This garden-inspired ballroom wedding is seriously beautiful, with stunning live maple branches dotted throughout the ballroom, but it’s the Bride’s Big Day recap below, that has truly left a long-lasting impression on me. With a genuine smile that could not be wiped off her face, it’s clear the Bride and Groom enjoyed their Big Day, with the planning help of Bridal Bliss, and Lauren B Photo there to capture it all!
From Bridal Bliss… I have to be honest, I am so sad this wedding is over. Working with Melissa and her mom was such a joy, and they just might be some of my all time favorite clients. They have great style, but an Italian sass that continuously kept me on my toes. The day was perfect—even though we had to execute our rain plan, everything flowed beautifully and the Grotto Chapel was breathtaking.
The evening “garden party” that Melissa envisioned was brought to life and was breathtakingly beautiful. From the tablescapes, to the gorgeous linens, to the romantic lighting, to the intricate cake–it was perfection.
I also had the opportunity to be a part of planning the big musical surprise and what struck me most, was how much love was surrounding Melissa & Charlie. Everyone was genuinely excited for the wedding and for the happy couple. It was clear that the bride & groom not only make family come first, but have truly touched many, many people in their lives including myself.
From the beautiful Bride… We were delighted with how our wedding turned out and it started with our incredible venues. The Grotto in the fall is stunning; we loved the vibrant colors of the deciduous trees, and the autumn light filtering through the greenery in the upper gardens. Even though our wedding had to be moved into the chapel at the last minute, it was a beautiful change because the church is remarkable and our music was even more beautiful inside than out. Our guests raved about our cantor singing Ave Maria prior to the ceremony, but an even bigger hit was the gospel choir bursting out with “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher” right as we had our first kiss. We can’t thank our wedding planner enough for that idea! Our delightful and spirited priest made our ceremony unforgettable. His homily was based on his gift- a painting he completed that morning of two cypress trees that rely on the other to grow. I will never forget the feeling of overwhelming love when he asked our guests to cheer for us in support of our marriage. I’ve never heard a sound so sweet in all of my life and we could literally FEEL the love of our family and friends washing over us as we stood at the altar. We couldn’t decide on a getaway car, but after I had an inspiration for a decal that said “Our Love is Electric” I knew we needed to leave in my husband’s Tesla.
A huge highlight for us was walking into our reception at The Nines’ ballroom before anyone had gone in. It took my breath away and I was speechless. We wanted the feeling of an evening garden party, and it was captured perfectly. Maple trees with soft white lights and hanging candles were the perfect complement to this theme. We couldn’t be happier with our selection of The Nines as a venue because our wedding food was perfectly delicious. From the cocktail hour to the late night bites with a perfectly orchestrated dinner in between, The Nines’ service and food did not disappoint! Add in the fact that our wedding cake was as tasty as it was beautiful, we could not believe our good fortune in working with such capable vendors.
What we will always remember about our reception though, was a surprise dance by the bride’s nieces, nephews, cousins and a former student. For months, they had been secretly rehearsing- across two states and three cities—to perform a choreographed dance to their re-written version of Happy by Pharrell Williams. I laughed and cried throughout the entire performance and to this day, this act was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. As wonderful as this was, our reception would not have been complete without the same day edit from Moving Pictures. Our 300 guests were able to relive our wedding day with us- the highpoint for all of us was seeing Charlie’s reaction to the wedding gift I gave him. I had no idea that Charlie had cried at all on our wedding day until we watched him read the journal I had been keeping for him for the 100 days leading up to our wedding. It was a moment we will never forget.
One of our few regrets was that we didn’t have enough time to enjoy our band. Hit Machine was an absolute blast, and one of Charlie’s favorite wedding memories was playing the cowbell onstage with Bart Hafeman! Such a riot! As icing on the cake, we left our reception in a “Just Married” pedicab! What a blessing it was to be showered by rose petals as we waved goodbye to our loved ones and pedaled right through the Nines Hotel! Our driver capped off our night with a midnight tour of the beautiful downtown Portland waterfront.
Photography: Lauren B Photo | Cinematography: Moving Picture Weddings | Floral Design: Blum Floral | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Laurie Clarke Cakes | Invitations: Studio Grace | Ceremony Venue: The Grotto | Reception Venue: The Nines Hotel | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier | Hair & Makeup: Face Body Beauty | Lighting: PSAV | Band: Hit Machine | Ceremony Music: Duo Con Brio | Transportation: Portland Pedals | Transportation: Double Decker PDX | Transportation: Pedi Cab | Transportation: Twilite Limo | Event Childcare: NW Nanny | Gospel Choir: LaRhonda Steele | Junior Bridesmaids' Dresses: Anna's Bridal | Linens: La Tavola | Paper Goods: Paper Bloom | Photo Booth: Limelight Photo Booth | Rentals: Classic Vintage Rentals | Rentals: Ohana Party Rentals | Rentals: Party Place | Wedding Coordination: Bridal Bliss