This Oregon vineyard wedding has so much to offer. I love the light & airy floral design by Geranium Lake Flowers. And just as much as I love the flowers, I love the fantastic tablescapes, ceremony set up, and gorgeous style, all brought together by Ella Events. I love the bride's amazingly chic dress, and the grooms fantastically casual suit. But you know what I really love about this wedding? The way he looks at her. And the way she looks at him. The way their love is radiating right off my computer screen. Altura Studio captured that love brilliantly. Along with every other little detail (bridesmaids, gorgeous rings, and fabulous vineyard setting). So take a peek at the gallery to see the full extent of this love-filled affair!
Per and I met in 2003 when we began law school in Boston. Within a year we were friends, and by the end of law school, in 2006, we regarded one another as best friends. But we never crossed the line into dating.
On a very cold Boston night, after we had co-hosted a birthday party for our other best friend, Nicole, Per confessed that he was in love with me. We proceeded to have an intimate conversation until the early morning about everything we hoped and dreamed for in our lives. By the time the sun came up, the city had been blanketed in a beautiful snow, which made everything look magical, and Per and I knew we were going to be together forever
It wasn’t a happily ever after right away. We respected one another’s desires to start our careers, and navigated our relationship through different jobs and cities (during which we spent a year and a half apart, me in Texas and Per in DC), until we arrived at the ideal moment to commit to one another in marriage. On July 30, 2011, we wed before 99 close friends and family in a picture-perfect ceremony officiated by Nicole.
By the time that we actually got engaged, Per and I already had many conversations about what we wanted in a wedding. These pre-engagement conversations were important; it was nice to have a jointly held vision of what we desired (and before we became paralyzed by choice—something I see occur often in newly engaged couples).
When we envisioned our wedding, we saw images of an emotional and thoughtful outdoor ceremony, enjoying a sunset dinner, and lots of dancing. We knew the wedding would be in Oregon, in part because it was important for us to have my 88-year-old Abuelita present, but also because I wanted to show off my home state to all of our non-Oregonian friends and family.
When I first saw Garden Vineyards, it was as if every image I had in my head for the perfect wedding site had translated to real life. Nailing down the venue early allowed every detail to flow into place over the year of our engagement.
A couple of things guided our “style” vision for the wedding. The first was the time of year, late July in Oregon, which is when the state’s natural beauty begs you to be outside. The second was the venue, a gorgeous garden and vineyard, which meant lots of lush foliage and flowers. The third was family traditions, both borrowing past traditions and creating new traditions, which meant fashioning an intimate atmosphere.
Because I wanted to compliment, not compete, with the lovely landscape at that time of year in Oregon, I chose what I called a summer neutrals color palette. To me that meant blush, grey, champagne, and beige—soft, quiet colors. Our table settings included ivory tablecloths with champagne runners, silver chargers with dove grey napkins, and vintage-inspired silver-and-white dinner plates, floral flatware, and champagne saucers. Our flowers included light green hydrangeas, café au lait dahlias, and blush cabbage roses and were set in mixed vessels including birch-wrapped vases and mint julep cups. It was dreamy and elegant.
My mother collects antique postcards, and our Save the Date was a postcard created in 1911 (exactly 100 years prior to our wedding year) that we purchased on eBay. The postcard advertised Portland’s moniker “The Rose City” and captured a scene of the city with Mt. Hood in the background, framed by a rose. The scene is the view from Washington Park, which is where we held our Welcome Picnic the evening before the wedding. Our gorgeous invitations featured stone ink letterpressed on ecru paper, and invoked a romantic feel with camellia-print grey-and-blush-colored envelope liners.
Perhaps the most arduous task was creating our table cards. We mined our boxes of old photographs and found pictures of one or the other of us with each of our guests. My mother scanned, printed, and adhered each photo to the corresponding table card for each guest. Her hard work was well worth it! Our friends and family loved seeing the old memories, and many came up to us throughout the evening either doubled-over from laughter or with tears in their eyes. The added bonus of this detail was that it provided conversation starters to those guests who did not know one another but who were seated at a table together.
In lieu of a guest book, we asked our guests to sign the rims of china dinner plates with silver and gold pens. Per and I love to cook together on special occasions and holidays, and we now have new china to use on future anniversary dinners.
My dad does not like being the center of attention, and was a little nervous about the father-daughter dance. My mother solved that problem by borrowing an idea from a woman she met while shopping for wedding décor. The woman’s husband was also nervous about the father-daughter dance at their daughter’s wedding. Therefore, they decided to play a slideshow of photos of the bride, from her childhood through her adulthood, during the dance. We did the same for both the father-daughter and mother-son dances and it was a hit. Not only did it distract the attention of onlookers from focusing solely on my dad and me (and Per and his mother), it gave many of our friends who only know us from adulthood snapshots into our previous lives.
When I was born, my mother received a lace-trimmed baby bonnet that was intended to be transformed into a handkerchief for me at my wedding. My mother surprised me by presenting it to me with my wedding date embroidered into it in blue. The handkerchief inspired us to provide the “favors” of handkerchiefs to our guests prior to our wedding ceremony. My mother spent the months leading up to the wedding antiquing for vintage handkerchiefs, which we displayed on silver platters that she acquired during her outings. My girlfriends expressed that they enjoyed selecting handkerchiefs that complimented their outfits that day.
Our wedding was a labor of love. Not only between Per and me, but also between my mother and me. Mothers of brides meet all sorts of stereotypes. The mother of this bride was amazing. Being on the opposite side of the country from her while we planned the wedding was no easy feat. She made it work and made it fun (and through trial and error we learned lots of tips for brides and their mothers in similar situations!). I felt her love in every preparation toward, and moment during, the wedding.
Photography: Altura Studio / Venue: Garden Vineyards / Caterer: Art of Catering / Day-of Wedding Coordinator: Kara Markovich, Ella Events / Officiant: Nicole Ayala / Ceremony Musician: Bart Hafeman / Reception Band: Hit Machine / Florist: Geranium Lake Flowers / Guest Shuttles: EcoShuttle / Towncar: Lucky Limousine and Towncar Service / Hotels: The Nines and Hotel Monaco Portland / Makeup Artist: Kirstie Wight, Kirstie Wight Makeup / Hairstylist: Kauia Ray-Leon, Epicenter Salon / Dress: Douglas Hannant / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Ring: Jeanine Payer / Bespoke Suit: Rocky’s Custom Clothes / Tie: Burberry / Shoes: Allen Edmonds / Ring: Jewelry by Johan / Bride’s Best Man Suit: Calibrate & Tie: Pierrepont Hicks / Groom’s Best Woman's Dress: Monique Lhuillier