by Emily Wenzel | May 25, 2018 | Personal Posts
I’m looking back at April, and I don’t feel like I took many photos, because the whole month felt long. And it seems, a month when my girl changed a lot. The last few months have been pretty rough on me, I’ve been dealing with some things behind the scenes and I think I’m going to take a while to step away from social media and maybe even the blog. My mental health hasn’t been what I need to to be to be the best version of me.
1. When you don’t want to wear pants, but it’s still too cold to go without? Leg warmers. And then she pulled up her shirt and started dancing. You’d think that our kitchen was a scene from Flashdance.
2. We picked up a double layer ring sling from Wildbird in early April, and as soon as I pulled it out of the box, she was demanding snuggles. It’s been in heavy rotation the last month or so. We’re fans of the bright blue!
3. Walking home from the park with Grandma, in the sunshine on a beautiful spring day. We try to get out to the park almost every day, although now that the garden is coming together, we spend more time playing in the backyard.
4. Sometimes when I work, this lazy bum hangs out in my office and naps while our girl naps too. Here I was all bundled up in a sweater and a scarf because the heater in there was broken. It’s fixed now, so of course is 80+ outside. I’ll need it again in the fall, right?
5. I got N this rain suit from Oakiwear, and the first time I put it on her, she had an absolute fit. But then I shoved her out in the rain, and she ran around an empty park until her little legs didn’t work anymore. And now she loves her rain suit. Basically, she’ll do anything to be outside in any weather.
6. We went to Leavenworth for a few days to join H while he was at a work conference. They did a little painted rock scavenger hunt, and it turns out, my toddler is amazing at finding rocks. I’m not surprised, but she kept bringing them to me, including this beautiful heart rock.
7. There is a goat behind a fence in Leavenworth (not this fence) and so N had to peek through every single fence to see if she could find the goat again. We wandered all around downtown, checking out the toy shop and having lunch outside while dad worked.
8. Hmm, should I do a spa day, or go golfing while I’m here? We stayed at Icicle Creek, which was a great place to stay with a kiddo. We opted to stay in a suite, so she could have the living room and we had some privacy in the bedroom (so I could work while she napped). Icicle Creek also had an arcade room, mini golf, and a small playground. We watched the big kids play in the arcade room, and spent a lot of time playing at the playground, as well as just walking all over the grounds there. Everyone was super nice, and even though it was slightly out of town, I’d stay there again. Although, the covered pool was a bit too cold for her, I think it’d be great in warmer weather.
9. What do you do when your toddler has had enough of being in the stroller and you’re walking along the side of the highway? You toss them up in a back carry so they can snuggle you and see all the big trucks go zooming by while you walk back to the hotel, of course.
10. I had a sweet little wedding at Gonzaga, and I had such a kick being back on campus when school was in session. The guys of DeSmet saw us, and started playing the wedding march through the (always present) speakers. Some things never change.
11. I also got called for jury duty in April, but luckily didn’t get chosen to serve. It was an interesting experience, and someday I would love to serve, but maybe when I’m not juggling work and a toddler at the same time? Luckily, there was wifi and I had my laptop, so I was able to get a decent amount of work done while waiting to be called.
12. That tired toddler crashed out in her new ring sling, so I covered her up and pulled out my laptop to answer emails. Working from home is always an adventure, and whenever I figure something out, our status quo changes. It means I no longer get to work for hours and hours (unless she’s gone!) and instead, I work in short bursts of time whenever she’s napping, or otherwise occupied destroying my office.
13. More sling naps. She’s getting so heavy, this really isn’t comfortable anymore, but I love the snuggles too much to try and transfer her or wake her up.
14. Now that spring is here, we’re spending lots and lots of time in our garden! I can’t wait to have help picking tomatoes and peppers and all our other veggies all summer long. My mom got her some tiny gardening tools, so she likes to “help” me weed and plant and water everything.
by Emily Wenzel | May 3, 2018 | Personal Posts
Slowly but surely, I’m catching up on blogging and recaps. I feel like March just happened, but I blinked and now it’s May. Aaaah, Bloomsday is this weekend, and we missed it last year because we were in Germany, so I’m excited to have family in town for it and take our girl to watch it. She’s going to love checking out all the runners!
