A Refined City Wedding at Axis Pioneer Square in Seattle, Washington

For their chic wedding at Axis Pioneer Square in Seattle, Washington, Lauren Berry (30 and a manager at Simply Measured) and Gathigi “Thig” Gishuru (36 and a senior content producer at Nordstrom) steered away from spending on decor in favor of investing in food, drinks and music. “Axis is in the heart of Seattle and has exposed brick and an elegant nighttime feel. We added candlelight and didn't need much more,” Lauren says. “It was perfect for what we wanted at our black-tie-optional wedding.” Lauren and Thig’s ceremony honored Thig’s Kenyan roots—a band of Kenyan drummers played as the couple walked down the aisle, and Kenyan wedding songs were performed by the groom’s mother and friends. For the on-site reception, Lauren and Thig served their 165 guests grilled meat, veggies and Kenyan-style curried rice. For a late-night snack, they called in Dante’s Inferno Dogs, a local favorite. At the end of the night, guests left with bags of homemade sugar cookies. When it comes to planning, Lauren advises couples to focus on key elements and budget accordingly. “Figure out the three most important parts of your wedding, and focus on those," she says. "There are so many details, traditions and expenses. You have to make sure you’re creating the day you want and within your budget, meaning things are going to have to get cut or you'll need creative solutions. Know what you're willing to compromise on and what you’re not.” —Carolyn Meers