a lovely handmade camp wedding in leavenworth, washington: kristy & kelly

this wedding. wow. we were in love with every minute! these two have such an amazing love story! i’m seriously going to link what kristy first emailed me….what made us fall in love with these two:

A Tale of Two Librarians:

For the past five months I had been enjoying my life as a single career-focused gal in Seattle, dating here and there, and content with being unattached for the first time in over ten years. That late July night in 2009 found me dancing alone to some incredible northern soul (fun and somewhat obscure British soul music from the 60s and 70s) during one of Seattle’s Emerald City Soul Nights at the Lo-Fi. There was some momentary eye contact with a good-looking, curly brown-haired, stylish gentleman, but feeling the music, I didn’t notice him again until he was dancing just inches from me. We danced for a few beats, and then he initiated a conversation by asking about the word necklace I was wearing that said “librarian.” After discovering that I was indeed librarian, he was ecstatic, and proclaimed that he was in library school at the University of Washington himself. It took a few moments for my incredulity to subside and turn into the realization that our serendipitous meeting on the dance floor wasn’t something to write off. We took a break from dancing to learn more about one another, and it was obvious that we were both smitten. Too soon, it was time to part ways, but that night I received the most adorable library-inspired text from him, and I knew we would soon be seeing more of each other. I’m so happy that my belief came to fruition.

 The Proposal:

On Valentine’s Day 2011 we started discussing marriage. Kelly suggested that we elope the following day at City Hall. My heart was aflutter at the prospect of an immediate impromptu wedding, but I knew that I wanted something more. I envisioned a relaxing weekend celebration in the woods with close family and friends – a sort of destination wedding with the option to camp or bunk in cabins. We both agreed that we should wait and include our loved ones. It may sound unromantic to some, but next we started discussing the proposal. I asked him how he thought he might propose, and he wasn’t sure. I asked how he would feel if I proposed to him instead, and he was visibly relieved. He loved the idea! With the pressure off of him and now on me, I set to planning my proposal.

 On July 30, 2011, our two year anniversary, I met Sarah from Arrow and Apple at Volunteer Park. While waiting on a wooded path, I took a sip from my flask of vodka to help squelch my nerves. I had asked my brother to text Kelly telling him to meet him at the park to skate, and I paced nervously, hoping my brother had come through. Eventually we saw Kelly walk by holding onto his skateboard, while we hid behind the trees. He walked past the two Koi ponds, and then circled back heading our way. I clutched the tin containing the Swiss Army “engagement watch,” my stomach a ball of nerves while he approached. Sarah began taking photos while I took a few seconds to figure out what I was going to say. Finally, I blurted out, “Will you marry me?” and revealed the watch I had hidden behind my back. Kelly said yes, and we kissed. I secured the watch to his wrist, backwards at first, and then he got down on one knee and placed the antique engagement ring from my grandma on my finger. After changing clothes (I brought an outfit for Kelly too), Sara shot us in our element inside the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s library. I wanted a library to play a central role in our engagement photos, because our librarian connection was so pivotal in bringing us together.

 Our Wedding Vibe:

WE CAN’T WAIT! It’s going to be a relaxing and fun-filled weekend in the woods underneath the Cascade Mountains in Leavenworth, WA. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to profess our love for one another surrounded by our closest friends and family in this truly magical location. Guests will stay on the grounds in cabins, bunk houses, and tents. Some of the weekends’ activities include morning yoga inside a sky yurt, archery, music from friends, hiking, and so much more! The bands Fleet Foxes and First Aid Kit have inspired the feel that we’re hoping to achieve: Northwest/woodsy, throwback/vintage, melodic harmony, integrity/our true selves….

