Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Part of the Team!

Once again I've fallen a little behind in my posts but things here at A Perfect Little Wedding and Curtis Rhodes Weddings are hopping. I want to tell you about the wedding in Steilacoom and the wedding at the Marina Green in Kirkland including some of the photos we took but first I must tell you about the fabulous wedding I Officiated at Alderbrook on the Hood Canal. How international to have a Beautiful Blonde Bride and a handsome Middle Eastern Groom who live in China. And how wonderful to be among the elite wedding professionals they chose for their wedding! Janel Ellefson of Occasions Wedding and Event planning who recommended me! And, although I didn't see her, Tiara was hard at work in the Brides dressing room working her magic... and to not only work with a marvelous professional photographer like Carol Harrold but to be offered these fantastic pictures for my ceremony portfolio...makes me so proud to be a part of this community!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Everyone Loves A Wedding!

I know that we here at Curtis Rhodes Weddings and A Perfect Little Wedding love weddings! And so, it seems, does everyone else! Just the other day we received a last minute call from a couple who were visiting Washington from Nashville, Tennessee. They were staying at the Salish Lodge, had a marriage license and wanted to get married. So Friday evening, Vickie and I drove up to Snoqualamie Falls and met this wonderful couple. We took a few photos around the park and with the falls in the background then, as the sun was setting, thought it was a good time for a ceremony. We went up to the overlook platform, where another couple was enjoying the view. I went to them and said, "Excuse me...." The girl said, "Oh, you want to take some pictures here, we can move."
"No, no," I said. "Actually this couple is about to be married and they need two witnesses. They were hoping you could be their witnesses."
The girls eyes lit up...she raised a fist in the air and yelled, "YES!! We saw you at the Lodge and I just told my boyfriend that you looked so beautiful I really wanted to be a part of your wedding and now I'm going to be the Maid of Honor!! This is fabulous!!"
All the other people up there that night cuddled together and watched as our couple married with their brand new, very happy friends at their sides.
Afterwards we all signed the license and the four of them wandered back to the lodge intending to have dinner together.
It was... a Perfect Little Wedding.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Our favorite photographers!

After all those years as Curtis Rhodes Photography, we never did see any of our fellow photographers at work (only at play!) Now, however, we see an old friend almost every week! And lots of new friends too. We performed a ceremony a couple of weeks ago at a beautiful venue I haven't been to before, ACTs Bullit Cabaret. It is a very unique place absolutely designed for a party! The couple was wonderful...the bride stunning! And...we got to visit with our friend, Chris Sollart!

Chris was flying solo that evening and he was a ball of fire! Adjusting lights, checking his cameras moving his ladder to the best spot and all the while, directing the couple and their families into the nicest groups with the happiest smiles! Chris was good enough to send me a couple of examples from the wedding. Amazing!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wedding Music

We here at Curtis Rhodes Weddings and A Perfect Little Wedding love to help our couples with ideas about how to make their wedding as beautiful as can be. When possible, one of the things we encourage is to add music to the ceremony. Of course, music for the processional and recessional is de riguire! We love to include "interludes" within the ceremony...such as a candle lighting, sand ceremony or our wonderful flame ceremony, and a short piece of music included here lets the wedding party and guests to take a moment to reflect upon the beauty of the moment. Often, especially when the Perfect Little Wedding is outdoors at a beach or park, the couple will bring along their IPod and ask a friend to be in charge of starting and stopping the music. When the ceremony is at the same location as the reception and the couple has hired a DJ company, they will often provide the perfect musical pieces to compliment the ceremony. We love working with DJs but most of all, for wedding ceremony music, we love live music. Live musicians can be much more able to adjust their playing to the situation, starting and stopping the piece in a natural way. We have many favorite musicians we love to recommend and work with and are always ready to help our couples with their music as they design their ceremonies. I'm including a photo of Spencer and Traci of A Bottom Line Duo, fabulous musicians who we love to run into at a wedding!

