We are dreaming of warm weather and outdoor garden parties, and today’s wedding at The Corson Building in Seattle definitely leaves us wishing it was already summer. Anbrit and Jon’s romantic celebration had a focus on Scandinavian and Eastern European elements, as well as lush florals, delicious cocktails and most importantly, family. We especially love the use of fresh, seasonal fruit in the table decor, and the appearance of a very special guest…
Photography by O’Malley Photographers.
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? The Corson Building is a tiny former stonemason’s house from 1906 in an industrial area of Seattle. The gardens are wild all year round, and it has the patina and whimsy of a beautiful place that time has forgotten. We waited 18 months to get an August date, crossing our fingers that Seattle weather would be on our side. The chef, Emily Dann, makes some of the best food we’ve ever tasted. We knew that our wedding, like most people’s weddings, would bring together different groups of people who were important in different aspects of our lives—family, childhood, college, adulthood friends, family friends, etc.—and although many of them had never met, we wanted a place where everyone would feel relaxed and like they were part of an intimate and vibrant event. We used one side of the building for the ceremony, with a few folding chairs for family and elderly relatives with everyone else standing in the yard and under the fruit trees. The other side was for cocktails and socializing before dinner. Since we had invited three times the number of guests as the capacity of the dining room, we had planned to have dinner at a single long tented table in the alleyway. The long dinner table was such a powerful statement at the time of the wedding; both atheistically and symbolically, we couldn’t have been happier with that decision.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? I wore the Swedish family wedding crown that my mother wore; wedding crowns traditionally belong to the church and are borrowed by the bride for the ceremony. This crown was a replica of the one from my family’s small town church in Sweden.
“Jenn, our officiant, got input from both of us, as well as from our families, which made the final ceremony a surprise. Many of the contributions fit together to build a ceremony based on traditional wedding themes; she spoke about joy, love, commitment, from the lens provided by our families. We were both astonished with how beautifully she had woven our words together, and created a ceremony that spoke deeply to our commitments. She was also able to weave in moments and recognition including a chemistry joke, and other reminiscences from the my deceased father.”
Your ceremony in three words. Bohemian, family, lush
How did you go about planning your ceremony? Our extraordinary wedding planners, Jamie and Steve, have worked with our officiant, Jenn, for years, and recommended her highly. We planned our wedding over Skype, as Jenn lives in a town a couple hours away from Seattle.
Event planning by Sinclair & Moore.
What was your ceremony music? Processional: “Sommarsång from Frösöblomster” by Wilhelm Peterson-Berger. Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, the Swedish composer, once famously burst into tears at the sight of the beautiful northern countryside of Jämtland, Sweden, and lived there in his later years. I have family there, and some of our guests even journeyed from Jämtland.
We chose not to have our bridal party as part of the processional. The first group was three children carrying a green garland, and the second group was two six year olds bearing a monogrammed banner. The third group was my brother pulling a wagon with the 7 month flower girl (our daughter) and the ring bearer (my nephew). Jon and I chose to walk down the aisle together, hand in hand.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? After getting engaged on the ski slopes in Tahoe in January, we opted to wait 18 months to secure an August date at The Corson Building. We interviewed three different levels of wedding planners: day of event executer, mid-involvement planner with floral, and designer/coordinator combination. We have thrown plenty of parties as a couple, and thought that we probably only needed day-of help to make our happy and wonderful wedding happen. However, the designer and coordinator impressed us so much, aesthetically matching our vision and giving really practical and realistic advice about our original idea of a waterfront home wedding, that we asked Steve and Jamie of Sinclair and Moore to be our wedding planners without any hesitation. This turned out to be the best decision we made about the entire wedding. Halfway to our wedding date, we welcomed a daughter into our lives. The months usually spent tidying up the details and making final decisions were instead devoted to our new family. Steve and Jamie took our original vision and made it even better and smoother process, executing flawlessly in a tiny and quirky location, with infants, children, thousands of flowers and a hundred perfectly ripe peaches. And they made it so much fun.
“Pearl, the lamb, joined the wedding party during photos and pre-wedding preparations at the Corson building. She added a whimsical surprise element to our wild garden venue; she fit right in! She was four months old, and this was her first social event, so we didn’t include her in the procession. Instead, she happily stood with the admiring children and tried to steal nibbles of her blush rose collar.”
“Our reception was lush and happy and full of family. The Corson building on a hot August afternoon in Seattle feels timeless, with the air ripe and expectant.”
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? Guests wrote well-wishes and advice on a flat wooden rolodex that my grandfather had fashioned out of an apple tree that my mother played on as a child. The “indexing of advice” was a nod to my mother, a librarian.
Did you have a signature cocktail? We had three signature cocktails, with the idea that each would appeal to the different preferences of our guests—one traditional, one more directly inspired by the menu and season, and one that reflected what many of the younger crowd was comfortable drinking. “Family tradition:” Grandpa’s Martini—half gin and half vodka family standard with olives. // “Subtle, lush and visually stunning:” The white peach sangria was gorgeous in a glass jar, and complemented the colors and flavors of our afternoon August party. // “Familiar:” Maker’s Mark and ginger beer is a crowd pleaser and easy to drink on a warm August night without having the strength of a full cocktail.
The tables were dressed in a beautiful shade of blue and topped with ripe peaches, fresh baked bread, and gorgeous floral arrangements filled with peonies, garden roses, and ranunculus, with blackberries tucked throughout. Place cards were tied to small burlap sacks which contained vintage silverware for guests to use at dinner.
Floral Design by Sinclair & Moore.
Before dinner, Anbrit changed into a black lace dress – all the better for dancing in!
“Hosting a wedding at a restaurant with an outstanding chef and staff has advantages. Cousins who ‘don’t eat fish’ were licking the family-style serving dishes of salmon. The wine was beautifully paired with the food, and the staff was clearly at their peak. The execution of the reception couldn’t have been more perfect.”
Catering by The Corson Building.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We served a dessert buffet of some of our favorites desserts with nods to our family heritage with Scandinavian and Eastern European elements. The very talented Judy Tallant made all the desserts gluten free, but I don’t think any of the guests had a clue. We served a princess torta with blue marzipan top, a peach pavlova, a three layer chocolate and hazelnut mousse, a kransekake (traditional Norwegian wedding cake), and towers of cookies and other nibbles. There was something for everyone.
Cake and dessert from Tallant House.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? My family includes five different professional photographers, but it was important to us that none of our guests feel like they were working. We wanted to shoot in film, and that made a huge difference in the quality of our wedding photos. The sign of a great wedding planner is that they connect you with a great photographer, and the match was so beautifully intuitive. The O’Malleys were fun, easy, and incredibly discreet. The decision to shoot in film may have been our best decision of the entire wedding planning process. Our wedding photos are one of our most treasured possessions.