An Elegant Crest Set the Tone for This Couple's Seattle Nuptials
It was sparks at first sight for this statuesque Pacific Northwest couple, who see (almost) eye-to-eye at six feet and six foot five. Their gracious backyard wedding was just as striking. Equal parts 1920s glamour and modern chic, the laughter-filled celebration was a lovefest of the highest order.
Hillary Zevenbergen has looked up to Alexander Kilby since their first encounter, and not just professionally: At six feet tall, she still stood five inches shorter than him. "I went to shake his hand, and I was a little star struck," says Hillary, who met him while interviewing for a job at the Seattle software company where he worked. Alex recalls that moment in June 2014 with equal verve. "Hillary was a breath of fresh air," he says. "Intelligent, energetic, and smoking hot. I like to remember her hair blowing backward, like she was in a photo shoot." Despite their initial connection, the pair put their work relationship first, and for the next two years were constantly setting each other up with friends. Then one day Alex took a leap of faith and texted Hillary, telling her how he felt. Seconds later, she responded in kind. After two happy, company-approved years beyond the friend zone, Alex proposed during a trip with Hillary's family to Hawaii.
Unlike their courtship, their engagement was brief—only four months. "We just really wanted to get married; it was fun to keep the excitement going," Hillary explains. On September 29, 2018, 229 guests gathered at the bride's childhood home in Woodway, Washington, where the couple wed against a backdrop of emerald-green grounds and views of Puget Sound. There wasn't a dry eye in the garden by the time the officiant, a longtime friend of the bride's family, finished. Then laughter filled the air as the groom threw the recessional off course: The couple had planned to hug their parents, but Alex went on to embrace his two best men and several old family friends. "He was ridin' the love train, and I had to rope him back in so we could go sign the papers and make it official," Hillary says.
Once they were back on track, the festivities began. After sipping late-harvest-berry spritzes and drinks from a whiskey-tasting bar outside, guests drifted into a tent and enjoyed a family-style feasts of steak, salmon, and pasta at tables dressed in the day's 1920s-era palette of black, white, and gold. Toasts and dancing followed. "Alex may be tall, but he knows how to cut a rug," Hillary says of their first dance, to "Coming Home," by Leon Bridges. Later, the bride grabbed the mic for an impromptu performance of her beloved Céline Dion's "It's All Coming Back to Me Now." And by the end of the night, everyone was looking up to the couple—because they were floating on cloud nine.
Their stationery suite included an illustrated map showing where Hillary and Alex met, their current home, and the wedding location; it was foil-printed in gold ink on deckle-edged taupe paper. A quote from Alex's grandmother printed on vellum completed the suite: "Nothing is more important than curiosity, laughter, and empathy. Once you find someone who keeps you on your toes, makes you cry from laughter, and truly understands your point of view, you've found someone."
Inspired by vintage monograms, stationer Libby Tipton designed a custom crest, complete with roses, for the couple; it first appeared on the overlays of their invitations. The duo reviewed 10 coat of arms designs before landing on this one.
A Quiet Moment
Alex and Hillary stole a moment alone before the ceremony—and debuted their big-day looks. The winning detail of Hillary's fitted crepe Pronovias wedding dress: It felt as fluid and as unencumbered as the Lululemon athleisure she lives in, but was drop-dead glamorous, thanks to its swooping back with sheer paneling on the sides, fabric-covered buttons, and crystal and rhinestone embellishments. "It was exactly what I was hoping for," she says.
Alexander wore a classic ensemble by The Black Tux.
A Walk to Remember
Hillary's father walked her down the aisle to a string-ensemble rendition of Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight." During the service, the pair exchanged personalized bands inscribed with "Totus Tuus," which is Latin for "totally yours." After they said "I do"—and after the groom kissed his bride 11 times to seal the deal—the newlyweds recessed to an instrumental of another classic song: "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey.
The couple's crest was printed just about everywhere—including on the cocktail napkins.
Black and Gold
Black escort cards were calligraphed in gold ink and pinned to a linen-covered board.
Time to Feast
In the 144-foot-long sailcloth tent (it took two weeks to erect!), long tables flanked a black-and-white-checked dance floor. The waitstaff served king salmon, filet mignon, cavatelli, and vegetables from platters. Over 400 taper candles cast a warm glow over the course of the meal.
During their party, the couple was able to enjoy the fruit of their labor. "It's cheesy, but compromise is key!" Hillary says of the wedding-planning process. "We both came to the table with strong opinions that the other wasn't expecting. Learning how to talk through those differences honed our communication skills, and we'll carry those into our marriage."
Tables were set with linen runners, marbled chargers, gold-rimmed plates and glassware, modern black flatware, and hand-scrolled place cards. Centerpieces in footed compotes contained anemones, ranunculus, garden roses, peonies, carnations, snowberries, ivy, and ferns.
The fondant-covered wedding cake was decorated with handmade sugar flowers and the couple's wedding crest. A dessert table of cookies, cream puffs, meringues, and lemon bars mirrored the palette and complemented the confection.
Hillary and Alex flew to Hawaii the Monday after the wedding and stayed at her parents' condo at the Kaanapali Alii Resort, in Maui, for 12 nights. While there, they returned to the restaurant Japengo, where they'd dined the night before Alex popped the question. Then it was off to the Four Seasons Resort Lanai for two nights and another memorable meal, this time at Nobu. They did a lot more than eat, though: The newlyweds played about nine rounds of golf, did some target practice at an archery and skeet-shooting range, and spent plenty of time snorkeling and relaxing in the pool.
Photography, O'Malley Photographers
Catering, Deru Catering
Event Planning, Design, and Flowers, Sinclair & Moore
Videography, Cabfare Productions
Stationery and Calligraphy, Libby Tipton
Cake and Desserts, Midori Bakery
Music, Puget Sound Strings (ceremony); Sideone (reception)
Rentals, Casa de Perrin (tabletop); Classic Vintage Rentals (soft seating); Cort Party Rental (tent, tables, and chairs)
Bride's Gown, Pronovias
Bride's Veil, Toni Federici
Bride's Shoes, Christian Louboutin
Hair and Makeup, Erin Skipley
Groom's Attire, The Black Tux
Wedding Rings, Turgeon Raine