Kristina Coates and Joshua Acosta bring new meaning to the phrase childhood sweethearts: They met in the third and fourth grades, respectively, at a winter church camp. Fast forward 11 years, and Kristina found Joshua on one knee in the middle of a Christmas tree farm in Snoqualmie National Forest, asking her to marry him as he knelt in the snow.
For their March 7, 2015, wedding in Seattle, Washington, the couple dreamed of a simple wedding with plenty of thoughtful details and surprising delights around every corner. Think: lush floral arrangements, chocolate-colored sequined tablecloths, and Rice Krispy treat snacks. With 175 guests in tow, the pair exchanged vows in a late winter celebration (planned by the talented creatives behind Hey Gorgeous Events!) so pretty that we're confident it will have you rethinking that summer wedding date. But don't take our word for it! Look at photographer Marissa Maharaj's gorgeous photos below and be the judge.
Kristina and Joshua invited friends and family to Sodo Park, a loft in Seattle's downtown historic district. "It was in a great location," says Kristina, "and it was a beautiful space that could accommodate our guest count." The couple's invitation suite featured soft blooms surrounding swirling text and vibrant envelopes.
Kristina and Joshua chose to have a first look, a decision neither regrets. "It was probably one of my favorite parts of the day," the bride says. "It was so special to be able to experience so many emotions, just the two of us. We have been together for six-and-a-half years by the time our wedding day approached, but it was still surreal to see Joshua and know that he was about to become my husband."
Kristina chose a head-to-toe lace Sarah Seven gown with a high neckline and delicate satin belt. "It fit absolutely perfectly and it was so comfortable," she says. She also wore custom stud diamond earrings, which were a wedding gift from the groom, and carried a lush bouquet of ranunculus, roses, berries, and greenery.
Joshua donned a navy blue suit, while his tie had a hidden surprise: A heart-shape patch with his nickname for Kristina and their wedding date embroidered inside.
Kristina's bridesmaids wore olive-colored off-the-rack dresses from Zara. "I wanted them to wear something they'd be comfortable in," the bride says, "and something they could wear again." The couple's three flower girls wore winter-appropriate long-sleeve tops and fluffy handmade tutus. Gold sequin flats and super-sweet baby's breath flower crowns completed their wedding day attire.
The bride's attendants carried miniature versions of Kristina's bouquet, wrapped in ribbons that bore each woman's name. And the couple's bulldog, Henry, served as their ring bearer, wearing an oversized bowtie and a happy grin for his family.
Guests found programs at the entrance to the ceremony, black books that featured white script and were tied with light pink ribbons.
The ceremony space was outlined in ivory, with its entranced lined in eucalyptus garland. Tree stumps, lanterns, and fresh flowers also decorated the entrance. Inside, family rows were denoted with fresh garlands on the aisle-side chairs.
Kristina's father walked her down the aisle to the tune of Canon in D. "We did not write our own vows, but we chose special bits and pieces from the Bible to be included to reflect our hopes and prayers for our marriage," Kristina says.
Inside the reception, cocoa-colored sequined linens covered round tables that were topped with lush floral arrangements. Stunning mixes of roses, anemones, blackerries, pieris japonica, and flowing greenery surely offered a reprieve from the winter landscape outdoors. Table numbers were written on stained wooden blocks, while mustard-hued napkins featured custom stained wood napkin rings.
"Walking into our reception space before all of the curtains were pulled back to allow guests in was amazing," Kristina recalls. "We loved seeing all of the details that we had been planning for the past year and three months, all in one place. It was great to be able to take it all in and reflect on what we had been through."
Kristina and Joshua sat at a sweetheart table with chairs draped in swags of fresh blooms and a custom table number reading, "Table for Two." They served a feast of local and seasonal items, including a roasted winter squash medallion, spice rubbed beef tenderloin, citrus rubbed halibut, and Dungeness crab cakes.
While the couple didn't give out favors (Kristina and Joshua made a donation to Bulldog Haven instead), they did serve up glazed doughnuts for their guests to take home in monogrammed bags. "That was really special to us," Kristina says. "We also made a donation to The Paul Lee Foundation, which raises awareness and resources for those struggling with mental or emotional health. Our college experienced a school shooting our senior year and Paul Lee's life was taken."
A lounge area, complete with leather sofas, rattan furniture, and coffee tables made from tree stumps, offered guests another spot to relax during the reception.
The couple's four-tiered wedding cake was covered in Swiss meringue buttercream, and included layers of pink Champagne, red velvet, and chocolate chunk cake. But that wasn't quite enough sweets for Kristina and Joshua, who also offered other fun desserts, including additional single-tiered confections, more doughnuts, and Rice Krispy treats.
After taking their first twirl to Dustin Kensrue's "Pistol," the couple left their reception and went on to honeymoon in Playa Mujures, Mexico. "AKA paradise," Kristina jokes.
"Decide together what aspects of your wedding are important to you, and don't be afraid to go for them," Kristina tells future couples. "Enjoy every single moment because it will fly by."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Sodo Park
Wedding Planner & Florist: Hey Gorgeous Events
Bride's Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven
Hair & Makeup: Erin Skipley
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Zara
Groom's Attire: Ralph Lauren
Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A. Bank
Flower Girl Attire: Tutus Chic
Invitations: Graceline Art
Catering: Herban Feast
Cake: Honey Crumb Cake Studio
Rentals: ABC Rentals
Videographer: Good Times Productions
Photography: Marissa Maharaj