• Locally Grown Washington Barn Wedding: Kayln & Mike

    Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography

    When I first saw the photos of this wedding, I fell in love with the red barn, the lush and organic details, and the late summer feel. But when I read the groom’s (yes, the groom’s!) account of their day and what went into it, I got giddy to share it with you. Because, as the groom puts it, literally everything in the wedding was chosen for a reason:

    …for being culturally important to us (Irish/Celtic things), comfortable to us (linen and converse), being agreeable to our principles and values (eating local and organic), or just being one of our favorite hobbies (beer brewing, crafting, fly-tying, canning, gardening, event planning.) 

    Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography

    Kalyn was raised on her grandfather’s farm. We wanted to have an outdoor wedding from the very beginning. Both of us spent a great deal of our childhood in the outdoors, and over the last few years Kalyn has transformed me into a decent organic gardener. Kalyn always had dreamed of getting married in an old barn. We did not want to burden her aging grandfather with all that pressure of having our wedding on his farm, but we wanted a place near Kalyn’s hometown of Tenino. We found Red Barn and booked one of the last remaining dates of the next year right away (over one year in advance).

    Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography

    One of the first things Kalyn told me about our wedding was that our cocker spaniel, Barley, was going to be a part of it. We rescued him from an animal shelter about a year prior, and he had a lot of social issues so we worked hard the year of our engagement to retrain him. Barley was chosen to be our special ring bearer, and walked with me down the aisle. Unbeknownst to everyone, that day Barley was the most well-behaved that we had ever seen him. He did not have a care in the world and was just happy to be in a field by our side.

    Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography

    Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography

    We wanted all of our guests to know how special they were to us so we created a city sign that listed the city of every guest and the distance they had traveled and placed it the entrance to the barn. To mix it up, we added several cities that we were travelling to on our honeymoon.

    Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography

    Advice for couples planning now? Book your venue first! This essentially sets up all your DIY projects. You can plan everything easier if you already have an idea of your layout. We got the layout drawings of our venue and sat down with a pencil and paper and drew out where our tables would go, where our guestbook was, etc. This made it simple to transition into all the DIY’s that we had to accomplish in order to make the whole event flow.

    Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow Photography Washington Barn Wedding | Red Sparrow PhotographyWhat made your wedding YOU?

    We wanted our wedding to be something that people would remember. We knew we wanted to take the time to focus on every detail and create special touches that reflected our personalities, our heritage, and most importantly the story of us. We knew we had a really limited budget, but we also knew we had a lot of skills we could put to good use DIYing our way to the wedding we dreamed of. Everything we did made it us.

    Kalyn & Mike did A LOT of amazing DIY. They pretty much did every single thing you see, and a lot that you don’t. There’s even more in the gallery too. Congrats to the couple!

    Here’s just a small selection of their DIY:

    Jam Favors with FliesWe wanted our favors to show real love and attention to our guests. The blackberry jam was made from wild berries Mike and I picked together while camping and the apple butter was made from apple’s we picked together in an orchard near Mike’s childhood home. To top the favors, Mike worked every night for three weeks hand tying the fly fishing flies (in our wedding colors). The specific fly he designed was a spinoff of his favorite fly he uses for fishing.

    Quote Blackboards – We wanted to be able to set the tone for the wedding as our guests arrived and so we put our woodworking skills to work to make quote boards with different love quotes, some funny, others significant to us as a couple, to welcome people as they walked to their seats.

    Lavender Tossing Bags – Lavender was what was thrown after weddings in Ireland in the middle ages in order to bless the couple and ward away evil. Since we wanted something to keep with the organic feel of the day (not rice or bubbles) we chose lavender in small velum envelopes with a small statement explaining the tradition to guests.

    Arbor Call us crazy, but this one was VERY SPECIAL to us. Mike made this arbor for our garden two years ago to grow his hops on, and it was the arbor he asked me to marry him under. We wanted it to be symbolic at our wedding, that each guest would walk under it, and in a sense become part of our wedding story. After our engagement, Mike and I harvested the hops from the arbor and saved them. We called them our “engagement hops”. They are the same hops he used to make the beer for the wedding. For the wedding, we carefully took it apart and transported it to the barn and reassembled it at the entrance to the ceremony site.

    Beerwas handcrafted by Mike and two of his groomsmen (they are also home brewers). Mike brewed several batches of organic beer, the most notable being the Engagement IPA which used the hops from our engagement arbor (what we got engaged under).

    Table decor – We saved our milk glasses for a year to have enough for each table and picked the pears fresh the week of the  wedding to incorporate the organic feel of the event into the table design.



    {Vendors} Photography:Red Sparrow Photography / Venue: Red Barn StudiosFlowers: Sunshine Enterprises – Sandy (the owner) worked with us because we wanted to incorporate the flowers from my grandfather’s farm. She helped us work all the arrangements around the flowers we were growing along with flowers from her greenhouses to create the exact feel we wanted. She even used hops from her own garden to create Mike’s corsage to pay tribute to his hobby as a homebrewer. / Catering: Catrina’s Catering (no website 360-748-8158) – Because Mike and I are very committed to sustainable, organic food  and both volunteer at a local farmers market, we wanted to find a caterer who would work with us to use produce that both we, my grandfather, and our friends had personally grown. We harvested the vegetables the day before the wedding and delivered them to her and she worked her magic from there! / DJ: Music De-lite  / Bartender: Mixx It Up!Cake: Larsen’s Bakery Groom’s AttireLinen Suit and Shirt: Nordstrom, Tie: Macys, Cap: Hannah’s Hats (in Ireland), Shoes: custom made converse – Mike wanted to have the wedding colors and wedding date on his shoes to make his attire stand out from the groomsmen, Ring: Perry Olsen / 
BrideDress and Veil: from Cynderellies Closet  by Casablanca Bridal
Shoes: Seychelles from Nordstrom, 
Garter: Bo’s Blossoms, Jewelry: Necklace belonged to Kalyn’s great-grandmother and the earrings were a gift to Kalyn from Mike on their first anniversary of dating, Ring: Heirloom Diamonds with platinum band (from Bride’s Mother) customized by Menashe & Sons Jewelers / Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids: Dresses: After Six, 
Jewelry Royal Gold Gifts Flower Girl: Dress: Fireworks, Shoes: Converse / Cuteness Bringers (i.e. flower girl escorts) Attire: Shoes: Converse, Irish Caps: Harp & Shamrock (Tacoma, WA no website 253-752-5012) / Guestbook: Bridewell Market  / Cake Topper: Galway Irish TradersLinens: Special Event Rentals


    Leave a comment.


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