 We’re going for a Midsummer Night’s Dream feel with woodland creatures. Of course we will play on the librarian theme with antique library card catalogs containing escort cards that look like catalog cards. Our wedding invites are super cute library due date cards as well.

the tierra retreat center is a retreat center/campground full of charm…nestled in a forested valley in leavenworth, washington. with several options for lodging for guests, it felt like summer camp & love met up this weekend! some of their guests brought their camping gear and set up their little ‘homes’ on the property. others chose the large room in the main lodge filled with bunk beds….or, there were suites in buildings next door to the main lodge! i cannot think of a more rad way to celebrate your wedding….than a weekend devoted to hanging with all of the closet and dearest of your loved ones! from the idyllic location to the thousands of sweet little (and big ones too!) do-it-yourself projects and so many personal props & thrifted finds, the wedding weekend timeline that made it feel like a big family event, it was a dream! {smile}

wait until you see all of the projects that kristy & kelly created! my two favorites were the ombre paper-mache flower arch for their ceremony and i’m all kinds of obsessed with their vintage wall-papered cat cut-out that they used as a rad backdrop for their own guest-run photobooth with a trendy fuji-film polaroid camera! love! speaking of cats…this is my favorite story when meeting a new client! so….both adam and i have a tattoo of a somewhat obscure author’s sketching from a series called {his dark materials} by philip pullman. neither of our tattoos were showing the first time we met kristy & kelly. as we were talking about our pets, we realized that we had both named one of our pets after one of the characters in this fantasy series! iorek byrnison! {smile} seriously….when would you ever hear that name repeated? iorek byrnison is a brilliant white warrior polar bear that is loyal & protective of those he loves. kristy & kelly have a fluffy white cat that totally embodies iorek’s spirit, we think! our iorek is a white boxer. i feel like the two would be fast friends! {smile} in any case, i love that kristy & kelly used cats as a theme throughout their wedding decor! love.

okay…there is so much more i could say, but for right now, i just have to mention that their wedding food was the most delectable i think i’ve had! i love that their whole weekend was vegan….and, seriously. i’m not typically a fan of thai food, but this restaurant was the couples’ favorite…and, so naturally, they wanted to transport their fave food to their wedding day! gosh am i glad they did! i’m totally salivating remembering it now! {thank you, kristy & kelly}

↓ totally melted here! {smile}

love that this cat tapestry over her wasn’t even planned! {smile} fate!

are you dying over how lovely that ombre paper-mached floral ceremony arch is?! {{sigh}}

love, love, love the painted floral curtain on real branches! seriously so in love with it!! and, this amphitheater…..can it get any lovelier than this?! love this venue so, so much!

↑ see that darling couple on the bottom left?! they’re kristy & kelly’s super talented musician friends! they’re starting to tour now, and they are seriously inspired! so, so good! go look them up & see a show!!! {slow bird band} show them some love! i can’t lie that i’ve been listening to them a lot while editing this wedding!!!

↑ we’ve only seen a sign like this at one other wedding….and, i can’t lie. i totally wanted to cry, it was so sweet! i love that people weren’t stepping into the aisles ‘trying’ to get that shot with their phone…instead, we saw inclined necks, fingers gently wiping away tears, and hands to the chest with a little unexpected gasp. it made the ceremony so magical. and, seriously…..i’m so in love with this idea!!! replicate & steal this idea, please! {smile}

love that they didn’t follow trends and do a sand-pouring or candle-lighting or foot-washing, etc. instead, they planted a tree together & watered it. their friend/officiant said such lovely words about the nourishment needed for trees and marriage alike! {smile} love this so much!

okay…this groom’s exuberance at being declared her husband totally made me melt! {sigh}

ah!! patti!!! your bouquet for kristy was absolutely stunning! {smile}

↓ how rad and stylish is their friend/DJ?! love! and….she spun some super rad, vintage tunes! unlike any DJ we’ve heard before! so in love!

what librarian couple wouldn’t have a card catalog for seating their guests, huh?! {smile} so ingenius! and….they had their own logo of the two of them made for the occasion! so sweet!!! totally in love with every detail!

love these silver cat figurines at each place setting!!!

in preparation for a midnight bonfire & concert by {slow bird} that night…the guys channeled some northwest lumberjack style! {smile} seriously love these two images! had to include them!

love those gold-dipped feather garlands! and….the handmade guazy-cloud-like lighted domes! it made the atmosphere!

↑ those boutonnieres were amazing! love!

and….seriously, these next two images. made me tear up!

love that there were dogs at their wedding! this one made me want to snuggle! {smile}

we love the last image….adam has been really dabbling into some lengthy exposures, and this one was my favorite! my honey is seriously the bomb at this! {smile}

we hope you all loved this wedding as much as we did!! tell them what you loved best! this was such a labor of love from the couple and all of their friends and family! and, they are surrounded by some pretty fabulous and amazing people! we felt like one of them, and that was so touching! thank you to all of kristy & kelly’s friends and family for making their wedding and our welcome so absolutely lovely!!! we will never forget this wedding!

