Tori and Nano’s Rustic Wedding at Kitsap Memorial State Park

One of the joys of being the editor for this site is getting to know the stories behind the photos; to see how our couples came to be, to see how they tick. When so much of the wedding industry focuses on things, it’s an utter privilege to be able to tap into the human side and celebrate the people we feature. Tori and Nano have a great story and it starts (for us) with the winning of a Nice People contest.

Photographer Amanda Summerlin of Amanda Summerlin Photography shares the Tori and Nano experience:

Tory and Nano were actually the winners of our 2013 Nice People contest, a contest based on a public vote system for the nicest couple, so they got their wedding photography for free. They created this wedding on a literal shoestring budget, right down to buying the burning used from a couple that were cleaning up their reception when Tory toured the venue.


Let’s get to know Nano and Tory.


Splurging and splendor will probably never be an option for us and that’s okay. Our wedding will be beautiful and joyful, but, out of necessity, it will also have to be somewhat frugal. The theme of our wedding is fun- and it would be truly wonderful to have you there to be a part of it and to help us remember and celebrate each moment.


The one thing I admire most about Tory is her heart. She has the biggest heart I have ever known and can love without restraint. When I say ‘love,’ I mean Tory has this incredible ability to love everyone and everything for simply being alive and apart of this world. Through Tory I have learned how to also open my heart to my world and my community. During college she would take me with her to service events to clean invasive species from parks, collect canned goods for food pantries, and tutor children at elementary schools in Seattle. If not for Tory, I would never have realized the joy and satisfaction that comes from serving and opening my heart to others. I also would never have spent two years of my life as a City Year volunteer, and I would never have discovered my passion and purpose as a teacher.


We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we moved to the middle of the country in 2010 and joined City Year, an Americorps program that works to end the drop-out crisis in urban schools. It was the most intense experience of our lives as we spent 50 to 60 hours a week tutoring struggling students, breaking up fights, creating behavior programs, running after school classes, putting on Spelling Bees and generally trying to be everything and everywhere in schools that didn’t have the money or staff to provide fully for their students. Then we’d be at the City Year office at least 3 nights a week and most Sundays, trying to catch up on lesson plans, creating flyers and templates, and planning trainings, workshops and appreciations. We made due with a meager stipend and food stamps, sharing a tiny apartment with several roommates. We spent 10 to 12 hours a day with a team of people that sometimes drove us nuts, and were lucky to see each other for an hour each night. We poured our energy into kids with heart-breaking stories, who were more likely to cuss us out than thank us, and who might not have anyone else in their lives telling them they were smart and capable. Needless to say, we totally fell in love with it.

What surprised me was that through all the stress, frustration and sleeplessness, I also fell so much deeper in love with Nano. I had always treasured his gentleness, his romantic side (that beautifully off-sets my overly pragmatic tendencies), his unique insights, his sense of humor, and his thoughtful, open-minded attitude. But it wasn’t until we worked side by side and faced such intense challenges as co-workers, that I learned a whole new level of admiration for him. I suddenly saw him a leader and was so incredibly proud to see him step up to challenges with a confidence and passion that he’d never shown before. Not only that, but he supported me every step of the way, and helped me have faith in my work and in the difference I was making, even on those days I wanted to give up. I might have been what brought him there, but he brought me through it. Seeing how much of himself he was willing to give to improve the lives of others was more than enough to convince me to say ‘YES!’ when he proposed during the fall of our second service year.


As we prepare for our new, married life, we’re also preparing to start our careers. We have decided to dedicate our lives to serving our community by becoming teachers. It’s our passion to work with the most challenging students in the toughest areas, because we believe in the power of education to create change and in the ability of one caring adult to inspire the youth in our community to succeed with confidence. We know this path will not be easy. It will not be paved with gold, but there will be treasures along the way. The treasures ahead of us are not the kind we can hold in our hands or fill our pockets. They are the treasures we will hold in our hearts and will fill our souls with love and purpose. And, most importantly, we will walk along this path of love side by side and share in these treasures together. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Tori and Nano
Kitsap Memorial State Park – Log Hall, Washington
Event Date: August, 2013



Photographer:  Amanda Summerlin Photography//Cake Designer: Bella Bella Cupcakes//Invitation Designer: Citrus Press Co. Stationery + Design//Tuxedo and Mens Attire:H&M//DJ: H&M//Dress Store: J. Crew//Reception Venue: Kitsap Memorial State Park – Log Hall//Beauty:Seaport Salon and Spa//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Summer + Gabe’s Lovely Country Backyard Wedding

Summer + Gabe decided to get married at Gabe’s childhood neighborhood, courtesy of a friend’s backyard. This super relaxed and homey affair is nothing short of gorgeousness. With every detail well-thought out by Summer and with photography by Courtney Bowlden Photography, I got quite a few awe-inspiring photos to show you (think hanging paper lantern on apple trees)!

