Personality packed and filled with style, this stunning Portland wedding at the Leftbank Annex captured by Lauren Brooks Photography and coordinated by Bridal Bliss is one you’ll want to spend time with today. Because it’s layered with love and thoughtful details, starting early with the paper from Press Engaged, making this gallery one inspiring place to be today.
From Bridal Bliss…What a wonderful experience working with Sarah & Matt. It is refreshing to work with clients that have an idea of what they want, but are open to ideas from the wedding professionals they have hired. We loved the soft, clean palette and the juxtaposition of the exposed brick and raw space. There were so many personal aspects to this wedding, my favorite being the huppa Talit designed by all the guests. From the GORGEOUS wedding gown, to bringing in Portland’s hottest ice cream cart, Salt and Straw to renting gorgeous furniture to create lounge spaces, this wedding was one to remember.
From the Bride…When Matt and I met he was truly East Coast – he had not spent any significant time in the Pacific Northwest or even visited Portland. Portland (and I) quickly grew on him, and when we became engaged he advocated strongly for a Portland wedding. I cherished the opportunity to share Portland with all our friends and family for a weekend, and we both knew a Portland wedding would provide an interesting, relaxed and unique backdrop for our wedding.
From the beginning we knew this was going to be a big wedding. We could not imagine a day without all our friends and family. Despite the size, I wanted the wedding to feel intimate, like the dinner parties I enjoy hosting. Matt, meanwhile, hoped for a big band and fantastic party that lasted all night. Luckily, neither of us had to compromise.
We wanted the wedding to reflect our personalities, both as individuals and as a couple. I love the piano, so as guests entered we had some of our favorite songs playing on the piano, and we also used it for the ceremony. I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of Adele’s “make you feel my love,” which was also playing when Matt proposed. And we recessed to the Beatles “Good day sunshine,” which set the tone for the rest of the party. To incorporate the love of all our guests, as well as the many East Coasters who couldn’t make the trip, we included a square of cloth in each invitation. In lieu of a guest book at the wedding, our guests were asked to inscribe their memories, hopes and wishes on the square. I sewed the squares together to create the chuppah that was used during our reform Jewish ceremony.
We currently live in Brooklyn but travel frequently to see friends and family scattered around the country. To incorporate all those stops, instead of table numbers we used the airport codes of all our common destinations and layovers (e.g., my dad was at table “SAN” because he’s originally from San Diego). One of Matt’s favorite details ended up being the place cards, which were the names we actually call our friends and family, rather than their formal names (e.g., “Uncle Bobby” instead of Robert). Some of our guests didn’t even look twice; it was natural for them to see their nickname.
One of the things Matt has come to love about Portland is the food. We were both excited to create the local menu, and we had the good fortune of working with James Fowler and the team at Devil’s Food Catering. Initially, we sent them a list of our favorite foods, and they ran from there in designing a menu that perfectly reflected our interests. We both love challah but you never get enough at Jewish weddings, so instead of bread we had loaves of challah at each table. To reflect the warm, intimate wedding I was hoping for, we served dinner family style. The menu also included late-night snacks in case anyone got hungry from all the dancing!
But we couldn’t forget the sweets. Neither Matt nor I like cake very much, so our favorite local ice cream shop, Salt & Straw, offered four flavors from their cart. Everyone on the dance floor soon transitioned to the ice cream line. My father requested that we have a cake, which turned out to be wonderful. We are looking forward to eating the carrot cake layer with homemade toffee filling on our first anniversary. But, when we cut the cake, we only ate the buttercream icing.
A dear friend of the family owns and operates a local winery. We knew we wanted to offer only Oregon wine and beer, and it was a perfect match when he offered to help us out. As a special treat, friends and family joined us for lunch at the winery earlier in the week. I also love creative cocktails, so we offered four unique drinks throughout the night. And at the end of dinner “Matt’s Scotch Bar” opened in an elevated lounge area. We offered some of his old world favorites but also some local selections from up-and-coming Portland distilleries. It was a fun way to add variety to the night and allowed Matt to celebrate with everyone in his own special way.
Our first dance was to Sam Cook’s “You Send Me.” I then danced with my father to Danny Kaye’s “Inch Worm,” a song we often danced to when I was a child, with my feet on his as we circled around the living room. Matt’s mom surprised him with a dance to “My Guy,” which bought tears to all our eyes. Both of our sisters gave beautifully personal speeches; my father very poignantly explained my personality in his toast; and Matt’s parents did a wonderful David Lettermen impersonation listing “the top ten reasons why Sarah and Matt should be married,” which included that they finally learned to correctly pronounce “Oregon” and “Willamette.”
We had expected the crowed to dwindle over the course of the evening, but we were excited to see that the buses returning to the hotel were overcrowded and everyone wanted to continue the celebration in our hotel suite. We woke up the next morning lamenting it was over and wishing we could do it all over again. And now back to writing our thank you notes…
Photographer: Lauren Brooks | Coordinator: Bridal Bliss | Florist: Geranium Lake Flowers | Cake: Dream Cakes | Catering: Devil's Food Catering | Makeup: Event Cosmetics | Band: Wayne Foster Music & Entertainment | Ceremony & Reception: Leftbank Annex | Draping: West Coast Drape | Late Night Treat: Salt & Straw | Rentals: Party Place | Stationery + Paper Products: Press Engaged | Vintage Rentals: Classic Vintage Rentals