♥ the gemmers

venue: tierra retreat center

videographer: austin goldberg (THE man!) mammoth media

caterer: araya’s thai

day of coordinator: julia teske on behalf of weddings by dani

floral crown, necklace, bridal bouquet, & boutonnieres: patti bosket of au natural

floral centerpieces: roots produce flower farm

musician/band: jenae & josh of {slow bird}

DJ: sasha bianca

ceremony arch, painted floral ceremony curtain, reception lighting, reception decor, place cards, lawn games through the wedding weekend, floral cat photobooth backdrop, etc: bride & groom DIY-extraordinaires! {smile}

show hide 61 comments

Maira Macedo - Hi! My name is Maira, I´m from Brazil and I´m going to marry in 16th august.

I´m really in love with the arch of this wedding, I´ve seem it in pinterest and other blogs and I´m looking for more informations about it… I can´t imagine myselve getting married under other kind of arch.

How can I get the contact of Krity? I need to ask her how she did it, the material that she used… It´s the only thing I really need at my wedding´s decoration… The other things are gonna be complementary.

Thank you very much!

Much love and hapiness to Kristy and Kelly.

Maira Macedo.

Nadia Sorenson - Oh my oh my…I am in love with all the pretty details. These photos are BEAUTIFUL. So worth whatever you spent. Kristy – you look absolutely gorgeous…as always. Both you and Kelly look so happy. Wish we could have shared these moments with you. Congratulations!!! Nadia and Nicky <3

Cassie Garety - These photos are absolutely amazing. I was lucky enough to be at this beautiful wedding weekend and I loved reliving it through the images. They really tell the story of the weekend. I especially love the black and whites and the night photos. Just brilliant!!

Eron Drew - Probably some of the most perfect photos from a wedding I have ever seen! Keepers for sure :-)

Melissa - Gorgeous wedding! Congrats!

Jill Kathan - Fabulous pictures!!! The food looked yummy, the decorations were unique and beautiful, and the bride and groom rocked of course!! CONGRATS!!!!

Sara Kleipe - Wow the photos are so breathtaking! Congrats!

Mari - Wow…. what beautiful photographs, and what an amazing wedding! Such a beautiful location… wishing love, laughter, passion and happiness for ever and ever!

Susie - How beautiful!!

Linda Geiger - Absolutely gorgeous setting and fantastic looking couple!!! Sorry I was unable to make it to the wedding but seeing these beautiful pictures help slightly make up for it, almost enabling me to feel as if I had been there. Congratulations to the happy couple and best wishes for their life together!

lori - What a beautiful wedding, it’s absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing.

Donna Allen - What a beautiful Wedding

joan buck - what a wonderful idea for a wedding , the scenery is just amazing

Evelyn MacDonald - What an incredible wedding, such a personal touch, my favorite is the library card cabinet and everything else is my secondfsvorites. Congrats

Elsie MacLeod - Looks like a lovely wedding!! Great photos!

Maureen - AMAZING! Amazing story, amazing pictures, and what looks to have been an amazing day! Congrats to the happy couple!!

Nicole - Lovely wedding!

Meghan - What gorgeous photos! They really capture the feel of the day, all the beautiful details, and the wonderful style of Kristy and Kelly. I am so thankful I got to be a part of such a special day. Thank you for capturing this day so beautifully!

Lori - All i can say is wow what a great location and so rustic and peaceful amazing

Denise - Beautiful!

Patricia MacLeod - Beautiful wedding picture and wonderful story.

Jennie - Wow, what a gorgeous wedding! The pictures are absolutely beautiful. You’ll always remember this special day! :)

Michelle - What beautiful pictures. I also had an outdoor venue for my wedding, your pictures are wonderful. Congratulations.

Kyle Parker-Robinson - Such amazing photos! I especially love the dancing party ones with the guests having a good time.

Heidi P - Amazing…so beautiful, peaceful and lovely

Jackie - That giant cat! It still makes me laugh!

Lee-Ann Jeffrey - Wow…..I have never wanted to get married (43, in a relationship for 20+ years), but this..this was lovely..and made me want to have something similiar…almost….I’ll keep it in mind for my daughter. Soooo beautiful.

