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A Beachside Wedding in the Pacific Northwest

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Lauren Appel

When thinking of what to do for their wedding hashtag, Lauren Cascio and Hunter Jeffers did not come up with a clever pun or cute combination of their last names. Instead, the couple went went with #shuckit. “We served oysters, one of our favorite foods, and thought the phrase evoked the right mood for how we felt about the whole wedding process,” explains Lauren. “Shuck it, let’s get married.”

Lauren, a design director at Microsoft, and Hunter, a philanthropist and attorney, first met at the University of Washington, where they were strictly friends for a long time, since Lauren had a serious boyfriend. But as soon as she ended things with him, Hunter messaged her immediately to ask her out on a date. The two dated for nine years, supporting each other throughout several endeavors, like when Hunter went to law school, and when Lauren accepted a job in New York City. “We spent three years dating across the country, zipping between JFK and SeaTac every six weeks,” she says. “On those quick trips, we wouldn’t even sleep. We once hit a 6:00 p.m. football game at the Husky bar, a 10 p.m. concert at Madison Square Garden, headed over to the last night of the Jeff Koons retrospective at the old Whitney Museum around 3:00 a.m., then ate pierogi and drank coffee at Veselka while the sun came up.”

During one weekend in Seattle, Hunter proposed during a family dinner with their parents and siblings. “He gave a toast to perseverance, patience, and the power of love, then dropped to one knee,” she recalls. “I was absolutely stunned. Everyone cheered and his dad shouted, ‘About time!’” While saying yes was easy, the two then had to figure out how to fix their bicoastal living arrangement. “In what can really only be considered an act of fate, Microsoft called the very next day to gauge my interest in a job opening,” she says.

Even though they briefly planned on eloping, Lauren and Hunter ultimately settled on throwing their wedding at Lauren’s aunt and uncle’s beach house at Hood Canal, where she had spent several summers as a kid. “The ocean is important to both of us, so we wanted to find a venue by the water, somewhere where I could see ocean waves, fresh seafood, seashells instead of flowers, beach bonfires, and an outdoor dinner lit by candles and starlight.”

With the wedding set for August 5, Lauren and Hunter enlisted the help of planners Erika Hahn and Steven Moore to help with the details. Lauren went dress shopping with her mom and discovered her dream dress during a Rime Arodaky trunk show at a bridal store in Seattle. “The Rime dress was the perfect blend of modern and timeless, elegant and easy,” she says. “My mom burst into tears the moment I put it on. And she never cries!”

She completed her look with a pair of blue suede Prada platforms, her engagement ring, Dior double backed pearl earrings, and a diamond that belong to her late grandmother. “It was the stone my grandpa proposed to her with 60 years earlier and she wore it her entire life,” Lauren explains. As for her hair and makeup, she asked one of her best friend’s for help. “She was unbelievably patient with helping me perfect the look,” Lauren says. “On the day-of, it was 95 degrees so everything was melting, but I was even happier that I’d been all about the undone look since it was the only thing we were going to be able to pull off.”

Hunter, meanwhile, went with a vintage tux and black patent Common Projects sneakers. One of his best friends gifted him a beautiful Burberry watch the morning of the wedding, and he finished off the look with a pair of Tom Ford sunglasses. “They’re his thing,” Lauren says. Since they didn’t have a traditional bridal party, Lauren and Hunter instead asked her maid of honor and his duo of best men to let the seascape inspire their wardrobe.

When the wedding weekend arrived, family and friends were first treated to a Friday night garden party at Lauren’s cousin’s backyard in Seattle. They served sliders and tacos on rustic French wooden trays, and offered watermelon tequila punch; the perfect drink during a hot summer night. The next morning, guests boarded ferries and headed to the beach, while listening to a curated wedding playlist Lauren had emailed to them earlier. They were greeted with Milk Bar cookies and Lauren paddle boarded up to the venue to say hello. “There couldn’t have been a more serene way to start the day than with the mountains, sun, and salt water,” she says. “I even took an outdoor shower before getting ready!”

Once it was time for the ceremony, everyone was treated to an aperol spritz and gathered along two levels of deck to look out at the floating ceremony site. The bride walked down the aisle to Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”—“My grandma taught me about Satchmo early and I was performing it regularly by the age of two. To this day she will call me the minute she hears ‘our song’ on the radio.” The two read their own vows and after they were pronounced husband and wife, Lauren and Hunter returned from the dock and met their guests for a cocktail hour that included rosé, cherries, and oyster on the half shell.

For dinner, Lauren was inspired by Sunday night meals with her family and so, she came up with all of the evening’s recipes with the help of her mother, which included Dunganess crab, summer corn, French potato salad and pesto-covered green beans—all passed family stye down the long tables, of course. After toasts from the couple, the bride’s father, and the maid of honor and best man, the party continued with dancing on the floating deck.

Lauren and Hunter chose Frank Sinatra’s “You Make Me Feel So Young” for their first dance as a married couple, and later everyone joined in to music by local band, The Dip. “Desserts and dance parties are two of my favorite things,” Lauren adds. “I’ve always wanted to throw a party where dessert was served while on the dance floor and I finally got my shot!” But the sweet celebration wasn’t over just yet. After the reception wrapped up, Lauren’s Boy Scout cousins helped light a beach bonfire, where guests gathered to roast s’mores with their toes in the sand. “You really can never have enough dessert!” Lauren says with a smile.