Excuse my partially demo-ed, partially reno-ed house, but these two are so adorable. They were playing in my office while I worked one day, and then heard dad come home. So they ran to the gate to sit there and wait for him. Right before this photo, little miss was standing up at the gate shouting Papa! Papa! but I couldn’t get to my phone fast enough.
I can’t believe it’s been a couple months, but in early March, I took little miss down to Nordstrom to get her first pair of real shoes…and she got a balloon too! If you want to make my kid happy, give her a balloon. Later, we swung by Rockwood Bakery for a mama daughter date, but she had more fun climbing under the table and playing peekaboo with the other people.
In March, I got to do some new work that I’m hoping to showcase later this year. I’ve been working more with companies to do branding and commercial work. It’s got me flexing different muscles, and makes me really appreciate my wedding and family work even more. This is a preview of a book I helped shoot for a preschool.
This girl and her piano. I love how much she loves music. She loves hanging out and playing the piano, so we tried using our Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair to have her play. It worked!
I had a commercial shoot with some building shots in March, and they wanted exterior shots. What do you do when you don’t have anyone to take care of your kid and you can’t drop them at dad’s office? You pop them on your back and take them with you. She was a total champ and had a blast giggling at the cars going by.
After our photography adventure, I took her out to a nearby walking trail and we went for a short walk in the sunshine. Her favorite thing is to be outdoors. She really doesn’t care how bad the weather is. She’ll go out in the rain or sunshine, and she almost always gets mad when I bring her back inside.
We got some new swim gear for swimming lessons and summer time at the lake, and she adores this suit. In fact, we packed it for a recent trip, and she stole it out of the suitcase and ran around the house asking to go swimming.
Sneaking up on Mama and her Aunt is harder when Mama sneaks in a selfie. We had a long layover in Seattle on our way to Prague, and we used the time to head to grandma’s house. Some lunch, and lots of running around and playing with family (and a trip to the Seatac play area) wore this girl out before our international flight.
This recent trip to Prague was with British Airways, and they have these great carrycots that fit larger lap infants! I was so excited to try them out, and it worked pretty well. She slept in it most of the way over, but spent more time in mama’s arms on the way home, because she was having a rough day getting over a cold she caught while we were traveling, and needed extra snuggles.
Two of the things that have changed now that we travel with a kid is where we stay and what we do. On this trip to Prague, I booked us a family apartment in Prague 6 near Stromovka park and we spent our first afternoon just wandering the trails, getting some fresh air, and exploring the neighborhood. It was an area of the city that I’d never really been to before, and I enjoyed seeing a different side of the city. Unbeknownst to me, this area of the city is also home to nearly all the embassies and residences of the foreign diplomats. The American Ambassador’s residence was just down the street from our Airbnb.
Little miss slept through our trip to Prague Castle (that’s the cathedral on the castle grounds on the right), so she’s slept at every castle she’s been too, although she was awake for our walk around Old Town Square.
The view from Prague castle’s overlook. If you can find the tower in the distance, that’s near my old apartment on the other side of the river. We had some pretty nice weather for a couple of our days in Prague, although it wasn’t nearly as nice while we were in Olomouc.
The best thing about traveling and staying at family apartments? Most of them have cribs. We brought our own for the days we spent with my family, but it was so nice to have this one in Prague.
Little miss went on her first train ride, and as you can see, she was thrilled. She spent most of the two hours looking out the window and exclaiming how excited she was. The trains and trams were a big highlight for her.
The metro, however, was less impressive. We learned a lot about navigating the metro and trams and I think I’ll blog about our trip to Prague in detail later. But needless to say, I am glad that we were both there to haul the stroller down the stairs. I think I would have had to get an umbrella stroller if I had gone on my own!
I forgot to bring an extra sippy cup for our girl, so when she demanded a taste of my tea or soda or whatever, we discovered that she was quite adept at drinking out of espresso cups. And, as a bonus, you can find them in nearly every home in the Czech Republic. Although…I’m not sure I know any Czechs who drink espresso.
On our last day in Prague, I snagged a bag of my favorite cinnamon sugar almonds. To me, cobblestones and roasted almonds are two things that really make a European trip feel like Europe.
