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I had the true pleasure of photographing Jen and Kyle’s Trinity Tree Farm Wedding in Issaquah, Washington a couple of months ago. This wedding marked my first associate photography booking for 2016 for Joanna Monger Photography.

What is an associate photographer you ask? Most local Seattle Wedding Photographers are sole proprietors or work as say a husband & wife duo. They shoot the weddings they book themselves. An associate photographer is someone who shoots a wedding for another photography company and is the primary photographer for the day. A contractor if you will.

From the beginning, Jen’s beautiful smile lit up the day. This girl has the best smile and you can’t help but be happy around her. Kyle on the other hand never stopped smiling…oh wait that’s the same! The two of them were so happy all day it was infectious.

Just look at Kyle’s face when he saw Jen as she walked down the aisle. What a moment. (They chose to not do a first look before their ceremony.) And from that second on, they never took their eyes off each other.

After their ceremony and a cocktail hour for the guests while we did bride and groom portraits, Jen and Kyle entered their reception in grand fashion, followed by a wonderful dinner with BBQ.

The evening rounded out with touching toasts from their bridal party and families, lovely dances with each other and their parents and cake cutting. Then the party kicked off and it was dance central. Jen, Kyle and their family and friends hit the dance floor and the party never stopped.

At the end of the reception, the DJ played their first dance song one more time and asked all of their guests to gather around them in a group hug, to embrace this new married couple with their love and celebration. It was quite touching and I found myself tearing up at what that means and what I can imagine it felt like to be them at that moment. Then off they dashed through a sea of sparklers.

Special thanks go out to my 2nd photographer for the day, Brian David Casey, and to Joanna Monger for trusting me to photograph this wedding for you.

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Olyvia and Justin were married in the most perfect ceremony in the middle of the forest for their Kitsap Memorial State Park Wedding. Their ceremony space was set up out in the middle of the woods at the park in a clearing. Flower petals and branches placed in a circle created their ceremony and their friends and family gathered around the circle while they wed. I can’t imagine anything else more perfect for them.

The processional was led by Olyvia’s cousin playing the bagpipes, followed by Olyiva and her father and step-father walking her along the path to meet Justin. When they met, Justin embraced Olyvia in a way that melted my heart and you could palpably feel the love between them.

After the ceremony, their guests made their way through the forest back to the Log Hall at Kitsap Memorial State Park to the reception. The building was decked out with beautiful twinkling lights hanging from the ceiling, beautiful flowers on the tables arranged in birdcages, along with individual sapling trees as a gift to the guests from Olyiva and Justin. The guests enjoyed dinner and drinks looking over Hood Canal.

Olyvia and Justin had a sweet first dance with each other, followed by Olyvia dancing with her father, Fred, and her step-father, Mike. One of the sweetest parts of the evening was a surprise mother-daughter dance with Olyvia and her mother, Gina.  After cake cutting and toasts, Olyvia, Justin and their guests danced the night away.

I absolutely loved this wedding. It was casual but classy, rustic but polished and Olyvia and Justin are such wonderful people. I wish them a lifetime of happiness.

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Photography: Cheryl Ford Photography
Venue: Kitsap Memorial State Park – Poulsbo, Washington
DJ: DJ George

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  • RikkiJuly 6, 2016 - 9:05 am

    Beautiful job as always!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Joanna MongerJuly 6, 2016 - 10:39 am

    These are fabulous Cheryl What a beautiful setting for a wedding!ReplyCancel

What a treat! I had the pleasure of photographing the Bar Mitzvah of Barak recently in Seattle at the Temple de Hirsch Sinai temple.

Temple de Hirsch Sinai is a GORGEOUS building, inside and out. It’s a place that is comforting and warm. They have the greatest architecture inside with a giant star on the ceiling and these amazing stained glass windows all around.

All of Barak’s friends and family were present for his Bar Mitzvah, coming from as far as Michigan for this huge moment in his life. I was really touched by the Bar Mitzvah ceremony and how eloquently Barak handled all of the different prayers and readings. After the service all of the guests enjoyed a beautiful luncheon at the Temple.

The real party started later that evening at the Westin in Bellevue! It was an evening of merriment with dancing, games, break dancers to entertain, tons of food, a giant custom cake in the shape of an Air Jordan shoe, candy bar and beautiful decorations everywhere. As always, the Hora is my favorite part and all of Barak’s family, including him, took turns being lifted and celebrated.

The Reibman family is one of the nicest families I’ve ever worked with. They are so kind and loving. Their children are charming, friendly and delightful.

