average Investment for this Venue: Varies

 

The Edgewater Hotel 

The Edgewater is Seattle's only waterfront hotel, providing breathtaking views of Elliott Bay, Mt. Rainier, the Olympic Mountains and the Seattle Skyline.  These factors along with award winning cuisine and personalized service, ensure that you will have a seamless one of a kind event. 

✔️  Water view Ceremony Site

✔️  Water view Reception Site

✔️  Provides Catering

✔️ Provides Guest Accommodations

Miles from Downtown Seattle: 0

Max Guest count: 200

Venue Site Fee: $500-2,500

Average Investment for this Venue: $2,500-35,00

 

The Admiral House

This historical landmark house and property, known as the Admiral’s House, is secluded on nearly four private acres. The property overlooks Elliott Bay, as well as boasts unobstructed view of the Seattle city skyline, including the iconic Space Needle and the majestic Mt. Rainier.  This property offers a unsurpassed and truly unique venue for every special event. Each couple is allowed use of the venue for over sixteen  hours, as we only book one event per day.  It’s a stunning combination of notable architecture, remarkable history and unparalleled location.

✔️  Waterview Ceremony Site

✔️  Waterview Reception Site

Miles to downtown Seattle: 3.5

Max Guest count: 250-300

Venue Site Fee: $12,400+

Average Investment for this Venue: Unknown

 

Rosario Resort

Rosario's romantic waterfront location is the perfect setting to exchange your vows. You will experience one-of-a-kind ceremony and reception venues for events both large and small. The Rosario Beach House Lawn is perfect for your outdoor wedding ceremony, with a magnificent views of Cascade Bay, forested hillsides and distant islands. It is one of the most serene, private and visually stunning outdoor ceremony locations in all of the Pacific Northwest.

✔️  Waterv iew Ceremony Site

✔️  Water view Reception Site

✔️  Provides Catering

✔️ Provides Guest Accommodations

Max Guest count: 250

Venue Site Fee: $1,000-$2,000

Average Investment for this Venue: Unknown

Miles from Downtown Seattle: 80

 

Hyatt Regency Lake Washington

Location, location, location! The views from Hyatt Regency Lake Washington will take your breath away. Guests can view city, mountains, and water from many vistas located throughout the hotel including guest rooms, terraces, meeting and event spaces, and Water’s Table, the property’s signature restaurant. This is an exceptional venue for couples looking for a tranquil, upscale venue with modern touches.   Hyatt Regency Lake Washington is proud to be the recipient of the 2018 Best of 425 Magazine Award - Best Wedding Venue

✔️  Water view Ceremony Site

✔️  Water view Reception Site

✔️  Provides Catering

✔️ Provides Guest Accommodations

Miles from Downtown Seattle: 11  miles

Max Guest count: 1,000

Venue Site Fee: $1,500

Average Investment for this Venue: $20,00ish

 

Hotel Bellwether 

Hotel Bellwether is Western Washington’s premier, upscale waterfront-destination hotel providing exceptional accommodations, attentive service, and personalized amenities that will pamper our guests and facilitate outstanding events.  

Nestled in the quaint cove of Bellingham Bay, this full-service, luxurious waterfront hotel offers the subtle charm of an elegant European Inn along with all of the contemporary comforts that guests appreciate. Most of Hotel Bellwether’s 66 spacious guestrooms feature a fireplace, imported Italian furniture, down pillows and comforters, a spacious jetted bathtub, plush bathrobes and other luxurious comforts. 

Often noted as one of the Pacific Northwest’s most unique hotel experiences, the Lighthouse Suite is a three story, freestanding, 900 square-foot retreat that would be perfect for your wedding night.  You will love taking the spiral staircase to the observation level featuring unmatched 360 degree windows and terrace overlooking Mount Baker, the San Juan Islands, Squalicum Harbor and Bellingham Bay. 

✔️  Water view Ceremony Site

✔️  Water view Reception Site

✔️  Provides Catering

✔️ Provides Guest Accommodations

Miles from Downtown Seattle: 90  miles

Max Guest count: 250

Venue Site Fee: $850-1,350

Average Investment for this Venue: $12,000-15,000

 

Roche Harbor Resort

 A historic village, making moments into memories.  Quintessentially Northwest, it's a destination venue of unparalleled charm.  The 120-year old property is perched on the edge of a sparkling blue marina, just a couple hours from Seattle.  You’re bound to fall in love with this little piece of paradise and will be back to celebrate your anniversaries for years to come.

✔️  Water view Ceremony Site

✔️  Water view Reception Site

✔️  Provides Catering

✔️ Provides Guest Accommodations

Miles from Downtown Seattle: 1.5 hrs & a ferry ride

Max Guest count: 500

Venue Site Fee: Variable from Zero to $10,500

Average Investment for this Venue: unknown

 

Foss Waterway Seaport

A maritime museum that accommodates events in the evenings, some restrictions apply. "Embrace our Past, Celebrate your Future!"

Miles from Downtown Seattle: 50 miles

Max Guest count: 350

Venue Site Fee: $4,200 to $4,800

Average Investment for this Venue: unknown

✔️  Water view Ceremony Site

✔️  Water view Reception Site

✔️  Provides Catering

✔️ Provides Guest Accommodations

 

Seabrook 

Washington’s beach town nestled within the spectacular natural beauty of the Olympic Peninsula, set on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. With over 150 fully furnished vacation homes, and three story Nantucket style event space, Seabrook is perfect for a wedding weekend getaway.