Helen Watkinson - It sounds like a perfect wedding and I love the settings you chose for your wedding pictures. They are breathtaking.

Cheryl Almas - What beautiful pictures!

Marsha Rogers - Sorry, I was carried away by the pictures and posted twice!

Marsha Rogers - Kristy and Kelly’s wedding was magical! The Gemmers more than conveyed that and more with their amazing shots. I adore the pictures of Kristy before the ceremony. I love the background glimpse of Kristy and Kelly in the amphitheater. I’m amazed by the shots of them in the woods. The picture of the dog at the reception, the food, the place settings, the mountains,….simply every photo was stunning. Thank you both for these stunning photos!

Sheila - Absolutely beautiful wedding photos and venue

Melinda - Beautiful photos!

Leah Collins - Beautiful Pictures !!!! Your decor was amazing :)Congratulations !!

Kylie - Love the photos, they were well captured and tells a wonderful love story. And love the photos of this lovely couple, very sweet and beautiful.

Debbie G - What wonderful photo’s!! Looks like a Amazing day!

justin wilcox - Congratulations on wedding first and formost
Second. What amazing album. I am in love with so many
Great work
Best wishes
Hoping for a magical blessed wedding forever
Take care

Linda - Great Wedding Idea. Photos are lovely. Best wishes to the bride and groom

Ariane - What beautiful photo’s to see from the start right to the end of wedding. I wish you all the happiness.

Tracy Brandsma - A stunning bride, a handsome groom, true love, perfect location such amazing pictures. Truly captures this beautiful day to last forever. I love everything about this wedding. Wishing the bride and groom all that they wish for and more. thank you for sharing.

Kim - What a beautiful venue you chose. The photographer did an amazing job. Not only were they able to capture your natural beauty but they were able to make you shine in the beauty of your natural surroundings.

Sarah Stelter - I have honestly only seen such magical beauty of a wedding captured on t.v.! ( or if I could have made it!) Kristy Gale is a loving and lovely friend of mine and her husband is one lucky man! The pictures of this wedding made me feel, sense, and almost taste the moments as if I were there. Simply put, the photographers did an outstanding job! I am truly in love with these photos! Thank you for sharing and the work you do!!!

Jacqueline Sampson - What an awesome layout!! All the pictures tell a story and LOVE IT!! I have a few fave…the one of you and Auntie Marsha hugging and the one of all the guests looking on! What a fabulous idea “getting married in the woods” You are just beautiful Kristy! Your photographer sure did an EXCELLENT job capturing all your magic moments :)

Brent James - Such wonderful pictures. We had a great time at the wedding. You did a great job of capturing the beautiful scenery as well as the ceremony, reception and all around celebration.

gretchen nash - What a gorgeous set of photos! This gallery perfectly encapulates the wonderful weekend and the beautiful, happy couple. I was so honored to share this celebration with Kristy and Kelly.

Cindy Head - What a beautiful group of pictures. The bride looked exquisite! And the groom was pretty good looking too! The setting was awesome and the venue was perfect. WE LOVE KELLY & KRISTY!!!

Julia Gale - I can’t believe how great these photos turned out! Wonderful! What a fabulous time it was, Cheers to Kristy and Kelly who threw the an unforgettable love celelbration! Will remember this weekend forever!

Sally M - Gorgeous photos of a gorgeous wedding! Kudos to the Gemmers for so perfectly capturing the lovely event, couple, and location!

Kerri - I am speechless. I am without speech. Perfect.

Jerolyn - I’ve never been to such a setting. This wedding was gorgeous. The Gemmers did a perfect job capturing not only the scenery but I aura of every guests. Chopping wood has never looked so sauve. The flower ring during the first kiss was taken at the perfect angle. Loved this evening, loved the entire week.

jackson rogers - Great wedding. The pictures really showed how great a wedding it was. Everything was wonderful. Job well done on the pictures. Thanks for the memories.

Kelly Head - I can’t say enough about how amazing the Gemmers were during our wedding weekend. Not only did they take the amazing photos you see here, but they also helped out with a friend who had a seizure during the rehearsal dinner (Heather is a nurse as well as a talented photographer). They did such a good job capturing the essence of our wedding as well as the details. Thank you so much for these lovely pictures Adam and Heather!