This was such a fun event, I can’t wait to photograph more Seattle Bar Mitzvah!

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Photography: Cheryl Ford Photography
Venue: Temple de Hirsch Sinai, Seattle
Venue: Westin Bellevue
Videography: Best Made Videos
Coordinator: Cristi Duea
Cake: Mike’s Amazing Cakes

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12 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding Wedding Checklist and Delegation | Cheryl Ford Photography, Seattle Wedding Photographer

12 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding Wedding Checklist | Cheryl Ford Photography, Seattle Wedding Photographer

Welcome Back to Part 9 of my blog series on 12 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding. Over the course of these months I will be sharing with you a series of articles to help you have the most amazing day of your life. In case you missed it, you may want to catch up on the past articles:

I’ve written these articles to share with you my perspective on what you can do to have your Dream Wedding. A lot of this is just good old common sense and none of it is that much work. But I promise if you incorporate these ideas into the planning of your wedding day, you will reap the rewards of a beautiful, calm and fun wedding day of your dreams! Trust me.


Everything you need to do for your wedding as it’s coming up. Typically these are about 472 pages long. Just kidding. But it can feel that way.

Before we get into all of the details and what information should be on your checklist, let’s first talk about delegation. That word in and of itself sort of gives me the heebie-jeebies. Seriously. Not my strong suit. I often feel that no one can do something as well as I can so I just do it myself. (Issues!)

But on a wedding day, you physically cannot be everywhere, doing everything, organizing people, making sure they show up on time and are wearing the right clothes and the decorations get put out correctly. You can’t. You’ll be getting your hair and makeup done, hanging out with your friends and family, getting your photos taken, getting married! And that’s what you should be doing.

You should be relaxed and not stressed, worrying about everything.

You have to delegate. You have to. Plan out what you need as far ahead as possible. Because let me tell you, you don’t want to wait until the last second or the wedding day to try to figure out who is going to go to the reception space to drop off the favors or placecards. Not a Dream Wedding scenario.

Now if you have hired a wedding planner (5 points for you) or a Day-Of Coordinator (3 points for you), you can rely on that person to ensure the day runs smoothly. Any wedding planner or day-of coordinator worth anything will work with you to understand everything that has to happen on your wedding day and help you figure out how it will get done. Easy peasy!

But if you are relying on friends and family to help you on the wedding day (which is what I did), plan ahead, delegate anything and everything you can, communicate what you need with everyone and then sit back and have a great day. I would not recommend that you have people in your wedding party or any parents helping with much during the day. There is so much going on during the wedding day it will be hard for them to be a part of the wedding and help put the wedding together.


People make fun of me – to this day – for doing this at my own wedding, but I made a detailed, printed and highlighted Excel spreadsheet customized for every single person involved in the wedding. I did that. It’s crazy. It works. I’m a firm believer that you cannot be too detail-oriented on your wedding day. You never want people to have to assume where to go, when to go there, what to do, what to wear, etc.

There were a few snafus at our wedding (see Part 8 – Wedding Day Expectations) but all in all I was able to just have a good time on the day. I wasn’t wondering if the Best Man would have his boutonniere on. Because he had his own personal schedule and timeline. Why risk it?

Here are a few things that you’ll want to think through and make sure you have written down for all the world to see.


Make sure you detail out for everyone the timeline for the day. This includes your fiancé, wedding party, ring bearer or flower girl’s parents, your parents (and your fiance’s parents), any other family or friends who are important to the logistics of the day and all of the vendors.


  • If you are doing family photos before the wedding ceremony, make sure you tell everyone where to be and when to be there (and to be ready when they get there). In fact, tell them they should be there 15 minutes earlier than you actually need them there.
  • If the reception space is not open until 2:00 to start decorating, make sure whoever is decorating knows that so they don’t try to show up at 11:00 a.m. and end up wasting their time.
  • Include addresses and maps with the timeline for the day so there is no guessing where to go. I wouldn’t rely on Google Maps that day. What if someone doesn’t have cell service? Yikes.

What to Wear:

Detail for anyone involved in the wedding if there are specific things you would like them to wear if that is important to you. People need advance notice so they can plan and shop.


  • If you want all of your bridesmaids to wear nude colored pumps for the wedding, make sure you communicate that with them. Send a couple pictures to them of the kind of shoe you are talking about. Make sure you are specific if you want closed toe or open toe.
  • If you want them to all have their hair up or down, tell them.
  • If you expect your father to wear a tuxedo that is similar to the groom/men, be sure he knows what that means.
  • If you will have corsages or boutonnieres for family members, it’s not a horrible idea to let them know ahead of time so they can plan what they’ll be wearing.


