I met Mari my freshman year at TCU. We danced together many times as ballet and modern dance majors, and we spent a lot of time in the Pilates room together during our junior and senior years. Now Mari lives with her husband her hometown of Seattle, and working as a Pilates instructor.
Mari and Joel married on July 25, 2009 at the Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle, Washington. About 130 guests attended their outdoor ceremony where a classical guitarist accompanied the processionals and Mari’s cousin’s performed Coldplay’s “Kingdom Come.”
Mari wore a white, strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline and a rhinestone brooch at the center. “It was chiffon and had a small train. I wore a veil with tiny rhinestones around the edges to match the bling on the dress and the shoes were low, wedge sandals covered in rhinestones as well.”
Joel and his four groomsmen wore black tuxes, brown vests, and black Converse hi-tops while the girls wore knee-length strapless dresses in chocolate with white ribbons around the waist. They wore pearl necklaces, but, like the boys, they kept their feet casual in flip flops!
The bridal bouquet contained green hydrangeas, white calla lilies and light pink roses, and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were a variation on this as well. Mari and her bridesmaids also carried parasols to shield them from the summer sun.
After the ceremony, guests attended an outdoor cocktail reception where they ate passed hors d’ouevres including crabcakes and fresh spring rolls. After cocktail hour, guests enjoyed the indoor/outdoor reception, with white and green paper lanterns hanging both inside and outside, and bright and fresh flowers decorating the tables. They served dinner buffet style. “We had two dinner choices: grilled salmon with huckleberry sauce or beef tenderloin with carmelized onions. There were also potatoes, summer salad with berries, and grilled asparagus. We had a tiered cupcake cake for dessert!”
The bride and groom had a very special first dance. “Our first dance was “Better Together” by Jack Johnson. Joel posted the lyrics to this song on his livejournal the day after we started dating.”
When I asked about their entertainment Mari was ecstatic, “We had a deejay at the reception, and he ROCKED! It was seriously the most fun dance party I’ve ever been to in my life!”
Like most brides, the highlight of Mari’s day was “seeing Joel when he first saw me in my dress!” She wouldn’t change anything about the day, but she admits that “I did get a cupcake with green frosting smashed in my face by Joel’s mischievous best man. It’s all good though, because we got some great, funny photos!”
Mari and Joel say the kept their budget “for the most part,” but adds this advice to future brides: “I would suggest not putting down a deposit on catering or food until you have actually tasted it. We learned this the hard way (before the wedding luckily!) and had to find another caterer later in the process. The second caterer was AMAZING, though!!!”
And, as her last piece of advice to brides, she says this, “Relax on the day of the wedding. Things will happen that you didn’t necessarily plan for but you just have to go with it. After it’s all over you’ll wish you could go back and relive all the fun things again so soak it in while you can!!!!”