You guys. This wedding! I am so excited to share it with all of you!
Ben and Amaia have become dear friends in the past couple of years. I shot two engagement sessions for them in DC, one amid the gorgeous fall colors and the second under a canopy of cherry blossoms in the spring. Both were full of laughter, snarky humor, and intelligent conversation – right up my alley. Then, in June, I moved from DC to Oregon. Luckily, their August wedding was set to take place in Chehalis, Washington just a couple of hours away! The stars aligned, and I’m so very glad they did.
A bit of backstory on these love birds is in order, especially because I love their story so much.
Ben and Amaia met in DC, and despite their differences – Amaia is a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat and Ben is a red-blooded Republican – they were nearly inseparable as friends shortly after meeting and later as a couple. A few elections later, they were ready to start their lives together as husband and wife, proving that compromise and collaboration are possible in Washington DC.
Although they still live in DC, Ben and Amaia wanted to have their wedding in Washington state, a place that holds many emotional ties for them. Aside from the location, the most important thing to this couple was that their day authentically reflect who they are while creating a memorable experience to share with their closest friends and family, even those who were unable to experience the festivities in person.
Amaia works in social media, so, naturally, she and Ben launched a wedding blog, used paperless save the dates and invitations, and used their own hashtag – #benjamaia – to compile posts across all social media platforms into one stream of experiences so that everyone could follow along for all the fun. Ben and Amaia’s hashtag also turned guests’ Instagram photos into Polaroid-esque photo favors (how fun is that?). The couple also added games (one of Ben’s favorite things) throughout the day with Scrabble tile table numbers, a Jenga guest book, Trivial Pursuit cards on the tables to help break the ice, plus washers (a family game) and bocce ball during the cocktail hour.
Last, but not least, the decor. Oh, the decor! Between the bride and groom’s families, and the fantastic Jen Leslie Events, all of the DIY decorations (including 250 tissue paper flowers, 435 feet of bunting, centerpieces, fabric chargers and flowers all DIY’d by friends and family) was meticulously put into place at the Red Barn Studios. As you’ll see, everything came together beautifully, and I was deeply honored to be a part of Ben and Amaia’s beautiful and meaningful day. Without further ado, I give you, Ben and Amaia’s nuptials.