Another common thing that often gets delegated is decorating – either at the ceremony space or reception space. Most of the time, it’s someone other than you coordinating those efforts. If you have very specific tastes and very specific ways you want things done, be sure to detail those out. Your friends don’t want to have to bother you or ask you questions on your wedding day. Make it easy for them.


  • Give specific directions for decorating tables – draw a picture or show pictures of what you want. Napkins folded a certain way, candles set in a certain pattern, etc.
  • If you want favors at each place setting on the guest tables, detail where.
  • The candles you bought for the ceremony only burn for 1 hour (I don’t know what candles only burn for one hour but it’s an example). Make sure whoever is lighting them knows not to light them too far in advance of the ceremony or they will burn out.

These are just a couple examples of the types of things you should think about.

It should go without saying that all of these people that are helping on your wedding day are doing so because they love you. Be respectful and appreciative of their help and if things aren’t perfect, let it go.

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A couple of weeks ago, my good friend and fellow Wedding Photographer, Tara Brown, got together to have breakfast and take some headshots for each other. One of the hardest things for a photographer is getting in front of the camera. We ask our clients to relax, trust us and let us do our thang.

But once we have to get in front of the camera, we realize just how hard it is.

Before we picked up our cameras though, we ate! Dang right we did. Tara introduced me to this wonderful little place in Kirkland, Washington called Deru Market. So before I get back to the headshots portion of the program, I’d like to take a moment to talk a little bit about Deru Market. They make GREAT food!! I ordered a Farmstand Breakfast with fried eggs, roasted fingerling potatoes and housemade bacon. Uh, YUM.

But then . . . my breakfast came and it had a salad on top. I was skeptical to say the least. I’m not into “weird” stuff on or with my food. And a salad on top of the breakfast seemed super weird to me. SUPER weird. But as I’m more prone to do than in years past, I tried it.

It was a salad of baby arugula dressed with a teeny bit of lemon juice. Add a little kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. The best breakfast ever! I’ve been back once since then and have started putting that exact same salad on top of just about everything I eat at home. I’m obsessed!! What a great find.

Photographer Headshots

Once we got our yummy breakfast in and caught up with each other, our nerves were calmed down and we went down to Heritage Park down by the Kirkland Waterfront. Heritage Park has this great white building with cool steps on the front of the building and a patio on the back of the building. There are flowers everywhere – a great spot for engagement, family or senior photos.

Then to mix it up, we walked over near some of the shops and found a little pathway with stairs to finish up our session.

Headshot Tips

If you’re getting your headshots done, I highly recommend spending a little time with your photographer beforehand. Get to know them a little bit, chat, loosen up. It’ll really help with how you feel. Also, trust your photographer. There may be times that your photographer asks you to turn your leg more or bring your elbow out and you might think, what are they thinking? Trust that they can see something you can’t.

Here are a few of my favorite headshots from our session.

Photographer Headshots of Tara Brown by Cheryl Ford Photography, Downtown Kirkland WaterfrontHeritage Park, Kirkland, Washington Headshots of Photographer Tara Brown | Cheryl Ford PhotographyPhotographer with Camera for Headshots by Cheryl Ford PhotographyHeadshots of Photographer on Steps in Downtown Kirkland WashingtonKirkland Waterfront, Heritage Park, Headshots of PhotographerPhotos of photographer Tara Brown by Cheryl Ford Photography in Kirkland Washington

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  • TaraMay 4, 2016 - 2:55 pm

    Thank you, Cheryl!!! Lovely post, and I love my photos. I’m so glad we got to spend time together and photograph each other! 😀 Love ya!ReplyCancel

12 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding Part 8 :: Wedding Day Expectations | Cheryl Ford Photography, Seattle, Washington

12 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding Part 8 :: Wedding Day Expectations | Cheryl Ford Photography, Seattle, Washington


Welcome Back to Part 8 of my blog series on 12 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding. Over the course of these months I will be sharing with you a series of articles to help you have the most amazing day of your life. In case you missed it, you may want to catch up on the past articles:

I’ve written these articles to share with you my perspective on what you can do to have your Dream Wedding. A lot of this is just good old common sense and none of it is that much work. But I promise if you incorporate these ideas into the planning of your wedding day, you will reap the rewards of a beautiful, calm and fun wedding day of your dreams! Trust me.