Helping mama with laundry in her new favorite shirt. We had to do a lot of laundry after our trip. And, I was thrilled to find this shirt in the girls’ section at Target!
After a long month of traveling, wrap snuggles were pretty much necessary to help us adjust to the jetlag. She did one better, and pulled her arm out so that she could hug me while wrapped up on my back. What a silly, sweet kiddo!
Some links are affiliate links, but I never link to anything we don’t use, love, or plan to buy for ourselves. Any small income I make from affiliate links helps me keep this website running.
by Emily Wenzel | Apr 18, 2018 | Personal Posts
Okay, I know I’m way behind on these, but combining two months makes these posts ridiculously long and then I get overwhelmed by all the stuff that has happened. Maybe this is the month when I catch up?! A slacking blogger can dream.
So, February. We went to Hawaii. The weather was bonkers, Maui was still beautiful, and of course the weather was fine while we were gone but snowed when we came back. NOT funny, Spokane. Sadly, our kiddo was not as big a fan of the beach as we were, so I guess we’ll have to try this again next year and see if she does better? I’ll be hunting for more plane deals.
Related: anyone want me to blog more about traveling with a kid? I feel like this isn’t the space for that, but I have a lot to say about traveling with a kid and home reno and life as a small business owner, so maybe I need to step it up and have a personal/home blog too? Or maybe just a personal Instagram? #toomuchtosay Tell me what you think!
Back to February!!
1. This is bunny. Bunny is a lovey we picked up on an adventure (we have a backup, don’t you worry) who goes basically everywhere with our girl. She sleeps with him now, and loves to give him kisses, so of course, he protected our snacks for the flight. He’s a good friend!
2. I picked up this Yumbox a while ago for days when N needs to take a lunch to the nanny. It was a bit more expensive than some of the other ones we looked at, but I can attest to it’s leakproof status! We’ve packed yogurt and applesauce in it a bunch, and once, canned peaches without leaks. We took it with us to Hawaii, and it was nice, because N knew that it was her lunch box for days when we went to the beach. Also: we spent a lot of time hanging out together on the beach, because it turns out my kid didn’t like sand and thought the ocean was too big and scary (fair point, kiddo). Our trip didn’t go exactly as planned!
3. Someday I’m going to start a blog that is basically a journal of our adventures in traveling and renovating. And then I’ll really talk about how we ended up with seats for our lap infant on 3 of the 4 flights we booked. Here, N and I sat together on the short hop to Portland (it’s a Q400 plane, so 4 seats in a row, with a single aisle, H sat ahead of us).
4. Here we are on the long haul flight from Portland to Maui, where we ended up with an empty seat. Since we were already bringing the car seat, we planned to gate check it for any flights that we didn’t have a seat. We had a seat for all but the last flight, which was from Portland back to Spokane. She fell asleep shortly after the plane took off when we flew from Portland to Maui, and napped for a couple hours. Then she slept basically the whole way home (we were starting our descent) from Maui to Portland. I always pack her a couple books (a bedtime book and a couple favorites for her to read) plus a small bag of toys. I try to find something small and new for each trip, and hope that she’ll love it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. As you can see, bunny was our faithful companion here too.
5. The one thing we really screwed up on was naps. N still naps with a sleepsack, and it was just a tiny bit too warm in Hawaii for her “isn’t it February still?” body, especially since we goofed and brought her winter weight one. The temp was only 2-3 degrees warmer than it is back home, but that couple degrees plus the humidity was all that she needed to be miserable. She napped and slept really poorly the whole week, and slept best in a baby carrier or on my chest. I did get some good reading in while she napped on me, but it ruined my plans to sneak off to doze on the beach while she napped at the house.
6. The start of a nice sunset over Lanai from the restaurant we ate dinner at one night in Lahaina (which was okay but not great). I will say, our kid was a champ at eating out and hanging out, and she got her first taste of ice cream that night. It was almost worth the dozen mosquito bites I ended up with.
