If I didn’t know that this wedding took place a mere 45 minutes outside of Portland, Oregon, I would swear this beautiful Bride and handsome Groom had had a destination wedding in Tuscany. With old world architecture and lush gardens, Villa Catalana Cellars was the perfect spot for the Bride’s romantic, glamorous simple, sophisticated and rustic vision to come to life. And thanks to Yasmin Khajavi Photography, you can see it all in The Vault!
From The Bride…I dreamt about this day for as long as I can remember. Through all the years I patiently (or not so patiently) waited for it to come, my vision stayed almost exactly the same. I wanted something romantic, something glamorous, yet simple, sophisticated, with a touch of ‘rustic.’ There was never a debate about indoor vs outdoor. The wedding would be outside, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Not only had my vision always been to have an outdoor summer wedding but my, now husband, is an avid outdoors man and we are both Oregon born and raised, so it only made sense to celebrate our union breathing in fresh Pacific Northwest air.
When it came to finding the venue we knew we (or my like I haha) had a few requirements. There had to be enough space for the ceremony and reception to take place at the same venue, in their own designated spaces on the property, and fit up to 150 people. Both the ceremony and reception space needed to be outside and the venue couldn’t be more than 45 minutes or so from downtown Portland, as that is where the majority of our guests, and shuttle would be traveling from. All of these were factors that I took into account long before I even had a ring on my finger. The year before I planned one of my sister’s wedding, which I used as kind of a practice run for my wedding one day (my sister and I ended up getting married exactly 1 year apart). During the planning of my sister’s wedding I stumbled upon a image of a property on one of the vendor’s sites we were using. I searched everywhere trying to figure out where this place was. It was GORGEOUS. Like straight our of Italy gorgeous. Ponds with lily pads bigger than my head, beautiful gardens, a gorgeous Villa, and the most perfect grape arbor to host a reception. I felt like I had been transported from Oregon, straight into the Italian countryside. When I finally located the name of the venue, Villa Catalana Cellars, I searched high and low trying to find any information on weddings, events, ANYTHING to give me hope I could potentially have my own wedding here one day. After much digging, I found out they had only just started offering their venue for events a year or two before, meaning they were yet to be listed on any of the big wedding sites giving me hope they wouldn’t be booked years out by the time it came to book a venue for my wedding. I was SO excited! I knew I had found my dream location.
After finding our venue, next up was the dress! I found my dream dress almost 2 years before we were engaged. It was perfect. Strapless, sweetheart neckline, fit and flare, and all lace. The thing is, I had never tried it on. When looking for a bridal shop in Portland to try on dresses I was struggling to find a shop who even carried the designer of the dress, Nicole Miller. And then at last, I stumbled upon The English Department, the only shop in Portland to carry Nicole Miller gowns. I made an appointment and was trying on dresses a couple weeks later. When I walked in they had so many gorgeous dresses, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up that they would have THE dress, since after-all, it was many months prior I had seen it online. When I described to my consultant what I was looking for I didn’t mention the specific gown. She showed me a few beautiful gowns that I loved before pulling out THE Nicole Miller ‘Poppy’ gown. It was the dress. I knew I wanted to immediately put it on but I made myself try it on last. After two years of wanting that dress I slipped it on and knew right away, it was mine for the best and biggest moment of my life.
Villa Catalana is not only a winery but also a rare-plant research center, hence why the property is so breathtaking. After booking our date, I started to think about decor. With the ceremony and reception locations being so gorgeous on their own, I knew my simplistic style of decor would be perfect and not detract from the gorgeous atmosphere. The property in itself was enough decoration.
With the decor I would add, I knew I wanted a really clean, simple color palette, with no one element drawing too much attention to itself: Ivory, gold, blush and hints of black. I wanted the ceremony decor to be really minimal since the stone stairway and pond backdrop were so breathtaking. I knew right away I wanted the gold chiavari chairs. They were elegant and gave the right touch of glamour to the both the ceremony and reception spaces.
I wanted to step the decor up a bit when it came to the reception area but still keep it relatively simple. The reception was held under a beautiful grape arbor, adjacent to the cocktail hour space, with stucco columns that looked like they were made in Italy. I wanted to play up the arbor itself by adding market lights throughout the top. They added a romantic touch that cast the most beautiful light on the tables as the sun started to go down. I ended up ordering my own linens for all the dining and cocktail tables after figuring out it was WAY cheaper to purchase them rather then rent from the vendor. I chose simple ivory satin pin-tuck linens that added just a bit more detail and visual interest to the dining tables, while the cocktail tables were adorned with champagne sequin linens for a touch of glam. The dining tables were then topped with a combination of high and low floral arrangements, filled with open garden roses, Cafe au Lait dahlias, lisianthus, seeded eucalyptus, and soft greenery. I didn’t want anything with a lot of structure, just flow-y, garden-y arrangements. To pull the tables together and create a cohesive feel, I chose to add mercury glass votive candles, matte gold chargers, gold silverware, and black napkins. The combination of these elements created the most gorgeous simplistic scene against the backdrop of what could be mistaken for, the Italian country side.
To go along with the purchased decor I created a couple DIY elements: signs and favors. I designed and created signs to help guide guests throughout the night. These were a labor of love but turned out exactly how I pictured and added another element to really unify the night. For the wedding favors I ordered succulents and small glass votives. My husband planted all the succulents in the votives and I topped them off with little ‘Thank You’ flags, to be placed at every table setting. After all, it’s all in the details :)
Our wedding day was the most magical days of my life. I was all nerves, to the point I was almost in tears in the minutes leading up to my dad walking me down the aisle. I hate being the center of attention and did NOT want all eyes on me as I walked down the aisle. After all, the aisle was a staircase and I thought for sure I would trip on my dress. But when I saw Mars, my then fiance now husband, standing at the end of the aisle at the bottom of the staircase, it was like every fear, every worry, every nerve left my body. It was like it was just me and him standing there and I’ll never forget that moment.
It was so important to us that our guests have an amazing time. From the food, to drinks, to dancing, to decor we wanted people to walk away from our wedding feeling joyful and thinking that the whole experience was beautiful, flawless, and most importantly, fun. The whole day went by so fast but I feel like I was able to truly soak it up and enjoy it all, thanks in large part to my day-of coordinator. Hiring Valerie for our day of coordination was the best decision we could of made. I knew I wanted to take on the main roll of all the planning, but I didn’t want to have to worry about anything else on the actual day. Having a day-of coordinator allowed us to just simply enjoy ourselves and our day. If I could recommend one thing to future brides, HIRE A DAY-OF COORDINATOR. You won’t regret it.
Photography: Yasmin Khajavi Photography | Coordination: Champagne Wedding & Event Coordination | Floral Design: Vibrant Flowers | Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller | Cake: Lisa Luty | Invitations: Anders Printing | Bride's Shoes: Yosi Samra | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Nordstrom | Catering: King Cuisine | Hair + Makeup: Powder Inc. | Lighting: Vibrant Table Catering and Events | DJ: Reel2Digital | Favors: Succulents Galore | Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Transportation: Twilite Limo | Hotel: Hotel Vintage Portland | Venue: Villa Catalana Cellars | Beer Coozies: Rook Design Company | Beverage Services: Villa Catalana Cellars | Bridal Boutique: The English Dept. | Bride's Earrings + Veil: BHLDN | Bride's Ring: PenelliBelle | Bride's Sash: Davie and Chiyo | Groom's Ring: Blue Nile | Linen Rentals: CV Linens | Rentals: Vibrant Table Catering and Events | Signage: The Bride- Leanne Adams