Washington Center for the Performing Arts
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Fireworks light the sky after July 4 wedding

Kara-Ann and Paul wanted to have their wedding and reception in one location, with a shabby-chic theme. When they toured Red Barn Studios, they loved the charm of the barn. They married there on July 4, 2015.

The couple met during a line dance class at a bar in Tacoma, owned by Paul. They chose a rustic theme for their wedding because their love began at a country venue. Their date choice was meaningful to both as Paul was a Marine for 12 years and Kara-Ann’s family has always had big holiday get-togethers at their family cabin.

FINDING THE PERFECT DRESS: Kara-Ann has worn many wedding dresses in fashion shows, as well as many pageant dresses. “Finding a dress was a struggle for me,” says Kara-Ann. “I had a vision of what I wanted it to look like but couldn’t find the style I wanted anywhere.” She had seen the gown of her dreams about five years earlier, but although she searched several bridal stores, she couldn’t find it. Unfortunately, it was an older style that wasn’t carried any longer. She finally found a store in Sunnyside, Wash., that had the dress. Looking for someone to take the long drive with her, she called her bridesmaids, her mom (who was sick) and even Paul, but no one could go. Finally, a girlfriend from Ellensburg agreed to travel with her. Kara-Ann found the dress she wanted and tried it on. She heard a voice behind her, saying, “Well, do you like it?” It was her mom, who had made the trip despite feeling ill.

“I felt so beautiful and so comfortable in my gown on our wedding day,” says Kara-Ann. “Paul absolutely loved it and everyone that saw my dress told me it was so me.”

VISION: Red Barn Studios has a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces for guests to use. Kara-Ann and Paul wanted their wedding and reception to be relaxed. They wanted their guests to enjoy the space and activities: dancing upstairs in the barn, walking in the field or playing yard games, and more.

The weather on July 4 was 100 degrees — unusual for the Northwest. The wedding was held in the field, with 150 guests.

Kara-Ann had always wanted her grandfather and father to walk her down the aisle when she married, but her grandfather had died three years earlier. “He was always my biggest fan; he helped me purchase my pageant gowns and loved to see me in the spotlight, as I enjoyed him being in the spotlight with me,” says Kara-Ann. To include her grandfather’s memory in the ceremony, Kara-Ann’s dad drove her grandfather’s blue truck through the field, with bridesmaids sitting on hay in the truck bed. Then the groomsmen helped the ladies out of the truck.

Kara-Ann also wore a wedding garter her aunt had made from one of her grandfather’s favorite blue shirts. “It was such a special feeling to have a piece of my grandpa with us as we approached the aisle,” says Kara-Ann.

“During our ceremony, we wanted our guests to see our belief in God and to know that God is the real reason the two of us were brought together,” says Kara-Ann. The ceremony was led by their pastor who read Scriptures and prayed with the couple and guests. Before eating, the pastor blessed the food. “Our family has a strong religious background,” says Kara-Ann.

The reception and dinner were upstairs in the barn, along with the dance floor. Because it was very hot that day, people went outdoors after dinner. “We had a blast outside,” said Kara-Ann. When it was dark, there was a 30-minute fireworks show.

DÉCOR: Kara-Ann designed and created most of the gray, white and ivory decorations: banners, runners, accents, cigar bar, invitations and more.

SPECIAL MOMENTS: The couple appreciated having all their closest friends and family in one place. Paul appreciated his military friends coming to the wedding, because he doesn’t see them often and he could introduce them to his bride. Kara-Ann’s longest-time friends and a cousin were her bridesmaids.

Kara is a first- and second-grade teacher at a Catholic academy, and Paul is a restaurant and bar owner. They make their home in Tacoma.

DETAILS

PHOTOS: Tonie Christine Photography

VENUE: Red Barn Studios

FLORIST: Flora Blume Design

CATERER: The Vault Catering Co.

CAKE: Corina Bakery

Click on a photo to enlarge.

Published on March 1, 2016.

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