7. The view from a late lunch/early dinner at Frida’s Mexican Beach House in Lahaina. Which I would hands down 100% recommend. My husband ordered octopus, which I think is gross. I’ve tried octopus a half dozen times and never liked it. But this octopus was tender and perfect and I would order it. [In case you’re wondering, I had the tacos with the catch of the day and something else that I can’t remember, our friend got the Diego’s plate, I think, and we also ordered the corn cotija and the ceviche. All of it was amazing!] Seriously, best meal we had on Maui. Well, except for that Loco Moco I had at Down the Hatch. Those were probably the best two meals I had that entire week, although a lot of it was pretty good. Which reminds me that I need to try making some Loco Moco at home, because N was also a huge fan!
8. I successfully transferred N from a back carry in the Tula to the bed for a nap and I was so proud of myself. This kiddo was not a fan of the beach (she did much much better in March when we went to Prague. I guess she’s a city girl!) and yet, she was still a total trooper.
9. N and I had our first shave ice at Breakwall Shave Ice – next door to Down the Hatch – and while she wasn’t a fan, I could see the appeal – especially after a long hot day in Maui!
10. On our last day in Maui, we were on an overnight flight (but had to check out before 11am), so after lunch, we went from Lahaina down towards the road to Hana. But by the time we got to Big Beach, N had woken up and was not happy to be stuck in the car any long. So we turned around and were going to head to a beach to hang out near the airport. Instead, we realized we were only a few minutes from the Maui Ocean Center. A couple turns later, we were inside and she was enthralled. From the jellyfish tank to the huge aquariums with living coral, this girl was oohing and aahing for almost three hours (we had to leave because they were closing). Plus, after running all over the place, inside and outside, she was beat.
11. Back in Spokane just in time for it to snow. I took advantage of fresh snow and hit the dog park with Shadow one afternoon while Natalia was at the nanny.
12. Jet lag is rough, and sometimes you need a mama snuggle and a cat nap right before dinner.
13. Leftover rice and eggs in a bowl I picked up at the Spokane Potter’s Guild Chili Feed. I’ve been loving this bowl, it’s the perfect size for a small lunch or leftovers.
14. My girl and I rocked the stripes together and she loved watching me put on my red lipstick.
15. We took N to her first hockey game, and I think she’s a fan! She alternated giggling at the ladies behind us and watching the puck go from end to end, pointing it out to me. Although, if she could talk, she’d tell you that the highlight of the game was seeing Boomer as we left the stadium. She was in love with him, and it was adorable!
16. My little assistant and I on the way to a meeting with a couple vendors about Spokane Headshot Day.
And, just like that, it was March! February flew by – and I’m not just saying that because we racked up some miles and it’s the shortest month – because it was so full of stuff going on. We snuck in a trip or two to Mobius as well, but I never have a chance to photograph her there anymore because she just goes and goes and goes!
Some of the links are affiliate links. I only recommend products I use and love (or ones I’m looking to get). The small amount of money I earn from affiliate links helps me take this kiddo on more adventures.
by Emily Wenzel | Mar 21, 2018 | Personal Posts
Oh my gosh, January feels like it was FOREVER ago. I think it’s because the weather was decent in January, and then got to be so nasty in February. I feel like January was last fall, instead of just two months ago.
Real talk: I was going to lump January and February together, but then I started looking through our vacation photos from Maui and I just wanted to post them all and this post was getting long. So…here’s a long, Hawaii-less winter post! Hahaha, I’ll get to February soon!
1. Little miss got these Mega Blocks for Christmas and they’re a huge hit. She plays with them almost every day (and loves to Duplos at Grandma’s house just as much). I love that they’re in a bag that she can’t *quite* open on her own yet.
2. I bought another baby carrier. Yes, it’s a problem, and no, I don’t care. This is a wrap conversion Tula, for those of you who care, and it’s so soft and cuddly and worth every dang penny. Also, I’ve sold two carriers this month, so I am doing my best to keep it down!
3. This was the first time we ordered her a meal. And she ate almost all of it. I’m always impressed by how much she tucks away, but then again, I’m also impressed by how she never stops moving during the day. Toddlers have so much energy!
