Real WED Bride: Jasmine Vu

We absolutely love our real WED bride feature this week with our stunning bride, Jasmine. When Jasmine came to WED, she already knew she wanted a light and airy gown to wear for her trek to her mountaintop elopement. The gown she chose was a perfect match! The Kate gown by Lis Simon was weightless, easy to move in, and the flowy chiffon skirt was perfect for her photographer to capture her romantic windblown aesthetic.

We were so blown away by the pictures! Read on for more about Jasmine and Branden’s intimate elopement.

Our Photographer

Our photographer was Hannah Aspen (@hannah.aspen on Instagram) with The Foxes Photography (@thefoxes on Instagram). The Foxes help plan and photograph “adventure elopements.” Working with Hannah was so easy and helpful. After our initial phone call to discuss what we wanted, Hannah put together a planning portal for us with multiple potential locations for our special day. From there, we had follow-up phone calls to confirm the location and go over any other planning logistics we needed to (e.g., the closest town to book our lodging, how to pack a wedding dress for the trip and for the hike, etc.). As a bonus, Hannah became a good friend of ours over the ~8 months of all our phone calls and texts! 🙂 

Our Rings

Evan and I had always talked about getting married, so it wasn’t a question of “if” we’d get married, but “when.” We designed my engagement ring together. This was a special process because we both got to contribute input on a beautiful piece of jewelry I’d have forever. After I went to a few jewelry stores to see what my personal style was, we decided to make a custom ring — I wanted something that was one-of-a-kind. We worked with Branden Smith at Sovereign Jewelry Company (@sovereignjewelryco on Instagram). We live in Near Southside and we thought we’d try to shop locally as much as possible. 

Bride’s Wedding Rings

To start, we needed to source the diamonds. There are mined diamonds and lab grown diamonds. Mined diamonds are mined from the Earth and lab grown diamonds sound just like that – they are made in a lab! Mined diamonds and lab grown diamonds are both diamonds; the only difference is where the diamond originates. For lab grown diamonds, the intense heat and pressure processes that occur in the Earth (that create mined diamonds) are replicated in a lab setting. We decided to go with lab-grown diamonds for a couple of reasons: (1) it is the only way you can ensure your diamonds are 100% conflict-free, and (2) the price is usually 40% less than what a mined diamond would cost. I love a good discount! I wanted a three-stone ring: an oval diamond surrounded by two round diamonds. We found the main oval diamond at James Avery, and Branden found the two round diamonds.

Groom’s Wedding Band

Branden also made my wedding bands. For one band, I used the diamonds from Evan’s grandma’s ring that was given to me. Branden hand-engraved the intricate detail in the ring, and did an incredible job. He also made me a plain gold band for when I want to be more low-key. Evan inherited his great grandfather’s ring and his grandfather’s ring, so he also had two rings for different moods! Branden resized both rings for him and polished them up. Evan’s grandfather’s ring had a cool story: he was in Germany after WWII where he was training soldiers. He was a paratrooper in the war and in the 101st Airborne Division. He was training paratroopers and at one training, his ring got stuck in a trainee’s parachute. When the trainee jumped, 3 people had to hold Evan’s grandfather back and he lost his finger (along with the ring)! They later found his ring, but the finger was never found.

Plans Change

We planned to have our wedding in Washington, atop a mountain facing Mt. Rainier. We love visiting Seattle and hiking around Washington (and hiking in general), so we knew we wanted to incorporate (1) outdoor activity, and (2) nature into our wedding. We originally planned to have 19 people (including us) come up to Washington with us. However, when the Covid-19 cases began rising quickly in Texas, we decided that for everyone’s safety, only we and our officiant (Evan’s best friend from college) would travel to Washington. My brother and his partner would attend our wedding too, as they already lived in Seattle. We canceled our flights and decided to drive up to Washington with our two dogs, Finn and Fitz. It took about 4 days to drive up to Packwood. The trip itself was so fun, and a welcome change from our quarantine life. 