I’ve talked about this before. Expectations. A huge factor in how a wedding day turns out is because of yours, your bride or groom’s, family’s, friend’s or other people’s expectations. Tacked on to their expectations is then how they react when things do or don’t go the way they have imagined it in their head.

And I’ve also talked about the high emotions during the wedding planning process and on your wedding day. You and your family and friends may seem totally calm during the planning process but then on the wedding day, they (or you, let’s be honest) can totally freak out and it can cause a lot of stress. And stress does not make for a dream wedding which is what we all want.

There are two areas that I see this happen. The first is with relationship conflicts. The second is about the logistics of the day.

Relationship Conflicts

Plan ahead for these situations and communicate with people. If you think there is a chance your mom (and I’m just using mom as an example) will cause you stress, do something ahead of time about it or be prepared to deal with it on the wedding day.

For example, if your mom tends to “get in your business,” telling you what to do and how to do it and you know that it irritates you, it will be 100 times worse on your wedding day. Trust! You think it’s annoying on Thanksgiving? Think about a day when a thousand things are going on, 47 people are trying to talk to you and get time with you. You could talk to your mom about it ahead of time so a fight doesn’t break out on the wedding day or you don’t snap at your mom and then she feels bad and cries the rest of the day. Oh, you think that’s just something I made up? No, no, no, no, no. I saw that happen last summer at a wedding. Sad.

Let’s give mom a break! Maybe you have two brothers who don’t get along, one is in debt to the other, they get in fights and can’t be in the same room. It is OK to talk to them to set expectations with them ahead of time that it’s NOT OK for them to argue about it on your wedding day. Then if they do start fighting, since you’ve already talked about it, it’ll be easier to gently remind them to stop. You could say “Hey, David, I know that you and Brian are upset with each other about the money hey owes you but I would really appreciate it if you would set that aside on my wedding day and not let it cause an argument.”

It’s worth your time to think about these possible situations and talk to people ahead of time, politely and respectfully, obviously. You can’t plan for everything but you know where the hot spots are if you are honest with yourself.

Wedding Day Logistics

The other side is not so much with conflict, but with the logistics of your wedding day. Everything will not go perfectly. I promise you. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you plan, no matter how detailed you are (and I’m going to talk about being detail-oriented in a later article). Just know that something won’t go according to the plan. But it’s OK.

At my wedding – and I was a SUPER detailed person – everyone had excel spreadsheets for where they were supposed to be and where to go and what to do. Each printout was highlighted for each specific person, etc. I was out of control I admit.

I entrusted decorating the reception space to a dear friend who then enlisted some help from some of the wedding party. I repeat, I had extremely detailed directions for exactly what they were supposed to do with every item I gave them. But, inevitably, when I got to the reception space, they had gone a bit rogue and the tables were strewn with curled up white ribbons. They were everywhere. I am actually surprised I didn’t completely lose it, because that’s kind of the person I can be. But I had to let it go, move on and have a good time. You cannot control everything on your wedding day. Here are some other things that went “wrong” on my wedding day:

  • The woman who was supposed to do my hair and makeup had the flu, leaving me to someone I did not know and had no idea what we had planned. I hated my hair.
  • My petticoat (sounds like I’m from the old west) was not the same kind that I wore when we measured the hem of my dress so the dress was dragging on the ground. The day before the wedding, we had to find another petticoat in a small town.
  • There was an obscene amount of road construction on the way to the town where our wedding was being held and almost every single guest was late for the ceremony. I think we started 45 minutes late because we were just waiting for someone to actually be there.
  • Real talk . . . I don’t have a great relationship with my side of the family. They were invited to the wedding but at the last minute they were sat up front for the ceremony which made me very uncomfortable.
  • Our “wedding” photographer interrupted our first dance in the middle of it. He wanted to move on to the parent dances – before our first dance song was even half over! Of all the things that didn’t really matter in the end, this is the one that still gets my goat after almost 20 years.
  • The decorating fiasco I mentioned above.

Just know that someone might be late (happens all the time), the cake might not have the flowers on it like you expected, ordered and paid for (that happened at my friend, Leigh’s wedding), there might not be enough chairs for all of the guests (same wedding), the caterer’s get the location wrong (recent wedding).

If you expect that everything will be 100 percent perfect 100 percent of the day, you are setting yourself up to be disappointed. Have a little flexibility, let things go, promise yourself that you will have a great day no matter what happens.

Not that you should set your expectations low, but setting the bar too high can lead to a hard crash and a ruined day, when it doesn’t have to be.