Friday, July 8, 2011


Hello faithful readers.I will be getting back to telling you all about wonderful music at weddings but thought today I would tell you about some of the wonderful weddings we've taken part in this summer. It seems that we have been everywhere in Western Washington, from Gig Harbor where I married a delightful couple who had their wedding on their beautiful property right on the water, to Discovery Park where we ended up walking two miles through the woods to our couple's favorite spot in the world! I've been out to North Bend and up to Snohomish, and loved every minute of it. This past weekend (the 4th of July) Vickie and I went to Vashon Island to a most beautiful spot...Fox Farms Lavender. The couple invited us to stay for the dinner which was held down the road at The Hardware Store, a restaurant right in town and so we didn't get back on the ferry until just after sunset. From the ferry we could see in the distance the Olympic Peninsula. The mountains were silhouetted by the lavender sky, the crescent moon hung over the peaks as up and down the shore line, people set off their fireworks. It was spectacular! Here are Margo and David and their kids...I'll be back!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Seattle Weather!

At A Perfect Little Wedding and Curtis Rhodes Weddings, (I always have to get those names into my posts for Google's sake!) we often perform outdoor weddings and naturally our couples are concerned about the weather. Let me be the first to say that, yes, it does seem to rain a lot in Seattle. But that doesn't necessarily ruin a wedding! Two weeks ago I married a wonderful couple at Gasworks Park in the pouring rain. We all had umbrellas and they made for some amazing pictures. Everyone loved the wedding! Yesterday I married another wonderful couple on Alki in the bright sun with Seattle in the background. This couple came from Arizona and were really hoping for an umbrella wedding! Go figure! Today we're back at Gasworks Park with another wonderful couple. We're hoping for sunny weather...they're from Alaska!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


One of the most delightful things about being in the wedding industry, whether as Curtis Rhodes Photography, Curtis Rhodes Weddings or A Perfect Little Wedding is that every weekend we get to go to someone's best party. Everyone is all dressed up, the bridesmaids are beautiful and the groomsmen handsome, the room is filled with beautiful flowers and filled with wonderful music. I remember so many weddings where the music was absolutely amazing. One especially memorable wedding was of the daughter of our favorite impresario, the director of the Seattle opera. The ceremony took place in Saint Marks Cathedral which is well known for its amazing acoustics. We arrived extra early...were the first people there. Soon afterwards, a scruffily dressed woman arrived and asked if I knew how to get to the choir loft. I showed her the way, thinking she must be cleaning up or something. I began setting up my tripod as she began to sing. Holy cow! What an amazing voice. I should have known that the music at this wedding would be fabulous but never expected this little lady could produce such wonderful sounds!! Of course, after warming up, she changed into something more appropriate and soon enough was greatly entertaining the entire wedding.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Almost scalped!

I have so many more stories from our photography days when we were Curtis Rhodes Photography...and why not, we were at it for about 20 years! Here's a story about the wedding of a very lovely young couple...he, very French and she, a member of the Swinomish Tribe of La Conner. They lived and worked in Seattle but certainly wanted to bring her traditions to their wedding. And so they planned the ceremony to be up in La Conner at the reservation's lovely little white, barrel ceilinged Catholic chapel and the reception back in Seattle in the Olympic Hotel's elegant Georgian Room. The entire church could have fit into the Georgian Room! They were to have the Catholic priest marry them and then the Indian Shaman perform the Sacred Indian Smoke Ceremony.
We finished our pictures just before the guests started arriving and just as the Shaman made his appearance. He was, of course, a very respected and elegant gentleman who used a wheelchair. He called me over and told me about his ceremony. He said that it was fine to take pictures...up to a point. Once the Smoke Ceremony began I was to respect the sacredness and refrain from photographing. I, of course, said, "Of course!" I pointed out a door at the back of the altar and asked if I could come through it early in the ceremony to get a good angle of he and the couple sitting on the Indian blankets he told me he would spread on the floor. He said that would be long as it was before the Sacred Smoke Ceremony.
And so the couple were married by the Catholic Priest and then the Shaman wheeled himself to the front of the church. All the elegant guests from around the world were in hushed awe as he turned and explained the ceremony...then said that if everyone would please show respect for the Sacred Smoke Ceremony and take no pictures...and it began. He spread his blankets and placed the paraphernalia and he and the couple took their places on the floor. I saw my chance and went around the back and quietly stepped through the door, took aim with my giant Hasselblad and fired...CLICK, CLACK! The crowd GASPED in shocked disbelief!! Poor Vickie, sitting at the back tried to tell a few people that, "No, he was told that before the Sacred Smoke Ceremony......" But I must say that as I slinked to the back of the church amidst the scowls and reproving glares of the congregation and the Sacred Smoke Ceremony began, it was truly a sacred event.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Not So Perfect Wedding

