1) Jenny Shannon and Ryan McCarthy

Wed September 20, 2014, at Flying Horseshoe Ranch

Photographs by Erin Schedler Photography

After mulling over a destination wedding in a favorite south-of-the-border vacation spot for their fall nuptials, Seattle duo Jenny Shannon and Ryan McCarthy opted instead to bring Mexico home with a weekend-long celebration east of the Cascades. “We wanted it to be accessible and affordable for friends and family,” Jenny says. “It was great to get everyone together for a full weekend, playing lawn games, hanging out around the fire, and sharing all the things we enjoy doing as a couple with our guests.” To pull off the Mexican mood, the pair teamed with BreeAnn Gale of Pink Blossom Events to bring in colorful themed décor and Twelve Baskets Catering for a spread befitting such a fiesta.

The Scene “The chef at Twelve Baskets was so accommodating and had great suggestions,” the bride says. “We were looking for food that wasn’t stuffy and that fit the Mexican feel of our reception. We didn’t want ‘wedding food,’ just a delicious meal that we’d eat anytime.” To match the fare’s laid-back vibe, they chose venue Flying Horseshoe Ranch in Cle Elum for its casual, rustic backdrop.

The Eats “We were going for fresh, fun, and summery,” say the newlyweds. “Salsa, cilantro, corn tortillas, and tequila. And mole to bring us back to Oaxaca, where we got engaged.” Kicking off with a cocktail hour, the catering team passed trays of chicken mole and chimichurri steak skewers, plus black bean–and–cheese taquitos and cilantro-spiced shrimp. Guests also noshed on bowls of tortilla chips and salsa placed around the room. For dinner, a Mexican feast was served buffet-style, complete with a fajita bar, Spanish rice, vegetarian refried black beans, and, the couple’s favorite, a fresh jicama salad.

The Drinks Close friend Kati Campbell, owner of Kate’s Pub in Wallingford, took over the beverage service with beer, wine, and margaritas—but the biggest hit was the tequila toast. “I saw several people doing shots of tequila for the first time,” remembers Jenny, “my mom, Ryan’s mom, and his stepmom included.”

The Sweets Cupcakes from Stuffed Cakes in West Seattle in flavors like spicy Mexican hot chocolate, margarita with fresh lime curd, and coconut cake with crushed pineapple and rum buttercream.

MENU DETAILS

Chicken Mole Skewers

seasoned grilled chicken skewer in authentic house-made mole sauce

Chimichurri Steak Skewers

roasted poblano aioli and lime zest

Cilantro Spiced Shrimp

paprika, lime, and cilantro

Fresh Jicama Salad

julienne jicama, bell pepper, corn, red onion, cucumber, lime cilantro vinaigrette

Build-Your-Own Fajitas

carnitas and Blue Mesa Ranch steak, sautéed vegetables

 


2) Lauren Hallworth and Tim Wallis

Wed June 27, 2014, in a backyard ceremony at their home

Photographs by Rebecca Ellison Photography

 

It was a whirlwind wedding for Lauren Hallworth and new husband Tim Wallis. The couple had originally planned to marry across the pond in Tim’s home country of England, but after adding up costs and complications, they decided to host the event at home in Seattle. The groom’s parents were scheduled for a visit a short six weeks later, and so, on that timeline, they got to work planning an intimate backyard soirée with the help of local friends and family. “In the end, the quick plan never allowed us to get too fancy with ideas or overthink things,” Tim says. “Opportunistic isn't a word normally associated with marrying the love of your life, but it's pretty close in our case.” When it came to the meal, Tim called Duos Catering just 10 days before the wedding to organize a perfectly simple, beautifully prepared banquet.

The Scene If planning a wedding in such a short time wasn’t enough, Lauren and Tim were also in the midst of a housing remodel and a complete landscaping overhaul. The two leveled the yard, laid grass, built a brick patio, and painted the 100-year-old house’s exterior, all so they could be married on the foundations of their first home.