Setting your wedding day expectations – yours and those around you – can really help to have your dream wedding, one that is filled with love and not riddled with stress and disappointments.

Go, have fun! Don’t stress! Let it go.


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northwest salmonbake styled wedding gig harbor blue and white stripe beach mt rainier

I have been DYING to share this Gig Harbor Wedding Styled Shoot from July 2015. My friend and fellow wedding photographer, Tara Brown, and I came up with the idea for this style shoot in the spring of 2015 and after a couple months of pulling together the very best team of vendors in the Seattle area (and beyond) it finally happened. To date, this was probably one of my favorite and best times as a photographer.

The Theme: Northwest Salmon Bake

I had the idea to do a Hampton’s Style Clam Bake Wedding Styled Shoot. I’d had it in my mind for a while. So we took that idea and parlayed it with Tara offering to use her family’s property on the beach in Gig Harbor. Instead of clams, we went with Salmon since it’s more Northwest-y. And while we wanted an angle toward nautical, we didn’t want it to be all seashells and anchors. Once we found the navy blue and white striped linens, we were on our way to creating the overall theme.

The Dream Team of Wedding Vendors

I truly believe we brought together the best team of wedding vendors from the northwest to put this all together. Eleanor from Bash and Bloom was integral in helping pull the theme of this shoot together and brought some amazing ideas to the table to take this to another level. I’m so grateful for all she did to help with this shoot. We couldn’t have done it without her.


Bash and Bloom: Eleanor created all of the floral for the shoot and helped define the theme for the entire project. She created the bridal bouquet, groom’s boutonniere, floral for the buffet table and table arrangements for the tablescape. She also created the amazing arrangements for the ceremony area. Eleanor used driftwood sticks to create the structures for the ceremony arrangements and then placed the floral on top of those structures. Who thinks of that? A genius!
A Princess Bride: Provided the bride’s dress and sash for the shoot. The dress fit Kelsy perfectly!
Megan Bingham: Hair and makeup were done by Meghan Bingham from Off-White Beauty. Meghan did a beautiful job on Kelsy’s hair and her make was stunning. Not only did it look beautiful, but it lasted all day in the heat, wind and pressure of shooting for hours and hours.
Sholdt Designs: My faves!!! Sholdt provided us with all of the jewelry for this styled shoot. The incredible diamond engagement ring with a halo setting, wedding bands and earrings and a gorgeous necklace for the bride to wear.
The Tuxedo Club: Provided Allen’s navy blue suit, custom fit for him, ties, pocket squares, cufflinks and tie clip. The navy blue suit was perfect for this.
Baked.: That cake!!! Baked. always, always just does an amazing job with everything they do. But they reall outdid themselves with this custom cake they created for us. The chevron detail was fresh and meticulously created and the delicate, subtle seashell and coral details on the cake were just perfect.
Lemonade Letters: Eunice from Lemonade Letters went all out when she created this wedding invitation suite for us. It included a wedding invitation, custom hand-lettered envelope, custom-designed stamps, RSVP card, program, table numbers, place cards, menu cards, signature drink cards all delightfully put together with subtle nautical details that worked so well with our theme. I could have photographed that suite all day.
Vintage Ambiance: Vintage Ambiance provided the lovely milk glass cake stand and details for the tablescape including the antique bottles Eleanor used to add floral details everywhere.
Grand Event Rentals: Provided us with the gorgeous square dishware including silver chargers and plates, square-shaped glassware and all of our silverware pieces.
BBJ Linens: BBJ provided the amazing navy blue and white striped table linen and the coral napkins used in the tablescape as well as the sparkly blue linen used on the cake table.
Kelsy and Allen Foulstone: I cannot say enough about this gorgeous real-life couple. They were so patient, lovely, gracious, flexible and perfect all day long. This shoot would not have been so perfect without them.

The Shoot

I think the main reason this Gig Harbor Wedding Styled Shoot is my favorite is because of the collaboration and teamwork that happened before and after the actual photography. Tara and I spent the entire day before picking up materials, products and donations from vendors, shopping for food and planning for the following day. Getting to see each person face-to-face as we made our way to Gig Harbor made everything feel more personal.

Eleanor from Bash and Bloom joined us in the evening and we all hung out, steaming dresses and linens, creating floral arrangements and being silly together.

The next morning, Kelsy and Allen showed up, Meghan from Off-White Beauty and Micah from Blue Cake Films. We all spent the day together getting everything together, setting up, photographing, playing off each other’s ideas and generally just having a blast.


