Colleen and Mathew get married at Golden Gardens
Last Saturday September 3, Colleen Salmi and Mathew Luebert were married at the beautiful Golden Gardens Park in Seattle. The last few days had been a bit wet, and Saturday morning started with a fair amount of rain. The poor weather at the start of the day turned out to be a huge positive for the wedding, because if the weather had started off nice we likely would have had MANY more people visiting Golden Gardens that afternoon and evening. As it was, the park was quite empty until late in the afternoon, very unusual for such small crowds on Labor Day Weekend.
I arrived at the park at about 2PM, and was pleased to discover I had no difficulty finding a place to park! The wedding party was busy getting ready in the Bathhouse, which was also where the reception would take place. I met with Colleen and Mathew and we went over the plans for the pre-ceremony posed photos, and I got a few photos of the preparations.
By this time the weather had gone from overcast skies to mostly sunny, and we decided to do Colleen and Mathew’s “first look” photos on the beach just outside the Bathhouse. As you’ll see in the photos below, while the sand was still wet from the earlier rain, it had turned into a beautiful late summer afternoon. We spent a little time getting photos along the beach, and then met up with the wedding party for more photos in various spots in the park. And then it was time to get Colleen into hiding before the guests began arriving, and to get ready for the ceremony.
Ceremony on the lawn
Golden Gardens has a huge lawn area located quite near the Bathhouse, which during the summer is used for everything from picnics and frisbee tossing to games of soccer. Because they had rented the Bathhouse, Mathew and Colleen had priority use of the lawn, and were able to claim a rather large portion for their wedding ceremony. The fact that the park was still quite unoccupied didn’t hurt either! When you have any activity at Golden Gardens you have to realize that there is a train track that literally runs through the center of the park and that trains will pass through at random times, creating quite a lot of noise. Sure enough, no sooner did the wedding ceremony get underway and here came a freight train of at least 50 cars. Because it was completely impossible for anyone to hear what the officiant was saying, the ceremony was put on “pause” mode while the train made its way past. At one point someone on the train spotted us out on the lawn and leaned out a window and waved; our group responded by waving back!
Once the train had passed by the ceremony continued without further interruptions, and a short time later we had some brand-new newlyweds!
Time for the party!
Everyone now moved back to the Bathhouse for the reception. Christie’s Catering was set up and ready to go with appetizers, and one of the guests (whose name I do not know) had provided a good quantity of several home-brewed beers ( the Stout was excellent!). Along with different wines, there was plenty to keep everyone happy during cocktail hour as the bride and groom greeted the guests in a receiving line.
Dinner was served (also from Christie’s) and then we moved on to the toasts. Once the toasts were finished, I “borrowed” the new husband and wife for a few minutes to get a few photos of the sunset. Gorgeous evening, and we got some nice pictures first with Colleen and Mathew, and then with various groups of family and friends who also wanted to take advantage of the nice lighting for some photos.
Finally it was time for the part of the reception I had been anticipating the most. Colleen and Mathew originally met while swing dancing, and for their first dance they put on a serious show of their moves. As someone who can be charitably described as “dance challenged” (just ask my wife), it was very impressive to watch the newlyweds show some of their dancing skills. Of course, many of their friends are also dancers so the dancing display that evening was considerably more skilled than at most of the receptions I have attended.
Finally it was time for the evening to come to a close, and a large number of sparklers were produced and distributed to the guests. It was a lot of fun getting photos as the guests waved their sparklers around Mathew and Colleen, and again as the couple got some sparklers of their own to play with.
Overall a fantastic wedding, one that I am sure all who attended will remember for years to come! Congratulations to Mathew and Colleen, and we’ll all look forward to seeing you when you get back from your honeymoon in Denmark.