Photo by Jerome Tso Photography

2023 Wedding Trends

2023 is shaping up to be an amazing year for the wedding industry and we are super excited for some of the trends we are seeing in the coming year(s). This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just some highlights that we are excited about. 

Catering Trends for 2023 & 2024

As a former chef and catering operator, food trends are always my favorite to talk about. When it comes to weddings, the reason everyone is gathered should be pretty obvious 😉 but, for most weddings and events, the thing that anchors the entire affair are the tastes and treats. We gather around tables and reunite between bites and sips. The tradition of families breaking bread together at a wedding is one of the oldest traditions we have, and these days there are endless ways to weave food & beverage into your wedding day. These are just a few of the things that are exciting us with catering in the coming year(s):

Local. The energy and focus around local sourcing is resurging after a bit of a pause during the Covid years. While many caterers and chefs were passionate in this space pre-pandemic, the trend definitely hit a bump or two over the last couple of years. However, we are now seeing a renewed energy around how chefs are sourcing products and couples are weaving these stories into their weddings. Caterers like our friends over at Della Tera are really driving the industry forward in how we source and telling the story of the Northwest with their menus. Talk to your caterer about how you might include local sourcing stories in your wedding menus.

Vegetables. Veggie forward menus have been a growing trend in restaurants for some time now, but it is finally working its way into catering menus as well. Highlighting local produce can add tremendous variety to your menus, and chefs are getting ever more creative with making vegetables the star of the plate. Whether you want to go with a 100% plant based menu like the folks at On Safari Foods offer, or simply reduce the amount of protein used, it can be a wonderful way to reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding, while also adding in unique and delicious variety.

Squash Wellington
Chihuly's Squash Wellington Photo: Jerome Tso Photography

Presentation. Caterers these days are more than just a background amenity you have to offer your guests. Not only are they making delicious food and drinks, but they are becoming a part of the décor and aesthetic. Like our friends over at Foodz Catering building “Zen Gardens” for appetizer displays, where little mushroom bites are served floating on a Lilypad pond, or interactive beverage walls, food can become the art of your event. Unique presentations table side or as interactive stations will just continue to get more awe inspiring in the coming year(s).

Smoked Salmon by Foodz Catering | Photo: Barbie Hull Photography

Global. Big, bold, global flavors are becoming a tasty trend at many weddings and events. Couples are way more open to creative global menus these days and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Caterers like Navi’s Catering Kitchen are helping to crack the door wide open to global cuisine at weddings in the Northwest and we are excited to see more couples leaning into all of the amazing spices and flavors coming our way. Go bold for your wedding! Your guests will love it and you won’t regret it.

Flower & Décor Trends

Color. Big, bold colors are back in action with the color of the year for 2023 being Viva Magenta. Complimented with softer earth and pastel tones like Fields of Rye and Grey Lilac, the bright pops of magenta can add some vibrant fun to your wedding while still keeping an overall feel of timeless elegance. Black and white is also making a strong comeback and is being used in simple elegant ways or as more modern accents.

Flowers. Floral nests and immersive floral installations will be all the rage in the coming year(s) and we can expect to see lots big, bright colors popping out of these bold floral experiences. Local, sustainable sourcing will continue to be important and we expect to see a lot more momentum in this space. While flowers are (mostly) a renewable resource, it is important to think about the footprint of the project. At Perfect Storm Moments, we work with suppliers like Mayesh Wholesale Florist and Seattle Wholesale Growers Market to understand where products come from and buy local when the season allows. We have also completely eliminated the use of floral foam, and use compostable and bio-degradable products everywhere we are able. Eliminating the use of single-use plastics in floral installations is also a great way to keep your floral footprint minimal.