Our shoot was accepted and published by Borrowed and Blue in April 2016. At the time of this post being published, unfortunately, my name was not associated with the shoot. We’ve asked for them to correct this error.

Please enjoy our creation…

bride getting ready makeup hair off-white beautymt. rainier gig harbor waterwedding dress hanging beach wedding mt rainier water sailboatsilver bridal shoes embellished brown grooms shoes and blue check tiegroom details blue check tie airplane cufflinks boutonniere watch driftwoodairplane cufflinks silver tie clip groom detailslace crystal wedding dress sash off-white white a princess bride couturegroom details wedding burberry watch brown leather bandnavy white coral wedding invitation suite envelope calligraphy lighthouse customwedding invitations custom stamps calligraphy lemonade letterswedding invitation suite navy blue white coral calligraphywedding invitation calligraphy custom design nautical detailsplace cards wedding navy blue and white calligraphybridal bouquet white and green coral ribbonwedding boutonniere flowers coral white zinnia roseboutonniere nautical knot pink coral ribbon zinniawedding bridal bouquet flowers pink coral white greenery looseboutonniere beach wedding zinnia pink white flowersdiamond wedding ring sholdt jewelry design driftwoodwedding bands sholdt jewelry seattle platinumengagement ring halo diamond weddingsholdt jewelry sapphire and diamond earrings diamond necklace driftwoodbeach wedding ceremony mt rainier driftwood pink coral white flowers greenerygroom wedding ceremony beachgroom wedding ceremony beach buttoning jacketbride beach wedding ceremony gig harbor weddingbride groom wedding ceremony beach water driftwoodmt rainier gig harbor wedding ceremony floral arrangements driftwoodbride and groom beach wedding ceremony sailboatgig harbor wedding ceremony beach water mt rainiergig harbor wedding ceremony floral arrangements bash and bloombeach wedding ceremony gig harbor floralreception table design decor navy blue white stripes coral napkinswedding floral decor reception table pink blue whitereception table floral arrangement square white dishesgig harbor wedding tablescape striped linen coral napkinswedding table decor navy blue white coral lighthouse calligraphywedding table decorations menu card table number flowers navy white coralwedding floral pink white coral greenery square champagne glass beach weddingpink wedding flowers beach dahlias with greenerysalmon salmon bake beach gig harbor weddingroasted potatoes flowers buffet table beach weddingwedding buffet salmon asparagus roasted potatoes beachgig harbor wedding on beach with blue and white striped linensbridal portraits rocky beach water gig harbor weddinggig harbor wedding beach bridal picturesbride groom gig harbor wedding rocky beachgroom lighthouse bride and groom portrait on beach gig harborGroom navy blue suit blue check tie beach weddingportrait groom navy suit coral boutonniere pocket squarerocky beach bridal portrait bouquet coral white greenerybride portrait groom navy suit the tuxedo club gig harbor weddingbride groom portrait wedding photography beachbride wedding dress bouquet pink white green groombride and groom pictures wedding photos intimatebride beach grass marina white wedding dress pink ribbons floralbridal makeup off-white beauty beach wedding eyelashes black linerwedding cake beach wedding baked custom cakes shells coral chevronbaked blue coral shells wedding cake gig harbor navywedding cake details blue coral white chevron driftwood fence seashellscustom wedding cake baked gig harbor wedding beachbridal portraits bash and bloom bridal bouquetbride groom champagne beach gig harbor weddingsunset wedding pictures on beach mt rainier


Photography: Cheryl Ford Photography
Venue: Private Beach, Gig Harbor, Washington
Floral: Bash and Bloom
Wedding Gown: A Princess Bride
Hair+Makeup: Megan Bingham
Jewelry: Sholdt Designs
Groom’s Suit: The Tuxedo Club
Cake: Baked.
Paper Suite: Lemonade Letters
Decor Rentals: Vintage Ambiance
Rentals: Grand Event Rentals
Linens: BBJ Linens
Videography: Blue Cake Films
Models: Kelsy and Allen Foulstone

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  • LaurieMay 6, 2016 - 2:08 pm

    Beautiful photos, love the venue and theme – thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • CherylMay 12, 2016 - 4:29 pm

      Thank you so much Laurie.ReplyCancel

How to Have Your Dream Wedding, Wedding Stress

How to Have your Dream Wedding - Wedding Stress

Welcome Back to Part 7 of my blog series on 12 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding. Over the course of these months I will be sharing with you a series of articles to help you have the most amazing day of your life. In case you missed it, you may want to catch up on the past articles:

I’ve written these articles to share with you my perspective on what you can do to have your Dream Wedding. A lot of this is just good old common sense and none of it is that much work. But I promise if you incorporate these ideas into the planning of your wedding day, you will reap the rewards of a beautiful, calm and fun wedding day of your dreams! Trust me.


