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Cultural wedding traditions

Photo by Radley Muller Photography Most modern brides place a high value on a wedding that’s personal and one of a kind. Incorporating a tradition from your own cultural heritage or, if done with respect, another culture, can be a beautiful way to infuse a little extra personal meaning into your wedding ceremony. These cultural wedding ceremonies can be easily integrated into your own wedding.Australia: An Australian tradition is the unity bowl. For this, guests hold small stones through the wedding ceremony and at the end place them in a decorative bowl, which the couple keeps in their home to remind them of the support of their loved ones.France: In France, the …
Most modern brides place a high value on a wedding that’s personal and one of a kind. Incorporating a tradition from your own cultural heritage or, if done with respect, another culture, can be a beautiful way to infuse a little extra personal meaning into your wedding ceremony. 

These cultural wedding ceremonies can be easily integrated into your own wedding.

Australia: An Australian tradition is the unity bowl. For this, guests hold small stones through the wedding ceremony and at the end place them in a decorative bowl, which the couple keeps in their home to remind them of the support of their loved ones.

France: In France, the groom traditionally picks up the bride at her home and walks her to the ceremony. Children block their path holding white ribbons which the bride must cut to symbolize overcoming obstacles in marriage.

Greece: Part of the Greek wedding ceremony is for the bride and groom to take their first walk as a married couple around the altar three times to symbolize the trinity.

Japan: Japanese couples honor their parents at their ceremony with a toast, flowers or a letter expressing their thanks and love.

Israel: Jewish couples traditionally marry under a chuppah, a canopy that is believed to protect the bride and groom from evil spirits.

Mexico: As part of a Mexican wedding ceremony, the priest wraps a rosary, chain of flowers or rope in a figure eight around the couple’s necks as a representation of eternal unity.

Nigeria: Yoruba couples from Nigeria and Benin traditionally sample the four elements of taste: vinegar for bitter, lemon for sour, cayenne for hot and honey for sweet. These elements represent marriage’s ups and downs, always ending with sweet.

Sweden: Customarily Swedish brides carry coins in their shoes. They carry a silver coin from their father in their left shoe and a gold coin from their mother in their right shoe. The coins are to ensure that she will never go without.

Wales: Welsh brides carry myrtle in their bouquets as a symbol of love, and traditionally give a cutting of myrtle to their bridesmaids to plant. If one of the bridesmaid’s cutting blooms, she will soon marry.
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Engagement Shoot: Allison and Garrett

Allison and Garrett's island engagement photos by Kelsey Michelle Photography are lovely and so much fun! They even made a cute little friend. See their story below the photos. Photographer: Kelsey Barnwell, Kelsey Michelle Photography Session Date: 5/10/2016Session Location: Friday Harbor, San Juan Island / Lime Kiln State Park Their Story: They cuddled tightly together as the Samish ferry burst though the waters surrounding the Pacific Northwest’s picturesque San Juan Islands. The sky was clear and the air was filled with anticipation as Allison Byerly and Garrett Abbey dove head first into their Adventure Engagement Shoot with Kelsey …
Allison and Garrett's island engagement photos by Kelsey Michelle Photography are lovely and so much fun! They even made a cute little friend. See their story below the photos.
Photographer: Kelsey Barnwell, Kelsey Michelle Photography 
Session Date: 5/10/2016
Session Location: Friday Harbor, San Juan Island / Lime Kiln State Park
 
Their Story: 
They cuddled tightly together as the Samish ferry burst though the waters surrounding the Pacific Northwest’s picturesque San Juan Islands. The sky was clear and the air was filled with anticipation as Allison Byerly and Garrett Abbey dove head first into their Adventure Engagement Shoot with Kelsey Michelle Photography.
 
Allison and Garrett met four years ago though a mutual friend…only after Allison pestered them to introduce her to this guy Garrett. He was tall, dark and handsome, and with his quick wit and his beaming smile, Allison was immediately smitten. The attraction was instant for Garrett as well, and after cleverly and underhandedly asking for her phone number, the rest, as they say…was history.
 