✔️  Water view Ceremony Site

✔️  Provides Catering

✔️ Provides Guest Accommodations

Miles from Downtown Seattle: 2,5 hours

Max Guest count: 120

Venue Site Fee: $1,500-3,500

Average Investment for this Venue: $2,750

 

Bell harbor International Conference Center

Perfectly sized for groups under 100, outstanding service, incredible views, central location, all-inclusive packages. Couples can get married on the Rooftop Plaza across the street at Bell Harbor, or they can host an indoor ceremony inside the Holland America Line Room. Both options offer awesome waterfront views!

✔️  Water view Ceremony Site

✔️  Water view Reception Site

✔️  Provides Catering

✔️ Provides Guest Accommodations

Miles from Downtown Seattle: 0 

Max Guest count: 250

Venue Site Fee: $1,000-2,000

Average Investment for this Venue: $150-200 per guest

 

Salty’s Alki

The only wedding venue with the billion dollar view of the downtown Seattle Skyline

✔️  Water view Ceremony Site

✔️  Water view Reception Site

✔️  Provides Catering

Miles from Downtown Seattle: 6 miles

Max Guest count: 300

Venue Site Fee: no fee, food and beverage minimums

Average Investment for this Venue: $100-$130 per person

 

Rosehill Community Center

Modern building designed around the sweeping views of Puget Sound.  

✔️  Water view Ceremony Site

✔️  Water view Reception Site

✔️  Provides Catering

Miles from Downtown Seattle: 25 miles

Max Guest count: 216

Venue Site Fee:$185 to $275 per hour

Average Investment for this Venue: $2,750

 

More waterfront venues to consider

 

TIPS FOR PLANNING A WEDDING IN

THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS

    As a Bellingham native and a devoted PNW’n’er, the San Juan Islands are basically my backyard. The days I’ve spent on the islands are some of the happiest of my life. I remember the day my hubby first messaged me on OkCupid.com, My parents and I had taken their boat out to Roche Harbor for a spontaneous summer adventure. I was sitting on the balcony overlooking the bay when a message popped up from my future husband with ’10 reasons why i’m perfect for you’ — hah! I know right?! He has the kind of confidence I aspire to have! 

    Anyway, one of the 10 reasons had to do with our mutual love of being on the ocean. <3 My Jonesy knew the way to my heart right from the very beginning. 

    Fast forward through adventure’s on Orcas Island and a seaside proposal at the end of a long hike… Roche Harbor Resort was at the TOP of my list of places I would LOVE to get married. Ultimately, we ended up picking a venue closer to home, Semiahmoo Resort, which had sentimental meaning to me and checked the box of getting married near the ocean. 

    After many years of family vacations & destination weddings on OrcasSan Juan & Lopez Island — I’m a pro at getting the best deals on places to stay and navigating the ferry system. I know the best places to get married on the islands and I have a list of adventures/booze/bites that’ll make you want to visit each island at least once! 

B. Jones Photography
B. Jones Photography

Accomodations

  If you are getting married at a venue that also provides accommodations, reserve a room block with various price points. There are limited places to stay on the islands and they all book VERY far in advance!

I’d also recommend having your family and bridal party book a few large houses near the venue via airBnB or VRBO.

  1. It’s more cost effective to do a large house than a handful of hotel rooms
  2. It's more fun!
Our Wedding Day
B. Jones Photography-favorites (149 of 292).jpg

Ferry Travel

If you’ve never traveled on the San Juan Island ferry, bring your camera, cause the views you’ll see from the boat are worthy of framing over your fireplace back home!

Before you board the ferry, there’s a few things you’ll want to plan for:

  1. Make a reservation. If you don’t, you’ll either need to plan on arriving 2-3 hours before your ferry departure to ensure you get a spot or you’ll end up on a later ferry. The summer is the most popular time of year for travel to the San Juan Islands and the crowds are sizeable! Avoid the long wait in the ferry line and mark your calendar for the day the reservations become available. Reservation information can be found here.
  2. Get there early. I suggested arriving 45 min before your reservation time. Getting there early gives you a chance to stretch your legs, take a quick selfie on the beach with the ferry in the background & indulge in a fancy coffee. 
  3. What to do on the ferry. You've got atleast an hour before you arrive, make the most of it by exploring the ferry and taking a few more selfies & scenic shots. You can post these on social media for all your friends to oggle.
  4. On the way home, plan to arrive at the ferry early. Are you sensing a theme? Ferrys depart every 1-2 hrs and stop running after a certain time. Getting stuck on the island wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, unless you have to work the next day. Oh well, who doesn’t love an extra day of vacation?

- My Favorite Vendors -

I've had the pleasure of working with some of the most talented wedding vendors in the greater seattle area and have developed a list of people I can confidently refer. 

