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Spring Wedding at Chihuly Garden & Glass

These clients married in a medieval chapel on a private estate just outside Seattle. They wanted the chapel to have a dreamy, forest feel and I had an amazing time dreaming up the altar installation of  Japanese snowbell, privet, foxglove and clematis. By contrast, the Chihuly Glass museum is bright and airy with a huge glass poppy installation. This was the biggest set up we’ve ever had to do in a two hour window and I tried to keep that in mind with the event design as it was easy to get carried away with the greenhouse theme. We brought in potted vine maples and soft seating, created a custom bar backdrop and hanging plants to decorate the tented courtyard. I designed three styles of tables and a greenhouse inspired dessert table backdrop complete with custom 5′ wide laser cut monogram and trailing moss and orchids. The florals were filled with garden roses, mock orange, ranunculus, peonies and kumquats.  Italian poppies in sherbet shades added a pop of color and served to incorporate the infamous Chihuly glass installation.  Photography by Stephanie Cristalli with assistance by Jenn Tai. Event design, styling and floral by Finch & Thistle Event Design.

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Published: Cover Story at Seattle Met Bride & Groom

Last week I had possibly the most exciting trip to QFC with baby in tow *ever* when I spotted my work on the cover of my favorite wedding magazine – Seattle Metropolitan Bride & Groom. I was asked to create a mostly white bridal bouquet for a color story in the latest issue, but I had no idea until I saw it in person that the editor had picked that shot for the cover.

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Ornella and Lucas’ wedding this August at The Corson Building was definitely one of my favorite weddings to date. Ornella wanted an intimate, stylish and fun dinner party for 60 of their closest friends and family with no detail too small to be overlooked and an overall feeling of modern, casual elegance. Together, she and I chose a bold and vibrant color scheme of navy, burgundy, blush and gold while her planner, Katie Aweida of Wonderstruck Event Design, brought in fabulous bulb-lit initials, romantic soft seating, sweet cashmere wraps and a stacked cigar bar. We worked with Sally Balt at La Happy to create a stunning burgundy and gold foil invitation suite including gold and navy place cards in Sally’s signature calligraphy. We draped the clear top tent with gorgeous garlands and created a hanging ombre installation for the ceremony and dessert display. The navy linen runners contrasted with a dupioni silk blush napkin and strings of gold sequins were an unexpected touch in place of ribbon. We created ombre burgundy-palest blush arrangements overflowing with garden roses, herbs, bay leaves and raspberries – a nod to the couples’ family restaurants (Un Bien ) and history in the Seattle food world. We contested an enormous storm the day of the wedding with the tent threatening to take off in the gale force winds and the tent sides coming undone and knocking over the chairs and tabletop decor. It was a stressful setup but the end result was glamorous and beautiful as the couple celebrated their evening ceremony and reception during a serendipitous break in the weather and photographer Kristen Marie Parker captured the festive mood perfectly.

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Venue and Catering: The Corson Building | Planning and Design: Wonderstruck Event Design | Art Direction, Florals and Styling: Finch & Thistle Event Design | Photography: Kristen Marie Photography | Invitations, Stationery and Calligraphy: LaHappy | Desserts: Tallant House | Vintage Rentals: Vintage Ambiance | Tables: Seattle Farm Tables | Video: Shark Pig Productions | Hair and Makeup: Pacific Brides | Cigar Bar: Rain City Cigars

I absolutely loved working with Hanna and Brian to plan and design their Washington Athletic Club wedding last summer and it was so fun to relive the memories of this classic and elegant wedding when it was published by Seattle Bride. Like many of my clients, Hanna and Brian live out of state so we collaborated on their wedding remotely and with a few in-person meetings to make site visits and round out the details. For such a large, formal wedding, it truly felt like a family affair: Hanna and Brian’s high school best friend made the stunning cake and macarons, Hanna’s cousin is the photographer who shot the wedding, a friend of theirs provided the Tesla for the getaway car, and her mom collaborated with me on many of the small details such as the portrait display for the escort cards and the fun confetti shower surprise during the first dance.

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seattle event designer floral weddings seattle event designer floral weddings seattle event designer floral weddings finch_thistle_hanna_brian_WAC_29 seattle event designer floral weddings seattle event designer floral weddings Here’s how Hanna described their day…

“Our wedding really showcased local and national vendors. Our photographers captured the natural beauty of summer in Seattle and the love in the air on our wedding day. My cousin Lindsey is a phenomenal photographer with her teammate Leah, both based in Austin, TX. Our close friend and professional baker from Midori Bakery made our 5 tiered carrot cake topped with gorgeous sugar flowers and our wedding favor macaroons. People are still raving about them! The wedding planning, florals, and decor were done beautifully by Rachel Bowes of Finch and Thistle Event Design. We would highly recommend all of our vendors to future brides! The Washington Athletic Club handled our group flawlessly and we all felt at ease!

