December 24, 2021

The Sewards-Guthrie Wedding | 08.26.21

Engagements + Weddings

Decades in the Making

I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that me photographing this particular wedding is something the universe put into work before the bride, groom, or myself were even born. Okay, maybe it is, but I am a strong believer that everything in life is connected in one way or another, so in my mind, this story starts with the mother of the bride, Joyce, and my own mom, Rikki, becoming friends when they were attending middle school in Anaheim, California. They grew up and followed their own paths, but reconnected in the mid-1990s when they both became pregnant with their first children- me and Kasey, born just a few weeks apart.

Although the Sewards family ended up relocating to Washington and my family stayed in California, we all kept in touch with each other through social media. Even when life's gotten in the way and we've gone extended times without talking, I've always thought of them as an extra part of my own family. It is because of this that I jumped at the opportunity to photograph Kasey's wedding without a shred of hesitation when she approached me with the idea back in 2020. So what if they were states away in Washington and I now live in New Mexico? I'm never opposed to traveling for a shoot, and am always down for an adventure! We spent a few days going over details and logistics, and I had my flights booked soon after.

Preparations + Surprises

Kasey and her then fiancé, Nate, had originally planned their wedding for the summer of 2020. The pandemic, however, caused them to push everything back a year. I seriously felt for them and wanted to do everything in my power to make their day worth the wait. Part of this was putting together a little surprise for Kasey. My mom originally had to RSVP "no", but when her plans changed last minute, we coordinated with Joyce and Kasey's maid of honor to keep her attendance a surprise. I changed my connecting flight to Seattle to stop at LAX, and met up with my mom in Los Angeles before making our way to Washington. This took a few little lies to keep Kasey from suspecting anything, as well as some strategic social media posting to make it look like my mom was still at home in California. I told Kasey I'd take some photos at their rehearsal dinner the night I arrived, and we decided that would be the perfect time to break the surprise!

Kasey + Nate at their rehearsal the night before the wedding.

Some of the shots I got at the rehearsal dinner.

The Rehearsal

We met up with Joyce and her husband, Chris, after checking into the hotel we'd be staying at, and headed over to Kasey's grandparent's house for the rehearsal. Her brother, Jonathan, noticed my mom as soon as she got out of the car, yelled "Rikki!", and ran over to her with a huge hug. Kasey noticed as soon as he said her name, and oh man, do I regret not having my camera out for her reaction. They shared a very teary hug, and she was so surprised. Mission accomplished!

Their coordinator (vendor details included at the end of this post) finished directing the practice run-throughs, gave out instructions on where and when to meet the next day, and we celebrated with dinner, drinks, and a pinata.

Dinner included a taco bar and margaritas, so naturally, sombreros were part of the festivities.

The Venue

Picture this: you're driving through towering trees on a gloomy, overcast morning typical of the Pacific Northwest. The trees give way to a quaint beachside town as you drive right along the water. The ocean is almost oddly still (at least compared to what a Southern Californian is used to), and you take in how beautiful its dark grey, near black water looks as it sparkles in a single ray of sunlight peeking through the clouds. You're only a little over an hour outside of Seattle, but the bustling city life feels like it's galaxies away. Hints of the nearby Naval shipyard make a brief appearance before you're back on a tree-lined road. It seems residential, if not almost rural, and you approach what looks like a farmhouse sitting behind a short stone wall and gate made of old wheels. You've made it to Red Cedar Farm.

In addition to the house-like structure I initially spotted, this amazing venue had a lush green lawn with wooden benches as a ceremony spot, a wooden barn that housed the reception space and- get this- a pinball and game room!! The cutest little greenhouse sat behind the barn, and across the lawn from that was a firepit area with chairs and string lights. The details at Red Cedar Farm are absolutely breathtaking, and as an added bonus, they had goats and donkeys!

The main barn that holds the reception space and pinball room.

Getting Ready

One of my favorite parts of wedding days is the time before the festivities begin when each side is getting ready. The feelings of excitement, anticipation, and of course some nerves, too make for some of the best candid moments. I started with the girls while they got their hair and makeup done.

After some time there, and with instructions from the bride, I rounded up the groom and groomsmen from the game room, and got some shots of them beginning to get ready, as well.

Kasey lent a helping hand making sure nothing was out of place for the groomsmen.

Nate's attention to detail with helping his groomsmen get ready was super impressive, too!

The First Look

Instead of doing a first look with Nate, Kasey wanted to do one with her grandfather, who would be walking her down the aisle. The two of them have a very special relationship, and I loved the idea the moment she told me.

"Does she look beautiful?" he asked me, as I walked out to him in preparation for the moment. "So beautiful," I told him.

The Ceremony

Kasey and Nate's ceremony was amazingly picturesque. The backdrop of trees behind the wooden archway was gorgeous, and Nate's super sweet reaction to watching Kasey walk towards him illustrated the love they share to everyone in attendance.

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Guthrie

After the ceremony, we had some time to take posed photos with family, some friends, the wedding party, and of course, the newlyweds.

The Celebration

We moved to the reception space inside the barn for the rest of the night's celebration. There was delicious barbecue for dinner, followed by toasts by the best man, maid of honor, and the mothers of both the bride and groom. The couple cut their cake, and shared their first dance as husband and wife, as well as dances with Nate and his mother, Kasey and her step father, and a seriously tear-jerking surprise dance with Kasey and her mother.

The night continued with tons of fun, games, and dancing, and I can easily say this was one of the most enjoyable events I've ever had the privilege of working. To Kasey and Nate- thank you for allowing me to be a part of your special day. You two are a truly beautiful couple, and I wish you both a lifetime of love and happiness together.


  • Venue: Red Cedar Farm, Poulsbo, Washington
  • Coordinator: Chloe Mosey, CME Events
  • Officiant: Marci Scurlock, New Life Church Services
  • Bride's hair: Sami Dressel, Sugar Daddy's Salon
  • Bride's makeup: Gel Cabeling, Makeup By Gel
  • Caterer: Bubba's Country Que
  • Baker: McGavin's Bakery
  • Florist: Maddy's Old Town Flowers
  • DJ: Brant Seitz-Butte
  • Photography: Jacqueline Giovanna Photography