Summer took it upon herself to do all the decorations and flower arrangements for the wedding. What’s interesting and money-saving(!) was that she didn’t have any particular flowers in mind; rather, she picked up the flowers at a flower stand on the side of the road and just ran with what she had. A very nice touch they had at the wedding was that rather than just hanging up photos of the two of them and/or family, they honor all the friends and family who came by incorporating a lot of photos of them around the yard. For their guestbook, Summer found vintage post cards at antique stores and decided to leave them out for guests to write on, which she’ll then use them to make into a book. And Gabe’s contribution? He did an awesome job DIYing by hand-carving the ring box and center pieces
According to the photographer Courtney Bowlden, Summer and Gabe included an old tradition of jumping over lavender after the wedding, which she has not seen before. Something cute she also shared with us is that after the ceremony, Summer took Gabe’s niece, who was their flower girl, around to look for little baby frogs. The result? Summer caught one and Courtney Bowlden took some awesome photos with it.

Congratulations to Summer + Gabe for a beautiful laid-back wedding!!


Photographer: Courtney Bowlden Photography//Wedding Date:08.17.2013//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Stephanie + Nick’s Intimate Backyard Wedding

I’m currently experiencing a “snowpocalypse” here in Atlanta and craving for some warm, pretty weather. Luckily, I can live vicariously through a wedding by Blue Rose Photography I’m featuring today. Stephanie + Nick decided to get married in their new gorgeous backyard in Seattle, Washington, to keep it intimate & budget-friendly. They DIY most of the wedding, with flowers from a local market and food catered from Veraci Wood Fired Pizza.

Stephanie + Nick bought all the flowers from local Farmers Market for *gasp* $75 and friends and family helped to put the bouquets, boutonnieres, and center pieces together. They spent a little more money (since they saved on the venue!) to rent beautiful wood tables from Seattle Farm Tables. They also set up their own beverage station with DIY tags and made their own beautiful invitation suites and signage.
Some of my favorites: The t-rex cake topper, especially the veil on the bridal t-rex! I also super love the beautiful dahlias in their backyard… goes very well with their floral-theme signage and invitation suite! Nice job done, Stephanie + Nick! Big congrats you two!


Photographer:  Blue Rose Photography//Wedding Date: Aug 03, 2013//Wedding Location: Couple’s backyard//Caterer: Veraci Pizza//Rental:Seattle Farm Table

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Kayla + Jacob’s Glamorous Vintage Wedding

Merry Christmas crafties!  I hope you all had a wonderful day full of family, friends, and lots of love.  Today’s wedding is super vintage glam fest with an edgy feel to it.  Captured by B. Jones Photography this red dazzler is sure to inspire brides to be for all seasons!



Kayla and her maid of honor made the brooch bouquet together. Most of the brooches featured in the bouquet belonged to Kayla’s late great grandmother or were collected at flea markets. The large key on one side of the bouquet was given to Kayla by her great grandfather before he passed away.  A family friend made the belts special for the bridesmaids.   Every bit of vintage flair was a part of Kayla’s personal collection or loaned to her by her grandmother.   Even the cake topper was her grandparents. 46 years ago.   From the arbor, to the paper flowers, this whole wedding was created by a compilation of family, friends, and loved ones.

Thank you B. Jones Photography for sharing this brilliant wedding!  Congratulations Kayla + Jacob!

Vendor Information:

Date: July 21, 2013

Location: Bellingham, WA

Photographer: B. Jones Photography

Event Venue: Zuanich Boat House

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Kaitlin + Joshua’s Budget Friendly, Vintage Wedding Weekend

So can we talk about how this wedding just has awesome written all over it!? Becoming Images captured a wonderfully eclectic wedding weekend held at historic Camp Casey on Whidbey Island that included all of the things that create a memorable event. Starting with family, friends, and the perfect location Kaitlin and Joshua celebrated their nuptials on the gorgeous coastal property her grandfather managed which held wonderful memories to set the tone of this perfectly vintage (and re-usable) day. But the day gets even better. It includes picnics, ice cream trucks, outdoor dance parties, and some pure beach romance all for under $10K!

