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DIY Pacific Northwest Dream Wedding in Longbranch, WA

A long table with dahlias and candles with celebrating wedding guests seated, at dusk.

Daniel and Jake’s September wedding at the private property of DSquared Hospitality’s owners – David and Meg Haggerty - in Longbranch, WA was truly a labor of love. The wedding took place over a full weekend and involved the support of family and long-time friends in every aspect of the planning and production process, with the grooms designing, producing, building, or procuring virtually all elements of the wedding! For two men who grew up believing they would never get the opportunity to be married, going beyond traditional wedding molds and handcrafting a wedding unique to their love was the ultimate dream come true.

A Labor of Love in Longbranch, WA

The grooms’ overall vision was to host a fun, family and friends weekend. Daniel first learned of his future wedding venue through his childhood friend, Matt. Matt’s parents started Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes, a catering and event company based in Seattle, WA, in the 1980s. After the boys became friends in boy scouts, their fathers realized they had the hospitality industry in common. (Daniel’s father also owned an event company, specializing in themed celebrations.) In 2020, the Haggertys moved out of their family home in West Seattle and purchased 25 acres of water and mountain-view property in Longbranch, WA in the Key Peninsula. Meg and David dreamed of one day turning the property into a private event space reminiscent of the peaceful PNW island venue where their oldest son, Reed, was married in 2018.

The unique property consists of three levels of land – an orchard forest on the top level, a pond and field below, and at the bottom of the hill, the rocky beach, which includes a boathouse and picnic area. After purchasing the property, the owners often invited friends, family, and even current or former employees out to the property for cozy getaway weekends, employee retreats, beach bonfires, and help maintaining the land. Daniel, his fiancé Jake, and their family came out to the property on a number of occasions, enveloped in the rustic charm of the land and the owners’ dreams for the events and memories that could be created therein the future.

When Daniel and Jake started planning their wedding, they brought up the idea of throwing a weekend-long celebration at the Longbranch property. Their vision was an event incorporating the natural beauty and resources of the land as well as the grooms’ own artistic talents. They also wanted to give back to the property by helping both maintain the upkeep of the land in the months leading up to their wedding, and helping to build out spaces and examples for producing future events on the property.

Wedding planning began 9 months before the big event. David, Meg and the grooms walked through the options of what they could do, and where, and how. Two weddings and a large family gathering had previously been held at the property so they had some experience using the space for large gatherings - in addition to their 30+years of catering and event planning experience, of course. Many meetings and much email communication ensued! The couple started organizing work parties on the property – bringing 20 or so friends at a time to help the Haggertys cut blackberries or prune trees. Meg and David also opened up their basement and various outbuildings for décor storage in the weeks leading up to the wedding.

Home-Grown Florals

With a chosen date of September 3, 2022, the grooms wanted to embrace the season and natural beauty of the land. To this end, the grooms designed their floral arrangements based on what could be grown on the property. Ultimately, the grooms and the Haggertys combined grew 80+ varieties of dahlias which they displayed throughout the ceremony and reception and in the farmhouse and boathouse where guests would be staying. They purchased some additional greenery to fill out the wedding arch and other settings, plus foraged additional greenery from the yards of family and friends!

With the wedding venue over an hour from Seattle, and at least 30 minutes from most other surrounding towns, the grooms planned for many of their guests to spend the night on the property, or at nearby hotels or Airbnbs. Because so many guests would be lodging nearby for both the rehearsal dinner on Friday night, and after the wedding the next day, it felt natural to turn the wedding into a whole weekend-long event on the property.

The large property provided numerous opportunities for creating intimate spaces indifferent settings. Besides the three main terrain types - forest, field &pond, and beach - the property also includes a handful of buildings: a central farmhouse, an adjacent cabin, a barn, a brooder house, and a beach boathouse. The Haggertys opened up all areas of the property as a wonderland of possibilities!

Pre-Wedding Festivities

On Friday morning, the wedding party and family members, about 30 people, set the stage for the guests’ arrival and ensuing events. On Friday night, the grooms and wedding party rehearsed the wedding ceremony, and then 70 guests enjoyed a paella party on the beach prepared by Gourmet Niche and The Art of Crunch. A fire pit, lounge furniture, and one long winding table created an intimate and magical environment for the rehearsal dinner.