Décor & Rentals. Boho is slowly riding off into the macramé sunset and leaving behind a more glitzy, glammed up cousin. Bold colors will pop out of natural, softer elements, while disco balls and neon lights will bring the party back to the forefront. Experiential elements for your wedding day will continue to get more and more popular in the coming year(s) and can be incorporated in a myriad of ways; unique lounge setups that allow for connection and conversations, entertainers that engage your guests, progressive or unique food displays that surprise guests through the evening. Wedding pros love to bring all of the fun creative ideas to make your wedding unique to you, so bring them in early to help drive the fun. Lighting is a key element in creating unique, immersive experiences. Our friends at Bellevue Lighting and LightSmiths are doing amazing things with lighting for weddings and events. If you are trying to transform a space to be uniquely yours, there is no better investment than lighting and floral to create massive transformations.

Flowers and décor

Wedding Budget Trends

Not the sexiest of topics, but the reality is that budget changes will be a BIG trending topic in the coming couple of years. Couples should expect to see some solid changes to costs in the coming year(s) and budget accordingly. Since 2020 cost of goods for many wedding vendors has increased by 20 – 30%, especially in areas like catering and floral design. On average, the price to consumers has increased around 5 – 10% for the same time frame, indicating a disparity in the cost burden to businesses servicing the wedding industry. We can expect to see companies working to shift this cost burden back to consumers to protect their already thin margins. The World Economic Forum indicates that the average cost of goods for food increased over 10% in 2022 alone with 2021 and 2020 showing even steeper increases. Some staples like eggs, butter, and wheat (hello wedding cake budgets) have spiked with nearly 50% cost increases in the past year. So far, the cost to consumers has not kept pace, but couples should expect a correction here.

If you are planning your wedding on a tight budget, there are plenty of ways to keep your costs lower, but it might mean reprioritizing your vision for the important elements. Take a peak our budget guide to help with the reality of costs in the greater Seattle area and plan some cost creep over the coming year, so if you are planning for a 2024 or 2025 wedding, you should add 10% on to catering, floral/décor, and rental costs.

The most important thing to remember is to talk to your vendors about your budget. Be upfront with any budget concerns and listen to the advice from your vendors. Our goal is help you bring your wedding vision and your wedding budget into line and wedding professionals can be really creative in many areas. We love a good challenge.

You could be our next Real Seattle Wedding.

Amy & Aaron

Love & Grief, and the Art of Winter Weddings

I love being married to my wife. I love seeing her wedding
dress, still muddy along the bottom, hanging on the back of our bathroom door.
I love feeling the ring on my finger, fidgeting with it while I am thinking. I
love hearing people ask me about my “wife”. I love everything about being
married. I love my wife. But, she wasn’t supposed to be my wife, not yet.

We had always imagined our wedding as some massive urban affair, full of experiences, twists, floating things, rainbows, pyrotechnics, acrobats and every other trick in our bag – the event of the season, to be sure. Not so much because we are important enough for such a grand affair, but because planning and designing over the top weddings, events, and parties is just what we do. What we love. Being in this industry comes with a certain level of expectation when it comes to throwing your own event. I think the biggest challenge would have been finding a fabulous space to convert that would accommodate all of our friends, family and industry colleagues that we would have wanted to celebrate with us. We love a good challenge, but that wedding was not to be.


We met as I was getting wrangled into working on the board for NACE. She was the VP, on her way to becoming President, and I was just trying to figure out who this crazy group of #eventprofs were. They were fun, hard-working, insanely creative and I was hooked. Amy and I really didn’t interact much in those first months. She instantly turned my head, but when I asked about her, I was told she was married, so I ejected the thought from my mind. As fates would have it though, just a few months into working with the board, they offered me a chance to attend a conference (expenses paid) in Anaheim. The only catch was, I would have to share a room with a woman – just so happens that woman was Amy. I said I didn’t mind if she didn’t and set my mind to being the most professional version of myself (fake it till you make it).