The whole day felt like a fairy-tale. Traditional details included my fiance and I seeing each other for the first time when I walked down the aisle with my father, I used the gold pocket watch my late grandfather gave me to wrap my bouquet and I hand-sewed my own chapel length veil. Modern touches included the white Tesla electric car that drove us from our church to the reception, our first dance song was “All of Me” by John Legend, and our final dance was”Magic” by Coldplay while surprise confetti fell onto the dance floor. Looking back, we wouldn’t change a thing!”

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Photography: The Life You Love Photography | Planning, Floral, Event Design: Finch & Thistle Event Design | Wedding Dress: Watters |Bridesmaid Dresses: J Crew |Wedding Cake & Macarons: Midori Bakery | Groom’s Attire: Vera Wang |Linens (via F&T): La Tavola| Ceremony Venue: Villa Academy Chapel |Reception Venue: Washington Athletic Club | DJ: Mack Long 

One of my dearest friends recently asked me to design her 50th birthday party which would take place at TASTE at the Seattle Art Museum. The one caveat? It was in a week’s time (wedding season had *all* of us distracted). So I got to work choosing linens and a color scheme to fit the restaurant’s eclectic but soft decor and Stephanie’s elegant and feminine style. There would be an entirely female guest list for this dinner party and Stephanie wanted to show all of her friends how special they were to her as she celebrated this milestone in her life. I think we achieved that goal when the lovely new friend sitting next to me at dinner turned to me and said, “Wow. This is so so beautiful. I feel like we are being really spoiled and taken care of. What a treat to sit at a fancy dinner table and not have to do the cooking or the cleaning up!” I felt the same way. Happy Happy Birthday, Steph! I so admire and am grateful for your kindness and generosity, your fun loving spirit, and your sense of adventure. Here’s to 50 more birthdays!

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Elegant Washington Farm Wedding

Audrey wanted her Washington State barn wedding to have a loose Marie Antoinette theme and I loved the idea of contrasting the rustic farm venue with a gilded, ballroom design scheme. To achieve this, we employed a mix of rented vintage pieces – old clocks, jewelry boxes, packets of antique love letters, a French barn ladder, and art déco pottery with lush, organic florals in luxe gold urns. Gold rimmed plates, chargers and Chiviari chairs added to the ballroom look while stunning La Tavola linens added a final touch of elegance. This lovely wedding was featured on Style Me Pretty last week – you can see the full gallery of images from Coco Tran here.garden rose bridal bouquetjuliet garden rose garden rose bouquet pink and gold wedding washington_farm_wedding_finch_thistle_event_design_03 blush pink bridesmaid dresses

The garden inspired florals included local garden roses and dahlias, fresh blueberry branches, clematis, Annabelle hydrangea and Kent Beauty oregano. A sprig of rosemary at each place setting added a fragrant touch.washington_farm_wedding_finch_thistle_event_design_28 washington_farm_wedding_finch_thistle_event_design_18washington_farm_wedding_finch_thistle_event_design_06 washington_farm_wedding_finch_thistle_event_design_26 washington_farm_wedding_finch_thistle_event_design_05Guests wandered around the farm visiting the various resident animals and then took their seats for the ceremony on rustic wooden benches as Audrey and David were married under a metal arch covered in peach, blush and green blooms.

washington_farm_wedding_finch_thistle_event_design_20 washington_farm_wedding_finch_thistle_event_design_07 bride and groom chairs gold placesettings la tavola linens washington_farm_wedding_finch_thistle_event_design_27 elegant wedding washington_farm_wedding_finch_thistle_event_design_12 table styling washington_farm_wedding_finch_thistle_event_design_32washington_farm_wedding_finch_thistle_event_design_09washington_farm_wedding_finch_thistle_event_design_10gold urn centerpiece tallant house gold and pink cake washington_farm_wedding_finch_thistle_event_design_13Photography: Coco Tran | Floral & Event Design: Finch And Thistle Event Design | Day-of Coordination: Lovely Events | Wedding Dress: Custom Made | Wedding Cake & Desserts: Tallant House | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Caterer: A Grand Affaire | Calligraphy:La Happy | Venue: Red Cedar Farm | Vintage Rentals: Vintage Ambiance

Santa Barbara Natural History Museum Wedding

Planning and designing last fall’s wedding at the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum was a project very close to my heart because it was my sister’s wedding. Over the course of a year, I made several trips down to California to check out the venue, source linens and rentals and play around with props and flowers. It was so fun to collaborate with my sister since I knew her taste so well and because we like so many of the same things. The result – a beautiful day with eclectic Southwestern, natural history inspired rentals and tablescapes combined with pinks, yellows and coral blooms and anchored by the acorns and oak leaves that fill the grounds of the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum.