From the bride:

The wedding was inspired by my love of crafting and vintage things and our love of the idea of conscientiously reusing. Therefore, we were shooting for an antique, DIY picnic theme with an overall budget was $8,500. Several people thoughtfully donated their time and talents to pull off this budget.

Kaitlin crafted loads of little details for this perfect day; everything from ribbon wands, clothespins, photo frames, paper flowers, bout and bouqs to the bridesmaids sashes, flower girl hairbands and the beer and cider! To maintain the re-usable nature of the day many of the details were either borrowed or upcycled, like the wine bottles used as water carafes in the picnic baskets and the picnic quilts themselves.

Thank you Penny McGoey from Becoming Images for sharing this insanely beautiful wedding with us. Congratulations Kaitlin and Joshua!

Vendor Information:

Date: June 15, 2013

Location: Coupeville, WA

Photographer: Becoming Images

Event Venue: Camp Casey Conference Center on Whidbey Island

Catering: Dante’s Inferno Dogs

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Tia + Michael’s Country Military Wedding

When Mike enlisted in the Navy and he and Tia moved to Texas, the challenges of planning a wedding grew a bit.  Lucky for us, this crafty couple created a a perfectly country chic wedding in Washington, despite planning it from so far away.  Simply Sonja Photography was there to document the whole fun loving, detail filled, country inspired day that was so filled with love even the shadows feel the need to smile.


Tia’s MOH served as her coordinator and what a fantastic job she did!  With extra details like having the flowers and cake done at the QFC in Bellevue, Wa as well as picking up flowers for the brides bouquet at Pike’s Place Market in Seattle, Tia and Mike’s big daywas what happens when the heart of Texas collides with Pacific North-West charm.

Congratulations Tia and Mike!  Thanks so much Simply Sonja Photography for sharing this beautiful day.

Vendor Information:

Date: May 18, 2013

Location: Chehalis, WA

Photographer: Simply Sonja Photography

Caterer:  Centralia Steak and BBQ

Equipment Rentals:  Special Event Rentals

Event Venue:  Red Barn Studios

Floral Designer:  QFC

Dress Store:  Bellevue Bridal

Hair Stylist:  AJ’s Hair Design & Makeup

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Kelley + Larry’s Backyard Carnival Wedding

Step right up folks!  You are about to enjoy the super fun nuptial spectacle of Kelley and Larry!  There’s fun and games!  Tears and smiles!  There’s dazzling DIY and photos you’ll have to see to believe!    Is there really a need to say anything more!?  Well maybe just that every last detail of this whimsical vintage carnival makes me giddy with delight!  Anda Photography has certainly won a prize for capturing a perfect blend of whimsy and home sweet style that only Kelley and Larry could create.

Kelley’s super cute dress was a bridal consignment find that with a few alterations (like chopping off three feet of skirt or so) created a perfectly vintage-esque frock.  To combat her allergies, Kelley tackled some beautiful paper blooms and bouts that complimented the bright and cheery carnival atmosphere perfectly.  Kelley’s no trickster carnie though.  She shared with us that they weren’t quite coming out the way she wished and managed to send her materials to a vendor that shaped them into the fantastic arrangement you see here.   We’ve totally got a winner with the cupcake liner poms that adorned the backyard railing and enhanced the groom-crafted and painted signs.  Yep that mural cut-out, directional sign, and wedding banner were all groomie made.  (While we’d normally give him the big DIY prize, we think he fared pretty well with an awesome bride.)  So what’s the can’t miss key attraction of the show? The World Famous Carnival Cakes!  Handcrafted by a bud, a gluten-free, rice krispy treat, and funfetti set of mesmerizing beauties were worthy of biggest prize yet!

It’s weddings like these that make my job so fun!  A big thanks to Anda Photography for sharing this awesomely fun day!  I’ll leave you with some words of wisdom from bride Kelley:

Make lists, prioritize, take on one task a day, give yourself reasonable deadlines and be sure to meet them. Don’t be scared of delegating, YOU CANT DO IT ALL BY YOURSELF! Perfection is impossible, be grateful for the love and support you’ll receive and don’t freak out if people don’t do things your way. Always remember you’re getting married because you love your spouse not because you love shiny things. Do keg stands.

