Eastside Weddings

For Lisa, there were two men who played a special role on her wedding day.

“The one moment I remember more than any other was standing at the back of the winery, around the corner and out of sight, with my arm linked through my 15-year-old son Jake’s, waiting for him to walk me down the aisle,” she said. “I remember thinking how proud I was to have him walking me and how grown up he suddenly seemed. He was the best man and it was wonderful to have both of my favorite guys up there.”

The other man, of course, was her husband. The couple was set up by a mutual friend and fell in love almost instantaneously. “When you know, you really do know,” said Lisa. Lisa and Sean wanted to throw the perfect celebration that reflected them as a couple. “This was the second time around for both of us so we wanted the day to be perfect for us while simultaneously throwing a lovely and memorable party for our guests. It could not have gone any better!”


Lisa & Sean Vanderdasson of Bellevue

Date | Oct. 30, 2010

Location | DeLille Cellars, Woodinville

Colors | Navy blue and silver

Photographer | Azzura Photography

Caterer | A Platinum Event

Dress | Badgley Mischka from Belletown Brides

Hair/Makeup | Shelina Seny (hair), Bocz Salon

Wedding Planner | Kari Toni of Platinum Event

Cost breakdown | $50,000 +


Four months before their wedding, Michelle and Bryan were unsure if their big day would happen. She had been admitted into the hospital with pancreatitis and blood clots near her heart. It was in this unfortunate situation, however, that the two truly committed to their vows, before ever saying “I do.” Bryan slept in a hospital room with Michelle every night for almost a month. “Without him, I don’t know how I would have made it through. He’s already seen me through sickness and in health, and for better or for worse and I’m so honored to be his wife.”

Bryan has been proving his dedication to Michelle from the beginning. The two met in a bar on Michelle’s 23rd birthday. However, her recollection of the actual meet is a bit fuzzy. “All I know is that when I woke up the next morning, I had eight missed calls and messages from (Bryan) saying that I told him the previous night that if he had any chance of taking me out, he had to call me every hour on the hour all night … so he did.” Three weeks later she called him back and they went on their first date.


Michelle & Bryan Kulp of Seattle

Date | Sept. 4, 2011

Location | Westin Bellevue

Colors | Black and white

Photographer | Jen and Jody Photography

Caterer | Westin Bellevue

Cake/Dessert | Dahlia Bakery

Dress | Luly Yang Couture

Makeup | Alexandra Schmitt

Hair | Gabriel Walton of Obadiah Salon

Rings | Ilya Poleschuk Custom Designs

Wedding Planner | Rachelle Garnsey

Cost breakdown | $50,000+


At first, Nate and Alexa’s timing was off. Little did they know that fate would have them fall completely in sync. Their first date was perfect but unfortunately Alexa was moving to Alaska for work the following day. The two kept in touch through emails and phone calls. Coincidentally, Nate had to come out to Alaska for business and they spent four days with each other on the snowy slopes. “When Nate went home we knew that we would be together,” said Alexa. As soon as her job was done, Alexa moved back to Seattle. In August 2010 they took a trip to Kona, where Nate proposed over an elegant dinner at the Four Seasons.

For Alexa, one of her favorite parts of the wedding was walking down the aisle. “I loved seeing all of our friends and family in one place, and then seeing my husband waiting for me at the altar. It finally felt real.”

To make their wedding original they decided to take dance lessons and learn a fun routine. “We kept it a secret from everybody, and wowed everyone as soon as we started dancing.” Their lives were officially synchronized for everyone to see.


Alexa Licata & Nathan Olmeim of Kirkland

Date | July 30, 2011

Location | The Canal, Ballard

Colors | Peacock Feathers/Teal/Purple

Photographer | Rubin Photography

Caterer | Jewel Hospitality

Cake/Dessert | New York Cupcake

Dress | Bellevue Bridal Boutique

Hair/Makeup | Rosaline Hampton

Rings | Joseph Jewelry

Wedding Planner | Megan Keller of A Kurrant Event

Cost Breakdown | $25,000 to $50,000


Gary and Catherine’s story is one of new beginnings. When they met they were both recently widowed and not anticipating to ever fill their losses. “Our marriages were strong and solid, our spouses were our soulmates and neither one of us were looking for or expecting to find love in our lives again,” said Catherine. But they did. Their paths had crossed in business and they knew of each others’ stories of loss. A quick glass of wine at the Bellevue Club sparked the tiniest hint of interest that blossomed into a five-year courtship.

In December 2010 the couple decided to watch “Eat, Pray, Love” and unexpectedly found the theme of their own story. At the end of the film when Liz takes a chance on love with Felipe she finds the word “Attraversiamo,” which means “Let’s cross over” in Italian. “It made me a little teary eyed,” said Catherine, “I looked over at Gary to find him a little ‘dewy’ as well.” They both knew it was their time to cross over. Gary proposed that night and “Eat, Pray, Love” became the theme of their wedding.


Gary & Catherine (Bailey) Bylund of Bellevue

Date | May 14, 2011

Location | Ceremony at Holy Family Catholic Church, Kirkland; Reception at The Loft at Russell’s Barn, Bothell

Colors | Hot coral, orange, pink, kiwi green & silver

Photographer Azzura Photography

Caterer | Russell Lowell/Russell’s Barn

Rentals | AA Rentals, Pedersen’s Rentals & Grand Event Rentals

Cake/Dessert | dessert bar by the pastry chef at Russell’s Barn

Wedding Dress | I Do Bridal

Hair & Makeup | Kathy Evans Beauty Studio

Rings | Alvin Goldfarb Jeweler

Wedding Planner | Merry Beth Turpin of Aisle of View

Cost breakdown | $50,000 +


Olga Szwed, owner of La Belle Reve in Bellevue, has built her career around making women feel like princesses on their wedding day. On September 4, it was her time to shine. She composed the dream wedding at the Landmark Event Center in Des Moines that included her dream dresses. Yes, dresses. The bride wore two gowns, an Atelier Aimee to her ceremony and then her own La Belle Reve dress that she designed.

But the extravagance of the wedding didn’t stop with the dresses. The bride’s bouquet was an arrangement of pink roses, orchids and organza flowers with crystals and feathers the bride used in her second dress. The couple also had their love displayed in the sky. “The best moment of the day was when we released doves during the ceremony. The doves joined and flew off together. For us the doves represented the union of our love,” said Olga.


Olga & Greg Szwed of Renton

Date | Sept. 4, 2011

Location | Landmark Event Center, ceremony by the rose garden fountain, reception at the ballroom

Colors | dusty pink, champagne, ivory, wine

Photographer | Jean-Marcus Strole

Caterer | Twelve Baskets Catering and Abricos Catering

Rentals | AA party rentals

Cake/Dessert | pastry chef Lana Pasko

Dress | La Belle Reve (Atelier Aimee and a custom design by La Balle Reve)

Hair/Makeup | Tatyatana Kostenko of Salon Saida

Rings | Jared

Wedding Planner | The Invisible Hostess

Cost breakdown for wedding/reception | $50,000 +

is the managing editor at 425 magazine. Email her.
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