Though Joleen Zanuzoski and Kelan Potucek both grew up in Lakewood, Washington, they didn’t meet until just before heading off to college in July of 2002, when Joleen was invited to the Potucek family’s annual 4th of July party. After, she headed to New York to attend Syracuse University and then began a career in Manhattan, while Kelan enrolled at Central Washington University and then started working in Seattle. It wasn’t until a decade after they met, when Joleen moved back to Seattle in 2012, that they reconnected.
After finding each another again, Kelan and Joleen dated for four years before getting engaged. “I had just returned from a work trip to Bozeman, and Kelan picked me up from the airport to drive to Mt. Rainier for a ski weekend,” Joleen recalls. “I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep in the car, but Kelan was so antsy!” All of a sudden, he pulled over in the forest and asked Joleen to get out of the car in the dark—and to bring a flashlight. “When I turned the light on, Kelan was in front of me on one knee, ” she remembers.
“I was completely shocked!”
The couple hired Sinclair & Moore to design and plan their October 14, 2017, wedding in Seattle, and chose the historic Fairmont Olympic Hotel as the setting. “We were really inspired by the Italian Renaissance design and classic opulence,” explains the bride. “And I knew we would need a large venue to fit Kelan’s huge family!” They invited 215 guests to celebrate with them, filling the space with Tuscan touches inspired by the bride’s family’s Italian heritage. “We wanted every moment to surprise and delight our guests, and every detail to tell our love story,” she says.
Welcome boxes included a note from the bride and groom and some of their favorite snacks, from gourmet coffee (personalized with the couple's names!) and granola to popcorn and chocolates.
Joleen wanted a gown with lots of detail, and headed straight to MeaMarie Bridal Atelier to find it. She fell for designer Ysa Makino’s creations, and says she especially loved the structure and bones of each dress she tried. The winning design was a soft ball gown with a hand-draped French net bodice, handcrafted floral appliqués, and intricate beadwork that made the dress weigh 20 pounds in total!
The bridesmaids wore custom gowns by Nina Cherie Couture, inspired by the bride’s own attire. Each wore a white lace top with a different neckline, paired with a deep green taffeta skirt. The flower girls wore miniature versions with sleeveless tops and tulle skirts. Their bouquets paired fall leaves with peach roses, white dahlias, and soft spray roses.
“For our wedding party photos, we rented out Union Station for an hour. The entire building was cleared out—it felt like we were on a movie set!” says Joleen.
Guests were greeted with Italian bubbly in flutes rimmed with sugar as they arrived for the ceremony. Kelan and Joleen walked down an aisle decorated with blush rose petals (a surprise for the bride from the couple’s wedding planner, Steve Moore) and lit with pillar candles. Joleen is an only child, so both of her parents accompanied her to the altar. “We played the score from Father of the Bride, which I’d dreamed of walking down the aisle to since I was eight years old,” she says. Kelan’s childhood friend served as the officiant, weaving in their family history and stories about their relationship into the proceedings.
In the ballroom, rectangular tables were topped with neutral linen tablecloths and green velvet runners. Low, organic centerpieces included garden roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, ranunculus, and dahlias in shades ranging from cream to rust. Gold-rimmed chargers were topped with menu booklets that included a special addition: the recipe for the menu’s pièce de résistance! “In addition to a plentiful antipasti platter, local salmon, and cacio e pepe, we also served sausage made with my late grandfather’s recipe,” says Joleen.
“He and my mother made the same sausage to serve at her wedding, and it was a must to do the same at mine!”
The couple's six-tiered wedding cake was decorated with delicate sugar flowers that perfectly mimicked the bouquets and centerpieces. Inside were three flavors: Lemon raspberry, caramel espresso pecan, and dark chocolate. The cake was paired with a display of Italian wedding cookies, tiramisu, and donuts.
All the guests (especially the flower girls!) enjoyed the Big Band music. An eight-piece band played a variety of songs, ranging from Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra to Chicago and Dean Martin.
Says Joleen, “The personal touches that are meaningful and significant to you as a couple should be the top of your priority list. Use your wedding day to tell the story of your love through what and who you love. It creates special moments your guests will talk about for years to come.”
Wedding Planner: Sinclair & Moore || Venue: The Fairmont Olympic Hotel || Officiant: Pastor John Candler || Bride's Dress: Ysa Makino || Bride's Veil: Naama & Anaat Couture || Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Bride's Jewelry: BHLDN || Hair & Makeup: Yessie Libby || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Nina Cherie Couture || Groom's Attire: Trillium Custom Tailoring || Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring: Harry Winston || Wedding Bands: Blue Nile, Kantor Diamond || Floral Design: Sinclair & Moore || Paper Products: LaHappy || Catering: The Fairmont Olympic || Italian Sausage: Deru Market || Cake: Midori Bakery || Groom’s Cake: Mike’s Amazing Cakes || Ceremony Music: Puget Sound Strings || Reception Music: Blue Wave Band || Rentals: Cort Party Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linens || Favors: Wish & Pink, Fran’s Chocolate || Transportation: Butler Seattle || Videography: Aaron Horton || Photography: Belathée Photography