Every once in a while it’s good to be on the other side – of both the camera and the wedding. As many of you already know, my little sister Gretchen got married at Hotel 1000 on March 13th of this year. I played the role of co-Matron of Honor (shared with my other sister, Hannah) and quasi-wedding coordinator.

Now, I am a big picture sort of person—the kind that likes to throw ideas out there for everyone and then only follow through on the things that interest me most. Gretchen is a little like me–certain things are very important to her and others are simply “extras” that she can live with or without – no big deal. Thankfully for all of us, both Hannah and my mom are incredibly detail-oriented and organized, so they were able to follow along and pick up the pieces, pulling all of our ideas and vendors together to create one truly beautiful event.

Like most winter weddings in Seattle, the day started with rain and wind… and ended with rain and wind! Gretchen didn’t really let this phase her though – we had selected both the getting-ready suite at the Alexis Hotel and the gorgeous ceremony/reception site at Hotel 1000 for this very reason. Getting ready at the Alexis proved to be an amazing decision—not only did they provide us with a gorgeous getting ready suite, but they also allowed us to take first look and wedding party photos in their ballroom. It was the perfect match for Gretchen & Brett’s fun-loving sophistication.

Gretchen’s Maggie Sottero wedding gown was one of the very first she tried on—as soon as my mom, sister and I saw it, we knew it was perfect for her. Very few brides can pull off both offbeat and elegant at the same time, but Gretchen was indeed one of those brides. Her beautiful gown was accompanied by a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes, a gorgeous amethyst teardrop necklace, and an Alexis Bittar brooch that she and my mom picked out together at Nordstrom. All of the bridesmaids’ dresses and shoes were also Nordstrom Wedding Salon finds, where our fabulous consultant Mindy worked hard to make Gretchen’s dreams come to life. But I digress…

Shortly after getting ready, Gretchen headed downstairs to see Brett for the first time. It was love at first sight, all over again. Standing in the window light, they looked absolutely beautiful. I was so incredibly grateful to Gerald and our dear friend (and talented photographer) Erwin for being there to capture it all so that I could simply enjoy the moment with my little sister.

There were so many other moments that I felt blessed to witness: Gretchen smiling ear to ear at the way Christianne from Flora Nova had transformed Hotel 1000 into a Pacific Northwest wonderland for her; hearing the quiet whisper of Brett’s vows to Gretchen; seeing the side-to-side trot of the ring bearer, Zeus making his way down the aisle (you may remember him from his puppy photos); and Gretchen pulling me aside at the end of the night to tell me everything was perfect and she was so incredibly happy.

Gretchen & Brett, we love you both and pray that God will bless your lives and marriage. We hope you’re having a blast in Italy, and can’t wait for you to see these photos when you return! 🙂




Getting Ready Suite: Alexis Hotel | Gown Designer: Gracie, by Sottero & Midgley | Bridal Salon: Charlotte’s Weddings of Portland | Bridal Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Wedding Gown Pin: Alexis Bittar | Hair: Danielle Nyondo, Rosaline Hampton | Hairpiece: La Belle Reve | Makeup: Yolanda Nazarian | Bridal Jewelry: S&I Designs New York and Nordstrom | Bridesmaid Apparel: Nordstrom Weddings | Bridesmaid Jewelry: Finnished Designs | Flowers: Flora Nova Design | Photography: Gerald Pope & Erwin Wijanto | Wedding Venue: Hotel 1000 | Officiant: Chuck Shocki | Invitations & Programs: Hannah Chen | Cake: Trophy Cupcakes | DJ: Brian Dale, Wavelink Music | Wine: Hawley Winery | Umbrellas: Bella UmbrellaPlacecards: Father & Siblings of the Bride | Favors: Forever Wed


[…] Be sure to check out the official photography by my brother-in-law, Gerald Pope, of The Popes, and friend, Erwin […]

Airika & Gerald – I adore these photos! You are so very talented! We so appreciated the way in which you worked and your kind demeanor. The images and the joy you have captured here are priceless & we will be forever grateful to you both!

Love them! Even though I was there, it’s fun reliving it 🙂 Also, the decor seriously was like a dreamy (sophisticated) fairyland… Christianne is amazing, and Gerald, you did a great job capturing how beautiful it was!