Christina & Justin

February 25, 2012 at WithinSoDo in Seattle

When pals bestow on you a celebrity-couple name hybrid, à la Brangelina and Bennifer, perhaps it’s inevitable the two of you will end up together, both in name and in life. For Christina Chaussee, 31, and Justin Elsberry, 30, also known as “Chausberry,” their names were first intertwined in middle school when they started riding the same school bus, falling into the same group of friends, and running high school track and cross-country together on home base Bainbridge Island. After attending different colleges, both Christina and Justin landed back in Seattle, and the friendship quickly turned romantic.

Eight and a half years later, in August 2011, with their pet golden retriever Bocce in tow, Justin proposed to his longtime love during a weekend getaway to the Rolling Huts in Winthrop, and Chausberry set out to make the name official. Finding the right venue was key for the lively, fun pair, who quickly settled on industrial SoDo’s newest venue, WithinSodo, for the location of their lively, cocktail-party-style celebration.

On the big day, a cold, clear evening in February, a laid-back mood was established as soon as guests arrived as they were handed a fresh cocktail and a quirky program detailing “the plan.” Designed by Christina, who is a graphic designer for mobile app company Zumobi and who made all the wedding-day signage, the bold black-and-white handout included highlights such as a Scotch-and-cigars session on the rooftop deck and “nerdy” dancing.

Ordering a stiff one from the couple’s personalized cocktail menu, which naturally included a Chausberry drink, made from Hendrick’s gin, tonic and muddled cucumber, friends and family perused the snack bar stocked with munchies, such as peanut M&M’s (Justin’s favorite) and pistachios. The beaming bride and groom mingled underneath the glittering cardboard chandeliers and among cocktail tables decorated with potted succulents before the touching impromptu ceremony took place. “It was almost like a flash-mob ceremony,” says Christina, who wore a knee-length J.Crew dress she ordered online. “We just stopped the music, and everyone circled around us with drinks in hand. It was so perfect.”

And then the trucks rolled in. Opening up WithinSodo’s garage door, the 180 guests ducked outside to sample Korean-Hawaiian fusion-style tacos and pork sliders from the couple’s favorite food truck, Marination Mobile, capping off the meal with bowls of ice cream served from Molly Moon’s teal truck. In between bites and licks, the kids broke into personalized activity boxes, while adults snapped Polaroids for the guestbook. On the tables, the duo set out hilarious custom buttons, which guests pinned on as the mood fit: one with a graphic to call them a cab, an “I was there” button and a popular “I’m not Justin” pin for the groom’s identical twin brother, Nick. 

After enjoying cigars and Scotch by the outdoor fireplace on the roof, Christina and Justin handed out glow sticks and boogied on the dance floor until the wee hours. The last to leave the celebration at 2 a.m., Justin, cofounder of 47 Degrees, a creative web and mobile device studio in Ballard, whisked his new wife off to a Canadian honeymoon in Whistler and Vancouver. “I married my favorite person, which was the best part of the day,” says the bride. “Well that, plus I got to cut the line for Marination!”  

Bartenders: The Invisible Hostess | Bridal Gown: J.Crew | Bridal Shoes: Nine West brand, Nordstrom | Caterer: Marination Mobile | Decor: Linen fabric, white pots and candles, Ikea; succulents, Home Depot; kid boxes, made by bride | Dessert: Molly Moon’s Ice Cream | Favors: Custom pins, Six Cents Press | Groom's Attire: Suit, J.Crew; shoes, Nordstrom | Invitations and Signs: Designed by bride; invitations printed at Alpha Graphics, signage at Kinko’s | Music: iPad playlist | Officiant: Betsy Harvey, We Do I Do’s | Rentals: Tables, chairs, heat lamps and glassware, Pedersen’s; lounge furniture, Greenroom Décor | Photographers: Angela & Evan Photography | Rings: Turgeon Raine, Minter & Richter Designs | Soda: Jones Soda | Snack Bar: Glass containers, Target; scoops, Daiso | Venue: WithinSodo