Seattle Bride Best of 2010 Awards

Thank you for voting in this year’s Best of 2011 awards! Check out the Digital Online Version

Seattle Bride Best of 2010

By Rebecca Garland

All-Around Best Wedding Vendor and Wedding Planner: True Colors Events (Known for: Travis and Jesse are the dynamic duo who can do anything)

Finalists for best wedding vendor: Aisle of View, Solomon Events | Finalists for planner: Lindeman Weddings & Events, Solomon Events

“True Colors defined, refined and executed the entire wedding. From the theme, colors, florists, table layout and timeline to sharing the best craft places, they accommodated my style and theme to perfection.” —Danielle LaFleur-Dutta, married June 25, 2009, at Novelty Hill-Januik

Caterer: Lisa Dupar Catering (Known for: Full service, unique and creative culinary style)

Finalists: Herban Feast Catering, Ravishing Radish Catering

“I expected Lisa Dupar to be great from what I’d heard, but because I was married on one of the busiest wedding weekends of the year, I was a little worried. However, I really had nothing to worry about. Lisa and her team went above and beyond my expectations.” —Nikki Somers, married on June 21, 2008, at Pickering Barn in Issaquah


Florist: Aria Style (Known for: Impeccable style and a new showroom in Georgetown, coming Dec. 1)

Finalists: Flora Nova, Bella Rugosa

”My vision was to bring the outside in and have an autumnal feel. Aria Style created a fall fantasyland. John and his team used colors in the florals, added feathers, gourds and fall branches, and scattered leaves. The amber lighting made a beautiful fall glow.” —Holly Pinsky, married Oct. 11, 2008, at Willows Lodge in Woodinville


Officiant/Clergy: Rev. Mary Calhoun (Known for: Ordained interfaith minister with fun, relaxed personalized style)

Finalists: A Heavenly Ceremony, David Reed

“We invited Rev. Mary Calhoun and her husband to stay for our reception and she dazzled our families. At one point she asked my 93-year-old grandfather to dance, and to this day he still talks about how this movie star asked him to dance at our wedding. To see his joy when he repeats the story is priceless!” —Liz Spiller, married on Oct. 6, 2007, at W Hotel

Day-of-Wedding Coordinator: Taylor’d Events by Jennifer (Known for: Can-do attitude and great tabletop decor)

Finalists: True Colors Events, Unveiled Wedding & Event Design

“I didn’t get the most expensive package that Taylor’d Events by Jennifer offers, but I never felt that I wasn’t as important of a client, which I thought was fantastic. And everyone commented afterward that nothing went wrong the day of the wedding. Everything went so smoothly.” —Crystal Fry, married July 18, 2009, at Bear Creek Country Club in Woodinville

New Wedding Vendor: Bella Bridesmaid (Known for: Cute dresses you can wear again)

Finalists: Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, Blue Sixpence Designs

“The vibe at Bella Bridesmaid is great. I wanted unique bridesmaids’ dresses that they could eventually wear to any event, and I wanted a dress with pockets. Nancy and Meredith, the owners, gave me many different options and in the color that I needed.” —Stephany Silva, will marry on Aug. 28, 2010, at Sacred Heart Church; reception at Four Seasons Hotel Seattle


Flower-Girl Dresses and Mother-of-Bride Apparel: Moms, Maids, and More (Known for: Their name says it all—huge selection of dresses and accessories)

Finalists for Flower-Girl Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid, I Do Bridal | Finalists for Mother-of-Bride Apparel: Nordstrom, Macy’s

“I used Moms, Maids, and More for my wedding in 2007, and my sister is using them for her upcoming wedding. Their prices are reasonable and I’m touched that Erin, the owner, remembered my mom and sister from their visits three years earlier.” —Melinda Hoover, married on July 21, 2007, at University Presbyterian Church; reception at Salty’s on Alki


Bridal Accessories: A Princess Bride Couture Bridal Salon (Known for: Affordable yet beautiful selections)

