Though their first date in college didn’t go as well as they hoped, Sarah Saddemi and Josh Abecassis thankfully tried again. “I realized that I could not envision living without her,” Josh reveals of the moment he decided to propose. Days before Sarah’s 30th birthday, she planned to have dinner with a friend. Little did she know, Josh had planned a surprise birthday party instead – followed by an even bigger surprise. “Everyone urged me to go see my fabulous birthday cake on the balcony,” she smiles. “The ring box sitting on top of the cake went unnoticed, and when Josh got down on one knee, I just couldn’t believe it.” To the bride’s amazement, Josh had also flown in both of their families to witness the proposal and celebrate their engagement.

Since Sarah and Josh are Midwest natives, the couple envisioned an outdoor “destination wedding” for loved ones in the city they now call home. “Seattle is so beautiful in the summertime, and I knew our guests would be impressed,” the bride explains. They worked with Callista Osborn of Callista & Company to help make their dream of exchanging vows on Puget Sound come to life. “[Our venue is] located right on the water and has this incredible view of the Seattle skyline and Mount Rainier,” Josh tells. “As sunset came, the sky turned pink, and I could tell by everyone’s reaction that most people had no idea Seattle was this beautiful.”

Just two weeks before walking down the aisle, Sarah converted to Judaism in order to exchange vows in a traditional Jewish ceremony. On the late summer evening, 175 guests found their seats at Ghost chairs for the alfresco service. The bride was stunning in a striking gown with a floral motif and plunging neckline. She clutched a bouquet of phalaenopsis orchids, blushing bride proteas, and garden roses as she met her groom beneath the exquisite chuppah featuring champagne-hued drapery and florals in neutral tones. To honor those closest to them, the pair invited Josh’s siblings and one of Sarah’s bridesmaids to recite the seven blessings in both Hebrew and English. “It was so nice to have them participate in that component of the wedding,” muses the bride.

Prior to the tented reception, loved ones found their seating assignments inscribed on large acrylic panels designed to keep guests’ focus on the picturesque view. Upon entering the space, which was adorned with grey velvet drapes and twinkling string lights, loved ones found their seats at tables strewn with natural linens and gorgeous flowers kept low to encourage conversation. “The centerpieces focused on my love of big blooms and were the perfect balance of contemporary and romantic,” Sarah describes of the hydrangeas, dahlias, and roses in shades of cream, blush, and burgundy. Following a family-style dinner, guests gathered on the black-and-white dance floor beneath stunning floral chandeliers showcasing thousands of dendrobium orchids.

The bride changed into a chic one-shoulder jumpsuit for the couple’s first dance to “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green, before sharing a dance with her father. “What was really special was that Josh surprised me by performing ‘Daughters’ while my dad and I danced. It was like I was married to John Mayer!” she laughs. Friends and family spent the rest of the evening celebrating the couple’s love – even participating in the hora together, despite their religious differences. “One of the best parts was seeing my dad fist pump and try to high-five my mom while being thrown in the air,” remembers Sarah. Just before midnight, the newlyweds rode away together in their getaway car, which was one of the groom’s favorite moments. “It was a really nice time to reflect on everything and process it all with my best friend,” he muses.