An Intimate Oceanfront Wedding with Sunset Views in Washington State
It didn't take long for Erika Hahn, an event director, and Lawrence Metten, a video game designer, to find a lifetime type of love in one another, though the groom insists that it took a little more work on his end for their relationship to start. "We'd matched on Bumble and had been messaging back and forth for a couple weeks, as I'd been out of town and Erika had been blowing off our plans," Lawrence jokes. They finally met up on November 16, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington, for a sushi date. "The night flew by and we ended up closing out a French bistro bar across the street at last call," adds the groom. "I took her to New York for our second date, since then we've been inseparable."
Exactly one year after they became an item, Lawrence popped the question at one of the couple's favorite local Italian restaurants. "I thought we were celebrating our one-year anniversary, but he had bigger plans!" Erika recalls. "We celebrated afterward with beer and pull tabs at a neighborhood dive bar." After giving their wedding details and destination much thought, the soon-to-be spouses decided to stay close to home and plan a 40-guest wedding in Seattle for June 13, 2020, before the news surrounding the novel coronavirus outbreak began to swirl. "COVID-19 definitely threw a wrinkle into our plans and gave us some tough challenges to solve in a short period of time," Lawrence explains. When April rolled around, they decided to push their wedding to Labor Day to hopefully maintain their original plans; they even sent out invitations with the new date. As September neared, the couple knew they would need to rethink their plans once again due to rising COVID cases and the fact that many of their guests likely would not be able to cross the Canada or United States border.
"It wasn't until early August, just four weeks from our new wedding date, that we decided the border was unlikely to open, and even if it did, we weren't interested in asking all of our guests to travel and put themselves in a potentially dangerous situation," Erika shares. The pair then set their sights on Willows Inn on Lummi Island for an elopement with just their best friends in attendance; they officiated and witnessed the intimate ceremony. But once their parents caught word of their plans, they also found a way to travel safely for their children's nuptials. With the help of Erika's boss, Steve Moore—the founder and creative director of Sinclair and Moore Events—and their small group of loved ones, the couple wed on August 29, 2020, using the same food-focused, family-oriented vision from their original wedding, just in safe and simpler style.
Erika got ready for the couple's small, COVID-friendly celebration quietly—she handled her hair and makeup herself.
Moe, the couple's 15-year-old chihuahua, was one of their nine guests on the big day.
All Dressed in White
"I originally wanted a '90s, Ralph Lauren-inspired jumpsuit, and my wedding dress is basically the opposite of that," Erika explains of her Rime Arodaky gown. "I tried it on and felt like it was so fitting for the (original) venue, and I'd never felt more beautiful! Plus, I admire the designer quite a bit, so it was an easy choice."
The bride completed her look with a lush bouquet, designed and arranged by her boss Steve Moore of Sinclair and Moore Events, in hand. She also wore pearl earrings (a Christmas gift from her mother-in-law) and some simple flats for the walk to the beach.
Suited and Booted
Lawrence donned a navy suit from Nordstrom, a classic white shirt, a black tie, and brown leather shoes for the nuptials.
At a Glance
"As a wedding planner, I know the importance of seeing each other before the actual ceremony, but we also weren't keen on a traditional 'first look,'" the bride shared. "We scheduled a quick portrait session before the ceremony, but Lawrence stood in the forested driveway facing the door where I was coming from and I just excitedly walked toward him!"
While the couple changed their big day's formula in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, they still stuck to their original plan for a celebration with a modern, comfortable feel. "We'd never planned a traditional ceremony, but we saw a COVID wedding as a chance to strip away even more traditional elements," Lawrence recalled. "The goal was to focus on our guests and each other in a beautiful location with a minimal agenda for the day."
"We decided that the tradition of 'giving the bride away' didn't really feel authentic to us, so we wanted to walk each other down the aisle," Erika recalls of the processional.
You May Kiss the Bride
Before sealing the ceremony with a kiss, the pair exchanged personalized vows. They expressed their love for one another and shared promises for their marriage.
A Moment to Remember
"After the rush and buzz of getting married, Erika and I stepped away from our guests to enjoy a quiet moment alone," Lawrence notes of their cocktail hour break. They took some time for each other, with Moe in tow, overlooking the beach. "All of our wedding's planned moments and stages were incredible, but this brief, unscripted special moment together was my favorite part of the day," adds the groom.
While Erika has experienced pivoting weddings towards COVID-safe celebrations first-hand more than once (it's part of her job as a planner!), she felt the challenges of making adjustments for her big day acutely. "But Steve Moore, my boss, really took over my typical 'day-of coordination' responsibilities to ensure that I didn't feel like a planner that day," the bride says. "We are incredibly grateful to him!"
The couple kept their reception décor to a minimum with romantic, organic details.
Small compote floral centerpieces—which nodded to the bride's bouquet—accompanied other natural elements, like on-palette wax candles, fruit, and ceramic vessels.
Feast for the Ages
"All of the food was picked up in Seattle by Steve, who miraculously set up our entire wedding and then also warmed, plated, and styled all of the food for us," Erika explains of their crab, boiled potatoes, corn on the cob, and spot prawns meal. "The dinner menu felt like such an opportunity for us to host and introduce our love for food, and it was the focus of our original wedding." The couple also gave each guest chocolate favors, courtesy of Frans Chocolates.
Champagne and wine were the duo's drinks of choice. "We served some small, grower-producer Champagne from France that we selected from one of our favorite family-owned Seattle wine shops," Erika says.
Toast to Family Time
One of the couple's favorite big-day moments? Reuniting with their families after COVID-19 restrictions kept them apart. "Being able to hug my Mom and Dad again after almost a year was emotional for me," Lawrence recalls. "Bringing our families together for the first time and seeing them get to know each other was really special."
Steve baked the duo an asymmetrical two-tiered vanilla cake with berry compote. A single flower dressed up the top layer.
At the end of the day, Erika recommends that all newlyweds-to-be let the wedding unfold as naturally as possible, since it is "going to be one of the most special, magical days of your life because of the commitment you're about to make," she explains. "Let go of previous visions and expectations—just let what will be, be! The less you can stress about the details or how much you've had to sacrifice, the more you will enjoy the miracle of successfully replanning a wedding in COVID! And trust me, it will be successful."
Photography, Jenny for Kristen Marie Parker
Ceremony Venue, Lummi Island Public Beach
Reception Venue, Willows Inn
Wedding Planning, Erika Metten of Sinclair and Moore Events
Event Design, Flowers, and Cake, Steve Moore of Sinclair and Moore Event
Invitations and Paper Products, Plume Calligraphy
Officiant, Bryan Eckman
Bride's Gown, Rime Arodaky
Bride's Reception Look, Reformation via The Dress Theory
Groom's Attire, Nordstrom
Wedding Bands, T Anthony Jeweler
Catering, Harry's Beach House
Rentals, CORT Party Rentals
Favors, Frans Chocolates
Lighting and Audio, LightSmiths
Share the Gallery
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Might Name Their Daughter After Princess Diana
- This Couple's Intimate Hotel Reception in Washington, D.C., Hinted at Their Future Wedding in Cancun
- Six Women Explain How They Decided to (or Not to) Change Their Last Names After Marriage
- "Queer Eye" Star Tan France and His Husband Rob Are Expecting Their First Child!