The Details

My mom used to own a bridal store where she sold dresses and veils (which she would make), and she would also make the wedding party bouquets, wedding party makeup, and wedding party hair. My mom made my veil with about $6 in materials, and then she made a mini veil for our dog Finn with the leftover material. She also made a mini bowtie for our dog Fitz. They were going to look so snazzy!

I bought various pretty flowers from Pike Place Market in Seattle to make up my bouquet. The day before our wedding, my mom helped me assemble my bouquet via Facetime. It was a mix of peonies and dahlias; it was perfect.

Wedding Day Begins

For our wedding day, July 20, 2020, we planned on a sunrise hike at a trail on a mountain neighboring Mt. Rainier, followed by our ceremony at a nearby lake. We had to meet our photographer to begin our hike at 3:30am. The trailhead was 1 hour away from our rental cabin…which meant, I would have to up at 1:30am to get ready. I resigned to believing I just wouldn’t sleep that night, but I went to bed around 8:30pm on the 19th and barely slept. I woke up at midnight and I knew I would not be able to go back to sleep, so I got up and started getting ready. We would be hiking up in our hiking clothes and changing at the top, so I just had to do my hair and makeup. I blasted Taylor Swift in my earbuds and had a relaxing morning while everyone else was asleep.

The Climb

We met Hannah at the trailhead and began the hike at 3:30am. It was pitch black and cold. Evan was wearing a big backpack with my Wed wedding dress rolled up and his suit folded up inside. The hike was about 3 miles to the top, which took us about 1.5 hours. 

When we got to the top, the wind was harsh, cold, and relentless. Sunrise was just beginning to lighten up the neighboring mountain ranges. Mt. Rainier, still covered in snow, looked majestic. Evan went to change at a fire lookout nearby and I changed behind a giant pile of rocks. I hoped no one would walk by, but I also didn’t care — I was getting nervous! It was hard to zip up my dress by myself because my fingers were numb from the cold. I kept my hiking pants on under my dress. Hannah helped me put on my jeweled belt, and then we went off to take photos. 

I didn’t really feel that cold when Evan and I met up again. We were basking in the first rays of sunrise and it was just so beautiful up there. I couldn’t believe what we were looking at; it looked like a painting.

After about an hour of photos, we hiked back down the trail in our wedding clothes. My dress was getting swept up with dirt from the Earth, and I loved how that looked. Also, it’s worth mentioning that my dress was barely wrinkled from the hike — you gotta love chiffon!

Our Covid Approved Reception

Once we got back to the parking lot, we drove 40 minutes to a nearby lake where our officiant, my brother, and his partner were waiting for us. We chose this lake because it perfectly reflected Mt. Rainier. Our ceremony was short, sweet, and perfect. After the ceremony, we celebrated with a shot of whisky that we drove up from Texas. We then all drove back to our cabin and feasted on peking duck, roasted pork, Vietnamese duck and cabbage salad, fried rice, and various pickles.

My brother had made three cakes for us because I couldn’t decide what I wanted (and life is short – eat 3 cakes)! We had a lemon cake with strawberry jam and blackberry cream cheese frosting, banoffee pie (a pie made with Nilla wafer/graham cracker crust, homemade toffee, banana slices, and an espresso whipped cream), and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. We decorated the cakes with the flowers from the local market. After we feasted, we all took a three hour nap. When we woke up, we ate cheeseburgers and roasted s’mores by the fire pit. It was truly the best wedding day I could have ever imagined. We wanted our special day to be adventurous, unique, and relaxing – and I think we achieved that!

Jasmine, we absolutely loved seeing your mountaintop elopement through these beautiful photos. We are so thankful you were able to share a little more about your dream day! Thank you so much for trusting us with your dress. Congratulations from your WED team!

Vendors: Hannah Aspen with the Foxes Photography

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