 Delille Cellars, Snohomish Wedding Photographer, B. Jones Photography, Elegant Wedding, Valentino, Woodmark Hotel, Kirkland, Woodinville, Minimalist, HIgh End, Classic

Planners

NATASHA at THE INVISIBLE HOSTESS

www.theinvisiblehostess.com

WEDDING WISE

www.weddingwiseseattle.com

BRIGHT & CO EVENTS

www.brightcoevents.com

RACHEL at MANETTE GRACIE EVENTS

manettegracie.com

 Delille Cellars, Snohomish Wedding Photographer, B. Jones Photography, Elegant Wedding, Valentino, Woodmark Hotel, Kirkland, Woodinville, Minimalist, HIgh End, Classic

Catering

SKILLET

hwww.skilletfood.com

RAVISHING RADISH

www.ravishingradish.com

 

Hair & Makeup

ELIZABETH MARIE MAKEUP

elizabethmariemakeup.com

PACIFIC BRIDES

www.pacificbrides.com

CHRISTY K MAKEUP & HAIR

www.christykmakeuphair.com


Florist & Designers

BELLA FIORI

www.bellafiori.com

GATHER DESIGN CO.

www.gatherwestcoast.com

BRIGHT & CO EVENTS

www.brightcoevents.com


Dj

Steven Rivera of J city entertainment

www.Jcityentertainment.com

DJ HEADSMILE

www.headsmileproductions.com

Cakes

Honey Crumb Cake Studio

www.honeycrumb.com

 Delille Cellars, Snohomish Wedding Photographer, B. Jones Photography, Elegant Wedding, Valentino, Woodmark Hotel, Kirkland, Woodinville, Minimalist, HIgh End, Classic

Gowns & Accessories

ALICIAS BRIDAL

www.aliciasbridal.com

HEIDI HULL DESIGNS

www.heidihulldesigns.com

MEAMARIE BRIDAL

www.meamarie.com

LAINEE MEG BRIDAL

www.laineemegbridal.com

the First look

"Should I do a first look?"

I hope you do! 

 Photos by B. Jones Photography

HERE'S WHY I THINK YOU SHOULD DO A FIRST LOOK:

  • You'll receive 40% more photos because we have more time for your portraits

  • Your hair & makeup will look fresh & perfect.

  • Seeing each other for the first time is an emotionally charged moment that deserves to be celebrated & captured all on its own. 

  • As a bride, I appreciated getting to 'check in' with each other, hug & talk about how we were feeling on such a monumental day. 

  • Think of this as your time to celebrate as just a duo without the eyes of all your guests. If your soon to be hubby is a crier, he'll appreciate having the privacy.

  • You'll have MORE TIME with your guests! All your friends and family took time out of their busy schedules to celebrate with YOU. We don't want you to miss out on a minute of it! 

  • It may be the only 'alone time' you get during the entire wedding day. 

 

This is just my two scents though. This is your big day and I am just a small part of it. I want you to experience it the way you and your groom dreamed it. I’m happy to provide input, but ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how you want your timeline to be.

(Keep scrolling for sample timelines with and without the first look!)

Our Wedding

WITHOUT THE FIRST LOOK

1:00 PHOTOGRAPHERS ARRIVES
1:15 GETTING READY PHOTOS
2:30 Ceremony
3:00 FAMILY PHOTOS
3:30 Bridal Party Photos
4:30 BRIDE + GROOM PHOTOS
5:00 COCKTAIL HOUR
6:30 RECEPTION BEGINS
TOASTS
FIRST DANCES
CAKE CUTTING
BOUQUET TOSS/ GARTER TOSS
OPEN DANCING
10:00 SPARKLER EXIT

 

WITH THE FIRST LOOK

1:00 PHOTOGRAPHERS ARRIVES
1:15 GETTING READY PHOTOS
2:15 FIRST LOOK/BRIDE + GROOM PHOTOS
3:15 BRIDAL PARTY PHOTOS
4:00 FAMILY PHOTOS
4:30 BREAK-BRIDE GOES INTO HIDING- PHOTOGRAPHERS TAKE DETAIL SHOTS
5:00 CEREMONY
5:30 COCKTAIL HOUR
6:30 RECEPTION BEGINS
TOASTS
FIRST DANCES
CAKE CUTTING
BOUQUET TOSS/ GARTER TOSS
OPEN DANCING
10:00 SPARKLER EXIT

- Sample Timeline -

Without First Look

1:00 PHOTOGRAPHERS ARRIVES
1:15 GETTING READY PHOTOS
2:30 Ceremony
3:00 FAMILY PHOTOS
3:30 Bridal Party Photos
4:30 BRIDE + GROOM PHOTOS
5:00 COCKTAIL HOUR
6:30 RECEPTION BEGINS
TOASTS
FIRST DANCES
CAKE CUTTING
BOUQUET TOSS/ GARTER TOSS
OPEN DANCING
10:00 SPARKLER EXIT 

 

WITH FIRST LOOK

1:00 PHOTOGRAPHERS ARRIVES
1:15 GETTING READY PHOTOS
2:15 FIRST LOOK/BRIDE + GROOM PHOTOS
3:15 BRIDAL PARTY PHOTOS
4:00 FAMILY PHOTOS
4:30 BREAK-BRIDE GOES INTO HIDING- PHOTOGRAPHERS TAKE DETAIL SHOTS
5:00 CEREMONY
5:30 COCKTAIL HOUR
6:30 RECEPTION BEGINS
TOASTS
FIRST DANCES
CAKE CUTTING
BOUQUET TOSS/ GARTER TOSS
OPEN DANCING
10:00 SPARKLER EXIT 

FINDING THE PERFECT WEDDING DRESS

In the greater Seattle area

 

There is nothing more personal to a bride on her wedding day, than the dress she’s picked to wear.  The dress that makes you feel fantastic, look stunning and is forever immortalized in your wedding pictures.  You know the dress as soon as you put it on, it’s just a matter of finding it.  I’ve gathered five of my absolute favorite dress shops in Seattle that you should definitely stop by on your search for THE dress.  In no particular order…

 Photos by B. Jones Photography

ALICIA’S BRIDAL & THE FORMAL HOUSE TUXEDOS

1400 N State St. 

Bellingham, WA 98225

 

    My top five list would be completely amiss without including my favorite Bellingham based bridal shop.  After all, Alicia’s is where I knew I had to shop when it was time for me to pick the dress I’d been dreaming about since I was a little girl, and where I really started in the industry.  A family-owned business for over 60 years, Alicia’s wide selection of designers, not only in dresses, but tux’s as well, makes it a top contender in the industry.  Pam Reed and her team of bridal consultants have all the know-how of a big city bridal shop, with a small-town feel.  

