Jennifer & Patrick: A Summer Wedding in Eastsound, WA

When she looks back on the day that Patrick proposed to her, Jennifer finds it hard to believe that he caught her so off guard, that she was completel

When she looks back on the day that Patrick proposed to her, Jennifer finds it hard to believe that he caught her so off guard, that she was completely surprised by him. In hindsight, she says, she should have known something was up when he pulled out the bag of candy. THE BRIDE Jennifer Lynne Reahard THE GROOM Patrick Thomas Sullivan THE DATE August 5 They had driven up to Salish Lodge on a Friday afternoon because Patrick had convinced a reluctant Jennifer to accompany him on what he told her was a team-building event for his company. Spouses and significant others were invited, he told her, and they would get there early and hike down to Snoqualamie Falls before everyone else arrived. Even with the promise of the hike, Jennifer was not enthusiastic, finding the prospect of driving for an hour to have dinner with a bunch of people who, although they try not to, eventually always talk shop, not enticing. But once they were at the falls, Jennifer had to admit they were stunningly beautiful. That was when Patrick asked her if she'd like some candy, and produced a bag of Jelly Bellies, her favorite, which he had in his pocket. At this point, Jennifer explains, I should have been suspicious because he is not a sweet candy person -- he prefers bittersweet chocolate -- so the likelihood of him having these in his pocket was next to nil. To Patrick, she said, Yes, I'd love some candy, and he held out a handful of the jellybeans in the midst of which was an antique diamond ring. Can I ask you another question? he said. Will you marry me? After what Jennifer describes as a ton of smooching and hugging, he revealed that there was not, in fact, a team-building event, no shoptalk to endure. They had the weekend completely to themselves, and celebrated their engagement in a room with a hot tub, fireplace, and a private dinner with a great bottle of wine.

To other couples in the midst of planning their weddings, Jennifer offers a piece of advice that was given to her by her sister-in-law, Kathy: During the reception, try to step back and take it all in -- how beautiful things are, the people who are there and the fact that they are there just for you, says Jennifer. I'm glad I took this advice, but I wish I had done it sooner, because it all goes by so fast, it's a blur.
Jennifer wore a pearl-and-crystal encrusted tiara and chapel-length veil, as well as a custom-made necklace from Victoria's Bridal. Her diamond stud earrings were a surprise wedding gift from Patrick.
The Invitations
The couple took just under one year to plan their wedding, diplomatically splitting their duties right down the middle, and relying on Jennifer's mom as a sounding board for their ideas. They were married on Orcas Island, a place that perfectly captured the natural, stunning beauty and casual elegance of their beloved Northwest. Friends and family from all over congregated in the San Juan Islands for the wedding celebration, eager to enjoy the incredible atmosphere of the region. To welcome their out-of-town guests, Jennifer and her family created welcome packages, which were left in each guest's hotel room. The bags were each filled with regional goodies like a bottle of wine from Columbia Winery, dried Rainier cherries, chocolate covered espresso beans, and Washington apples.
Jennifer wore a champagne sheath with silver beads and pearls under the bustline by Monique Lhuillier, while her bridesmaids wore dresses by Nicole Miller.
The couple opened the dance floor to the band's rendition of  It Had To Be You, and then they treated the group to an evening of swing numbers, Sinatra tunes, big-band songs, and a few more modern ballads.
The ceremony took place on a point near the water at the Rosario Resort on Orcas Island. The Northwestern summer weather was warm and pleasant, the sea was a deep blue, the ceremony was touching and memorable. Before the bride walked down the grassy aisle, a friend scattered white rose petals along the path. When the flower girl made her way down, she scattered lavender rose petals. Throughout the ceremony, the ring bearer, a young nephew of the groom, kept winking at the bride.
Pound cake with fresh Northwestern berries, including raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries, with a basketweave frosting and served with fresh cream on the side made a delicious dessert.