Amy and I had only really talked a few times prior to
Anaheim, but from check-in on January 3rd, 2015 to today, she is a
part of every breath I take. We were, and still are, inseparable. Sure there
was a messy mountain in front of us: she was in the middle of a divorce, I was
living and co-parenting with my Ex, despite working nearish each other, we
lived 45 minutes apart (on a good day with no traffic), kids, life, nerves,
etc… despite it all, I knew right then and there that I would walk through hell
for and with her. And, this year, we have.

Life kept setting up obstacles and we just kept happily
knocking them down. We found time despite schedules and distance, grew stronger
and more confident in our dreaming and eventually, Amy moved in with me (and my
Ex.), creating what we loving now call Casa de Chaos – 4 adults, 4 kids, a
puppy, a bunny, 2 Guinea pigs, and a feisty lizard. We just kept beating the
odds, just kept dreaming. No way in hell we ever thought we would get married,
but then I asked and she said yes and about three seconds after that, the EPT stick
gave us a plus sign. So, in the Fall of 2018, with Amy’s belly growing bigger,
we found ourselves lying in bed feeling our baby’s kicks, beating odds, and
imagining what our wedding might look like. We set our target for November of
2019, knowing that Amy would be fully recovered from having a baby, our
industry would be slower and so more of our people would be able to attend, and
we would have a better selection of venues late in the year. We did a lot of
dreaming. Dreams that were not to be.

On January 6th 2019, after a long, yet uneventful labor, we lost our baby boy, Jasper Sky, during delivery at Overlake Hospital. No reason. No explanation. He, after months of growing and wriggling and planning and knowing, just wasn’t there any longer. He, who had been the living embodiment of the odds we had beaten, was gone. So much of our dreaming had been delicately interwoven into the mesh of a life with Jasper in it, it was hard to imagine what dreams could remain once that fabric began to unravel. So, laying there in the hospital with Jasper beside us, we were forced to start thinking of new things. Unimaginable things. Impossible things. We began to plan a memorial for this little life that no one but us would ever know. We began to plan a celebration for this little soul that was never able to celebrate anything of his own. We began to plan a party. A sad, emotionally sodden party. We began to plan, because that is what we do. That is what we know. We wanted to introduce him to our world and our tribe, even though he would never get to meet them. We began to plan for a life without Jasper.

I have no words that can explain the life-shattering force
that comes from pregnancy or infant loss and I hope there is never a time when
you will be faced with your own intimate understanding of this experience. All
I can say is that you do not come out the other side, the same as when you went

We were so fortunate to be able to lay there with our baby boy for a couple of days, thanks to some simple, yet amazing technology that kept his body from deteriorating too quickly. It sounds so morbid, trust me, it does. However, it gave us a little bit of the time we needed to say goodbye. Our girls were there with us and able to meet him. Our families were able to say hello and goodbye. The amazing people at Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, a group I hope you never need to know about, were able to coordinate two fantastic individuals to come by and take pictures of us and Jasper. Melanie & Melanie took pictures that we look at almost every day. More than anything, Amy and I were given time to lay there together, with Jasper, and reconnect our collective selves. We laughed a little, cried a lot, played music, and just held each other. For days. 

And we planned. Because, as I said, that is what we do.

Laying there, holding each other for days, we talked about
wanting to have a celebration of life. Obviously it was entirely for us, but we
just wanted to gather with loved ones and introduce them to Jasper. We knew
instantly that we wanted to see if we could have Jasper’s celebration at Rein Fire Ranch, a place that was already
near and dear to our hearts. A beautiful space in the country owned by two of
the kindest, most amazing people we know, Rich & George. We couldn’t
imagine a more perfect place to gather. We also couldn’t imagine the 2 feet of
snow that would fall the week of the celebration, but I will get to that in a

One thing you have to know about Amy and I, we don’t do
things small. Despite the grief. Despite the fact that Amy was healing from
surgery and trying to keep her insides from falling out. Despite the fact that
we didn’t even want to get out of bed, we were going to put together the best
celebration we could muster. This would be the only party we would ever get to
plan for our little Jasper and, in spite of the inherent sadness, we wanted
people to have fun and celebrate together.