Finalists: Abaloria, Luly Yang Couture

“Shoes were the last thing on my mind when planning my wedding. A Princess Bride showed me several options, and I fell in love with a pair of pumps instantly. The store helped describe how to break in the shoes, as well as how to clean them.” —Anna Smith, married on July 11, 2009, at Sodo Park


Formalwear for Men: Men’s Wearhouse (Known for: Affordable with nine stores in Seattle area, wide selection of vests)

Finalists: Evolution of Style, Nordstrom

“At Men’s Wearhouse in Lynnwood, there was a very kind woman who helped my father get fitted into his tux. My father is a very special man who hasn’t been feeling well health-wise, and this lady made him feel like Cary Grant!” —Despina Kohn, married on July 4, 2009, at The Canal


Groom’s Cake: Mike’s Amazing Cakes (Known for: The most wow-inspiring cakes you’ll ever see)

Finalists: Crème de la Crème, Tallant House

“Mike’s Amazing Cakes made a Kansas City Chief ’s football helmet cake for my husband. They capture the most ordinary things through cake and make them spectacular. It’s that ‘That’s made out of cake?!’ reaction.” —Emily Crandall, married on July 18, 2009, at Sand Point Community United Methodist Church; reception at Hotel Deca Seattle


Custom Wedding Cakes: Crème de la Crème (Known for: Beautiful cakes withinsanely delicious fillings)

Finalists: New Renaissance Cakes, Celebrity Cake Studio

“Crème de la Crème gave me exactly what I envisioned: a simple but elegant wedding cake that fit in with my colors and looked great. Bart and Michael created several small pastries for our dessert table, which were equally delicious.” —Suzie Black-Afromowitz, married on Aug. 7, 2009, at Seattle Yacht Club


Engagement/Wedding Rings: E.E. Robbins (Known for: Founder Emerson Robbins’ boutique-style, relaxed environment)

Finalists: Green Lake Jewelry Works, Tiffany & Co.

“We knew E.E. Robbins would have the best selection since they specialize in wedding and engagement rings. We loved their added touches—our salesperson included champagne and a thoughtful personal card with my ring.” —Annamaria Downey, married on Jan. 16, 2010, at St. Philomena Catholic Church; reception at the Spirit of Washington Event Center in Renton


Northwest Destination Wedding Site: Semiahmoo Resort Spa & Golf (Known for: Many indoor and outdoor wedding locales in the same resort)

Finalists: Alderbrook Resort & Spa, Kiana Lodge

“Semiahmoo’s catering manager, Wendy, was also an exceptional event planner. Guests golfed, hung out by the pool, rented kayaks, played games, spent time in the spa or took a stroll along the beach. This was a great opportunity to showcase Washington.” —Alison Pahl, married on Aug. 29, 2009, at Semiahmoo Resort Spa & Golf

Rentals (Chairs, Linens, etc.): Choice Linens & Chair Covers (Known for: Wide range of elegant rental items down to the last detail)

Finalists: Pedersen’s Event Rentals, Grand Event Rentals

“Even though we only needed linens, I knew that if I wanted anything, that Choice Linens would have it, and I could expect quality, excellent service and design advice. The linens tied the décor together and added the elegance that I wanted for our reception.” —Jennifer Cucinelli, married on Nov. 14, 2009, at Newport Presbyterian Church; reception at The Edgewater Hotel

Quintessential Seattle-Area Reception Site: The Edgewater Hotel (Known for: The city’s premier waterfront hotel with a rustic lodge feel)

Finalists: The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, The Woodmark Hotel, Yacht Club & Spa

“The biggest factor when choosing The Edgewater? I could create an environment where my out-of-town family would experience Seattle in just a few hours. My guests loved it.” —Lia Marley, married on Sept. 26, 2009, at The Edgewater Hotel


Place for a Sunset Wedding: The Golf Club at Newcastle (Known for: Views, a tented reception area, and a huge ballroom with adjoining stone terrace)