One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your future husband or wife is to take care of yourself throughout the wedding planning process and the wedding day. You want to feel great on your wedding day; don’t you? I can’t imagine anyone would say they want to be tired, cranky, hungover, or run down. Those do not sound like fun.

A tired bride is not a happy bride and an unhappy bride is not a beautiful bride. A tired bride is easily irritated and stressed out. Not fun. Not for you, not for your groom, not for your family and not for anyone around you.

So how can you take care of yourself? It’s really not that hard. During the planning of your wedding, you can do a lot to keep yourself grounded and not get burned out. For example:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Exercise
  • If necessary get away from wedding planning for a bit


Put the planning notebook down, get off Pinterest, get off the internet, stop talking about the wedding for a few days, stop thinking and worrying about the wedding for a few days. I know that sounds hard because wedding planning can become an obsession. You want it to be perfect and that’s understandable. But sometimes you need a break. All of these things can give you the break you need so that you don’t wear yourself down during the process.

I get so bummed out when I hear a bride or groom say that they can’t wait for the wedding to be over with. That breaks my heart. But it happens. They’re just sick of all of it by the time the wedding happens.


As you get closer and closer to your wedding day, taking care of yourself is even more important. You want to look great, well-rested, and glowing on your wedding day. This is when getting exercise and eating right are so so so important. Go for a long walk, hike or run, go to yoga, meditate, or get a massage or pedicure that week before your wedding to relax and give yourself a much needed break from all the madness.

Make sure you are getting a good night’s sleep the few nights before your wedding – and especially the night before!

Oftentimes, there is a rehearsal dinner the night before your wedding and it’s easy to want to stay up late and drink too much. Maybe friends are in town that you don’t get to see often and you want to spend time with them. But the next morning – your wedding day – will come too quickly and you don’t want to be tired and not looking your best.

Staying up, partying and having just one more glass of wine may sound like a good idea at the time, but it’s not. I promise. Get your rest!

Definitely watch how much you drink the night before your wedding. Again, it might be a fun party but being hungover or having a headache or being irritable on your wedding day would suck. Be smart.


My final piece of advice for taking care of yourself for your wedding is to EAT. ON. YOUR. WEDDING. DAY.

Seriously . . . EAT! A wedding day is a busy, chaotic, insane day, there are 47 moving pieces and people in your face all day. It’s so easy to forget or to get to busy to eat. If you have to designate a person to make sure you eat, do so. The last thing you want is to pass out during your ceremony because you haven’t eaten. Think I’m being dramatic? It happens.

It’s easy to forget about your own well-being during the planning of your wedding. After all, you’re planning this giant event, you’re thinking about your spouse to be, the wedding dress, catering, flowers, favors, bridesmaids, travel arrangements and all those things that take you away from thinking about yourself. But it’s important to not put YOU on the back burner so you look and feel the best on your wedding day!


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My Wedding Photography Bucket List - Weddings I love to photograph, epic Northwest locations and venus and destination weddings.

My Wedding Photography Bucket List - Weddings I would love to shoot, venues and locations.

Lists, lists, lists. I love lists. I love to-do lists, packing lists, cleaning lists, shopping lists. I make lists every chance I get and I get that huge rush when I get to check something off. It’s so satisfying.

So I decided to make a Wedding Bucket List – all of the weddings I would love to photograph, people, places, venues.

Wedding Bucket List


I photographed a same-sex wedding with two women in the summer of 2015 so of course I want to photograph a wedding with two men as well. Sort of goes without saying.

I would love to be the wedding photographer for an amazingly-themed wedding. Something like a Star Wars theme but not Star Wars – duh (not a fan). I’ve heard of Harry Potter weddings and Up (the Disney movie) weddings. I think that would be so fun.

Not sure how to say that delicately but a wedding for an elderly couple who wants to do it up and celebrate, where the bride wears a white dress and the groom has a tuxedo – that would be the perfect Up Wedding!

Last summer I was “this” close to photographing a wedding with a seaplane departure, but it ended up not working out. How great would it be if the bride showed up in a helicopter or on a horse or the couple leaves on a sailboat?

