Today’s Minted Real Wedding took place in Seattle at the elegant Escala building (a.k.a. the real-life setting for 50 Shades of Grey). Julia and Deric—who met while working together at J.Crew!—hosted a sophisticated and formal wedding with lots of black-and-white details with glints of gold.
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Bride’s name: Julia Lara
Groom’s name: Deric Latendresse
Wedding date: February 1, 2014 (which happened to be their seven-year anniversary!)
Location: Escala in Seattle
Minted wedding invitation: “A Glamorous Affair” by Kristen Smith
Photographer: Carina Skrobecki
Calligrapher: Carolyn Kach
Wedding Coordinator: It’s Your Day
Keep reading to see more details from Julia and Deric’s beautiful wedding.
How did you and Deric meet?
Deric and I met in college. I marched down to the shopping center near the University of Washington and applied for a job at J.Crew. We didn’t officially work together for a few weeks, but I found out years later from a manager that Deric had seen me during my job interview and thought I was beautiful, so he asked them to hire me. They told him no, but hired me anyway! We worked many evenings together folding cashmere sweaters until one day, he got the courage to ask me out on a date. It’s a good thing it went well because we ended up with the same class schedule the following quarter at school. That would have been awkward if I had said no!
Tell us about the proposal!
After five years together, one big move across the state, and buying and renovating a home, I knew we would eventually get married. About two months before my birthday, I started to suspect something was up. Deric was acting really strange, so I did what any girl would do—I snuck a look at his computer when he was out of the room. I was beyond thrilled to see the Tiffany’s website on the screen. Flash forward to the night of my birthday. We headed to dinner at our favorite restaurant. I must confess I was a little disappointed because I had told him several times that restaurant proposals are not my favorite idea. It felt wrong for us, but hey, I’ll take it! Right before dessert, he pulls out a little blue box. My heart dropped… it was NOT a ring box. Inside was an adorable necklace, but I couldn’t hide my disappointment. The waiter took one look at my face and thought we were breaking up! The whole ride home I was fighting off tears, trying to decide if I wanted to fill him in on my disappointment. But when I walked into our house, it was filled with flowers, candles, and my favorite cupcakes. I barely turned around and there he was with the ring. He spent months planning a way to throw me off course, including the decoy Tiffany’s gift! It was incredible.
How did you find your wedding venue?
We knew we wanted to get married in downtown Seattle in the winter. Seattle’s weather is so unpredictable that the wedding had to take place indoors, no matter what. We looked at lots of hotels, museums, and galleries, but nothing felt like it had enough of a wow factor. I had taken my maid-of-honor to look at a few spots that were on our short list and her mom suggested their condo building, Escala. One look and I knew it was perfect. The whole building is gorgeous, complete with a gourmet kitchen that allowed us to pick our own caterer, a massive Chihuly chandelier that hangs over a sweeping marble staircase, a private spa to get ready in, and a room that is rightfully dubbed “the wine cave.” Plus, it’s the real-life setting of the 50 Shades of Grey books. Sadly, Christian Grey does not live in the penthouse, and no, there is not a helicopter pad on the roof.
How did you hear about Minted, and how did you choose your wedding invitation?
I am a complete paper fanatic. So much so that I own a stationery and party supply boutique! I knew that fully custom invites were completely out of the budget, so I spent weeks ordering and waiting for samples from a few different sites. I had never ordered from Minted before, but had seen it mentioned on blogs and in magazines many times. I even remember tearing out a beautiful sample that came in a Martha Stewart Weddings issue. The samples we ordered were of amazing quality, far above any others we had seen, so I felt comfortable placing an order. Once we found the design “A Glamorous Affair,” we knew it was the one!
Did you add any special touches to your invitations to make them your own?
Absolutely! My motto is that “love is in the details.” I even have it painted in the window at my shop! I love the simplicity of a kraft envelope and I’m a sucker for an adorable envelope liner, so the fact that Minted offers these details is great. We asked our wonderful friend Carolyn Kach to hand-letter the envelopes with an oversized script and to make it more playful, we did first names only. The biggest impact came from the vintage stamps I ordered from Etsy. We received more comments on those than any other detail! I also made sure to ask the post office to hand-cancel each envelope. Usually, mail is sorted by machine, but that can leave yucky black marks all over your beautifully adorned envelope. If you request it, any post office will hand sort and stamp your envelopes for no extra charge. It makes a huge difference!
How did the invitation tie in to the wedding’s overall look and feel?
The goal was for everything to feel formal and modern without being too stuffy. The invitation is a great way to set the tone for your wedding—it gives guests cues about how to dress and what to expect at your event. The Minted invites fit the bill perfectly. They had the formality we were looking for and we upgraded the paper to the super-thick Luxe Museum Board cardstock, which made them feel extra special. The adorable polka dots mixed with kraft-paper details let guests know our wedding would be “A Glamorous Affair,” but to expect to have a lot of fun!
What were some of your favorite wedding-day details?
Too many to count! At the rehearsal dinner, my amazing mother-in-law surprised me with a beautiful hair comb that Deric’s sister wore at her wedding. It was my “something borrowed” that I didn’t even know existed until the night before. Another that stands out is the paper crane display we had at our sweetheart table. Deric and I spent a lot of time folding 1,000 paper cranes for the wedding. We ended up hanging them behind our sweetheart table, but our DJ had the genius idea to light them up with a soft purple glow to represent the University of Washington! It was really striking and such an unexpected detail.
What were some of your fondest memories from the day?
We had a lot of fun taking photos! It was a rare sunny winter day in Seattle. There was no wind or rain, so we got a lot of shots outside. Plus, it was the eve of the Super Bowl and the whole city was littered with Seahawks memorabilia and buzzing with excitement. Our wonderful photographer Carina Skrobecki is someone Deric and the groomsmen know from college, so it made the entire experience fun and relaxed.
Any advice for brides who are starting to plan their wedding?
Don’t leave it until the last minute! We left so many details until the very end. Most of which could have been taken care of in advance and saved us from many late nights. At the same time, don’t stress too much. Something will go wrong, no matter how much you plan. As I was getting into my dress, our photographer had my bridesmaids lace up the back for some “getting ready” photos. I heard a big “RIP” and everyone in the room gasped. In a few photos, you can see a worried look on my face, but it was totally fine. No one noticed the rip and at that point, little hiccups don’t really matter. Minutes later, Deric and I did our first look and it was amazing. If you are too stressed about every detail, something like a minor rip in your dress might send you over the edge and you won’t be able to enjoy all of the wonderful parts of the day!