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Destination I Do

A Washington Destination Wedding

Words by Kinsley Brown
Photos courtesy of This Modern Romance

Although Melanie and Justin disagree on who made the first move, there’s one thing they know beyond a doubt: they were made for each other.

Fast forward five years and Melanie opens the door to find candles, five dozen roses and Justin down on one knee. The Phoenix, Arizona couple wanted an outdoor summer wedding and thus a destination celebration was a must.

Luckily, the couple knew just the place to start their life together: Chelan, Washington. Justin’s family owns a home there and the couple spent many a family vacation on the shores of this glacially-fed lake. “Looking back through our relationship, Justin and I both agreed that Chelan was undoubtedly interwoven into our story of falling in love,” says Melanie. “We wanted to share the special magic of that place with those most important to us.”

The couple shared this beloved destination with 85 guests, to be exact. They envisioned a wedding which embraced the environment and had a garden-chic vibe. Mission accomplished! Their wedding weekend consisted of boat rides, croquet in the yard, good food and great friends.

Melanie and Justin originally considered writing their own vows, but came up with a unique alternative. “We decided instead of writing our own vows for the ceremony, we would each write a love letter which we would read to each other during our ‘first look’ prior to the ceremony,” says Melanie. “It provided me with the heartfelt words I wanted to hear on my wedding day and allowed him to tell me what was in his heart without the audience. We loved that it was something just for the two of us to share, a calm and tender moment away from the whirlwind of the day.” 

While a destination wedding is the perfect option for spending quality time with your guests, it’s important that the focus of the day remains on the two of you. Melanie and Justin agree and offer some words of advice for other destination wedding couples. “Make sure you have time alone together. Looking back we are so happy we had small moments throughout the day to spend alone. It made for some of the best memories.”

Vendors: Ceremony and Reception Site: Amy’s Manor, amysmanor.com, Photography: This Modern Romance, thismodernromance.com, Wedding Planner: Colleen Simpson, colleensimpsonweddings.com, Floral Design: Fleur de Lis, lakechelanflowers.com, Bakery: Sure to Rise Bakery, Linens: BBJ Linens, bbjlinen.com, Wedding Gown: Vera Wang, verawang.com, Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein, calvinklein.com

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