4. The power went out one night – of course right during dinner. So instead of making dinner, we had cheese and crackers by candlelight (and construction flashlight – thanks for the Christmas present, dad!). Then, since the power was off and the temp kept dropping and dropping, we brought little miss into bed with us. Oh, boy. First, we made the rookie mistake of forgetting to check which lights were on, so they all came on at like 3am – haha. Second, we’ve more or less never coslept, because our girl likes her space, and none of us slept very well that night. It was an adventure!
5. When you open the wipes container in your diaper bag and pull a bunch out, and then decide to clean your mama’s desk, you get photographed. Also: I wish I could take credit for those baby blues. #getsthemfromdadsfamily
6. Someday, I’m going to write a post about self care and self employment and motherhood and balance. Until that day, I’m going to try and squeeze in an occasional night out with girlfriends where we eat way too much sugar and laugh so much and dream up crazy plans for businesses and vacations and homes.
7. We got a Mobius membership in January, and we’ve used it a bunch. [Stop taking photos, ma, and just let me rock this seesaw.] I love having a membership because we just pop in for an hour or so, work out some energy, and when she gets cranky, we bounce. And the mess of a water table or rice table doesn’t come into my house. Win!
8. Sometimes I can’t believe how well these two get along. It’s absolutely adorable. She loves to climb into his dog bed and play with him and his toys. Or just climb all over him like a jungle gym.
9. January had a few nice, clear, days, and with next to no snow outside, we took our walker toy out and ran around on the patio with it in the rain chasing the dog.
10. Hikes! You’d think I snapped this photo a couple days ago, except for the fact that my kid is bundled up like crazy. We took a lot of nice, long, walks around the neighborhood in January, trying to get our HIB30 miles in. We did okay, until I got sick and just stopped caring.
11. My friend wrote a play! And it got published! So, I bought a copy. One of my goals this year is to support my friends who create things by buying their work. $$$
12 & 13: Asleep & Awake. I seriously could write a long song to our Clek carseat. N has been in it since birth, she’s rarely hated the car (and the worst trip we ever took, she was in her cheap-o travel seat), and she naps like a boss on road trips. She loves this seat and is always happy to be in it. I also feel like it sits up a lot higher than our other seat, so she can see out the window!
14. We stopped at a toy store and they had GIANT versions of our Jelly Cat bunny and N was in love. She was so bummed when we left without getting her one. Sorry, kid. She kept pulling them off the display and full on body hugging them on the floor. I don’t know why, but this kid loves her bunny!
15. We’ve had Shadow for more than 2 years, and this is one of the first times Lola has slept in his bed with him (she regularly poaches it when he’s not around). It hasn’t happened again since then, but I’m still holding out hope that they will become BFFs.
16. This one is blurry because I was laughing so hard when I took it. N has taken to poaching my scarves, especially my infinity scarves, and wearing them. She then crawled under my desk while I was working and started chatting away while poking at my computer. Luckily, she didn’t turn off my power strip (that time. She’s done it since and now doesn’t get to go near there).
And that was January! I can hardly believe we’re more than halfway through March now!! I need to get the February post up too. Haha, maybe I’ll get it done before April?!?!
by Emily Wenzel | Feb 1, 2018 | Personal Posts
Oh hi. When I fell off the blogging bandwagon, I’d try to start back up, and then I’d get overwhelmed, or the baby would wake up, and I’d just…put it off for the next day. My backlog is SO crazy, but I think I should start small, and maybe it’ll be easier with a few behind the scenes photos? Plus, I gotta get to it, because I gave myself a 2018 post goal, and I love love LOVE crossing goals off my list.
So, here’s a recap of October, November, and December. It’s a long one – and I can’t believe how tiny my girl looks in some of these photos!
1. Like I mentioned in the September recap, we started off the month of October in the Methow Valley, hiking up at Blue lake. It was cold and beautiful and already fall while the leaves still hadn’t started to change back in Spokane.
2. We spent a lot of time at the park in October, getting as much fresh air as possible before it was too cold and dark after H got home from work.
3. I did a lot of wrap trading in the fall! It’s so fun to see all the different wraps I used. 🙂 I can barely remember these beautiful days when I went outside without a sweater.
4. N loves her Clek car seat (she is not so much a fan of the lightweight travel seat we use when we fly) but she really loves when we take selfies while we’re waiting for dad to gas up the car.