     “I love what I do…working with the brides, hearing their vision for the wedding and making it all happen! Over the past 30 years I’ve formed such close bonds with our designers and our brides.  We honestly love what we do, and just want our brides to feel the same way about us!”

     To top it off they support on of my favorite designers, and Bellingham local, Heidi Hull who designs absolutely stunning, one-of-a-kind jewelry, accessories and veils.  Alicia’s also has a fantastic outlet right next door if you’re on a more modest budget!  So, take a trip up north, check out the city of subdued excitement (oh, Bellingham, nothing but love for ya) and check out Alicia’s!  And by the way, no appointment needed!

Dress range: $700-$2800;

most range between $1400-$1800

B. Jones Photography

MEAMARIE BRIDAL ALTELIER

30 Lake Shore Plaza

Kirkland, WA 98033

      MeaMarie Bridal Altelier is a must have in my top five.  Proudly boasting as Seattle’s Premier Couture Bridal Experience, MeaMarie has the class and style to back it up.   Run by Rachelle Witt and Mea Mendez, MeaMarie carries some of the most gorgeous wedding dresses I’ve ever head to good fortune of photographing.  With decades of experience between the ladies, Rachelle and Mea have taken a private-suite and transformed it into an experience in and of itself.  

     “My love for bridal started over 20 years ago.  I had a strong passion with playing dress up and was mesmerized by beautiful gowns. When we purchase dresses from designers from all over the world, we don’t just see dresses we see the art and design of that dress.”-Mea

      Looking through the walls of gorgeous dresses you can take your pick of designers, from Eve of Milady, Cristiano Lucci, Pedram Couture, and Anny Lin, just to name a few.  If you are looking for that fairytale wedding dress, MeaMarie needs to be on your short-list.  MeaMarie is by appointment only, which means you will get their undivided attention, and you can give your undivided attention to finding that perfect dress.

Dress range: $2000-$10000;

most range between $2500-$5000

B. Jones Photography

LAINEEMEG

1212 First Street

Snohomish, WA 98290

 

    Celebrating their 10th year in business this year, LaineeMeg is an Instagram worthy bridal studio located in the Historic Snohomish Shopping District.  Ladies, it is a must-see.  Seriously, grab your girls, grab you Mom and plan a girl’s day in Snohomish because you are going to need to grab lunch after to GUSH about how much you love LaineeMeg.  Aside from carrying gowns from top designers, LaineeMeg boasts their own line, Ma Nani Anake, which is designed by studio owner, Zerlinda and her fabulous team.  These ladies are going to make you feel like you found a part of your family you hadn’t realized you were missing.  Their passion to make your experience as perfect as it can be is evident from the moment you walk in.  

“We believe in honesty, kindness and want you to leave feeling like you have made new friends! My favorite part of what we do is when a bride leaves having found the perfect dress, gives me a hug, and says she loved the experience, us, and most importantly, her dress.”-Zerlinda

   The store is by appointment only, so be sure to plan ahead and reserve your private bridal suite.

Dresses start at $1100

B. Jones Photography. Seattle Wedding Photographer

CICADA

90 Madison Street

 Seattle, WA 98104

      If you are looking for a custom gown, come to Cicada.  I’m talking, you’ve created a vision board and aren’t sure how to put it into words kind of custom gown…Jen and Elizabeth are who you need.  These ladies know how to decipher your hard to express ideas and transform them into THAT dress.  Of course, you can also book an appointment, take a look at their sample dresses and get started there as well.  Either way, all you need to do is be honest and they’ve got you, girl!  Cicada offers you the flexibility to have complete creative freedom, and you can rest assured that you’ll have a one-of-a-kind gown on your big day.  

Dress range: $2000-$5000, depending on fabric type, amount, design time etc.

($10 3-hour valet parking available through Alexis Hotel next door)

 Lairmont Manor, Bellingham Wedding, Boho Chic, PNW Bride, Modern Inspired, Kris Orloski, Seattle Band, Earth Ethical Engagement Ring, Trendy, Hipster,

THE DRESS THEORY

1423 N 45th Street

Seattle, WA 98103

     Last, but definitely not least, we have to talk about The Dress Theory.  Their site boasts that their dresses (or maybe their brides?) are “commanding, comfortable, & very, very cool.”  Either way, I couldn’t agree more.  This isn’t the store you go to for that “classic” gown.  This is the store you go to for a romantic, free-spirited, fashion-forward, classy yet bohemian gown.  Yes, I’m aware there are a lot of adjectives going on there, but you have to trust me, their dresses encapsulate them all.  The Seattle location is one of three sister-owned locations (San Diego and Nashville being the other) by Camille & Summer Wynn.  These ladies have traveled far and wide to find the absolute best of the best when it comes to designers, and it shows.  If you are looking for a timeless dress, make an appointment at The Dress Theory.  They won’t disappoint.

Dress range: $2000-$8000;

most range between $2500-$4500

WEDDING PLANNING TIMELINE

When to book your vendors

B. Jones Photography

BREAKING DOWN YOUR WEDDING TIMELINE

Ring: Acquired. 