OK, it's true that not every wedding runs as smooth as silk. Back when I was photographing for Uncle Otto, before Curtis Rhodes Photography and A Perfect Little Wedding, before I was a full time Seattle Wedding Officiant even...way back when...I was assigned to a very elegant Bellevue wedding. When I arrived at the church I knew this was going to be a fancy event. The flowers were sensational, the church was dripping in beautiful arrangements and the corsages and Bouquets were the most unique I had ever seen. The Bride was from Texas (must have been oil money!) tall, brassy and beautiful. The Groom hadn't yet arrived and everyone was waiting, and waiting and waiting. Nerves were beginning to become a little frayed and I was running out of photo time. Finally his car was spotted. He parked at the far end of the parking lot and got out, wearing his sweats. "Uh Oh," the Bride said and headed over to talk with him. They said a few words then headed off, across the street and disappeared...for a LONG time. The guests had all arrived, the minister was fretting and the photographer had gotten philosophical...he'd already been paid, after all. Finally the Bride and Groom came back, across the street, across the parking lot and into their gang of friends. "Well," the Bride said triumphantly, "I just spent an hour talking a man into marrying me so let's get this show on the road!" Wow!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Beach Wedding

Before moving back to Seattle and becoming a Seattle Wedding Officiant, I was a California Wedding Officiant! We enjoyed the many weddings we performed (and photographed) on the beaches of San Diego County. One day we had a small group that wanted a beautiful beach wedding and so we found a secluded (as secluded as any beach in San Diego can be, that is) spot by a breakwater. Vickie sprinkled rose petals on the sand and as the bride and groom took their places on the petals and everyone gathered close to them, I began. After a moment, however, I realized that everyone was staring over my shoulder, ignoring me and the ceremony...the bride looked shocked, the groom had a broad smile on his face. I turned and saw that a photographer and his very scantily clad model with a Hula Hoop prop had begun taking cheesecake photos RIGHT NEXT TO US!! I suggested we all rotate and face the breakwater....sorry, no photos this time!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Troll Wedding!

Seattle Wedding Officiants are the luckiest in the world! We have the opportunity to marry couples under the watchful eye of the famous Fremont Troll! Here we are, A Perfect Little Wedding with Shelby and Tim yesterday afternoon performing another memorable ceremony then heading down to Gasworks Park for photos. It was a blast!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

One more Wedding Story

I hope you're enjoying the many Wedding Stories we've accumulated over the years as Curtis Rhodes Photography, Curtis Rhodes Weddings and A Perfect Little Wedding (not to mention our time as San Diego Vows!) Here is a quick memory from a few years ago. The Bride and Groom had chosen a lovely location on the lake. It was a spot that had a rather large floating dock and their dream was to be married out there on the end of the dock. Because of the logistics of having everyone close, I went first, then the couple followed me and took their spot. The Wedding party filed in then the parents and guests. And the dock started sinking lower and lower. As water started splashing around my feet I looked at the Bride and I guess I had a look of panic in my eyes. Even though the hem of her dress was floating around her ankles, she smiled back at me...and they were married as the sun sank slowly in the west.

A Busy Weekend!