So many of our industry friends were so amazing to offer support for this celebration. Rich & George opened their doors to us. Greg Lowder with Affairs to Remember offered to support with AV and some music. It’s Greek to Me, Duos Catering, Table 47 Catering, and Whole World Catering all offered to provide food for the event. The fabulous folks at The SnapBar set us up with a photo experience, Fena Flowers & Countryside Floral teamed up to offer flowers for Jasper, and CORT Party Rental generously helped with rentals and linens. To add the perfect touch, Melanie Smith, the photographer that took such beautiful photos of us with Jasper in the hospital offered to continue the journey with us and shoot the entire event. We had games planned and crafts and keepsakes and cocktails. We had around 120 people confirmed to attend and everything was all set for the celebration on February 9th, just a little over a month after Jasper entered and left this world. That is, until SNOWMAGEDEON happened!!!

Just days before the event, the skies opened and dumped a whopping 2 feet of snow on most of the region. Amy and I donned our extreme weather gear, hitched up the sled dogs, and cautiously made our way out to the Ranch to assess the options. We watched and talked and chewed our nails to nubs, but in the end, we had to pull the plug. The Ranch was buried, the roads were unsafe, and most people couldn’t even get out of their driveways. Through some tears, Rich helped us find a date in March (March 9th) that was open for us to reschedule. We scrambled to get the word out and, while everyone understood, there were some that would not be able to make the new date, our good friend Greg Lowder being one of them. Fortunately, our fabulous friend David Sader with Absolute Music was available to lend a hand for music and AV. Everything was already planned, so now all we had to do was wait.

That’s when things got weird…

That is when an idea began to take shape.

Healing is a process that will probably never end, but
healing was beginning. We did not, could not, leave each other’s side after we
lost Jasper. Even when I returned to work, Amy came with. As the weeks crept
on, we talked a lot about when we would be able to get married. We wanted,
needed, more than ever, to be married. To scream at the world that we were, and
would always be partners in everything. To tell the world that we were stronger
together. We were done waiting. We had been engaged for a while and were
planning on tying the knot that coming November, but we really didn’t want to
wait. Quietly, we began to ask ourselves if there was a way for us to be
married sooner. We could elope, we could do something quick and easy and simple
(like we are ever simple), we could go to the courthouse, we could get married
at Jasper’s celebration…

Wait, what?!?

We could get married at our son’s memorial service? We COULD
get married at our son’s celebration of life! And so, a week before the
celebration redo-date, we decided to do just that. We decided to celebrate
Jasper by celebrating our love for each other.

Amy and I already had pretty much everything we needed. We had
already gotten our rings before the holidays. All we really needed to do was
apply for a license, find Amy a dress, and find someone to officiate. We
floated the idea past Rich, just to see if he would be ok with us getting
married there and he was not only ok with it, but he was willing to officiate
the ceremony. Who knew he was ordained??

We decided to keep it quiet and only told David, Rich, and Melanie, as we would need their help to pull it off. We didn’t even tell our kids.

Were we really doing this? Were we really going to have a
surprise wedding at a memorial? Yes, yes we were!

March 9th, Sun shining bright, patches of snow still melting on the ground, guests arrived to enjoy drinks, snacks, crafts, and games. At 4PM everyone boarded the emotional rollercoaster and held on for a wild ride. Amy and I spoke for a bit, telling everyone about our Journey with Jasper. We talked about pain, and heartache, and love, and sadness, and family. We showed a slideshow that we had put together to introduce Jasper to those that didn’t get to meet him – you can see it here if you are interested (might want to grab a few Kleenex).

We all toasted to Jasper and then…

SURPRISE! We are getting married. The room turned from tears of sadness to tears of joy in a mad instant. Rich said his beautiful words, Amy and I pledged and promised and, blamo, I was now a husband to my amazing and beautiful wife. We kissed and danced, smiled with sadness and cried with joy. It was far from what we had ever imagined, but everything we ever needed and we left there that night with hopeful loving hearts all around us.


