UW Center for Urban Horticulture Wedding: Leah + Max

September 23, 2015


During a special weekend getaway back in May, Leah and Max ventured down to explore San Francisco, where Max was born. After the first full day of site-seeing, he couldn’t stop talking about how happy he was to be there, how cool the city was, and how glad he was that Leah was with him. Leah didn’t really think much of all his antics, but immediately upon returning to their room, Max got down on one knee and promised to spend the rest of his life with her, if she would be his wife. Without hesitation, she said yes.

In addition to traveling together, Leah and Max enjoy so many different activities, from crabbing and fishing in the Puget Sound (they brought fishing rods to their engagement session), to karaoke (which is how they first met), to cheering on the 49ers and Red Sox. (Raise your hand if you think I should have charged them a fee for not being Hawks and M’s fans! Hehe.) 😉 They have chosen to be partners in life, and appreciate the qualities that help keep them together, such as Max’s humor and cooking skills, and Leah’s determination and compassion.

It was these traits (well, minus the cooking) that I saw play out on their wedding day in August. You would never have guessed it was summer the weekend that Leah and Max got married; the day prior the Puget Sound region experienced a wind storm that uprooted trees and left some people without electricity for over 24 hours; Leah and Max still didn’t have power by the time they headed to Seattle to prepare for their wedding, which understandably caused some angst. Thankfully, once they got to the Silver Cloud Inn in the University District, their nerves had calmed and they were ready to focus on their future. Max was a ball of energy (as usual) and Leah was excited and thoughtful. Despite how the morning began, I could tell it would be a memorable day.

Leah and Max were married at the beautiful and lush Center for Urban Horticulture at the University of Washington. The excitement and joy for the day was almost tangible as they celebrated with family and friends. It was my great honor to photograph their wedding – Leah and Max, thank you so much for choosing me. I think I laughed and smiled just as much as the two of you, it was so fun! I wish you nothing but the best…except when the Seahawks play the 49ers or the M’s face the Red Sox. 😉 Other than that, I’ve got nothin’ but love for ya. Hugs!

Leah and Max’s wedding colors were red and gold – and Leah made sure to incorporate as much gold as she could! A very special story about their rings: Leah’s grandfather had a necklace that they melted to use for the wedding bands, as well as to make a necklace for Max’s daughter, Lucy, with which they surprised her during the ceremony. Max’s ring is also moulded in the shape of a nut, representing to him the hard work that he will put into their marriage. I love all of the symbolism. And the sparkles. 🙂

uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_03 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_04

While I was photographing the gals getting ready, my second shooter Brian was hanging out with the fellas and captured some portraits of Max. (Thanks, Brian!)uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_01

Leah gifted Max a watch, which he received shortly before seeing Leah for the first time.uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_02

Max awaited Leah on a small rock slab bridge at the Center for Urban Horticulture.uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_05

I love first looks because my couples get to have a few moments to themselves. Not to mention, their reactions are pretty awesome. 🙂uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_06 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_07 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_08

I just love the way they look at each other – so happy to be together.
uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_09uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_10 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_11 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_12 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_13

Max’s daughter Lucy was the flower girl, and her red sequined Tom’s made me think of Dorothy.uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_14

One of Leah’s family members owns a sign company, and they graciously gifted all sorts of signage for the big day.uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_15

Including this awesome 3D hashtag sign. 😀uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_16

The weather was back and forth with the rain and sun (typical Seattle), but we lucked out during the outdoor ceremony.uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_17uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_19 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_20 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_21 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_22 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_23 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_24 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_25

Max and Leah presented Lucy with her gold necklace during the ceremony…uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_26

…and became a family. 🙂

Well, once Max kissed his bride, of course!uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_28

Woot woot, #legitlegget! 😉

We took a few minutes for some more portraits after the wedding before Leah and Max joined the reception.uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_30 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_31

The CUH has a beautiful courtyard which had been decorated with cushions in neat red and gold fabrics. Huge props to Abby of Icing on the Cake Events for transforming the reception space.uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_32

I’ve seen some creative guest book ideas but corn hole is pretty dang sweet!uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_33

There were many other personal touches, including custom beer labels, as well as bottle-opener keychains that Max made. He is a metal worker and creates metal art, and he designed the heart logo that was used on all of their signage and paper goods. What a unique idea. And I was totally taken by surprise when I saw my own name on one! 😀 Downtown Tara Brown, that’s me. 😉 (Thank you so much, Max!)uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_34

Dinner and festivities were held inside after cocktail hour.uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_35

Some of the tables featured a centerpiece with a beta fish. Yep. Seriously. How cool is that!uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_36 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_37

The evening’s toasts were full of wonderful memories and silly jokes – and entirely heartfelt.
uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_38 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_39 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_40

Their cake was designed by Edmonds Bakery. I love how the heart design is the cake topper.uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_41 uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_42

Leah thought Max needed some frosting to make his facial hair look a bit better. 😉uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_43

And then they got down to dancin’! Max says that he loves how Leah dances. And they sure had fun. Max sang to his new bride the entire time, gotta love it.uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_44

Leah and her dad have a very special bond, which anyone could see.uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_45

And Max’s mom looked extremely proud of her son!uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_46

I love seeing a packed dance floor, and this one did not disappoint. The party went on for the rest of the night.

Shortly before we left, though, we were able to get outside for just a few more portraits, since the afternoon had been so rushed.uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_49

I’ll end with this one – all smiles, totally happy and in love.uw-center-for-urban-horticulture-wedding-seattle-leah-max_48

Congratulations, Leah and Max! I’m so happy for you!

You may view more photos from Leah and Max’s wedding in this slideshow:

Many thanks to the wonderful creative team who made Leah and Max’s wedding such a fabulous day…
Wedding Venue: UW Center for Urban Horticulture
Coordinator: Abby of Icing on the Cake Events
Catering: Pyramid Catering
Floral Design: Joyce Scholz
Cake: Edmonds Bakery
Hair + Makeup: Liz Frain of Zo Hair Salon
DJ: DJ Xado
Photographer: Seattle Wedding Photographer Tara Brown