Wedding date: chosen.

You’re fifteen episodes deep in “Say Yes to the Dress” and drooling over that lace-backed gown when you have a realization that you should probably get some of the other stuff done.  Do you book your DJ first?  How far out do you need to reserve a venue?  Are you supposed to get the bridesmaid dresses when you pick your dress?   You suddenly realize how much you have to get done before you get to say “I do.”  Yes, you have a lot on your plate, but you can get through it without feeling overwhelmed.  


12+ Months 

The Big 3.  That’s your Wedding Coordinator, wedding venue, and reception venue.  Your venues are going to determine more of your wedding than you may initially realize.  Some venues require that you use their services or limit what kind of services from which you can hire.  Your choices here are instrumental to almost every decision you make after this.  The exception is picking your Wedding Coordinator.  Sometimes it’s best to select a coordinator first and help them get you started, even with your venues.  They’re pros, they know the industry and they will quickly get to know you.  Coordinators are an investment, but they’re a good one.


10 Months

The tenth month is all about picking your vendors.  This one is especially important if you are getting married during wedding season (June-September).  Photographers and Videographers start booking for weddings around a year in advance, so if you have your heart set on someone in particular, now is the time to lock them down.  You’ll also be able to chat about engagement shoot dates once you find them, so that’s one more thing you get to check off.

It’s also time to pick a caterer and a florist.  You don’t want to end up being forced to pick from what’s left because you put this off.  It is possible that the caterer is determined by the venue you’ve chosen, but if it’s not, then get in touch with a few and get some quotes and sample menus based on the season.  It’s an easy enough task, but one you’ll regret putting off.  


9 Months

Ready to dance?  It’s time to book your DJ or band.  Your wedding coordinator will come in handy here.  They’re going to know how reliable the bands and DJ’s in your town are and can get you in contact with them.  DJ’s are pretty flexible to suit your personal style, but it’s not a bad idea to check out the band before you book them.  Can you image trying to dance to a band you don’t enjoy? 


8 Months

You get a fun one now.  At eight months, it’s time to pick the dress!  Bring your best friends/mother/sisters and make your first appointment at a couple of bridal shops.  Bridal shops vary widely in what they carry, so don’t limit yourself to one.  Grab different styles, too.  It’s possible that you never imagined yourself in a ballgown, but that doesn’t mean you won’t fall in love with one.  If you’re feeling a tight squeeze on your budget, give the bridal outlet shops a chance, too.  Their selection may surprise you.

The other tasks you should take care of this month is the ceremony music and officiant.  It’s also the time to reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests and order your Save-the-Dates.


Call your bridesmaids this month and get together to find dresses.  Go in with two things decided.  First, know your colors.  Can they wear shades or are they wearing the same hue?  Secondly, are you willing to let them wear different styles or the same one.   

Then, get together with your fiancé and eat some cake!  Bakeries require a decent amount of time to bake all those beautiful tiers and decorate them just as you always dreamed.  Book a couple of appointments at bakeries and get to tasting.  If you are hiring a honeymoon travel consultant, now is the time to book them, too.  It’ll save you on last-minute flight and hotel prices.

7 Months


At six months, you’ll want to book your rentals and order your invitations.  Ordering now will prevent you from having to pay for unexpected rush-delivery or lack of stock.  Book your makeup and hair stylist now, too.  You’ll want to get in for a trial run before the wedding, and they book up around wedding season, as well.

6 Months


5 Months

Groom’s attire is a little less involved than the wedding dress, so tux’s and suits get to wait until month 5.  Just like wedding dresses, the suits will require adjustments, so getting this taken care of now allows time for multiple fittings if necessary.  It’s also a good time to pick any jewelry, veils, shoes, etc. if you haven’t already.  Afterward, book your transportation to the wedding venue, the reception, and of course however you plan on exiting your reception.  Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a limo.  Town cars, classic cars, and even horse-drawn carriages are at your disposal.  Have fun with it!


HELLO, home stretch!  At three months it’s time to do something for you and something for your guests.  Either buy or make your guest favors this month.  If you are making them, get together with some of your best friends and make a party of it - favors can become tedious tackled alone.

Lastly, it’s time to pick out your wedding bands.  It’s funny that we save this one, which seems so fundamental, for the end but think of it as a celebration of the past nine months of planning.  Like bridal shops, not all rings, or jewelry stores, are created equal.  Make sure you give a few a shot and check their repair and financing policies before you buy.

Now, you’ve earned it.  Put your feet up and take a deep breath.  You’re ready to get married!

3 Months

The Engagement Session

I offer two types of engagement sessions: The Local Session and The Adventure Session. All session types include 1 hr of photography with enough time for 2 outfits, beautifully edited photos, an online gallery & high resolution digital download, and print rights. 

The difference between a Local Engagement Session and an Adventure Engagement Session is the location. A Local session takes place within a 60 min drive of Snohomish, WA. You are welcome to pick the location or I'm happy to make suggestions. The Adventure session is for my PNW couples looking for a little extra magic. This session includes up to 4 hrs of travel or hiking time.

See below for location inspo from past sessions!

