Where to begin with Lisa and Kevin? Well how about the fact that I went to MIDDLE SCHOOL with Lisa? After many (let’s leave it an unspecified amount…) of years went by, it was a surprise and a complete delight when Lisa wrote to tell me she was engaged and would love to have us as her photographers. Lisa and I grew up in the bay area but now, her and Kevin reside in Seattle. And of course, us Starks are in Portland. With everyone in the Pacific Northwest now, it was easy and seamless to make the trip for Kevin and Lisa’s Bainbridge Island wedding in the state of Washington.
It was our first time on Bainbridge Island and let me tell you, it was because of Lisa and Kevin that we experienced it in the best way possible. Their wedding was held at Islandwood Retreat, a private retreat and learning center in the magical woods of Bainbridge Island. Lisa is a 5th grade teacher and brings her students to the retreat center each year to learn about ecosystems and cultural responsibility with nature. You can rent the grounds for private workshops or retreats…or weddings! When I say we experienced it in the best way, I mean that we were treated to a 3 day all inclusive experience with cozy cabin accommodations, fresh farm to table meals, special outdoor excursions, and of course, an amazing wedding. We felt like we were part of the family. My sister had come along to babysit our daughter Penelope while we worked and the two of them were treated with the same love and attention as everyone else. It was hands down the most thoughtful wedding experience we’ve ever had and definitely one of the most unique destination wedding experiences we’ve photographed.
Now on to the wedding! Before the ceremony, we had the pleasure to photograph Lisa and Kevin in 3 separate locations across the 250 acres of forest, suspension bridges and unique treehouses. Followed by the couple exchanging vows underneath the beauty of Bainbridge Island’s expansive tree forest. Lisa’s mom and dad walked her down the aisle where her mom’s partner officiated a thoughtful and lighthearted ceremony. Kevin’s parents looked on proudly and the entire audience participated in sending well wishes to the couples by passing the rings around before they were exchanged. We have to mention that Lisa and Kevin’s musically talented friends performed and sang a beautiful accompaniment to the moment we were all sharing. After some funny and joyful vows, which were testaments to the personalities of both Lisa and Kevin, the couple danced down the aisle and went right into joining their guests for a relaxed and celebratory reception. Island wood Retreat catered not only a delicious dinner but an incredible dessert table where Lisa and Kevin opted out of slicing the cake and into taking a bit out of an ice cream sundae instead. The dancing continued, the kids enjoyed yard games and with having the entire place to ourselves, everyone enjoyed the laid back vibe with no where to be, no cabs to catch, no babysitters to relieve. Since nearly every single guest was crashing at the retreat’s accommodations, you could sense that people were enjoying their party without a care in the world.
As Lisa and Kevin sent their guests off the next morning with a brunch, we felt so lucky and touched to have spent the weekend with such an amazing group of people. People were giving us hugs goodbye as we made the rounds, capturing our last shots the weekend. It was truly so much fun. We can’t stop talking about it! Thank you Lisa and Kevin, and congratulations on your TWIN baby girls! Yeah, you read that right! The love just keeps growing with this couple. Enjoy our favorites from the weekend.