The Eats The two-part meal consisted of a plated sit-down dinner for the couple and 16 of their loved ones, followed by a buffet service for guests who arrived for the evening reception. Plated items included house-made potato rolls, wild king salmon vierge with heirloom tomatoes and a white balsamic and citrus sauce, and Beecher’s Cheese cappelletti pasta with pesto cream sauce. For the buffet, Duos served its signature beef sliders, grilled cheese and tomato soup, avocado toast, and grilled garlic- and herb-seasoned lamb lollipops with a balsamic and pomegranate reduction.

The Sweets Cake pops in vanilla and chocolate from Audrey Clarke of Little Black Dress Events. Out of the 130 ordered, not a single one was left.

The Drinks The couple hired a bartender for the evening but supplied all their own booze. Conveniently, the leftovers kept the newlyweds in cocktails through an entire summer of at-home date nights.

MENU DETAILS

Oysters on the Half Shell

shallot mignonette

Wild King Salmon Vierge

heirloom tomatoes, pan-seared fingerling potatoes, roasted asparagus

Pesto Cappelletti

Beecher’s Cheese cappelletti, basil pesto cream sauce

Duos Lounge Beef Slider

barbecue aioli, Tillamook cheddar, Macrina Bakery brioche roll

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Beecher’s on Tuscan bread with house tomato soup

Lamb Lollipop

balsamic and pomegranate reduction


3) Rebecca Wolff and Aaron Jacobs

Wed August 31, 2014, at Axis Pioneer Square

Photographs by Belathée Photography

One could say that Queen Anne–based newlyweds Rebecca Wolff and Aaron Jacobs’s relationship really took off after a culinary mishap six years ago. The two had only been dating for a few weeks when Rebecca dropped a knife on her foot, requiring surgery and the constant care of Aaron, who moved in to her third-floor walk-up just after the accident. “We probably knew then that we were meant for each other, and three years later he proposed in Parsons Gardens, where we walk our dog every day,” says the bride. When it came to choosing the menu for their fall nuptials, the duo dove in with equal fervor, devouring nearly every item on Ravishing Radish’s tasting menu and adding their favorites to the official lineup. “We were very open to anything,” Rebecca says, “as long as it was delicious.” To accommodate the bride’s Jewish family, they steered clear of pork or shellfish, and they gave a nod to their home city with Seattle flavors like smoked salmon and locally grown veggies.

The Scene Originally from the East Coast, Rebecca wanted an older venue with some classic charm. Axis Pioneer Square, with its exposed brick and hardwood floors, fit the bill. And having grown up in Seattle, Aaron loved the idea of tying the knot in the former home of Elliott Bay Book Company.

The Eats Ravishing Radish inaugurated the evening with tray-passed nectarine and goat cheese crostini, deviled eggs with smoked salmon, and a spiced-mustard leg of lamb with potato-picked cucumber salad on wheat walnut crostini. For dinner, the couple chose to make it easy on guests with a plated meal of a baby greens salad, roasted garlic potato purée, and grilled summer vegetables alongside a choice of herbed-lemon chicken with sweet-onion marmalade, braised Oregon country short ribs with a malbec reduction, or sweet potato polenta triangles with sautéed kale and chickpeas.

The Sweets A lemon curd and raspberry cake from the Macrina Bakery outpost near the two’s home in Queen Anne.

The Drinks In addition to a full bar, the couple had two specialty cocktails: a manhattan and a greyhound. “Our venue allowed us to purchase our own alcohol, so we had fun searching out all of the best ingredients and figuring out how much to buy,” Rebecca says. “We may have gone a bit overboard in some places.”

MENU DETAILS

Ripe Nectarine and Goat Cheese Crostini

topped with fig preserves

Radish Deviled Eggs

smoked salmon and dill

Summer Baby Greens Salad

organic greens, grapefruit, goat cheese

Herbed-Lemon Chicken

sweet-onion marmalade

Boneless Braised Oregon Country Short Ribs

malbec reduction

Sweet Potato Polenta Triangles

sautéed kale, caramelized onions, chickpeas