Drenched in nature, friendship, and authenticity, Michelle and Jared’s laidback wedding-retreat in the woods of Bainbridge Island is everything we love about weddings, people and life. No glitz and glamour (apart from sunscreen and bug spray). No grandeur (apart from a canopy tower high up in the colossal treetops). No drama (apart from entertaining performances by their eccentric, theatrical friends). No pageantry (apart from a hilariously executed puppet show). Just genuine ‘ol fun and down-to-earth good times. Nature set the stage. Sincerely wonderful people set the vibe.
Michelle and Jared’s relationship is beautiful and sweet… like two quirky souls in synergetic bloom. It would be, however, incomplete to paint a picture of Michelle and Jared without the canvas of their friends. Michelle and Jared’s tight-knit circle of long-time friends have forged an ionic-like bond that’s remarkable and inspiring. A deliberate, mutual commitment to live within the same neighbourhood (literally steps from each other’s homes) has clearly solidified a lifelong community of friendships. You can feel it in their presence. And that connectedness permeated this entire wedding.
The experience began with a mood-altering ferry crossing from the hustle and bustle of downtown Seattle to the breezy tranquility of Bainbridge Island. After settling into our lodges at the IslandWood environmental learning campus (250-acres of forested reserve), celebrations kicked off with a uniquely eccentric interpretation of a Sangeet (pre-wedding tradition of Hindu, Punjabi, and Gujurati weddings). In Sanskrit, the word Sangeet means snug together… and that they did… literally, around a blazing campfire, complete with S’mores (link for the deprived), live music, dance, sing-songs, poetry, and a remarkably elaborate make-shift puppet show, all performed by their brilliantly theatrical friends. It was a captivating evening of lighthearted entertainment where everyone relished in the joy of togetherness.
The next morning, everyone was free to chill, roam wild throughout the woods, and take in all the wondrous wedding decor (dew-covered ferns, slimy slugs, and colourful croquette mallets). The beautiful afternoon consisted of a sweet little ceremony in the fresh open air, carefree games on the lawn, and endless, hearty laughter. The evening was full of delicious food, priceless stories, heartfelt words, and unbridled dancing… all of which we enjoyed every last bit.
Throughout it all, so many personal little touches made this wedding 100% unique to Michelle, Jared, and the cherished relationships among their friends and family… like Michelle’s half-purple dress (made with love by her talented friend, Alicia) and their homemade arbour wedding arch with hanging stained-glass mosaic (handcrafted labours of love by their friend, Brian).
We had the time of our lives documenting and engrossing ourselves within this celebration of life, love, family, and friendship… all of which was made easier and more fun by having our friend, Jete Devissor there with us throughout. Thanks for all your help, Jete!
Michelle and Jared, thank you, your friends, and your family for all the trust, openness, and kindness. Thanks for welcoming us so openly into your beautiful world… we’re richer for having been there.