Congratulations Kelley and Larry!

Vendor Information:

Date: July 21, 2012

Location: United States

Photographer: Anda Photography

Paper flowers: Bookish Bride

Submitted via Two Bright Lights


Alicia + Bill’s Rustic Glamping Inspired Wedding

Today we have the perfect wedding to kick off the official start of summer.  There were three requirements for Alicia and Bill’s “Big Day”: trees, water, and camping.  It’s pretty hard to argue that this combination is bound to lead to a rustic and  gorgeous glamping party extraordinaire!  Magnificently captured by Jenny GG Photography, this wedding is the perfect blend of rustic glam, simple charm, and casual elegance.

From colors to coozies, Alicia and Bill didn’t miss a beat in keeping things colorful and cheerful.   Every pinwheel and galvanized bucket filled with baby’s breath reflect their relaxed and playful personalities.  And their is no shortage of sweet style too.  Make sure to peek at the whole gallery to see some awesome grey and yellow magic in the florals, paper suite, and that killer clutch!

Thanks Jenny GG Photography for gathering these amazing and “glamp” filled images.  Congratulations Alicia and Bill!

Vendor Information:

Photographer: Jenny GG Photography 

Event Venue: Kitsap Memorial State Park- Log Hall

Submitted via Two Bright Lights



Thalia + Andy’s Rural Barn Wedding

One of the cool parts about this job is that fantastic artists like Teddi Yeager Photography make you feel like a virtual guest at some happy couple’s big day.  Every once in a while, we need to be nosy and pick the brains of our creative couples.  An email here, a thank you there, and we have the all of the details our bandwidth can handle.  But today’s wedding is a little special for me.  I actually got to speak, well, text, with the bride herself and get to share some great news.  As if you needed a reason to love barn weddings more, we have Thalia and Andy’s wedding which is chock  full of big smiles and dripping in DIY gorgeousness.  Even better, it’s a wedding with a really happy ending!

From Thalia’s brilliantly beaded princess gown and the mismatched multi-color ribbons, to the twig and floral archway and hay bale seating, Thalia and Andy have achieved a perfect union of classic rustic details.  DIY’ing everything from invites and centerpieces to hair and make up.  And yep, they even wrote their own vows. I’m also starting to get convinced that a country style wedding isn’t truly complete without horses, chickens and a few donkeys.  You simply must view the entire gallery to make sure you enjoy the scrumptious dessert buffet and wedding cake masterfully crafted by the groom’s sister.

Ultimately, Teddi Yeager Photography has allowed us to share the fun and festivities with Thalia and Andy on their big day.  It’s the guilty pleasure part of wedding gawking that a great photog shares to make you feel like a member of the family.  Speaking of family members, not only do we thank Teddi Yeager Photography for adding us to the guest list, but we would like to congratulate Thalia and Andy on their new addition!  Yep the happy ending to this tale is a new bundle of joy whose girly nursery is surely decked out in some sweet DIY.  Congrats on your wedding and the best wishes with the baby Thalia and Andy!  Thank you for taking the time to chat!

Vendor Information:

Photography: Teddi Yeager Photography

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Cierra + Martin’s Playful Engagement

Sometimes, no matter how good our intentions are to be offbeat and original, we can easily get lost the inspiration of all things wedding and suddenly find ourselves walking through the woods to get that gorgeous shot when the closest thing we get to the outdoors in our everyday lives is trekking through the jungle in the new Tomb Raider game.  Lucky for us, our DIY bride couples never lose sight of what’s important- YOU!  Kimberly at Hand in Hand Photography has sent us Cierra and Martin’s offbeat love shoot that proves just that.

From the photographer:

Cierra and Martin are amazing. and fun. and ridiculously in love.  For their engagement they wanted something totally fun and offbeat and went to the Family Fun Center in Edmonds, WA.  They wanted to have a not only a kick butt session but a great EXPERIENCE.

And kick-butt it was! (I just hope Cierra’s not kicking my butt in those fantastic mint heels.)  A perfectly playful and posh shoot that proves all you need is some real romance to ooze off the photos.  Thanks Hand in Hand Photography capturing that, and congratulations Cierra and Martin!


Vendor Information:

Photgrapher:  Hand in Hand Photography

Venue:  Family Fun Center

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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