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Coral, Peach + Pink Lake Union Yacht Club Wedding

We had the pleasure of both designing and coordinating Edwina and Jesse’s Lake Union Yacht Club wedding. Edwina wore her mother’s 1960’s wedding dress so I designed a modern version of the traditional cascade bouquet with amazingly fragrant local garden roses and sweet peas with the vintage dress in mind.  It was a truly beautiful summer day in Seattle – still 75 degrees when the newlyweds sailed away at twilight on a 40 foot yacht. The gorgeous cake was by Honeycrumb Cake Studio, the whimsical calligraphy was by Iwona Konarski, and these lovely images are courtesy of The Popes.

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finch and thistle, seattle event designer, floral design, blush, goldNikki was a dream bride to work with on the design of her August wedding at Everett Golf and Country Club. From the very beginning, we were on exactly the same page with the design style she requested: an elegant ballroom style wedding in blush, peach and gold with whimsical, Anthropologie inspired touches.

They say that planning a wedding takes a village (don’t they?) and this was no exception. The team that Nikki and I assembled to pull this off was some of the best of the best. Courtney Bowlden is responsible for all the beautiful photography, J + B Video produced a fabulous wedding video, and Judy Tallant at Tallant House worked with me to design the dessert table. The linens are La Tavola, the vintage pieces came from Vintage Ambiance, the favors are Theo Chocolates and the gorgeous programs and calligraphy are La Happy.

finch and thistle, seattle event designer, floral design, blush, gold finch and thistle, seattle event designer, floral design, blush, gold finch and thistle, seattle event designer, floral design, blush, goldMajor thanks are due to my wonderful team on this particular wedding. A woman down due to illness, terrible game day traffic, unexpected hot weather and floating flower mechanics made the setup on this a little more hectic than I had anticipated and still we got everything done with time to spare and calm demeanors all around.

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Published: Once Wed Lavender Shoot

finch and thistle, bryce covey photography, seattle weddingAll the way back in July, Bryce Covey and I ventured out to Sequim on Washington’s Olympic Peninsular to create a styled shoot inspired by Sequim’s beautiful lavender fields. Today that shoot is featured on Once Wed and I am so honored to see some of my work alongside the illustrious stylist Joy Thigpen’s!

seattle wedding designer rachel bowesfinch and thistle, bryce covey photography, seattle weddingI wanted to keep the décor soft and simple to complement and not distract from the stunning setting of the lavender farm so I chose a color palette of sage green, white, lilac and a faded orange. To decorate the beautiful rustic cake table I created a floral runner with a garland of seeded eucalyptus and worked in purple scabiosa, garden roses, sweet peas and lavender to add some color. I added antique English vinegar bottles and vintage lavender glass from my personal collection for texture and height and draped the runner into a Provencale market basket.

finch and thistle, bryce covey photography, seattle weddingfinch and thistle, bryce covey photography, seattle wedding finch and thistle, bryce covey photography, seattle weddingfinch and thistle, bryce covey photography, seattle weddingfinch and thistle, bryce covey photography, seattle weddingI created several bridal bouquets for this shoot. Simple single arrangements of lavender and creeping oregano kept the look very simple and elegant and would be a perfect choice for bridesmaids or flower girls, whereas the bride’s bouquet was an organic mix of cream and faded orange garden roses, papery soft lilac scabiosa, sage, lavender and creeping oregano with purple nepeta (or catmint) and astilbe from my own garden. Some salmon berry leaves and seeded eucalyptus added texture.

finch and thistle, bryce covey photography, seattle weddingfinch and thistle, bryce covey photography, seattle weddingThe sweet lavender-lemon vegan cake by Kerissa Bakes was garnished simply with stems of fresh lavender on top of the rough white buttercream icing and displayed on a scalloped white cake platter from Rosanna.

finch and thistle, bryce covey photography, seattle weddingfinch and thistle, bryce covey photography, seattle weddingfinch and thistle, bryce covey photography, seattle weddingfinch and thistle, bryce covey photography, seattle weddingfinch and thistle, bryce covey photography, seattle weddingfinch and thistle, bryce covey photography, seattle weddingPhotography: Bryce Covey Photography | Floral and Event Design: Finch & Thistle Event Design | Location: Martha Lane Lavender Farm, Sequim, WA | Cake: Kerissa Bakes | Model: Erika at Seattle Models Guild | Hair and Makeup: Swink Style Bar

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