Rian Buckley and D'Andre Goodwin were both athletes at the University of Washington (she's a swimmer, and he's a football player), but they didn't meet on the field. "We actually met in dance class!" says Rian. After that first fateful meeting, D'Andre "somehow" ended up in the training room at the same time as Rian while she was rehabbing her knee, and he turned out to be great company—and he still is a decade later. D'Andre spent four months working on the perfect engagement ring for Rian, and it arrived on Super Bowl Sunday in 2015—a good sign, since D'Andre is a former Denver Broncos wide receiver! The pair watched two of D'Andre's best friends (and soon-to-be best man and groomsman!) play in the biggest game of their lives and the next day headed to a local pottery-painting studio for a date. "I was so focused on what I was doing, I didn't notice D'Andre painting hearts and our initials," says Rian. She got up to retrieve a clean paintbrush and saw that he'd painted "Will You Marry Me?" inside the box and was down on one knee. "My ring had been inside the box the whole time. I had no idea!" says Rian.
The couple had planned on a warm-weather wedding, but in November 2015, Rian's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, so instead she and D'Andre exchanged vows in front of her parents' home, with the bride's father (a judge) presiding. "We wore sweaters and wellies, and it was an intimate ceremony we'll never forget," says Rian. A few months later, on February 20, 2016, the couple had a second ceremony and reception at Swiftwater Cellars, an hour outside of Seattle. "I wanted something organic and rustic, and the slopes of the Cascade Mountains were the perfect backdrop," Rian describes. One hundred twenty guests joined the pair for an earthy and inviting celebration with an ashy green, gray, and blue palette. We'd say D'Andre and Rian's wedding, photographed by Sally Pinera and designed by Kaleb Norman James, was a touchdown!
The textured invitations featured a custom drawing of the surrounding mountains and forests, setting the tone for an elegant and natural event.
Rian is a model and has had many chances to wear ornate gowns—which is why she went the complete other direction for her wedding dress. "It was minimalist and formfitting. I loved the simplicity and freshness of the design," says Rian of her silk-crepe gown by Alexandra Grecco. "I got to be true to myself." She completed her look with diamond drop earrings, a simple veil, and flats from Ancient Greek.
A super-textured bouquet was the perfect choice against Rian's simple gown. It combined peonies, blooming pieris, dusty millers, spray roses, and seeded eucalyptus, and it was tied with ivory, blue, and gray ribbons from a vintage shop in Paris.
D'Andre paired his blue suit with a black bow tie and a boutonniere of white peonies, pieris, and seeded eucalyptus.
"If there hadn't been snow on the ground, you would have thought we were in Tuscany in July!" says Rian. "We were only an hour outside of Seattle, but it felt like a destination wedding." Her bridesmaids wore sterling-gray tulle dresses from Jenny Yoo, while D'Andre's groomsmen wore blue suits.
The couple was wed in the cellars, where Rian's dad officiated and gave the proceedings a Catholic twist. "We wrote our own vows," says Rian. "We included lines from Pablo Neruda, as well as this line: 'I vow this day I will love you freely, purely, and loyally... For you are my greatest adventure, and all that you are will forever be enough for me.'"
Rian and D'Andre gave their planner a lot of freedom when it came to their wedding design and adored the moment when they got to see the reception all set up.
"The two biggest challenges for a February wedding in Washington are rain and light," says Rian. "We wanted light in our photos, so our incredible planner set up the entire reception in the morning, had it photographed at high noon, when the space was full of light, and then flipped it for the ceremony... only to flip it back again while we had cocktails!" The magic happened as guests drank Moscow and Kentucky mules and nibbled on charcuterie platters.
Long tables were draped in soft linens and surrounded by cross-backed chairs. Centerpieces, in stone urns, combined eucalyptus, camellia branches, white peonies, and garden roses. Eucalyptus wreaths were hung over the tables to fill the space.
Each place setting featured lace-edged Italian china, mismatched glassware, and pearl-handled flatware. Crystal candlesticks and colored taper candles added height and dimension, and each menu was finished with a gray velvet ribbon.
For dinner, guests enjoyed fresh-caught salmon, roasted chicken, and pasta with pesto.
"We couldn't decide on a wedding cake flavor—so we had five cakes instead!" Rian reveals. The couple cut a coconut cake topped with sparklers and also served salted-caramel cake, chocolate cake, carrot cake, and vanilla-cream cake with a berry drizzle.
A DJ played everything from classic R&B to current hits. "Seeing our friends and family let loose and dance for four hours was amazing," says the bride. "I'm glad I changed into a shorter dress toward the end of the night!"
While planning didn't start the way Rian and D'Andre had planned, the bride picked up some very valuable wisdom. "Don't give into the pressure to make wedding planning stressful," she says. "Keep things in perspective, and remember that this day is about celebrating, not decorating!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Swiftwater Cellars
Wedding Planner: Kaleb Norman James Design
Bride's Dress: Alexandra Grecco
Veil: Sara Gabriel
Shoes: Ancient Greek
Groom's Attire: Suit Supply
Shoes: Cole Haan
Engagement Ring: Jack Kelege
Wedding Bands: Fabri
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo
Stationery: Libby Tipton
Flowers: Kaleb Norman James Design
Rentals: Cort Party Rentals
Caterer: Swiftwater Cellars
Music: Integral DJs
Photography: Sally Pinera
Videography: Via Creatives