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Real Wedding

Puget Sound Backyard Wedding: Ashley & Leah

Anna Simonak Photography

June 25, 2016

Ashley and Leah met on the internet. Leah had recently given up on meeting humans in the real world, and reluctantly built a profile on a dating website. After a few weeks, she landed on a profile that she’d thought she’d clicked on already, but had apparently just repeatedly overlooked. So, she sent the first message, which turned into an email exchange, which turned into a coffee date.

They met at an Italian bakery. Neither one thought that the other was too weird! The bakery was closing early that afternoon, so after getting kicked out, Ashley and Leah went for a walk, the hung out at a book store rearranging books that were shelved out of order until they had to part ways.

Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography

Ashley proposed first when Leah was least expecting it: Saturday morning, Halloween, while both of them were on the couch in their pajamas. She cleverly disguised her intentions by pretending she was belatedly passing along a gift that a friend of theirs had purchased for Leah in South Korea. The gift–a small jewelry box–turned out to contain the proposal, written out on small notecards that were placed inside the four drawers inside the box. Leah was a little slow to catch on to what was happening, but figured it out when Ashley got down on one knee and pulled a custom-made, dragon-shaped engagement ring out of her pajama pocket.

Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography

Not to be outdone in the surprise proposals department, Leah waited about a month before making her move. She purchased a hollow book done up to look like a Defense Against the Dark Arts textbook (Ashley loves Harry Potter) and hid a watch inside the compartment. She then brought it home and told Ashley that somebody at work had given the book away. When Ashley tried to open the book, she found her engagement gift instead! Of course, it’s possible that she felt cheated out of getting to read a Defense Against the Dark Arts textbook…

Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography

The wedding was hosted by Ashley’s parents, who offered the use of their house in Gig Harbor as a venue. Leah and Ashley had been looking into venues and what they would cost, and getting to use the house took a great deal of pressure off right off the bat.

Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography

The planning was an interesting journey. Leah and Ashley went from “We don’t have to pick a date right now, it’s just nice to be engaged” to “LET’S PLAN EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW” in about the space of a day. They made a list of tasks to do each month (referred to as the Wedding Quest List) and started methodically burning through it. By the end of November, they had their venue, photographer, preliminary menu, guest list, invitations, and a dressmaker for Leah. After another month, they decided where Ashley would be getting her suit.

Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography

Part of their adventure included visiting several stores together to choose the used books they needed to construct their table centerpieces. Both of them love to read, so each table had a genre theme. Books, Pop! figures, and themed rubber stamps were searched out and assembled over the course of a few months.

Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography

Ashley made all of the cupcakes herself! (Okay, with some help from a friend and from Leah’s mom.) After months of testing Ashley and Leah decided on recipes for four varieties of cupcakes: German chocolate, red velvet, limoncello, and champagne vanilla. In addition, Ashley’s parents made all of the non-dessert food for the reception. It was pretty amazing having all of the food prepared in-house by family.

Anna Simonak Photography
Anna Simonak Photography

One favorite detail was having their guests choose books to take home. In lieu of wedding favors, Ashley and Leah invited their guests to take books from the centerpieces when they left. They didn’t have many books left by the end of the evening.

Their LGBTQ-Friendly Vendors

Photographer: Anna Simonak Photography // Shoes: Chelsea Crew // Dress Store: Luly Yang Couture

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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