Finalists: The Edgewater Hotel, Golden Gardens Park

“The view—Seattle, Lake Union, Lake Washington, the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains—was what appealed to me in choosing The Golf Club at Newcastle You can’t beat it.” —Helen Ramsby, married on Aug. 24, 2008, at The Golf Club at Newcastle


New Reception Site: Four Seasons Hotel Seattle (Known for: Sweeping view, outdoor swimming pool and terrace with fireplace)

Finalists: The Georgetown Ballroom, 415 Westlake

“The Four Seasons’ service was to die for. It was amazing to watch as all of the food came out at once. We couldn’t have found a better place with its delicious food and convenient location, especially for out-of-town guests.” —Alice Burden, married on Oct. 3, 2009, at Olympic Sculpture Park; reception at Four Seasons Hotel Seattle


Custom Dress Designer and Dress Shop: Luly Yang Couture (Known for: Being the premier couture dress designer in Seattle with a new shop in China)

Finalists for Custom Dress Designer: Cicada, Kiko House of Couture | Finalists for Dress Shop: La Belle Elaine’s, I Do Bridal

“My dress from Luly Yang was perfect. Guests kept telling me that it was the most gorgeous they had ever seen. I loved how Luly worked with me to put together my vision. Bringing in colors, removing satin sashes—no matter what it was, I knew my dress would be exactly as I had always hoped!” —Emily Lind, married on Sept. 6, 2009, at Lakewold Gardens in Lakewood


Hair and Makeup: Erin Skipley (Known for: Natural-looking makeup on location)

Finalists: Gene Juarez Salon & Spa, Salon Maison

“While we only planned for Erin Skipley to do my makeup and one other bridesmaid’s, my mother and the other bridesmaids loved her work so much that some of them wanted her to do their makeup as well. She ended up doing the makeup for almost all of us!” —Angelie Kim, married on Nov. 11, 2006, at Salish Lodge & Spa


Bridal Fitness Plan: The Healthy Bride (Known for: Bridal boot camp where you can bond with other brides)

Finalists: Sassy Fit, Balance in Our Life

“I had personal training for the past two years, but The Healthy Bride’s bridal boot camp got me over the hump. During that period, I lost 20 pounds as a result of Christi’s training, goal setting and nutrition counseling.” —Nicole Donnelly Martin, married on Aug. 1, 2009, at Roche Harbor Resort in the San Juan Islands

Videographer: Edit 1 Media (Known for: Jaw-dropping same-day edit)

Finalists: Bogle Productions, Aaron Horton Productions

“Guests raved about Edit 1 Media’s same-day edit. The video let them see us getting ready, the moments surrounding the ceremony and captured some of the guests, which made everyone feel connected to our special day.” —Lauren Bell, married on June 20, 2009, at Church of the Assumption in Bellingham; reception at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal


Photographer: Azzura Photography (Known for: Creativity, blending tradition and innovation, attention to detail)

Finalists: Michael Good Photography, Tie: Joe & Jill Photography, Clane Gessel Photography

“Ken at Azzura Photography went above and beyond his duties as a photographer. I received compliments about how he helped guide my wedding party. Though we were two hours behind schedule because of hair and makeup, he got all of the shots I wanted and got us to the church early.” —Karen L. Caylao-Do, married on Oct. 10, 2009, at Holy Rosary Church in Tacoma; reception at Tacoma Union Station


Invitation Designer: Kerri Efendi Designs (Known for: Custom, couture stationery and design on eco-friendly recycled papers)

Finalists: Merchant’s Paper & Design, Tie: Brown Sugar Design, All About Weddings & Celebrations

“Kerri Efendi’s custom invitation design appealed to me because I wanted something that reflected our personalities—not something you could get from any website. I wanted to incorporate hydrangeas, and she found a beautiful way to use them in our invitations and RSVP cards. We received so many compliments.” —Amanda De Rosa, married on July 25, 2009, at a private residence in Bellingham


Most Creative Favors and Place to Buy Wedding Supplies: All About Weddings & Celebrations (Known for: Gayle O’Donnell, the in-the-know owner and former longtime wedding planner who has her own show, Nearlywed Radio, on 1150 AM)