Well, here it is February 1st already and the place is hopping. A busy weekend meeting with couples and enjoying another Perfect Little Wedding in our perfectly lovely living room! Once again we had a fire in the fireplace and the Glassybaby candles glowing from everywhere as our happy couples tearfully exchanged their wedding vows. I should say that they weren't tearful, HE was! It was very sweet as he attempted to "repeat after me" and could barely get the words out. It was Perfect!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Wedding Story

Hello readers, its time for another sweet wedding story. As I wrote in my entry last week, after so many years as Curtis Rhodes Photography, Curtis Rhodes Weddings and A Perfect Little Wedding and so many years as a wedding photographer and a Seattle Wedding Officiate, and a California Wedding Officiate, I have scads of stories.
Last week's story reminded me of a very small wedding we photographed. It was just the Bride and Groom and the Bride's sister and her husband. As it was the couples second marriages and because the rest of her family, including her parents, lived in Florida, they felt that a small wedding that didn't ask anyone to spend a lot of money to fly to Seattle was appropriate. And so it was, if just a bit a bit sadly, the couple headed off to the chapel after we had finished our photos at their beautiful home in Issaquah. The Bride didn't say anything but was secretly wishing they had asked her parents to be a part of their celebration.
They were married at a tiny little chapel...just them, the witnesses, the minister and the little girl from the candy store next door who pushed the button on the boom box. (and the photographers!) The Groom and the witnesses took their places and the Bride stood, all alone at the doorway...when her parents quietly stepped up and stood on either side of her.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wedding Stories

After so many years and so many thousands (literally!) of weddings Vickie and I have participated in, everyone asks what are some of our favorite wedding stories. Now, of course, its A Perfect Little Wedding and Curtis Rhodes Weddings where we primarily Officiate and occasionally photograph. Before that, however, we were Curtis Rhodes Photography and before that I was the lead photographer at the old Otto Motal Studio. Lots of stories!

I have been Ordained as a Non-Denominational minister since 1969 but didn't begin Officiating at weddings until the mid 1990s. At that time we began offering packages similar to what we do now, but with larger photo packages. I did, however, also just Officiate at weddings. Here is one of my favorite Officiating stories. As a matter of fact, its the same story I told when we were interviewed on the radio last spring.

We were asked to Officiate at a couple's condo complex, in the recreation room. They asked that I come casually dressed and that they were going to introduce me as an Uncle, because they didn't want anyone to know they were getting married! It was Valentines Day and they had asked a number of friends over for a pizza party. They also had a few bottles of champagne and they wanted to toast their friends. When they were done with their toast, I spoke up.

"I'd like to propose a toast," I said, "to love. And to our hosts, John and Marissa." (I think their names were.) "You love Marissa very much, don't you, John?"

"Yes," he said, looking lovingly at Marissa.

"And you love John very much, don't you, Marissa?"

"Yes, I do," Marissa nodded.

"You should have rings to wear that acknowledge this love."

At this point people started wondering what the heck was going on!

John and Marissa pulled rings out of their pockets and slipped them on each other's hands then gave each other a kiss.

"By the power vested in me by the State of Washington, I hereby pronounce you Husband and Wife!"

People gasped! What!! Is this real??!!!

"That it is," I said as we signed the license.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Brenda and Wendell celebrated their wedding last night in our living room that was aglow with the light from our Glassybaby candles and the warmth of our fireplace. We still have Christmas lights ringing our deck that overlooks Lake Washington and Kirkland and the effect was absolutely beautiful. Vickie and our daughter Jennifer acted as witnesses so it truly was a Perfect Little Wedding. I love Officiating at these intimate events and if this wasn't the most beautiful spot in all of Washington, I would be amazed! Curtis Rhodes

PS...Brenda and Wendell met online through as so many of our couples have.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Perfect Little Wedding and Curtis Rhodes weddings had a busy year in 2010! We love being Seattle Wedding Officiants!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Here we are at the beginning of a new, exciting year. We are looking forward to meeting (and marrying!) many wonderful couples. It was a delightful 2010... Curtis Rhodes Weddings and A Perfect Little Wedding performed over 40 ceremonies! Here are a few photos of some of the weddings we participated in...from Semi-ah-moo to Thornewood Castle!