5. We took N to her first Sounders game in October and it was so much fun! Some of H’s extended family was in the US, so they got to go to their first MLS game as well. And the Sounders won! It’s always more fun when they win. 🙂
6. A long weekend of travel means that someone crashes HARD for naps when she comes home. Usually I can’t sneak in and photograph her (the door squeaks – old house problems!), but I got in for this snap that I love so much.
7. Little miss found my stash of Halloween candy and was pulling all the milky way bars out of the bag. She was a little bummed when I wouldn’t let her open any of the noisy plastic!
8. We were pretty regularly getting out for our weekly hikes at Manito back in October (we fell off the wagon in November when we got sick). I’m looking forward to getting out again soon!
9. My grandma passed away in October and it hit me harder than I expected. Processing her loss took more time and space than I had thought I’d need, and contributed to my radio silence on the blog and social media. Long walks with my girl helped a lot.
10. So bored by mealtime, he didn’t even notice the chunk of rice that landed on his ear!
11. My husband tells me I set the bar too high, but this costume was a dream to make (hat from an Etsy shop that is now closed) and we got so many compliments. I loved my little Hedwig the Snow Owl! Yes, I am a nameless wizard. I should have put a scar on my forehead. Fail. 🙁
12. Checking out her Halloween loot. Of which she got to eat approximately…none. Maybe next year, kiddo!
1. This girl loves to “help” me while we work on house projects, like measuring for a new dining table.
2. What do you do when your laundry basket is empty? You pretend it’s a boat and row it around the living room!
3. Unless we host Thanskgiving, we’ve been given the duty of making pies. This was my pecan pie, which is H’s favorite. True story: I can’t stand nuts or corn syrup based pies! I’ve never even had a slice of pecan pie, but I make it every year and everyone who has it swears its one of the best they’ve had.
4. Apple pie. Now this is my go to. I use the Streusel topping from Classic German Baking and it turns out fabulously every year.
5. More wrap snuggles. N hasn’t been as into wrapping the last few weeks, and now I’m really missing it. She’s too busy exploring right now.
6. We saw a rainbow on Thanksgiving morning, which almost made up for the fact that I felt like death warmed over.
7. I was taken out by a nasty bug the week of Thanksgiving. I’m still not sure if it was the flu or a cold, but I threw together this leftovers busting turkey noodle soup and it made me feel a little better.
8. I was sick and she was teething, so we did lots of snuggling that week.
1. I finally got all the things together to make this more modern Advent wreath for our table. I’ve been dreaming of it for a few years, and I really liked how simple it was!
2. N was thrilled and confused to find chocolate and an orange in her boots on St. Nikolas Day! I had so much fun watching her reaction.
3. Little miss helping me bake cookies. We usually back carry while I bake, but she wanted to sit next to me for a bit. I’m planning to make her a learning tower this month, so she can help me in the kitchen.
4. I was able to borrow this beautiful handwoven wrap from River City Weaving for a week and it was a dream. My Instagram Husband is better as a non-IG husband, alas.
5. Visiting Christmas Tree Elegance at the Davenport! We didn’t win anything, but we had fun looking at all the trees and supporting a good cause.
6. Another carry with this dreamy wrap.
7. Since N is a December baby, we don’t get a tree until after her birthday. So, the day after her birthday, we went up to Greenbluff Christmas Tree Farm and found a beauty. N was a little unimpressed and almost fell asleep sitting in my seat while Dad strapped the tree on the roof.
8. I am a (Christmas) minimalist, and I love keeping our decor simple. Lots of lights and greenery and simple decorations. The added benefit is that the decorations take up less space, although we had to get another bin this year because we got a bunch more decor. Oops.
9. Like mama, like daughter. This one loves her water bottle, so we got her own for her birthday.
10. Pretty impressed by my bunte teller (colorful plate) skills this year, although some of the credit goes to my Aunt, who sent me a tin of cookies for Christmas. Yes, that makes her my favorite.
11. Post sledding and snow hiking, she was playing with her mittens!
12. It became an unofficial thing that I would take photos of H with a beer and N, starting in February. This was at South Perry Pizza on New Year’s Eve.