Adventure Session Locations: 

Ebeys Landing

Whidbey Island

Larrabee Park

Bellingham, WA

Snoqualmie Falls

Fall City, WA

Franklin Falls

North Bend, Wa

Moran State Park

Orcas Island

B. Jones Photography (21 of 179).jpg

Rattlesnake Lake

North Bend, Wa

South Beach

San Juan Island

Rattlesnake Ledge

North Bend, Wa

B. Jones Photography - Mukilteo Lighthouse Washington Ferry

Mukilteo to Whidbey Island Ferry

Mukilteo, WA

Cascade Falls - Orcas island Adventure engagement

Cascade Falls

Orcas Island

Larrabee State Park

Bellingham, Wa

Rosario Resort

Orcas Island, Wa

Lavendar Winds Farm

Whidbey Island


Local Engagement Session:

Grand Ave Park 

Everett,, Wa

Historic Downtown Snohomish

Snohomish ,Wa

Lake Union Docks

Seattle, Wa

Downtown Snohomish

Snohomish, WA

Saint Edwards Park

Seattle, Wa

Discovery Park

Seattle, Wa

Edmonds Beach

Edmonds, Wa

Carkeek Park

Seattle, Wa

Wild Flower Field

Snohomish, Wa

Center for Wooden Boats

Seattle, Wa

Snohomish Riverfront 

Snohomish, Wa

Mukilteo Lighthouse Park

Mukilteo, WA

Lake Washington

 

Seattle, WA

Mission Beach

Camano Island, Wa

It's your wedding, right?

Bri & Brian's Pike Place Market & Golden Garden Bath House Wedding
 
 

DEAR MOM,

Thank you for being such a fantastic person and giving me all your love and support.  It really has meant the world to me.  That said, this is my wedding!  Please butt out!

 
 

Our dear Mothers (and Fathers, too).  They have given so much of themselves and so much of their love, to help us grow into the men and women we become.  We owe them gratitude beyond compare.  They stayed up all night when we were sick, let us crawl in bed when we were scared, shuttled us to ballet and soccer and sleepovers.  They cooked meal after meal and washed our dirty laundry without (much) complaint.  They deal with going from being the center of your world to someone who has to almost beg you to call.  It’s a rough transition.  

Then you get engaged.  It’s Mom’s opportunity to dive back in and help you plan everything and enlist the help of all your aunts and cousins.  She’s got all of this planned out for you already.  After all, she’s been dreaming about it since she found out you were a little zygote.  Oh, that wasn’t your plan?

You can plan your wedding with your parents in mind, and still keep it your own.  It’s a bit of a balancing act and requires a little finesse, but it doesn’t need to be painful.

 

Tips to manage the struggle and keep everyones attitude positive

 

Make It Fun

Barring the occasional, extremely bossy, controlling mother, all Mom really wants to do is spend time with you and make sure your wedding is the best it can be.  So, make it a date.  Go out together for pie or a mimosa brunch and talk about your ideas together and expectations.  Bring some of your inspirational photos (you know you already have a Pinterest, board, c’mon) and give Mom an idea of what your style is.  You can discuss what parts are DIY and she can figure out what you may not have considered and how she can help.  Moms are wired to try and help their kids, and planning the wedding is the coup de gras.  

 

Be Flexible but Firm

This is an overall rule for all things wedding related.  You’ve had YEARS to dream of your wedding.  Nothing is going to go exactly as you initially dreamed it would, but you should fight for the things that are truly important to you.  Your relationship with your Mom and the wedding should be the same way.  Have a good idea of how many guests you want, so when you ask your parents for their preferred guest list, you can give them a number.  Have an idea of where you want to get married, so they know that plays into everything as well.  This is especially important for destination weddings.  Know for sure what your feelings are on wearing Grandma’s wedding dress or Mom’s veil.  If it’s not your thing, you’ll need to know how to kindly let Mom know.  Basically, when you and Mom are chatting, things are going to go much smoother if you have considered what it is you value most in your day.  That all goes a little easier over dessert and bubbly.

 

Give her a duty

I’ll keep saying it, Moms just want to help.  Give her a large responsibility that she can work on, and one that you don’t mind having less say in.  Maybe you let her scout caterers and set up some tastings for you to try.  Fiancé doesn’t care about the icing of the cake? Bring Mom.  Guest favors not really up your alley?  I bet your Mom has helped make hundreds of DIY guest favors in the past and could do them in her sleep.  Better yet, take your Mom’s specific talents into consideration and find a way for her to create the favor.  She could make pints of her blackberry jam, bottles of chipotle hot sauce or hand cut soap.  Can you imagine how special that would make her feel?  Give her some ideas or set her loose.  And be sure to thank her for it when you are enjoying it.  

 

Remember that that's the way it goes

It’s not like your Mom is greedy and needs to plan multiple weddings.  Years ago, your Mom planned her wedding, too.  She had her dream cake in mind, her dress was going to be laced up the back, it’d all happen at the ballroom on the pier.  Except, guess who was right there offering her two-bits whenever possible – Grandma. It’s kind of a rite of passage into your later years, tradition if you will.  If you have your own children someday, you will dream of their wedding day, too.  It won’t happen exactly the way you dream, and it won’t matter.  All that will matter is that they are happy.  You’ll of course hope that they’ve chosen their partner well, that their marriage will be solid and strong, that they know themselves well enough to make good choices.  But it’s all about seeing you happy.  Remember that your Mom is trying her hardest to make that a reality.  I know, I’ve said that already, but it’s true.

Yes, this article probably took a different turn than you were expecting (Where’s my support to tell her to bug off!) but it’s all about perspective.  Sometimes you are going to feel like your parents are trying to make the wedding all about them, or like the wedding they never had.  Sometimes, they may.  But, 9 times out of 10, they are just trying to give you the dream wedding you want, and the day you all deserve.  It can be hard to remember to look at it from their angle, but take a deep breath, you can do it.  Be firm and flexible, be kind and patient, and be willing to let them help.  Once upon a time, their help was all you wanted in the world.