An adventure engagement shoot on San Juan Island was a perfect choice for this energetic couple. With the incredible wildlife, chill atmosphere, and unique bars and restaurants in Friday Harbor, this location was right up their alley.  
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Engagement Shoot: Rhiannon and Jesse

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Etiquette lessons: Wedding invitations

PHRASINGEntire chapters have been written on the intricacies of invitation phrasing, so if your situation is atypical or you have a specific question, be sure to do some additional research. The below information should work for most traditional family dynamics. If your parents are paying: “Timothy and Jeanne Smith request the honour of your presence* at the marriage of their daughter Rachel Smith to Andrew McCall.”If you are paying: “Rachel Smith and Andrew McCall, along with their parents, Timothy and Jeanne Smith and Gregory and Rebecca McCall, request the pleasure of your company* at their marriage.”*Note: “Request the honour of your …
PHRASING
Entire chapters have been written on the intricacies of invitation phrasing, so if your situation is atypical or you have a specific question, be sure to do some additional research. The below information should work for most traditional family dynamics. 

If your parents are paying: 
“Timothy and Jeanne Smith request the honour of your presence* at the marriage of their daughter Rachel Smith to Andrew McCall.”

If you are paying: 
“Rachel Smith and Andrew McCall, along with their parents, Timothy and Jeanne Smith and Gregory and Rebecca McCall, request the pleasure of your company* at their marriage.”

*Note: “Request the honour of your presence” (with the British spelling) indicates a church ceremony. “Request the pleasure of your company” is appropriate for ceremonies held anywhere else.
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Real Weddings: Cory and Chad

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Whatcom Falls Styled Shoot

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Real Weddings: Jamie and Brian

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Resources for obtaining a marriage license – Northwest Washington

Photo by Radley Muller Photography Both applicants must provide photo ID that proves they are at least 18 years of age, or provide the required consent forms (contact your county auditor for details).In Washington state, your marriage license is not valid until three days after you have signed the application and paid the license fee. The license is then valid for 60 days.​Witnesses are not necessary to apply for a license.ISLAND COUNTYLicense fee: $56Island County Auditor’s Office: 1 NE 7th Street, Coupeville, WA 98239Phone: 360/240-5540Website: wei.sos.wa.gov/county/islandEmail: s.crider@co.island.wa.usHours: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.SKAGIT …
Both applicants must provide photo ID that proves they are at least 18 years of age, or provide the required consent forms (contact your county auditor for details).

In Washington state, your marriage license is not valid until three days after you have signed the application and paid the license fee. The license is then valid for 60 days.

Witnesses are not necessary to apply for a license.


ISLAND COUNTY
License fee: $56
Island County Auditor’s Office: 1 NE 7th Street, Coupeville, WA 98239
Phone: 360/240-5540
Website: wei.sos.wa.gov/county/island
Email: s.crider@co.island.wa.us
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.


SKAGIT COUNTY
License fee: $60, cash only
Skagit County Auditor’s Office: Administration Building, Room 201, 700 S. 2nd Street, Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Phone: 360/416-1704
Email: scauditor@co.skagit.wa.us
Website: skagitcounty.net/Departments/Auditor/marriage.htm
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.


SAN JUAN COUNTY
Online applications available at: sanjuanco.com/auditor/MarriageLicense
License fee: $60
San Juan County Courthouse, First Floor: 350 Court Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Phone: 360/378-2161
Email: auditor@sanjuanco.com
Website: co.san-juan.wa.us/auditor/marriage.aspx
Hours: Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.


SNOHOMISH COUNTY
License fee: $64
Snohomish County Auditor’s Office: 3000 Rockefeller Avenue, M/S 204, Everett, WA 98201
Phone: 425/388-3483
Website: snohomishcountywa.gov/294/Marriage
Email: contact.recording@snoco.org
Hours: Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m.–noon and 1–5 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m.–noon and 1–4 p.m.


WHATCOM COUNTY
Online applications available at: recording.whatcomcounty.us/Marriage
License fee: $59
Whatcom County Auditor’s Office Recording Division: 311 Grand Avenue, Suite 103, Bellingham, WA 98225
Phone: 360/778-5100
Website: co.whatcom.wa.us/214/Marriage-Licenses
Email: recording@co.whatcom.wa.us
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
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Engagement shoot: Jennifer and Daniel

