Hanna and Bret’s Colorful Seattle Wedding
It was a bright idea: Bret Richheimer decided to set the scene for his surprise proposal to Hanna Ritt by filling their New York City apartment with 100 red, pink, yellow, and blue balloons. When Hanna, a kindergarten special education teacher, walked in, she found Bret, an investment banker, on one knee, with a photographer there to document the moment. After an enthusiastic yes, the couple painted the town red with friends and family and kept celebrating for the seven months it took to plan their nuptials.
The first order of business was finding a place to hold their large families, who added up to 344 guests. Wedding planners Jamie and Steve Moore of Sinclair and Moore recommended the Great Hall at Union Station in Seattle, the bride’s hometown. “When I saw it, I was ecstatic,” she recalls. “Its black-and-white tile floors resonated with me. Our apartment is furnished in all black and white.” It was her mother who suggested they accent that palette with brilliant bursts. “She knew I’d lean toward rainbow shades; it’s the kindergarten teacher in me!” says Hanna. “My mother and Steve tweaked that idea to include more sophisticated sunset shades of yellow, orange, coral, and fuchsia.”
Those colors first showed up as painted edges on the invitations, then appeared throughout the July 5, 2014, black-tie affair: in the flowers, at the table settings, on the spectacular rose-petal-covered aisle, even in the petite scoops of sorbet floating in Champagne. After the Jewish vows, which took place under an ombré floral chuppah, the party moved to the nearby Four Seasons Hotel overlooking Puget Sound for hors d’oeuvres of chili-shrimp lollipops, harissa lamb loin, and lobster tempura served with rosé. Once guests had been ushered into the dining room, the newlyweds cheerfully cut the cake right away, and then took to the floor for their first spin to Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” Everyone dined on Mediterranean sea bass, beef tenderloin, and quinoa cakes, and danced as the band played ’til the wee hours of the morning. It was closer to sunrise than sunset when the party ended, but all agreed it had been a stunning celebration, with one blushing bride and many misty, multicolor memories.
The letterpressed suite by La Happy featured custom calligraphy and hand-painted edges in the wedding’s color palette. Mailed in a black box lined with striped paper, it also introduced the event’s unofficial motto—“a wonderful love”—and came with an illustrated map of Seattle.
Welcome to Seattle
Seattle-themed welcome boxes included a locally made votive holder; the couple’s guide to the city; two mini bottles of Champagne; hand-colored chocolates with a note saying, “How sweet it is to be loved by you”; an in-palette Glassybaby candle holder, and a Starbucks card to use at Pike Place, the chain’s first store.
Tag, You’re It
A letterpressed tag and a bow of fuchsia ribbon sealed the striped box of welcome goodies.
One Vibrant Bouquet
Hanna’s bouquet incorporated a floral-fruity mix of garden roses, tea roses, poppies, kumquats, tangerines, Meyer lemons, ranunculus, phalaenopsis orchids, peonies, blackberries, clematis, and sweet peas.
Bridesmaids (11 of them!) wore black gowns of their choosing, while the bride’s sister (and maid of honor) stood out in a fuchsia Marchesa number.
Three bridesmaids carried sunny clutches of poppies, ranunculus, roses, and vines, wrapped with matching Mokuba New York ribbon.
Orange You Glad
Ranging from soft peach to a bold tangerine hue, the orange bouquets boasted variegated roses, poppies, ranunculus, and vines.
A Coral Stunner
A trio of gals clutched bouquets of coral roses, ranunculus, and poppies, accented by vines.
Back to the Fuchsia
A mix of roses, peonies, clematis, and vines made up the fuchsia bouquets, carried by two of Hanna’s attendants.
Bret’s dapper guys—a combination of friends and family—sported their own black tuxes.
Gifts for the Guys
Bret gave groomsmen bow ties, along with pocket squares and polka-dot socks.
Melting scoops of sorbet (with color-coordinated flags) added delicious tints to pre-ceremony Champagne.
A Golden Touch
Striped cocktail napkins were foil-stamped with the wedding’s motto: “A wonderful love.”
The littlest attendants: Hanna’s 5-year-old cousins served as flower girl and ring bearer.
The Ring Pillow
Three pillows were stitched together to form a black-and-white stack to hold the wedding bands. Hanna wore the same ring as her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Diamonds that had belonged to Bret’s late mother were placed on the inside of his wedding band so he could carry something personal to her with him every day.
Get With the Program
The spine of each program was stitched in an on-palette thread and had a matching grosgrain-ribbon bookmark.
Over the Rainbow
The 200-foot-long ombré aisle, created by rose petals piled four inches thick, ended at a floral chuppah that “took my breath away,” says Hanna, who walked down it as Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” played. Bret had entered to The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony,” followed by the bridal party to Elvis Presley’s “Cant Help Falling in Love.”
As for the chuppah—at his wedding, Bret’s older brother started the tradition of twining ivy around the base of the ceremony structure to honor their late mother, whose name was Ivy. Hanna and Bret did the same.
Let The Music Play
Having made it official, the gleeful couple recessed postceremony as Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours” sounded through the hall.
Husband and Wife
The newlyweds only had eyes for each other.
All In the Family
The bride with her sister and parents.
Please Be Seated
Escort cards in mini black envelopes were displayed around a poster of the wedding motto.
Single-color centerpieces stood out against the black, white, and gold tablescapes. The yellow ones featured garden roses, spray roses, poppies, ranunculus, carnations, Meyer lemons, and clematis vines.
Each table was set with a single-color centerpiece and menus hand-edged to match.
Good Enough to Eat
Fruit was incorporated into each table arrangement. Coral centerpieces included raspberries and strawberries, fuchsia versions held blackberries, and yellow ones featured lemons.
A Colorful Centerpiece
While every other table showcased a single-color centerpiece, the head table was distinguished by an ombré arrangement highlighting all four signature shades.
A Sweet Surprise
Each place was set with a mini wedding cake so guests could follow the advice to “eat dessert first,” says Hanna. “Some were carrot cake, others pink-Champagne-flavored, and all had black-and-white fondant icing.”
White chiffon wedding cake was cut to reveal that each layer had been colored a sunset shade and separated by vanilla-bean créme filling.
The First Dance
“When we first entered the ballroom, we danced our way to the floor while our band played American Authors’ ‘Best Day of My Life,’ then we immediately cut the cake. It was so exciting to see all our family and friends surrounding us—you could feel the love and energy filling the room,” says Bret. The newlyweds later danced their official first dance to Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”
Photo booth picture strips upped the fun.
Everybody Dance Now
There was dancing, and more dancing! Hanna’s childhood friend and bridesmaid hit the floor with her fiancé.