2019 was a rough year, as the understatement of the century. Jasper left us to start the year, Amy stepped away from her job of 19 years, business stress, surgery, money, and a general inability to get the coffee in quick enough. However, 2019 has had plenty of good in it as well. It can a little harder to see at times, but it’s there. I became a husband, we had several tooth fairy visits, road trips, camping trips, old friends, sandy toes, and another plus sign on a pregnancy test.

With 2019 coming to a close and 2020 looming on the horizon,
I thank my wife for helping to keep my glass half full and me hopeful. In
January, we will welcome the newest member of our family to our #casadechaos .
While I am anxious, I am hopeful that this child will stay with us, though
painfully aware that this is not guaranteed.

While it may not have been the wedding we dreamed of more
than a year ago, it was everything we needed. This is the story of our winter
wedding. This is the story of our loss and love. This is the story of how we
told ourselves and the world, that we would persevere, that we would stand and
walk forward, together. We are still healing and learning and probably will be
for a long time to come.

I hope, as I have, that everyone at some point finds someone
they would walk through hell with and, if they do, hold them tight. When the
heat starts to lick at your feet, hold tighter. When you start to slip, let
them catch you. Remember to laugh. Remember to cry. Remember to be present.
Remember to love and remember to be patient. Above all, just remember to be
kind to each other. And PLEASE, for the love of butter, if you plan a winter
wedding, plan for snow and practice your snow angels, because blizzards happen…
even in Seattle.

Seattle NACE Event

Hot Fall Trends for Seattle NACE event

There is a whole lot we love about the work we do with The Greater Seattle Chapter of the National Association for Catering & Events (NACE), but one of the things we love the most are the couple times a year when Amy and I get to plan and lead one of the monthly events. We get to plan and create with the area’s finest to showcase some of the hot trends, products, and looks happening in the industry. We are like a kid on a Wonka tour.

October was our month to be up again and it was AMAZING! We were showcasing a beautiful, new wedding venue in Redmond, Parties on the Terrace and the focus of the meeting was focused around wine education. Being as we were at this fabulous wedding venue, we went all in on the wedding focused theme for our design and décor. Playing off the delightful Fall colors of the season, we designed a warm and luscious look to this event. Gorgeous Velvet Fern linens and Champagne Glitz table runners provided by CORT Party Rentals made for a perfect stage for the décor on the long King Tables. Fena Flowers absolutely nailed the look with beautiful greenery filled with pops of soft color.

Parties on the Terrace
Image by Jean-Marcus Strole Photography

The networking reception before dinner was an absolute blast with a fun sensory game we designed to test everyone’s wine knowledge. Happy Hour Bar Rentals built a stupendous #barscene and Seattle Party Shots captured our good side with their super fun photo experience.

Seattle Party Shots
Image by Jean-Marcus Strole Photography

Table 47 Catering absolutely killed it with delicious flavors and beautiful presentations while Linda Chauncey, from Ste Michelle Wine Estates educated us on Washington Wines. Jean-Marcus Strole Photography was on hand to capture all the fun on film and Butler Seattle got all of our guests safely back to their cars. Thank you to the Seattle NACE board for letting us take a run at this one and thank you to all of our event partners that made it happen. Definitely one of our favorite events of the year!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to our fabulous event partners. You are all amazing!!

Venue: Parties on the Terrace

Caterer: Table 47

DJ/AV: Sounds Unlimited

Florist: Fena Flowers

Rental Company: CORT Party Rental

Bar Rental Company: Happy Hour Bar Rentals

Photo Experience: Seattle Party Shots

Photographer: Jean-Marcus Strole Photography

Wine Maker: Ste Michelle Wine Estates

Transportation Company: Butler Seattle

Guest appearance by The Great Surprisal

Want to know how to reach any of these wonderful teams, reach out and we will get you connected.