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Officiating My Brother’s Seattle Wedding

One of my favorite weekends this entire summer was also an incredibly special one. It’s the weekend I officiated my brother Josh’s wedding to Kate, the girl who has become a sister to me.

But I’m getting ahead of myself!

I flew out to Seattle a few days before, landing to beautiful skies and the city lights twinkling below.

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

The next few days were a whirlwind of preparations, but we did manage to sneak in a few fresh seafood meals, right on the water.

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Then before we knew it, the wedding weekend was upon us!

We rehearsed the big moments in the ceremony, while I kept the details a surprise for the bride and groom.

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

And then we ate even more seafood!

The rehearsal dinner was at Ivar’s Salmon House, an authentic Northwest restaurant right on Elliott Bay with views of the Seattle space needle across the water.

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

It was fun meeting Kate’s friends, and seeing Josh’s friends again, many who I’ve known since we were all small.

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

After a lively evening of chatter, laughter, and the clanking of glasses, my parents ended the night with a thoughtful speech in celebration of Josh and Kate.

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

And then we all headed back to the hotel, remarking on how beautiful Seattle is after sunset.

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

The next morning was a perfect day for a wedding! I arrived at Genesis Farm and Gardens, with my ceremony speech ready to go, my stomach full of butterflies.

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Kate was sweet enough to invite me to get ready with her and the bridesmaids, and I had so much fun with them that I completely forgot my nerves, and instead began to focus on how much fun the day was. And Kate’s calm demeanor certainly helped too – if the bride could be relaxed on her wedding day, then surely the officiant could be too!

Kate put on her dress, we gave her hugs, and then it was time for the wedding to begin.

I stood under the arbor with my brother, sharing a moment with him that acknowledged our shared history, and the importance of this day that, as children, had always seemed far away.

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Rebecca Anne Photography

And then I watched him watch Kate walk down the aisle, the biggest smile I’ve ever seen lighting up his face.

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Rebecca Anne Photography

It was time for the ceremony to begin. I took a deep breath, and began.

I shared Josh and Kate’s love story, and the moments in their relationship, both big and small, which were special to them. I identified their hopes for the future, and the character traits they admired most in each other. And I talked about marriage in general, and how it is a continuous decision, born out of love, to choose the other person, day in and day out, for the rest of their lives.

Then I prompted Josh and Kate as they said their vows to each other, and exchanged rings, crossing the threshold into marriage in front of their closest family and friends.

And it was, by far, one of the greatest honors of my life.

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Rebecca Anne Photography

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Rebecca Anne Photography

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Rebecca Anne Photography

Afterwards they sealed their vows with a kiss, as white doves flew behind them.

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Rebecca Anne Photography

And then it was official: they were Mr. and Mrs.!

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Rebecca Anne Photography

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Rebecca Anne Photography

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Rebecca Anne Photography

Relieved that my officiating duties were behind me (as amazing as the experience was, it was also nerve wracking making sure I lived up to their expectations!) all that was left to do was relax and enjoy the party.

Greg and I took a spin around the gardens (literally).

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

And then we spent the rest of the evening hanging out with family and toasting to Josh and Kate!

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Rebecca Anne Photography

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Rebecca Anne Photography

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Rebecca Anne Photography

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Rebecca Anne Photography

It was such a picture-perfect day, and I’m so grateful Rebecca at Rebecca Anne Photography was there to capture every moment.

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Rebecca Anne Photography

The next morning, we rolled out of bed and joined the happy couple at a post-wedding picnic in the park.

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

It was another beautiful day, and we were able to share stories from the night before and congratulate Josh and Kate all over again, now that everything had sunk in.

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Then (with two new hats!) they said their goodbyes and headed off to their honeymoon!

My Brother's Seattle Wedding - Wanderlust in the City

Congratulations, Josh and Kate!

Kate, I couldn’t have asked for a better sister (in-law).

And Josh, being your sister and friend continues to be one of my greatest blessings in life.

I love you both,

~A

For all of my Seattle travel posts, click here.

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