On Saturday morning, the family and wedding party returned to the property to setup the floral arrangements and other wedding décor. After a break to go back to their Airbnb and change, they returned in the afternoon for photos in the orchard.

A Custom Ceremony

The wedding ceremony, and ceremonial tree planting, took place on Saturday afternoon in the field level of the property. Daniel had built their wedding arch out of rebar which he installed at the ceremony site and covered in greenery, including the dahlias grown on the property.

Bohemian Elegance

The wedding reception included a soft seating lounge area under a sail tent from CORT Party Rental. The grooms sourced Persian carpets and brought in huge vintage cupboards to use as buffet tables and bars. The eclectic and vintage furniture created a boho look all the more complimented by their tweet suits.

During the wedding reception, Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes tray-passed appetizers and provided day of service, including bartending and clean up. The overall venue management was run by the Haggerty family, which including managing guest parking for80-some cars, coordination of deliveries and set up, garbage, water and electrical set up, porta-potty set up, etc.

The grooms envisioned one long dinner table for their 150 guests. Ultimately, 19 eight-foot tables created a 154-foot-long setting. David and Meg assisted the dinner set up by positioning, and re-positioning, each table to place them in just the right spots to create a gorgeous curved look at the field and pond level of the property. This sometimes included painstakingly moving each of the 19 tables one inch at a time!

Chef's Kiss

As members of the food service industry, Daniel and Jake knew and had worked with many local food-makers. The wedding meal included a salad course prepared by two friends of the couple, bread purchased from a favorite bakery, Balloon Roof Baking Co, and a cake from Deep Sea Sugar & Salt. Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes appetizers included a bountiful Antipasti display, Asparagus and Goat Cheese Pizzettes, passed appetizers including Rosemary Herbed Goat Cheese Peppadews, Bistro Filet Bruschettas, and– as a nod to Jake’s Texan family – Shrimp & Bacon Grits Bites.

Frequently testing out new soup recipes and sharing them when they visited Longbranch, it only seemed natural to Daniel and Jake to serve their own homemade soup to their nearest and dearest at their wedding. The grooms prepared the soup days in advance, re-heating it and then personally ladling it to each of their 150 guests!

Besides co-owning a bagel business and their passion for developing favorite soup recipes, Daniel and Jake also express their creativity through pottery-making. They decided to serve their soup in a hand-made bowl for each guest. The all-white pottery bowls were set at each guest’s table setting. Then instead of a receiving line directly after the ceremony, the grooms set up a soup station in which they received each of their 150 guests and ladled a portion to each guest by hand. The bowls could then be taken home as a wedding favor!

A Family Affair

At the end of a beautiful night, 60-some guests spent the night on the property intents outside and inside the various living quarters on the property. Daniel’s family stayed in the farmhouse and the grooms spent their wedding night in the boathouse on the beach.

On Sunday morning, a post-wedding brunch for about 90 included bagels made by the groom’s own bagel company, Howdy Bagel! Jake and Daniel’s mothers lovingly facilitated the brunch for the guests who had spent the night on the property, plus the 30-strong wedding party + family.

The love and care that their friends and family contributed towards Daniel and Jake’s special day could be clearly felt in the unique and highly personalized celebration. In the end, the time and energy spent facilitating and assisting in the planning of the wedding was substantial, yet very satisfying – the ability to both build the dream of two dear friends, and then see it come to life.

As seen in Seattle Bride Magazine Spring/Summer 2023 | @washingtonweddingday

Photography: Saskia Potter | @saskia_potter

Venue: Haggery Residence in Longbranch, WA | @at_the_branch

Appetizers & Bar: Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes | @tuxedosandtennisshoes

Soup Bowls: Daniel & Jake | @dblagovich @jakeacarter

Bread: Balloon Roof Baking Co | @balloonroofbakingco

Wine: Field Bar & Bottle Shop | @fieldtacoma

Cakes: Deep Sea Sugar & Salt | @deepseasugar

Rehearsal Dinner: Gourmet Niche & Art of Crunch | @gourmetniche @theartofcrunch

Florals: Grooms + Haggerty Family & friends

Décor: thrifted by the Grooms

Rentals: CORT Party Rental | @cortpartyrental

Written August 2023

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Desiree Jones
Desiree Jones
Social Media Manager
DSquared Hospitality Company
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