These College Sweethearts Rented a Vintage Rolls-Royce for Their Washington Wedding
From an On-Campus Couple to Forever Partners
Evelyn, a financial analyst, and Sam, a software engineer, met in college in August 2011, during freshman orientation. A mutual friend introduced them and they started dating during the first week of school—and have been together ever since. Five years later, in honor of their anniversary, the couple decided to elope in Seattle.
Another five years after their elopement, Evelyn and Sam made a public declaration of their commitment to each other with an intimate ceremony and reception attended by just 28 guests that took place on July 19, 2019. They celebrated the nuptials at the Lairmont Manor in Bellingham, Washington, and exchanged vows in front of a bubbling fountain, surrounded by lush, fragrant flowers. Post-service, the duo celebrated with private golden hour portraits and a party to remember (complete with the groom's all-time favorite cake!).
The classy and curated wedding came together smoothly, says the bride, thanks to the couples' month-of coordinator and florist. Their overarching goal? They made it a point to prioritize their family and friends on their big day by streamlining the process, which involved making the ceremony short and sweet and skipping bridesmaids and groomsmen altogether (this way, everyone felt part of the wedding party!). As for the event's details? Each and every element—from the polished calligraphy on the invitation suite and the bride's pearl-lined wedding dress to the duo's getaway car (a vintage Rolls-Royce) and favors (Diptyque candles!)—was delicate, refined, and reflective of the party as a whole: one during which their loved ones received the very best of the best.
A Simple Suite
For their invitation suite, Evelyn and Sam chose rustic, minimalist handmade paper with simple fonts. "The layout is very simple with very concise text and a small botanical illustration," says Evelyn. "I also sourced vintage stamps, ribbons, and wax seals for packing each invitation."
Evelyn assembled all of the invitations—and decorated them—on her own. "Each guest received a slightly different wax seal and ribbon combination based on my guess of their preference," she says. "I also sprayed on a little bit Le Labo Santal perfume—it's my favorite."
A Picturesque Venue
The couple selected the gorgeous Lairmont Manor for their ceremony and reception. They loved the fact that their idealized wedding day—one that was modern, with a touch of vintage glam—could be realized at this locale. While booking, they reserved both indoor and outdoor spaces with Seattle's volatile weather patterns in mind.
The venue wasn't the only no-brainer choice for this bride. "I would not consider anything easy in [the planning] process, but selecting and booking vendors were relatively easy for me," says Evelyn. "I used Instagram to search 'wedding in Seattle,' and found the tags of vendors from the weddings that interested me."
A Different Kind of Guestbook
In lieu of a traditional guest book, Evelyn and Sam set out a fun photo book for their attendees; they placed an intricate glass sign next to a Fujifilm camera so celebrants knew to snap a polaroid and add it to the collection.
Evelyn tackled another DIY for the guests, too—she packed mini Diptyque candles into acrylic boxes, wrapped them in ribbon, and sealed the favors with wax.
A Non-Traditional Gown
"I did not want a traditional wedding dress," says Evelyn. "This was the only dress I tried on." Her Danielle Frankel gown stood out to her immediately—especially the garment's baroque pearls, which ran from top to bottom. She paired her chic ensemble with Meadowlark pearl hoop earrings and a Mizuki choker.
Shoes Sent from Heaven
A Bouquet Fit for a Queen
Light pink roses and carnations were the stars of the bride's personal arrangement. "Evelyn's bouquet felt effortless, lush, and a bit wild, with both full, fluffy blooms as well as smaller, textured 'wildflower' blooms," says Gather Design Company, the event's florist. "[It] didn't have any green foliage—[we wanted it to] stand out from her gown."
A Casual Suit
Sam wore a gray three-piece suit and a black silk tie for a wedding-day look that was stylish, not stuffy. He paired his tailored ensemble with polished brown Paul Smith oxfords.
An Emotional First Look
Evelyn says she was "in a rush" before the first look, but once she saw her groom in front of Lairmont Manor, her stress melted away. Though the moment was undoubtedly poignant, it was also a fun opportunity to pose alongside the event's pièce de résistance: a fabulous vintage Rolls-Royce.
A Break in the Action
Right after their first look, the couple escaped to Bellingham in their luxury ride. "We were able to feel [in] the moment, just the two of us," explains Evelyn. After snapping a few portraits, they returned to Lairmont for the official ceremony.
A Serene Scene
The ceremony took place in front of the manor's fountain; guests' chairs framed the brick pathway, which was lined with potted floral arrangements featuring dahlias, cosmos, zinnias, lisianthus, and more.
A Live Music Moment
Evelyn and Sam chose Puget Sound Strings, a cello and violin pair, to play beautiful renditions of the classics—including pieces from Campra, Vivaldi, Mozart, Handel, Bach, and Gounod—during the service, from the moment guests found their seats to the recessional.
A Special Officiant
Sam's father officiated the couple's wedding, which made for an extra special ceremony. Both Evelyn and Sam are very family-focused, so having a family patriarch involved in the service was poignant to everyone in attendance. To make their ceremony even more unique, the duo chose to write their own vows.
Remember What's Important
"Prioritize what matters the most; don't spend too much time on every detail," says Evelyn, reflecting on her ceremony and overarching celebration. The couple intentionally had a small, intimate wedding so they could do just that: focus on their family and their love for each other.
Cheers to Cocktail Hour
Family and friends came together for a light cocktail hour post-service. The duo's planner placed lounge sofas and chairs on the Lairmont's lawn, and added tall cocktail tables so attendees could gather comfortably. Appetizers like bacon-wrapped scallops and flaky phyllo asparagus with asiago were served; the cello and violin duo continued playing during the interlude.
One of their favorite big-day memories? Posing for portraits at sunset. "[It was] a rare peaceful moment out of the fast-paced day," Evelyn recalls. "It was very nice that Sam and I could chat with each other and take a small break."
A Golden Hour Reception
Evelyn cites the reception as another favorite part of the event. It perfectly coincided with golden hour; warm light spilled over the entire venue, casting a glow on the outdoor pavilion that housed the party.
A Vintage Touch
Since they didn't have a massive guest list, Evelyn and Sam decided to sit all of their loved ones at a single dinner table under the terrace awning; floral centerpieces were added to the extended tablescape to create a lush atmosphere. "The arrangements were contemporary and a bit wild, featuring locally-grown flowers and foliage," says month-of planner Tamara Nicole. "Vessels and candles were selected to complement the linens and dinnerware, along with the stunning chandeliers."
Simple, Fresh, Delicious
The evening's menu kicked off with an heirloom tomato and watermelon salad with feta cheese and basil. After that came cedar-wrapped salmon, grilled beef tenderloin with herb butter, potato gratin, rainbow carrots, and artisan bread.
The Groom’s Favorite
Keeping with their simplistic theme, the pair's cake was a two-tier white-frosted confection adorned with fresh flowers that referenced the bride's bouquet. The flavor was Sam's favorite: vanilla with strawberry buttercream.
Photography, Kerry Jeanne Photography
Venue, Lairmont Manor
Catering, Foodz Catering
Event planning, Simply By Tamara Nicole
Flowers, Gather Design Company
Invitations, August + White
Day-of paper products, The Fancy Cat Studio
Bride's gown, Danielle Frankel
Hair and Makeup, Yessie Libby
Groom's attire, Paul Smith
Music, Puget Sound Strings
Transportation, British Motor Coach, Inc.
Linen, BBJ Linen