Ringing In The New Year: An Elegant New Year's Eve Celebration At The Fairmont Olympic Hotel In Downtown Seattle
After being introduced by a mutual friend, Lauren Pardee and James O’Gorman both soon had a sneaking suspicion they had found “the one,” but once the travel-loving pair successfully gallivanted through three countries in 10 days together without mishap, that initial hunch turned into a lasting truth. James even surprised Lauren with a return trip to one of those countries, Iceland, to later pop the question. The prospective bride had thought she was heading to Chicago on a girls’ weekend; instead James proposed while on a picturesque hike overlooking a waterfall outside of Reykjavík.
The Ballard-based couple, both of whom work in tech (she for Smartsheet, he for Microsoft), fell in love with the idea of a New Year’s Eve wedding after visiting the festively decorated Fairmont Olympic Hotel during the holiday season; as a bonus, the timing of the wedding allowed James’ family, who are based in the United Kingdom, to fly over and spend Christmas with the pair before the big day.
On that magical eve, flickering candlelight and abundant greenery immediately set a mood for romance as Lauren walked down the aisle to meet her groom. As part of their vows, the pair participated in a traditional Celtic handfasting; the families surprised them by supplying a piece of Lauren’s mother’s wedding gown and the tie that James’ father was married in to bind their hands and lend extra significance to the ceremony.
The Fairmont’s Spanish Ballroom was resplendent in a 1920s theme for the reception, with tables accented by creamy white florals and ornate candelabras. After a four-course supper and toasts, guests hit the dance floor and snacked on late-night chicken and waffles before ringing in 2017 under a shower of golden streamers. After kicking off their year with a kiss, the couple set off for their honeymoon in—where else?—Iceland.