Elizabeth & Greg
Elizabeth and Greg Pennington
July 13, 2019
WRITTEN BY BECKY MANDELBAUM | PHOTOGRAPHY BY CLINTON JAMES
When Elizabeth was nine years old, her mother took her to the gardens at Lairmont Manor. When Elizabeth asked what went on at the gardens, her mother explained that people sometimes got married there. Despite her age, Elizabeth decided that one day she, too, would grow up and get married in the gardens. On July 13, 2019, her dream came true when she married her husband, Greg.
“The Lairmont was such a magical venue,” Elizabeth says. “The gardens and architecture are so beautiful that I was able to keep the decorating to a minimum.”
Although Elizabeth and Greg are both Washingtonians (Elizabeth grew up in Snohomish County and Greg was born in Seattle), Greg spent much of his childhood traveling around the world. His mom worked for the U.S. Embassy, which took them to Greece, Russia, and South Korea.
Luckily for Elizabeth, Greg eventually landed back in Washington for college. He and Elizabeth met in 2010 through mutual friends at Western Washington University. According to Elizabeth, Greg had to ask for her number three times before she gave it to him. Clearly, his determination was worth it.
In Greg’s eyes, he and Elizabeth were destined to be together since the beginning. “We watched The Jungle Book on our first date and I think that was what finally convinced her that we should spend the rest of our lives together,” Greg says. “I mean ‘Bear Necessities’ just brings people together I guess.”
When they first started dating, Elizabeth told Greg she didn’t care how he proposed, so long as it was a complete surprise. Greg took her words to heart, and proceeded to spend more than a year convincing Elizabeth he didn’t want to get married any time soon. She believed him, which made it even more shocking the day she came home from work to find flower petals on the porch and a hand-made crossword on the kitchen table. A lover of crosswords, Elizabeth got to work solving the puzzle, only to discover the question “Will you marry me?” hidden among the clues. At this point, Greg presented Elizabeth with his grandmother’s ring.
When it was time to start planning for the wedding, the couple made an intentional effort to use as many local businesses as they could. Thanks to Elizabeth’s childhood premonition, they already had their venue. The dress, however, had a bit of a false start.
“My dress was a special story because I actually bought an entirely different style in April of 2018 from Brides for a Cause. And then one day, in March 2019, I was shopping for a bridesmaid’s dress at Gown and Glove and I saw it: the dress I always imagined! I was very lucky because the shop owner allowed me to do a direct trade with my other dress. It was meant to be!”
True to their word, Elizabeth and Greg created a hyper-local wedding. On the big day, guests enjoyed pizza from Gusto Wood Fired Pizza, beer from Boundary Bay Brewery, DIY flowers from Free Range Flowers, and live music from Bellingham-based band Baby Cakes.
“The last song Baby Cakes played was ‘Dancing Queen’ which is my grandmother’s favorite song (and only one she will dance to). So she got up and we boogied! Eventually, the whole family got in a big hand holding circle around Greg and I until the song was over. It’s a memory I will treasure forever!” Elizabeth says.
When Greg recalls the day, one moment that stands out is the first look. “We had talked about not doing a first look, but I am so glad we did! When she tapped me on the shoulder and I turned around and saw her in her dress for the first time, it finally completely dawned on me that we would spend the rest of our lives together, and I have never been happier than that moment.”
After the reception, the couple headed out with friends to their favorite Bellingham bar, The Beaver Inn, to keep the celebration going. “It was so fun wearing our wedding garb downtown!” Elizabeth says.
Today, the couple live happily in Bellingham’s Geneva neighborhood, where they have a cozy house and a big yard for their beloved dog, Mae, to run around in.
Dress: Gown and Glove Bridal Consignment
Venue: Lairmont Manor
Catering: Gusto Wood Fired Pizza, Boundary Bay Brewery
Music: Baby Cakes
Hair: Susan Williams at Juniper Hills Salon
Makeup: Tamara Cantu
Photographer: Clinton James