Tone it Up in tiny Steps

Lake Chelan Wedding. Bridesmaids in Blush mismatched dresses on
 

Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day.  But most of the engaged are so busy, working out comes last on their list of “must do’s” for the day.  You meant to workout out, you really did, but there are so many things that you’d rather do than sweat for the dress.  The good news is, there are little things you can do to give yourself a little boost without packing your gym bag.  You can take 30 seconds here, 5 minutes there and before you know it, you’re feeling (and seeing!) the change!

If you’re looking to tone up before the big day, I’ve got you, girl!

 

Sexy, Sleek Arms

With the enormous popularity of strapless dresses, toning up your arms is a must.  Here are a few simple moves you can do anytime.

Arm Circles: Shoulders, Back, Triceps, Biceps

Stand with your feet hip width, and your arms stretched to your sides.  Simply make 20 small circles backward, about the size of a grapefruit, then do the same forwards.  When you’re ready to push yourself harder, add a 2-3-pound weight in each hand.   

Shoulder Press: Shoulders, Triceps

Standing with feet under your hips, bring your weights up to your shoulders, with your elbows pointed out.  Raise your weights straight up, and bring back down.  Repeat 20 times; as you get stronger, increase your weights.  Resistance bands also work well, here. 

Tricep Push-Back, Triceps

No one actually likes working their triceps.  It’s such an unforgiving, tiny muscle, but when you’ve got them…you flaunt them.  Grab a light weight, stand with knees gently bent.  Lean over slightly, and bring the weights up to your pits, almost as if you were doing a curl.  Now, extend your arms back, lifting your arms straight behind you.  Return to the curl and repeat 20 times.  

Baby’s Got Back

If you sit at a desk all day, odds are your booty isn’t quite as, let us say, plump as it used to be.  It happens, but you can do something about it.

Stairs

An easy and equipment free option that burns calories without really going out of your way.  Take them two at a time, take them instead of the elevator, just take them.

Squats

No weights needed, gravity will do it for you.  Try two different versions.  The classic squat: Standing with your knees just wider than hip width, squat down, keeping your back straight, until your knees are at a 90-degree angle.  Stand up straight and repeat 20 times.  Sumo squat: with your feet spread slightly wider than before, turn your feet out.  Keeping your knees over your feet, squat down again to a 90-degree angle. Repeat as before.  The first squat will work your largest booty muscle; the second will work the small muscle on the sides.

Booty Kicks

Booty kicks work the last part of your booty that will give you that extra lift.  Rest on your hands and knees, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly

 

More Wedding Planning Tips

 

 

-FAQ's-

Copy of Town Hall White and gold reception at seabrook. candlelight

How would you describe your shooting style?

Timeless. Authentic. Emotional.

I strive to create the kind of art that you would hang on your wall, even if you aren't the bride & groom. My style reflects the reality of the moment. I am also a strong proponent of making my subjects feel beautiful. My style is more than editing, it's an experience that will leave you feeling stunning and  breathless. 

Copy of B. Jones Photography - Mukilteo Lighthouse Washington Ferry

In ordered to create beautiful "candid" photos that feel effortless and look flattering, I believe it is my job to do a bit of light positioning and tweaking. For example, as you are putting on your wedding dress, I'll pick a spot in the room that has the best light and tell you to look over your shoulder and lock eyes with your mom as she buttons the gown so that you two can have a moment. During the official "formal" section of the photos, I'll pick a location with lovely lighting and get you guys posed and give you prompts and adjustments so that you look natural, radiant and effortless. :) For the ceremony & reception, I take more of a photo journalistic approach and act as more of a "fly on the wall."

Copy of Seahawk vs Steelers Wedding

Where are you located?

I live in Snohomish which is just north of the Seattle area. 

Are you a seahawks fan?

Yes! But I mostly just enjoy getting dressed up & getting my buzz on with the hubby at the games.

What gear do you use?

I primarily shoot with a Nikon D750. However, I also keep a Nikon D700 on hand as a backup. The lenses in my bag are the 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 70-200mm 2.8, 24-70mm 2.8 and the 105mm 2.8. I also have a variety of professional lighting equipment. 

How many photographers will be at my wedding?

It depends on the wedding package you design. All wedding packages include me, B. Jones. An additional photographer may be added.

Our reception will be indoors and the ceremony may be as well... do you have experience shooting indoors without much natural lighting?


No problem! I'm super comfortable using off camera flash to create beautiful lighting when there is limited natural light. See examples.

How far in advance do we need to book your services?

I book up to 24 months in advance. I commission a limited number of weddings each year and many dates are full one year in advance. Once you have your venue booked, I would suggest booking your photographer immediately. 

What are your thoughts on fake eye lashes for the engagement session & wedding day?

YES! They really add a special something to photos and generally look pretty natural. 

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When will I receive my photos?

Engagement Session- within 2 weeks via an online gallery. 

Wedding Photos- within 30 days via an online gallery

2 months later you'll receive a USB with your wedding and engagement photos in a keepsake box.

How many photos will I receive?

You can expect to receive  approximately 60-70 "keeper" images per hour. 

Do you travel for destination weddings?

Yes! Yes! and YES! I love traveling and when I get the opportunity to travel and shoot a wedding at the same time, I'm in heaven. Most of the weddings that I am commissioned for are in Seattle, Snohomish & Bellingham. There is no travel fee for weddings within 60 miles of Marysville.