Boom! Three months of random stuff. My kid got huge, my house got decorated for the holidays and is now undecorated. We got sick. We got healthy. Then we got sick again. Ugh.
by Emily Wenzel | Dec 12, 2017 | Inland Northwest Venues
When you’re planning a wedding in a more rural area – basically any area that isn’t a major city center – it’s hard to find information on venues and vendors online. You’ll find listings for vendors in major cities – I’m looking at you Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia – on national websites, but it’s hard to find them for areas like Spokane, much less the Tri-Cities, Walla Walla, Yakima, or the Methow Valley and Winthrop.
So, here are a few of my favorite venues in Eastern Washington that I’ve worked at before. I’m also including a list of places I haven’t worked, but – hint, hint! – I would love to be your wedding photographer there. Contact me to find out if I’m available for your wedding date. I know that planning a wedding in a smaller town can be hard (we did it back in 2011!), so I’m always happy to pass along recommendations for other vendors I love.
Cave B Inn & Winery
I feel like I could write a love letter to Cave B Inn, and it would never say all the things I want to say about this gorgeous venue. Not only is the view out of this world, but the food is amazing and the staff are wonderful at taking care of their couples. When I photographed Jen & Chris’s wedding there last July, they were happy to share tips on little spots for photos that we may not have known about – since I’d never been there. Even though part of the Cave B was closed off during Leslie & Drew’s destination elopement (because of this little group called the Dave Mathews Band playing at the Gorge), they let us know where we could go and were so happy for us all. Someday, I’m going to go there for a night off and eat at the gorgeous restaurant and stay in one of the yurts! It’s an easy drive from Seattle or Spokane, and since there are plenty of accommodations on site, you don’t have to worry about where your guests will stay after the wedding.
Mazama Ranch House
The first time I drove up to Mazama, I fell in love. And each time that I have a wedding in the Methow Valley, I fall a little more in love with this beautiful slice of our state. Some day, I may just decide to stay and never leave! The Mazama Ranch House has a beautiful barn and – like Cave B Inn – rooms on site. These kind of locations are perfect for smaller, destination weddings. You could get married here in the snow, but I’ve only photographed Mazama weddings in the summer and fall. The Mazama Ranch house has the most wonderful red barn I’ve ever seen, and getting married here is just like getting married at a cabin in the woods. Someone, please book me for a winter wedding up here!!
Spring Creek Ranch
My other favorite Methow Valley venue is in the larger town of Winthrop (Mazama is a hamlet, or maybe a village). Spring Creek Ranch has a beautiful old home, a gorgeous location with views of town, and while it feels secluded, it’s right at the end of Winthrop. Less than 5 minutes from the downtown area and you can walk there over a stunning foot bridge. Unlike the more cabin-like feel of the Mazama Ranch House, Spring Creek Ranch is more like getting married at your grandma’s beautiful old house, surrounded by the most stunning scenery. The Methow Valley is a small community, but don’t think that because it’s small, they can’t throw an epic wedding. They can – and do – host multiple weddings in the Methow Valley each weekend. The vendor who work in the Methow are amazing, and they love showing off their part of the world.
Fontaine Estates Winery
Oh, Fontaine Estates. This sweet little winery is tucked away in Yakima, and while their website isn’t very great right now, their Facebook page is updated often. Or you could check out one of the adorable weddings I photographed at Fontaine Estates. I love that this space is so flexible. You can have a country wedding or a simple and classic teacher inspired wedding (complete with lunch trays) in the same space. It’s a perfect blank slate, but in a way that doesn’t take too much work to make it look stunning. Does that make sense?
Other venues in Eastern Washington
If none of these venues feel like the place you want to get married, maybe one of these other venues will be the place for you and your fiance. [listed alphabetically]
Foundry Vineyards (I was here for a private dinner, and it is STUNNING)
Marcus Whitman Hotel
The Methow Valley
Mazama Country Inn (I haven’t photographed a wedding here, but I’ve stayed here twice, and I really like it)
Sun Mountain Lodge
The Tri-Cities & Benton City
Belle Fiore Gardens
J. Bookwalter Winery
The Capitol Theater
River Ridge Golf Course
Yakima Valley Museum
Chelan, Leavenworth, & Roslyn
Sleeping Lady Resort