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Who ever it was that said that intimate weddings cant be just as powerful as their extravaganza cousins is simply a silly person.  Seattle wedding photographer Lena Peterson Photography brings us a special treat, the sweetly touching intimate wedding of Tess Shumaker & Sean Roth at the The Van Valey House .  Their intimate wedding was in the prime of the pacific northwest mid-fall, creating a lush green wonder world for their portrait session.  The couple stole time for themselves to have a hauntingly romantic first look nestled within the emerald forest that is Washington giving us pure portrait candy.  Tess herself embodied something of a retro bride spirit, channeling the 1940’s completed with a pinned curls updo.  Select friends and family greeted the couple at the historic house for a classic yet romantically intimate ceremony, one that proves, bigger is not always better!


Novella of the Bride…

Sean and I met 20 years ago in 6th grade. We weren’t really friends, but the school we attended was very small which meant that everyone knew one another fairly well. Unbeknownst to us at the time, we developed mutual crushes on one another in 8th grade at a friend’s birthday party while playing badminton. All through high school we had mutual friends and would run in to each other occasionally, never really furthering our relationship.

We reconnected 10 years later, after high school, through a chance late night meeting in a Denny’s. I left my number on the table for the group of friends since we’d all known each other in middle school and Sean called me the next week to ask if I wanted to hang out with him and some other people. It was odd to see him outside of school, he’d always been outgoing and quirky while I was shy and introverted, I didn’t really think we’d have anything in common. He’s such a kind and hilarious person, being near him makes everything happier and more fun, which is important when you’re a person who’s a bit more inclined to be serious. It was clear after spending increasing amounts of time with him that he was awesome and I somehow convinced him he should be with me.

The Van Valey house is a beautiful historic home that was donated to the city of Everett a number of years ago. When we walked in to the house for the first time I knew it would be perfect for our wedding. The woodwork is beautiful, gorgeous light, and it’s so filled with history. It was the perfect casual, but elegant venue.  Casual elegance was what we were striving for, but I’m not sure that could be called a theme. Candles scattered about (electric so as not to burn down the beautiful historic home) with flowers and pretty linens to compliment the innate elegance of the home. With such a beautiful venue we didn’t feel much else was needed to accentuate.

I wanted to feel like I stepped out of a 1940’s movie, the classic glamour that the era embodied, and my hairstyle and makeup were inspired by this. I was extraordinarily pleased with both. I was also carrying a number of Irish good luck charms. Sean is Irish and very connected to his ancestry, both his mother and aunt made sure that we had a silver penny, other good luck coins, a vintage handkerchief bought in Ireland and other bits of history to carry with us during the ceremony.

A Little Help From Their Friends ~ Both of our families helped out by loaning items both practical and decorative. I don’t think we could have pulled everything together without them, especially my mother. All of the day of preparation was handled by my mother with help from others as they were available. I didn’t have to worry about a thing.

Favorite Moments ~ Our favorite moment was the first look in the forest. It was intimate and the perfect way to start the celebration and spend time together before the madness of the day ensued.

Vendor Love

Photographer: Lena Peterson Photography  | Venue: The Van Valey House  | Wedding Dress: Casablanca  | Shoes: Seychelles  | Hair + Makeup: Vain  | Invitations: My Wedding | Florist: Queen Anne Farmer’s Market  | Caterer: Seattle Ginger | Baker: Uptown Espresso