Finalists for Most Creative Favors: Seattle Sundries, PS Stores | Finalists for Place to Buy Wedding Supplies: PS Stores, Paper Zone

“All About Weddings has everything you need. They’re used to brides like me who were shell- shocked and overwhelmed. They gave me an idea of timeline and came up with original ideas. They have an amazing selection of invitations, from do-it-yourself paper to choose-from-a-book styles.” —Erika Tedin, married on Oct. 3, 2009, at Mountain River Lodge in Easton


Musicians for Ceremony: Windsong Classical Trio (Known for: Megan Imrie and her musicians’ flawless performances with 30 years of experience)

Finalists: Silverwood Music Ensembles, Bottom Line Duo

“I live in Houston, and Windsong Classical Trio worked with me on the phone to find out what my husband and I are like, what kind of ceremony we were having, and what I liked and didn’t like. They played so beautifully, guests thought they were hearing a recorded CD.” —Lina Dahlem, married on Aug. 1, 2009, at The Arctic Club Hotel


Live Band/Entertainment for Reception: The Michael Benson Band (Known for: Staying power since 1975, covering all musical styles)

Finalists: Second Wind, Type A!

“I had seen The Michael Benson Band at my friend’s wedding five years ago. Dancing at that wedding was the most fun I had ever had at a wedding—until my own! I am notorious for having high expectations, and The Michael Benson Band exceeded them all.” —Katherine Heron, married on Sept. 19, 2009, at The Golf Club at Newcastle


DJ for Reception: Austin Beaver (Known for: Charming personality and getting the party started)

Finalists: Seattle Parties, Wave Link Music

“With Austin Beaver, we gave him a general idea and he did his job amazingly. I was worried that people would not dance and we had everyone dancing—even Korean parents who normally don’t dance! I could not have found someone better.” —Diana Sanders, married on April 19, 2008, at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish

Spa for Group Manis and Pedis: Julep Nail Parlor (Known for: Chic, eco-friendly salon offering food and drink with relaxing neck massages

Finalists: Frenchy’s Day Spa, Spa Scotta

“Julep is bright, clean and professional. It’s easy to customize, and they are always happy to configure seating so that you can actually chat, rather than yell at each other across a crowded salon.” —Karen Gaudette Brewer, married on June 20, 2009, at Bastyr University Chapel; reception at Tyee Yacht Club


Wedding Show: The Seattle Wedding Show (Known for: Longstanding and huge—around 9,000 brides this year)

Finalists: Urban Unveiled, Weddings in Woodinville


Boutique Registry: Sur la Table (Known for: Top names in bakeware, cookware, gadgetry, cutlery and specialty items)

Finalists: Stuhlbergs, Christina Lynn Table, Top and Home


Quintessential Wedding Registry: Macy’s (Known for: Convenience of more than 800 stores nationwide, registry rewards program)

Finalists: Crate and Barrel, Williams-Sonoma


Place for Bridesmaids’ Gifts and Place for Groomsmens’ Gifts: Nordstrom (Known for: Luxurious items and impeccable customer service)

Finalists for Place for Bridesmaids’ Gifts: Macy’ s, Fireworks Gallery | Finalists for Place for Groomsmens’ Gifts: REI, Excalibur Cutlery & Gifts


Rehearsal Dinner Restaurant: Canlis (Known for: Stunning water view and cozy, private upstairs room)

Finalists: Salty’s, Maggiano’s Little Italy


Transportation/Getaway Car: British Motor Coach (Known for: Vintage motorcars, 1950 Bentley MK VI and 1957 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud)

Finalists: Amy’s Limousine Service, Crown Black Car


Valet Service: Butler Valet (Known for: Greeting guests by name, oversize umbrellas and being really, really nice)

Finalists: Red Carpet Valet


Hotel for Guests: Hotel 1000 (Known for: Amazing bathtubs, cutting-edge technology, such as electronic Do Not Disturb signs)

Finalists: Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, The Edgewater Hotel


Place to Spend the Wedding Night: Salish Lodge & Spa (Known for: Newly updated rooms next to famous Snoqualmie Falls, world-class cuisine and spa)

Finalists: Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, The Edgewater Hotel


Bachelor Party: El Gaucho (Known for: 1940s supperclub feel, steaks, martinis and the cigar lounge)

Finalists: The Golf Club at Hotel 1000, Cowgirls, Inc.