Jennifer and Daniel's beach engagement shoot, photographed by Lily and Lane Photography, celebrates their personality as a couple. And what a sweet couple they are! The photographer says: Jennifer and Daniel are getting married this December at Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse, and came over from Vancouver, B.C., to have their engagement session on the island as well. Since Jennifer has family in Victoria, we scheduled their engagement session to coincide with a preplanned trip to the island at the beginning of December. As you know, winter weather in the Pacific Northwest isn’t always conducive to outdoor photos, and it ended up being so windy and rainy on …
Jennifer and Daniel's beach engagement shoot, photographed by Lily and Lane Photography, celebrates their personality as a couple. And what a sweet couple they are!
The photographer says: Jennifer and Daniel are getting married this December at Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse, and came over from Vancouver, B.C., to have their engagement session on the island as well. Since Jennifer has family in Victoria, we scheduled their engagement session to coincide with a preplanned trip to the island at the beginning of December. As you know, winter weather in the Pacific Northwest isn’t always conducive to outdoor photos, and it ended up being so windy and rainy on our original session date that had to postpone. Luckily, Jennifer and Daniel were coming back to the island for Christmas so we rescheduled for later in the month and the weather decided to cooperate. In fact, despite the grey skies, it only started pouring rain after our session ended.

Initially, Jennifer and Daniel wanted to have their engagement photos taken in one of Victoria’s inland parks; however, the stormy weather at the beginning of December convinced them that the beach might be a more
dynamic location. I put forward two suggestions – one urban location and Island View Beach, a coastal regional park with a more naturalized look. Jennifer and Daniel decided Island View Beach would be the perfect spot,
and not only did we have the park’s natural beauty as our backdrop, we also got to use pre-existing driftwood structures that other visitors had made and left standing on the beach.

When we started the session, I told Jennifer and Daniel that my goal wasn'’t just to make sure they had engagement photos that they love, but ones that reflect them and who they are as a couple. I want them to be
able to look at their photos and remember their engagement session as fun and comfortable, and I think we achieved that. Jennifer and Daniel wear their love for each other openly; you can see and feel it when you’re
around them, and it shines through in their photos.

Location: Island View Beach Regional Park, Central Saanich, B.C.
Photographer: Lily and Lane Photography
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What you'll really remember: Brides' favorite moments

Photo by David Clumpner Photography Photo by MCD Photography While in the midst of planning, it’s easy to think it would be a disaster if you didn’t get your DIY favors finished, or if your florist couldn’t source your favorite flower. But when you ask brides what they really remember – their favorite moments from their wedding – you’ll find it’s the simple things that really matter:“We had a first look, but it was only for me. My husband wore a blindfold and I got to see him. That probably was my favorite memory from the entire day because it was finally happening.” – Elizabeth M.“Making s’mores on the beach at the …
Brides' favorite wedding memories | Photo by MCD PhotographyPhoto by MCD Photography
While in the midst of planning, it’s easy to think it would be a disaster if you didn’t get your DIY favors finished, or if your florist couldn’t source your favorite flower. But when you ask brides what they really remember – their favorite moments from their wedding – you’ll find it’s the simple things that really matter:

“We had a first look, but it was only for me. My husband wore a blindfold and I got to see him. That probably was my favorite memory from the entire day because it was finally happening.” – Elizabeth M.

“Making s’mores on the beach at the end of the night with my husband.” – Jennifer M.

“Afterward at dinner when I realized I had no idea what the decorations at the ceremony looked like, because all I could see was him. It reminded me why I got married.” – Nikki B.

“We rode our tandem bike around and through our crowd of guests after the ceremony and pictures. It was a perfect and very fun moment that broke up all the formal wedding must-dos and transitioned our evening into party time!” – Karli M.

“All of it was amazing. I guess I’d say after everything was done, sitting on the beach that night with my closest friends and family at the resort. It was a simple moment but it was when I realized I was married and all these wonderful people love me so much they flew across the country to be with me on my day! It was the moment I had everyone I’m closest to in one spot at one time and we all got to relax by the beach with a drink in our hand. We got to forget about life and just enjoy the moment.” – Jenna M.

“Waiting to walk down the aisle, with my 9-year-old son giving me away.” – Rebecca M.

“When my husband played his acoustic guitar for everyone and got to have his own mini concert.” – Emily E.

“Oh, that’s a tough one. I think probably after it was all said and done, taking pause over the teamwork of pulling the hundreds of bobby pins out of my hair to realize, ‘Whoa. We got married today,’ (and survived)!” – Larissa J.


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