Lisa - beautiful wedding and beautiful photos!

Lynn Head - Wow, these photos are so great. They capture all the beauty and fine detail that went into your wedding. You had the most amazing singer at the wedding. Her voice was so ethereal, it matched the awe-inspiring scenery.

Arynne - I am in awe of these photos and those in them. Congratulations on your marriage, stunning falls incredibly short…
Cheers & love to you

Lisa C. - Holy wow! What absolutely stunning photos. They completely capture the beauty and magic of this wedding, as well as the love between this fabulous couple. Best wedding! Best photographers!

Marsha Rogers - Unbelievable photos of Kristy and Kelly’s amazing wedding! These photos conveyed the love of these two fantastic people and the serenity of this wonderful retreat. The photos of the people, the trees, the tables, the place cards, and everything were simply perfect! The memories these beautiful pictures give will last a lifetime and for generations to come! Thank you!!!!

travis - Amazing job dealing with the only weekend of gloom that Leavenworth saw that whole summer! These pics truly show that this is a Washington love story. With the way these turned out, the way they have an ethereal fairy tale quality, it seems the clouds were more a boon than gloom. Great job!

Stevie Gale - Probably the best photo set I’ve ever seen. Love the dark desaturated hues. Can’t wait to compare these to Austin’s video work. You guys were rad!

Kristy Gale - BLOWN AWAY!

We were blown away by the talent we stumbled upon a couple years ago in this stunning photoshoot from (The Gemmers) on The Wedding Chicks’ blog – http://www.weddingchicks.com/gallery/99-red-balloons-themed-engagement-shoot-by-gemmer-photography/ We knew they had to be our wedding photographers!

Fast-forward to our first meeting at a Bluebird Coffee in Tacoma, and we were once again blown away by their absolute genuine kindness, their effortless style, and the immediate connection we felt with Heather and Adam through shared conversations on topics such as Vonnegut, audio books, Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” series, tattoos, the northwest mentality, and more.

I continued to be blown away with each and every sweet detailed heartfelt email update I received from Heather. I felt comfortable asking her advice on the wedding day timeline, ceremony space, lighting, and everything in between. I struck gold in a photographer that also turned out to become an awesome stand-in wedding coordinator (leading up to and during the weekend) and a rad friend.

We were blown away by both Heather and Adam’s generosity, compassion, empathy, selflessness, and initiative during a health scare that one of our dear guests encountered. Heather and Adam went above and beyond. Kelly described their behavior as “saintly” and “sacrificial” – such a fitting characterization. Thank you. Those two words could never adequately convey our gratitude.

Our friends and family were blown away by their awesomeness as well. Everyone was so impressed with their ever-present professionalism, with the goodness/humanity/positive spirits that they both possess, and of course with how they stepped up and truly saved the day. So many of our friends (including my mom) would love to be their best friends!

We were also blown away by their love for one another. During our day-before shoot (see previous blog entry), I commented to Adam that Heather had a great eye for scouting ideal locations for photo shoots. He looked toward her fondly and said, “Yeah, she’s pretty great. I’m a lucky guy.” Swoon! I should also mention that Heather had the most adorable baby bump (she still does – check out her blog entries to see her baby bump, little Otis, documented) while she was climbing around on rocks (while Adam supported her), trying to get the best shots. They are an amazing family already, and I look forward to watching their love continue to grow after baby Otis arrives!

Finally, we were blown away by these photos (and the rest of our wedding photo collection). Thank you so much for capturing the magic of our weekend wedding. Kelly and I spent a good two hours getting cozy on the couch while we took in all of the beauty, reminisced about that amazing time, and fell in love with each other a little more. Kelly was somewhat skeptical about the need for a professional photographer when we first started the discussion a few years back. Tonight he proclaimed how thankful he was to have these memories preserved. A lot of effort and heart went into bringing all of this to fruition, and we’re so grateful to this photographic art to look back at a weekend filled with our loved ones (family and friends), FUN, enchantment, a touch of craziness, and *love.*

Gah! I could gush on and on! We love you guys!

<3 Kristy + Kelly

Frankie Branch - Amazing :). Glad that I was able to be a part of the special day/extended weekend. Amazing shots, amazing venue but best of all some time with my amazing family ❤️ Thank you all for being you!

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *



There was an error submitting your comment. Please try again.