Do you have a preferred vendors list?

YES! Click here to access it. 

Have you been published?

Yes! Quite a few times. Here are a few of the most recent places I've been published.

Do you offer albums? 

I do! They can be purchased separately or as part of your wedding package. Check out the album page for more information. 

Are you on instagram?

I am! Come say hi! www.instagram.com/bjonesphotos

Copy of Love In Motion | A Ballet Inspired Wedding

IT’S YOUR WEDDING, RIGHT?

 

Dear Mom,

Thank you for being such a fantastic person and giving me all your love and support.  It really has meant the world to me.  That said, this is my wedding!  Please butt out!

Bri & Brian's Pike Place Market & Golden Garden Bath House Wedding

Our dear Mothers (and Fathers, too).  They have given so much of themselves and so much of their love, to help us grow into the men and women we become.  We owe them gratitude beyond compare.  They stayed up all night when we were sick, let us crawl in bed when we were scared, shuttled us to ballet and soccer and sleepovers.  They cooked meal after meal and washed our dirty laundry without (much) complaint.  They deal with going from being the center of your world to someone who has to almost beg you to call.  It’s a rough transition.  

Then you get engaged.  It’s Mom’s opportunity to dive back in and help you plan everything and enlist the help of all your aunts and cousins.  She’s got all of this planned out for you already.  After all, she’s been dreaming about it since she found out you were a little zygote.  Oh, that wasn’t your plan?

You can plan your wedding with your parents in mind, and still keep it your own.  It’s a bit of a balancing act and requires a little finesse, but it doesn’t need to be painful.

Lake Whatcom Waterfront Tent Wedding. Pablo and Emily. Bellingham Wedding Photographer

Make it fun

Barring the occasional, extremely bossy, controlling mother, all Mom really wants to do is spend time with you and make sure your wedding is the best it can be.  So, make it a date.  Go out together for pie or a mimosa brunch and talk about your ideas together and expectations.  Bring some of your inspirational photos (you know you already have a Pinterest, board, c’mon) and give Mom an idea of what your style is.  You can discuss what parts are DIY and she can figure out what you may not have considered and how she can help.  Moms are wired to try and help their kids, and planning the wedding is the coup de gras. 

Bri & Brian's Pike Place Market & Golden Garden Bath House Wedding

Be firm but flexible

This is an overall rule for all things wedding related.  You’ve had YEARS to dream of your wedding.  Nothing is going to go exactly as you initially dreamed it would, but you should fight for the things that are truly important to you.  Your relationship with your Mom and the wedding should be the same way.  Have a good idea of how many guests you want, so when you ask your parents for their preferred guest list, you can give them a number.  Have an idea of where you want to get married, so they know that plays into everything as well.  This is especially important for destination weddings.  Know for sure what your feelings are on wearing Grandma’s wedding dress or Mom’s veil.  If it’s not your thing, you’ll need to know how to kindly let Mom know.  Basically, when you and Mom are chatting, things are going to go much smoother if you have considered what it is you value most in your day.  That all goes a little easier over dessert and bubbly.

Watercolor & wallpaper wedding inspiration shoot

Give her a duty

I’ll keep saying it, Moms just want to help.  Give her a large responsibility that she can work on, and one that you don’t mind having less say in.  Maybe you let her scout caterers and set up some tastings for you to try.  Fiancé doesn’t care about the icing of the cake? Bring Mom.  Guest favors not really up your alley?  I bet your Mom has helped make hundreds of DIY guest favors in the past and could do them in her sleep.  Better yet, take your Mom’s specific talents into consideration and find a way for her to create the favor.  She could make pints of her blackberry jam, bottles of chipotle hot sauce or hand cut soap.  Can you imagine how special that would make her feel?  Give her some ideas or set her loose.  And be sure to thank her for it when you are enjoying it.  

Seattle Wedding Photographer | snohomish wedding photographer | Pacific Northwest Wedding | Bellingham Wedding Photographer | Woordinville Wedding Photographer | Lake Chelan Wedding PHotographer | Orcas Island Wedding Photographer | San Juan Island WEdding PHotographer | B. Jones Photography www.bjonesphotos.com Fine Art Wedding. Authentic. Affordable. Award winning. Best in the northwest

Remember that that's the way it goes

It’s not like your Mom is greedy and needs to plan multiple weddings.  Years ago, your Mom planned her wedding, too.  She had her dream cake in mind, her dress was going to be laced up the back, it’d all happen at the ballroom on the pier.  Except, guess who was right there offering her two-bits whenever possible – Grandma. It’s kind of a rite of passage into your later years, tradition if you will.  If you have your own children someday, you will dream of their wedding day, too.  It won’t happen exactly the way you dream, and it won’t matter.  All that will matter is that they are happy.  You’ll of course hope that they’ve chosen their partner well, that their marriage will be solid and strong, that they know themselves well enough to make good choices.  But it’s all about seeing you happy.  Remember that your Mom is trying her hardest to make that a reality.  I know, I’ve said that already, but it’s true.

 

Yes, this article probably took a different turn than you were expecting (Where’s my support to tell her to bug off!) but it’s all about perspective.  Sometimes you are going to feel like your parents are trying to make the wedding all about them, or like the wedding they never had.  Sometimes, they may.  But, 9 times out of 10, they are just trying to give you the dream wedding you want, and the day you all deserve.  It can be hard to remember to look at it from their angle, but take a deep breath, you can do it.  Be firm and flexible, be kind and patient, and be willing to let them help.  Once upon a time, their help was all you wanted in the world.