Bachelorette Party: Lucky Strike Lanes (Known for: Great food, drinks, bowling, and billiards; nearby dance floor later in the night)

Finalists: Can Can, Chopstix

Voting Methodology: The Best of Bride 2010 winners are the result of an online survey in which more than 1,200 brides and wedding vendors voted for their favorites.

Editor’s Picks

Innovative Updos

We’ve seen Danny Velasquez at Bocz Salon work his magic, and it’s stunning. Always spying trends—we saw a huge stack of European fashion magazines on his station on our last visit—Danny can do anything from a loose bun to that sexy Victoria’s Secret like flowing hair.

Sleek-Yet-Affordable Hotel for Guests

The new Maxwell Hotel is modern, colorful and reasonably priced: Rooms start at $129. The Foreman family of Bellevue, who owns the 139-room getaway in lower Queen Anne, tell us they envisioned a place that felt like home, and we think they succeeded. Even the name is kept in the family: Max is the son of co-owner Michelle Foreman Barnet and her husband, Steve Barnet.

Where the boys can bond before the Big Day

PowerPlay is a big boy’s dreamland: It’s a huge videogame arcade inside Bellevue’s Lincoln Square, with bar tables for men to gather. Popular games include a full-scale Harley Davidson simulator, a laser beam chamber, and a super-trivia game. When they’re done playing, the groom- to-be and his friends can venture into the nightclub-like-area shared with neighbor Lucky Strike Lanes.

Best Wedding Day Snacks

Marrylicious delivers a huge, beautiful tier of boxes filled with goodies to sustain you through those pre-wedding hours. Inside, you’ll find an “emergency box” filled with necessities like a sewing kit, mints and tissue amid the gourmet snacks like Belle Epicurean croissants, Beechers cheese and bite-sized Sweet Miniature cookies. How sweet it is.

New place to get beautiful

Swink Style Bar is the city’s new blowout-only salon, and their styles are fabulous. We love that you can rent out the whole New York City–nightclub–like space for your bridal party, with perks like champagne, light lunch by a private chef, and fun music. Yes, while having all of your hair and makeup done in one place. It will feel like a party before the party.

Spa for a Pre-Wedding Facial

J ill Bucy is trained in England and France, and she’s done things to our face no one has ever done—and it works. Using a machine that delivers mild electrical currents to the skin, Bucy performs a lymphatic massage and really treats your skin. She’ll put you on a regimen before the wedding, and recommends you start four months before the Big Day. After her program, complete with products from France, your skin will look better than ever.

Budget-Conscious, Custom-Made Bridesmaid Jewelry

Many brides want to gift a matching, one-of-a-kind pair of earrings to their maids, but just can’t afford it. Enter Matni Design, a new jewelry designer who will make whatever your heart desires. Andrea Matni just launched her company after designing delicate, vintage-inspired pieces for friends and family for the past eight years. We love the 14K gold-filled Veronica earrings ($13) with Swarovski Crystal teardrops in rich topaz and hues of green, and the Caspia necklace ($69) of Swarovski crystal and silver.

Jaw-Dropping Original Décor

To create a personalized, dramatic look, check out Celeste Cooning’s cut-outs. Using an exacto knife in her Pioneer Square loft, she cuts into Tyvek (a really strong waterproof paper) to custom create a work of art for your Big Day. They function as draping behind tables, hangings over light fixtures, and in front of windows to catch the light. Each can take up to three weeks to make. A hanging sculpture starts at $650, with a larger design from $1250. Voila!