A Novelty Hill Januik Wedding: Janet and Greg’s Joyful Celebration
Janet and Greg’s Novelty Hill Januik wedding was such a joyful and spirited celebration!
We tracked these lovebirds down for a little post-wedding walk down memory lane and some wedding planning tips!
How did we meet? We met on Bumble, a dating app. Our first date was supposed to be a “group” happy hour, for which everyone but my friend Joe bailed. The three of us had a beer, Joe realized it was going well and asked for his check, and the rest is history. Without Joe as our “chaperone”, who knows where we would be? Coincidentally, it was Joe who began our wedding dinner with cheers and a napkin wave! Bon appetit!
Why a Novelty Hill-Januik wedding? Besides the gorgeous park setting, amazing architecture, and good wine? I have been a member of the NHJ wine club for years, so when I prepared my first dinner for Greg, I served a Januik Cab. If he didn’t like it, I would know we were not meant to be. I had considered a Lavender farm (an idyllic setting), but choose Januik for the following reasons. First, they have indoor bathrooms that our guests would not have to cross a lawn to reach. Second, the winery had enough room indoors to accommodate our party in case of rain (which was not going to happen on my wedding day… right?). Third, we wanted a dinner party, not a reception. NHJ had an intimate “restaurant” feel, the outdoor spaces were gorgeous, and the wine tasting room made our wedding feel less “wedding-ish” and more like the best dinner party ever.
The Trifecta… plus 2 of AWESOME. Being a “mature” bride (I was actually called that by someone during the planning phase!), it was easy to focus on the important stuff beyond ending the day with a husband:
1. Our wedding ceremony. We could not emphasize enough how glad we were that we spent time and put a lot of thought into writing our vows and planning the ceremony. Our vows were promises, with no take-backs, so we wanted them to be words that would have meaning. One of the most important things in our ceremony was asking our friends and family to join hands, as a group, and vow to love and encourage us in our marriage. It’s one of my favorite photos from our wedding. Keeping it simple was the best thing ever. No programs, no fireworks, no 800 foot trains… just two promises.
2. Great food and wine. These make the party. Guests have more fun if they are taken care of. If I’ve gone all out to throw them a party, they’ll bring their “A” game. With lots of guests coming in from out of town, we wanted simple, local, summer flavors, and GREAT Washington wines. Remember: NO GIMMICKS like donut walls, less is more, delicious is better than expensive, no one wants to get on the dance floor with a bloated stomach, and no one really loves the cake, so get it from Safeway.
3. A Seating Chart. You want a fun wedding dinner? Make a seating chart, regardless of whether the dinner is plated. Take the time to think about your friends and family…. who would totally get along? Who do you want to sit near/avoid? We (really me, but Greg had to listen to my plans for weeks) had a blast trying to figure out how to seat everyone. Seahawks fans at table 12, families with kids at one table, mix singles and couples that you know would get along and nickname your tables (we had the NPR table, the Euro-fabulous table, the 12s, the Glamazons…). It was totally worth it. Of twelve tables at our wedding, at least one person from seven tables told me that they simply had the “BEST” table!
4. A GREAT DJ. This is CRITICAL. A live band was out of our budget, so our DJ pick was important. Having awesome music for the pre-wedding cocktail hour (acoustic guitar), the ceremony, cocktail hour (blues and Jack Johnson), dinner (Frank Sinatra), and the reception (all the best dance songs ever written) was essential to getting and keeping people on the dance floor. I made a list of the music I loved and told the DJ to play it. He was awesome, he read the crowd, and was uber professional.
5. Plan YOUR wedding, and don’t sweat the small stuff. From day one, we treated our wedding like it was OUR wedding. While people may have made suggestions and ultimatums, at the end of the day, it was our wedding, and no one else. We did not let the following things have any significance to us: hurting peoples’ feelings (they’ll get over it), over-accommodating the demands of family and friends, making sure everyone else’s needs were met, and focusing on insignificant decorations that don’t matter. We are gracious hosts who thought about the comfort and happiness of our guests, but beyond that, we planned our day for us and focused our budget on food, wine, photography, and the DJ. After all, if we were having a ball, our guests would too. We did have a ball… and of course, our guests did too.
6. Photography. While memories of all the details will fade… the photos will not. Choosing a photographer that we knew would take awesome photos that we could enjoy for the rest of our lives was absolutely a priority. Do not hire your friends, do not ask for selfies. Spend the money and get a good photography. One of our favorite wedding photos hangs in a high-traffic hallway in our home, and EVERY DAY I walk by it a minimum of ten times and smile, because it brings back memories of the best day of my life, until the next day. All of the above items are important, but the photography helps us remember everything about our wedding.
What do we wish we did differently? I would have served more oysters during cocktail hour… those things went fast! On a serious note, I thought about serving dinner outside, at one long table, underneath the trees, or having the dancing outside (ala the opening scene of The Godfather, Part 1), but we wanted the open kitchen, so no regrets!
What were our favorite parts of the wedding? Oh my gosh, the whole day! Photos with you before the wedding, walking down the aisle with my dad, saying our wedding vows and hearing our friends and family vow to love us, hugging and celebrating with everyone individually during cocktail hour, dinner (the food, the napkin wave, the wave, the toast), and watching all of my highly educated and fun but not silly friends cover their hands and toes in those glow-light up rings that the DJ brought.
My three tips for couples planning their wedding at Novelty Hill Januik.
1. Serve whatever you want for dinner. We chose beef and salmon, instead of chicken, and everyone loved it. Everything is delicious!!!! Also, we brought in a cake from Safeway (white cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream) and they plated it beautifully for us.
2. The space decorates itself. We spent little money on flowers and decorations. The indoor and outdoor spaces are so well designed that you don’t need much. I considered renting chairs until a good friend asked me when the last time I paid attention to a chair at a wedding was…
3. The entire staff, from planners to chefs to servers is gracious and accommodating. We could not have had an easier or more fun experience.
Planner: Maddie Langton
Hair and Make-up: Anne Timms
Caterer: Novelty-Hill Januik
Florals: Metropolitan Market, Kirkland
That iconic reed grass of NHJ!
Rings: Ben Bridge and Costco (you heard me, Costco!)
We hope our work speaks for us but at Jenn Tai & Co, we celebrate love in all forms, sizes, colors and creeds. As allies, advocates and leaders, we work hard to foster safe, diverse and inclusive spaces for our clients, their families and friends, our creative vendor partners and the planet at large.
Jenn Tai & Co would like to acknowledge the land on which our business operates as the Indigenous Land of Coast Salish peoples who have reserved treaty rights to this land, specifically the Snoqualmie Tribe (sdukʷalbixʷ). As naturalized immigrants currently acting as custodians to this land, we continue to learn, acknowledge and recognize the history of physical and cultural genocide and settler colonialism, which continues to displace Indigenous people today. We would like to also recognize these lands, waters, and their significance for the resilient and wise peoples who continue to thrive in this region today despite the consequences of displacement and broken treaties.