I am not afraid to admit it. I’d love to be the wedding photographer for someone famous. Even if I couldn’t use the pictures later because of privacy issues, I still think it would be exciting and fun.


I’ve been hearing more an more about Seabrook lately. It seems adorable and idyllic. The Seabrook Cottage Rentals are amazing and they have a Town Hall Wedding Venue. I mean come on, this place looks amazing.

A property filled with treehouses? Uh, yeah! Just looking at pictures of Treehouse Point makes me want to visit there and photograph a wedding or elopement.

Did you even know that you can have a wedding at The Seattle Aquarium? And you can be right in the large dome with all the fish swimming around you. Maybe a huge lighting challenge but it also seems pretty epic.

The Arctic Club in Seattle has to be one of the prettiest venues in Seattle with that big domed ceiling with all of the stained glass (I think that’s what it is). Of course this is going to make my Wedding Bucket List.

I’ve been in Sodo Park a couple of times and this is seriously the place for me. It is right up my alley.


Like duh! You know I want to take my wedding photography on the road to a my favorite place! I’ll take anywhere in the islands but would really prefer Maui if I’m being honest.

Our family went on a cruise in the summer of 2015 to Alaska and I am seriously enamored with that place. It’s simply gorgeous.

Or any National Park for that matter. Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion, Arches . . . any or all of them.

Well this one seems like a no-brainer. I’ll try not to be picky but would certain love to shoot a wedding in France, Ireland, Italy, Iceland . . . You name it. I’ve got my passport all ready to go.

Why Maine? I’ve never been there and it seems lovely. That’s all.



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12 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding, Part 6, Your Wedding Party | Cheryl Ford Photography

This post was originally published on May 6, 2014. It has been updated and I’ve included new images!

12 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding, Part 6, Your Wedding Party | Cheryl Ford Photography


Welcome Back to Part 6 of my blog series on 12 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding. Over the course of these months I will be sharing with you a series of articles to help you have the most amazing day of your life. In case you missed it, you may want to catch up on the past articles:

I’ve written these articles to share with you my perspective on what you can do to have your Dream Wedding. A lot of this is just good old common sense and none of it is that much work. But I promise if you incorporate these ideas into the planning of your wedding day, you will reap the rewards of a beautiful, calm and fun wedding day of your dreams! Trust me.


These are the friends and family who stand up with you on the most important day of your life, who support you, help you, encourage you and stand by your side during the wedding process. So I say pick your wedding party CAREFULLY.

I’m not going to tell you how many attendants to have. There is a ton of information out there on the standard etiquette, blah blah blah. Some places will tell you that if you have a larger wedding, you can/should have more attendants. I don’t necessarily buy into that. I’m not going to tell you you shouldn’t have 10 bridesmaids if you have 10 best friends and want to include them all. Or if you have a best friend who is a guy and want him in your bridal party. I’m not going to tell you that you have to have a wedding party at all if you don’t want to. That’s not really what this article is about.

If you decide you want to have a wedding party, keep the following in mind. I think that when it comes to picking people for your wedding party, you will have initial inclinations. You have two sisters so they have to be in the wedding party; right? Maybe. What if one of them lives across the country and you aren’t close and literally talk to her once a year. Do you still have to put her in your wedding party? I think some will disagree with me, but I say you don’t have to. Yep I said it. You have to weigh all of the information for yourself and make the best choice for you and your wedding and your family or social circle dynamic.

Everyone knows someone who just stirs up drama. The girlfriend who you know won’t like the dress everyone else in the wedding party likes. Just because… The friend who just doesn’t really get along with others, snaps at people or drinks too much. The competitive sister or cousin who always needs to “show up” someone else in the family. Do you want to deal with the unnecessary drama and stress that they will bring? On your wedding day? Are the people you are including as your wedding party truly those who will selflessly be at your side during the planning and on your wedding day? Emotions run high on a wedding day and adding someone who is going to increase that is, in my opinion, a really, really bad idea.

I’m not going to drag this on and on. Think about who you pick carefully. Pick who YOU want to pick. It’s your wedding; right?

But, and you know there is always the but . . . you HAVE TO, I repeat you HAVE TO communicate with people. If you think someone will get their feelings hurt or get upset because they’re expecting to be asked to be in your wedding, you HAVE TO talk to them. There are many elements to a wedding and there are few things I’m going to advise that you absolutely HAVE TO do but this is one you have to do. Because you know what will definitely ruin your dream wedding? Your sister who throws a fit on your wedding day because you didn’t ask her to be in your wedding and never talked to her about it. Enough said.

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